Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Encouragement, Eternity, Family, Gifts, Heaven, Inspirational, Love, Parenting, Treasures

IT’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE

I PETER 1:4

“to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

Great news! If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are an heir of the King! And that inheritance isn’t going anywhere. Peter makes a point to emphasize that in this verse. He, first of all, say it is “imperishable.” That Greek word means indestructible or immortal. Then he calls it “undefiled.” You could translate it as unstained. It’s perfect. Third, he says your inheritance “will not fade away.” That Greek word is only used here and means it won’t wither.

But then, after all these descriptions, he says, “reserved in heaven for you.” It’s being kept in the Fort Knox of Glory. No one or nothing can get to it. It’s promised and perpetual. No one can sneak in and destroy it or steal it. Why? Because He promised it and what He promises cannot change. Our inheritance in Christ is a sure thing.

APPLICATION

Do you have something right now you are planning on leaving as an inheritance to your children? It may be a piece of jewelry or maybe a house. It could be money. Guess what? That’s not a sure thing. Your life and their life could drastically change before that inheritance is claimed. And you have to die to leave that to them. You are probably not in a hurry to do that.

Things inherited can also lose their value. Your house can depreciate. That piece of jewelry can tarnish or be lost. What do you have that is really secure enough to pass on to your child? Your faith. Give them that. Make sure they have it BEFORE you die. There is no greater inheritance we can pass on to future generations than our love for Christ. This will last for eternity.

Are you hanging on to possessions just to pass them on? You might want to check with your children. They may have no desire for the things you hold precious. Ask them what they do value. I bet it won’t be stuff. I bet it will be time and love. Those things you can give freely. Make the investment in your inheritance to your children by preparing what God values most.

I am an heir of the King, and for that I am thankful. I know my future inheritance awaits me in Glory. But I also know I am already owner of all that’s Yours.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christ's Return, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Faith, Gifts, Love, Modeling, Obedience

CROWN ME

2 TIMOTHY 4:8

“in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Do you like to play checkers? That was the first thing I thought of when I read this verse. I know, call me weird, lol, But in checkers when you reach the opponents back row with one of your checkers, they have to crown you with another checker they have taken from you, giving that checker special power from that time forward in the game.

As believers, we don’t have to wait on the righteousness to come with the crown. If we are walking and talking like Jesus, we are living righteously. The crown is simply a recognition of who we are in Him. The crown belongs to Him because we have no ability for righteousness outside of Him. It is His righteousness that makes us righteous.

APPLICATION

So, how do we explain righteousness to our children? How do we get them to understand how to live that way? Let’s tell them what the word means. It simply means doing what is approved of by God, by His judicial approval, what is right in His eyes. Now, that weeds out a lot of nonsense, doesn’t it?

I explain it this way. It’s being right (salvation), knowing right (studying His Word) and doing right (walking daily according to His Word). If our children can do that, they are living righteously. If they understand that, they will receive that crown which they will turn right around and lay at His feet.

Where’s your crown? Do you have that coming? Remember, it’s His righteousness, not yours, that earns you that crown as a believer. Let me encourage you today to be, know and do right in God’s eyes. That is His definition of righteousness. If I am pleasing the Father, if you are pleasing the Father, that’s all that matters.

I will live to please You today, O God. Righteous living is godly living. Righteous living will be rewarded and for that I am grateful.

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Advice, Blameless, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Contentment, Family, Gifts, Giving, Heaven, Obedience, Parenting, Treasures

ENTRUSTED

2 TIMOTHY 1:14 

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. 

What does that mean – entrusted? It means to assign something for safekeeping. What kind of things do you entrust to someone? I bet not much. We tend to hold on to our special stuff. But God gives us the most precious of gifts to hold for Him AND use it for His glory. His Gospel.  

Once we have received the Lord through the understanding and knowledge of the word, we are entrusted with it to care for it. It’s a special gift given only to those who have bowed their knees to the Father. God doesn’t entrust stuff to those whom He knows won’t keep it safe. 

APPLICATION 

We pass things down to our kids, don’t we? I passed down a knife my dad gave to me at twelve-years-old to my son when he turned twelve. I didn’t just give it to him. I took it and had it cleaned, sharpened and shined. It had a bone handle and german steel. I hope he still has it to pass on to his child one day.  

But that is trivial. The more important thing to pass on, to entrust to your children is your faith. You teach your children about your Lord with the hopes they will embrace that faith and make it their own. That special treasure of knowing the Lord as your Savior is something they can hold on to and pass along.  That’s truly a treasure worth finding, protecting, entrusting and sharing. 

Are you holding on to your own treasures of the gospel without sharing them with others? The beauty of this treasure is the more your share it, the more it grows. The more it grows, the more special it become. Don’t be a treasure hoarder. Entrust this special gift to all your come in contact with today. 

My treasure is in You, Lord. There is no other item in the world that means as much to me as knowing You and sharing You with others. Thank You for giving Yourself for me and to me. 

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Fatherhood, Gifts, Holy Spirit, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Service

FIRE IT UP

2 TIMOTHY 1:6 

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 

We have a great Greek word in today’s verse. It’s only used right here in this verse and comes from the combination of three Greek words – ana, zoon and purNow hold on and don’t glaze over on me. This is cool.  

Ana means upward, zoon means a living creature/beast, and pur means fire or flame. So, to kindle means to light up a flame or fire as if it is living. Isn’t that neat? Paul is telling Timothy to get fired up about his giftedness in Christ. Shouldn’t we all? 

APPPLICATION 

Moms and dads, we need to nurture and help develop our children’s natural gifts and abilities. You know their passions and desires. But those are not the gifts Paul is talking about. Once your child accepts Christ as their Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit indwells them and gives them spiritual gifts to use in the kingdom. Those are the gifts we must nurture. 

Whether your child accepts Christ at age five or fifteen, those gifts are given for their lifetime. They now have a part in the kingdom of God, and He wants them to utilize those gifts to bring others to Christ. So, your job as parents is help them find ways to develop those gifts to do just that. You aren’t the gift giver, but you are the gift builder. 

How are you doing with that? Are you just happy that your child gets saved? There is so much more to it! It is such a joy to watch your children start to use their gifts of encouragement or service. When you see that, jump on the chance to help them. As a you help build their opportunities to exercise their gifts you help build their faith for years to come. 

Thank You Lord for giving us gifts to benefit the kingdom. Help me to guide my children to use their gifts as they grow in their walk with Christ.

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Affection, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Encouragement, Gifts, Obedience, Parenting, Praise, Scripture, Thanksgiving

MY SUPPLIER

1 TIMOTHY 6:17

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”

God is our only real and trusted source for everything. I love the way Paul wrote this to Timothy. He says God is the one “who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” The word “supplies” does not mean that God just gives us stuff. No! It means He gives or offers in a up close and personal way.

And the Lord gives it for us “to enjoy.” Wow! We are actually supposed to enjoy what He blesses us with. Do you enjoy God’s blessings? Do you feel guilty for what He has given you? Don’t! We are supposed to appreciate and enjoy them. Do you see this clearly? God wants us to be blessed and enjoy everything He carefully and personally gives us.

APPLICATION

Don’t you just love giving your children things? The next time you have the occasion to bless your children with a special gift (birthday, Christmas, special achievement), read them this verse. Talk about how you picked out this gift especially for them. Since you know them so well, you knew they would love this gift. You knew they would enjoy this gift.

Ask them how they would have felt if you had given them something that they didn’t like. What if you had given your son, who loves baseball, a hockey stick? What if you had given your daughter, who loves to cook, a set of barbells? Just like you know their desires, God knows them as well. He provides richly all things for them to enjoy. Don’t let them forget that.

Are you aware of just how much the Lord enjoys blessing you? Remember, each gift He gives has been hand-picked by Him especially for you. He knows the perfect gift for you. He knows just exactly what will meet your needs. Accept it and enjoy it.

You are the supplier of all my needs, Lord. I praise You that You know my deepest desires and needs. I will continually thank You.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Encouragement, Gifts, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Pastors

HARD WORK

1 TIMOTHY 5:17

“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.” 

Preachers get a bum rap some time. Some people think they only work one day a week and it takes a whole team of ushers to take up their money. Not true! In fact, preaching and teaching is very hard work. The Greek word for “work hard” actually means to strain in labor until exhaustion. 

Now, it’s not necessarily the act of preaching and teaching that’s so hard. I am actually energized when I preach. I can’t wait to share what the Lord has shown me in my study time. But the studying and preparing can be exhausting. Why? Because I want to make sure I get it right. I want to make it applicable. Hours are spent preparing a message.

APPLICATION

Talk to your children about your Pastor. Ask them what they think he does the other six days of the week. I bet you will get some interesting answers. I’ve heard them all, lol.  Then call your Pastor and ask if he can meet with you and your children to talk about this. Let him tell them directly what he does all week. 

And then most importantly, pray for him. Lead your children to pray for him. Show him the double honor Paul mentions here. If you feel so led, give him a gift card to his favorite restaurant or better yet to his favorite sports store. Make sure you tell him you are just living out today’s verse. That will bless him.

Are you honoring your Pastor? Or are you one of those church members who only criticize him. You don’t like his preaching. You don’t like the way he dresses. You don’t like (fill in the blank). Stop it. Confess that as sin. Start praying for your Pastor daily. It will change your view of him. Actually, God will change your view. Amen?

Thank you, Father, for my Pastor. Bless him today. Bless his family. Protect them today and give him rest.  

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PONDERING

1 TIMOTHY 4:15

Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.” 

Now, that’s a word you don’t use every day – pondering! That’s another translation for the verb “take pains.” The word means to be diligent about something. It’s only used one other time in the NT (Acts 4:25) when Peter and John quote Psalm 2:1-2. In that instance it is a negative use, but here in 1 Timothy it’s a good thing. Ponder, be diligent about using your spiritual gift.

If someone gave you an incredible gift, would you squirrel it away and never show anyone? If you learned how to cure cancer for everyone, would you keep that to yourself? Of course not! And your spiritual gift is greater than both of those things. Your spiritual gift being exercised could lead someone to a decision to accept Christ, thus altering their eternity!

APPLICATION

The best way to teach your children this verse is by living it yourself. If you have the gift of service, serve! And take your children along with you when you do so they know why you are doing what you are doing. If you have the gift of discernment, make sure your kids know when you use that gift and how. When they see you using your gifts to glorify God and build up the Body, they will be inspired to do the same.

There are many gifts. There are many lists of gifts in the New Testament. Let me encourage you to help your child learn which gift God has given them. It may not be the same gift as yours, which will require you to learn more about how they need to use their gift. None of us have arrived. We are all still progressing towards perfection in and through Christ.

How will you use your spiritual gift today? It isn’t just for Sundays. It isn’t just for your church. Use it wherever and whenever the Lord leads you. By being obedient in that and pondering on it, you will please the Father.

I am so grateful for the gifts you have given to us, Father. You give these gifts to be used and managed well. Help me use my gifts today to honor Your name.

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