The Father Cares

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~Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

It is estimated that the average human head has 100,000-150,000 hairs on it. That surely puts this verse into perspective, doesn’t it? Our Heavenly Father not only cares for each bird that flies in the sky, but He has every hair on every believer’s head counted!!

Does this not bring you great comfort? You are precious to God. When you possess something precious, you know everything about it. If it’s a book, you read it over and over. You know on what page a certain passage is located.

The Word says that God views His creation as precious. So much so, He sent His Son to die for us!  That’s a sign of great love!  I never could comprehend such love until I understood that God loves me so much that He knows how many hairs I have on my head!  What a wonderful thing to teach our children! 🙂

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Fruit

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“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

What kind of fruit are we bearing as children of  the King?  Are we praising Him when we speak?  Are we praising Him with our actions?  Or do we bring shame to Him?  Do we thank Him?  These are the types of fruit that we bear when we are growing as a Christian. These are the fruit that we sets us apart from the unsaved world.

How can we grow and bear good spiritual fruit?  Just like any garden needs sun, rain and good soil to grow good and healthy fruit, so does the believer.  We need the Son (1 John 5:12) – we need the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26)- and we need the convicting of the Holy Spirit in our lives (John 14:26).  As we work in our spiritual garden, we must be teaching our children to use their gifts.

We can either bear unripened fruit, mature fruit, spotted fruit or rotten fruit.  They all reflect the condition of our spiritual walk.  What a wonderful life application this is to teach children.  🙂

The Fear of God

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I stand in awe of the God of all creation when I look at the moon and all the stars in the heavens! As a believer, I have a special relationship with God – He is my Heavenly Father. He is a wonderful Father!

The Bible has much to say about the fear of the Lord. There are 30 verses with that same phrase. One such verse is:

~Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

This fear has nothing to do with being afraid of God and His judgment. We are no longer judged because we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and His blood is what cleanses us from all unrighteousness. This places us in a different position than the unsaved. The unsaved have every right to be afraid of God and His judgment. But to the believer, we fear him as we do our own earthly father – a reverential fear. A fear of what our Father will do when we rebel in sin.

What blessed peace is brought to the heart of the believer knowing that he is a child of the King and no longer needs to be afraid!  Dear lady, are you teaching your children about this fear?  Use your family structure as a tool and show them what it means.  🙂

There is a difference between fearing God, and being afraid of God; the Godly fear God as a child does his father, the wicked are afraid of God as the prisoner is of the judge.
(Watson, Religion Our True Interest, 9)
Thomas Watson

A Call to Action

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~Colossians 3:23-24 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

As parents, we can see life through our children, can’t we? For example, you tell your children to go clean up their rooms. One child stomps his foot on the floor and cleans his room but with a lot of attitude. The other one immediately does as he is told and does a great job. It’s not difficult for you to see which child brought much joy to you at this point, right?

It is no different with Christians. How many of us serve the Lord grudgingly? How many wives are out there cleaning their house and doing laundry but with much resentment in her heart?  How many of us serve Him because we love Him and are delighted to serve Him? When we serve Christ with gladness of heart, it is a testimony to the unbeliever… right down to cleaning and laundry 🙂 They see our joy for themselves and it attracts them. They want what we have – the joy of the Lord!

Won’t you serve the Lord with gladness today?

A Book

Stack of wood~Exodus 17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

 

~Numbers 5:23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:

 

~Deuteronomy 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:

 

~Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

 

~Jeremiah 30:2 Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

 

~Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

The unbeliever does not want to acknowledge that the Bible is not only the Word of God, but it is to be the only source for the believer’s beliefs.  As well, our unsaved small children may not know. It’s up to Godly mothers to make it known to them.

I find it interesting that all the words “write in a book” are found in six verses. The number six is the number for man. God provided His instruction manual for His creation by providing a book, the Bible, that contained all we needed to know about Him and about living for Him. Many believe that there are traditions and extra revelations through popes, etc. but the Word of God is complete – it is Holy – it is Truth – from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. There is nothing more to be added. Jesus said He was the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. He is known as the Word of God – therefore, all we need is provided by His Holy Spirit through the Word of God, the Bible. It is quite simple but today’s Pharisees and Sadducees like to make it complicated so man must depend upon them. We do not need them to interpret God’s Word.

~2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible and He will interpret it for the believer. Many struggle with this. Our children need to learn this and know that they can turn to their Bible and rest assured of its authenticity.  It is the Holy Spirit who interprets the Bible for us and makes us like minded. 🙂

Self Esteem


And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15) I truly believe that the worse “new teaching” from the world today is the one of self esteem. This teaching is definitely not scriptural and it has done so much damage. It is not a new teaching but it is certainly more prevalent in today’s world than in the past. Everyone is focused on me, myself and I. What’s in it for me? You offended me! You hurt my feelings. You’re no better than I am. Don’t tell Johnny, who’s in the tenth grade that he is only reading at fifth grade level, you’ll ruin his self esteem! No where in God’s Word does it say that we should esteem ourselves! Why do you think people are conceited and full of themselves? They have been “self esteemed” to the point of nausea!

Noah Webster’s definition of the word esteem is SO very different from today’s.

1. To set a value on, whether high or low; to estimate; to value.

Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Deu 32.

They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Sam 2.

2. To prize; to set a high value on; to regard with reverence, respect or friendship. When our minds are not biased, we always esteem the industrious, the generous, the brave, the virtuous, and the learned.

Will he esteem thy riches? Job 36.

Merriam-Webster’s definition 

is the regard in which one is held; especially: high regard

Merriam’s definition is quite diluted, isn’t it?  His diluted definition reminds me of how diluted our teaching from God’s Word is to our children.  We don’t follow the Word of God to the letter – we add our own twist to it and that leads to dysfunction children.

What things in God’s Word are we to esteem? Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12) Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Psa 119:128 ) God’s Word should be esteemed. If you were to place the emphasis of Merriam’s definition for esteem to God’s Word, you would not be totally convinced that it deserved such a high rating, right? But if you put Noah’s definition, you see that the Bible is to be prized and reverenced. This is a much different viewpoint! No wonder the worldly Christians do not look to the Word of God to change them. They don’t revere it, therefore, it’s impact on their lives is minimal.

Does God regard esteem as sin? And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15) (emphasis mine) God considers it an abomination if you esteem that which is ungodly.

Whom should we esteem? Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Phi 2:3) and And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. (1 Th 5:13) We should esteem the brethren better than ourselves and we should esteem those who are over us – our deacons and our Pastors. No where in my 27 years of salvation have I ever read in God’s Word that I should think highly of myself. If I love the brethren, they will always take precedence over me. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (1 Cor 13:4) Paul says that our love for each other will cause us to be longsuffering with each other, be kind to each other, not envy one another, and not think highly of ourselves. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (Rom 12:16)

Dear lady, these are not the Bible verses encouraging us to have self esteem! These verses are encouraging us to be humble, meek and low in pride. What will happen to the one who thinks highly of himself? Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. (Job 40:11)

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. (Eze 21:26)

Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. (Dan 4:37)

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Mat 23:12)

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luk 14:11)

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luk 18:14)

None of these verses sound like words from a support group for self-esteem. Quite the opposite. We should rather be humble and be promoted to the front of the line by the Lord than to think more of ourselves and have Him tell us to get to the back of the line. If anyone had reason for self-esteem, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. But He humbled Himself to the point of dying for you and I. If we are to walk in His footsteps, how can we possibly have self-esteem and say that it comes from God? This is hypocrisy – we should do well to learn from the account of the Pharisee and the Publican.

Dear God…
May our eyes be off ourselves
And focused on others instead
May we be as humble as You were
As You walked the path to your death

Worldiness

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Tit 2:12)

Denying ourselves of ungodly things and worldly lusts is a battle indeed. The first step is to be able to recognize these things in our lives. How can one recognize them if one is knee-deep in the world? I have seen what allowing the world into one’s life can do to a person. I know someone personally who use to live right. Somehow the devil has gotten compromise in this brother’s life and now he is doing things I never dreamed I’d ever see him do. He still goes to church and serves in different ministries. The sad thing is he no longer sees these compromises as sin but as his “right” and “liberty” in Christ! It grieves me to see someone use Christianity as an excuse to do whatever they want. There’s no consideration given to the weaker brother who is watching and may be pushed to sin because of the poor testimony displayed.

What about you, dearl lady? You can’t be around a skunk for more than just a few seconds and the smell disgusts you. You also come away feeling like you smell like a skunk, don’t you? However, the longer you’re around the stench, the less you smell it. I grew up in Northern Maine. A few times a year, we would drive to Massachusetts to visit my sister. The route my father used went right through Lincoln, Maine. We always knew when we were getting close because of the awful smell of their paper mill. This town would have been a great stopping point to eat but we never would stop there because we just could not stand the smell! As children, we would block our noses and breathe through our mouths as we went through that town, it was that bad. We actually met people who had lived there all their lives and they claimed they couldn’t smell it! It’s the same with worldliness. The longer you are exposed to it and allow it to come into your life, the more it will permeate your life and your ability to discern it will deteriorate. Not only that, but think of what it’s doing to the Lord???  The One who died for us and paid the debt for our wretched sin is watching us discard the appreciation we once had and exchange it for living like the world!  It’s comparable to the Israelites in the wilderness who wanted to return to Egypt!!!

I find this type of worldly behavior by Christians as immature. They are like toddlers who keep saying, “Mine!” “Give me!” “I want!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” A dear brother in Christ shared this spiritual growth chart with me and I thought it fit perfectly here 🙂

Spiritual Growth Chart

Babies

Pacifier – Always needing to feel like you are eating but happy with just going through the motions and not really having to swallow anything or digest any truth. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Heb 5:13)

Diaper Changes – Making messes uncontrollably that must be cleaned up by other more mature people. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1Th 5:14)

Crying for attention – Crying not because of pain or hunger, cold or hot, or any other discomfort but because you want attention. Babies lie to get attention! Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Phi 4:11)

Thoughts – They know that they exist and they begin to learn. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psa 139:23)

Toddlers

Banging Heads – They see what they want and plunge in after it but they never see any danger. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Pro 4:19)

Poison – They will put anything in their mouths But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb 5:14)

Falls – They will walk right off of the edge or trip over the most obvious hazards. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (Joh 11:10)

Undisciplined – This is the age where discipline must be taught, this is where we learn what no means. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Pro 13:24)

Learning – Begin to learn the first hard lessons of life usually the hard way. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psa 25:4)

Childhood

Newness – Everything is new and must be discovered. This is where the greatest learning takes place. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)

Recognition – We begin to recognize what causes sickness and pain, joy and pleasure. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psa 119:7)

Socialization – We learn to play with others and learn from someone other than our parents. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Eph 4:32)

Independence – We can feed ourselves and maintain ourselves with only a little help and nudging. We begin to make decisions. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1Jo 2:14)

Education – The beginning of a formal education they learn the basics from adults. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psa 111:10)

Pre-Teen – Teen

Assertion – We begin to assert ourselves as individuals and demand some control over our lives. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deu 8:6)

Rebellion – We rebel against the authority of others over our life. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1Sa 15:23)

Individuality – We begin to show our individuality and uniqueness. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (1Co 12:18 )

Abilities – We now have the ability to do constructive work or to destroy the work of others. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1Co 12:17)

Pride – We gain pride thus reaching the age of accountability. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Pro 16:18 )

Self centered – The world is there to serve us. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Phi 2:4)

Knowledge – Begins to become knowledgeable of the deeper things of the World around them. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:7)

Adult

Responsibility – Takes responsibility for his own actions good or bad. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1Jo 2:10)

Wisdom – Understands truth and his own limitations thus reverences the Creator. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Pro 16:31)

Service – Works for the benefit of others and not just for self. A
nd the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2Ti 2:24) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2Ti 2:25) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2Ti 2:26)

Sacrifice – Gives of themselves for their family and the ones that they love. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom 12:1)

Diligence – Does the routine things and the things that are expected of them. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Pro 22:29)

Higher Education – They can now gain that higher knowledge of the mysterious things of creation and beyond. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psa 143:10)

So, dear lady, where are you in the Spiritual Growth Chart? Are you as far away from the stench of worldliness or have you hung around it long enough that the “scent” is all over you? This need not be your story. Paul said you can turn it around by living soberly, righteously, and godly. Get in the Word …. stop quenching the Holy Spirit of God and allow Him to prick your heart and point out the areas of compromise and worldliness you to need to work on. It’s never too late to turn your life around and be at peace once again. If you were to be totally honest, you cannot say that your worldly life has brought you any true peace. Won’t you turn today and serve the Lord again? Now teach your children to do the same.

Dear God…
Compromise and worldliness
An awful stench they leave
May Your Holy Spirit cleanse me
While to Your Side I cleave