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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BE AN EXAMPLE

2 TIMOTHY 1:13 

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 

Paul’s charge to Timothy in today’s verse still rings true for us today. We are to “retain the standard.” That literally means to keep the example. Better yet, we are to be the example. This is a command, not a suggestion. Timothy had to be the one in Ephesus to do so. He was the example of Christ in a pagan city. 

So are we! Our testimony is the starting point for each of us. However, we are asked of the Lord to represent Him from that point on. That can only be done through faith and love in Christ Jesus. He lives in and through us to point the way for a lost world.  

APPLICATION 

Preacher’s kids get a bum rap. People think they should be better than the other kids. That’s not fair to them. If you are in the ministry, don’t put that on your kids. However, we should hold our children to a higher standard once they accept Christ. Why? Because now they represent the king of kings. They bear His name. 

It’s hard to get some children to understand just how important their walk with Christ is for others. They may feel judged or pressured to conform or perform. No! We don’t want that. We want them to simply let Jesus live through them. All we want is for them to yield to Him. He will take care of them. Just be Jesus. 

So, what are you doing with this command? Are you retaining the standard? Are you a worthy example of what Christ can and will do with a surrendered life? If you are struggling putting something down, Jesus is talking with you. Put it in His hands. Don’t let anything come between you and following the Lord. He is faithful to see you through the hardest things life has to “offer.” 

Help me trust You completely, Lord, and allow you to hold me up as an example. Let anything in my life that is seen by others simply point them back to you. 

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FIRST MOLD

1 TIMOTHY 2:13

“For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”

The Bible teaches in Genesis that creation was completed after man and woman were made. All the other creations were spoken into existence. But not man. God molded him from the dust of the earth with His very own hands. That’s what the Greek word for “created” means. Then He breathed His breath, the ancient breath of the ages, into him. 

That first molded man was used to create woman. We are taught that God put Adam to sleep (the first anesthesiology case) and removed a rib to fashion woman. Adam was molded first, and then Eve. Some may say that makes Adam more important. I disagree. God’s creation wasn’t complete until woman was formed. After that, God rested. 

APPLICATION

This story has been told to children since…well…creation, lol. Most children who have had any exposure to church know this story. So, why is it important to tell it again? To make sure they understand this is fact, not fiction. This is NOT a Bible fable. Adam and Eve actually lived on this earth. Adam was literally formed from dust. Eve was fashioned from a rib. That’s exactly how it happened.

Your little Gertrude or Elrod are going to be bombarded with science and evolution. They will even be told to believe in creation is dumb. They need to have the knowledge to push these comments back. If our children can’t believe in Genesis 1-3, why should they believe the rest? This is fundamental to their faith in God and His Word.

How about you? Do you write off this story because you can’t understand it? Do you write off the resurrection because you can’t understand that? Our deepest held beliefs are built upon this creation. It all begins there. Trust God’s Word – every single word of it. He is still breathing that breath of life into us today, and it comes through His Word.

Breathe on me! Breathe on me! Holy Spirit, breathe on me! Take now my heart, cleanse every part. Holy Spirit, breathe on me! 

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GOD’S DESIRE

1 TIMOTHY 2:4

“who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 

Our holy and righteous God desires everyone to be saved. He is ready to act, to deliver them. But…God want force salvation on anyone. This verse reads “desires” for a reason. God wishes for their salvation. It is, in fact, His will that all men be saved. We have to decide to receive it.

And this verse goes on to say, “come to the knowledge of the truth.” You see, that is what convinces us. The truth of God’s Word convinces us that salvation is real and is for us. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. So, perhaps the Lord wants to use you to share His good news with someone He is desiring to be saved (which is everyone).

APPLICATION

I pray you are teaching your little Susie and little Johnny to share the good news. Once they come to Christ and discover this truth for themselves, we need to prepare them to share it. Teach them the ABC’s of faith sharing. “A” is for Admit. Everyone must admit they are a sinner in need of a Savior. “B” is for Believe. They have to believe that Jesus was God’s Son who was sent to earth to die for those sins and satisfy God’s judgment. He was crucified, buried and rose again. “C” is for confess. Each person has to confess that belief with their own mouths and ask the Lord to save them and come into their lives.

I promise your kids, even the youngest, can remember those three things. I never cease to be amazed at how quickly children can memorize things. So, I am confident your children can learn to share the good news with their friends and family.

Do you know the knowledge of the truth? Have you acknowledged Jesus as your Savior and Lord? That’s exactly what God wants and wills for you. But don’t keep that to yourself. Shout it from the highest mountain top. Whisper it to your grandchildren or children. Tell total strangers about it. Just tell it.

I am the possessor of the greatest story ever told. Help me to share that with others all around me. Let me tell it with joy and excitement so they will see just what You have done for me.

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THE PURPOSE OF EASTER

2 THESSALONIANS 2:10

“and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” 

Resurrection Sunday! Easter! Shouldn’t we celebrate the resurrection of Christ every day? I think so. His death atoned for all our sins, but His resurrection gave us victory over the grave and death. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Today’s verse fits nicely with the Easter message. Satan is constantly trying to deceive mankind. His wicked ways will lead us straight down the road to destruction. We will perish without receiving the love of God, the love of truth. We must receive it to be saved. That word “receive” is written in the middle voice, which means it is our decision to receive. No one can make us.

APPLICATION

Okay – here are some clear commands to follow to lead your children to Christ. 1) Satan will try to deceive them. 2) His ways are wicked. 3) His ways lead to destruction. 4) They must receive Jesus on their own. 5) God will save them if they do.

It’s really that simple. Any child can understand the simple truth of the Gospel. Don’t complicate it. Teach them to share this with their friend. You don’t have to have 100 verses memorized to be saved (not that memorization isn’t important). Your little Susie must come to the realization that her sins are wickedness and are only pleasing Satan. Then she must confess them, receive the love of the truth (Jesus) and God will save her.

Who can you share that with today? You see, you have people all around you who are dying spiritually right now. They will certainly perish without receiving the Lord. You are essentially watching them rot and decay before your eyes in their wickedness. Stop the decay! Share today’s truth with them and lead them to receive a resurrected life in Christ. Amen?

Lord, today give me someone I can share truth with. Let me be the one to introduce them to a way of escape. I will give You all the glory!

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BAD BREATH

2 THESSALONIANS 2:8

“Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;” 

Excuse my thought process, lol. But I just could not resist when I read this verse. I am NOT insinuating that the Lord will have bad breath. But, unlike His first appearance on earth, He will be one “bad” dude when He returns. He won’t come as baby. He will come as Ruler and Judge. And this lawless one will pay the price simply by the breath of His mouth.

Now, that word “breath” is the Greek word pneuma, which can also be translated as spirit. In fact, it is the same word used in the title of “Holy Spirit.” I don’t think that is a coincidence, do you? The very breath of God, the very Spirit of God will slay the lawless one. No weapon is needed.

APPLICATION

Here is the great part of that verse. That same “breath” of the Lord is living in us as believers. We have that power coursing through us every day, if we just tap into it. Now, we aren’t going to slay someone with our breath (unless we have been eating a lot of garlic). But the Lord stands ready to defeat any enemy we face. All we have to do is mention His name, and the enemy flees.

We need to teach our children the importance on relying on the Lord to fight their battles. Surrender to Him first, allow Him to work in their lives, and He will stand ready to defend us. He will protect His children, just you do all you can to protect them as their earthly parent. The difference is you can’t be with them all the time. He can and will.

Are you in need of the “breath” of God today? Are you facing unknown forces that are trying to tear you down and destroy you? Allow Him to reign in and through you. Then step back and watch Him work. He is ready. Are you?

Your breath is sweet to me but harsh to the unbeliever. Help me share your breath with others. I want them to also experience its sweetness. 

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HEAVENLY LIVING


1 THESSALONIANS 5:10

“who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.” 

I just cAn’t get over the imagery of Christ’s death. It is His death on the cross that gives us the opportunity for life, life eternal. Paul is assuring the Thessalonians and us that whether they are alive when Christ returns or are asleep (as we saw in chapter 4), we WILL be with Christ for eternity.

There are not many people I can think of I would want to live with here on earth. Living with people requires you to share space. It requires you to communicate with them about household stuff. People you live with now just get in your stuff, don’t they? But eternal living will be different. Why? Because our focus will NOT be on us. It will be on Him. 

APPLICATION

Why not ask your children how they like living in their family. Get ready for some crazy answers. Ask them if they could, who would they add or leave out. Now, this is not a time for scolding or correcting. Just let them answer and tell why. You could learn a lot by their answers. 

After you have heard all their answers, talk about our eternal home. Explain how living here is really just preparation for living there. Getting along with family here is preparing us for eternal living. Encourage them to be more forgiving of that brother or sister whom they may spend eternity with. Model this for them by treating your spouse with the kind of affection you will receive from Jesus in your heavenly home. 

Are you ready for eternal living? If you are a believer, God is trying to get you ready each day down here. He is attempting to mold you into a perfect eternal kingdom citizen. Just think how sweet it would be if we could start living heavenly down here. Heaven on earth is possible if we let Him live in and through us.

Father God, give me the wisdom today to live heavenly. Let me treat my earthly family like I will treat my heavenly family. Give me Your eyes today to see them as You see them.

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