All posts by Steve Maxwell

Steve, husband to Teri for over 40 years, dad to eight and grandpa to eight, desires to encourage homeschool dads to spend time in the Word, disciple their children in the ways of the Lord, use their time wisely, and be men of God. His five home-school graduate sons are now wage-earning adults, and three have purchased their homes debt-free before marriage. He has been writing e-mails for Christian dads since 1990. Steve is co-author of of a number of books, including Managers of Their Homes, and Keeping Our Children’s Hearts. Steve also wrote Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son, Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family and Redeeming the Time. Find out more information on Steve Maxwell and his books.

Avoiding Marriage Disappointment

What if tomorrow you find a note your wife had hidden for you to discover and read while at work. With a big smile, you begin reading it anticipating a surprise she has planned for you. To your disappointment, she shares something very serious. 

She explains how the marriage hasn’t met her expectations. She tells you that you are a nice guy and relatively good to her, but she has discovered she really doesn’t love you and is bored. She assures you that she won’t be seeking a divorce or another guy, as she believes that is sin. She would like to just be friends from here on out for the sake of the kids. She plans to take college classes, get a degree, and pursue the career she always wanted. 

Feeling as if you just had the wind knocked out, you think about how you have provided for her and shared your life with her. As you reflect back, you agree that you aren’t real gushy and romantic. You also know you work a lot, but that was to give her a good life. You remember your dad’s words before you got married, “Son, women marry for love and companionship. Don’t ever forget that.” You mumble to yourself, “Well dad, you were right.” 

Brothers, don’t let that or worse happen to you. Love your wife. Spend lots of time with her, and cherish her. Lead her spiritually into a deeper walk with Christ. Does she know that you would die for her? Will you live for her? 

What about your relationship with the Lord Jesus? Do you actually have one? He took all your wretched sin and in return gave you His righteousness so you could have eternal life. Are you living every moment of your day for Him? Are you deepening your walk with Him by being in His Word and having a quality prayer time every day? He died for you – live for Him. The more you abide in Christ, the better husband you will become. 

“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” (Ephesians 5:25-28). 

More Fishing in The Boat

This week, like last, we are still fishing in the boat, but looking for those with different needs.

Brothers, many people are hurting who come to church (they came to the right place). Their pain may not be obvious, since they can put on a smile and make appear as if everything is fine. Your smile and caring conversation could be what communicates to them that they are loved, valued, and wanted. It is even possible that over time they will feel safe in your friendship and will let you see behind the smiles to the pain. Maybe it will be in the form of a prayer request, or it could be an invitation to meet for coffee. But it starts with looking around and reaching out to someone you don’t know rather than stoically sitting in your seat at church. 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment” (Philippians 1:9). 

Fishing in the Boat

Assume you have a friend who liked to fish, and you knew of a place where the fish would actually jump in the boat. No doubt, he would want to go fishing there because the easiest place of all to fish is “in the boat.” Most of us have a similar opportunity every week. 

Next Sunday when you go to church go “fishing.” First, double check your “gear.” Your motive is love for your neighbor and obedience to the Lord. So often church members come to church, find where they are going to sit, and plop down until the end of the service. (Isn’t that why many churches have “meet and greet” because members sit down and don’t seek out visitors?) May I encourage you that after you find your seat, set your Bible there, and go fishing.

It is a great sadness for someone to visit a church but slide in and out unnoticed, without ever experiencing the “love of Christ.” Their visit to our church is such an opportunity for us to show them love and attention. Make it more than just “Hi, glad you are here” but instead something like, “I’m Steve. Welcome. Do you live in the area? Why did you choose to visit us today? Any questions I can answer for you before the service starts?” Then write their name down and be sure to go find them after the service. Get to know them.  

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

Posted in: Seriously

Tornado Season

Most who live in the midwest know what a tornado siren sounds like, and anyone who loves his life will head for shelter when he hears the siren. If he doesn’t, his blood is upon his own hands. The person in each county whose job it is to turn the siren on is like the “watchman” of Ezekiel. His job was to warn the people by blowing the trumpet when an enemy was coming to attack. If the watchman didn’t sound the alarm when danger was coming, the responsibility for the shedding of others’ blood was upon him. 

When Jesus returned to the Father, He gave the command to go and make disciples. We are like the watchman of old. There is a coming wrath, and it is our responsibility to go and share that they must repent, believe on Jesus for the remission of sins, and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24, 28:19, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21) May we have clean hands and be found faithful. 

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

Posted in: Seriously

Ambassador for Christ

Christian dads generally have “full plates” providing for their families, in addition to responding to family, home, and church responsibilities. My guess is most are not looking for more things to do. Yet, the Lord’s parting command was very clear that we are to be making disciples (Matthew 28:19). In addition to purposeful discipling of our children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), how can busy dads do that? 

Instead of adding one more thing “to” your life, make this the very essence “of” your life.Have the mindset of being an ambassador for Christ all day, everyday, everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Deep genuine love for our Lord and our neighbor is our motive. Daily prayer prepares our hearts and seeks God’s grace. Be salty due to your time in the Word and your walk with the Lord Jesus so when you engage someone they will thirst for more (Matthew 5:13). “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). May we make the most of every opportunity.

Posted in: General

Who Are You Praying For?

Our natural tendency is pray for our needs, but what about praying for those headed for hell? May we search our hearts as to how concerned we are for our lost neighbors, relatives, workmates, and acquaintances. God didn’t save us so we can have “fire insurance,” but He saved us to bring Him glory and reach the lost.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

I have a wonderful way to pray for the lost by using a “prayer board.” This is a “whiteboard” where I list people to pray for daily. I use a fine-tipped, dry erase marker and have different areas on my board for family, believers, and then the lost. Even though the whiteboard is fairly large (15 x 24 inches) by writing small, I can list many on it. It is in my office in a place where no one else sees it.

I am outgrowing my current prayer board, but the Lord provided my next one. One morning while Teri and I were walking, I noticed a large picture out for the trash. I carried it home. When I need it, I will remove the back and existing print, and spray paint one side of the glass white. Then it is ready to go.

May we be found faithful. 

Loving Whom or What

Fear is often the reason why people don’t share Christ (I’ve had first hand experience.). However, the compelling, overcoming force in our sharing are the greatest commandments which are to love our God and neighbor (Mark 12:30-31). Our relationship and love drives us to obey our Savior. This is so important that in each of the four gospels we are commanded to tell others. 

  1. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). 
  2. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). 
  3. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). 
  4. “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). 

If we haven’t been sent elsewhere, we are to go to those in the locality we are living. The “why” is terribly important. It is because we love the One Who died for us, AND we love our neighbor. 

If you are lacking love, likely that is a problem of either not saved, or love of self, and/or love of the world. That means something is broken. 

“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). 

Fearful or Bold

Many believers have recently been focused on the events prior to and including Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Then attention typically turns to the disciples, hiding in fear for their lives. Their hopes and dreams of reigning with Jesus were likely exchanged for mental images of being crucified themselves. Have you ever imagined yourself in that position? What a blessing that most of us have not experienced persecution for our faith. 

I wonder how many of you are fearful to share your faith. Are you actively sharing your faith? “… as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). The question isn’t how many you have led to Christ, but are you sowing seeds? If we truly love the Lord Jesus and others, may we not miss any opportunity.

“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. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

(To be continued.)

Love

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).