“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is
the first commandment with a promise— "that it may go well with you
and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Fathers, do not
exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and
instruction of the Lord.”
With the right
perspective of God, it’s easy to obey Him. Same goes with parenting. If
we can imitate God in that way, our kids can follow us.
As a father,
Mark sets the tone for his house. As soon as he hits the door to the
house, he makes the decision to be engaged in asking how his wife and
kids’ day was and to give to them.
Beth – when you
discipline your children and they react with rebellion, ask yourself if
you’re disciplining them too harshly. Evaluate your spirituality – how
much are you spending time with God, praying and your relationship with
your husband. Be united with one another. She asked her adult kids what
they remembered the most growing up:
i. Family devotionals.
Remembers that the Bible was always the standard. Remembered God’s grace (when
he deserved a spanking, Mark bent him over his leg and spanked his own leg to
teach him of God’s grace). Example of fasting, Bible studies in home, sharing
in grocery store. Explained their faith in terms they could understand and live
ii. Discipline. Always
praying before bed. When she had nightmares, she would pray to God to protect
Jean Loius @
ILC – dysfunction is the gift that keeps on giving. He hit on these areas
where each one of us brings in baggage from how we were raised:
iii. Poor conflict
iv. Sibling rivalry
Reflect on my
upbringing, what did I learn from my parents and how has it affected me?
I need to figure it out. Brothers, if your wife comes from a challenging
situation, you need to protect her (while still encouraging her to
resolve her conflicts). Need to go up to bat for your wife and help
communicate to her family how they make her feel.
effective parenting, need to understand where we come from. Psalm
139:23-24 “23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my
anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me
in the way everlasting.”
2 Corinthians “Now the Lord is the
Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
shooting to correct the problem, shoot for what’s right. Sin is about
missing the mark. As parents, we need to have deep conversations.
Christ built a
family – he had 12 disciples for 3 years! He taught them about:
i. Servant leadership,
not lording over others
ii. Mutual respect, not
iii. Much prayer, not
iv. Serving others,
putting needs of others first
v. He laid down his life
for others and called others to do the same
questions to ask
i. Are we aware of how
we parent? Do we ask others who are close to you? Get many perspectives.
ii. What are our
strengths and our weaknesses – and how does that affect my parenting?
iii. Do I parent out of
faith or fear?
iv. Get advice and help
early. Early intervention is better
v. Do other kids like to
be around you or not? How do I relate to other parents children?
vi. Do I help my children
see God in everything? Early on, use Scriptures to speak of truth…sing with
them, pray with them
vii. Do I take correction
from my children? Do they see me change to be like Jesus or do I give excuses?
(“Mommy, are you supposed to eat that on your diet?” “You didn’t share with
we teaching them early to make choices? (like which
outfit to wear..)
So, how do you
help your kid become faithful?
i. There’s no magic
ii. Your kids will learn
faith when they see it inside of you
iii. Example of Abraham
and Isaac – the faith that is willing to sacrifice his own son to put God
first. Abraham believing God when He told him he’d become a dad at 90.
iv. Continue to lead at a
high level, even though you’re not on staff (Mark & Beth shared about their
experience). What’s your heart in serving? To look for and meet a need?
v. When facing a
spiritual decision, ask yourself what impact that has on your kids?
vi. Faith is not
comfortable and it’s not convenient. We live in a comfortable society and faith
goes against the grain. Your kids will watch what you do, the decisions that
you make, the lifestyle that you lead and they will imitate.
How many of you
have kids that are exactly alike? None of us!
Beth – sharing
i. Help your kids love
themselves and to have a good self-esteem. Start young.
ii. Discipline the first
time behavior appears, nip it the beginning because it gets harder later.
Example of when she caught her son in a lie and disciplined him until he
confessed then followed up with much forgiveness.
iii. Use the opportunities
to teach them about God’s grace and love. Example of Katherine stealing a piece
iv. Consistent in
discipline with the goal of having them change their heart.
with them, use Scriptures to train them (memory, tell them, help them learn how
to apply them), time out and (not often) spanking.
lots of advice about the specific type of discipline.
exacerbate your children. May need to seriously evaluate how to discipline if
they were not raised wit just you (blended, adopted, foster, etc..). Book called “Holding Time”
rivalry - Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together
– used to say how it hurts God’s ears when you whine, let’s be happy... Be
positive in how you correct and use Scripture.
22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not
turn from it.”
“Do everything without complaining or arguing”
Scriptures in your talk with your children (ex: Phil 2:14 )
authority and not your own
i. God’s standard sets
the reason and purpose for obedience
ii. Teach them - It’s not
about mom & dad, it’s about you & God.
iii. When they ask “why?”
tell them “because God wants you to”. But be careful not to beat them over the
iv. Faith – need to
believe that He exists and that He rewards you. Need to paint not just what He doesn’t want you to do, but paint the promises of
v. The ultimate goal is
to train your kid to make good choices.
vi. What’s the affective
parenting style – authoritative or permissive?
Kids will get resentful when you’re authoritative.
to constantly ask why your child is getting angry all the time – and ask them
vii. Focus on majoring in
6:16-19 “16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to
him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that
devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness
who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
in on the things that God hates – start here.
you want them to respect you, you need to treat them with respect.
is a big man and he had to be very aware of how he intimidated his children
(tone & body language). Example of slamming his fist, yelling, listening to
them. Talk to your kids and ask them how they feel about you.
ix. Beth – sharing
to determine how the tone with affect the household. Starts 3rd/4th
grade to ask them how they feel about you. Use family devotional time.
they grow up, figure out ways that we can connect with them. Example of Mark
coaching their son’s sports team.
in kids kingdom is a great way to see how your kids interact with other kids
what they want to make them special (from time to time). Some want 1x1 time where others want to include friends.
a plan to carve out this time for 1x1 time
the time between mom and dad if time is limited
were the first to initiate with hosting their kids friends over. Later, they
knew which families they were comfortable to allow their kids to sleepover and
spend time in other households.
with bullying by teaching their son about forgiveness and resolution
them deal with difficult teachers and work with the teachers too to help
challenge your children to grow
Working as a
unity and getting on same page
This means you
have a united front with your kids
i. Have the tough
conversations in private, never disagree in front of your kids
ii. If one of them came either mom & dad for a decision, they would
stonewall them until Mark & Beth had a chance to talk first. If they didn’t
have a chance and one made a decision, they supported one another (even if they
didn’t always agree with approach).
iii. If no unity, kids can
manipulate you, disrespect you and follow your example
When they are
babies, they are totally dependant on you. The goal when they are 18 is
to be self-sufficient and ready to take on the world on their own.
Between those years, give them gradual responsibility to make decisions.
i. Example: Son almost
flunked out of 8th grade, they tried everything to help. Finally,
Mark told his son that he is on his own. If you want to flunk out of 8th
grade, be my guest. He made it through 8th grade and made straight
A’s in 9th grade. His son told him that “he guess
he grew up” when asked what made the difference. Teach them to take
responsibility for their own actions!
ii. The same with
responsibilities around the house, give them chore money to teach them how to
buy things for themselves versus you buying everything for them
What do you
think about encouraging the older women to mentor the younger women in
i. Spend time in older
women’s homes to watch their parenting
ii. Build relationships
with other families. Be open to disciplining one another (couples) in
parenting. Figure out what families (long-term) that you see your kids bonding
with and stick with them like glue.
financial challenges impacted your children?
i. Some Christmases they
pulled a name out of a hat (one $25 gift each). Needed to be creative. This was
one of the best Christmases that focused on family
ii. For vacations, did
house swapping. Play board games, rent videos at library
iii. FinancialPeaceUniversity – big fan of it
iv. Kids understand when
money is tight
How do you
build agreement and unity in parenting?
i. Discussed behind
closed doors. Had to be very specific in how to deal with certain situations.
ii. Back each other up
when decisions were made, even if they id not agree. Sometimes go back to the
kids to tell them that wasn’t the best decision and explain why – but be
iii. As we want to be
Kingdom first in our family, place emphasis on this in your parenting and with
What do you do
when your child says the “Bible is boring”?
i. Find things that are
interested in reading – ex: Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul. Use that as a
springboard to talk about spiritual truths, even though she didn’t want to read
the Bible at that time. Meet them where they’re at.
ii. Miami church using a book
for their teenagers that focus on teens doing great things.
iii. “As a door turns on
its hinges, a sluggard turns in his bed” – when our kids are hard to get up in
the morning. Make it fun to get them up and be creative.
iv. Family devotionals
are where you ask them what’s going on and use Scriptures to apply to helping
them. Just don’t be straight and dry, it’ll bore them to tears.
v. Do things with
another family who has kids to have a family devotional. Learn from them!
When is it wise
to talk to your kids about sex and addressing homosexuality (when they
see it at school)?
i. Day 1 – especially
with little girls (1st/2nd grade), focus on interaction
between boys and girls
ii. Read children books
on sexuality together (if they don’t feel comfortable talking about it). DPI
book series – also talked about marriage (not sex yet) but helps kids start
thinking about marrying a gody man/woman
iii. Book (cartoon) – “So
it’s not the stork”
iv. Show your affection
in front of your kids – place a positive emphasis, don’t be negative about sex.
v. Address homosexuality
directly and explain what God says about it. Kids have to deal with same sex
couples who are their friend’s parents, hearing older kids talk about it and
hearing from it at school.
vi. Talk to your kids
about your experiences growing up and your mistakes.
vii. Ask leading questions
to ask their own questions about it
Is it bad
parenting not to spank?
i. No, it’s not bad
parenting. The goal of any discipline is to create a change in heart and
repent. This can be different based on what works for your child. For example,
holding time may work better.
ii. Make sure there is a lot of encouragement, reconciliation and affirmation
once there is a change of heart. Need to act like it never happened afterwards.
iii. Never discipline (any
kind) out of anger. Revisit later after you pray.
iv. Carried a powpow with
them wherever they went. Great tool. Would ask them if they needed a powpow.
v. Holding time – bonds
you to the child, gives them a boundary. Know what the rules are in your state
(ex: no tool in MA, only use of hand – which is worse)
vi. If you are going to
spank, got to bring it. They need to feel it. Some kids, though, won’t react
well to that and look you in the face and say “bring it more”. Need to find
How do you
teach your child to deal with another child who wants to fight them?
i. Teach them how to
appropriately deal with bullying. Some schools have training to help parents.
ii. Teach them how to
walk away and not to engage or give into it. Out of strength you walk away not
out of weakness.
iii. It’s ok to talk to an
adult to get help
iv. Need to know your
Session 2: Teens
Kids need to see
the love you have for each other in your marriage
“, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor
your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise—
"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on
the earth." Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring
them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
enjoyed seeing his kids grow – from being kids having a relationship with
to adults he has a relationship with
Hypocrisy is the
#1 thing that will push teens away
They’ll hear it
from the pulpit, but they need to see it in the home
Faith that we
show to them is critical in how we live it
Beth – sharing
relationship with God is so important. Need to have the time to pray for
your kids (specifically) daily – about them and their dreams.
Asked her kids
what they learned growing up that helped them along the way during their
preteen and teen years
i. Katherine – a great
support system, she needed to know that we were with her emotionally, lots of
words of affirmation, our physical presence in the things that she was involved
with (ex: rooting in the stands during her volleyball games).
didn’t think her parents lived hypocritical lives – even though she knows they
weren’t perfect, but they shared their faith, they prayed, got open and
careful not to force what you believe on your kids. Don’t stop telling the
truth to them but don’t force it on them. She became a disciple at 16.
ii. Boys – allowed them
to explore his faith, no topic was ever taboo (ex: reading the Koran, learning
about other religions)
overreact when your teen shares things, especially sexual things. Let them
careful to listen and ask questions like – What would you gain or lose from
this decision? What are the pros and cons of this decision?
judge them for their decisions. Relate to their bad choices (tell them how you
faced them in the past) and support them when they seek your input.
your parenting with the truth, believe that your kids will see through the lies
Need to figure
out how to get the talking and open. Maybe playing games with them, doing
tasks together or going shopping (for the girls).
Need to have
input from them to figure out what’s going on in their lives
If this is a
challenge for you, talk to your teen leader or other parents that do this
– see Session 1 notes
2 Corinthians “Now the Lord is the
Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – Being
things you can share with your kids are your mistakes and how God has
helped you. Of course, age appropriate and they eventually got the whole
story as they were older.
transformed, need to create a new vision. What is the vision for your
family? For your kids? What would you like to see?
i. Christ’s 12 disciples
were his family – see Session 1 notes
ii. You would not believe
what teens can do if given the opportunity. Example of teen conference in Boston
iii. If you don’t
challenge your kids and give them a vision for their lives, then they’re going
to get it somewhere else
iv. Big mistake is to get
detached during their teen years. Teens don’t have a clue! They are totally
insecure, trying to figure things out and working through their relationships.
They need to have you be their rock – to support them, not crush them
From book (Phil
Arsenault) - Kids who thrive during their adolescence usually have
parents who care enough who understand them and stay involved
Changes as a
i. How much do we
remember what it was like for us as a teen?
ii. Puberty – time bomb
that triggers a growth frenzy that transforms the body in a couple of years.
difference between kids during puberty can appear to be 6 years, even though
same age. Hormones…constant source of problem for them as well.
look at the Hollywood body, get so
dissatisfied and drive them to dangerous behavior (steroid use, bulimia,
iii. Mark didn’t deal with
his teen years since he was high daily
iv. Development of the
not fully developed until age 25, no throttle for control on them!
a reason why they’re going through phase of stupidity. As a parent, you need to
step in to help them.
pathways developed when brain intakes soft/hard porn
is a serious battle with boys. Survey during campus conference showed that 80%
had seen some sort of pornographic image within the last 2 months – these are
and sexting – this is a reality that our kids are facing on a daily basis
teens, they start thinking conceptually (from concrete things)
last thing that your teen wants to do is memorize the 66 books of the Bible.
They want to know how this related to them today
“With many similar
parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.”
“I have much more to
say to you, more than you can now bear.”
“What a man desires
is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”
ask themselves “What kind of person do I have to be for someone to love me?” If
they don’t find it at home, they’ll look for it somewhere – even in the wrong
is lacking at home that drives them elsewhere?
kind of person that I have to be for others to accept me?
beyond the risky behavior and see that the root is that they want to be accepted
of drug dealer saying “he’s there and you’re not” to a pastor in a Boston interview. Stay
involved with your kids
One of the
greatest questions you can ask your kids once they get off the bus is
“How was your day?” and then follow up with “Did
anything go wrong today?”
Our kids are
getting immersed with influencers (ie, coaches, mentors, teachers,
television, social networking, smartphones, etc…)
that….What is your plan?
needs to change as your child gets older
i. From baby to fully
functional adult – there process in between is gradual in giving them more
responsibility and ability to make decisions. Hopefully by the time they are
18, they are that fully functional adult.
ii. Don’t overreact when
your child makes a mistake – see Session 1 notes
of son almost flunking 8th grade – “you’re on your own!” (after
trying everything to help him)
them take responsibility as they mature and let them grow up. Let them make
decisions, fall on their face and bounce back.
iii. You need to be a
reflective parent as opposed to a reactive one. A reflective parent focuses on
who their child is and how their parenting affects their child. A reactive
parent focuses on child’s response without taking into account how the
parenting plays a part.
iv. Move from
disciplining your child to training your teen. Help
them to understand – by sharing from your life, explaining how the Scriptures
apply and listening to them.
them a safe place to get open with their sin
them the security of knowing you love them
v. Control your face,
emotions, body language when you listen to them – don’t overreact!
vi. Use a proverb to
solve a relational issue with your kids and their friends. Share these nuggets
vii. As they got older,
the situations got more complex
advice, discerning them with the Scriptures
those that could help, knew their kids and could be a source of great advice
after their hearts first not their sin.
7:21-23 “For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual
immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy,
slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man
can’t become disciples without first becoming sinners.
of learning that they weren’t doing well in school after a parent/teacher
conference. She had to pray through being hurt and deceived, while focusing on
their sin and not her embarrassment. She shared with them at how she was hurt.
Mark sat them down and told them that they crossed over from light to darkness
– helping them understand where they stood before God and that they were
accountable for their own sin.
bartering and questioning – during these years, they are building and forming
their own convictions. Pray for wisdom on how to respond
ix. Use God’s authority
and not yours. Point them back to God’s commands.
sure there is no hypocrisy and disconnect in what you say and what they see in
beat them over the heads with Scriptures. Ultimate goal is to train them how to
make good choices – because you’re not always going to be there!
versus authoritative parenting – permissive is the better of the two
gets them to do what you want but they don’t develop their own convictions as
example of grilling John on his decisions “I absolutely trust you (John) but
I’m trying to figure out if I trust where you’re going”
them how to get great advice
parents that they trust (other than you)
you want them to respect you, you must treat them with respect
comes out in our tone, actions, lack of actions, body language
out how they think of you and your relationship with them
gave his son a keyword to say when he felt his tone got intimidating (Dad, your
‘tone’) and he would back off in his approach (not overbearing)
of just closing their doors when their rooms were messy. Need to major in the
majors, not the minors.
your teens be who they really are! Sharing about their son with long hair and
earrings – but he’s a spiritual man of God. Don’t lose them over the minor
x. Beth – sharing.
17:6 “Children's children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are
the pride of their children.”
your children like you? Love you? Respect you?
I welcome people into my home?
20:7 “The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after
we violate godly principles, we lose the trust and respect of our kids
need to confess when we blow it and get their input as we change
we want our kids to do the right thing, we must model it for them
influence is only as strong as your relationship with them.
i. Matthew 19:14-15 “Jesus
said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the
kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When he had placed his hands
on them, he went on from there.”
ii. Are we that mirror to
kids (that our kids hang with) as Jesus drew in the children?
the things that your kids appreciate
you’re feeling disconnected with your teen, is there a creative way to spend
time with them. Example of Katherine’s birthday – driving her to friends around
the state to spend time and Beth got to bond with her.
you’re not unified in your parenting, then you will undermine your ability to
parent by the degree that you’re disunified.
a decision was made by one spouse, never disagree in front of the kids. Go back
in private to agree on a different approach and then be united in addressing
for boys – “Raising Teenage Boys” by Busey. With freedom comes responsibility.
For example, get to use the car but it needs to be filed up and cleaned up when
you bring it back.
Parenting out of
faith, not out of fear
Passage in John
– perfect love casts out fear
If you parent
from fear, you project a lack of trust and love
Jimmy - see
library. Dobson’s “A strong-willed child”, “Sacred Parenting”, “Parenting
by the book” by John Rosemund
How can we
encourage a reluctant participator (shy son) to take risks and get out of
i. Talk with him to find
out what he’s thinking and feeling
ii. Find out who his
friends are and get them to do the things he’s interested to do.
iii. Start small in taking
iv. Do something a little
risky with them
How can we help
our kids be spiritual and help them (to study Bible)?
i. Buckholz boys bonded
with friends in preteen camp and within next year, the entire group became
disciples. Good peer pressure
ii. The boys had great relationships
with those who studied with them (other brothers in the congregation)
iii. Parents involvement
in the teen ministry is important and getting the parents involved in every
level (logistics, rides, homes for devos) – along with the teen leaders who are
closer to their age. Take this tag team approach.
iv. The preteen years are
the crossover years. Most kids make the decisions during that time. Parents
should ask camp counselors (cabin leaders) what they saw in their kid.
v. Katherine studied
later. Her relationships with girls in school were as close as or perhaps
closer than those in the church. She had to count the cost. Beth read books
with her “Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul” when she didn’t want to read the
Bible. She was much more private in her faith and Beth had to respect that.
problems with attitudes during chores?
i. Teach your kids that
if they do want greater freedom, they need to fulfill their responsibilities.
ii. Help around the house
should be a norm. They stopped doing their laundry at 9th grade.
Taught them how to clean and cook.
iii. Have some expectation
for them to contribute to the common family areas,
they are responsible solely for their own room.
What do you do
when you find out your teen is looking at pornography on the Internet?
i. Father needs to set
the tone in dealing with repentance in this area. Mark asks his kids about
this. Keep each other honest – but this is more mature and farther along.
ii. First need to ask.
Ask the question if they surfed the web, what have
them seen and explain to them how it’s addicting and it messes you up. Explain
about impact to future relationships with women and how this is like adultery
to them – how it can ruin relationships. Tell them why this is wrong and the
iii. Share about the damage
it has on marriage and how it sets you up for failure in false expectations of
iv. Take steps to control
the web at home
loggers – logs everywhere they go and send you the list of sites where they’ve
v. Be delicate in this
conversation with younger kids
vi. Definitely ask your
daughter – especially around their thoughts of their body image and
self-esteem. Reinforce how God has created them to be exactly who they are
supposed to be.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
I chose this topic for my quiet time as I generally find it challenging to finish what I start, no matter the task. I am convicted right now in wanting to change this part of my character. Even completing my thoughts for this quiet time has been difficult as I have found myself distracted and pulled in every which direction. I recently finished out my last school year as a teacher where I had been for 6 years. I just recently completed my 21st year as a disciple. I am now in the process of moving all my belongings to Maine after living in Massachusetts for 50 years. Many times along the way I have grown weary in doing these things (right now I am physically exhausted from packing). However, when I look to God's word I am reminded of what the ancients were commended for. In reading Hebrews 11 , I am especially drawn to the character of Noah. He was in the shipbuilding mode for 120 years. He would have had plenty of opportunities to give up and not finish what he started. He lived amongst a wicked generation, not to mention living 500 miles from the nearest large body of water. There seemingly wasn't a lot of support on Noah's side, yet he persisted in this mammoth project until it was completed. If Noah had not completed the ark what would have happened? He and his family would have been wiped away from the earth's surface and we would not be witness to a man who obeyed God's call and who did give way to fear or ridicule. I believe that the key to finishing what is started is imitating the kind of faith Noah had. He did everything just as God had commanded. Genesis 6:3 .
Q: What is it that you have started and are tempted not to finish?
Please write down things that you hope will happen. Read Proverbs 13:12
Q: What will your response be to God if that which you hope for does not happen? Think about all that you hope for.
Q: Do you hope for things of this life or for the greater things to come?
A great cloud of witnesses surrounds us they are all watching us on the mission team to find out if we are going to finish what they started to do by faith. I believe we will and God certainly has us here in Maine because he believes we can finish what they started by faith. Faith is finishing what they started and ultimately God will be the last to speak and say: “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.
Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?"
"Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water."
Moses’ parents were not afraid of the king even though they were risking their lives.
God showed them that Moses was no ordinary child.
How do you think Moses’ parents felt when they had to hide him for three months?
Revering to Exodus 2:10 , how do you think Moses’ parents felt raising him knowing they would have to bring him to Pharaoh’s daughter?
What are some things in your life do you fear losing?
What are some things that you’ve loved that you had to let go of?
How do you react when you have worldly fear versus fear of God?
Do you fear the right things and people?
The key to being spiritual is fearing the right things:
“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Enoch lived for 365 years. He walked with God for 300 of them. (Genesis 5:21-24 ) After walking with God for that long he had to have been a man of Great faith ,security and wisdom in his relationship with God! He had to have been quite close to God to know what pleases him. For me to know God even a slight fraction of what Enoch did there are several things I think to do.
Prayer is one of them; Jeremiah 29:10-14 In this passage God helps us to hear that we can rely on him for our lives and that praying to him is the way to seek after a relationship with him.
Enoch must have felt sure of his being with God for eternity and even prayed for God to take him home. I believe God will take me home too. John 14:1-4 , Philippians 3:14
God rewarded Enoch for earnestly going after their friendship. Enoch had to have made God most important to him. He was his faithful friend who believed completely in Him and his promises. In John 20:29 Jesus told Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Saturday, 31 July 2010 06:46
Written by Will Walter
Isaiah 53:1-3“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was a man despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.”
This prophecy, written some 700 years before Jesus was born, speaks to Jesus’ life as a man who was familiar with suffering. Of course we are familiar with the crucifixion account and the tremendous physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering Jesus underwent during the last few days of his life, but this prophecy indicates that Jesus was a man familiar with suffering. This causes us to dig a little deeper into Jesus’ life and see if there are any other scriptures that speak to the general “suffering” Jesus was familiar with. By looking at how Jesus dealt with consistent emotional pain, we can learn from him the correct way to deal with it.
Hebrews 2:17-18“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Jesus, being fully man, was tempted to sin, just as we are. He faced real choices where choosing the way of the world was easier than choosing the righteous path. Let’s think about what kinds of things Jesus would have been tempted with. We know the devil tried to tempt Jesus with lust, pride, and materialism (Luke 4:1-13 ) but it is likely that the consistent “suffering” Jesus felt, in regards to temptation, was deeper than just a result of self-denial of these types of sins.
Think about the burden he carried throughout his life – he consistently poured out his heart to others in an attempt to help them get to know God and gain salvation. Remember that Isaiah 53 said he was “despised and rejected by men.” The constant weight of giving, giving, giving, and being rejected and despised by a majority of people must have been almost unbearable. Imagine if your teenage son or daughter was going through a rebellious stage and was being selfish, hurtful, and mean-spirited. Think about the pain you would feel at the rejection, because you have so many dreams and high hopes for your own flesh and blood. This was what Jesus felt when he was rejected by men. He wanted so badly for people to get to know God, and these people who were rejecting him were in a very real sense his brothers and sisters who had been lost to sin. The temptation of Jesus to give up this eternal struggle so that he didn’t have to deal with this emotional weight on a daily basis must have been great.
Hebrews 5:5-7“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, and was designated by God to be a high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
How did Jesus overcome the temptation to not carry the eternal burden? He consistently wrestled with God in prayer and, through the suffering, allowed God to mold his character to the point where he could handle, not only the cross, but the ongoing hardship of being the Messiah. It’s hard to believe that Jesus’ character needed to be molded, but that is what this scripture very clearly implies. If Jesus’ character needed molding, how much more ours? And if Jesus overcame suffering through consistent prayer and the submission of his will to God’s, why would it be any different for us?
Romans 12:12“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
We are to be patient in affliction. This is the path Jesus took – throughout the suffering, he patiently gave himself over to God. He didn’t look for the quick fix or the easy way out. He patiently allowed his character to be molded so that he could accomplish God’s will. Let’s imitate Jesus’ as we face life’s daily struggles.
Romans 6:11-14“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
Paul writes to the Roman church, and indeed to us as Christians 2,000 years later, that we should not offer the parts of our body over to sin (debauchery, laziness, lust, hash words, etc.) but rather we should be using our bodies as instruments of righteousness (serving, encouraging, evangelism, etc.). Paul explains that we are able to consistently do this because we are in a relationship with God based upon his grace that is a direct result of Jesus’ sacrifice. He makes the point that we would not be able to consistently offer ourselves as instruments of righteousness if we were living in a relationship with him based on the law (i.e., the Old Testament Laws.) This represents one of the central themes of Romans and is not the easiest concept to grasp. It is important for us to understand it, though, as a deeper understanding of the depth of God’s grace and forgiveness will promote our motivation to live righteously and evangelistically.
As an example, consider the way we live under the American justice system, which is made up of a myriad of laws. These laws are really set in place for about 5% of the population, which are lawbreakers. The rest of us are law-abiding citizens. For the most part, we don’t obey the laws simply because they are written laws, but rather because most of them are common sense and align with our consciences. As an example, we don’t need a written law to keep us from adultery, grand larceny, fraud, or murder. In a sense, we are living under grace. Put another way, we are living within the law because we want to, not because we have to.
If we were strictly living under the law, and punished for every act of “disobedience,” we would live quite a frustrating life. Can you imagine if you had to pay the legal penalty every time you broke a law, no matter how “minute”? Imagine how frustrating it would be if you had to pay the legal consequence of speeding even 1 mph over the speed limit? How about using a cell phone while driving or rolling through a stop sign? Similarly, living under the “law” in a spiritual sense, would be an extremely frustrating existence. It would require constant evaluation of yourself to make sure you are upholding every letter of the law. Even if you make the smallest infraction, you would be required to seek forgiveness.
Jesus on the cross changed our connection to God to one in which we are under grace and forgiveness. God is not looking for perfection; he is looking at our hearts. This is an infinitely better covenant and frees us up to be spiritually useful because we do not have to walk on spiritual eggshells. This knowledge should motivate us to offer our bodies to him as living sacrifices.