We are often hampered in our decisions, our feelings, and our responses to the everyday trials of life on this planet. This hindering is because of sin. We don’t like to admit that. I am not saying the trial is because of sin; I am saying the hindering to our joy, our wisdom, and to a more proper response to trials, is almost always wrapped in sin.
Our reactions to each other, our mates, our children, our co-workers are not patient, not kind; we tend to brag and be arrogant. We hold into account a wrong suffered; we rejoice in our own unrighteousness, we do not endure all things. We often think as a child, reason as a child and continue in childish ways. We are selfish, self-centered and stubborn, often wallowing in self-pity. Not a pretty sight!
How are we still alive and not crushed in the hands of an angry God! Praise God for His mercy. But let us not think that His mercy is an excuse to sin, may it never be! His mercy holds us in His favor until we can learn, change and start having the fruit of the Spirit manifest instead of our broken nature.
Check your actions and reactions. Do they measure up to the standard of action and reaction that the Lord requires? Meditate on these things. Let’s not be boastful and challenging each other. But let the fruit of the Spirit reign supreme. There is no law of man or God that is against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let’s strive harder to have these as the basis of our behavior and help each other as we struggle to meet the measure of God. Endure the fire—it’s producing pure gold!
How many of our children can name 10 rules of soccer, basketball, baseball, etc., but cannot name all of the 10 Commandments? How many of our children can name 12 movie stars or sports figures in as many seconds but would have to ponder for hours naming the 12 Apostles? Naming the commandments and the apostles is not the point here, folks, but I think you get the point!
Have we really brought up our children in the ways of the Lord? Have we taught them the great, life-altering accounts of the Bible, both formally by study in the home and informally in our interactions with them? If they were talking about your strongest characteristic, would it be that you love God with all your heart? Have your children seen you go to the Lord with all of your requests and wait on Him for the answers? Do your children see you repent and ask forgiveness when you are wrong? Do you counsel your children in gentleness and love or with a strong, overbearing spirit that only crushes theirs? Do your children see you seriously studying the Bible, and see your eager participation in church and its ministries? Do your children see you tithing and looking for opportunities to give and assist those in your area? Have you gone over the lists of the deeds of the flesh vs. the fruit of the Spirit with your children, with an eye to guiding them around the pitfalls of life? Have you discussed sexual purity and chastity with your children and God’s reasons for it? Have you used the Scriptures as the basis for your decisions? Have you prayed with your children daily? Have you taught them daily scripture review and study? Have you taught them to participate in church and volunteer regularly? Have you shown your boys what it says in the Scripture that God requires of a man, husband, father and worker? Have you shown your girls what it says in the Scriptures that God requires of a woman, wife, mother and worker?
So many questions…so many answers! I hope you have told your children that they have a free gift from God…eternal life…that is theirs for the sincere asking. Ponder these questions in the presence of God, and may you do well on your journey. His gracious help is there in all that He requires of you. Endure the fire—it’s producing pure gold!
In the Psalms, the Lord has said that children are a gift and like arrows in a man’s quiver. These arrows need to be “sharpened” in and by the wisdom of God. The following are some comments I heard years ago and they still hold true today:
Begin early – a twig shapes much easier than a big branch!
Be creative – at all times and in all ways. Search the Scriptures for help and search Christian materials for good and godly suggestions…a ton of stuff is online at the various ministries…and for free!
Work to build character – many people concentrate on sports, travel, money, grades, etc. (all good) but, instead, concentrate more on complimenting for character traits and morally-sound decisions.
Learn to set some limits – God put limits on Adam and Eve…are we any different? Strangely, oftentimes, to a child, no limit being set on them is seen as rejection, as someone not caring. When you set limits, they will complain and buck against them…expect it! But don’t stop setting the limits for them. Remember, if you don’t conquer them…someone else will!
Assign responsibility – find out what they can do, give them work and responsibilities, and require them to complete the job. Don’t re-do the job to your satisfaction, but rather have your child re-do the job in a more satisfactory manner.
Have your home filled with laughter – let it be a place they want to bring their friends. If your home is always a somber concentration camp or a bitter battleground, don’t expect them to enjoy it.
Let the children see God at work in your family – by your worship, your giving, your kindness, your patience, your forgiveness…you get the picture. Endure the fire—it’s producing pure gold!
We read the Bible and God tells us to be holy as He is holy. Then we despair because neither we or our families, or our situations seem “holy”. We are born with a sin nature, not a holy nature, and if all Jesus Christ can do is tell us to be holy…we are certainly in despair!
But folks, that is what the “good news” is all about. Jesus doesn’t tell us to change…He IS the change. He is the regenerator who puts His holiness and His disposition into us when we ask Him into our hearts and lives. With the entrance of Jesus into your life, comes the entrance of the ability to be holy, to change from what you are into what you desperately need to be.
What an abounding joy to know that you can be delivered from the heredity of sin through Jesus Christ and receive His heredity through the Holy Spirit. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21 and munch on that awhile. Endure the fire—it’s producing pure gold!
Everything you always wanted to know about life but were afraid to ask:
What Am I To Do?
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up”. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
How Am I To Do It?
“…what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes…” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
Why Should I Try?
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
There…that was easy! Endure the fire—it’s producing pure gold!
This country is a wonderful country; ordained, developed and led by God. Some may want to dispute that, but we need to be vibrant points of light, displaying God’s truth in all of our behavior, thus proving them wrong.
Our allegiance to God must not be superseded by any allegiance to our country; rather, it is only as an obedient servant of God that we can best serve this nation.
We do have direction from God on what to do in this regard. His Word must be the only basis for our thoughts, our desires, our emotions and eventually all of our decisions. Romans 13:1 states “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
How perfect! With God, it is a “win-win” situation. “In God We Trust” is our motto. Let us, then, believe it and live it with all our might. God bless you and God bless America. Endure the fire—it’s producing pure gold!