Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Conceit, Contentment, Demons, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, God's Will, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Sanctification, Satan, Scripture, Surrender, Truth

TOO SMART TO LEARN

2 TIMOTHY 3:7

“always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

There are two different Greek words for “learning” and “knowledge.” In English we commonly equate the two. But not in the Greek. The word “learning” refers to fact knowledge or book sense. “Knowledge” is an intensified word for experiential knowledge. In other words, these people have the knowledge to do what it is right but have chosen to do it their way, refusing the truth that stares them in the face.

I bet you have NEVER done that, lol. How many times have you done something you knew was wrong, thinking this time it won’t be so bad? You had the head knowledge, but you refused the truth of the situation and forged ahead, only to pay the price later. So, don’t be too quick to judge these people Paul is referring to here. I believe Paul knew these people he is referring to. We just don’t have their names. When you get out of line, don’t you want God to call your name?

APPLICATION

When I was little, my brother and I would save our money and buy model cars and ships. We spent hours gluing and painting, only in the end blowing them up with M80’s. What fun! But I hated the instructions. My brother, Tim, he followed them. For some reason, his models were always more stable and looked more like the box.

We teach our kids to follow the instructions (God’s Word) for a reason. We will have to apply them. When we do, God carries us through. But when we allow our children to make up their own rules and ignore truth, things get sloppy. They stop looking like the rest of the world and insist their normal is normal. A return to the pure instruction manual is the only remedy for our children and the children of the world.

Do you follow or make it up as you go along? Being in Children’s Ministry, I can’t “wing it.” Kids know it when you are winging it. They will bring down the house. Satan knows when you are winging it. He will bring all he can against you to try to make you miserable and unfit for ministry. Don’t let him. Cling to the truth. With it, you are able and to have the knowledge.

I only know what is useful to the kingdom or me because of You, Lord. I celebrate the freedom we have in Jesus to think, but also under constraint.

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Affection, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Conceit, Disciplemaking, Family, Forgiveness, Gentleness, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Love, Mentoring, Parenting, Passion, Scripture, Testimony

NOT A NICE PERSON

2 TIMOTHY 3:3

“unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,”

Paul is describing those who are not lovers of God. These words paint a picture of a not very nice person. And (at least to me) it’s interesting that four of these six words in today’s verse are only used right here. Remember, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write only what the Father wanted him to write. So, these words were saved for right here.

The saddest word of this verse is the first one, “unloving.” It refers to not having any kind of natural affection. Actually, it can describe family affection. So, these people don’t even love their own families. Now, that’s sad. Who doesn’t love their momma? Who doesn’t love their little sis? But these individuals only think of self, no one else.

APPLICATION

Go through this list of words in today’s verse with your little ones. Ask them how they can do the opposite. Instead of not loving their family, how can they show love? Instead of being irreconcilable and hard to get along with, how can they get along? You can go through each of these words this way. Your children will understand, if you will take the time to cover each word.

The important thing to point out is these words in today’s verse describe someone who does not love Jesus. We want to draw a sharp contrast, as Paul does, of the difference in our lives. Everything we teach our children should point them to Christ. There is no aspect of their life in which He is not concerned.

How loving are you today? How agreeable? Do you control your tongue and behaviors? Would someone call you brutal? Take a look at the descriptors used to describe you by others. If any of them resemble these, you may need to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with yourself. We want others to only see Jesus in us. Amen?

I am so guilty, O God, of putting myself ahead of others. Forgive me for being so selfish. I repent of that today.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Conceit, Disciplemaking, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture

BLOWING SMOKE

1 TIMOTHY 6:4

he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,” 

I have known a few people in my lifetime that were truly “smoke blowers.” They had the tendency to brag and throw up this great smokescreen around who they really were. The Greek word for “conceited” literally means to be puffed up, to blow smoke, to have “moral blindness resulting from poor judgment which brings further loss of spiritual perception.” Wow! That’s not good.

And the interesting thing to me is that word is only used three times in the Bible. All three times Paul uses it to write to Timothy (1 Timothy 3:6; 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:4). It almost appears he had someone in mind whom Timothy was dealing with there in Ephesus. Remember, Paul spent a good bit of time there. He knew the people.

APPLICATION

Do me a favor. Don’t let your kids get conceited. There is nothing wrong with having pride, as long as it does not become prideful. Do you understand that? We should take pride in our appearance, to look respectable. We should take pride in our community by picking up trash and keeping our streets clean. We should have pride in our schools we attend and churches where we worship. But when that pride takes over, we have troubles.

Pride should never seek to make you look better than others. Pride should never put others down. Pride should never cause you to do things that are unholy. Pride can be your downfall as quickly as apathy and despair. Teach your kids to be proud, but guard against conceit and “smoke blowing.”

Have you ever known a “smoke blower”? Are you one? Follow the example of Jesus. He was a proud follower of His Father, but He never came across as conceited or puffed up. He was humble and meek, but with great strength. He is the one to emulate. He is the one to use as your model.

I am so proud to be called Your child. Help me continue to bear Your image. Let others only see You in me.

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