Affection, Bible, Child Raising, Denial, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Grace, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Repentance

DO YOU LOVE ME?

JOHN 21:15-17

“15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My lambs.’ 16 He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Shepherd My sheep.’ 17 He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’”

Do you get the feeling from this passage that Jesus is trying to get a point across to Peter? Most scholars agree that is was no coincidence that Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Peter had denied Jesus three times just days earlier. I believe these three questions were on purpose.

But what you can’t see from the English is that Jesus uses a different word for love in the first two questions than Peter. He uses the Greek word agapao which is God’s kind of love. Peter replies with phileo which is a friendship kind of love. It was as if Jesus was asking him how deep was his love for Him – love like God loves or just as a friend.

APPLICATION

Ask your children how much they love you. They may stretch out their little arms and say This much! Don’t you just love that? My daughter, Casey, and I have this little thing we do when she tells me she loves me. I always reply I love you more. In fact, she gave me a key chain that says that on it. She knows I love her.

The question for us to really ask our kids is if they love Jesus. And I don’t mean just as a friend. Have they accepted Him as Lord and Savior and do they love Him with that agape love, a love that can only come from God? You see, His love accepts us just as we are and is totally unconditional. That’s real love!

How about you? How do you love Jesus? He has to be more than a friend. Friends come and go. Jesus is eternal. He deserves a deeper, richer love. If Jesus appeared to you today, as He did to Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and asked you Do you love Me, what would you say? I pray you would say I agapao You. Love Him today.

Father, I do love You. You have done so much for me for which I could never repay You. You are worthy of all praise, glory and love.

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Advice, Child Bearing, Child Raising, Commands, Conceit, Fear, God's Will, Honor, Inspirational, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Reputation, Scripture, Submission, Surrender, Testimony

NOT AN OPTION

1 PETER 2:17

“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”

Peter gives us four commands in this short verse. And he pretty much covers everyone in these commands. Honor all people means to place value on someone according to how precious you consider them. He says to do the same toward the king. That’s convicting, isn’t it? How precious do you consider everyone? How precious do you hold your “king”, which for us would be our President or leaders? Hmmm!

Then Peter says to love the brotherhood which refers to all believers. Be honest, aren’t there some believers you don’t like? Peter doesn’t leave room for that. He uses the Greek word for love agapao which means always doing what the Lord prefers. Ouch! And finally, he says to fear God. Now, he doesn’t mean to be scared of God, but rather to be in awe of, to show reverence toward.

APPLICATION

Teaching our children to honor, love and fear is no small task. Some of these they won’t get until they are older, but we must start when they are young. But all these are best taught by example. We have to model these behaviors. Therein lies the rub, eh? Children learn the easiest by observing us, we have to love, honor and fear.

Ask your children what they think it means to love, honor and fear. You just might learn something. Often their answers are convicting to we adults. They speak with such innocence (at least most of the time) that it drives the point home. You know Jesus often used children to illustrate faith. Don’t you think if He used them, we could learn something from them?

How are you loving, honoring and fearing? Well Carl, I’m doing pretty good with the fearing thing, but that loving thing is tough. I know it is, but all four of these are in the imperative which means they are commands, not suggestions. If you are aren’t doing so good on one or more of these, you need to ask the Lord to show you how. He will you know.

Honor, love and fear need to be more a part of my daily behaviors. I need to spend more time loving and less time judging. I need to depend on You for my ability to do these.

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Advice, Bible, Bondslaves, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Confession, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evil, Faithfulness, Following, Freedom, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Testimony

DON’T COVER UP

1 PETER 2:16

Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.”

Peter gives us some very good advice in this verse and uses a word that is only used right here – the word covering. It actually means a covering, a cloak, a veil. What is Peter saying here? He is telling us, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to not pretend to be one thing while saying we are something else.

In other words, live truthful. Remember, we, as Christians, are bondslaves of God. We have willingly indentured ourselves to our Lord. We have committed ourselves to serving Him. If we are in service to Him, there is no room for doing evil. There is no room for cloaking evil in our lives.

APPLICATION

Have your children ever tried to cover up a wrong done? Most children will do that at one time or another. Perhaps they made a mistake or accidently broke something. That is not what I am talking about. I talking about deliberately choosing wrong and then trying to hide it. Read them this verse. You can’t get much plainer than this verse.

I remember when I was growing up, I did this on several occasions. I didn’t want to get spanked (and boy, could my dad spank). I would hide my wrongdoings. Some my parents never found out about. But guess what? God still knew. I became more aware of that after I came to Christ. I always knew it, but it wasn’t until I became a bondslave did it really sink in. The same is true for your kids.

Are you cloaking your sin? Are you hiding your wrongdoings now? God is aware. You can’t cloak your sins from Him. Confess those now and bow in obedience to His sovereign will. A bondslave loves his master and is loved by His master. A bondslave lives to please the master. Is that you?

Forgive me, Lord, for trying to hide my disobedience. Forgive me for not bowing before You each day as Your bondslave. Today I will bow and obey.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Commands, Direction, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Parenting, Scripture, Testimony

COME ON IN

JOHN 18:15-16

“15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in.” 

Peter probably came in to where he really didn’t want to go. It’s kind of like watching a horrible scene and not being able to stop looking. He knew what was happening to Jesus and was probably fearful for his own life, but he just couldn’t tear himself away.

John, the other disciple in this story, brought him in. Why? Because he knew Jesus would want him there to witness this. John knew how much Jesus loved Peter. He probably felt Peter needed to be near his Master during His last hours. I am sure later on Peter probably thanked John for getting him in the courtyard.

APPLICATION

Sometimes we need to be somewhere we really don’t want to be. Your kids are going to face that decision at some point. It could be a hospital visit of a family member or friend. Those are great opportunities for ministry. Or it could be going to a funeral home or funeral. Those are also times to love on the family members who are grieving.

Being in the right place, even if we don’t want to be there, can be a God-ordained event. Prepare your children to respond as Jesus would have them respond. Teach them to ask themselves if it would glorify God. It may feel awkward or even very uncomfortable, but the Lord can calm their nerves and give them the right words.

Are you willing to go where you don’t want to go if the Lord leads you? Follow His lead and trust Him. I promise He will never lead you where He won’t accompany you. Do you believe that? If you do, come on in.

Open doors for me, Lord. Lead me where You would have me go. I will “come on in” knowing You are with me.

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Advice, Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Courage, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Salvation, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

HEY BROTHER

JOHN 1:40-42

“40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).”

Matthew, Mark and Luke do not record this calling of Andrew and Simon (Peter). The other three Gospels record the calling around the Sea of Galilee and their fishing boat. There’s no mention of either in John. That’s what is so beautiful about God’s Word. When you take it as a whole book, it gives a much fuller picture of the story.

So, here’s Andrew, Peter’s little brother, bringing his big brother to Jesus. And he does that with this message – “We have found the Messiah.” I want you to ask yourself this question. Who have I brought to the Messiah? Anyone? Your family? Friends? Strangers?

APPLICATION

Ask your children what great news they would bring to their siblings, if they have them. If they don’t, ask them what they would say to friends or other family. What is the best news they could possibly tell them? They may give you an answer like “Look at this great game I just got.” Maybe it would be “Did you hear where we’re going on vacation?”

Andrew was excited to share about the Messiah. If your children are believers, they should have that same excitement for their own siblings or family members. They should want to tell everyone. One way I can always tell a child has really understood their salvation is they can’t wait to tell someone.

Are you excited about telling someone? Who have you not told? Do it today? What’s the worse they can do? Get mad? Better that than dying and going to hell. Andrew risked Peter blowing him off, but he couldn’t contain himself. Will you risk it today?

I will share with someone today? Lord, open the door for me. And when You do, give me the words to speak.

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Advice, Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Denial, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Forgiveness, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Shame, Testimony

THAT LOOK

LUKE 22:61-62

“61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, ‘Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.’ 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.”

My dad had “that look.” Words were not necessary. I knew I was in trouble when I got that look. Peter got “the look” from Jesus, but it wasn’t a look of coming discipline. It was more of “I told you so.” He had told Peter he would deny him, and so it happened.

It’s interesting that only Luke records this “look.” Who told Luke about this? I have to believe it was Peter himself. I bet he never forgot that look, although Jesus forgave him and restored him to leadership. That look pierced his soul.

APPLICATION

Ask your children if you have “that look.” I bet they say you do. You may not even be aware of the look, but we parents tend to develop it. It can come in real handy when you need to correct your child when they are across a room. They understand the look sometimes much better than words.

But don’t forget to restore them. Jesus didn’t leave Peter hanging with that look. He came to him after His resurrection and let Peter know He had faith in him. Our children need to know our love isn’t diminished due our disappointment in their behaviors. Our love is unconditional.

Have you received “that look” from Jesus? Jesus loves us enough to correct us, but His love is lessened. When you get “that look” immediately confess whatever it is you need to confess. Let His look do its work.

When You look at me, Jesus, I know it is with love. Help me to confess quickly and often. The last thing I want to do is disappoint You.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Family, Friends, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Parenting, Scripture, Thanksgiving

THE LAST SUPPER

LUKE 22:8-13

“8 And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.’ 9 They said to Him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare it?’ 10 And He said to them, ‘When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 And you shall say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’” 12 And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.’ 13 And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.”

I find it a little funny that Peter and John wanted more information before they left to do what Jesus asked. They knew many homes in Jerusalem would have made rooms available to travelers who had come to town to celebrate the Passover. But I bet they didn’t expect Jesus to give them such detail. And don’t you know they were amazed it was exactly as he told them?

My mama used to give me instructions about how to help with dinner, but she knew her kitchen. She knew where everything was. In fact, she could lay her hand on every pot, pan or utensil in seconds. Jesus knew the room and the house because He was God. He had created that man. He had created the materials to build that house.

APPLICATION

The next time you plan a meal get your kids involved. Give them assignments. Have some set the table. Have others get the drinks. If they are old enough, have them bring the food to the table. Once you are all seated, ask them how they would feel if this was their last meal together. Shocked! Surprised! Tearful.

Now read them this passage. Explain that when Peter and John planned this meal, they had no idea this would be their last meal with Jesus before He was crucified. Jesus let them know during the meal that things were about to change, but I’m not sure it hit home until hours later.

What if your last meal was your last meal? Would you treat those with whom you shared it differently? Don’t waste your moments. We never know when the Lord will call us home. Make sure you are making memories during those meals. You can’t redo them.

I am thankful for the times I have to spend with family. Let me cherish each meal and each gathering. Most of all, let those moments revolve around You.

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