Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christ's Return, Parenting

RIGHT ON TIME

1 TIMOTHY 6:15

which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” 

Most believers are anxious for the return of Christ. I know I am. People spend hours, even years, studying to try to figure out exactly when Christ is going to return. There have been hundreds of books written on the subject. But the bottom line is no one knows – except our heavenly Father.

The phrase “proper time” literally means a suitable time, the right moment, or a favorable moment. It could happen any day. Would you be ready? Are you sure? It will happen, and it will happen quickly. There won’t be time to get ready once He returns. You’ve got to prepare beforehand.

APPLICATION

Have you ever come up behind your child and snatched them up? They probably squealed with excitement. They didn’t see you coming and couldn’t prepare for the sudden “flight.” Do that again sometime. Catch them unaware and grab them up. Then read them this verse and explain the difference.

Getting snatched up by you may be fun but being snatched up by Jesus at his sudden appearing will be beyond words. The difference in the two is this. They can’t prepare for your sudden snatching, and it has no eternal significance. They can get ready for Jesus by giving their heart and life to Him. So, no matter when He appears, they are ready. They may be surprised at the moment, but they can rest knowing they are going to be with Him for eternity.

Are you ready? He is coming. We just don’t know when. Whom do you know that needs to hear the salvation message? Do you want to see them left behind? Go to them today and share the gospel. Pray with them and for them. Make some more “traveling” buddies for the journey to glory.

I know you are going to return, Lord. I am ready. Help me prepare others to see You and get ready, too.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Confession, Forgiveness, Obedience, Parenting, Purity, Righteousness, Scripture

CLEAN AS A WHISTLE

1 TIMOTHY 6:14

that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 

Do you ever wonder about how words or expressions come about? I do. I guess I am just curious that way. Today’s title for the devotional is “Clean as a whistle.” What does that really mean? There are several theories, but the one I like is it comes from the appearance of a whittled piece of wood, probably willow, after it is made into a whistle. A smooth, spotless surface was left.

Well, the word in our verse today for “without stain” means just that – spotless, clean as a whistle. Paul is adjuring Timothy that we need to live that way. We should remain unstained by the world, as James says. It is so easy to get the world on you. It can leave some hard to remove spots. But if we are living for Christ and following His commandments, we are less likely to get “dirty.”

APPLICATION

I bet your children have gotten clothes stained before. Am I right? My mama used to get so upset when I came home with grass-stained pants. But what is a boy supposed to do when he slides into home plate? You can’t exactly ask the catcher to let you walk in so you won’t get your pants dirty. Sometimes stains are inevitable.

However, we need to teach our children to avoid those staining agents when possible. We know how the world wants to dirty us up. We have the responsibility to point out those things to our children. They have to live in the world, but they don’t have to wallow in its filth. It is comforting to know that Jesus’ blood cleanses us completely. But it is also important to remember that some stains are the consequence of disobedience and can remain for a lifetime.

Are you tired of removing stains in your life? Then start following Jesus’ commandments more closely. He will lead you in the path of righteousness. He also may lead you into a very dirty area in order to reach others. Those stains are not held against you and are easily removed. It’s your choice – dirty or clean?

I am so thankful that I don’t need bleach to cleanse my soul. I am so glad that Jesus’s blood washes me white as snow. Help me walk in such a way that only stains You allow touch me.

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Advice, Bible, Bosses, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, God's Will, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Perseverance, Scripture

YOU ARE CHARGED

1 TIMOTHY 6:13

“I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,” 

Unfortunately, when we hear the word “charge” we automatically think about a financial transaction. Paul had no concept of Mastercard or Visa, lol. This word “charge” had an entirely different meaning. This Greek word means “to charge, give a command that is fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper (necessary) channels.” It also originally carried a military meaning as when an officer would give a command to an inferior. 

You are charged by God to carry out the duties in His army. God expects us to comply. Now, He won’t make us. He never will. But obedience is expected. Where do we find these “charges”? In His Word. It is full of commands from the Father. All we have to do is read His Word and then follow His commands. Easy peasy, right? I wish.

APPLICATION

Have you ever given your children a command to clean their room or brush their teeth? I am sure you have. No child I know naturally does that without being told. And I bet you had to show them how to do it, right? I remember teaching our children how to brush their teeth. I remember teaching them how to pick up their toys and make their bed. Commands are great, but if we don’t know how to carry it out, it’s useless.

Jesus showed us how to obey our Father. Point your children to Him. He will show them how to obey you and God. His examples of obedience all through His life show us it is possible. Of course, we aren’t Jesus. We will make mistakes. That’s okay. God simply wants us to strive toward perfection. He is the perfecter, not us. 

Are you obeying the commands given to you by the Lord? Maybe you are more like me and try to find ways around it, lol.  Resolve yourself today to be an obedient soldier of the cross. When the Lord charges you with a new task, gratefully take it on and fulfill His desires for your life. You won’t be sorry.

Lord, I want to obey. Sometimes my flesh gets in the way, but I know that is just an excuse. Forgive my disobedience.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Fighting, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting

A GOOD FIGHT

1 TIMOTHY 6:12

“Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 

I was always taught not to fight. In fact, I only remember getting into three fights in my life. I didn’t start any of them. They were all in self-defense. But that is not the kind of fighting Paul is talking about here.

Now, the word “fight” (used twice here – once as a verb and another time as a noun) means agonize in a struggle. That could be in a sporting event or a battle. In other words, you give it your all. You give 110%. You don’t quit until it’s over.

APPLICATION

So, this verse is not about teaching your children to fight or not to fight. This verse is about not quitting. This verse is about teaching our children to hold to their faith, no matter what. This verse is about teaching our children to remain loyal and true to the Lord. He will see them through whatever they face.

Teaching our children not to quit is hard sometimes. They will face challenges that test them physically and emotionally. We must prepare them to see all of these through. Even though they want to quit and run away, we must hold them accountable. We can’t let them give up. 

Are you quick to give up? When the going gets tough, do you call it quits? Stop that. See it through. Let your children watch you struggle. That’s okay. Life is not easy, but we know He is faithful to the end. Your children need to see you trust Him. Won’t you do that today?

I will hold to You, Lord. I will see the trials You send my way all the way to the end. In fact, there is nothing that will keep me from You. 

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Faith, Gentleness, Godliness, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Perseverance, Righteousness

CHASE THIS!

1 TIMOTHY 6:11

“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”

You need to read verses 3 though 11 of this chapter in 1 Timothy to remind yourself what Paul is telling Timothy to flee. That word “flee” means to escape or to run away. In other words, run as hard as you can away from this stuff. In contrast, Paul tells Timothy to chase as hard as he can “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”

You see, running is okay as long as you are running from or running towards the right thing. Of course, we know if you pursue the Lord will all your heart, you will find “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” How? Because He is all those things.

APPLICATION

Do you want to teach your children to chase after the right stuff? Of course, you do. Why not show them what to chase yourself? If you are seeking righteousness, they will see it in you. If you are striving to be godly in your behaviors, they will imitate you. If your faith is tested and you rely on the Lord, your children will remember that.

Are you getting the picture here? These pursuits are best taught to your children by you modeling these to them. These are not things you can tell them to do and then not do yourself. In fact, words are not even necessary. Just pursue them yourself time after time. They will see it and learn. When they ask you why you are doing what you are doing, then you have the perfect opportunity to tell them.

What are you running from and towards? Make sure you are chasing after God. Only He can provide “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” There is no other source. Do you want to be more Christlike? Then run!

I want to be seen as righteous, godly, faithful, loving, persevering and gentle. I know all these are in You, Lord. Help me pursue them with all my strength.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Love, Mentoring, Money, Parenting

MISQUOTED

1 TIMOTHY 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

While John 3:16 is probably the most quoted verse in the Bible, this verse today is probably the most MISquoted verse. People leave off “the love of” and talk about how evil money is. What you can’t tell from the English translation is “the love of money” is one Greek word which means lover of silver. It’s someone who is literally in love with personal gain or having money. How sad?

Have you ever known anyone who was like that? All they think about is making more money. Again, money is not the evil thing. Their motive for making money is. They don’t want more so they can share more. They want more so they can keep it all to themselves. God can use our wealth in a myriad of ways to further His kingdom if we let loose of it.

APPLICATION

Read this verse to your children and ask them what they think it means. Then make a list with them of the things they could do with money to help others. Most children are quick to do that. They haven’t become as selfish as adults yet. But help them make that list.

Now, as much as possible, do some of those things. How about sponsoring a child through some ministry? So many children around the world are not able to eat or go to school without some sponsor supporting them. Here is just one opportunity you can look into (https://amginternational.org/product-category/sponsor-a-child/).

Evaluate your view of money today. Is it your pursuit or just a means by which you live? Does it consume your thoughts all day or is just a passing thought? Focus on what you can do for Jesus through what He has blessed you with. It will change your attitude and mission in life.

You have blessed me so richly, Lord. Show me where to give. Show me how to give. I want only to please You.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Money, Parenting, Scripture

A BAD FALL

1 TIMOTHY 6:9

But 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.” 

Let me say up front that there is nothing wrong with money. We have to have it to buy food, pay our mortgage or rent and live in this world. What you can’t tell from the English translation is the phrase “want to get” is written to imply that it is their decision to do this. No one is forcing them. This Greek word means to aggressively plan to get something. In other words, those who do this think about nothing but getting more.

But look at the result. It is not a good one. They fall into temptation. They are caught as if in a snare. And they pursue foolish and harmful desires. All this leads to ruin and destruction. Do you think those who pursue wealth like that ever think it will end badly? Not hardly.

APPLICATION

Teaching your little Johnny or Susie about money is so important. They need to understand the value of earning a dollar, but they also need to know how to handle the money once they get it. Some kids blow through money fast. They constantly beg to go to Walmart to spend it. Other kids save every penny. There is a balance.

Sit your children down when you think they can handle it and help them make a plan for their money. Don’t forget to talk about giving to the Lord. Most importantly, talk to them about how you manage the household finances. Read them this verse and explain how money can corrupt you if you only focus on it. They will learn best by watching you, so make sure you aren’t living for wealth.

Are you? Are you striving to “get ahead” so hard that you have lost your priorities? Again, money isn’t bad. Our motives about money can be. Ask the Lord to guide you in your spending. Ask the Lord to guide you in your savings. The Lord may choose to bless you financially, or He may not. Trust Him to provide. He always does.

I am so thankful for all You have blessed me with. You have proven once again to be caring and loving. Help me manage Your resources wisely.

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