Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Righteousness, Sanctification, Scripture, Testimony

BE HOLY

1 PETER 1:15

“but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;”

Now, wait just a minute, Peter. I may be a lot of things, but holy? How do you expect me to be holy? I am flesh. I am a sinner saved by grace. I am a long way from holy. I think it’s a little much for you to command me to be holy.

Come on, now. Don’t you feel the same way sometimes? We have to remember, though, that God never asks us to do anything He knows we can’t do. The truth is we can’t be holy. It’s Him in us that makes holy. Don’t try to do it on your own. You can’t do it. But when we surrender to Him, His holiness will thrive in you.

APPLICATION

Tell your son or daughter in the morning that you expect them to be holy today. Tell them that you will not accept anything less. You may have a child who says, “I can do that.” Seriously, they can’t, and you know it. Just let them try. I guarantee it won’t be long in the day until they do something to blow that holiness. They really don’t have a clue what being holy means.

When they blow it, read them this verse. Explain to them what being holy means. The Greek word for “holy” means having the likeness of nature with the Lord and being different from the world. Ask your child what they think that means. How can they be like Jesus and different from the world? They can tell you. Listen. You may just learn something.

How holy were you today? Did the likeness of the Father live through you? As I told you earlier, you can’t be holy. The only thing holy about us is Jesus. Our flesh loves to raise its ugly head. It wants us to be like the world. It prefers unholiness. Squash your flesh by yielding to Him today. All the Holy One to make you holy!

I know there is nothing holy in me except Your Spirit. Help me surrender today to Your Spirit so I can live holy. I want to be holy, as You are.

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Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Deception, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Following, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Obedience, Parenting, Sanctification

WHAT DO YOU DESIRE?


1 PETER 1:14

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,”

What do you desire? I mean, what do you strongly desire? You see, the Greek word here for “lusts” is neither bad nor good. It all depends on the object of your desires. Peter is warning us here to not go back to the former things, those things that kept us away from God. Those things are never good.

However, we can “lust” or strongly desire the things of God. Do you hunger and thirst for His Word? Do you passionately pursue your time in prayer? I am as guilty as the rest in not spending enough time in either. I have my quiet times and pray, but in proportion to my other pursuits, how do they measure up?

APPLICATION

Ask your child what they like more than anything else in the world. They may name a game, a certain kind of food or a person. Ask them why that is so important to them. Now, this could get interesting, but just let them talk. Read them this verse and explain how we have certain desires (you may have to explain that word to them) before we get saved.

Then tell them the Holy Spirit moves us to change our desires. When we give our hearts to Christ, He puts within us a desire to please our Heavenly Father. That desire was not there before. We are guided by the Holy Spirit toward things that make us more like Christ and away from those old, selfish desires. We move from thinking about ourselves to thinking about others. Those former “lusts” are replaced by godly desires.

Are you holding on to some former lusts? Let them go. Let Jesus fill you with desires that honor Him. Those old desires will never draw you close to God. We have to lay them aside. You cannot hang on to them. Pursue the desires that come from Him.

I desire You, O Lord. Fill my heart with a passion to please You. Guide in my thoughts so all I do honors You.

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GIRDING

1 PETER 1:13

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Girding! That’s a funny word to me. The phrase “prepare…for action” could be translated as “gird.” The Greek word is only used right here in verse 13. Do you know what gird means? It has the word picture of someone wearing a long garment (as they did back in Peter’s day), reaching down, pulling it up and wrapping it around the waste. This was done when they had to move quickly or do some work which required bending and stretching. This gave them some freedom to move easily.

So, why would Peter use this word to talk about our minds? Because so many things can entangle our minds and not allow us think clearly and respond quickly. He is basically telling us to clear our minds of unnecessary things. That can be hard, can’t it? But we must do that to be ready to respond to the things of God.

APPLICATION

This can be a fun verse to talk about with your kids. Your little ones will especially like this. Get some fabric or find a long garment, one that goes to your child’s ankles. Now, you need to wear one too. They will love that, Dad. Once you are all dressed, go outside and have a race. See how easily you can run and jump with that long garment on.

Now it’s time to “gird” yourself. Show them how to reach down, gather up the fabric and secure it around their waist. Once you have all done that, do some more running and jumping. They will be amazed at that difference. Read the verse and make the application. They will get it and probably won’t quickly forget it (or seeing dad in a dress, lol). Visuals are so good with kids.

What’s hindering your action today? Do you need to rid your mind of some things to allow it to react quickly? God will show you how to gird your mind, to prepare it for action. But you must be willing to let some things go or at least put them on the back burner. Nothing is more important than being prepared to act when God calls. Are you ready?

Cleanse my mind today, O Lord. Let my thoughts be focused on You. Show me what You would have me do.

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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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POURED OUT

TITUS 3:6

“whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”

Notice the first word of this verse – “whom.” Whom? Someone is poured out? That’s right. You have to look back at the last two words of verse 5 to understand this. It’s the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is “poured out upon us richly.” And look at how this done. “through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Only He can do that. That’s why He came. That’s why He ascended back to heaven.

At salvation Jesus infuses us, pours out on us the Holy Spirit. He fills every pore. He indwells us. How? Richly! Abundantly! Jesus doesn’t give us part of the Spirit. He doesn’t measure out a portion of the Spirit based on our potential. No! He sends THE Holy Spirit, all of Him, to fill us. He fills each of us simultaneously. That blows my mind.

APPLICATION

It’s important to remember that the same Holy Spirit that fills you as a believer is the same Holy Spirit that fills your child. You are connected by something far more powerful than shared DNA. The third person of the Trinity indwells both of you. How do you teach your children this? Well, I’ve got a simple object lesson that falls far short, but it gives a visual.

Get a large plastic tub. Fill it with water. Then get several glasses or jars, one for every family member. Label the tub “Holy Spirit.” Submerge each glass into the tub until all of them are under water. Ask your child which one is the fullest. Of course, they are all full. Explain to your child that’s how it is with the Holy Spirit is us. We are all filled without affecting the fullness of the other. And our filling does not diminish the ability of the Holy Spirit to fill others. The Holy Spirit is still whole. He just makes us part of His wholeness. Amazing.

Now, you can tear this analogy apart, I’m sure. Don’t analyze it. Just look at it as a simple object lesson to represent a Biblical truth. The Spirit has been poured out on every believer. And not just a small drop. No, richly! Abundantly. We are filled! Will you surrender to that fullness today?

O God of the Universe, thank You for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I have no reason to not do as You ask because You are in me. Help me pour out Your Spirit on others.

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THE THREE P’S

2 TIMOTHY 4:18

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

You may have heard salvation described this way – we were saved, we are being saved and we will be saved. Or maybe like this – we were saved from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and one day the presence of sin. That’s what today’s verse is saying.

Paul is thanking God in advance and telling Timothy that he is secure in the fact that the Lord will rescue him from the very presence of sin. He is going home to His heavenly kingdom where there is no sin. Can you imagine? No evil. No hurt feelings. No paybacks. Just pure joy!

APPLICATION

Ask your children to imagine a perfect place. Get them to draw a picture if they like to do that. Don’t talk about heaven yet. Just get them to describe their perfect place. What makes it perfect? Is it the people? Is it what they get to do? Just what determines perfection for your child?

Now, read them this verse and talk about different heaven will be from our earth without heaven. Ask them why they think Paul uses the words “rescue” and “bring me safely” when he describes going to heaven. Better yet, get them to draw a picture of Jesus doing that for them. Those should be some interesting pictures worthy of the kitchen frig.

Let me ask you point blank. Have you been rescued? Are you secure in your salvation? If not, why not surrender your heart and your life to Him today. If you have, are you walking in that victory we have in Jesus? You ARE free from the penalty of sin. You ARE free from the power of sin. And praise God one day you will be free from the very presence of sin. Sing Hallelujah!!!

I sing Your praises, O Lord. You are the only one who can deliver me. I rest completely in Your saving power.

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WISDOM

2 TIMOTHY 3:15

and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

What makes you wise? Knowledge? Not necessarily! I know a lot of people of who are very smart but aren’t vey wise. They know a lot of stuff, but don’t know what to do with it. Wisdom is far more than knowing stuff. It’s knowing what to do with the knowledge you have obtained. That’s Paul’s point here to Timothy.

And what is that source of knowledge? God’s Word. Since he was a boy, Timothy had been taught God’s Word by his mother and grandmother (see 2 Timothy 1:5). That knowledge leads to true wisdom – salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Because, come on, be honest. If you have all that knowledge and die without Christ, that’s pretty stupid.

APPLICATION

Wise children are obedient children. Wise children are respectful children. Wise children understand the importance of obeying parents, adults and most importantly, the Lord. And the only way to have wise children is through the instruction of God’s Word. They could have a 4.0 GPA and be dumb as rocks. It’s like I said earlier. Knowing what to do with knowledge makes you wise.

So, here’s the hard part. You have to let them apply their knowledge. You have to let them make choices that will affect their lives. They have to learn how God’s Word lives out in their lives through relationships and circumstances. If you continually rescue them from difficult situations where they have the chance to apply that knowledge, they will never gain the wisdom necessary to maneuver life’s challenges.

Where does your wisdom come from? Are you applying the knowledge of God’s Word you already have? If you have followed the Lord in salvation, you have already made the wisest decision of your life. Now, you simply need to continue in that pursuit of wisdom through salvation. You are in a process of salvation your entire Christian life, becoming more and more like Christ. What higher goal could you pursue for wisdom?

You are the all wise God who gives us exactly what we need when we need it. Help me pursue only the truth of Your Word to guide me in all wisdom.

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