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MINE, MINE, MINE!!!

 

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;”

I WANT THAT!

Have you ever watched two year olds fight for toys? It can be quite amusing, at least until the fur starts flying. Lol The one toy the other child picks up is the very toy your child wants. Right? Can I get an Amen?

What keeps us, as believers in Christ, from exhibiting these same selfish antics? Only Jesus, that’s what. Left to our own discretions we also cry, “Mine, Mine, Mine!” We want all we see. As my brother-in-law used to say about the world’s mentality, “Get all you can, can all you get, sit on the can and poison the rest.” That’s the selfish mentality of the flesh. And left unchecked by the Spirit it will reign supreme.

TEACHING MOMENT

So, how do we teach our children not to act that way? By giving them opportunities to give and NOT receive. We are so prone to spoil our children and grandchildren that sometimes we don’t stop to think what we are doing to them. When every thing they ever want is given to them, they become enamored with stuff. All we need is Jesus. That’s what they need to learn.

 

But how about you, mom and dad? What do you deny yourself? How do you exhibit a selfless attitude yourself? Are you children watching you indulge your every fancy? Or are they observing you dying to self and letting things go?

 

“Mine, Mine, Mine” should never be in the vocabulary of a believer. It should always be about Christ and others. I promise, if you have that attitude, Christ will meet you right where you are and supply your every need. He has never failed me (or anyone else) yet.

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SADNESS AND JOY

 

Psalms 126:5-6 “5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. 6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”

RIGHT ON TIME

I never cease to be amazed at the timeliness of God’s Word. This passage popped up on my Bible reading plan today – one day after losing a precious brother, Pastor, brother-in-law, mentor and friend. Correction – I haven’t lost him. He has just preceded me to Glory. The last several hours have been a combination of tears and laughter, sobbing uncontrollably and rejoicing with fellow believers.

This verse is for me today. It’s for my family today. It’s for our church family today. It’s for all the thousands who were touched by Wayne A. Barber. One day we will know the true measure of his ministry around this globe. I do know, because I have seen it firsthand, that he changed my life from the first time I met him back in 1985.

TEACHING MOMENT

So, how can you relate this to your children today? Be honest with them about death. Tell them, especially if they knew Wayne, that he is with Jesus and is not coming back here. He wouldn’t if he could. He is celebrating with the Saints. It is up to us to carry on the message of “Not I, But Christ.” Your children have a legacy to admire in Wayne Barber. Embrace that!

For we believers, death is just a portal to greater glory. Our children need to understand that it is NOTHING to be feared. We don’t rush towards it, but neither do we run from it. Remember – God is good, All the time, In His time, Right on time, Just in time! Why? Because that’s His nature. Wooooo! Wayne entered Glory right on time! Woooooo!

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HOW STRONG DO YOU WANT TO BE?

 

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

WILL IT EVER GET EASY?

I go to the gym just about every day. Now I am not bragging, believe me. It’s a matter of necessity. At my age I have found if I don’t exercise every day I quickly lose everything I have gained in stamina and strength. It seems the older I get the harder I have to work to maintain the level of fitness I desire. It’s hard work, and some days I just don’t want to go to the gym. Some days I give in to that urge to skip, but I always pay for it the next trip.

This verse in Ephesians encourages me though. Why? Because my spiritual strength does not depend on how hard I work at it. Sure, Bible study and prayer time is important for me to do, but the source of my strength is NOT my efforts. The source is God.

TEACHING MOMENT

How strong do you want your children to be spiritually? Most parents, if not all, want their children to have the spiritual strength to deal with life’s challenges. We must do our part to help them. We pray for them, read them His word and teach them to follow Him. But we cannot pass on to them our spiritual strength any more than we can pass on our physical strength. They have to rely on God for that.

In this verse for today, there are three different Greek words used for “strong,” “strength” and “might.” They each have a slightly different meaning. The first word has to do with the ability of strength, the second with the exercise of strength and the third with the innate character of strength. Don’t you want your kids to have all those? Then pray for them to know God fully and surrender their lives completely the strength of the Lord. Only He can pass that on to them.

Now, back to the gym I go!

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SLEEPY HEAD? NOPE!

 

Psalms 121:1-4 “1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.”

FAITHFUL EYES

We have all seen the movie in which a group of people are trying to defend themselves against an enemy. Night comes, and they divide the night into watch hours to guard against that enemy. Sure enough, one of those who are taking their watch falls asleep, allowing the enemy to slip in. Tragedy!

God is always on watch for His children, and He never sleeps! He is always alert and prepared to defend us against the enemy. So, why do we worry and fret over our enemies? If we are trusting Him, there is no need to try to defend ourselves or to lose sleep. Rest in Him.

TEACHING MOMENT

Have your children ever had trouble going to sleep for fear of the dark? This is a great passage to share with them. They need to know that God the Father is always there, no matter what. Now, that doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen. But what it does mean is whatever happens, He is aware of it and has a plan for us.

Look again at the passage, especially verse 2. The Creator of the universe is watching over His children. His vision is 20/20. His view is unobscured. His eyes are always on us and every other thing. Nothing can escape His gaze. While we can only see a limited amount, He can take it ALL in, and I mean ALL. He is not just looking on earth. He is keeping the stars in balance and the universe in check.

Remind your children that the very God who holds the sun, moon and stars in His hands is watching over them. If that doesn’t give you rest, nothing will. He is lovingly and faithfully watching over us. Wow! Now sleep knowing He is there.

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BAD WORDS

 

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”

SPIT THAT OUT

What is an “unwholesome word”? Well, that word in the Greek means rotten, putrid or unfit. Get the picture? It’s a word used for rotten fruit or vegetables. Have you ever bitten into an apple that looked so good on the outside but was rotten to the core? What did you do? Did you continue to chew up that apple and swallow it? Of course not. You spit it out as quickly as you could.

Rotten words don’t belong in your mouth either. The problem is we spit those words on others. They pop in our minds and into our mouths, and we spew them on the unsuspecting. There is nothing good about that. Not for you and not for the other person.

TEACHING MOMENT

Do your children hear you spewing those “unwholesome” words? They may not be ugly words, but they may still be rotten or putrid. Do you say things about others that you wish they hadn’t heard? Do you say a “little white lie” while on the phone in front of them? Unwholesome, rotten, nasty, unfit words!

We are all guilty of letting our tongue get ahead of us at times. The difference is that we must die to our own vocabulary and use God’s words. Use words like love, peace, acceptance, unity and forgiveness. Now, aren’t those nicer words? Aren’t those words you want your children to use? When we use those words there is no need to get the soap to wash our mouths out. When we use those words, others are drawn to us and not repelled.

It is your choice, however. Good words or bad words?

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BY ANY OTHER NAME

 

Psalms 119: 174 “I long for Your salvation, O Lord, And Your law is my delight.”

WHAT A BOOK!

Psalms 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses. This is a Psalm about God’s Word. All but a few of the verses mention it. The Psalmist calls it word, testimonies, ordinances, statutes, law, commandments, precepts, judgments, righteousness, faithfulness and truth. 14 different Hebrew words are used to describe God’s Word and those words are translated into the 11 different English words above.

It doesn’t matter what you call it – it’s still God’s Word. It is holy, pure, direct and complete. It is our guide, map, light and lamp post. It is our beacon, salvation, comforter and friend. God’s Word is all those things and so much more.

TEACHING MOMENT

Do your children know that? Do they know that the all time best seller is the Bible? Do they know that more Bible apps are downloaded daily worldwide that just about any other app? The Bible, despite what you hear, is still highly respected and honored. So why aren’t we spending more time trying to learn this Book of God?

Will you take some time today with your children or grandchildren to read a passage? Will you meditate on it and get it in your hearts? Will you challenge your family to memorize one verse a week? Put it on your frig so you can all see it. Put it on the bathroom mirrors so you can read it while you are brushing your teeth.

I want to challenge you today to get serious about the timeless truths that are found in God’s Word. Dust off the cover and open up the pages to the greatest story ever told. You won’t be disappointed. I promise!

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UNIMAGINABLE

 

Ephesians 3:20-21 “20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

REAL POWER

Do you get this? The Lord Jesus Christ has power (is able to do) beyond our wildest imaginations (abundantly beyond all that we ask or think). We cannot even begin to comprehend the power of God. But don’t stop there. Paul goes on to say, “that works within us.” That’s the part that really blows my mind.

The unimaginable power of God resides in me through the presence of the Holy Spirit! Now that doesn’t mean I can leap tall buildings or can fly as fast as a speeding bullet. But I have the power to defeat the powers of sin and darkness just by mentioning the name of Jesus. Wow! That’s power!

TEACHING MOMENT

Do you want spiritually powerful children? There is only one way! They can’t get it by memorizing Scripture (that is important, but not the key). They can’t get it by attending Sunday School every Sunday (that too is important). They can’t get it by going on mission trips (that is rewarding and instructive). They can only get spiritually powerful by surrendering their life to the Powerful One and allowing Him to indwell them with the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is nothing you can do as a Parent to “beef up” your child’s spiritual life – except be diligent to present the Gospel and the Word of God to them. You can prepare the table. You can pray for them. You can pray with them. But the final decision to follow Jesus is up to them. You cannot play “airplane” with a spoonful of the Gospel and make them eat it.

But take courage, my friends. When we realize our weakness to persuade them and allow God to be the One to draw them, we can rest in the fact that He loves them so much more than we do. Our extraordinary power through the Holy Spirit is then channeled into intense prayer for our children to surrender to His will. We know it is His will that ALL be saved. That “all” includes your little ones. Rest in His Amazing Grace! It too is unimaginable!

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