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GOD HONEST TRUTH

Psalm 41:12 “As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and You set me in Your presence forever.”

 HOLDING ME UP

 We have all heard that expression, right?  God Honest Truth!  What does that mean?  I mean, we can guess.  Of course, God is honest.  Of course, God is truth.  So, if we are showing true integrity we will always tell the God honest truth.

But look at the verse again.  I am upheld by God IN my integrity.  Only by being God Honest can He uphold me.  He will NOT uphold me in my lies.  He will support me in falsehoods.  An honest, truthful God demands honest, truthful children.

TEACHING MOMENT

What a perfect verse for child raising. Our children have got to be taught the value of telling the truth.  Only by telling the truth can we, as parents, defend them.  If you are defending your children’s lies, then you need to repent yourself.  Never do that.  Call your children on every lie, no matter how small it may seem.

Now, it is important that we reinforce this with why it is important.  God wants to defend them.  If they are His children through Christ, He will come to their aid whenever they call.  But He cannot and will not defend them in lies.  It is against His very nature.  So, if your children want God’s approval, they must live in the truth.

Are you God honest?  Are you known as a man or woman of integrity?  A blown reputation due to lies is hard to build back.  People do not tend to believe someone who is known as a liar.  Tell the truth.  Be honest. Show integrity. And watch our God come to your side.

Father, forgive me of those times when I am less than honest.  No, that’s not right.  When I lie, forgive me.  Convict me. Reprove me. Let my words be Your Words, which are always truthful.

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BRIGHT LIGHT

Psalm 36:9b “In Your light we see light.”

NOW I CAN SEE

It’s hard to see in the dark without a good light.  We all know that.  That’s kind of common sense.  But this verse confused me.  How do you see light in the light?  That has to be a really bright light, right?

But if you look at the verse from a spiritual side, you can understand what David is saying.  If we stay in God’s light, we can see light.  God gives us the ability to see the light around us. He allows us to recognize the light in others.  He shines His light upon us so that we can see His light.

TEACHING MOMENT

Children love playing with flashlights in the dark.  Get a good one and play along with them.  Get in a really dark room and turn it on.  Talk about the shadows it casts upon the walls.  Talk about the things in the room you really can’t see too well unless you shine the light directly on them.

Now turn on the room light, hopefully an overhead light.  Now talk about how you can see everything more clearly.  You don’t need to shine your flashlight at stuff because you are in the light from the room.  It makes things more visible.  You can recognize all the things in the room easily. God will shine His light directly on us and, in so doing, He illuminates the world for us.  He exposes the hidden things.

You see, God doesn’t want us tripping. He doesn’t want us stumbling.  But if you are like me, sometimes I want to hide in the darkness.  I have to remember that the light of Jesus dwells within me through the power of the Holy Spirit. I must stay in the light and shine my light, not for me, but for others.  I need to point them to the Light.

Light of the world, You shine upon me.  You are the brightest light.  There is no other light that draws men like Yours.

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A TONGUE WORKOUT

Psalm 35:28 “And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long.”

BETTER START EXERCISING

I have the privilege each year to go to Uganda and Kenya to help train Pastors through AMG, International. (Google this awesome ministry.) These conferences are full days of training, often lasting 10 or 12 hours each day.  Teaching and talking that long can be tiresome for the tongue, and I enjoy talking.

But one day, just like David in this Psalm, we will declare His righteousness and praise all day.  Can you imagine being in heaven and being in continuous praise of our God?  But there it won’t be tiresome. We will never run out of praise.  In fact, we could stand there simply saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” That would be just fine.

TEACHING MOMENT

 Is your child a talker?  Does your little Susie pass out at night with her lips moving? Some children seem to never stop talking.  Their little tongues would be a whole inch longer if they would just rest it once in a while.

Read them this verse.  Give their tongue a purpose.  Talk about our praise does not have to be verbal.  They can declare His righteousness and praise by the way they treat their siblings or the friends.  Our tongues are just one tool God can use, but don’t limit yourself.

What is on your tongue today?  Are you praising or complaining?  Are you declaring His righteousness or yours?  Take a minute and examine the words that have come out of your mouth today.  Do they honor God or you?

I give my tongue to You today, O God. I will put words of praise on my tongue to point others to You.  Thank You!

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IN HIS HANDS

Psalm 31:5 “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O Lord, God of truth.”

COMMITMENT

Do you recognize the first half of the verse?  Jesus said those words on the cross when He gave up His last breath. He voluntarily gave it up.  No one took it. In the same way, we have to voluntarily give up our lives to the Father.  He won’t just take it.

And why do we do that?  Look at the second part of the verse.  He has ransomed us.  Because Jesus gave up His life for us, He paid the ransom so we can give up our lives for Him.  How cool is that?  Are you committed to Him today?

TEACHING MOMENT

 Do your children have commitment problems?  Some kids have a real problem sticking to something.  They start playing a sport and drop it when it gets hard.  They may begin a new hobby but get bored quickly. They may even drop friends.

Learning to be committed is something that we parents must teach them.  We need to hold them accountable to their commitments, especially when it affects others.  But the main commitment we need to teach them is being committed to the Lord.  And that is best modeled by us.  As they see us living up to our commitment, they will learn.

Are you living up to your commitment? Are you following Jesus each day? If you aren’t, that lack of commitment could cause someone else to turn away.  They may see you saying you are a believer but not living like it.  Don’t do that.  Live for Him today and draw others into His presence.

Lord, I am committed today to follow You.  I know I have said that a lot and fallen flat on my face.  But today, Lord, I recommit myself to You, knowing others are watching.

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CRYING WON’T LAST

Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

 JOY WILL

Let me be quick to say that I know that grief is real.  I have lost both of my parents, an infant child and scores of close friends.  I am a weeper.  I cry easily and when these loved ones passed, I wept for them openly. I am not ashamed to cry.

But I also know, as a follower of Christ, just as David knew so long ago that “joy comes with the morning.”  You could even say as Christians that joy comes with the MOURNING.  Isn’t that great?  No matter how deep the grief His joy goes deeper.

TEACHING MOMENT

Many parents want to shield their children from grief.  They seem to think they are sparing them from harm.  Listen to me carefully.  Teach them how to grieve.  When they lose a pet, cry with them.  When a grandparent dies, help them grieve.  When a close friend moves away, let them cry on your shoulder.

But then, point them to Jesus.  Teach them that through the lowest moments in life, Jesus is always there.  He will be there to hold them and love them.  He will hug them tighter than you ever could.  Teaching proper grief is important for your child.  Don’t shield them.  Embrace the grief, knowing joy is coming.

Perhaps you are suffering grief today.  Perhaps you have not let the passing of a loved one go. Let it go today.  Revel in the joy of Jesus.  Live your life to bring joy to others by the very way you handle grief. Point them heavenward.

Because of Your joy, Lord, I can face the losses of life.  I know You know the depth of my sorrow and can bring me to the brink of joy. I praise You because of that.

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LEVEL GROUND

Psalm 26:12 “My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the Lord.”

SURE FOOTED

I love to take hikes.  I don’t do it a lot, but I love it.  In Tennessee, where I live, there are tons of places to hike. A lot of them have hills and gorges. The views are normally breathtaking, but there is one drawback – the ground isn’t level.  You have hike up and down these hills, sometimes on pretty treacherous ground.

It is much easier to walk on level ground.  David knew that.  He knew it was better to be sure footed.  God is that place.  He is always sure.  He is always a firm foundation.  We should do as David and set our feet on a level place.  It is there we are able to stand against the enemy.

TEACHING MOMENT

Have you ever played “King of the Mountain” with your kids?  What fun! Find a good hill and see who can stay on top the longest while the rest of the group tries to push them off.  It’s not a game for the faint of heart.  Lol

But this game can be used to teach this verse.  It’s hard to stay on top of that hill when the ground beneath your feet isn’t level. It’s hard to advance up that hill and try to push someone off who is above you.  Childhood games can teach such great life lessons.

What hill are you trying to climb right now?  What hill are you trying to defend on your own?  Step down on level ground.  There’s a saying I love – “The ground is level at the cross.”  In other words, we are all equal there.  Set your feet there.

Father, thank You for giving me sure feet.  Thank You that I can depend on You for my support. Help me show others the value of resting on Your foundation.

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BEHAVE YOURSELF

1 Timothy 3:15b “I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”

PROPER CONDUCT

I love the way Paul wrote this.  In verses 1-13 Paul gives instructions about choosing elders and deacons.  He says all of this so they will know how to behave.  Proper conduct is important for Christians.  It is especially important for Christian leaders.

How will the world know we are different if we don’t act different?  I am far from perfect.  I have made and will probably still make a lot of mistakes in my life.  I don’t always live “properly.”  I sin.  I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.  But I know God’s Word will direct me, if I will let it.

TEACHING MOMENT

This is why we must teach our children to live lives that honor God.  We want them to honor the family name and not do anything to bring shame on it.  But how much more important is it that they not bring shame on the name given to them by their Heavenly Father.

That name is “Christian.”  They are a child of the King, if they have asked the Lord into their lives.  While mistakes in life may shame their earthly name, no one is going to lose their salvation over that.  But if we bring shame on God’s name by our lifestyle of sin, we could possibly turn someone away from the Gospel.  That would be tragic.

How’s your conduct?  Do others know you are a follower of Christ?  Do they see you as different?  If not, perhaps you need to take a fresh look at your walk with Him.  Walk in such a way that others will WANT to meet your Jesus.

Forgive me, Father, when I fall short of Your commands.  I do want to please You.  I do want to lead others to Your throne of forgiveness.

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