Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What Is Your Response?

What should be our response to the Christmas message? In Luke 2 the shepherds were visited by an angel from the Lord which proclaimed that their Messiah has finally come. This was truly good news. Other than being overwhelmed by the great visitation from the heavenly host that night, how did the shepherds respond to this great news? Verses 15-20 reveal three important responses that would be good for us to ponder and imitate.

I. Acceptance vv.15-16: Notice that these shepherds accepted the message and were eager to see their Messiah. “Let us now go,” the grammar suggests that they were repeating the statement to each other. The particle “now” expresses urgency; they were excited. Why can’t we be this excited about the Messiah? Notice also in v.15 that they recognized that the message was from the Lord. They accepted the message as true. V.16 says that they “came with haste” and found “the babe lying in a manger.” Notice that the shepherds responded immediately. There was nothing lackadaisical about their actions. If you are reading this post and you have never accepted the Lord Jesus as your personal savior; please do so today. (You can go to our church website and read how to be saved www.faithbaptistkittery.org ) For those reading who are believers there ought to be a vigor and excitement in our hearts over the Lord Jesus!!

II. They Testified of the Messiah v.17-19: The Shepherds spread the word. They couldn’t keep the good news to themselves. They were the 1st evangelists!! V.18 tells us that the people marveled over the news. This kind of wonderful news should cause us to ponder the grace of God. V.19 explains Mary’s response to the news from the shepherds. She just silently took it all in and “pondered them in her heart.” The word “pondered” has the idea of “weighed” meaning to deeply think about all the things she heard from the shepherds and from her own angelic visit. What news! All we can do is marvel over it and share it to needy people who are living in the darkness of sin.

III. They Rejoiced v.20: The shepherds returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God for His grace in sending their Messiah. The word for “praising” may refer to singing of a song- possibly singing a Psalm from the Old Testament. This is only a proper response to such mighty works of God!!
Are we rejoicing over our Salvation? Praising God! Publicly? We of all people ought to be people of Joy!! Let us purpose to be people of joy (New Years resolution), it will greatly glorify God!!

How much do you adore your Savior?? God in His grace, over 2,000 years ago, sent our Savior into the world so that we could be reconciled to Himself.

God intervened in history & sent the Light to dispel the darkness.

The Angels rejoiced! The shepherds rejoiced! Mary & Joseph rejoiced! Zechariah & Elizabeth rejoiced! Simeon & Anna rejoiced! Let us rejoice also for we too enjoy God’s favor. Adore your Savior & Glorify Him this Christmas season!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Peace & Blessings Multiplied

(2 Peter 1:2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Do you have peace? Do you have it when the trials surround you? You can! This verse is a part of Peter's opening greeting to a people who know something about trials and persecution. They needed encouragement so Peter writes this prayer wish for them.

Peter's desire is that grace and peace would be multiplied to them. Here grace is God's blessings because they are reconciled to God. Grace pardons and sanctifies. Peace also comes from being reconciled to God and having our sins forgiven. The peace Peter prays for here is a calmness of heart in the midst of trials.

Peter writes that peace and grace can be multiplied to them. the word for multiplied can also mean to abound, to have more than enough. Peters audience needed this grace and peace and it could be theirs. You and I also need it and it can also be ours. How?

Notice Peter says "through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." The Word for "knowledge" in Greek is επιγνωσις meaning true, clear, full knowledge, to know exactly, completely. It is a personal, intimate knowledge where one understands more through a relationship, a growing knowledge- getting to know something that changes or effects us. This is different from γνωσις- (knowledge) such as academic knowledge of facts.

We grow in this first word for knowledge by our experience with God and how He works in our life. By learning more about Him and as we watch Him at work through every aspect of our lives, especially through trials & difficulties.

The objects of this knowledge is our God and His self-revelation to us- His Son the Lord Jesus.

Therefore, we must have a strong, vibrant relationship to our Father and to our Lord to enjoy wonderful peace and grace. Experiential knowledge changes us, draws us closer to our God, puts us in a position to experience more of His blessings (to recognize them too), and allows us to greatly enjoy the peace that we can only receive from our God and our relationship to Him.

We can have wonderful peace and have it abundantly! The stronger our relationship to God the more peace we experience, the more blessings we receive, the more joy to fill our hearts no matter what goes on around us. It can all be ours in Christ!! Are you experiencing it? I hope so.

Monday, September 19, 2011

God's Abundant Goodness!!

(Psalms 31:19) Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

In this Psalm David was excited about God’s goodness in delivering him. The context is probably 1Samuel, chapters 23 and following, where Saul was pursuing David. God delivered him from Saul and David could not help but praise God for His goodness.

According to the verse God’s providential goodness is great. This Hebrew word for “goodness” is defined as “welfare,” “favor,” “pleasantness,” “graciousness,” “practical benefit.” The word “great” in Hebrew expresses abundance in quantity and quality. God’s goodness is like a well that never runs dry. It is infinite enough for all. It is of the highest quality. It cannot be matched.

Notice also, God’s goodness “is laid up for them that fear Thee.” The Hebrew Word for “laid up” means “to hide”, “hoard”, “reserve”, “conceal something with a definite purpose”, “to treasure up” where no one can take it away. God’s goodness is stored up for the times that He sees fit to disperse it to His children. It is plenteous and no one can keep God from showering it upon us.

Not only is this great goodness treasured up for us in a secure place, but David says it is wrought for them… The Hebrew word means “to make,” or to be “prepared for.” At the proper time, when we need God’s goodness the most, He manifests it to us. Adam Clarke wrote; “It is proportioned and provided for the necessities of men when they need it most.”

Now, in our verse there are conditions for receiving this goodness. First of all, it is laid up for them that fear God. For those who stand in awe of God’s greatness and realize that God is holy. For those who know who God is and also know who they are-weak, frail, and always in need of His assistance. Secondly, God’s goodness is provided to them that “trust in Thee before the sons of men.” These are people who boldly confess and praise God before all people. Who proclaim confidence in God before all men. These kinds of people experience the joy of receiving God’s abundant goodness.

Who can measure God’s goodness? In His kindness He comforts His children. David can attest to this truth, but thankfully he is not alone in receiving God’s goodness and comfort. Consider some New Testament examples. The Apostle Paul was suffering from a “thorn in the flesh” (possibly eye problems?) and prayed three times for deliverance. Notice God’s answer and Paul’s response in 2 Corinthians 12:9; And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Notice that God does not always take away the difficulty, but in His goodness He does give us the grace to get through it. In Romans chapter 2 Paul is continuing his argument that all people are sinners. While rebuking people who judge sin in others Paul writes in v.4; “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” God’s purpose in His kindness and goodness is not to excuse sin, but to stimulate repentance. Then in Romans 6:23 Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Our God did not have to save any of us, but in His infinite goodness He provided a way of salvation through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you grateful for God’s goodness? Folks, He is a good and wonderful God. Let us proclaim this to everyone who will listen to us. Let me leave you with a few more precious verses as you ponder God’s goodness.

(Psalms 27:13) I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

(Psalms 36:7-8) How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Deserved Praise!!

Just how much do you praise the Lord through out the day? How much publically? I fear that many Christians fail to praise the Lord enough! He has done so much for us. Just think of His grace in providing salvation for us. But He has done so much more than just that for us. He showers us with so many blessings. Even through the difficult times of life He is there for us and encourages us through His word.

In Psalm 30 David can't help but to praise the Lord. The context for the Psalm is probably 2Samuel 24 & 1Chronicles 21. David grew prideful through his successes. He decided to take a census to see how mighty his army was, but unfortunately, that was displeasing to God. David was to trust in the Lord and not in his strength. The Lord had to chastise him and the Nation and He did it through a plaque. The Chronicles account tells us that 70,000 men died. David realized quickly that he sinned against the Lord and repented. God stopped the plaque and spared David along with the rest of Israel.

Take your Bible and read Psalm 30. In v.1 David cries out "I will extol Thee." He gives the reason why; "for Thou hast lifted me up." The Hebrew idea is pictured in lifting up a water bucket out of a deep well. David felt like he was sinking in a deep well that he could not get out of. V.3 continues this thought; "O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit." David thought that he was doomed. After all, he knew he sinned greatly against God, But God in His grace removed the plaque and spared David's life once he repented.

David was so thankful that he cried out in v. 4 "Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness." Notice what David says in v.5; "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." God's anger does not last forever. When God's children repent He forgives and restores them to fellowship with Himself. Notice that David says that "weeping may endure for a night." The Hebrew word for "endure" has the idea of "lodges" as an overnight visitor who leaves very early in the morning to continue on his journey. The whole picture here is that in grace God forgives and restores us. What a comfort to David, and what a comfort to us.

Spend some time in this great Psalm and think through God's grace. No wonder David ends the Psalm in v.12 by stating that he could not keep silent, but that he would sing praise to God. (Psalms 30:12) "To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever."

As I stated in the beginning, I fear that we fail to praise our great God enough. Are you silent? Praise the Lord loudly! Shout out His praises so that those around you realize that you love the Lord. Shout out His praises as a testimony of the greatness of God. You never know how God may use your praise as a way to lead others to Himself!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giving of Ourselves

Our Churches today need more than just finances; we need people to give of themselves. For a church to survive the people must also give of themselves and practice their spiritual gifts. For any church to thrive, the people must play an active part. 2 Corinthians 8:5 explains that the Macedonian believers first gave of themselves to the Lord and His work and that is why they pleasantly surpassed Paul’s expectation at Corinth when they gave sacrificially to the Jerusalem church. Commenting on v.5, Murray Harris writes, “…the reason the Macedonians exceeded Paul’s expectations was that they did not restrict their contribution to financial aid. On the contrary, ‘in keeping with God’s will’ they dedicated themselves first and foremost to Christ but also to Paul for the performance of any service in connection with the collection (v.5).” As believers mature spiritually they realize that God has a purpose for them and wants to use them.

1 Peter 4:10 informs that every believer has received a spiritual gift and Peter commanded that the believer be a good steward and use his or her gift for the benefit of others. Paul teaches the same thing in Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4:1-16. The passages are clear that God has equipped His children to serve in the local church. In his commentary on Ephesians 4:7, Harold Hoehner teaches that, “Each believer is to function in Christ’s body by God’s enablement, proportionate to the gift (spiritual ability) bestowed on him, no more and no less. This means that a variety of gifts will be exercised, as seen in verse 11; Romans 12:4-6; and 1 Corinthians 12:4-6.”

It is imperative that pastors teach believers their responsibility to serve in the local church. No church will function well in God’s eyes when the members of that church fail to see the need to serve as God has equipped them. Ephesians 4:12 clearly teaches that each believer serves, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Every believer needs to understand that he or she is needed in the work because God has ordained it that way. Paul says it best in Ephesians 4:16, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Comparing the congregation to the human body, Kent writes, “Now, the proper functioning of all interrelated parts is necessary for normal growth in a human body. Any overactivity of one part may result in a misshapen, monstrous organism. In the same way each member of Christ’s body…is to exercise his ministry (4:11) and thus contribute to the upbuilding of the whole church. If even one Christian fails todevelop spiritually, the church as a whole is not as strong as it ought to be.”

We need to understand the importance of every believer learning to give of themselves and not just their tithes and offerings. How about you my friend? If you are reading this blog post, have you given of yourself to God? Are you exercising your gifts and abilities in a local church?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Declaration of Dependence

The Believer’s

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and based on the facts of God’s Word, I DECLARE myself to be FREE INDEED (John 8:36).

My liberty is seen in three realms: First, concerning the god of this age, to whom I once belonged, I have been DELIVERED from the power of darkness and have been translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:13), turned from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18).

Secondly, concerning my relationship to this world system, my Saviour gave Himself for me that He might deliver and rescue me from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God my Father (Gal. 1:4).

Thirdly, concerning the terrible slavery of sin, the Scriptures declare that though I once was the slave of sin, I am now the slave of God (Rom. 6:17-22) and the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).

The source of my liberty is found in the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ in which I truly boast (Gal. 6:14). The cross is my Statue of Liberty, as it were. It was there that my soul was set free. In Christ’s death I died, and in Christ’s life I now live (Rom. 6:4).

Based on the unchanging facts of God’s Word, I joyfully declare myself to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God in Jesus Christ my Lord (Rom. 6:11). I am not free to live as I please or do as I want. I am free to serve Christ and do as He pleases, living unto the One who died and rose again for me (2 Cor. 5:15).

My Declaration was not written by men, but written by the living God. It was not signed by men, but signed by the Lord Himself and sealed with the blood of Christ. God has declared me to be FREE INDEED and I am to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made me free (Cal. 5:1).

My Declaration is not a Declaration of Independence, but rather a "Declaration of Dependence." I declare myself to be totally DEPENDENT upon my God. Of myself I cannot keep the law. I cannot measure up to God’s righteous standards. "How to perform that which is good I FIND NOT" (Rom. 7:18). The more I try in and of myself, the more I seem to fail, "for the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Rom. 7:19). I thus acknowledge that Jesus Christ is my only deliverance from my wretched self (Rom. 7:24-25).

The Lord Jesus Christ is MY VINE (John 15). He is my LIFE SOURCE. Apart from Him I can do nothing, because HE IS MY LIFE (Col. 3:3-4). The battle is the Lord’s! He shall fight for me. The life is the Lord’s! He shall live in me. "Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). "For to me to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21). I can’t, but He can. Whenever I try, I fail; but whenever I trust, He succeeds. Thus, with a firm reliance upon my God I will claim the victory which He won and which He gives to me: "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:5 7).
(George W. Zeller) July 4,2000
The Middletown Bible Church
(860) 346-0907

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Is True Worship?

We live in a day where few seem to understand what true worship is all about. Many people attend church for the social value more than learning of Christ and what He expects out of us. True worship must center on God and not on man’s desires. According to William Wilson in his Old Testament Word Studies the word worship ultimately means to pay adoration to God. The Psalmist in Psalm 95 calls for the people of Israel to praise and worship God because He is their Creator, Protector, and their Shepherd. The Psalmist proclaims in v.6, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” Then again in Psalm 96:9 the Psalmist proclaims: “O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before Him, all the earth.” God is worshipped because of who He is and what He has done for us an undeserving people of His grace.

So we see worship is about God. Anywhere in the Bible that we see biblical worship or praise, it is focused on God. In true worship the worshiper is totally focused on God (or Christ) and nothing else. Remember Isaiah in Isaiah 6, his total focus was on the Lord because he got a glimpse of God’s power and glory. Interestingly in v.3 even the angels worshipped God with total reverence. In 2 Samuel 7 God told David that he could not build the Temple, but that his son would (vv.12-13). David was also told in v.16 that his throne would be established forever. Then in vv.18-29 we find David praising and worshipping God because of His greatness and mercy. The praise was all about God not David. In Luke 2:21-35 we find the story of Simeon who whole heartedly worshipped God in the Temple when He took up the baby Jesus in his arms because God promised him that he would not die until he saw his salvation. Let me offer one more example. The Apostle Paul’s life since his conversion was dedicated to the worship of God, for it was he who wrote; “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31) From what we can gather from the biblical record, Paul lived a worshipful life.

We see then that worship should be a natural outcome of a saved person who appreciates all that God is and what He has done for him or her. Believers need to dedicate their lives to worshipping God His way because we will be worshipping God for all eternity. In the Book of Revelation chapters 4 and 5:8-14 we find heavenly worship of God during the Tribulation Period. The four beasts and the 24 elders are worshipping God because He is worthy of the honor for He created all things for His pleasure (Rev. 4:11). I believe that this heavenly scene will be repeated continually for all eternity. We have the blessed privilege of worshipping Christ forever.

Implementing true worship in our churches can be a difficult task. It starts with solid biblical preaching and teaching. We are dealing with people who are strongly influenced to think more of themselves than of others. Many people come to church for what they can get out of it instead of focusing on the Lord in true worship. We need to teach our congregations about the glories of God and Christ. We need to help them to take the focus off of themselves and to look to Christ.

We need to build an atmosphere of worship. We need to choose songs that are theologically accurate and true to God’s character. Our music leaders can explain the richness of the hymns they choose and help the congregation to focus on what they are actually signing. This is not popular in most churches today, but I believe it is healthy to help people to learn to keep the noise down in the sanctuary so others can prepare their hearts for true worship. Many of our sanctuaries are very noisy and disruptive. I am not arguing for a false piety, but I do believe there should be a proper atmosphere for worship.

We need to teach that every aspect of the service is a part of the worship. Pastoral prayers should be meaningful and not just something we do. The offering time is a special time of worship as we give back to God in thanksgiving for how He has provided for us. Nothing should be done as a filler, but everything with a purpose.

What is our attitude about worship? We need to understand that life is about Christ and not about ourselves. We must go to church and live our lives to glorify Christ!!

Monday, May 16, 2011


An ingredient in the salvation process: (Romans 10:13-14) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:17) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Matures us: (2 Timothy 3:16-17) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect (maturing), throughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works. ………….." (Romans 12:2) "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Through the Word), that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Guides us: (Psalms 119:103-105) "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." The Word illumines our way in a dark world. It gives us clear direction on how to follow the right way & avoid the wrong way. The oil of the lamp is the Holy Spirit who guides us.

Teaches us to Fear God: (Deuteronomy 4:10) "Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children." We are to stand in awe of His holiness and reverence Him- give Him glory & praise!!

Convicts of sin: 2Kings 22:8-13, In the days of Josiah the high priest Hilkiah found the Book of the Law. Notice the proper response: (2 Chronicles 34:27) "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD."

Can protect us from sin: (Psalms 119:11) "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Comforts us: (Psalms 119:50) "This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me." Quickened- revive, restore, recover, nourish.

Provides success for our life: (Joshua 1:8) "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Prosperous & success- meaning the work we do for God as He leads in our lives will be profitable. We will have the wisdom to behave & serve properly- we will be in tune with our Lord. This includes activities such as parenting, serving the Lord, & etc.

Standard of judgment: (John 12:48) "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

Our responsibility: (James 1:22) "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." It is not enough to study & know the Word of God. We can have great Biblical knowledge & fail to live a pleasing life for God. We must be “doers of the Word” practicing it, living it out daily in our lives. This means humbling ourselves & submitting to the Word- its every command & precept. We cannot pick & choose what Scriptures to obey according to our fancy.

Thomas Paine:
The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book
that ever existed.

Mark Twain
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not
understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

Dwight L Moody
The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.

Abraham Lincoln
I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.

A.W. Tozer
The Bible was written in tears, and to tears it yields its best treasures.

Anonymous Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just A Quick Note!

I am sorry for the formatting problems on many of my posts. I am new at using this blog. Sometimes there is a space between paragraphs and other times it all runs together. It is quite frustrating. But I will eventually get it right:) I pray that you will keep reading and bennefit from the articles.

Steps To Being A Good Parent Part 3

In our last two articles we noted that a parent must cultivate their own spiritual life and a parent must understand that their children are a gift from God. God owns them and simply lent them to us to raise for His glory. In this article I want us to concentrate on a third important element in becoming godly parents. A Parent must fulfil his/her responsibilities. This will not be an exhaustive list but simply some important responsibilities that a parent must not ignore.

First of all we must love them. If we are going to love as God loves (imperfect of course as sinful people) we must purpose their good. This will take spending a lot of time with our Lord in prayer seeking what is best for our children. We must gaurd against our selfish desires and realize that everything we do for them needs to be for the purpose of leading them in the direction of a knowledge and love for God. This will include discipline. Sometimes our love must be tough love. But we must never forget that discipline is for the purpose of training. Consider a few verses from the Bible. (Proverbs 22:15) Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Proverbs 13:24) He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Secondly, we must be committed to the task of raising our children. If you are not willing to spend quality time with your children, they will struggle to mature both mentally and spiritually. If you are not spending time with your children, someone or something else will influence them for good or for bad. Some parents are totally consumed with their jobs, but your children are more important. We have to work, but we cannot afford to neglect our children. Good parenting takes commitment!!

Thirdly, we must be parents of prayer. Our real power comes from a committed prayer life. God works through prayer! We must be praying for God's strength to parent wisely and to make right decisions for our children. We must be praying for their salvation. Once they are saved we must pray for their spiritual maturity, decision making, usefulness for God, and to follow God's leading for their lives. Parents, we have a lot to pray about, please don't neglect your prayer life!

Fourthly, we must protect them. Protect them from both physical and spiritual harm. We must protect them from what they watch, read, listen to, from any influence that would lead them away from God. It is our duty to teach them how to make right decisions based on God's Word and principles.

Fithly, we must be an example for them to watch. Parents this is very humbling, but we must "practice what we preach." If we don't set the example someone else will!! Exhibit to them how to love and serve the Lord. We do a terrible injustice to our children when we tell them one thing and we do another. We must follow Paul's pattern; (Philippians 3:17) Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Sixthly, we must be the primary instructers in our children's lives. It is the job of the parent first to teach our children especially in the things of the Lord. Don't expect this to be the job of the Sunday School teachers alone. Some parents feel that is the job of the church or later the Christian college. No parents, they are to help but the primary job belongs to you. Our children need instruction from the word of God. Douglas Wilson exhorts; "children of Christian parents are to be brought up in an enviroment dominated by the Word of God." Take your bilbe and read deuteronomy chapter six and Psalm 78. Parents teach your children to have disciplined lives, how to love God, how to pray, how to cultivate a relationship to God, how to follow God's will, and etc. We have a lot to teach them, but it is a true privilege to raise our children.
These are only a few responsibilities that parents must practice. Their are many more that could be listed, but for sure we cannot ignore these. Parents, we have a big responsibility before us, but it is well worth it. Take your job as a parent seriously. Go to God for strength and wisdom because we cannot do a good job in our own strength.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Steps To Being A Good Parent Part 2

In our last article we observed that a good parent must cultivate his or her own spiritual life. Why should we expect our children to be spiritual and love the Lord if we fail to love the Lord as we ought to. Thankfully the Lord can work in our children inspite of us, but we do have an obligation to model genuine christianity to them!

In this article I want to emphasize a second point and that point is that Parents must understand that their children are a gift from God. God created our children. They belong to Him. We must never forget this. We sometimes get the idea that we own our children and we make decisions for them that seem to bear out this idea. Don't get me wrong, we need to make decisions for them while they are young, but those decisions should be done with a dependence on our sovereign God. We must also remember not to push our children to do things or pursue careers based upon our desires for them. We need to spend much time in prayer seeking God's will for our children and guide them in their decisions based on biblical principles.

Secondly, we must never forget that our children are on loan to us from God. He is the giver of every good gift. (James 1:17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Children are a wonderful gift from God, but they are also an inheritance from the Lord.

(Psalms 127:3-5) Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

The word for "heritage" means "something inherited." Children are an inheritance from God- God's blessing to you. What an awsome inheritance!! Do you realize that this is the only inheritance that you will ever receive that you could possibly take with you to heaven when this life is over. We have the privilege to share the gospel to our children and raise them to honor God!! Hannah understood this when she prayed for a child and God gave her Samuel.

(1 Samuel 1:11) And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. (1 Samuel 1:28) Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. {lent him: or, returned him, whom I have obtained by petition}

Read the story in Genesis 22 about Abraham and Isaac where God tested Abraham's allegiance and trust by asking him to offer up Isaac as a burnt offering. Wow, can you imagine even the thought of such a thing. Now understand, that God was simply testing Abraham. Abraham so trusted God that he was about to offer up Isaac, when suddenly God provided a ram in the thicket for the burnt offering. Now listen to verse 12. God is speaking. (Genesis 22:12) And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Abraham loved and trusted his God, but he also understood that Isaac was God's and on loan to him.
God has given us our children for a reason. Do you really understand that? Children are not a bother, or a nuisance, or even an obstacle in our way, they are wonderful gifts from God. We have a responsibility before God to raise them according to God's standards and for His glory!! If you can understand these truths, then you will be more ready to raise wonderful children and be the best parent that you can be with God's help.

Stay tuned for part 3.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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Friday, March 4, 2011

How Can We Be Good Parents? Part I

We have a great need today for godly parents. All around us we observe broken homes. Unfortunately, we even observe many problems within Christian homes. Who or what is to blame? Society? Teachers? Our churches? Pastors? Sunday School teachers or youth pastor? NO, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Parents, we are responsible for our children! We MUST own that responsibility! E. Allen Griffith hits the nail on the head:

"The need of our day is for godly, devoted parents to commit themselves to rearing their children with strict adherence to the principles and instructions found in the Word of God. That commitment will require time and energy that few seem
to invest in family life."

Friends, with God's help we can be the parents that God wants us to be. I want to emphasize three points that I believe will help us to be good parents. In this first post I will elaborate on my first point which is that a parent must first cultivate their own spiritual life.

We must take our spiritual life very seriously. Too many Christians struggle to work on their own spiritual growth. We do have a part in the process even though we know that the Holy Spirit is the One who ultimately must be working in our lives. First of all we need to commit ourselves to complete obedience to the Word of God. Deuteronomy 6 is a great passage for parents to study. In order to keep their part of the Covenant with God, they were to obey the Law and teach it to their children. Covenant faithfulness required obedience. In Deuteronomy 6 obedience is emphasized in the first three verses. Verse one states "that ye might do them." Verse two states "to keep all his statutes and his commandments." And verse three states "and observe to do it." Obviously, obedience is crucial to our spiritual walk. James also emphasizes the importance of obedience to the Word.
James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:25 "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."

Parents, not only is obedience to God's Word important, but we must also have a passion for our great God. Do you enjoy spending time with your God? Do you spend any quality time with your God? Why is it that we can go through our day with barely even thinking about our great God? He has done so much for us. Just read Ephesians chapter one and if it does not move you friend, then you have grown spiritualy cold. Deuteronomy 6:5 exhorts us to "love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

If you do not desire the Word and to obey it, there is a good chance niether will your children. We need the Word of God to instuct us and only then will we be able to raise godly children by God's standards. Our children also need to see that we absolutely love our great God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Passion can be contagious and our children will learn by watching us. If you fail to cultivate your spiritual life, I promise you that you will struggle in raising your children for God's glory. Stay tuned for more later!! God Bless!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I was studying for tonights devotional at church and found a very good quote on the subject of knowing and following God's will. We will be looking at Psalm 25 and I was particularly thinking through vv.4-5. "Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I waite all the day."

The Quote is by Sammuel Annesley. "Do what you know to be your present duty, and God will acquaint you with your future duty as it comes to be present."

Have You Learned to Trust God? Part2

In my last post we were considering the topic of trusting God. Most believers would say that they are, but often our actions sell us short. It seems to be easier said than done. We must learn to completely put our trust in our gret God or we will struggle in our christain walk.
We ended last time with the latter part of v.5. The Psalmist exhorted us not to "lean on your own understanding." The word "lean" has the idea to "prop up" or "support one's self." We are finite beings who cannot see all or know all, therefore, we must trust in our God who does see and know all things. He knows what is best for us and He knows how to take care of us.
The beginning of v.6 goes on to tell us that, "In all thy ways acknowledge Him." First of all, understand that the word "ways" has the idea of "a course of life" meaning in all that we do we must acknowledge Him. What does this mean? To acknowledge God is to know Him, to depend on Him, and to be aware of His will and desire for us and submit to it. Acknowledge that God has every right to direct and guide us for He created us and provided salvation for us. Too many people (including believers) mess up their lives by trying to live independently of God.
Now notice in the latter part of v.6 what happens when we acknowledge God's sovereignty and right over our lives. The Psalmist writes, "and He shall direct thy paths." The word "direct" has the idea "to be straight" or "to make right." God will straighten our path. He will level the path. In other words, He will remove the obstacles that hinder the direction we ought to be going. If we will learn to completely trust & submit to God, He will bring us to His appointed goal for our lives. God has a plan for each of us. Left to ourselves we fail to see it, but God is waiting to direct us in the way He wants us to go!! Life only has real meaning when lived in dependence upon God and His will!! Otherwise, we look like the dog (or in our case the cat) who constantly chases his tail but fails to catch it. We tire out and never achieve anything worth while. Remember this great verse; "The steps of a good man (or woman) are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way." Psalm 37:23
Trusting in the Lord is vital for our Christian life. All to often circumstances arise and we do not know what to do, where to go, or how to fix the problem. But always remember God Does!! He is waiting to "to direct our paths" if we would only turn to Him in complete dependence.
What problems are you facing today? Lost your Job? Diagnosed with Cancer or some other health problem? Have you received unexpected bills that are depleting your bank account? Have you lost a loved one? Do you feel like your life is going nowhere? Or are you simply confused on what God wants for your life? Turn to Him in prayer and dependence. Confess any known sin. admit you don't know what to do and that you need His help. If you are sincere and one of His children, then He will help you!!
Psalm 146:3-5 "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returnet to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:"
Isaiah 26:3-4 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:"
God Bless and keep your focus on our wonderful, loving God!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have You Learned To Trust God?

(Proverbs 3:5-8) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.(KJV)

Are you having a hard time trusting in the Lord? When difficulties and problems come your way, are you tying to fix them yourself? Or just fretting over them? Anxiety and self-reliance will only fail us and cause us much grief. Friends, if you know Christ as your Savior, then we have all that we need to live a joyful and confident life, even through the trials of life! The essence of religious faith is trusting in our wonderful God. He knows us. He knows what is best for us. He cares about us deeply. Listen to Gods Word: (1 Peter 5:7) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.(KJV)

Provebs 3:5 tells us to trust in the Lord. Trust has the idea of security and confidence. We are secure in Christ. We are righteous in Christ and therefore in a right standing with God. Trusting God is also being confident to boldly meet life's problems and temptations without fear or anxiety. There must be an absolute dependence on God because He has proven Himself trustworthy!

Think about Israel for a second. They could fully trust in God because He has proven Himself faithful to them even though they failed to be faithful to Him. Just think about God's deliverance, protection, and leading in the following examples: The Exodus out of Egypt, the wilderness journey, and the conquest of Canaan where forces were far superior to themselves. I could give many more examples, but don't miss the point that God never failed them. Therefore they were exhorted by the Psalmist to, (Psalms 37:3-5) Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.(KJV) Israel had no reason not to trust in their wonderful God and neither do we! God provides salvation, He sanctifies us, provides for our needs, and even promised to never leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.(KJV) God is trustworthy, therefore, all beliefs, decisions, and the problems of life need to be submitted and entrusted to Him.

Notice the second part of v.5; and lean not unto thine own understanding. We need to trust the Lord because we are not capable of taking care of our selves contrary to popular secular belief. He is Sovereign. He sees and knows all things. He is all powerful. We are simply created beings in need of help from the Creator. Don't trust in your own resources, strength, or intelligence because we will simply mess things up. I think most of our experiences will bear this out. The biblical author makes clear we are not to trust in our own understanding. He means our own insight or our own way of thinking. Without the working of the Holy Spirit our understanding is distorted because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (when man received a sin nature). Left to ourselves we have no hope, but praise be to God He intervened and provided salvation and guidance to those who will trust in christ as their savior. We need a close, vibrant relationship with our God if we are to live for the glory of Christ.

I'm out of time, but will continue this article soon. God Bless and think about these things!!