Friday, August 26, 2016

My Little Children

                     My Little Children

                                          1 John 3:7       
 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 
 
The Apostle John was an eyewitness of the life of Christ and knew Him intimately. John’s letter assumes that the readers are Christians with a knowledge of the glorious gospel and are desiring a personal relationship with Him. Unfortunately, these dear people were being confronted with a philosophy of religion that was inaccurate and filled with error. This false teaching was known as Gnosticism, mostly influenced by such philosophers as Plato. Such erroneous doctrine started to infect the early church and John wanted to expose the wrong teaching by encouraging believers with the Light of truth. Gnostics saw themselves as a privileged class elevated above everyone else by their higher and deeper knowledge of God. John is displaying his heart for the early Christians by bringing them back to basic principles and lovingly assuring them of their faith. "
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth." (I John 2:21).

At least nine times in the book of I John, the term, “little children” is used to speak to those believing the gospel of Christ. John is reassuring them that they are part of the family of God and uses loving, fatherly tones to communicate this. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:" (I John 3:1a). John is conveying complete confidence in their sincere faith bringing hope to believers by calling them  “beloved” or “my little children.” “Beloved, we are God's children now. . .” (I John 3:2). These are positive expressions of deep affection used throughout John’s epistle encouraging believers to walk in the Light as He is in the Light.  John’s book is written with tenderness and a loving desire to demonstrate true joy in fellowship with one another and with Christ.

Lord,  I am assured of being one of Your “little children.”

Friday, August 19, 2016

Is Parenting Easy?

                                Is Parenting Easy?

                                         Proverbs 23:26
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

When you received the news that you were expecting your first child, your heart was most likely giddy with excitement. Your enthusiasm grew more and more with each day and a multitude of questions filled your mind. Can I be a good parent to this child that God has so graciously given me? Will I be someone my child can and will trust? How will I ever do this? God, will You please help me?

To set your mind as ease, there are no perfect parents that have ever existed or will at any time exist. If you think you must be that perfect parent, then you won’t need a perfect Savior to redeem you from your sins. As a parent, you will make plenty of mistakes in pursuing the roll of Mother or Father. You must remember that you have the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and comfort you through this life long journey.

Living the Gospel each day as you “parent,” will encourage you and strengthen your faith in Christ. The power of the Gospel is not to be set aside after salvation, but to be lived out daily before young eyes to observe and follow. The Gospel is the “good news” that you do not have to earn your salvation. The work of redemption has already been completed through the shedding of Christ’s precious blood and death on the cross. He was buried and rose again the third day ascending into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

Gospel parenting is preparing your child to believe in what Jesus has done for them and to put their faith and trust in Christ, and in Christ alone. Effective parents do not center their lives around their children, but center their children around God’s dear Son. You, as a parent, must realize that you are utterly dependent upon God for parenting and responsible to Him as a parent.

Lord, may I center my life around You.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Slavery to Freedom to Bondservant

   Slavery to Freedom to Bondservant
 
                                 I Corinthians 7:22
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.

There have been many forms of slavery written about in our history books, including the enslavement of people recorded in Scripture. The Bible does not condemn slavery altogether seeing that the Bible gives instructions on how to treat a slave or bondservant (Colossians 4:1). During Bible times, slavery was sometimes pursued to aid and assist people struggling to stay alive. They would sell themselves to provide for their families or to get out of debt.

We suffered a great Civil War here in our country because of the unfavorable practice of slavery. This harmful action was directed towards the color of a person’s skin rather than their specific need for economic assistance. Men, women and children were taken from their homes unlawfully and forced to become slaves. They were treated as inferior human beings and abused physically and mentally. Freedom from this type of slavery was costly and many family members fought against each other during this difficult time. Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in this devastating war.

The Word of God does tell us that we are born in sin and therefore, slaves to sin (Psalm 51:5; Romans 6:16-20). But, when we trust Christ by faith and believe in what He has done for us through His death, burial and resurrection, the Gospel, we are freed from the bondage of sin and its condemnation (Romans 8:1,2). When a person becomes a servant to Christ through regeneration, the Bible says they are then slaves, bound to serve but free to express their deep devotion to Christ. How can one not express such gratitude and overwhelming love for Him. Once slaves to sin, but now, a child of God, and heirs to Christ through Jesus Christ our Lord(Galatians 4:7).

Lord, thank You for the freedom to serve and to be Your servant.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Rich Fool

                      The Rich Fool
                                     Luke 12:13-21
“. . . And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. . . But God said unto him, Thou fool, 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.
 
It's important to acknowledge that all the things we have in this world come from God. What we have is for this life only and we will not be able to take it with us. Wealth creates all kinds of choices as the parable indicates. A man had more than he needed. He spent all of his time just trying to decide what to do with his crops. He was allowing the material things he had to consume his soul.

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Master, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." This man was definitely greedy and covetous. He wanted Jesus to tell his brother to give him his money. Jesus said to the whole crowd, “Be on your guard against every form of greed." How foolish it is to be greedy, self-indulgent and to horde what you have to then leave it all behind. And so is the man who lays up treasure only for himself. It's not about how much you have, but what you do with it.

In 1 Timothy 6:9 Paul said, "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction for the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil . . ."  If your desire is to make money for selfish reasons, it could cause you to wander away from your faith bringing many sorrows. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have...” (Hebrews 13:5).


Lord, may I be satisfied with all You have given to me.