Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Direction, Encouragement, Faith, Parenting, Trust

THE INSIDE SCOOP

MARK 13:3-4

“3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?’” 

Jesus was preparing them for what was ahead. This discourse had immediately followed Jesus’ statement that the temple would be destroyed. So, Peter and the others wanted more details. They wanted to know when. Will there be any warnings?

We’re the same way. We want to prepare. We want to get ready. However, sometimes there is no warning. Lightning strikes without warning. It’s that way with life. We think if we get all the information we will be okay. That may work some of the time, but not always.

APPLICATION

Have you ever planned a secret family trip? Only you knew the details. How many times per day did your kids pester you about it? They wanted to know where, when, how and what. The questions were never ending. They wanted the inside scoop. But when the day arrived they were blown away.

We will never know all the plans God has for us. We simply have to trust that He will reveal them when its time. He only discloses to us what we can handle. That could be a lot or a little.

Is the Lord doing a work in you right now but you are not sure exactly what He’s doing? Ask Him. He may tell you. Or He may not. He may be holding off for the great reveal. Just be patient and trust His handiwork.

I trust your work in my life. I get a little anxious sometimes. Forgive me. I will wait on Your completed work

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Foreknowledge, Inspirational, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture

BEFORE

1 PETER 1:20

“For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you”

I remember playing football on Friday nights in South Georgia. I loved that. But the game could not have taken place without all the preparation before the game. We spent hours Monday through Thursday practicing, running plays, getting in shape and fixing our mistakes. All that “before” work prepared us for Friday night.

Jesus “was foreknown before.” He, in fact, has always existed. His knowledge of the world, which He created, is unsurpassed. Don’t you trust people who know what’s going on? Of course, you do. There is no one who knows what’s going on more than Jesus. He came to reveal Himself so we would trust Him.

APPLICATION

Can you ride a bike? How did you learn? Someone who knew how taught you. Foreknowledge in that case was greatly beneficial to you. Without that knowledge you would have been in trouble trying to learn how to ride that bike. You will pass that knowledge on to your child when they want to ride. You have been there and done that.

In the same way, Jesus has been there and done that. Name it, and He knows it. This is one principle your children need to learn to rely on. There is nothing they can’t take to Jesus. He is waiting to answer. He will always give them the right answer. When they are facing those difficult decisions, they need to go to Him first. They may come to you too. Make sure you go to Him. Don’t base your response on your knowledge. Make sure it comes from Him.

What do you want to know today? Are you facing a tough decision today? Let the one who has always existed and has all knowledge be your source for advice. Jesus loves to come to His children and tell them how to handle things. But He won’t barge in without being asked. Ask Him. Trust Him.

Lord, I know You are the only reliable source of knowledge. Show me how to hear You clearly through Your Word and prayer. I want to trust You.

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Advice, Alone, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Courage, Cowardice, Direction, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Obedience, Parenting, Salvation, Separation, Shame, Trust

KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE

MATTHEW 26:58

“But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome.”

Peter wasn’t stupid. He saw what was happening. Jesus had just been arrested and was being led away, probably to be put to death. The Sanhedrin had tried before. Now they had him, thanks to Judas. How could he do that? After all Jesus had taught them, Judas had betrayed him. Peter was keeping his distance.

Before you judge Peter, ask yourself how many times you have shied away from standing up for Jesus. In our situation we were only avoiding potential harassment or embarrassment. We weren’t facing the possibility of arrest and death. How can we keep our distance after all He has done for us?

APPLICATION

Do your children face ridicule and scorn at school for standing up for Jesus? Have they ever come home in tears because some other kid made fun of them for being a Christian? If they have, you have the perfect chance to encourage them. Read them this whole story of Peter’s denial and his ultimate shame. Remind them of Jesus sacrifice for them. We must stand tall in the face of persecution.

This world does not like Christians. That’s just a fact. Your children are going to encounter persecution, however slight it may seem. Standing for truth invites opposition. But we need to draw close to Him during those times, not keep our distance. Distance only increases the chance we will deny Him. Drawing close allows us to experience His loving embrace. That’s the message for our kids.

Are you a distance keeper? Do you hide the fact that you are a believer? Stop that! Take a stand. Don’t you believe Jesus will defend you? Don’t you know that no matter how harsh the persecution, you still win. No one can ever take your salvation away from you. Nothing can ever separate you from the love of Christ. Stay in His footsteps. Don’t hide in the shadows.

Forgive me, Father, for the times I have kept my distance. I will trust You to defend me. I will stay close and feel Your embrace.

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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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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Contentment, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Following, Giving, Heaven, Inspirational, Joy, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture

HOW ABOUT ME?

MATTHEW 19:27

“Then Peter said to Him, ‘Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?’” 

Right after the rich, young ruler walks away from Jesus, Peter makes this statement. Surely, he was thinking, “That rich dude wouldn’t leave everything for You, Jesus, but we did. What do we get? Do we get to inherit the kingdom?” I don’t presume to know Peter’s motive for asking this question, but he was probably like a lot of us.

We tend to look out for ourselves. We want to make sure we are taken care of first, don’t we? Thinking unselfishly is hard. Trusting someone else to watch out for us can be difficult. But the Lord tells Peter in the following verses (28-30) that those who follow Him will inherit eternal life. What else could we ask for? We will live with Him forever in glory.

APPLICATION

Our kids are born selfish. Listen to most toddlers in a play area with other children. What word do you hear the most? Mine! Everything is “Mine.” We don’t like to share. We must teach our children to share. That is an important principle to learn. I believe if we are taught that well, we will have fewer disagreements with co-workers, neighbors and even spouses.

More importantly, if we are less concerned about ourselves and more concerned about others, we will want to share. I have been the recipient of many gifts through the years. Some of those have been large and some were small. It’s hard for me to receive sometimes. I get so much more joy in giving. That’s the joy we should want our children to experience. Teach them that by doing it yourself. Make them part of your sharing.

Stop a minute and think about what the Lord has promised you today. He was speaking to you when He said those who follow Him will inherit eternal life. Since you know your future is secure, why not give Him more of your “present”? Why not share as much of yourself as you can? I promise you He will restore everything plus more. His promises are true.

You have promised me eternal life which is more than I could ever hope for. Point my eyes to those to whom You would have me share. Turn my thoughts outward rather than inward.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Following, God's Will, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting

NOT MY WORDS

1 PETER 1:11

“seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.”

Can you recognize the central word of this verse? Nope – not Spirit. Nope – not Christ. It’s a little word, but oh, how important. It’s the pronoun “He.” Why do I say that? Peter is referring to the prophets in this verse, but “He” refers to God. Everything they spoke came from God. He gave them the message, and they delivered it.

So, in this verse God is predicting the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. The prophets weren’t making the predictions. Only God knew what was to come. That is true today. People may make predictions, but only God knows for sure. Be careful predicting the future. Make sure if you speak for God that they are His words.

APPLICATION

It is so important for our children to know this principle. We plan and plan for their future. Only God knows what that is. Now, it is important to plan. We need to teach our children to plan. You’ve heard it said that to fail to plan is to plan to fail. But we can’t plan without hearing from the Lord. That is the first and foremost principle our children need to learn from us.

How do we teach our children to hear from God and only speak His words? By keeping them in His Word and by praying to Him. Reading and speaking! Listening and meditating! Spending time with Him is the only way. If we don’t show them how important this is in our lives, they will never make it a part of their lives.

Are you hearing Him? Are you listening? Is He speaking? He always is. Once you hear you have the responsibility to speak for Him. God still uses you and me to speak to others. Speak boldly. Speak often. Let His words course through your veins and bring the good news to others.

I am listening, Lord. I want to only speak Your words, not mine. Speak through me.

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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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