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BORN AGAIN

TITUS 3:5

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,”

You’ve heard this expression, I’m sure. You are born again at salvation. Well, in today’s verse we have that expression defined in the word “regeneration.” The Greek word literally means birthed again. It’s only used twice in the New Testament. It’s used here and also in Matthew 19:28 where it refers to the rebirth of physical creation when Christ returns to begin His millennial reign.

But not only are you reborn, you are also renewed. This word means to have a whole new development, a renewal which is through God’s power. You see, this is all done by God. You didn’t rebirth yourself nor renew yourself. God saved you. That’s a fact. And if He does something, you can take it to the bank. It’s done. It’s complete. It’s forever.

APPLICATION

Explaining this to your children can be challenging, depending on their age. Do you have any videos of their birth? Drag them out. Show them the video and celebrate their birth. Then ask them this question. “Did you do anything to help in your birth?” Of course, the correct answer is “no.” All they did was surrender to the process. They were depending on mom pushing them out and the doctor delivering them.

The same is true for their spiritual birth. For that to happen they have to surrender to the One who is drawing them out of darkness. When they do, He delivers them into the light of His love. They are totally dependent upon the Lord to bring them into this new life.

Let me ask you this. If you are born again, are you living like it? Are you walking in your renewal? So many of us come to Christ and then try to keep one foot back in the old life. Regeneration and renewal imply a fresh start, a clean slate. The old has passed away. There is no room in the regenerated, renewed life for the old ways. Accept the change. Embrace your new life.

Lord, I will walk in newness today. I will lay aside all the past ways and embrace all You have for me in my new life. Thank You for my rebirth in Christ.

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SORRY, DON’T KNOW YOU

2 TIMOTHY 2:12 

If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 

I have become more honest as I get older. Now, I am not saying I used to lie, but I wouldn’t quite be honest sometimes. Like when someone comes up to you, calls you by name and begins this long conversation, but you have no idea who this person is. In the past I would say, “Hey bud, how are you doing?” Now I say, “Hey, I’ve forgotten your name. Forgive me.” 

Jesus knows our name, whether we accept Him or not. But He promises us reigning power or powerlessnes, based on our response to Him. Paul tells us here that if we will endure with Christ, we will reign with Him. If we turn our backs and run, He will also deny us before the Father. 

APPLICATION 

Children like to be recognized. They love hearing their name called when they see you. What they don’t like is to be ignored. Try it for a day with your kids. Go through your normal routine, but each time a child calls your name, ignore them. (If they have an emergency make an exception). 

At the end of the day explain what you did and why. Read today’s verse. Ask them how they think the Lord feels when we do that. When we deny Him before men, He will deny us before the Father. And I really want to meet the Father, don’t you? Make a point to call your child by his/her name. Their name means something, and your child should know it.  

Are you being called to serve specifically in this area – the area of name calling? It’s a gift. It is so good to see the look on the other person (adult or child) when they hear their name. God loves you and has you surrounded by His love this evening. 

I know right now You are calling out my name before the Father. One day, I will see You face to face. One day, I will meet the Father. 

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TREAT THEM HOLY

1 TIMOTHY 5:2

the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”

Treating women special has been around a long time. God has always commanded it. Sin changes that. Look at today’s verse. Paul tells Timothy (and us) to treat women “in all purity.” That word comes from the Greek word for “holy.” Treat them as holy? Really?

Paul isn’t saying we should worship them. He is saying, though, that we should treat them as set apart by God according to His purpose and plan. All women deserve respect. But those who are seeking to follow the Lord in their daily life should also be treated as holy and pure. That’s what God intends for them all.

APPLICATION

As parents we need to instill in our little boys and little girls that girls are different than boys. There is NOTHING belittling about that statement. In fact, it’s meant to be just the opposite. We should let all our daughters, sisters and wives know just how God sees them. They should be treated that way – as special creations in the eyes of our God.

It is up to the husbands, brothers and fathers to do this, however. So, do me a favor. Challenge the men in your life to treat women this way. And dads, YOU have to model this to your sons. They will treat their mom and sisters how you do. They will treat their future wife the way you do. 

So, how are you doing with this? Ladies, do you see yourself as pure? Men, do you see the women in your life as pure? If not, reread today’s verse. This is a command, not a suggestion. If you need to change your view of women, start with God’s view and go no further.

Father, forgive me when I do not see ALL women as you do. Thank You for the godly women you have put in my life. I am blessed because of them.

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IT’S ALL GOOD

1 TIMOTHY 4:4

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;”

No, I am not talking about spinach!  LOL. I am sure God didn’t make spinach. And I am also pretty sure He didn’t make red wasp. They had to come straight out of the pit of hell. Just kidding. God created all creatures and plants. I know that. But isn’t it funny how we love some things and hate others? I have never liked spinach and am not too fond of wasps (which, by the way, I was stung by yesterday).

Paul is simply saying, in response to the liars he just got through talking about, that we have no right to say what is and what is not good. That’s God’s business. He is the Master Creator and will let us know what is good for us. It’s not for man to say. After all, one day you hear that eggs are bad for you and the next day they are good for you. Eggs are eggs, yolks, I mean, folks.

APPLICATION

This may come in handy when you are trying to get little Johnny to eat his vegetables. The next time he declares that green beans are demonic, let him know that God made those green beans for him. The next time he refuses what God has declared good, read him this verse. It’s all about gratitude.

When I travel to Uganda and Kenya, I have the “privilege” to eat some foods that I normally do not and probably would not eat. But I am thankful for whatever is set before me. That’s the principle Paul is teaching here. We need to show thanks to God for everything He has placed in our lives, whether it’s spinach or ice cream.

Are you grateful? I know some people who are not grateful for anything. They would complain about their meal if they had a personal chef and ordered each meal at a time. You see, our gratitude is a heart issue. If our heart is not right with the Lord, nothing will make us thankful. Thankfulness comes from within when we realize just how blessed we are in Christ.

I thank You, Lord, for all You have provided. I ask Your forgiveness for not being thankful at times. I confess that as sin against You and Your gracious provision.

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DECEPTION

1 TIMOTHY 2:14

“And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”  

In this sixth verse of Paul’s instructions to women in 1 Timothy he returns to the Garden of Eden again. Timothy had heard this story, I am sure, from his Jewish mother. If you read this verse without the fuller context of Paul’s other letters, you could get the impression that Paul is blaming Eve for all of man’s problems. Paul is simply pointing out the order of the events in the garden.

The issue is not who was deceived first as much as it is the deception itself. Adam and Eve were both deceived by the evil one. He is still deceiving people today. I have been at events where it was obvious he was at work deceiving people. This Greek word has the idea of a baited hook. The hook is there, but the bait is just too good to pass up.

APPLICATION

Now, here is a perfect verse to teach your children the deception of the devil. Take them fishing and use some live bait. As you are baiting their hook talk about how the fish just can’t resist that bait. They see it and ignore the hook. The enticement of the bait is just too much. So, they are deceived into thinking they have a free meal. Once they bite, it’s too late.

Explain to your children that they are susceptible to the same deception from the devil. He will bait the hook for them with something he knows they want. They may even see the hook, but just can’t resist the bait. But Satan keeps his hooks sharp. They will cause pain. They will cause grief. The lure of sin is great, but with the Holy Spirit as their guide, they can avoid these deceptions.

Have you bitten the bait? Have you been deceived? It’s not too late. You may have a scar from that hook, but Jesus can cut that line that is holding you back. We all fall sometimes. Falling isn’t the end. Get back up. Let Jesus remove that hook and begin the healing in your life.  He wants you back in the kingdom work, not sidelined by sin.

Lord, point out to me those hidden hooks of sin that so easily entice me. Give me Your wisdom and discretion to recognize the bait when I see it. I want to serve You.

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FIRST MOLD

1 TIMOTHY 2:13

“For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”

The Bible teaches in Genesis that creation was completed after man and woman were made. All the other creations were spoken into existence. But not man. God molded him from the dust of the earth with His very own hands. That’s what the Greek word for “created” means. Then He breathed His breath, the ancient breath of the ages, into him. 

That first molded man was used to create woman. We are taught that God put Adam to sleep (the first anesthesiology case) and removed a rib to fashion woman. Adam was molded first, and then Eve. Some may say that makes Adam more important. I disagree. God’s creation wasn’t complete until woman was formed. After that, God rested. 

APPLICATION

This story has been told to children since…well…creation, lol. Most children who have had any exposure to church know this story. So, why is it important to tell it again? To make sure they understand this is fact, not fiction. This is NOT a Bible fable. Adam and Eve actually lived on this earth. Adam was literally formed from dust. Eve was fashioned from a rib. That’s exactly how it happened.

Your little Gertrude or Elrod are going to be bombarded with science and evolution. They will even be told to believe in creation is dumb. They need to have the knowledge to push these comments back. If our children can’t believe in Genesis 1-3, why should they believe the rest? This is fundamental to their faith in God and His Word.

How about you? Do you write off this story because you can’t understand it? Do you write off the resurrection because you can’t understand that? Our deepest held beliefs are built upon this creation. It all begins there. Trust God’s Word – every single word of it. He is still breathing that breath of life into us today, and it comes through His Word.

Breathe on me! Breathe on me! Holy Spirit, breathe on me! Take now my heart, cleanse every part. Holy Spirit, breathe on me! 

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