Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Conceit, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Godliness, Humility, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Praise, Scripture, Worship

JUST A MAN

ACTS 10:25-26

“25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I too am just a man.’” 

I have known people who would love to be worshipped. In fact, most of those people worship themselves. They think they are God’s gift to humanity. They walk around looking down on everyone, because they know they are better than them. Or so they think.

I am not trying to rude or uncaring. It’s just a fact. Our flesh loves to be worshipped. But Peter was having none of that. The instant Cornelius fell to his feet, Peter didn’t just speak to him. He raised him up and said, “I too am just a man.” In other words, there is only one God and I am not Him. Peter knew where worship belonged.

APPLICATION

This is a great verse for our kids because they can develop heroes who they idolize. Sports figures, singers and movie stars are just some examples. None of these people have the right to be worshipped. We must direct our children to the One who is worthy.

Let me go further. We believers can put pastors or Christian leaders on a pedestal. Guess what? People on pedestals tend to fall off. I have had the privilege to know several “famous” individuals. They are just human, like us. And the ones I respect the most always pointed me back to Jesus. They knew where all the credit lies.

Are you an idol worshipper? Do you put people on pedestals? Maybe you are the one on the pedestal. You long for people’s praise. Be very careful. As I said earlier, there is only one God and you are not Him. He alone is worthy of praise and worship.

I worship You and You alone. I praise you for all You have done in my life and will continue to do. Thank You, Lord.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Demons, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evangelism, God's Will, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Satan, Scripture, Thanksgiving, Witnessing, Worship

SAVE YOURSELF

1 TIMOTHY 4:16

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”

I know what you are thinking.  “Save yourself? What are you saying, Carl?” Before you call the heresy police, let me explain. Paul is instructing Timothy to be careful to continue to teach true doctrine and follow it himself. By doing this he will show to others that he is a true follower of Christ and a faithful minister of the Gospel. His first concern should be his personal spiritual growth and then secondly, the salvation and growth of others.

There was a problem already arising in the early church of false teachers and preachers. They saw an opportunity to deceive others by preying on their desire to know God. So, these false teachers would teach false doctrines pointed at benefitting themselves. Paul was warning Timothy about appearing as one of them.

APPLICATION

We, as parents, should similarly instruct our children to have as their first priority to grow spiritually. Through Bible Study, prayer, worship and fellowship with other believers, they can continue their growth as a disciple of Christ. And then they will be prepared to reach out to the lost around them. But you can’t fully disciple others until you are grounded yourself.

I have seen far too many new converts get sidetracked trying to go back into the world to reach their lost friends. The lures of their past are strong. It is so easy to get sucked back into them. So, we need to help strengthen their resolve before unleashing them to pursue others. I am not saying they shouldn’t witness to others. I am saying they should be prepared to do so.

This does not give you an excuse to keep your faith to yourself. We are commanded to go witness to the world. But the Lord wants us to guard ourselves against the wiles of the devil. He knows our weaknesses and will throw everything he can at us to distract us or bring us down. Prepare yourself and be faithful to share.

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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THE QUALITIES OF A GODLY WOMAN

1 TIMOTHY 3:11

“Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.”

Okay, I didn’t write this verse. I am just reading the next verse in 1 Thessalonians 3. Paul wrote this to the women in the Thessalonian church, but it applies to all women who profess Christ as Savior. We see four qualities in the verse – dignified, not malicious gossips, temperate and faithful. We don’t have the time or space in this short devotion to go into each in depth, so let’s just look at one. How about not being malicious gossips? After all, men are just as bad about that.

So, what does that mean? It means someone who is a back-biter, who unjustly accuses to bring someone down. Not a very nice person. Do you know anyone like that? There are some people who are JUST like that. They are people to avoid at all costs. You can’t trust them because before you know it, they will spreading rumors about you or lying about you.

APPLICATION

You are going to have to deal with this, for sure. Children can be very cruel to each other. Now, I’m not saying your children are cruel (they may be) but they may be the victim of another child’s cruelty. We naturally want to make ourselves look better than others. Pride and arrogance are part of our fleshly nature. Children, therefore, will go that route if left unchecked.

How do we teach them to not gossip, to not tear down, to not put themselves over others? By showing them the model we have in Christ and by modeling it ourselves. They will never learn how to walk like Jesus unless they see you doing the same. They will watch you and learn how to treat others. They will watch you and learn how to speak only in kindness and truth. 

Will you do that? Will you only speak in kindness and truth? Will you cease gossiping? Will you only build up others? Do you remember the old saying, “What Would Jesus Do?” Then do it.

Help me, Lord, hold my tongue. Help me to say only things that build up. Let me see myself as second to everyone for the sake of seeing some come to Christ.

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HOLY HANDS

1 TIMOTHY 2:8

“Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”    

I know you’ve seen it. People raising their hands in church during Praise and Worship. You may feel intimidated to raise yours, even though you don’t really want to. You may think hand raising is a sign of holiness. It is not! You may have been led to believe that those who raise their hands are somehow more spiritual. They are not.

Hand raising should be Spirit-led and should be done as a sign of supplication to our holy God. You are saying to God, “I lift my hands to You, O Lord, in confession. I present myself to You with a broken heart. I want to know you more completely.” It is never done in pride. It is always done in humility. 

APPLICATION

Your children will undoubtedly ask what people are doing in church when they raise their hands. We teach our children to raise their hands when they want to ask a question. We don’t normally do that during a worship service, lol. So, when they see hands going up during a service, they may be confused.

Take this opportunity to tell them, “Johnny, remind me when we get home to tell you about. I really can’t explain it now, but I will.” Then tell them what it means when you get home. Turn to this verse and explain what Paul meant by “lifting up holy hands.” Take your time. Answer their questions. This is important. You want them to understand this and feel free to do as the Lord leads them in the future.

Are you a “hand raiser”? Let me ask you why. Why do you lift your hands? Is it because everyone else is doing it? Is it because you want to be seen as “into it” during Worship? If those are your reasons, put your hands down. Ask the Lord to show you when and if you are to raise your hands. He will. 

I raise my hands to You, O Lord. I lift them in reverence to Your holiness and majesty. I bow my heart as I lift my hands.

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