Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Courage, Encouragement, Evangelism, God's Will, Inspirational, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

GOD OR MAN

ACTS 5:29

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

This verse is part of the story in Acts when Peter and the apostles had been arrested by the High Priest and thrown into prison for preaching about Jesus. They had been warned earlier about it but kept on preaching. God sent an angel who released them and where did they go? Right back to preaching.

In this verse Peter is before the High Priest again. He doesn’t back down. You don’t see Peter and the apostles wringing their hands. They stayed committed to their calling and kept preaching the Gospel. When it came down to whom to obey, they didn’t blink. They would obey God.

APPLICATION

Teaching our children to obey God is probably one of the most important tasks we have. We can’t make them obey, of course. But as we correct behaviors, we point them to the Word of God, which is God speaking to us. Our corrections are not what we think are best. They are we know God says is best.

Obeying God can be costly. Our kids need to know that. The world will, at some point, present a situation to your kids when they must choose. When that time comes, you as Mom and Dad must be there to support their decision to obey God, even if it costs them dearly.

Will you obey God or man? If presented a situation that will cost you dearly if you chose to obey God, would you do it? Standing up for God is the safest place you can be. When you stand up for Him, He will immediately be there. Will it be hard? Sure. But knowing the Master of all is there with you brings you comfort.

I will obey You, O God. Obedience to You is more important than anything else in my day.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Holiness, Husbands, Inspirational, Modeling, Parenting, Scripture, Submission, Surrender, Wives

MODELING BEHAVIOR

1 PETER 3:5

“For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;”

I wonder who Peter was thinking of when he wrote this verse? His mother? His wife? Old Testament saints? We don’t know, but surely he had someone in mind. These were women who were more concerned with pleasing their Lord than with their external adornment. I bet they were all beautiful women, because when you live like that the Lord shines through.

Do you know any women who live like this? In today’s culture submitting to your husband is seen as weakness by the feminist movement. Now, I am not trying to start a fight. I am just stating a fact. Thank the Lord we don’t have to live by today’s culture. We rely on the Word of God to direct our life choices. I am thankful for a submissive wife who honors God with her choices.

APPLICATION

How do you apply this verse to children? Well, we are to teach our little girls and our little boys what it means to submit. Our girls need to understand that they are not submitting to some man. They are submitting to the Lord. He is the one they are trying to honor.

And our boys need to understand what that submission means. It does NOT mean that their wives are their slaves. This is a partnership. They are to honor the Lord by protecting and nurturing their wives. In return, the Lord directs their wives to submit. Obedience to the Lord is the key.

If you know some godly woman who is living out this verse, praise her today. Tell her how much she inspires you with her walk. Encourage her today to continue to model for you and others. Perhaps you are that woman who struggles with submission. Seek the Lord’s direction today. Please Him. That’s all that matters.

Thank You for putting holy women in my life. I praise You for the example they give in surrender to You.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Deception, Direction, Encouragement, Faith, Healing, Inspirational, Mentoring, Parenting, Passion, Scripture

MISPLACED FAITH

ACTS 5:14-16

“14 And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, 15 to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. 16 Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.”

Peter’s reputation as a miracle worker and healer had spread. People were clamoring to get to him to be healed of their diseases or impairments. However, the crowds were so big they couldn’t get close enough. So, they resorted to lying in the streets where Peter might pass with the hope that his shadow might fall on them and heal them.

I must quickly say that there is no evidence this happened. We have no record of anyone being healed by his shadow. Nevertheless, the people believed it could. Strong faith in the wrong thing does not make things right. You may believe passionately in something, only to find out you were passionately wrong.

APPLICATION

One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to redirect your child when you know they are headed in the wrong direction. Your child may have some strong beliefs about some things in our culture. It’s happening more and more. While we want them to hold strongly to their beliefs, we also want those beliefs to be biblically based.

The only way you can redirect them is to go to Scripture. If a belief is not backed up by the Word of God, it’s not a true belief. Now listen to me. Satan loves to disguise his lies with a little truth. This can be so confusing to a young believer. That’s why you, Mom and Dad, must be grounded in the Word and able to show them in Scripture what God says.

Have you taken a good look at your beliefs? Why do you believe what you do? We all need to do a self-check every so often. It is so easy to bring in traditions or church practices and consider them doctrine. Let me encourage you today to reevaluate your beliefs. Check them out with the Word before you start betting your life on them.

Your Word is clear to me, Lord. I will put my trust in what You teach me there and check out other teachings that are put before me.

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Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Encouragement, Following, Gentleness, God's Will, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Parenting, Surrender, Testimony

PRECIOUS IN GOD’S EYES

1 PETER 3:4

“but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

Have you ever wondered what God sees in us? He has created us in His image after all. Does He see Himself? Only if we are reflecting Him. Peter tells us that a gentle and quiet spirit is the key. But what does that mean?

The word “gentle” means exercising God’s strength under His control. And the word “quiet” means a divinely inspired inner calmness. Did you catch what’s included in both of those definitions? God! It’s His strength and His calmness. When we exhibit that gentle and quiet spirit, God can indeed see Himself in us.

APPLICATION

The only way to teach our children the importance of a gentle and quiet spirit is to exhibit it ourselves. If we are always yelling and screaming, they won’t see it. If we are pushy and demanding of others, they won’t see it. We have to die to ourselves and allow the Spirit of God live in and through us in order to show that kind of spirit.

As our children see us living that way, they will learn to surrender their little, selfish selves to the Master. They can experience the joy of a gentle and quiet spirit. They can be seen as precious in the sight of God. God loves them and wants them to live for Him. We must model it so they can learn.

Are you precious in His sight? You see what’s required. Are you willing to surrender to His will for your life? His divine strength and inner calmness is waiting for you. I don’t know about you, but I want to be seen as precious in His sight.

I know You are watching me and love me dearly. I desire Your gentle and quiet Spirit to live in and through me daily.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Disciplemaking, Lies, Mentoring, Parenting, Repentance

HALF TRUTHS

ACTS 5:3

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?’”

This story in Acts is kind of shocking. To see the whole story read Acts 5:1-11. A husband and wife lied to Peter and died. Boy, aren’t you glad that doesn’t happen today? The early church was just beginning and had no room for deceit. Ananias and then his wife, Sapphira, lied and received the ultimate punishment.

I don’t believe God is going to zap us every time we sin, but there are consequences. We may not see those consequences right away, but rest assured we will see them. Truth is critical in any relationship. That is especially true with the Lord. He knows the truth any way. We can’t hide it from Him. So, why do we try?

APPLICATION

When my children were little they had to be disciplined from time to time. I was typically more lenient if they told me the truth. Nothing would get them in trouble faster than lying to me and their mother. Honesty is a trait we much teach our children. How do we teach that? By rewarding it.

Now, I don’t mean to ignore behavior if they are honest. But I do mean to praise them for their honesty. Your children have to know that honesty is rewarded. We are trying to build children with integrity. Remember, we are not raising children. We are raising child raisers.

Are you honest with others? Are you honest with the Lord? If not, repent today. You don’t have to fear being struck dead for your untruthfulness, but dishonesty will kill your reputation. Remember, you are representing our Savior.

Lord, I will allow You to speak truth through me. You are truth. I know if I surrender to Your will each day, truth will reign in my life.

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INNER BEAUTY

1 PETER 3:3

“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;”

You have probably heard that beauty is only skin deep. If Peter had heard that expression, he may have used it right here in today’s verse. It’s interesting that the word “adornment” is the Greek word kosmos which means worldly affairs, the world, the universe. We get our word “cosmetics” from this root word.

Now, I am not saying that all cosmetics are worldly. I am glad we have them. I just think we need to heed Peter’s words here. Beauty isn’t about the external, whether that be cosmetics, fixing your hair or wearing the latest fashions. Real beauty comes from the inside. And real, real beauty is only given by God.

APPLICATION

So, how do we apply this verse to our children? Easy, don’t let your little girls wear makeup, lol. Just kidding. But we should teach our boys and girls that the external isn’t as important as the internal. How you look is important, but it shouldn’t be what drives us. In other words, there is no reason to spend hours and hours in the bathroom getting ready.

Now, I am sure I will get cards and letters about this blog. That’s okay. I am just looking at what Peter said. The external is just not as important as the internal. God makes you beautiful, not Maybelline. All the cosmetics in the world can’t cover an ugly heart. Amen?

How’s your inner beauty? Are you allowing God to adorn you? He will. He will exercise the fruits of the Spirit in and through you today. Nothing is more beautiful than kindness, gentleness and self-control. Let Him work through you this day.

I am beautiful only because of You. Adorn me today with Your glory so others will see You in me.

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JUDGE IF YOU HAVE TO

Acts 4:19

“But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;”

Obeying God can have consequences. Peter and John faced this dilemma when the Jewish authorities ordered them to stop preaching about Jesus. People were coming to Christ due to the miracles they were performing and their message about repentance. The Jewish leaders didn’t want that.

But Peter and John knew they had to answer to a higher authority. They weren’t trying to be ugly or hard to get along with. They just knew the Lord had told them to preach the Gospel, so they had to. They were willing to accept the consequences that could have come from the authorities.

APPLICATION

Years ago, I served as Chaplain at a Children’s Home. Occasionally, former residents of the home would want the Chaplain to marry them in the Chapel on campus. When I could, I was honored to do so. On one occasion, however, I was asked to marry two former residents who both had multiple former marriages. I couldn’t do that and remain true to my calling. I was questioned by the Superintendent why I refused. Fortunately, he understood and supported my decision. But I was prepared to leave my job if necessary.

Your children may face a decision between standing up for Christ and their beliefs or giving in to pressures from others. You have to prepare them now for those times. They have to know why they believe what they believe. They need to know that God will be with them to support them. Share with them how you have handled similar situations.

Are you willing to stand up for Christ? There may be a day when you are faced with that decision. Are you ready? He is. He will stand beside you. Then you can say as Peter said, “you be the judge.”

I am ready to follow You, Lord, wherever You lead me. If that means I am judged by others, so be it. I will be proud to be named as Your follower.

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