Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Encouragement, Faith, Following, God's Will, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Suffering, Testimony

CARRIED SAFELY AWAY

1 PETER 2:19

“For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.”

Today’s verse is the perfect example of why it is so important to dig deep into God’s Word and not take it at face value. What do I mean by that? I don’t mean to not value the Scriptures. I mean that the original language of the passage can often give us so much more understanding.

For example, the phrase “bears up under” may be interpreted to mean to just deal with it or to endure it. But this Greek word means to endure because you are carried safely away from danger. When you suffer unjustly, God is there to carry you away. How precious. He is there with you in the midst of the suffering and is ready to rescue you. That should comfort you.

APPLICATION

Do your children believe you will rescue them if they were facing danger? I bet they do. Ask them. I can just hear them now. Children, at least most of them, believe mom and dad can do anything. They trust you to come to their rescue if the need is there. And I am sure you would do anything you could to do that, right?

But what if they were suffering unjustly? How would you react? The Lord allows us to suffer unjustly in order to build our faith and trust in Him. Be hesitant about rushing in to rescue your child in this situation. You may rob them of a lesson God is trying to teach them. He will tell you when to respond. You have to trust Him.

Are you suffering unjustly right now? Many are. Rest in this verse today. Endure it knowing that you will be carried away to safety by the only one capable of doing that – the Lord Jesus. He has conquered death and the grave. He can surely conquer an unjust suffering you are going through. And when you are safely in His arms, give Him praise.

I will trust You to rescue me. I know You know what is going on in my life. Nothing can touch me that hasn’t gone through Your fingers first.

Standard
Angels, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Death, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Faith, Heaven, Inspirational, Joy, Parenting, Resurrection, Scripture

WHERE DID HE GO?

JOHN 20:6-7

“6 And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.” 

Don’t you know Peter’s first thought was Where did He go? I am sure he didn’t remember right away that Jesus had told them He would rise from the dead. Jesus had told them but not in so many words. All Peter knew was Jesus had died and now He was not in that tomb. He had been told by Mary that He was alive, but he needed to see Him for himself.

And what about the linens? There were two piles – one where the body was and another with the wrappings from the head. It was as if Jesus had unwrapped Himself. Was that possible? Or did the angels he heard had been here done that. This was just too much to take in. Where was Jesus?

APPLICATION

Sometimes we see things that we just can’t believe. I have a friend who is a Christian illusionist. He can do things that make you scratch your head. I have often said when I watch him perform that there is no way he just did that. Of course, all his illusions are tricks. He will tell you that himself.

Jesus had not just performed a parlor trick. He had really risen from the dead. Ask your children if they have ever met anyone who has done that. Of course, they will think you’re crazy for even asking that. But then remind them, when you meet Jesus and ask Him into your heart, you just met someone who has done that. No one else has defeated death themselves. Jesus simply threw off the grave clothes and walked out of a sealed tomb.

Do you believe everything you see? You shouldn’t. But you should believe this. Jesus is alive. He is seated right now beside His Father, as much alive as when He walked the earth. His position in heaven does not diminish His life in the least. And He wants you to live each day with that knowledge. Live knowing He’s alive.

Knowing You are alive gives me hope for tomorrow. You are always watching over me and walking beside me. I may not can see You now, but I know You are there.

Standard
Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Commands, Direction, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Parenting, Scripture, Testimony

COME ON IN

JOHN 18:15-16

“15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in.” 

Peter probably came in to where he really didn’t want to go. It’s kind of like watching a horrible scene and not being able to stop looking. He knew what was happening to Jesus and was probably fearful for his own life, but he just couldn’t tear himself away.

John, the other disciple in this story, brought him in. Why? Because he knew Jesus would want him there to witness this. John knew how much Jesus loved Peter. He probably felt Peter needed to be near his Master during His last hours. I am sure later on Peter probably thanked John for getting him in the courtyard.

APPLICATION

Sometimes we need to be somewhere we really don’t want to be. Your kids are going to face that decision at some point. It could be a hospital visit of a family member or friend. Those are great opportunities for ministry. Or it could be going to a funeral home or funeral. Those are also times to love on the family members who are grieving.

Being in the right place, even if we don’t want to be there, can be a God-ordained event. Prepare your children to respond as Jesus would have them respond. Teach them to ask themselves if it would glorify God. It may feel awkward or even very uncomfortable, but the Lord can calm their nerves and give them the right words.

Are you willing to go where you don’t want to go if the Lord leads you? Follow His lead and trust Him. I promise He will never lead you where He won’t accompany you. Do you believe that? If you do, come on in.

Open doors for me, Lord. Lead me where You would have me go. I will “come on in” knowing You are with me.

Standard
Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Healing, Inspirational, Kindness, Mentoring, Parenting, Salvation, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

EARLESS

JOHN 18:10-11

“10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’”

This story is one of the few that is told in all four gospels. It is interesting, though, that only Luke, who was a physician, tells us that Jesus touched Malchus and healed him. Of course, a doctor would record that. And only here in John are the sword bearer and the servant identified.

But my thoughts are on Malchus. Don’t you want to know what happened to him? I mean, you came with the crowd to arrest this man whom everyone claimed to be a threat to your faith. You have your ear cut off, nearly having your throat cut. Then this man named Jesus reaches out and touches the spot where your ear used to be and restores it. Malchus’ life had to be changed.

APPLICATION

Ask your children what they think about this story. Ask them how they would have felt if Jesus had basically put their ear back on. When they get hurt and need some medical attention from mom or dad, how do they feel afterwards? Grateful? Thankful?

Perhaps Malchus believed in Jesus afterwards. One day we will find out. When I get to heaven I think I will ask Jesus if Malchus is there. Then I want to meet him and hear his account of the story. If he is there, don’t you know he will have quite a story to tell.

Guess what? So do you. You may not have had your ear cut off and restored. But you have had your hard heart replaced with a soft, pliable one. Jesus performed heart surgery on you. You have been healed from a sure death sentence. Don’t you have a story to tell? You had better believe it. Start telling it.

Jesus, You are the healer of my soul. I thank You for healing my broken heart. I will share my story as You give me opportunities.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Death, Direction, Encouragement, Following, Heaven, Inspirational, Mentoring, Parenting, Prayer, Salvation, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

JOHN 13:36-37

“36 Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.’ 37 Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.’”

When my children were little, I traveled a good bit. I used to travel around the country inspecting other children’s homes. Most of these trips took four or five days. Inevitably, when I was packing, my son or daughter would ask me where I was going and if they could go with me. Of course, they couldn’t go, but I always brought them back something when I returned.

Jesus’ words before His arrest and crucifixion caused Peter to ask the same question. “Lord, where are You going?” Then those famous words before his denial of Christ. “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” Even after following Jesus three years, he didn’t get it. He didn’t want to see Jesus go anywhere without him.

APPLICATION

I’m sure your children have asked you the question mine asked me. And I am sure you gave them a logical explanation. But the more important answer is this. You are going to heaven. That is your final destination, if you are a believer. And I am sure you want your children to follow you there.

So, the most important thing we can do is prepare our children for that journey. We need to cultivate them when they are little by reading them God’s Word and teaching them to pray. Their transition from unbeliever to believer should be certain but seamless. That way when they ask you where you are going you can say, “The same place you are going – heaven.”

I pray you are headed heavenward. If you are not sure, make it sure today. If you are, take a crowd with you. Share Jesus with friends, family, neighbors and strangers. Where are you going?

Heaven is my eternal home, and I long for it. Help me share the good news of Jesus to as many as I can while I am here, so they too can know where they are going.

Standard
Affection, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Direction, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Forgiveness, Inspirational, Mentoring, Mercy, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Redemption, Repentance, Scripture, Testimony

IN THE FAMILY

1 PETER 2:10

“for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.”

This verse in 1 Peter seems to be a reference to three verses in Hosea (1:9, 10; 2:23). Even though Hosea was writing to a Jewish audience and Peter to a Gentile one, the thought behind the verses seem to be related. Peter is telling the Gentiles that although they were once outside of the family of God and His mercy, they are now fully in the family and a recipient of His mercy.

If you have ever been on the outside looking in, you know how great the feeling is when you are finally allowed access. I remember one time waiting in line at our local movie theater. The doors were locked, and no one was allowed entry until it was time. The wait was agonizing for a little boy. But when the doors opened, I felt ten feet tall walking in with my popcorn and coke.

APPLICATION

Try this little exercise with your kids. Prepare some special snacks and treats and put them on the table. Tell your children they can only enjoy these treats if they can answer some questions you have for them. After the groans subside, ask them some easy questions that any child could answer.

Receiving the benefits of salvation depends on accepting Christ as Savior. Anyone can do that. But only those who do can be called His people and receive His mercy. The benefits are tied to the relationship. There is no other way to receive them.

Are you a part of His people? Have you received His mercy? If you have, you know the joy of being in the family of God. Won’t you tell someone else today? Share the joy. Don’t keep it to yourself.

I am thankful that I am part of Your people and that I have received Your mercy. I am not worthy, but You have considered me worthy. I praise You.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Confession, Contentment, Direction, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Inspirational, Obedience, Parenting, Rescue, Salvation, Scripture

YOU CAN TELL ME

JOHN 13:21-24

“21 When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.’ 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, ‘Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.’” 

Have you ever wanted to know something that others knew? They had the inside scoop, and you wanted to know. It can be very aggravating to be left out, especially if the information is important.

When Jesus told the disciples that one of them was going to betray Him, they all (with the exception of Judas) wanted to know who it was. We see here in these verses that Peter leans over to John (whom Jesus loved) and basically said, “You’re His favorite. Surely you know.” I wonder if they had been told it was Judas if they would have done anything to stop him.

APPLICATION

Sometimes it’s important to keep information to yourself. Jesus couldn’t tell them who it was because this was all part of His Father’s plan. He had to be betrayed and die to save mankind from their sins. There was nothing Jesus would not do to accomplish His mission.

Is there anything you wouldn’t do to keep your children safe and protected? I bet not. They are precious to us and have been placed into our care by the Father. We will do whatever it takes to see our children grow up. But are you willing to do whatever

God asks of you? If you will listen, He will give you the secrets of raising your children. It’s all contained in His word.

Lean close to Jesus. Don’t you want to be called the one “whom Jesus loved”? He doesn’t keep secrets from you. He will tell you whatever you want to know when you are ready to hear it. He knows your future. Trust Him with it. He has much to tell you.

Father, I do trust You with my future. I do believe You know what’s best for me and will tell me what I need to know when I need to know it.

Standard