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REPENT

 

Job 42:1-6 “1 Then Job answered the LORD and said, 2 ‘I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 3 Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. 5 I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; 6 therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.’”

FINALLY

I have a few friends to which I send greetings by other friends sometimes.  My message is usually, “Repent.”  I say that to them in jest, because I know they are walking with the Lord.  But really it is a message we all need to hear.  Right?

Job has finally come to this point. It doesn’t matter what he thinks he has or has not done.  The bottom line is in the presence of God we must ALL repent.  In view of His holiness we are nothing by filthy rags in need of cleansing.

TEACHING MOMENT

Teaching our children about repentance can be difficult.  But when they experience the Holy God, He will draw them into repentance.  Many parents ask me how to know WHEN their child has really made a decision for Christ.  I tell them to watch for repentance and remorse when they do something against God.  The Spirit of God, which lives in them as a believer, will not let them slide.

When is the last time you got on your knees or on your face in repentance?  How long has it been since you confessed those things you THOUGHT you were hiding from Him?  He wants to hear from you and cleanse you.  But He won’t until you come to Him in humility and bow.

Stop what you are doing right now and do that!  Go to the Father and say as Job said, “I repent in dust and ashes.”  He will do a mighty work in you.  Just let Him!

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ARGUING WITH GOD

 

Job 40:2 “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?  Let him who reproves God answer it.”

HISSY FITS

Have you ever argued with God over something?  I have!  Now, I don’t mean I verbally assaulted Him, but I have argued in my spirit over something I KNOW He has directed me to do.  My flesh is strong, and it desires its own way.  So, when God directs me through His Word or in prayer to do something His way, well, my flesh just wants to rebel.

How fruitless!  How ridiculous!  And here we see the Lord God speaking to Job and telling him the same thing.  “You think you know better, Job?  Okay, let’s see what you can do.”  You really need to read chapters 39-40 in their entirety to see the full conversation.  I can totally relate to my own “talks” with God about what I think is a better way.

TEACHING MOMENT

How about your children?  Has little Susie ever been determined to show you that she knows best?  Has Elrod ever told you that he doesn’t need your advice anymore?  Our children will do that.  They will insist on trying something their way, when we know that it won’t work or it isn’t the best way.  If it’s not dangerous, let them.  Sometimes failure is the best teacher.

Then when you are helping them pick up the pieces, you can share Job’s story with them.  You can tell them about a righteous man who thought he understood God.  You can read to them how he had NO CLUE about the power and majesty of a holy God.  We don’t either.  We may think we do, but our grandest thoughts come way short of the full picture of Who God really is.

Okay, what are you arguing with God about right now?  Don’t tell me you aren’t.  We all do it.  Do you question His sovereignty?  Do you question His right over your life?  Do you not believe His Word?  What is it that is causing you to get in God’s face?

It’s okay.  God can take it.  He wants us to be honest with Him.  Then He can show us the truth.  Our part is to listen and allow Him to teach.  Will you do that today?

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PRAISE HIM! PRAISE HIM!

 

Psalm 146:1-2 “1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 2 I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

When I was growing up in a small Southwest Georgia town and attending the First Baptist Church, I loved the hymn, “Praise Him! Praise Him!”  The first verse is,

“Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, ye saints! His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! hail Him! mightiest angels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will feed His people, In His arms He carries them all day long; Praise Him! praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness! Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!”

What can you add to that?  David knew the truths of this old hymn long before Fanny Crosby wrote it.  He had experienced the hand of God since he was a young lad tending his father’s sheep.

TEACHING MOMENT

The next time you pick up your child why don’t you start singing this hymn?  Can’t sing?  Then just speak the words.  Talk about how our hearts should be continually in praise to the Father who is worthy of all praise.

Kids love to sing.  Teach them this hymn and tie in today’s verses.  Connect the song to the Word.  Ask your child if they can think of other ways to praise God.  You may be amazed at what they think of.  And then, if at all possible, do it.

Are you praising Him today?  Are you celebrating that the King of Kings carries you all day long?  He is you, you know.

Tell the world of His excellent greatness.  Better yet, why don’t you show them His greatness by the way you live your life?  Let them see Jesus in you.

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HOW SMART ARE YOU?

 

Job 35:11 “Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?”

SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER

You have probably seen, or at least heard of, the TV show “Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.”  It is pretty amazing how little adults know in comparison to the average grade school child.  Most of us have forgotten all the stuff we learned back then, especially dates and events in history.

But this verse in Job today reminds us that God has gifted us wisdom.  He has given us intellect to make us smarter than the other created things.  Scientist will tell you how “smart” certain animals are, but I don’t see them studying us in schools.  We are truly God’s greatest creation, created in His image.

TEACHING MOMENT

This is an easy lesson to teach your kids.  How many of you help your child with math or science?  Aren’t you constantly assisting them with projects or vocabulary tests?  Of course, you are.  While you are doing that share this verse.  Remind them that as mundane and boring learning may seem, God has given us the ability to learn and grow mentally.  We have the ability above all God’s creations to think and reflect on things.

Your children need to learn that God has gifted them with the ability to learn, but the most important thing to learn will not be found in a text book.  It is only found in THE book.  God’s Word is the sole source of wisdom for us.  It contains all the answers to all of life’s hardest questions.  There is no test too difficult that the Bible cannot give the answer.

So, why aren’t you digging deeper into it daily?  “Well, Carl, I just don’t have the time.”  Or “I have too much other stuff that demands my attention.”  Really?  Don’t neglect the opportunity you have to learn from His Word.  It is the only book you can read over and over again and learn something new each time.

I challenge you this week to memorize and apply one verse.  Stretch your mind to the limit.  Learn it and then live it.

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FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

 

Psalm 142:1-2 “1 I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.”

DAVID’S POSITION

David is fleeing King Saul and is hiding in a cave.  He knows the Lord has anointed him the next king of Israel, but Saul is determined to kill him.  I am sure he is sitting in this cave thinking, “God, what are you up to?”  But instead of just crying, he cries out to God.

Our cries for help may often fall on deaf ears of those around us.  Our family or friends may refuse to respond to our pleas for help.  Counselors and therapists are only human with limited skills and abilities (I am NOT disrespecting them.  Please hear me say that.) However, our Father in heaven is always bending His ear toward His children.  If you are a child of the King, He is just one cry away from responding to you.

TEACHING MOMENT

Has your little Susie or Leroy ever cried out to you for help?  Maybe you were inside the house while they were outside playing.  All of a sudden, you hear them cry out your name.  You know from the tone of their voice they are not merely trying to get your attention.  They need you RIGHT THEN.  What do you do? Do you simply sit around and wait?  No, you jump up and RUN to them.

When you get there and deal with the situation, whether big or small, you have a perfect opportunity to teach this verse.  Explain to them in the same way you came running when they called, God is ready to respond to them when they cry out to Him in need.  Our children need to know that God is the perfect First Responder.  And He always has JUST what we need.

Are you in need of the First Responder today?  What are you crying out for?  How can the Lord meet your need today?  Now, the Lord isn’t a bellhop we call on for stuff.  But He is the one who supplies our every need just when we need it. He will respond to you according to your submission to Him.

Call on Him today!  Let Him have His perfect will done in your life.  Let Him soothe you with His healing balm.

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NO ESCAPE

 

Psalm 139:7 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”

The Psalmist tells us here in this great Psalm a very sobering thought.  There is NOWHERE we can go to escape God.  He is everywhere.  His presence permeates all creation.  We may think we are hiding from Him, but nope, He is there.  There is no hole deep enough, no ocean wide enough, no mountain high enough to escape the presence of The Almighty.

But then again, why would you want to hide?  If you are a child of the King, don’t you want to be as near to Him as possible?  What makes us want to hide?  SIN!  We either desire it, so we hide, or we are ashamed and want to hide.  But everything in our lives will one day be exposed.

TEACHING MOMENT

I remember like it was yesterday the day my daughter decided to hide from us in our bedroom closet.  She was only about 2.  It started out as a game to her, but when we started panicking and yelling for her, she got scared and wouldn’t come out.  Her hiding place became her scary place.  She couldn’t move out of fear of getting in trouble.  She was afraid to come out because she thought we were mad at her.

Is that what your children do?  Do they hide from you when they are in trouble?  Our children must know, without a doubt, that no matter what they do, we will love them.  They also need to know that no matter what they do, God loves them.  Could there be consequences for disobedience?  Why of course!  Don’t hide that from them.  Be up front with them about that.  But reassure them that discipline from us or God does NOT negate our love.

Are you hiding today from God?  Are you in one of those places in your life when you just can’t handle being exposed to the brilliance of our God?  His light exposes sin in our lives, and you just can’t deal with that.  Come out of your hiding place?  God is waiting to wrap His arms around you.  He wants to restore your fellowship with Him.

Step into the light and feel the warmth of His love today!

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IGNORED

 

Job 30:20 “”I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.”

BEEN THERE – DONE THAT

Have you ever felt ignored by God?  Come on, be honest.  Hasn’t it happened at least once in your life?  You are going through a difficult, heart wrenching time, and God seems to be nowhere.  You cry out to Him and hear nothing.  His Word doesn’t console you.  Worship just angers you.  Nothing is speaking to you.

Join the crowd.  This has been going on for centuries.  You can look all through Scripture and find references to people who felt abandoned by God.  Job is feeling that in this passage.  He felt God had turned His back on Him.  He didn’t know why.  All hope seemed to be gone.

TEACHING MOMENT

I guarantee you that your children are going to get down in the dumps like Job at some point.  They are going to feel all alone.  Don’t let them stay there.  Just as Job discovered just a little bit later, God hasn’t moved.  He is still present.  He is still watching.  Our children need that assurance that He is there.

Don’t shame your children out of the doldrums, though.  Let them seek God in the midst of their pain.  You can’t seek God for them.  They have to do that for themselves.  But you can share your own struggles with them so they will know they are not “less spiritual” that others.  Be there when they need you, but let them hear God.

How about you?  Are you in one of those times yourself?  Are you feeling like Job?  Have you been crying out to seemingly deaf ears?  Do NOT stop crying out!  God is there!  He is taking you to a point where He wants you – the perfect point.  Because EVERYTHING God does is perfect.  He is making you more like Him with every blow of the chisel. He is knocking off imperfections.  He is making you something in which others can see Him.

Let God work on you!  You WILL like the end product!

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