Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Disciplemaking, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Lies, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Truth, Witnessing

I CANNOT LIE

TITUS 1:2

“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,”

We have probably all heard the story about George Washington (the first President of the United States) as a boy when he was asked who cut down the cherry tree. He said, “I cannot lie. I did it.” We don’t know if that was legend or truth, but he was known as an honest man, not prone to lie. In today’s verse we see that character trait attributed to God, who also cannot lie.

Now, unlike George Washington, God is truly not capable of lying. There is no deceit in Him. He is pure truth. It is interesting to me that the Greek word used here for “cannot lie” is only used right here in this verse. Only God cannot lie. Everyone else is capable, including you and me.

APPLICATION

How many times have you told your child, when correcting them, “Now, don’t lie to me”? We want them to tell the truth. I know when my children were small, I could deal with almost any behavior, but just don’t lie to me. That made things worse. So, how do you get your children to be truthful? Bathe them in the Word. Only the truth of God can transform them into truth tellers rather than liars.

Your job as mom and dad is to obey the Holy Spirit’s leading in your life to provide the environment for salvation and spiritual growth. That includes you being truthful. Have you ever involved your child in a lie? What message does that send your child? If it’s okay for mom or dad, it’s okay for me. And then you punish them for lying to you. Confusing! You must model and live a truthful life for them to follow.

Are you known as a truthful person or a liar? When you give your word, can you be believed? If you are a believer, you represent our heavenly Father who cannot lie. Remember that. It’s not just about your reputation. If the lost world cannot trust Christians to tell the truth, why should they believe anything we say about the Gospel?

Forgive me, Father, for not being truthful at times. I tend to rationalize and justify my lies, but they are just sin. Help me remember it is You who lives within me, who cannot lie.

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Career, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Family, Following, Glory, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Parenting, Scripture, Surrender

KNOW YOUR PURPOSE

TITUS 1:1

“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,”

Several years ago, Pastor Rick Warren wrote a book entitled “The Purpose Driven Life.” It was a number one best seller and launched him on to talk shows all over the United States. Why? Because people want to know their purpose in life. They want to know why they are here. They want to know what they should be doing.

Paul knew! He was a bond-servant of God (a slave of his own choosing). He was an apostle of Jesus Christ (one sent with a message). He purpose was to grow the faith of those chosen by God (reach and teach them). And he was to preach the truth.

Paul knew his purpose and makes sure Titus knows this in his first words of the letter to him.

APPLICATION

Man, oh man! If we can help our children discover their purpose early in life what a difference that would make. I am not saying they should know their career path at five. I am talking about knowing who they are and why they are here. That can only be taught through God’s Word through His worldview. When your child comes to Christ, He will reveal through His Holy Spirit what they are to do with their life to glorify Him. What they do for a living isn’t important.

But so many of we parents are so focused on our children becoming doctors or lawyers (nothing wrong with that, just examples). Instead we need to focus on bringing them up with a vision for God. That can only be taught if we have it. Do you?

What exactly is your worldview? Do you see everything through God colored glasses? As believers, we should see ourselves, our family and others as God sees us. We were all created in His image with one purpose – to glorify Him. We exist to give Him glory. Those whose follow His calling on their lives (and He calls us all but only a few answer) will discover their purpose. Have you?

Father, I am so thankful my purpose is clear. I will glorify You today. I will give glory to You for all You do in and through me.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Evangelism, Grace, Love, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Prayer, Witnessing

AS I LEAVE

2 TIMOTHY 4:22

“The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”

Paul’s final written words (as far we know) to Timothy are contained in this verse. Paul prayed the Lord would be with his spirt and His grace would also be with him. Nothing fancy. No flowing words. Just Jesus and grace. But think about. What else could he want for Timothy?

If you knew the words you were about to say to someone were the last words they would ever hear from you, what would you say? That, of course, would depend on whom you were addressing, right? If it was my wife, I would say something different than if I was addressing my neighbor or doctor or even my children. It’s the audience that can determine those words.

APPLICATION

Last words matter. You have probably taught your children about making a good first impression. But how about that last impression? You don’t want your child leaving someone with them thinking poorly of them, do you. So, what do you tell your child to do when they leave someone?

I often pray with someone before I leave them. That would be great to model for your children. Praying for someone, just as Paul did for Timothy, sends a message to them. It says they are special to you because they are to God. It says you care for them because Jesus died for them. And it’s really hard to walk away mad if you just prayed for someone, lol.

Today, focus not only on your greetings but also your goodbyes. Make sure your parting words are comforting and not confrontational. Ask someone if you can pray as you leave. You may just blow their mind. And pray sincerely and quickly. You don’t have to make it a sermon. You certainly don’t want them to avoid your parting prayer next time.

O Father, parting is hard sometime. Help me leave those I love and care for by leaving the grace and presence of Jesus with them. May they receive it and embrace it.

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Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Evangelism, Family, Love, Ministry, Parenting, Witnessing

WHO?

2 TIMOTHY 4:21

“Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, also Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren.”

In this next to last verse of 2 Timothy, Paul mentions four individuals who we know nothing about. You might just read this verse and move right on. Who cares about Eubulus, Pudens, Linus and Claudia? Paul did. And he thought enough about them to mention them to Timothy who also must have known them by name. Otherwise they would not have been mentioned.

Some people are name droppers. They like to mention they know or have met “so and so.” Usually that person they mention is well known or famous. It would be like me saying when he was alive, “Yesterday Billy and I were just talking.” Of course, I am referring to Billy Graham. Listen, everyone is important. Treat them that way.

APPLICATION

I want you to make a list of all the friends that your children have. Sit down with them and do that. Then make up a scale of one to five and have them score them according to how much they like them. One will be the least liked and five will be their BFF. This may take a while so be patient.

When they get done tell them to tear it up. They may argue a bit but insist. Now, read the verse to them. Explain that these four individuals fell somewhere on that one to five scale, but they probably weren’t fives because in all of Paul’s letters they aren’t mentioned anywhere else. But here, in Paul’s very last letter, they are the last people he mentioned. Friends are friends. They are all important.

How many friends do you have? I have over two thousand on Facebook. Some I have met through other friends. Some are mere acquaintances. Do you know why I made them my friends on Facebook? So I can expose them to the Gospel and encourage them. Will you make the effort today to reach out to one of your “lesser” friends and encourage them? God placed them in your life for a reason. Don’t forget that.

I am grateful for each friend You have allowed to cross my path. Help me encourage them today through Your Word. Let me be the friend they need today.

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Advice, Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Encouragement, Eternity, Evangelism, Family, Friends, Heaven, Love, Parenting, Separation, Witnessing

FRIENDS LEFT BEHIND

2 TIMOTHY 4:20

“Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.”

Both Erastus and Trophimus were trusted colleagues of Paul on his missionary journeys. Paul knew them both well and wanted to make sure Timothy conveyed his greetings in his farewell letter. Erastus was the treasurer of Corinth, so he was probably very well known. What an opportunity he had to share the Gospel.

Trophimus was left in Miletus by Paul when he became sick. Now, let’s talk about that. Didn’t Paul have the gift of healing? He had healed many people. So, why didn’t he just say, “Get up Trophimus. We’ve got to go.” Because God directs and does the healing, not us. We don’t decide when and whom to heal.

APPLICATION

Unless your children remain in your home all their life and you never move and their friends do the same, they are going to leave friends behind. That can be hard. I know it was for my children. We made a few moves during their childhood which forced them to leave friends and make new ones. So, how do we prepare them for that? What can we say and do to make that easier?

Here are few ideas:

  1. Invest in their friends while they are with them. Get to know them.
  2. Get to know their parents. Know them by name and talk about them to your children.
  3. Help your children share Jesus with them. Leaving behind a saved friend, knowing you will see them in eternity, is so much easier.
  4. Help your children make contact after the move easier. Let them FaceTime or Skype their friends.
  5. Pray with your children for those friends. Keep up with their prayer needs through their parents and pass them on to your children.

Now, these won’t prevent the tears from flowing when the parting comes. But knowing the separation is temporary (only here on earth) can be such a comfort. Do you have a friend that comes to mind whom you have had to leave behind? Why not this week reach out to them. It is so much easier today. And say a prayer for them. That’s the oldest form of long distance communication.

Father, thank You for friends. Thank You for companions who You put in our path through life. I ask You today to bless them.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Friends, Love, Ministry, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Witnessing

SAY “HOWDY”

2 TIMOTHY 4:19

“Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.”

Have you ever told someone to say “hi” for you to an old friend? That’s all Paul is doing here. Do you remember Prisca (Priscilla) and Aquilla from Acts? They were the fellow tent makers whom Paul took up with during one of his journeys. And Onesiphorus was an old friend from Ephesus whom had been very kind and compassionate to Paul while he was in Rome in prison.

Friends are important, especially those with whom we have ministered. That ministry binds us. We have the same purpose, motive and drive. What is it? To present the Gospel to a lost world. I wonder how many people these friends saw come to Christ together.

APPLICATION

Friends with a purpose – that is important for us to teach our children. Now, I don’t mean to imply that there is anything wrong with having playdates or friends over to play ball. That would be silly. But we parents need to encourage our children to have friends who share the same worldview.

If their friends don’t see the world as we see the world (lost and dying and in need of a Savior), they will probably discourage your son or daughter in their faith. I don’t mean they will say, “Don’t be a Christian.” But they may say, “You don’t have to do that.” Our children need friends who share their faith, purpose and drive, just like us.

Do your friends? Or are you still living your old lifestyle? We need to engage our old friends for Christ. We need to present the Gospel to them. Otherwise, we were never friends, right. If you can’t share the most loving thing with the people you love, you never loved them to begin with. Now, go love.

Thank You, Lord, for friends who love You and me. I am committed to loving others to You. Surround me with those whom share Your view of this world.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Eternity, Glory, Heaven, Parenting, Promises, Sanctification

THE THREE P’S

2 TIMOTHY 4:18

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

You may have heard salvation described this way – we were saved, we are being saved and we will be saved. Or maybe like this – we were saved from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and one day the presence of sin. That’s what today’s verse is saying.

Paul is thanking God in advance and telling Timothy that he is secure in the fact that the Lord will rescue him from the very presence of sin. He is going home to His heavenly kingdom where there is no sin. Can you imagine? No evil. No hurt feelings. No paybacks. Just pure joy!

APPLICATION

Ask your children to imagine a perfect place. Get them to draw a picture if they like to do that. Don’t talk about heaven yet. Just get them to describe their perfect place. What makes it perfect? Is it the people? Is it what they get to do? Just what determines perfection for your child?

Now, read them this verse and talk about different heaven will be from our earth without heaven. Ask them why they think Paul uses the words “rescue” and “bring me safely” when he describes going to heaven. Better yet, get them to draw a picture of Jesus doing that for them. Those should be some interesting pictures worthy of the kitchen frig.

Let me ask you point blank. Have you been rescued? Are you secure in your salvation? If not, why not surrender your heart and your life to Him today. If you have, are you walking in that victory we have in Jesus? You ARE free from the penalty of sin. You ARE free from the power of sin. And praise God one day you will be free from the very presence of sin. Sing Hallelujah!!!

I sing Your praises, O Lord. You are the only one who can deliver me. I rest completely in Your saving power.

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