Does this sound like today or what? “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely” (Jeremiah 6:13).
There is such a craving for the things money can buy and if you don’t have the money, companies stand in line to give you credit.
It begins with going to college so “you” can have the good life even if you don’t have the money for college. Young people broker future wages against the “certain” (?) high wages from their degree, presuming the money will be there to pay off the school debt. School debt is more permanent than marriage. You can divorce and lose a spouse, but even bankruptcy doesn’t get rid of school debt. Few (even believers) seem to take their debt seriously.
Why not trust a loving Father to supply all of your needs? He will supply all He agrees with.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). May we dads be an example of being content and working hard.
In 2010 we toured Carlsbad Caverns and in 2011 Yellowstone park. They are both exquisite examples of God’s beautiful creation. Sadly, God was not given any credit – not even the slightest during various guide presentations or on placards.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
Was our children’s faith weakened by evolution being given credit instead of Jesus Christ, the God of creation? No, not at all. For almost every day of their lives we have been in the Word together. It’s a special time of reading and sharing as a family. In addition, they have seen God’s Word authenticated in lives and know it to be true.
Sadly, now imagine the confusion so many (most?) children face who are merely taken to church on Sunday and then sit in front of a TV every day of the week? “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Many have it upside down today. When they think of how much something costs, they think in terms of dollars. In reality, they should be thinking in terms of time. We can always get more money, but we only have a limited amount of time. That scarcity makes time invaluable.
Most have heard the expression, “I’m spending my children’s inheritance.” They usually mean that they are spending their savings themselves, and there won’t be much left for the children after their death.
Here’s another perspective for you to consider. When Dad or Mom don’t invest time in the lives of their children, might they be spending their children’s most crucial inheritance? How prepared your children are for life, their character, their walk with Christ— isn’t that far more important than any amount of dollars they might inherit?
Child-raising years are priceless, and there are no second chances. No amount of money can replace what is lost in the child’s life. You that are heavily investing in your children’s lives are making the best choice. That investment is an inheritance they will benefit from for all eternity.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).
I’m sure you have noticed the trend in ads over the years that when someone is needed to play the part of the uninformed or ignorant, they will use a man, or it will be the dad. They do not need to worry about backlash because it appears to be the politically safe choice these days. My question for you is: Do you think we men have earned this characterization?
If we are wholeheartedly seeking our Lord Jesus and following Him, we may appear peculiar, but we will always be making the wise choices. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised” (1 Corinthians 4:10).
Do you use cruise control on your car? I like it. It makes driving easier and more pleasurable. Plus I don’t have to be concerned about drifting over the speed limit and the “blue light” consequences.
Are you using “cruise control” each day? Did you know that good habits are like cruise control for our days? The right habits enable you to accomplish the right things – easily, without stress, and enjoyably.
Make a list of the good habits you have. If consistent bedtime/wakeup time (I mean the same every day) isn’t at the top of the list, I encourage you to begin that one today. It will enable you to do things you never before thought possible. Teri has been encouraging moms to have the right habits, but we have “observed” that Dad is often the cause of shipwrecking Mom’s attempts at consistency. I believe no dad wants that for his home. Is that true for you?
“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23).
Right now, our family is enjoying time away in a remote area of Colorado. Yesterday, while I was waiting in the van for Teri to grab some groceries, an elderly, hunched-over woman walked toward the store, seeming to be in pain. Later I saw her headed out with her bag of groceries. As she passed by, I asked her if she had driven or walked to the store. She said she walked. I asked if we could give her a ride home once my wife finished shopping.
Considering my offer, she leaned against the car beside me. After a few minutes of dialog, she was comfortable accepting my offer and sat in our minivan’s backseat with the door open.
She and her husband moved out from Michigan twenty-six years ago, and her husband died four years previously. I asked if she had considered moving back to Michigan. She said their friends were all gone or moved. I asked about her children. She paused, looked deeply grieved, and was finally able to say, “Let’s just not discuss them.”
Only the Lord knows the full story. Likely, there were contributing factors by both the parents and children. From our experience with the elderly, the thing that matters most to them at that stage in life is their children. What a heartbreak when the relationship is a painful one.
Dads, I plead with you to make your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ your absolute first priority, next with your wife, and then with your children. Your children are eternal fruit. Don’t you want to spend eternity with them and have a good relationship with them when you are old?
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3).
How often have you thought, “I can’t do this?” Maybe during struggles in parenting, or marriage, or serving Christ these doubts arise. Jeremiah told God he couldn’t do what God was asking, but God had a different idea. “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:6-7).
If we look at ourselves, yes, of course, we are unable, but we need to look at an all sufficient, all powerful God. It is His grace, His strength and His knowledge that enables.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). What an incredible request for Paul to make of the Corinthians. He was confident that his example in following Christ would bear good fruit. Paul said something similar to the Philippians and the Thessalonians so his challenge to the Corinthians was not isolated.
Imagine with me for a moment: what if all pastors challenged their people like that? What would their church be like? Good or not so good? On fire sharing Christ? In the Word every day? What would the families be like? Children obeying their parents? All the children saved and reading the Word every day? Good, solid, respectful, happy?
Whoa, now take it a step further. Dads, what would the fruit be in our children’s lives if they followed our example? I ask not to put a guilt trip on anyone, but that we understand the weight of our example in the home. We will all fall short, just as Paul did in actuality. However, daily may we seek our Lord Jesus–to love and submit to Him. As He lives through us, we can be confident of the example set before our family.
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
Decisions — we make hundreds of them each day. How blessed we are with freedom that allows us to make our own decisions.
Freedom might be best defined by what it cost to acquire it and what is done with it. Our freedom was expensive. It was bought by blood – the blood of servicemen and service women and the most precious blood of all, the blood Jesus Christ.
Are we using our freedom to do what we want or to do what we ought?
What will we have to show for our freedom when we stand before the Lord one day?
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23).
Were you amazed when you read of how Aaron built the golden calf and then lied to Moses about it? I was! What was Aaron thinking of?
I couldn’t understand why Aaron suffered no consequences for his actions (Exodus 32). I have to wonder, though, if that golden calf didn’t eventually cost him his sons, Nadab and Abihu. Later we read that Nadab and Abihu took censers “and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:1-2).
Aaron’s sons were learning well the lessons of disobedience to God that their dad “taught” them as they observed his actions. Their disobedience required their lives.
As dads, our lives are impressed upon our families. That impression will be for good or for bad. You choose the outcome by your thoughts, words, and actions. May your life be the best impression possible—the image of Christ.
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).