Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Completeness, Encouragement, Faith, Glory, God's Will, Inspirational, Promises, Salvation

YOU’RE G0ING TO GET WHAT’S COMING TO YOU

1 PETER 1:9

“obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”

When we hear “you’re going to get what’s coming to you,” we usually think that’s bad. If you’ve done something bad, that may be true. But that’s not the case in today’s verse. Peter is telling us we are going to reap the outcome of our faith at some point. And that is the salvation of our souls. Now that’s something to look forward to.

The Greek word for “outcome” is telos. We get our word “telescope” from it. In fact, this word can be illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding one stage at a time to function at full-strength. Your faith will unfold fully one day to your full-blown salvation. Your faith grows up until the day you receive your salvation reward.

APPLICATION

Why not make a pirate’s telescope with your kids to explain this verse? Get some cardboard tubes and make one. Make sure it will slide out in at least three sections. Help them draw on each tube and label them Faith 1, Faith 2 and Faith 3. After the tubes are put together, slide them all out and write SALVATION across all three tubes.

Now, collapse the tubes and open them one at a time. Explain how our faith grows as we grow in Christ. Show them the tubes labeled Faith 1 and Faith 2. But also show them the letters that are showing for the word “salvation.” The word is growing. Open the third tube with Faith 3 and now showing the full word “salvation.” Our salvation is “full” when it reaches completion in glory.

Is that too elementary for you? Maybe. But our salvation is really not that complicated. God promises us an outcome of our faith. It’s the salvation of our souls. Believe it. If you are His child, you will get what’s coming to you. And that’s a good thing.

Lord Jesus, I am thankful for the promise of my salvation. Your promises are true! I look forward to the fulfillment of them all one day in glory!

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christ's Return, Encouragement, Eternity, Glory, Holy Spirit, Hope, Love, Parenting, Rapture, Scripture

HE’S COMING

TITUS 2:13

“looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,”

Waiting can be hard, can’t it? It’s especially hard when you know what’s coming. The Greek word for “looking” can also be translated as “awaiting” or “watching for.” It carries the idea of anxiously waiting and ready to receive. That’s a lot more than just looking. Paul knew Jesus was going to return and was anxious for the day. He was ready for it.

Paul calls Jesus the “blessed hope” and “our great God and Savior.” He wanted to make sure Titus understood just who He was. We have no other hope than Christ. All other hopes pale in comparison. All other hopes can fail to materialize. All other hopes are just that – hopes. They aren’t certain. And why is Jesus certain? Because He is God!

APPLICATION

How do you teach your kids to wait? That’s a hard one. Some kids are better at it than others. Parents will do just about anything to keep their children calm while waiting for something. I’ve seen parents bribe their kids. I’ve seen parents come prepared with toys and activities and snacks. Waiting is hard for little ones.

But the most important “wait” we need to prepare them for is Christ’s return. We know He’s returning, but we don’t know when. Our role as Christian parents is to introduce and lead our children to Jesus so that however long the “wait” is, they are ready. We don’t want them caught off guard. We don’t want them left behind when He appears. Once they know Him as their personal Savior and Lord, they can join you in the wait. It could be today.

Are you anxiously waiting for His appearing? Are you prepared for His return? If not, get ready today. Give your heart to Jesus. Let Him fill you with His Spirit. And then do all you can to bring as many as you can with you. If you are like me, I know dozens of people who will be left behind if He came today. That burdens my heart. Let’s join together to bring them with us when He appears again. Keep watching.

Lord, I know You are coming because You said You were. Help me lead others to You so they can join us. I am ready! Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

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Career, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Family, Following, Glory, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Parenting, Scripture, Surrender

KNOW YOUR PURPOSE

TITUS 1:1

“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,”

Several years ago, Pastor Rick Warren wrote a book entitled “The Purpose Driven Life.” It was a number one best seller and launched him on to talk shows all over the United States. Why? Because people want to know their purpose in life. They want to know why they are here. They want to know what they should be doing.

Paul knew! He was a bond-servant of God (a slave of his own choosing). He was an apostle of Jesus Christ (one sent with a message). He purpose was to grow the faith of those chosen by God (reach and teach them). And he was to preach the truth.

Paul knew his purpose and makes sure Titus knows this in his first words of the letter to him.

APPLICATION

Man, oh man! If we can help our children discover their purpose early in life what a difference that would make. I am not saying they should know their career path at five. I am talking about knowing who they are and why they are here. That can only be taught through God’s Word through His worldview. When your child comes to Christ, He will reveal through His Holy Spirit what they are to do with their life to glorify Him. What they do for a living isn’t important.

But so many of we parents are so focused on our children becoming doctors or lawyers (nothing wrong with that, just examples). Instead we need to focus on bringing them up with a vision for God. That can only be taught if we have it. Do you?

What exactly is your worldview? Do you see everything through God colored glasses? As believers, we should see ourselves, our family and others as God sees us. We were all created in His image with one purpose – to glorify Him. We exist to give Him glory. Those whose follow His calling on their lives (and He calls us all but only a few answer) will discover their purpose. Have you?

Father, I am so thankful my purpose is clear. I will glorify You today. I will give glory to You for all You do in and through me.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Eternity, Glory, Heaven, Parenting, Promises, Sanctification

THE THREE P’S

2 TIMOTHY 4:18

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

You may have heard salvation described this way – we were saved, we are being saved and we will be saved. Or maybe like this – we were saved from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and one day the presence of sin. That’s what today’s verse is saying.

Paul is thanking God in advance and telling Timothy that he is secure in the fact that the Lord will rescue him from the very presence of sin. He is going home to His heavenly kingdom where there is no sin. Can you imagine? No evil. No hurt feelings. No paybacks. Just pure joy!

APPLICATION

Ask your children to imagine a perfect place. Get them to draw a picture if they like to do that. Don’t talk about heaven yet. Just get them to describe their perfect place. What makes it perfect? Is it the people? Is it what they get to do? Just what determines perfection for your child?

Now, read them this verse and talk about different heaven will be from our earth without heaven. Ask them why they think Paul uses the words “rescue” and “bring me safely” when he describes going to heaven. Better yet, get them to draw a picture of Jesus doing that for them. Those should be some interesting pictures worthy of the kitchen frig.

Let me ask you point blank. Have you been rescued? Are you secure in your salvation? If not, why not surrender your heart and your life to Him today. If you have, are you walking in that victory we have in Jesus? You ARE free from the penalty of sin. You ARE free from the power of sin. And praise God one day you will be free from the very presence of sin. Sing Hallelujah!!!

I sing Your praises, O Lord. You are the only one who can deliver me. I rest completely in Your saving power.

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Advice, Busyness, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Elders, Encouragement, Fighting, Glory, God's Will, Mentoring, Parenting, Testimony

HOW TO AVOID A FIGHT

2 TIMOTHY 2:23

“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.”

Some people are just looking for a fight. They say things to try to get someone else stirred up. They choose their words carefully in order to lure another person into a fight, usually to make themselves look better. Paul is warning Timothy to refuse that, to walk away, to stay out of those arguments.

You have to decide yourself on that. You may like the arguing. You may like the back and forth verbal exchanges. But if this talk does not glorify the Lord, then it is empty, foolish and ignorant words. Having lived in Ephesus, where Timothy was residing, he knew how the Ephesians delighted in debate. He didn’t want Timothy wasting time in these endless pursuits.

APPLICATION

This is a hard one for kids. If you have more than one child in the home, you have undoubtedly experienced foolish and ignorant speculations that led to quarrels, lol. Keeping these quarrels to a minimum can be a tiresome task. But the second you hear two children arguing, read them this verse and ask them this question – “How does this discussion bring glory to our Lord?”

You see, our focus should be to continually point them towards the Father. If we do that and follow our lead, they will be able to avoid these useless arguments. This skill will be so beneficial as an adult when they grow up. They may not understand it all now, but one day they will.

Are you one of those people looking for a fight? Why do we do that? Maybe it’s because we want to prove we are right. Perhaps it’s because we want to prove the other person wrong. Either way, glory isn’t given to the Lord. Surround yourself with like-minded people and avoid those people who can’t wait to quarrel and debate. Life’s too short. 

O Lord, keep my mouth shut when appropriate. Thank You for the wisdom to know how to respond to those who have no desire to glorify You. Today I will not quarrel or debate.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Glory, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Service

WAITING TABLES

2 TIMOTHY 1:18 

the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus. 

Onesiphorus was a servant. How do I know that? By this verse. Paul continues to describe this saint by reminding Timothy how Onesiphorus served so willingly in Ephesus. The phrase “services he rendered” is one Greek word that literally means to wait tables. And the form of the verb means he did this himself. He wasn’t forced to do it.  

Whom are you willing to serve? Do you pick and choose whom you will serve so that they notice? That’s not what Paul is describing here. True service is serving for the joy of serving. When you willingly serve, you do it for the joy of the Lord. After all, it is He who gets all the glory for it. 

APPLICATION 

Okay, I have to let you off the hook today (kind of). You can’t teach this kind of service to your kids. You can’t make them want to serve. That comes from within. However, you can model this behavior for them with the hopes they will want to do it. True service is a heart thing. The desire only comes after encountering the King of kings and Lord of lords. 

Oh, the joy of watching our children serve. You can always tell when they are doing it out of love. The smile gives it away. When your child sees you smiling as you serve, they notice that. You can be doing the most mundane thing, but when you do it willingly and sacrificially, you can’t help but smile. 

Has the Lord burdened your heart to serve? Perhaps He has asked you a hard one. The person He is directing you to serve is someone you don’t like. That really doesn’t matter. Do it any way. God is the one you are honoring. He is the one who will get all the glory.  

I may not want to serve today, but Lord I choose to serve because of Your love for me. I choose to serve in order to show others. I choose to serve to honor You. 

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christ's Return, Encouragement, Glory, Heaven, Light, Parenting

DON’T GO THERE

1 TIMOTHY 6:16

who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

Unapproachable! Don’t even think about going there! The brilliance of our Lord will be blinding, yet we shall one day behold Him. This Greek word for “unapproachable” is only used right here in this verse. It literally means don’t go. Why? Why would the Lord dwell in unapproachable light? Why would He want to keep us away?

Because as mortal men, we cannot bear the glory of God. His holiness would instantly wipe us away. So, we are being protected. He is not trying to keep us away. He is trying to keep us safe. We will be bathed in the light. We just can’t go into it. We are not worthy. Only He can dwell in it.

APPLICATION

Do you have things in your home that are off limits? I bet you do. How about the fuse box? The power source for your house is in there. Your children can benefit from the power source, but they cannot approach the source itself. That’s a pretty close analogy for kids. 

There have to be boundaries for kids. There will be a day when they can have access to any area of the house. The limitations now are not meant to punish them. They are meant to protect them. As they mature, they will gain more and more access. In the same way, as we mature in our walk with Christ, He reveals more and more of Himself to us.

Are you ready for the unapproachable light? Boy, I am. I can’t wait to see Him. His glory will be amazing. But guess what? It is now. Don’t wait until eternity to be blown away. Let His brilliance amaze you.

O God of glory, Your light is ablaze. Let it shine through me so others can see You. One day I will dwell in Your light forever.

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