Advice, Bible, Child Bearing, Child Raising, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Following, God's Will, Heaven, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Redemption, Salvation, Scripture, Testimony

GOOD SEED, BAD SEED

1 PETER 1:23

“for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”

When I was growing up, I worked for a few years at a Feed-N-Seed store. We sold all kinds of seed to the local farmers and to small garden folks. The important thing was to sell them good seed. There is nothing much worse than to spend money on seed, plant them and nothing happens. We had to make sure the seed was imperishable.

Peter is telling us here that we have been born again with seed that is imperishable. And what is that seed? He tells us. It is the living and enduring word of God. God’s Word will never perish. He will always produce fruit.

APPLICATION

How about teaching this verse to your kids in their own little garden? Make it fun. Get some various seeds from your local nursery. Get some pots and fill them with potting soil. Now, plant those seed, but save one. In that pot plant a jellybean. Explain that you have to wait a while for the seed to sprout.

Boy, when you see that first sprout your kids are going to be so excited. But wait! Is the jellybean pot sprouting? Of course not. Jellybeans don’t sprout. Explain to your children the difference. You have to have the right seed. Only the Lord has the right seed that can make us imperishable. We are destined for heaven.

Have you stopped to thank the Lord today for your salvation which you received through that imperishable word? He planned it all for you. He cared enough about your salvation that He made a perfect way.

Thank You, Lord, for the imperishable Word. Thank You that it is the source of my growth and knowledge.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Faith, Hope, Parenting, Salvation

SECURE

1 PETER 1:21

“who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

The same God who raised Jesus from the dead gives you your faith and hope. The God of the universe cares enough about you to bestow what is necessary – faith and hope. Through our faith we learn to trust God. Our hope is built on the assurance of God’s past works. We can trust Him because He has shown us through generations.

Let me ask you a question. Why do you believe? What experience moved you from unbelief to belief? We all have a moment we can look back to and say that was the point of surrender. Do you realize the God of the universe cares enough about you to draw you to Himself? He loves you.

APPLICATION

This is a great verse to discuss faith and hope with your children. Ask them what faith is. There’s an acrostic for faith which says “Forsaking All I Trust Him.” That might help your child understand it. We for forsake or give up everything when we come to Christ. He is all that matters.

And hope is defined as an expectation of what is sure. You see when we hope in God it’s a sure thing. It’s not the same as hoping for a toy or bike. Hoping in God according to His will is a sure thing. It may be quick or slow. But place your hope in Him.

Is your faith and hope in God? If not, why not? Why would you place that in any other person or thing? Today, yield it all to Him. He is waiting to answer you. He wants to prove His faithfulness. Let Him.

My faith and hope is in You, Lord. I trust You to work in my life to make me more like Christ. I love You.

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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, Commands, Confession, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Forgiveness, Friends, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Prayer, Repentance, Scripture, Testimony

TREE KILLING FAITH

MARK 11:21

“Being reminded, Peter said to Him, ‘Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.’” 

Do you remember this story? Jesus had walked by this fig tree earlier and, when He found it had no figs, cursed it. Now, as they walk by it on the return trip, Peter notices it has withered. He is amazed, but Jesus tells him (and us) that he has the same power through our prayers. We can even move mountains. He goes on to say, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”

Real faith can do anything. We can even kill trees, not that I would want to. I don’t even want to move a mountain. The key to praying and believing, though, is to pray with a pure heart. Jesus told His disciples they must pray with a forgiving heart. You can’t pray while holding a grudge or resentment towards someone. Confess that and the floodgates of heaven are opened to you.

APPLICATION

As you teach your children to pray, make sure you teach this principle. They need to be all confessed up. They need to forgive their brother or sister. They need to forgive that friend who has hurt their feelings. Teach them that unforgiveness drives a wedge, not only between them and the person, but also between them and God. Christ won’t allow our unforgiving spirit to continue.

When our children learn this lesson early in life, it will free them for powerful prayer lives. We adults wonder sometimes why God isn’t listening. We need to examine our forgiving attitudes. It is easy to hold resentments. Sometimes we even forget we are doing that until we see that person again.

Are you depriving yourself of tree killing faith? Are you refusing to forgive someone who has hurt you? Let it go. Let Christ in you give you the desire and ability to forgive them, no matter how deep the hurt. Only Christ can. You can’t. Our flesh demands justice. Christ has already paid the price. Forgive.

I will forgive as You forgive, Lord. It is not easy, practically impossible. But in You all things are possible.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Inspirational, Obedience, Parenting, Redemption, Salvation

PRECIOUS

1 PETER 1:19

“but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”

When I say the word “precious what comes to mind? A little baby? Puppies? Surely not kittens, lol. Something being seen as precious really depends on the one looking at it. In fact, the Greek word is defined that way. It means having recognized value in the eyes of the beholder.

Why do I tell you all that? Because the blood of Christ is only precious to those who have accepted it. The world rejects it. Satan hates it. Unbelievers don’t see it. Only we who have been washed in it see it as precious. Only we see it as valuable. We know what it has purchased. We acknowledge that it is priceless.

APPLICATION

I bet your child has something they consider precious. My little two-year-old granddaughter (if she could talk clearly) would probably tell you her baby dolls are precious. How do I know? By the way she cares for them. She feeds them, puts them to bed, covers them up and rocks them. She doesn’t want them far out of her sight.

Ask your children what they consider precious and why. Then read them today’s verse. You may need to back up a verse to get the context. Explain to them why Christ’s blood is so precious. Explain that there is no other blood in the world that is precious. Only His blood could have paid the price for our sins. That’s precious!

Have you stopped to think about His precious blood lately? I’m reminded of the words to a song.

       O, the blood of Jesus

       O, the blood of Jesus

       O, the blood of Jesus

       It will never lose its power

Lord, thank You for the precious blood of Your Son. Thank You for sending Him to the pay the price for my sin. I will always see it as precious.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Denial, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Following, Forgiveness, Grace, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Rejection, Repentance, Scripture, Shame

FAILURE

MATTHEW 26:74-75

“74 Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!’ And immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Epic fail! Peter realized immediately when he heard that rooster crow that he had failed his Master. He probably wanted to throw up. Can you imagine the thoughts that ran through his mind? This wasn’t a minor fail. He had denied Jesus threw times, just as Jesus predicted.

How many times have you failed our Lord? You’ve been told to do something, but you don’t. You know He placed someone on your heart to call or go see and you don’t. He places someone in your path to witness to and you walk away without doing it. Fail!

APPLICATION

Children are going to have failures. That’s part of learning and growing. I believe they can learn more from failures than successes if we help them. If we don’t, those failures can crush them. Losing can build character. Failing can do the same. You need to ask them what went wrong. How could have they prevented the failure?

They are also going to fail God. Tell them an experience you’ve had. They need to know you can relate. And then tell them how the Lord forgave you and showed mercy. They need to hear that. Read them this passage in Matthew and then skip ahead and read how Jesus forgave him after He resurrected.

Are you still living in failure? Take it to Jesus. He can forgive. Don’t put that confession off. It won’t go away. We have the God of the universe waiting for us to talk to Him. He wants to forgive. He wants to talk to us. Don’t make Him wait. Right now, bend your knee and ask for forgiveness for that failure. He’s ready to forgive.

I ask You to forgive me today for the many times I have failed You, Lord. Cleanse me and make me right in Your eyes. Show me how to be more obedient today.

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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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