Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Holiness, Husbands, Inspirational, Modeling, Parenting, Scripture, Submission, Surrender, Wives

MODELING BEHAVIOR

1 PETER 3:5

“For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;”

I wonder who Peter was thinking of when he wrote this verse? His mother? His wife? Old Testament saints? We don’t know, but surely he had someone in mind. These were women who were more concerned with pleasing their Lord than with their external adornment. I bet they were all beautiful women, because when you live like that the Lord shines through.

Do you know any women who live like this? In today’s culture submitting to your husband is seen as weakness by the feminist movement. Now, I am not trying to start a fight. I am just stating a fact. Thank the Lord we don’t have to live by today’s culture. We rely on the Word of God to direct our life choices. I am thankful for a submissive wife who honors God with her choices.

APPLICATION

How do you apply this verse to children? Well, we are to teach our little girls and our little boys what it means to submit. Our girls need to understand that they are not submitting to some man. They are submitting to the Lord. He is the one they are trying to honor.

And our boys need to understand what that submission means. It does NOT mean that their wives are their slaves. This is a partnership. They are to honor the Lord by protecting and nurturing their wives. In return, the Lord directs their wives to submit. Obedience to the Lord is the key.

If you know some godly woman who is living out this verse, praise her today. Tell her how much she inspires you with her walk. Encourage her today to continue to model for you and others. Perhaps you are that woman who struggles with submission. Seek the Lord’s direction today. Please Him. That’s all that matters.

Thank You for putting holy women in my life. I praise You for the example they give in surrender to You.

Standard
Child Raising, Child Rearing, Completeness, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Mentoring, Parenting, Submission, Surrender

FILLED

ACTS 4:8

“Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people,’”

When you read this verse you see that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. That sounds great doesn’t it? We know he received the Spirit at Pentecost. But what you can’t see from the English translation is this. That word “filled” in the original Greek means filled to capacity. That changes things.

Peter was not only full, he was totally full. He couldn’t hold any more Spirit. That’s what gave him the ability to preach like he does in the following verses. He was simply overflowing with the Spirit of God. It was the Spirit speaking through him. He was just the vessel God decided to use to preach the Gospel to those listening.

APPLICATION

This is a great verse to share with your kids. Ask them if they have ever been full of joy or happiness. Ask them how they acted when that happened. They may get excited telling you and even have to act it out. That’s great. Ask them what they think would have happened if they had tried to hold all that joy and happiness in. They will probably say they would have burst.

That’s how it is with the Spirit of God inside of us. Explain to your children that when they are surrendered to the Spirit and allowing Him to live through them, they will be filled to overflowing with the Spirit. The Spirit will bubble over on people. Their countenance will better. Their speech will be sweeter. They will be bursting with the Spirit.

How is your Spirit gauge? Are you running on empty? The Spirit never leaves us as believers, but we can sure push Him down and not allow Him to show Himself in our lives. Our flesh is strong and can win out much of the time if we don’t surrender our lives to the Spirit every minute of every day.

Lord, I surrender myself to Your Spirit within me today. I won’t to overflow with the love of Jesus which is exhibited through the Spirit You have given me.

Standard
Advice, Calling, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Courage, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Service, Submission, Witnessing

FIRSTS

ACTS 2:14

“But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.’” 

I remember the first sermon I preached. It was at Harmony Baptist Church in Pelham, GA. I was asked to preach at their annual Youth Sunday. I prepared what I thought was the perfect sermon and was sure it would last the allotted thirty minutes. Lo and behold, I was done in about seven, lol. But I found out something. No one complains about a short sermon.

Peter had been transformed by the arrival of the Holy Spirit. He was filled with the very presence of Christ now. He was no longer that disciple who had denied Jesus. He was now the leader of a new movement to evangelize the world. And here he is preaching his first sermon. What a message! What a transformation.

APPLICATION

Do you recall the first time your child performed at church or school? Perhaps their first solo or part in a play? I sure do. I was so proud of them. My shirt almost lost buttons, lol.  Tell your kids about that. Tell them how proud you still are of them. They won’t soon forget that.

Then tell them how proud the Lord is when they share Christ with someone for the first time or when they make that first gift to the church. First times can be hard and challenging, but the Lord will give them the courage to follow through. Challenge your children to take on those “firsts” just like Peter did. He was accused of being drunk when the Spirit came upon him and the other disciples. But he didn’t get mad and leave. He delivered his first sermon empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Are you fearful of stepping out on those “firsts”? Don’t be. Trust the Lord to use the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and give you the courage. He loves to encourage us. We just have to step up and trust Him. Will you do that today? Who knows, maybe your first sermon may last longer than seven minutes.

I will trust You, Lord, to empower me to step out and do what You ask, even if it is for the first time. I want to honor You with my obedience.

Standard
Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Contentment, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Sanctification, Scripture, Submission, Surrender, Testimony

LOOKING AT OTHERS

JOHN 21:20-23

“20 Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?’ 21 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what about this man?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!’ 23 Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?’”

Why do we compare ourselves to others? You can always find someone “lower” than you and someone “above” you. All we need to be concerned about is ourselves as far as the Lord is concerned. But Peter looks behind him and sees John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and couldn’t help himself. He had to ask Jesus about John.

Jesus was not one to pass on a teachable moment. I love the middle part of His answer. He said, “What is that to you?” Peter, don’t worry about John. Worry about yourself. You follow Me. I’ll take care of John. We would do well to heed Jesus’ words ourselves, right? Our first concern needs to be our own personal relationship with Him.

APPLICATION

Our children are prone to worry about how someone else is being treated. They want to make sure no one is treated better than them. I remember my brother-in-law telling me how he solved the last piece of pie debate with his two kids. One would divide the piece, but the other one got to choose which piece they wanted. Boy, that was the most evenly cut piece of pie in history, lol.

But the lesson for our kids from this verse is the same lesson Jesus gave Peter. They need to concentrate on their own faith walk first. Don’t worry if others seem to be getting “more” from God. He is not a respecter of persons. He is the most fair judge  there is. No one can persuade Him to treat them more fairly than they should be. Remind your children of that.

Do you look at others and envy them? Do you feel like they are being treated better than you? This verse is for you then. If our heart is surrendered to Jesus, we won’t care if others “get more.” In fact, we will be thrilled at the blessings they are receiving. God will take care of you.

Lord, I thank You that You are fair and just. I also thank You that You are always focusing me on my walk with You, not someone else’s walk.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Bosses, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Courage, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Honor, Inspirational, Labor, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Submission, Testimony, Witnessing

YOUR BOSS

1 PETER 2:18

“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.”

It’s easy to be submissive to your boss when he’s nice and treats you right, isn’t it? But Peter doesn’t say that. If he had just stopped with “gentle.” Right? But he continued on with “but also to those who are unreasonable.”  Come on, Peter. Couldn’t you to pull up short once?

But that word “unreasonable” needs explaining. It’s more than that. The word means crooked, perverse, unfair, curved or tortuous. Have you ever had a boss like that? I have once, a long time ago, and it was tough. I wish I could say I was always submissive, but I can’t. But he was my boss, and God intended for me to submit.

APPLICATION

This is one of those verses our children need to hear early in life. They will have to submit to others all their life. When they get their first job, they may have a boss who is “unreasonable.” They are to submit. They may have teacher who is “unreasonable.” They are to submit. Submission is not weakness. It’s strengthening. Why? Because our ultimate submission is to God who gives us the strength to submit to others.

I remember counseling my own children regarding bosses they have had. My advice has always been to submit (unless it was illegal or immoral). If God gave them the job, then He intended for that boss to be in their lives for a reason. I know my children both learned from “unreasonable” bosses in their past, which has prepared them for where they are now.

Are you one who is always complaining about your boss? Stop it! Begin praying for your boss. Ask the Lord to give them spiritual eyes. If they aren’t saved, pray for their salvation. Maybe the Lord intended for you to be there under them for just such a purpose. Thank God for your boss today.

Father, thank You for those who are authorities in my life. May they be blessed with Your love and mercy. Give me the attitude to bless them in Your name.

Standard
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.

Standard
Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Praise, Punishment, Sanctification, Scripture, Submission, Testimony

PUNISHMENT OR PRAISE

1 PETER 2:14

“or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”

I don’t know about you, but I had much rather be praised than punished. It just feels better, doesn’t it? Working with people as I have for over 40 years in ministry, I have tried to practice the sandwich principle. If I had to discipline a staff member or a child, I always tried to begin and end with some kind of praise and put the hard part in the middle. That wasn’t always possible, but I tried to.

Peter is continuing the command he began in verse 13 (there weren’t verses numbered in his letter, by the way). If you do what’s right, you are subject to praise. If you insist on doing evil, well…punishment is your reward. Your choice. What do you choose today?

APPLICATION

Children especially need praise. I used to tell my staff at the children’s homes, say yes if you can. Some of us automatically say no to children’s request. Let me encourage you today to say yes, unless there is a very good reason to say no. You may be surprised at your child’s response to you in other areas.

Praise your children or grandchildren for making their bed. Praise them for taking out the trash. Praise them for being kind to their sister or brother. And when you must punish or discipline, make sure you pay special attention to praise before and after. Let the last words out of your mouth be praise.

Are you a “praiser” or a “punisher”? Some of us relish the latter. We think it gives us power. Real power comes from the Lord. He had much rather praise you than punish you. He isn’t waiting to zap you every time you fail (and we fail a lot). Jesus was a praiser. He saw the potential in people and tried to draw that out. He took Peter, a crude, uneducated fisherman, and turned him into the leader of The Way. He can change you too.

O Father, I am thankful I can praise people rather than punish them. You give me that power. Let my words encourage rather than discourage those I meet.

Standard