Angels, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Confession, Contentment, Encouragement, Eternity, Faith, Following, Godliness, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Parenting, Praise, Salvation

CURIOUS ANGELS

1 PETER 1:12

“It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.”

Did you catch that last phrase? “things into which angels long to look.” What does that mean? What are angels longing to look on? Do you understand that they are amazed at our salvation? God’s pardon of our sins blows them away. Why? Because they know the holiness of God. They have seen His majesty for centuries. How could such a holy God forgive such wicked sinners?

Why aren’t we as blown away? Why aren’t we amazed? We come to God for our salvation and almost immediately begin to take it for granted. We forget how wicked we were and how much He forgave. We should look on with the same longing as the angels and give thanks every day for His grace.

APPLICATION

What have your children taken for granted? Their clothes? Their toys? The food on the table? Have you ever reminded them how blessed they are? I bet you have. The next time your child takes a blessing for granted, read them this verse.

This is when you confess your guilt of taking things for granted from God. When they hear you confess, perhaps they will be convicted themselves. Now, you are not the Holy Spirit. He will do the convicting.

Aren’t you thankful today for the grace He has shown you time and time again? Thank Him today. Live for Him today. Give Him the praise He deserves for the salvation He so freely bestows on you. Lead your children to do the same. Angels are watching and scratching their heads. Show them what it looks like to live for Jesus.

Lord, I am amazed! Your gift of salvation is beyond anything I deserve. Thank You for saving me.

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Affection, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Encouragement, Inspirational, Joy, Mentoring, Modeling, Parenting, Salvation, Surrender, Testimony

INEXPRESSIBLE JOY

1 PETER 1:8

“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,”

How do you put into words something that is inexpressible? Peter didn’t know either. In fact, the Greek word used here for “inexpressible” is only used here in this verse. You just don’t have words to describe it. Nothing comes close.

But Peter isn’t referring to a beautiful scene or image. He is referring to the joy we have from loving and believing in Christ. Hold on, now. If that is expressible, how can we ever tell others about it? By living it! If we truly have that inexpressible joy in our lives, others will know. Words are necessary. It will show in our faces.

APPLICATION

Have you ever watched your child try to hide something exciting from someone? Their face gives it away. They just can’t help it. They want to tell so bad. The next time you buy a gift for their mom or dad, get them in on the purchase. Let them help pick it out. They will be so excited and bursting with joy. That look on their face is truly inexpressible.

Don’t you want your children to have that same inexpressible joy in loving and knowing Christ? Of course, you do. But you can’t manufacture that. There is nothing you can do to give that to them. That only comes as they surrender to Jesus. And then watch! You will see the joy explode on their face. They will beam with joy.

Do you remember the joy of your surrender to Christ? I sure do. I recall the fresh feeling I had in my heart. I recall the vividness of colors around me. Words could not fully express what I was I feeling inside. My life had to show others the joy I was experiencing. Will you do that today? Will you allow the inexpressible joy of loving and knowing Christ to spill over on whomever you encounter?

O Lord, I am full today. I am full of this inexpressible joy! Help me show others through my actions what I have experienced in You.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Modeling, Peace, Perseverance, Purity, Trust

PROVEN PRECIOUS

I PETER 1:7

“so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 

Our faith is precious, more precious than gold. And Peter reminds us how gold is proven to be precious. It is tested by fire. The same is true about our faith. It, too, will go through testing.

One scholar wrote,
“Christians should be willing to pass through trials: (a) They will purify their religion, just as the fire will remove dross from gold.

(b) They will make it shine more brightly, just as gold does when it comes out of the furnace. (c) They will disclose more fully its value. (d) They will furnish an evidence that we shall be saved; for that religion which will bear the tests that God applies to it in the present life, will bear the test of the final trial.”

APPLICATION

So, how do you apply this verse? By living through those testings. As you encounter hard times, you have the God given opportunity to trust Him to prove your faith. Your children are watching. As you talk to them about how you are trusting the Lord in the process, they are listening.

You may not think these moments will be remembered by them. After all, they are young. But, oh, they will remember. God will make sure of that. Trusting moments stick. Faith producing moments make impacts, especially on young lives. And when God brings you through, and He will, celebrate that with your children.

Are you in a trial right now? Is your faith being put through the fire? Thank the Lord that He is purifying it. Thank Him that You know it is more precious than gold. Gold will not last forever. Even it is eventually destroyed. But not our faith. With each “firing” it becomes stronger. Believe that!

I praise You for the fires! I may not enjoy the process, but I am thankful for the outcome. Purify me, Lord!

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Hope, Inspirational, Parenting, Promises, Salvation, Thanksgiving

JUMP FOR JOY

1 PETER 1:6

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,”

The Greek word here for “rejoice” literally means to get so excited that you jump up and down. I can just picture a little child on Christmas morning or when they see someone they really love. You just can’t contain the excitement. Your body explodes with emotion and nothing can keep you down. That’s what it means when Peter says “greatly rejoice.”

But…he reminds us that before we experience that joy regarding our salvation, we may have to first experience trials. “Great, Peter! Throw cold water on us.” He is just reminding us that this life has hardships. In fact, the Greek word for “have been distressed” means to experience deep, emotional pain or sadness, severe sorrow or grief. This word has even used of the pain of childbirth.  

APPLICATION

Now, it’s easy to watch our children rejoice. We love to see kids get excited. I can think back to many occasions when my own children or grandchildren got excited about something. The smiles burst forth, and the laughter erupts. Those are the fun times. Those are when we take the pictures or videos.

But how do we teach our children to bear the hardships. We don’t video those times, do we? We had rather forget them. So, why does Peter tell us this? It’s part of the journey. Pain prepares the ground for rejoicing. If we never had trials, we could not appreciate fully the highs of rejoicing. When your child has that next low moment, remind them of a joyous time. Remind them there is always reason to rejoice, knowing our future rests in Him.

Are you stuck right now in a perpetual season of trials? Rejoice anyway! Your hope is NOT in getting out of that trial. Your hope is based on the assurance of your eternal salvation. You will “greatly rejoice” in Glory one day. You can greatly rejoice now. Don’t let anything or anyone rob you of the joy you have in Christ.

O Heavenly Father, I will greatly rejoice in my salvation, even in the midst of extreme trials. I know my future is secure. You are faithful and trustworthy to see me through anything.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith, Heaven, Inspirational, Parenting, Salvation, Testimony

OUR SENTINEL

I PETER 1:5

“who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Peter uses an interesting word here for “protected.” It’s not the usual word we see in the New Testament. This Greek word is only used four times and has the idea of actively displaying whatever defensive and offensive means are necessary to guard. In other words, God is going to protect us, no matter what. That’s pretty reassuring.

He is protecting us to preserve our salvation “ready to be revealed in the last times.” In simple terms, that means our salvation isn’t going anywhere. The perseverance of the saints is referred to here. Our salvation is forever. In the last days, when we are called to glory, the fulfillment of our salvation will be revealed. Until then, God is our sentinel, guarding it for His glory.

APPLICATION

Do your children understand that you serve as their sentinel? As mom and dad, we are to protect and guard our little ones. Ask your kids what that means. Ask them how they think you guard them. Better yet, get them to draw a picture. I love kids’ pictures. They are so revealing.

After talking about their pictures, explain to them how you actually do that. And also tell them the limitations. You can’t always be there. You have to sleep. You have to go to work. Unlike you, however, God is always there. And once they are His, once they give their lives to Christ, He guards their salvation forever. That’s real protection.

Do you have that protection? Do you know the assurance of that salvation? If you don’t, what are you waiting on? If you do, rest in Him. He’s got you covered. He’s not going anywhere. Isn’t that good news worth sharing? Tell someone today what you have. I bet they will want it too.

Thank You, Lord, for protecting me. Thank You for securing my salvation all the way to glory. I cannot wait to see the fulfillment of my salvation with all the saints.

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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, Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Forgiveness, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting

IT’S OKAY

2 TIMOTHY 4:16

“At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.”

I bet Paul had names on the tip of his tongue when he wrote this verse. People who knew him and his ministry got scared and wouldn’t back him up. They had fled the scene, kind of like John Mark in the garden when they grabbed his clothing. He peeled it off and ran. 

Even in the midst of that hurt, Paul says, “It’s okay. Don’t get upset they didn’t help.” Paul is so concerned about Timothy as he writes this last letter. He wants to make sure Timothy doesn’t hold any ill will towards anyone after he is gone. I believe Paul knew it was only going to get harder for Timothy and that he was going to need all the Christian brothers and sisters he could find to surround him.

APPLICATION

Our children will get their feelings hurt by friends. I guarantee it. The day will come when they come home from school or a game in tears or screaming mad because “such and such” just ignored them or dumped them for someone else. Quickly, take them to this verse. Remind them of the context of the verse (Paul’s last imprisonment, hole in the ground, going to die). Now, don’t make light of their situation. Feelings are real. Instead, point out Paul’s attitude.

They have a choice to make. They can either harbor resentment or forgive. Remember, forgiveness is always for the one forgiving, not the one forgiven. If you refuse to forgive someone, they may never know. But you will never forget it. Tell your child how sweet forgiveness is once you truly embrace it.

Is there someone in your life right now you need to forgive for a wrong against you? How long have you been holding on to this? Do they even know you have not forgiven them? Stop and forgive them now. As soon as you can call them or go see them. Make this right. It’s not about them. It’s about you walking in faith and believing in God’s powerful forgiveness. 

I can’t forgive one single person without knowing You are the one who extends the forgiveness. Thank You, Lord, for forgivng me when I was unforgiveable. I do deserve Your grace.

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