Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, Encouragement, Faith, Godliness, Life, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting

HOW TO LIVE

TITUS 2:12

“instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,”

Salvation is just the beginning. We are so thankful for the saving power of Jesus in our lives, but it doesn’t stop there. Paul tells us in today’s verse how to live. The grace which appeared instructs us to deny certain things and to live a certain way. We have to say “no” to stuff in order to say “yes” to others. You can’t walk two paths.

It’s pretty simple, really. We should have nothing to with not honoring God. He deserves it all. It all points to Him. And we should shun seeking to fulfill ourselves with temporal, worldly things. They just don’t last. Instead, we should live sensibly (calmly), righteously (approved by God) and godly (devout). Simple, huh? With Jesus, it is. Without Him, impossible.

APPLICATION

These are practical words for our children. Do this and don’t do that. Isn’t that what we are trying to do each day with them? Have them make a list of things they think are ungodly. Depending on their age, this list could be funny. But let them make the list. Then talk about how they can avoid those things. These are things they don’t want to be around.

Then switch it up and have them list some godly things. How do they pursue them? Ask them if they think doing godly things will make them godly. It’s so important they understand it doesn’t. Only Jesus can make us godly. We live godly because of Him. We do godly things because of Him. We are simply a reflection of His godliness.

Who are you reflecting today? You know you do that every day. You reflect your Savior or you reflect your flesh. One is godly. The other is not. One draws others to Christ. The other repels them. One is inviting and warm. The other – not so much. What kind of mirror are you today? Choose Jesus.

I am so thankful for simple instructions on how to live. Help me today to live as You would have me live. I want to please You.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Completeness, Contentment, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Family, Godliness, Life, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Service

MY DAD’S TEA GLASS

2 TIMOTHY 2:20

“Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.”

When I was growing up in my parents’ home, my dad had a special gold colored tea glass. That was his glass. We knew not to use it and for goodness sake, when we were washing it (yes, we hand-washed dishes back then), not to break it. That glass pretty much stayed full of sweet, iced tea in the refrigerator and by his chair in the evening. He did love his tea.

That glass was nothing special. I mean, we actually had nicer glasses in the house. But that glass served its purpose as my dad’s tea glass. Each of us have our purpose in the body of Christ. We may think some roles are more important or look nicer, but each and every role serves the purpose it is designed to do for the body of Christ. We should not look down on someone who is fulfilling the “wooden” or “earthenware” roles.

APPLICATION

This is so important to teach our children. In fact, I truly feel it is important for our children to have several of those “wooden” or “earthenware” roles in the family as they grow up. Taking out the trash is certainly NOT a “golden” role, but let that job not get done for a few days and see what happens. How about cleaning the bathrooms? Let that go undone for a week or two, and no one will want to go in there.

We teach our children these lessons in the home so they understand that in other areas of life. In the church or in school, they will have the opportunity to serve in a variety of roles. Keeping that servant’s heart in whatever role they fill will give them opportunities to be Jesus to others. Isn’t that our goal – to teach them to be more like Him?

How is your attitude when you are asked to roll up your sleeves and perform a menial task? Do you think you are above that or do you dive right in? Take the opportunity to serve wherever you are and however you can. Don’t let your ego or pride get in the way of receiving a blessing from someone you have the chance to serve.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me plenty of opportunities to serve You by serving others. Help me to not ever think I am above the job. I want to exemplify You in my service.

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SORRY, DON’T KNOW YOU

2 TIMOTHY 2:12 

If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 

I have become more honest as I get older. Now, I am not saying I used to lie, but I wouldn’t quite be honest sometimes. Like when someone comes up to you, calls you by name and begins this long conversation, but you have no idea who this person is. In the past I would say, “Hey bud, how are you doing?” Now I say, “Hey, I’ve forgotten your name. Forgive me.” 

Jesus knows our name, whether we accept Him or not. But He promises us reigning power or powerlessnes, based on our response to Him. Paul tells us here that if we will endure with Christ, we will reign with Him. If we turn our backs and run, He will also deny us before the Father. 

APPLICATION 

Children like to be recognized. They love hearing their name called when they see you. What they don’t like is to be ignored. Try it for a day with your kids. Go through your normal routine, but each time a child calls your name, ignore them. (If they have an emergency make an exception). 

At the end of the day explain what you did and why. Read today’s verse. Ask them how they think the Lord feels when we do that. When we deny Him before men, He will deny us before the Father. And I really want to meet the Father, don’t you? Make a point to call your child by his/her name. Their name means something, and your child should know it.  

Are you being called to serve specifically in this area – the area of name calling? It’s a gift. It is so good to see the look on the other person (adult or child) when they hear their name. God loves you and has you surrounded by His love this evening. 

I know right now You are calling out my name before the Father. One day, I will see You face to face. One day, I will meet the Father. 

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Comfort, Contentment, Death, Faith, Forgiveness, Life, Parenting, Resurrection

DIE TO LIVE

2 TIMOTHY 2:11 

It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 

Huh? How is that possible? If you die, you die. Right? And if you live, you live. But Paul says, “For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him.” Logically, that makes no sense at all. But there we go. It’s not about logic. It’s about faith. 

At the cross, the moment Christ died, He died a death for all who would believe in Him. His death was for everyone. Our sins were nailed to that old rugged cross right along with Him. And then, when He walked out of that tomb, we also walked out with Him as resurrected creatures.  

APPLICATION 

Let me explain this concretely so your kids can understand. My brother-in-law described this as being “biscuits for Jesus.” Get all the ingredients to make biscuits (flour, buttermilk, butter, salt, oil, etc) and mix them all together. They are “with” each other but are still able to be separated. But once you cook those biscuits, something happens. Those ingredients are now “with” each other in a whole new way which can’t be separated. 

Both of the verbs in today’s verse have that second “with” attached. It’s a little Greek pronoun “syn.” That’s us in Christ. We die with Him, and we live with Him. We cannot be separated. We are bound together with Him for eternity. That’s death to life.  

Are you bound with Christ? Do you know that nothing can separate you from the presence of Christ in your life, if you are a believer. You may feel distant at times, but His life courses through your veins as a Christian. You are just choosing not to walk in victory. Choose life today! 

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank You, Lord, for making me whole. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me, life more abundant. 

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