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STILL FISHING

MATTHEW 17:24-27

“24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?’ 25 He said, ‘Yes.’ And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?’ 26 When Peter said, ‘From strangers,’ Jesus said to him, ‘Then the sons are exempt. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.’”

What a strange story. It seems to appear out of nowhere and have nothing to do with Jesus’ ministry. Oh, but it does. Did you know this tax for which they were collecting was for the support of the Temple? It wasn’t a Roman tax, but rather a Jewish tax. Jesus was fulfilling Jewish law by paying this. He was showing Peter that He meant to support the temple, not fight against it.

I bet Peter thought He was a little crazy, though, when He said to go catch a fish and find the tax money. I’ve caught a lot of fish and have found a lot of things in their mouths. But I have never found money. Boy, if I did I would fish every day, lol. Jesus was providing what was needed at the time, nothing more. He still does that today, does He not?

APPLICATION

The next time you write that check to the church or put money in the offering plate, you can tell this story. Your children will definitely think this story is cool. Money in a fish’s mouth? Really? But that miracle isn’t the point of the story. Make sure they understand that. The story is about Jesus fulfilling His Father’s will. He came to fulfill and complete the law.

Jesus just chose an interesting manner to do it. He was exhibiting His omnipotence to His followers and doing what was expected in paying this tax. Explain to your children that they too can be a part of a miracle by giving to support the church. Now, we don’t pull coins from fish, but we do support ministries that change lives. The church supports missionaries around the world who touch lives who may have never heard the name of Jesus.

I bet you could find some money in an unusual place today to give to the Lord. You may have something you are not using anymore that could be turned into cash for the kingdom. Your child may have some toys they have outgrown. Sell them and lead them to give that money to missions. They and you will be finding “coins in a fish,” in a sense. Now, that’s cool.

Father, all I have is Yours. Help me see how to make it all available to the furtherance of Your kingdom. I want to be faithful to whatever You ask me to give.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Encouragement, Eternity, Family, Gifts, Heaven, Inspirational, Love, Parenting, Treasures

IT’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE

I PETER 1:4

“to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

Great news! If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are an heir of the King! And that inheritance isn’t going anywhere. Peter makes a point to emphasize that in this verse. He, first of all, say it is “imperishable.” That Greek word means indestructible or immortal. Then he calls it “undefiled.” You could translate it as unstained. It’s perfect. Third, he says your inheritance “will not fade away.” That Greek word is only used here and means it won’t wither.

But then, after all these descriptions, he says, “reserved in heaven for you.” It’s being kept in the Fort Knox of Glory. No one or nothing can get to it. It’s promised and perpetual. No one can sneak in and destroy it or steal it. Why? Because He promised it and what He promises cannot change. Our inheritance in Christ is a sure thing.

APPLICATION

Do you have something right now you are planning on leaving as an inheritance to your children? It may be a piece of jewelry or maybe a house. It could be money. Guess what? That’s not a sure thing. Your life and their life could drastically change before that inheritance is claimed. And you have to die to leave that to them. You are probably not in a hurry to do that.

Things inherited can also lose their value. Your house can depreciate. That piece of jewelry can tarnish or be lost. What do you have that is really secure enough to pass on to your child? Your faith. Give them that. Make sure they have it BEFORE you die. There is no greater inheritance we can pass on to future generations than our love for Christ. This will last for eternity.

Are you hanging on to possessions just to pass them on? You might want to check with your children. They may have no desire for the things you hold precious. Ask them what they do value. I bet it won’t be stuff. I bet it will be time and love. Those things you can give freely. Make the investment in your inheritance to your children by preparing what God values most.

I am an heir of the King, and for that I am thankful. I know my future inheritance awaits me in Glory. But I also know I am already owner of all that’s Yours.

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MY INHERITANCE

TITUS 3:7

“so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

I saw a movie recently in which all the family were clamoring over the inheritance left by their father and grandfather. When it all went to someone else, they were furious. They had been planning how to spend all that money and now there was nothing for them. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t leave us out of His inheritance? He promised it, so we will receive it.

But just exactly what will we receive? We will receive eternal life. We will receive entrance into heaven. We will receive all the riches of heaven. We will receive crowns and rewards according to our faithfulness here. You see, the difference between our inheritance here on earth and our inheritance in heaven is that WE have to die to inherit our heavenly reward. And for the believer, there is no greater inheritance.

APPLICATION

Do your children know they will inherit your stuff? I am assuming that’s how your will is written. What? No will? Well, you need to get that written, if you haven’t. If you have that will, and your children are named as the recipients, at some point you need to go over it with them. They need to know who is getting what. Too many families end up fighting and fussing over mom’s and dad’s inheritance when they are gone.

But more importantly, you need to talk about their heavenly inheritance. When you bring out your will, talk about how the Lord has already established their inheritance for all His children. Unlike your will, which you could change, He will never remove you from what He has promised you in Christ. There is nothing you can do to be removed. It was His grace that justified you.

Are you waiting on some earthly inheritance? Are you making plans on how to spend that money? Don’t be so sure. Earthly treasures are fleeting. You can rest in your heavenly inheritance. It is a sure thing. God has promised it, and He never breaks a promise. Live today as God sees you. You are a child of the king. You are royalty. You are rich beyond description.

I know I am Your child, and along with every other believer I am an heir. Thank You for taking me into Your family. Thank You for making me Your child.

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Advice, Blameless, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Contentment, Family, Gifts, Giving, Heaven, Obedience, Parenting, Treasures

ENTRUSTED

2 TIMOTHY 1:14 

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. 

What does that mean – entrusted? It means to assign something for safekeeping. What kind of things do you entrust to someone? I bet not much. We tend to hold on to our special stuff. But God gives us the most precious of gifts to hold for Him AND use it for His glory. His Gospel.  

Once we have received the Lord through the understanding and knowledge of the word, we are entrusted with it to care for it. It’s a special gift given only to those who have bowed their knees to the Father. God doesn’t entrust stuff to those whom He knows won’t keep it safe. 

APPLICATION 

We pass things down to our kids, don’t we? I passed down a knife my dad gave to me at twelve-years-old to my son when he turned twelve. I didn’t just give it to him. I took it and had it cleaned, sharpened and shined. It had a bone handle and german steel. I hope he still has it to pass on to his child one day.  

But that is trivial. The more important thing to pass on, to entrust to your children is your faith. You teach your children about your Lord with the hopes they will embrace that faith and make it their own. That special treasure of knowing the Lord as your Savior is something they can hold on to and pass along.  That’s truly a treasure worth finding, protecting, entrusting and sharing. 

Are you holding on to your own treasures of the gospel without sharing them with others? The beauty of this treasure is the more your share it, the more it grows. The more it grows, the more special it become. Don’t be a treasure hoarder. Entrust this special gift to all your come in contact with today. 

My treasure is in You, Lord. There is no other item in the world that means as much to me as knowing You and sharing You with others. Thank You for giving Yourself for me and to me. 

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Advice, Child Raising, Giving, Modeling, Treasures

TREASURES

1 TIMOTHY 6:19 

storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 

Who doesn’t like treasure? What child has not played treasure hunt, right? Why do we dream of hidden treasure? We think instant wealth and riches will make us happy or solve all our problems. People have forsaken everything for the chance to find it. 

But if you look back at the previous verse in 1 Timothy 6, you find that only by giving it away do you become rich. What? That makes no sense. You see, our treasure is not of this world. Our riches are from God and go back to God. He enriches us with blessings that cannot be quantified. And when, in turn, we bless others, God continues to bless us. 

APPLICATION 

Children learn from us what is valuable. If we put all our energy into gaining wealth and making money, they will see that as the most important thing. In contrast, if they see us prioritizing our walk with Christ, they learn that is the important thing. How have you shown this to your children? If asked, what would they say daddy and mommy love most? 

You may have heard it said that you can see what a person values by looking at their calendar and their checkbook (now that is probably their online bank account). Where you spend your time and money is your treasure. Children will learn that from you.  

Can I see your calendar? How about your bank account? No? Really? I don’t need to. God sees it with every transaction and every second spent. Is He pleased with what you are modeling for your family? Are you storing up His treasures as a firm foundation for the coming age? 

O Father, You are the Giver of all good gifts. I rest in You. Help me share with others all You have given me. My treasure is eternal. 

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