I have two children ages 8 and 11. They are super influential at this age. It seems like they will believe anything I tell them. This can be good because I have a chance to have a major influence on their lives at this stage. It can also be fun. I admit this is a little sneaky, but I love to take advantage of their trust and play silly little tricks on them. I get them every time! It is okay for a child to be a little gullible. But as adults we really should not continually be suckered by the same old tricks. We are no longer children; discernment is an indication of adulthood.
The same is true when it comes to our spiritual maturity as well. When we are immature as Christians, the Scriptures liken us to children. As spiritual children, we are easily swayed and deceived. We are warned in Ephesians 4:14 that we are to no longer be as children in our faith. We are to mature! The value in maturing in our faith is that we will quit being easily swayed, confused or led astray. Instead, we will speak with words of love and we will grow in our goal of Christlikeness.
JUST A THOUGHT
Look into your life, are you easily swayed by the words of others or are you firm in what you believe and why you believe it?
Tag Archives: children
1 John 2:28
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming,” 1 John 2:28.
The word abide is a beautiful Bible word with deep truths. To abide simply means to dwell in or rest in something.” When we abide in something, we continue in it and we are committed to it. In 1 John 2:27, we find that the “anointing” of God “abideth” in the believer. The Holy Spirit is with the believers to help them in discerning truth and understanding the things of God. God’s Spirit abides or dwells within us. He is continually with us and committed to us.
Just as the Holy Spirit abides in us, we are called to abide as well. Our Text verse today tells us that we are to abide in Him. We are to be just as continually committed to Christ as He is to us. We are to dwell with Him and find rest in Him.
What benefits do we receive when we choose to abide in Him? We can stand before Him in His appearing with confidence and free of shame. That is a solid promise.
Believers in Christ are called to abide. This is not a passive action. Abiding in Him takes daily reminders and continual effort. As The Holy Spirit is committed to us, we must commit ourselves to God.
JUST A THOUGHT
Are you abiding in Him with a continual commitment?
“This night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God,” Luke 12:20, 21.
When children divide an inheritance, they are actually dividing up the life of the benefactor who left the inheritance. When a parent buys a house or car, he trades an amount of his life for his purchase. When a father gives his son a twenty dollar bill for a date with his girlfriend, the father is saying, “Here is an hour of my life, son. Please don’t waste it.” I remember reading this passage and feeling that Christ was being unfair not to require the brother to divide the inheritance with him. However, Christ was speaking to the man’s motives, not to the law of inheritance (Luke 12:15). Our possessions give us a sense of security, a claim to the world in which we live. Like the mockingbird, God has made man with a nesting instinct for the provision of his family. Paul, who was raised in opulent wealth, implied that, if it had not been for God’s law against covetousness, he could be perfect. Covetousness drives men and women to overextend their credit to obtain things they desire, even though they cannot pay for them, thus, living a lie or pretending. Covetousness and debt have ended many a marriage in tragedy, which began in love. Jesus often taught His disciples to be satisfied with God’s provisions. God provides for the birds and the lilies. Are you not much more valuable to God than these?
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt.6:32, 33).
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, . . . For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters,” Jeremiah 17:7, 8.
Trust implies that one feels vulnerable without the help of another. Children, of necessity, have to trust their parents. Employees must have confidence that their employer will come through with the paycheck. The boss must trust that the employees will produce a quality product or service. God has designed the world of humans with a herding instinct. If the ones we trust run off the cliff, many follow to their doom.
In this passage of Scripture, Jeremiah contrasts those who trust in men with those who trust in God for protection and provision. Trusting in God, one draws on the resources of the One who created the universe. He would never put a bug in our burger. Trusting in men is trusting in dust falling through the hourglass. When the storms of life come, the one trusting God is firmly planted where his soul is nourished. When the storms pass, like the tree, he may be bloody and scratched up but his leaf is still green. A hothouse tomato plant must be nourished in the shade and slowly toughened in the hot sun a little more each day for the business of bearing fruit. A few storms might twist it around, but it only gets tougher and grows more roots. It will bear more flavorful fruit and bear longer than one that is not cared for by a compassionate gardener.
It is a law of nature—those who trust in God for nourishment come through stronger and wiser in the end (Phil. 4:11-13).
“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul,” Proverbs 29:17.
Children are a gift from God, but their behavior, at times, imitates Satan. That is why they need teaching, training and corrective discipline. Most often, parents are the ones whom children look to for guidance in these areas. But, our societal pendulum has swung toward friendship with our children rather than parenting. Parenting requires one to be a responsible adult, friendship does not.
It is God who gives parents the job of parenting their children. If they neglect this responsibility to teach, train and discipline, they and their children will suffer greatly. Discipline can graciously prevent false ideas that lead a child to self-destruction.
While there is no guarantee that children will always listen and follow their parent’s biblical training (training and discipline are interchangeable concepts), it does provide a good foundation for life. That foundation can be layered on by a sound biblical church and thoughtfully and thoroughly studied Sunday School lessons.
Parents do not want their children to suffer unnecessarily, but suffering is necessary on occasion to change the direction of certain harmful behaviors. As adults, they will be thankful for the moment of pain which possibly saved them from a lifetime of trouble.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Prov. 29:15).
“If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore,” Psalm 132:12.
How often do you ask God to establish and protect your home and prosper your family? When we recognize God’s sovereignty over everything, we understand that He is the reason we experience good, and He knows exactly what is best for us. As we understand God’s grace more and more, it makes sense that we continually go to Him more and more with our petitions.
By the time David drew closer toward the end of his life, he came to understand God’s grace more and more as well. In this Psalm, we observe him requesting God to establish his home and kingdom long after he passes. Of course, God replied with a beautiful and powerful promise to prosper David’s family by setting up his son, Solomon, to rule as king.
After that promise, God said something interesting, He told David that his sons and grandsons after him would be prospered as long as they kept God’s testimonies. This condition is a great reminder that each person is accountable for obeying God’s Word on his own. We cannot expect to receive the manifold blessings of God based solely upon the obedience of our parents or grandparents. Yes, our parents and grandparents may be responsible for many of the blessings of God we enjoy, but there must come a time when we own our faith and walk in obedience to God all on our own.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you own your faith today?
1 John 2:1, 2
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” 1 John 2:1.
While on a mission trip in Thailand, some of the team members with us were curious about the Buddhist temples. We took them to see a couple of the temples.
The doors of the temple are usually open during the day and evening and anyone may enter. Before entering, one must remove his shoes. The buildings are cool even though there is no air conditioning because the ceilings are steeply pitched and high. Large, carved, wooden chairs line the sides of the main room. These are where various monks, according to their rank, will sit on Buddhist holidays. On these days, people gather to bless the monks with gifts. In return, the monks will sprinkle water on their heads with some sort of good luck blessing. The monk cannot forgive any transgression the people may have committed. For that, they must do good deeds for merits.
Conversely, we go to church to worship the living God, praise Jesus and be convinced or convicted by the Holy Spirit through a biblical message. Furthermore, Jesus is our constant advocate, not just on Sundays. He makes intercession for us to the Father. I am so glad; more than glad, I am ecstatic that we have Jesus on our side!
REFLECTION – God demands no money, gifts or favors, only faith, in Jesus as our Savior.
A man that they could not silence
1525 – ANABAPTISTS IN SWITZERLAND ARRESTED AND BURNED AT THE STAKE FOR REFUSING TO BAPTIZE THEIR CHILDREN IN THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY – George Blaurock was arrested on February 7, 1525, along with Felix Manz and 24 other Swiss Anabaptists for refusing to have their children baptized. He was held for a week in the Augustinian cloister and then released. On Nov. 6 he was rearrested and placed in chains. On the 18th he was sentenced to imprisonment in the New Tower, to be kept on a diet of bread and water. On Jan. 5, 1527, the day of Felix Manz’s glorious martyrdom, the following report is given of Blaurock: His hands were bound, his body stripped to the waiste, and he was made to walk along the street, while being beaten with rods until the blood flowed from his wounds. When he was finally released, as he left Zurich, he shook the dust from his blue coat and shoes as a testimony against his persecutors. Blaurock a man of conviction who could not be silenced continued for two years to carry on the work of the Anabaptists in Switzerland. On September 6, 1529, when he was the pastor of a small flock of believers in Tyrol, Blaurock was burned at the stake. The little church’s former pastor had also been burned three months prior. Blaurock had been born in Bonaduz, a village in Grisons, Switzerland in 1491. He was therefore only 38 years of age when he was called home to meet the Lord Jesus.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 51.
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2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
“When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day,” 2 Thessalonians 1:10.
If you are a parent then you have probably experienced moments of extreme pride in your children. When your child learns to walk, learns to read, excels in a sport, graduates, or achieves significant recognition, these are moments when moms and dads can be seen beaming with pride, grinning from ear to ear. These are moments when parents proudly claim ownership of their child because, in many respects, a child’s success reflects honor to his parents. Most of the time, when a child is successful, it is because of diligent parents, and moments of success symbolize a return on an investment.
God has made a significant investment in His children: His Son, Jesus. He has diligently and faithfully arranged our future and, as a perfect Father, provided everything necessary for us to experience success. We don’t always reflect honor back to God. There are times, I am sure, when God is not pleased with the way His children behave. But, there is coming a day when Jesus will return to earth and claim His children. On that day, God will transform us as His children into the perfect image of His Son and give us glorified bodies. Then, God will look upon us as His children with the utmost pride because we will most perfectly embody and reflect His image. Jesus invested His life into purchasing this glory for us, so He is worthy of our eternal praise.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you thank God today for being your perfect Father?
1 John 4:1-6
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” 1 John 4:4.
Our family has a secret password. It is a word we have shared with our children that will confirm to them that they can trust the adult with whom they might speak in case of an emergency. So, if an emergency arises and we must recruit the help of someone else to pick up the kids from school or from the house, the kids will ask for our family password. If the person does not know the password, it will be obvious to our children that the messenger has not been sent from us but is most likely an imposter.
As children of God, we have the same relationship and a similar way of knowing whether a messenger, preacher, teacher or even a friend, represents our Father or is an imposter. If a person behaves in a way that brings glory to Jesus Christ, we can feel confident in that person’s identity as a child of God. We can know the difference between spiritual truth and error, safety and danger, by simply analyzing whether or not the message honors Christ as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. These days there are many messages vying for our attention, and many of them seem to be harmless at first glance. Satan has had plenty of time to configure a counterfeit Christianity that looks like the real thing, but when it comes down to the root of any thought, belief, action, or spoken word, if God’s glory is not the main motivation, there is no truth present, no matter how right it may seem.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you test every message to see if it brings glory to God today?