This week we celebrate the greatest demonstration of love the world has ever seen. God’s love was the main motivation for Jesus’ sacrifice and making available a sinner’s redemption. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). 

Sadly, God’s love is often misunderstood. God’s love for and acceptance of the repentant sinner does not mean unconditional approval after salvation. We come to God on His terms, and once purchased, we live to serve Him. 

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:1-2). 

We must not love or follow the world. Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins, so that we may be living sacrifices for Him. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

What Could Be Better?

Who would have imagined our government “giving” taxpayers big checks? Free money seems too good to be true. 

Might that be similar to many “believers” view of their relationship with the Lord Jesus today? They “believe” in Jesus, and in return, He is supposed to give them the good life. How did the greatest act of sacrificial love become so trivialized and distorted? 

We are not worth even a molecule of the Lord Jesus’ blood yet He thought it good to purchase us. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). 

Might we use this season to adore Him and reflect on His sacrifice and worth? Thank Him, trust Him, obey Him, and worship Him. He alone is worthy. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

BTW, Satan cursed Adam and his children by getting Adam’s focus off of God and onto food (clever and effective). May we not be guilty as well by giving children chocolate bunnies and eggs when all attention and glory is due the Lord Jesus Christ? 

“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23).


Don’t you just love the account when Elijah called Israel to follow the Lord and not Baal. “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him …” (1 Kings 18:21). What an amazing demonstration of God’s power when fire came down and burned up the sacrifice (1 Kings 18:38).

Do you remember what Elijah did next when Jezebel said she was going to kill him? He ran for his life (1 Kings 19:3). God then sent Elijah on a very long wilderness walk to give him time to consider (repent of) his behavior. The result was that God fired Elijah because he didn’t have the courage to trust God to protect him. God gave Elijah’s job to Elisha (1 Kings 19:16). My brothers, receive this grave caution. There is a point when God says, “ENOUGH.”

What place does God have in your life? Are you double minded like Israel was? Are you fearful of trusting and following the Lord fully like Elijah? Elijah had many words proclaiming his obedience–God disagreed (1 Kings 19:9-19). Elijah’s confident words in himself were not enough. We must obediently live our faith.

Brothers have you considered others that would be blessed by subscribing to Seriously? Why not encourage them to subscribe?  

Be Better Than Smart

I just sent my keyboard to the landfill by spilling tea on it. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know that tea on a keyboard might render it useless. I knew it, but the problem was my lack of acting on what I know. 

That might be the closest I come to similarity with Solomon. He knew better. He just didn’t implement what he knew. However, his was worse than a hundred-dollar keyboard. The wisest man in all the earth was warned of the consequences of marrying foreign wives. He had money, power, and wisdom. He lacked one thing, though, that his father David encouraged him toward. “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God…” (1 Chronicles 22:19). Solomon didn’t have a heart after God.

Then God said to Solomon, “if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom…” (2 Chronicles 7:18-19). 

My brothers, set your hearts on God—to love Him and obey Him. Make Him the joy of your life. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30). 

How to Overcome DIscouragement for the Homeschool Mom

I regularly have moms write who are struggling with discouragement, negative thoughts, and even depression. I understand and empathize with these moms. I look back on my younger years, early in our homeschooling days, and that was me. We had great expectations for our daily walk with the Lord in family life, and then I was discouraged if life, or more specifically my reaction to life events, didn’t meet my expectations. Those happenings could range from spilled milk at breakfast to the difficulties of teaching children to be kind to each other or obey Mommy and Daddy to living with chronic pain—the whole gamut of daily life.

Our mind is an incubator for problems when we harbor negative thoughts, discouragement, or depression. What we do with our minds influences how we feel. If we let negative, stress-filled thoughts stay and put down roots, then we will be pulled lower and lower emotionally. But if we battle those negative thoughts with the truth of the Word, then we have done this: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16). Satan wants to cripple or destroy us with destructive thoughts. God wants to protect us through faith in Him. Practically speaking how would this work?

I just had a mom mention things that derailed her and discouraged her. They were a baby taking off a messy diaper before she got to him on waking up and then another day it was ants in the kitchen. So let’s take the baby’s mess as an example and walk through wrong versus right thinking.

Take Your Thoughts Captive

Here is our theme verse of truth: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

This mom can think:
This is so hard.
I don’t have time to deal with this.
Why do these things always happen?
I don’t want to have to deal with this.
I am so discouraged.
I can’t handle this.

Or she can take those thoughts captive with Scriptures like: 
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

She thinks:
Thank You, Lord, for this sweet, stinky little guy. Thank You for a washing machine. Thank You that I can praise and worship You, while I clean up. Thank You that I can talk to my children and sing with them as we do this work.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). 

She thinks: 
Lord, You allowed this mess to happen, and You will give me strength to clean it up and then accomplish what You have for me to do today.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”  (1 Peter 5:7). 

She thinks:
Lord, You know I don’t feel I have time to deal with this, but I give it to You to be Your problem, not mine. Thank You that You care for me and that I can do all things through Your strength in me.

Practice It 

It is simple for me to write, but I know it is truly the spiritual battle that Ephesians 6 tells us about. Whether you are young or old, single, or with a family, you probably have negative, discouraging thoughts from time to time or frequently. Why don’t you try as Jim Berg tells us in his great book, God Is More Than Enough, saying to yourself: STOP/THINK. Then say or read (if you don’t have it memorized) an appropriate Scripture and put the right thoughts into your mind. Try it. Then let me know what you think of that instead of letting the negative thoughts stagnate and rule your mind. I love to hear from you!

Posted in: Mom's Corner

Not Worth Much

It is common for Teri and me on our morning walk to encounter youth on their way to school. Our custom, due to the love of Christ, is to greet them pleasantly. In more recent years, many totally ignore us. Our cheerful greeting is met with dead silence and no eye contact which seems more appropriate for a non-entity or something disgusting. (What power–deemed non-human by a twelve-year-old.) We communicate with those we value and not with those we don’t. 

With that thought, consider how long and the quality of your prayer life with the God of the universe. Might that be a reasonable indicator of your relationship with the Lord and your love for Him? “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6). Your wife wouldn’t think much of your love for her if you gave her only a token of time and attention and didn’t want to talk to her. How much more worthy is our Lord and Savior? 

Brothers, don’t allow yourself any excuses. Have a dedicated, private time and place for prayer every day (Psalm 92:1-2). There is no better way to begin your day. “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:16). 

Have specific prayer topics and focus for your prayers. People use grocery lists so they won’t forget something they want to purchase. How much more important are our prayers? (I use a private whiteboard in my study where I list prayer needs and requests.) 

Confess, adore, praise, thank, and petition Him. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).