Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Deception, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Following, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Obedience, Parenting, Sanctification

WHAT DO YOU DESIRE?


1 PETER 1:14

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,”

What do you desire? I mean, what do you strongly desire? You see, the Greek word here for “lusts” is neither bad nor good. It all depends on the object of your desires. Peter is warning us here to not go back to the former things, those things that kept us away from God. Those things are never good.

However, we can “lust” or strongly desire the things of God. Do you hunger and thirst for His Word? Do you passionately pursue your time in prayer? I am as guilty as the rest in not spending enough time in either. I have my quiet times and pray, but in proportion to my other pursuits, how do they measure up?

APPLICATION

Ask your child what they like more than anything else in the world. They may name a game, a certain kind of food or a person. Ask them why that is so important to them. Now, this could get interesting, but just let them talk. Read them this verse and explain how we have certain desires (you may have to explain that word to them) before we get saved.

Then tell them the Holy Spirit moves us to change our desires. When we give our hearts to Christ, He puts within us a desire to please our Heavenly Father. That desire was not there before. We are guided by the Holy Spirit toward things that make us more like Christ and away from those old, selfish desires. We move from thinking about ourselves to thinking about others. Those former “lusts” are replaced by godly desires.

Are you holding on to some former lusts? Let them go. Let Jesus fill you with desires that honor Him. Those old desires will never draw you close to God. We have to lay them aside. You cannot hang on to them. Pursue the desires that come from Him.

I desire You, O Lord. Fill my heart with a passion to please You. Guide in my thoughts so all I do honors You.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Foolishness, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Redemption, Testimony

MESSED UP

TITUS 3:11

“knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.”

We have two Greek words in this verse that are only used here. First, we have “perverted.” Now, this word isn’t what you think. We all have our image of a pervert. No, this word is more like corrupt, to be turned inside out. They are just doing things all wrong. The other word used once is “self-condemned.” And it means just that. By his own actions he condemns himself. He knows what he’s doing is wrong and still does it. This is that factious man mentioned in verse 10.

Do you know someone like that? We are to pray for them, but we are not to hang out with them. You may have heard the expression, “If you lie with dogs, you’re going to get fleas.” Well, Paul is warning us here that these people have no intention to live right. Therefore, we have to keep a safe distance. We still pray for them and love them. But we just can’t be associated with them until they repent.

APPLICATIONS

I pray your children never become that kind of person. How do you prevent that? Your part is setting the environment for God to draw them. Prayer time is key. We teach our kids to pray and explain to them why we pray. We let them in on our prayers, especially when we see God answer them.

We teach them God’s Word and let it permeate their minds. We make sure they see the importance of the Word in our own lives. We make our decisions as a family based on God’s Word. Then when they respond to the Lord, we disciple them and help them grow. That will go a long way towards protecting them.

I also pray that you aren’t living a life that is self-condemning. Are you? Are you doing things you know aren’t pleasing the Father? Stop! Repent. Come back to Him. We can justify just about anything. We will even find Scriptures to justify our positions. Do not be “perverted” or “self-condemned.” Come to Jesus.

I thank You for rescuing me from myself. I am dangerous left to my own desires. But You have put a new heart within me, and it beats for You.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Holy Spirit, Lies, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Testimony

PRETENDERS

TITUS 1:16

“They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”

Don’t you just hate people who pretend to be one thing but aren’t? Hate is really too strong a word. We shouldn’t hate anyone, except Satan. But pretenders are very hard to like, much less love. Paul had undoubtedly dealt with some of these folks through the years. He is now warning Titus to be careful. They say they know God, but…

Paul says their words don’t match their actions. They are detestable. That Greek word is only used right here. It means revolting, abominable. Then he says they are disobedient. This word really has the meaning that they can’t be persuaded. Don’t waste your time. And finally, Paul says they are worthless. That’s kind of harsh, isn’t it? The Greek word means unapproved or rejected.

APPLICATION

So, let me ask you something. Is that how you want you or your children to be known? “Not really, Carl.” Then you have to decide to surrender your life fully to Christ as you walk with Him daily. We can’t say we believe Christ and not follow Him. We can’t say we love Christ and yet hate others. As you live out Christ, your children will see the connection. When they don’t, point it out.

There are far too many people in the church today who are playing pretend Christianity. They don’t seem to realize that the Lord sees right through that. And if you are walking in the truth daily, you will also. Your children, however, can be hoodwinked. People can fool them. Teach them to allow the Holy Spirit who resides within them to reveal people’s real motives. He will.

Pretenders know ABOUT God, but they don’t know God. If they really knew Him, they would not be detestable, disobedient or worthless. They would welcome good deeds and would be qualified to carry them out. Why? Because they would be done to glorify Jesus, not themselves.

How do you measure up? Are you pretending rather than living truth? Playing pretend can be fun if your playing. It’s not if you are talking about eternal things. There’s no fooling the Lord. Why don’t you today allow the Lord to set you free from the temptation to deceive others about your walk. Live in truth. It’s so much simpler.

You are the Real Deal. There is no pretending with You. I want to be known by others as genuine and true.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Encouragement, Eternity, Heaven, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Purity, Religion, Righteousness

STAINED OR UNSTAINED

TITUS 1:15

“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.”

Have you ever used stain on a piece of wood? My dad taught me how to stain. He showed me the difference between a piece of stained and unstained wood. You can see the grains that run through the wood when it’s unstained. But when you apply even a light coat of stain, those grains pop out. It changes your view of the wood.

That’s probably a poor analogy, but today’s verse has two very contrasting views – pure and defiled. You could translate these two words as unstained and stained. One is not distracted by the world. The other lives for it. One sees all things as God sees them. The other sees all things as they prefer to see them. Which are you?

APPLICATION

Shaping your child’s worldview is so important. But it begins with their salvation. Only God can truly change how they see the world. You, however, play a huge role in that you help set the environment in which they can readily adjust their eyes to see God’s truth and be ready to hear His voice. Once they respond to His calling (and He is calling them) He will give them that pure heart which will cause them to see “all things are pure.”

Or, you could choose to let your child just decide on their own about religion. After all, you wouldn’t want to influence them in such a private matter. Hogwash! What is more important – where they will spend eternity or being at school on time? We guide our children in life changing decisions. We don’t let them “figure it for themselves.”

Do you see the world clearly? Are you looking through lenses shaped by God’s purity? If not, you have chosen to wear the eyewear of the world in which everything is defiled and stained. Why not today trade in your old glasses for a brand, new pair fashioned by the Lord exclusively for you?

Thank You, Lord, for focusing my eyes on You. I know I can see more clearly when I see with a pure vision. I choose to look up, not down on this world You have placed me in.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Disciplemaking, Faith, Inspirational, Lies, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Truth

DON’T GET LED ASTRAY

TITUS 1:14

“not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.”

This verse may not seem very important, but it really is. Paul is telling Titus to reprove the false teachers and make sure are not being led astray by “Jewish myths” and “commandments of men who turn away from the truth.” Did you get that? These men were listening to untruths and teaching them. They were being led astray.

Sometimes lies can sound so much like the truth. It can be easy to be led astray, especially if the information is coming from someone you trust. So, how do you protect yourself from that? You have to know the Word. Anything that goes against it is NOT the truth, no matter what the source. Traditions and ordinances are not the truth.

APPLICATION

Children will believe most people in authority – teachers, preachers, deacons, etc. That’s why it is important that they are grounded in the Word. That’s your job as parents. Teach them that if they hear anything that sounds a little odd to come to you to check it out. Theirs is nothing wrong with that. And a true teacher of the Word will never be offended by that.

What a valuable skill for your children. Recognizing truth and lies will help them throughout their life. The Word has to be their foundation, however. They are going to bombarded with “other” truths from seemingly trustworthy sources. Some of those sources will be people they admire, but any deviation from God’s truth is falsehood. God’s truth is timeless.

Do you struggle with discerning between truth and falsehood? Perhaps you have fallen for a “little falsehood.” Little falsehoods don’t exist. False is false. Lies are lies. Measure every truth and myth with THE TRUTH.

I know I can only trust Your truth, O Lord. Give me discernment to recognize and disclose any falsehoods. Let me be bold for Your Word.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Confession, Deception, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Godliness, Inspirational, Love, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Qualifications, Repentance

THE OPPOSITION

TITUS 1:10

“For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,”

In the previous five verses of Titus 1, Paul has laid out the qualifications of an Elder in the church. Now, he takes a one hundred and eighty degree turn and talks about the other side, the ones who are opposed to the church and the Gospel. These are not pleasant words and I pray none of these descriptions fit you.

Are you rebellious or insubordinate? It’s easy to fall into that trap. Don’t! How about an empty taker? That literally means speaking meaningless words. Do you deceive others? This particular Greek word for “deceive” is only used right here. It means to exploit others or to lead them in their own delusions. None of these three descriptions are nice. And none of them belong in the life of a believer.

APPLICATION

The application is simple today for your children. Don’t let them be this way. I am sure you have had to deal with a little rebellion from your children. Deal with that quickly and firmly. Unaddressed rebellion will only lead to more and more rebellion. And teach your children to use their words carefully. Talking just to talk can cause problems for them and others. No one likes a babbler.

But of these three, make sure you teach them the dangers of deception. Deception comes in many forms – lying, stealing, cheating. To deceive with the sole intention to exploit someone is the furthest thing from the heart of Christ. We should be doing all we can to bring others to Him, not drive them away by taking advantage of them.

Now, I am sure from time to time we have all been guilty of one of these three. We are flesh and still succumb to its influence. If you have, repent. If you are currently living opposed to the Gospel, stop where you are and come to Jesus. He is the only one is able to give you the power to overcome your flesh.

Thank You, Lord, for living through me. When I want to lash out at others, You are the one who quickens my spirit. I will give You all the glory.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Holy Spirit, Lies, Parenting, Truth

IMPOSTORS

2 TIMOTHY 3:13

“But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

We find another one-time used Greek word in today’s verse. The Greek word for “impostors” is only used right here. There’s a reason the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to use it. No word was written haphazardly. Paul is using a strong wrong to describe those who intentionally seek to mislead and confuse others.

What is an impostor? One definition is “this person uses their verbal spells and incantations to give the (false) impression they can do miracles.” They are faking it, but they are so good at words they convince people they are real. Only by knowing the truth of God’s Word can we guard ourselves against these types of people. If we are bathed in truth, lies just naturally reveal themselves.

APPLICATION

Your children are going to encounter impostors along the way. How do you prepare them to recognize and avoid their influence? There’s only one way – through the diligent teaching and nurturing in His Word. This may sound simplistic, but it’s true. Impostors will take a portion of the truth and make it something it’s not. They only want what is best for themselves, not others.

That’s probably the easiest way to detect those impostors. Everything they do is about them. It’s self, self, self. Train your child to recognize that. If someone is constantly seeking self, they are not someone you want your child around. Paul lumps them with evil men who are deceiving or being deceived. Not the best crowd.

Are you faking it right now? A lot of people in the church today are going through the motions. They pretend to be a Christian to gain access to something. They may think by “joining” the church they will get some kind of special favor. Don’t be an impostor. Be a real, self-less follower of Christ and watch what He does in and through you. To God be the glory.

I want to represent only You, dear Lord. I lay down my motives an agenda to live for only You. May I please You today as I go through my duties.

Standard