Affection, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Faith, Family, Friends, Inspirational, Love, Parenting, Passion, Scripture

FAREWELL PARTIES

TITUS 3:13

“Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them.”

Paul is urging Titus to make sure Zenas (who is only mentioned here in the New Testament) and Apollos are sent on to Nicopolis from Crete well supplied for the journey. Here is a link to show you the distance they would have had to travel from Crete to arrive in Nicopolis https://www.biblestudy.org/maps/apostle-paul-fifth-missionary-journey-large-map.html.

Paul needed Zenas and Apollos there to help teach the Word to the believers. So, he wanted a send off that was worthy of their calling. The word “diligently” means eagerly, with passion. Whenever I leave my brothers and sisters in Uganda or Kenya to come home, they give me this kind of send-off. I am usually given a gift and tons and tons of hugs. Their love for me is without a doubt.

APPLICATION

I’ve got a fun way to say good-bye at your next family gathering. It’s called the jelly roll hug. As each person or family group leaves have them make a line and hold hands. Then everyone else grabs one end of that line as they make one long line. When everyone has linked hands, the person on the end of the line opposite the person or family leaving starts to make a big circle around them. The person of family leaving stands still as everyone starts circling them over and over again. With each pass the circle gets tighter and tighter until the end of the line has been reached. Then, on 3, everyone squeezes those in the center.

It’s a fun way to say good-bye and something your kids won’t forget. Send offs can be sad, so anyway we can make them more enjoyable is much appreciated. Whether you are the person leaving or the person doing the sending, emotions can be raw. Make it a joyful experience. And don’t forget to pray for whomever is leaving, asking God’s protection and blessing on their journey.

When is the last time you have gone on a journey and had a great send off? When is the last time you have sent someone off? Remember Paul’s words and do it diligently.

I am grateful for friends and family who send me off with love and compassion. I know when that happens I am bathed in prayer. I know I am in Your hands.

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Affection, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Conceit, Disciplemaking, Family, Forgiveness, Gentleness, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Love, Mentoring, Parenting, Passion, Scripture, Testimony

NOT A NICE PERSON

2 TIMOTHY 3:3

“unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,”

Paul is describing those who are not lovers of God. These words paint a picture of a not very nice person. And (at least to me) it’s interesting that four of these six words in today’s verse are only used right here. Remember, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write only what the Father wanted him to write. So, these words were saved for right here.

The saddest word of this verse is the first one, “unloving.” It refers to not having any kind of natural affection. Actually, it can describe family affection. So, these people don’t even love their own families. Now, that’s sad. Who doesn’t love their momma? Who doesn’t love their little sis? But these individuals only think of self, no one else.

APPLICATION

Go through this list of words in today’s verse with your little ones. Ask them how they can do the opposite. Instead of not loving their family, how can they show love? Instead of being irreconcilable and hard to get along with, how can they get along? You can go through each of these words this way. Your children will understand, if you will take the time to cover each word.

The important thing to point out is these words in today’s verse describe someone who does not love Jesus. We want to draw a sharp contrast, as Paul does, of the difference in our lives. Everything we teach our children should point them to Christ. There is no aspect of their life in which He is not concerned.

How loving are you today? How agreeable? Do you control your tongue and behaviors? Would someone call you brutal? Take a look at the descriptors used to describe you by others. If any of them resemble these, you may need to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with yourself. We want others to only see Jesus in us. Amen?

I am so guilty, O God, of putting myself ahead of others. Forgive me for being so selfish. I repent of that today.

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Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Righteousness, Suffering

FOR OTHERS

2 TIMOTHY 2:10 

For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 

Paul’s thoughts always seemed to be on two things – the Lord Jesus and others. His passion and drive was to share the gospel of Jesus with as many as he could before leaving this world. Even now, in prison, his mind is on this. He is reflecting on his current situation (prison) and glorifying God that even this is working to bring others to Jesus. 

That Greek word for “endure” means to bear up under and is only possible through the power of God in someone’s life. Paul knew the only way he could endure all the things he had endured was the supernatural empowering of the Holy Spirit. But with Him, there was nothing that he couldn’t endure.  

APPLICATION 

How do we teach our children to “endure”? How do we teach them to do it for others? Endurance can be taught through physical exercise. You work and work and eventually get stronger. You push through the pain day after day. Then you notice you can run a little further or lift a little more weight. It is through the daily struggle that you gain more and more endurance. 

But why would we do that for others? Simple! Because of what Christ endured for us. When we teach our children about Jesus, we need to make sure to teach them what He gave up for us. He took all our sins on Himself. He became sin so that we could take on His righteousness. Now, He asks us to share that with others, no matter what it takes. We must be willing to endure sufferings in order to bring a lost world into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Are you? Are you willing to endure whatever the Lord allows in your life for the purpose of showing others how to believe and trust in Him? You are called to this purpose at salvation. Now, you may never suffer a day in your walk or you may be the one who suffers constantly. Whichever it is, endure. Do it all for His glory. 

Father God, I accept Your will in my life today and gladly endure the cross of suffering. I desire to see others come to Jesus, and if my suffering can bring that, then use me. 

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Friends, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Scripture, Witnessing

GENERATIONS

2 TIMOTHY 2:2 

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 

I’ve got a picture somewhere of five generations of my family. The picture includes my great grandmother Butler, my grandmother Willis, my dad, myself and my son. That’s rare today. I need to find that picture, lol. I am blessed to say that all five generations knew or know Jesus as their personal Savior. 

Today’s verse talks about generations. This verse means a lot to me. In fact, it’s my passion. Discipling other men is what drives me. It obviously was to Paul too. What you see here is Paul telling Timothy to keep passing the torch. Paul had mentored Timothy, and now he tells him to find faithful men to mentor himself who will also mentor others. Four generations of spiritual reproduction! 

APPLICATION 

Our children are the key to this generational hand off. If we do not teach our children the Word of God and instill in them the necessity to train their children, then the torch gets extinguished. The church is always only one generation away from extinction. Each successive generation must embrace and pass on their faith. 

Now I know God is bigger than us, but He still uses people to accomplish His will on earth. Don’t you want your children to be a part of His plan to reach all mankind with the Gospel? Well, it starts with you and then your children. They have to teach their children who will teach their children. Pass it along. 

Whom are you discipling or mentoring today? No one? Listen, dear brother and sister, you have to begin. God has given you the greatest gift. You must pass it on. Find someone you can invest in for eternity. There is no higher calling. 

Thank You, Lord, for sending people into my life to mentor me. Help me be as attentive to others around me who need to be mentored. 

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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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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Faith, Fatherhood, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Motherhood, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Scripture

RELATIONSHIPS

2 TIMOTHY 1:2 

To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 

This verse is almost the same words as 1 Timothy 1:2. He changes his description of Timothy slightly from “my true child in the faith” to “my beloved son.” I think I like this one better. There is just something about calling someone beloved that speaks of intimacy. 

There is no doubt Paul loved Timothy. He doesn’t call any of his other companions “beloved.” Timothy was special to him. He had invested years in his life to prepare him to lead. Even today when men mentor other men, it is often referred to as a Paul/Timothy relationship.  

APPLICATION 

As parents, we have the responsibility to see our children as a Timothy. We have approximately 18-20 years to prepare our children to face life. There is no better preparation than turning them into disciplemakers. If our children grow with the passion of Matthew 28:19-20 (look it up), they will have an entirely different worldview than the rest of the world. 

It is all about relationships. It begins with ours with the Lord. Then it goes to our family (spouse, children, grandchildren). As we invest our energy in the next generation, they learn to do the same. Will they always do that? No. Everyone has their free will and can choose to accept or deny. Our job is to try. 

In whom are you investing today? Do you have a Timothy? Are you being a Paul? Don’t let your faith experiences go left unshared. Don’t ignore that plea from another believer who wants to be mentored and taught how to face life challenges. Who knows, you may have a part in discipling the next great voice of the kingdom. 

I want to share my faith with others in order to help them walk with You. Show me those around me who need a Paul. Give me the courage to approach them and invite them into a disciplemaking relationship. 

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Elders, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Qualifications

CHOOSE WISELY

1 TIMOTHY 5:22

Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.”

If you read this verse by itself, you might think Paul is telling us not to grab someone, lol. Context is always key to any verse. Of course, this verse is in the context of Elders. Paul is warning Timothy not to ordain or appoint Elders too quickly. Every Elder who is placed in leadership bears the burden of caring for the flock. If someone is chosen who is not ready, they can do great harm to the body.

How many times have you seen people come to Christ and immediately get thrown into some kind of leadership role? That usually does not end well. People need to be discipled and prepared for these roles. Some are ready to lead. Others are not. Not choosing them now does not mean they can’t be chosen later.

APPLICATION

What are some tasks that your little Gertrude or Elrod can do now in your home? Can they do all the things you do? Of course not. There are some tasks they will be physically or mentally able to do later that just aren’t part of their makeup. For instance, some kids are really good at inside chores but really bad at outside tasks. Use their passions to direct their tasks.

Your child may be the perfect servant leader one day. Or they may be content to stay behind the scenes and work unnoticed. However they are gifted, teach them to serve. As believers we are all equipped through the Holy Spirit to serve somehow. Be very alert to observe where the Spirit is leading them.

Are you someone who is ready to serve? The Lord wants all His children engaged in the Body, but not before you are ready. Be honest enough to tell someone you aren’t ready. Let them know if you need to deal with some stuff first. But don’t just give an excuse. God wants to use you. Why don’t you let Him?

O God, help me identify those who are willing and able to serve. Help me disciple them so they can be used. And also help me to have the discernment about those who quite ready.

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