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ACTS 12:7

And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands.

You really need to read Acts 12:1-19 to get the full story of Peter’s imprisonment and release. It’s a fascinating story of God’s miraculous power. This verse, in the midst of that story, is great. Peter is sleeping between two soldiers when an angel appears, wakes him up and his chains fall off.

Can you imagine Peter’s surprise? But notice too that Peter was sleeping. He was at rest in prison. He was not up all night wringing his hands. He was trusting his Savior with his outcome. Whether he was released, kept in jail or killed, he was at peace. We could take a lesson from Peter here. Even when in chains, trust.

APPLICATION

This story would be a fun one to act out. Get your family together and assign the parts (Peter, angel, guards, Rhoda). Kids learn a lot from role playing. Act it out two or three times, changing roles each time. You have to video this too. Make sure to get the reaction of “Peter” each time he is awakened by the angel.

Ask your kids what they would do if an angel woke them up in the middle of the night. Ask them if they would follow the angel’s instructions or hide under the sheets. Our children need to understand that God still performs miracles. He may never send an angel to them, but He is still working in their lives every day. They just have to keep their eyes open.

What would you do with an angelic message? More importantly, what will you do with the message of God’s Word? He is speaking to you, if you will listen. The Scriptures are God’s way of talking to you today. But you have to read it to receive the message. Take time each day to read it.

Thank You, Lord, that I am free wherever I am because of Jesus in my life. The chains of sin have fallen off of me.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, Eternity, God's Will, Obedience, Parenting, Service, Soldiers

ENLISTED

2 TIMOTHY 2:4 

No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 

In the United States we have a 100% volunteer military. Gone are the days of forced enlistment. You probably know someone who was drafted into the military. But that doesn’t happen now. You have to enlist yourself.  

The phrase “enlisted him as a soldier” is one Greek word that is only used here in 2 Timothy. It literally means to choose an army. God chooses us, but just like the “no draft” policy of the United States military, He doesn’t force us. We have to sign ourselves up. That’s why Paul is warning us to not get entangled with useless stuff. We have a higher calling – to serve our Lord. 

APPLICATION 

Kids love to choose sides in a game. There are captains chosen, and then they proceed to pick sides. Your child may be the captain, the first pick or the last. That may seem trivial to you, but it’s not to them. Getting picked last can be devastating for a child. Has your child ever come home in tears because of that?  

Here’s a chance to impart God’s Word to them. Read today’s verse to them. Show them God doesn’t have “last picks.” Everyone He chooses is His first pick. We are all in His army. Worrying about getting picked last is one of those everyday entanglements Paul is warning against. It has no eternal value. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It is a meaningless distraction. 

How do you handle not getting picked first? Is peer recognition more important to you than acknowledging God’s enlistment? Rest in the fact that the Lord has chosen you. He loves you and wants to use you to advance His kingdom. Will you be careful to stay untangled? Stay free of temporal distractions and be prepared to “soldier up.” 

Lord, I am amazed that You chose me! I only deserve condemnation, but through the blood of Jesus I am set free to serve You. 

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Bible, Bosses, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Grace, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Soldiers, Surrender

SOLDIER FOR CHRIST

2 TIMOTHY 2:3 

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 

The Greek word for “soldier” is used twenty times in the New Testament, each time referring to a Roman soldier except in today’s verse. This is the only time the word is used to describe a soldier for Christ. I think that is pretty important. Unlike other soldiers who are taught to kill and destroy the enemy, the soldier of Christ is told to “suffer hardship.” Hmmm. 

Soldiering is hard. Being a Christian soldier is no different. We are called to follow orders. Whose orders? Of our Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ. A soldier responds without questioning the orders. If He says do it, we do it. It’s that simple. 

APPLICATION 

Let me ask you something, Mom and Dad. Do you expect your children to follow your directions? Or do you let them decide how to run their own lives? If you expect obedience and they don’t respond correctly, what happens? There are consequences, right? As there should be. 

Teaching our children to follow our directions and guidance is important not just because they are under our authority. We are teaching them this principle for life. Submission to authority is key to life. Those children who do not learn this at an early age will struggle with those God places over them in authority. Soldiering is hard, remember? 

Do you have your soldier boots on? Are you ready to march wherever the Lord leads? Or are you questioning His commands? We all want to enlist in the army of Christ, but most of us don’t want to follow His commands. We will read His Word and ignore the passages we don’t like. Just obey. He will never lead you where His grace cannot cover you. 

You are my Commander in Chief. I will follow wherever You lead. I am ready to suffer with You. 

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