Category Archives: Seriously

Confirmed by Blood

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”   Jim Elliot

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” ( Luke 9:24).

Steve

Shortcut to Sadness

Spring is planting time, and soon farmers will be hard at it. Once the conditions are right. they focus on getting seed in the ground. Then, there will be fertilizing and cultivating to ensure a good harvest in the fall. Given normal weather, the quality of the harvest is generally dependent on the effort expended during the growing season.  There are efficiencies farmers learn, but basically its the same routine, year-after-year. 

Raising children is very similar. Careful attention and great investment is needed in training and discipling children. Instead of six months, the “disciple-growing season” is twenty years or so. Full-time commitment is required, there are no shortcuts. 

I have yet to meet a farmer who wanted a poor harvest or a parent who wanted a child to love the world. Oh my Brothers, I beg you, be committed, invest yourselves in the children God has entrusted to your care and nurturing.

“And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:14-15).

Steve

Fake or Genuine?

I recently purchased a beautiful ring at Walmart for ten dollars to be used as an object lesson. It is totally amazing. It looked like a diamond ring but it was fake. Frankly, it is difficult to believe something that looks so nice was only ten dollars. Still it was an imitation. Often, it can be difficult to recognize what is real versus what is fake for all sorts of things.

What about Christians? I expect when the idea of fake Christians is mentioned, a few names may cross your mind. We can easily fool even ourselves regarding our walk with the Lord. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). If only the Lord gave a “conformed to His image” rating like a purity rating on gold.

Are we going through the motions, or is there an intimate relationship with our Savior? Is the power of the Holy Spirit present in our lives? The Spirit is more than just the third name in the Trinity – He is needful for our lives.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).

Steve

The Question

The judge asks you. “Which do you choose, death by hanging, or a lifetime sentence to the vacation resort of your choice?”  Simple answer.

Next choose one: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” or, “come, enjoy all the fun, entertainment and pleasures (non-sinful of course!) that this world offers.”  For many/most(?) another simple answer.

Notice the choice isn’t between Heaven and hell. It is between Heaven and the world.

Is it any wonder why so many Dads and children choose the world today? “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Steve

It’s Him!

How often do you read something or here a message and think how it applies to a number of guys you know? Maybe someone at church or a friend? We can so quickly dodge the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Oh what good may result if we are willing to be open to the Holy Spirit enough to say “Is it I?”

“And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I” (Matthew 26:21-22)?

Steve

Deeply Concerned

Imagine a family driving down the road when Dad sees a sign that says “Detour – bridge out.” Because the children pressure Dad to hurry home so they won’t miss their favorite TV show, Dad decides not to take the detour. 

Insane? Of course it is. I can’t imagine a dad who would risk the lives of his family because he couldn’t handle pressure from the children.

Now picture a Christian dad who willy-nilly makes decisions. He does not seek the Lord’s direction through prayer and Scripture. When his children pressure him for a decision they favor, he quickly agrees.  He doesn’t take into consideration the eternal value of each soul he has been entrusted with to disciple in the Lord Jesus. Is it any wonder that children are choosing the world over the Lord in droves these days?

What part do you think Dad’s “leadership” (or lack thereof) has on the children’s eternal choice? Are you like Abraham? “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:19).

Steve

Popular Recipe For Disaster

A sure plan for a high consumption, debt-financed lifestyle is to fill your spare time with as much fun and pleasurable activities as possible. “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich” (Proverbs 21:17).

Hmm, on second thought, Scripture has a better plan. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Steve

Will We Pass or Fail?

Noah had a problem. God told him to build the ark, but he couldn’t build it by himself. He needed his sons’ help. His family’s survival depended on them working together. Through his years as a dad, if he had been trustworthy, his family would cooperate. If not, he would end up disobedient to his God. No amount of commanding would have been sufficient for his sons to work faithfully alongside their dad for over twenty years. They followed because he had earned their trust.

Abraham had a problem. God commanded that all the men of his house be circumcised. If he had shown himself to be trustworthy as their leader, they would submit. If not, he would be in disobedience to his God. All meant all. I believe they voluntarily complied. No ninety-nine-year-old man was going to physically force all the men to be circumcised. They trusted him.

There are clear commands and principles in God’s Word. When we live them out, we earn our family’s trust. As children get older, authority is insufficient. Familial trust might be considered the reflection of dad’s integrity and will be the bond of hearts that enable them to follow Dad’s lead. Is your family following?

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Will Your Children Believe?

I’m confident that since you read Seriously Dads you desire that your children would know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. To that end, our Lord leaves us good insight.

“For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Psalms 78:5-7).

God said there are two vital aspects in passing on the faith, a testimony and a law, that the fathers make known to their children. 

Our testimony is our witness of how God is real, loving, and doing a mighty work in our world and most importantly in our lives. If the Father isn’t actively doing a wonderful work in my life, why should my children be interested? We must proclaim out loud to our children what He is doing on a daily basis.

The Law is God’s Word. Isn’t it an absurd thought that some might base their life and eternity on a book that isn’t important enough to read on a daily basis?

Bible reading isn’t a “have to” sort of thing but a “love to.” If it is “have to,” I suppose that man probably doesn’t have a testimony either, and his family is in serious trouble. Our passion for being in the Word and sharing it with our family is a fundamental part of our testimony. 

Hope to see you in Ft Smith this weekend.

Steve

What Would the Lord Jesus Suggest?

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” (Ephesians 5:25-29).

Steve