Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Following, Forgiveness, Grace, Heaven, Mentoring, Parenting, Redemption, Salvation

CAN’T BE BOUGHT

1 PETER 1:18

“knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,”

This is plain and simple. There is not enough money (silver and gold) in the world to redeem us. There would always be another tradition or obligation laid on by men that would come up. The world does not want to let us go. Satan keeps raising the price. We will never meet his demand.

But, thanks be to God, there has been a price paid. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, so we could receive the redemption He promised us. All we have to do when Satan starts to argue is point to the cross. Redemption’s price has been paid. There is a “Paid In Full” stamp across our heart.

APPLICATION

Have your children ever wanted to buy something at the store but didn’t have enough money? Boy, that happened to me. I remember going to the Western Auto store as a little boy and seeing something I really wanted for my spider bike. I had to work and save to go back and purchase (redeem) that item for myself. I wasn’t guaranteed it would still be there when I got the money, either.

The next time your child faces this dilemma, use it as a teaching moment. Without their knowledge, if you’re able, go buy it for them. Surprise them. Then explain that there is no expectation of payback from them. You redeemed that for them fully. There is nothing they can do to redeem it. It has been paid for. Tell them in the same way (but much bigger) Jesus paid for their salvation. They can’t do a thing to get it. He paid the full price, the only acceptable price.

Now, that is a feeble attempt to explain redemption, I know. It falls way short of the deep theological meanings. But, for your child, it is understandable. You can teach them more later. They just need to know that they can’t be good enough for heaven. Heaven is simply the reward we get for yielding to Jesus and acknowledging His supreme sacrifice.

Thank You for redeeming me. Thank You for paying the ultimate price to free me.

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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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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Direction, Grace, Inspirational, Mentoring, Salvation

LOOK HARD

1 PETER 1:10

“As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,”

Have you ever searched hard for something? Once I searched and searched for my cell phone, only to finally find it in a trash bag inside my trash can by the curb awaiting the trash truck. If I had been a little slower or had given up, my cell phone would be part of landfill right now. Some things are worth an extensive search.

Our salvation has been talked about and prophesied about for centuries. Peter tells us in today’s verse that the prophets “made careful searches.” The Greek word for that phrase only occurs here and focuses on the end-result of the searching or the fulfillment of salvation. This can also be called the unique glorification in a believer’s life. The prophets knew it was worth searching.

APPLICATION

Hide and Seek! Do your kids love to play? Let me ask you a question. If you played hide and seek with them, would you stop looking for them? Would you seek for an hour? How about 2 hours? Of course, you would seek until you found them. You wouldn’t forget they were hiding and go on with your life.

Our salvation isn’t hiding. Peter isn’t saying that. But we are always learning more about it. As we seek God, we learn more about Him. Those are the principles of this search your children need to know. Encourage them to keep searching. Help them discover more of Jesus every day.

Are you searching? Are you seeking? God wants you to do that. He is ready to reveal more of Himself and more of your salvation. The more you search, the more you learn. The more you learn, the closer you are to Him. Seek and you shall find.

Lord, I am thankful You aren’t hiding from me. You want to be seen and discovered. Help me see You clearly.

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Bible, Blameless, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Grace, Holy Spirit, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Redemption, Salvation, Sanctification, Surrender

GOD KNOWS AND DOES

I PETER 1:2

“according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

We are chosen! God desires that all men be saved and knows who will and who won’t respond to His call. When He calls, and we respond, we are made holy by the “work of the Spirit.” That “sanctifying” work means to make us holy. We don’t make ourselves holy. There is nothing in us or that we can do to do that. That’s God’s job through the Spirit. And when that happens, we are chosen.

I love that Peter adds “May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” In the Greek “May…be…in the fullest measure” could be translated “may be multiplied.” I actually like that better. In other words, to maximum capacity. Now, tell me, who doesn’t want that as a chosen child of God?

APPLICATION

It’s a given that children always want more of a good thing. Think of something they really like. It could be their favorite snack or candy. It could be the amount of time they get to watch tv or play video games. But kids can get too much of a good thing, can’t they? Too much ice cream can make them sick. Too much tv can dull their brains, lol.

But can you get too much grace and peace? I don’t think so. How can you teach your kids this? By teaching them to live holy lives surrendered to Christ. Only through obedient living will the Lord multiply that in us. He wants to extend grace and peace, but our actions limit it. And the best way for our children to see that is how we live our lives. They will observe (and it’s important we point it out) when God’s grace and peace are working in us. Those are moments that will stick with them.

Do you want that in your life? Do you want God to multiply His grace and peace? I sure do. I need it every day, whether it’s a good or bad day. Do you know why? Because when it is multiplied in me, I can give it to others. I, probably just like you, run across people every day who need grace and peace in their lives. When I have been increased in that area through my obedience, it naturally pours out on them. We are agents of His grace and peace.

Father, I thank You for Your grace and peace. I praise You for choosing me as I responded to the drawing of Your Spirit Who made me holy. I am Yours to use.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Crowns, Encouragement, Eternity, Faithfulness, Family, Grace, Heaven, Inspirational, Parenting, Promises, Redemption, Salvation, Scripture, Treasures

MY INHERITANCE

TITUS 3:7

“so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

I saw a movie recently in which all the family were clamoring over the inheritance left by their father and grandfather. When it all went to someone else, they were furious. They had been planning how to spend all that money and now there was nothing for them. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t leave us out of His inheritance? He promised it, so we will receive it.

But just exactly what will we receive? We will receive eternal life. We will receive entrance into heaven. We will receive all the riches of heaven. We will receive crowns and rewards according to our faithfulness here. You see, the difference between our inheritance here on earth and our inheritance in heaven is that WE have to die to inherit our heavenly reward. And for the believer, there is no greater inheritance.

APPLICATION

Do your children know they will inherit your stuff? I am assuming that’s how your will is written. What? No will? Well, you need to get that written, if you haven’t. If you have that will, and your children are named as the recipients, at some point you need to go over it with them. They need to know who is getting what. Too many families end up fighting and fussing over mom’s and dad’s inheritance when they are gone.

But more importantly, you need to talk about their heavenly inheritance. When you bring out your will, talk about how the Lord has already established their inheritance for all His children. Unlike your will, which you could change, He will never remove you from what He has promised you in Christ. There is nothing you can do to be removed. It was His grace that justified you.

Are you waiting on some earthly inheritance? Are you making plans on how to spend that money? Don’t be so sure. Earthly treasures are fleeting. You can rest in your heavenly inheritance. It is a sure thing. God has promised it, and He never breaks a promise. Live today as God sees you. You are a child of the king. You are royalty. You are rich beyond description.

I know I am Your child, and along with every other believer I am an heir. Thank You for taking me into Your family. Thank You for making me Your child.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Faith, Family, Giving, God's Will, Grace, Heaven, Inspirational, Light, Love, Praise, Salvation

THE LIGHT FROM HEAVEN

TITUS 2:11

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,”   

It never ceases to amaze me how God can orchestrate the smallest of details. I began looking at the Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy and Titus) back on January 1st. Today is Christmas day and lo, and behold, look at the verse that comes up today – the verse in Titus that speaks of Christ coming to us. The birth of His Son which brought us salvation.

And this verse contains a Greek word that carries that story. The Greek word for “appeared” has the image of a light appearing from heaven. It means to shine. What does the Christmas story mention? A star appeared in the sky to guide the wise men. The very light of heaven appeared on earth. Why a light? To shine in the darkness. Merry Christmas!

APPLICATION

Today read the Christmas story to your family. Take a moment before all the hustle and bustle of food and presents to reflect on the reason we celebrate. I know so many people who are gathering today to celebrate Christmas who aren’t even believers. I wonder why they do it. The holiday isn’t a holy day to them. We have reason to celebrate, whether or not we have presents or food. It’s about Him.

So, take a moment. Slow down. The presents will wait. Thank the Lord for His perfect gift. Thank the Lord for His grace which appeared and brought salvation to all men. Thank the Lord for each of your family who knows Him as their personal Lord and Savior. And pray for those who have not made that decision yet. Why don’t you agree as a family to do all you can in 2020 to bring them into God’s family?

Christmas is a special time of the year, not because of the trees, mistletoe and garland. Christmas is special because it is the time to recognize what God has done. Jesus’ birth changed history. Jesus’ birth changed the calendar. But most importantly, Jesus’ birth changed the hearts of every believer. We have that light in us which appeared over two thousand years ago in manger in Bethlehem. Praise Him.

I am eternally grateful for the birth of Your Son which gave me a new birth in You. Help me shine that light on others. Let it beam across the darkness and reflect Your love.

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THE RIGHT MAN

TITUS 1:6

namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”

Paul begins a list of qualifications for elders in today’s verse that goes through verse 9. This list is long and intimidating. When I read it, I wonder who can fulfill it. Who can possibly meet all these expectations? Only the man who is one hundred percent surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.

Paul describes an elder, the men he wants Titus to find and appoint in Crete, as above reproach or blameless, He must not have more than one wife. He has to be old enough for his children to have accepted Christ. He can withstand accusations that he is unsalvageable or insubordinate. Wow! That bar is high.

APPLLICATION

Children play a key role in their father’s selection as elder. Why would their children’s salvation be a determining factor? Because it implies that he has spent the time to invest in their lives and lead them to Christ. It implies that family is a priority. They say your family should be your first mission.

This is why, mom and dad, I spend so much time telling you to read Scripture to your kids. Scripture is what draws them to salvation. It prepares their heart to hear from the Lord. That means you must be a student of the Word. You must be comfortable sharing and applying it. This is an eternal decision. Don’t take it lightly.How do you line up with the list given today? You may never be asked to serve as an Elder. But I believe we all need to strive for the highest standards. We all serve a mighty God. If you don’t meet the criteria, ask the Lord to change your heart. He can use you. Won’t you let him?

O precious Lord, I know I am not worthy, but You want to use me. I am Your vessel. I surrender to You.

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