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.

Buddy, Got a Penny?

Most of us have observed someone fall, whether it is moral, financial, or spiritual. The result is that many suffer, and our Lord is dishonored. People (especially the guy) are often surprised by it. “How could this have happened?” 

Have you walked along a mountain trail next to a sharp drop-off or been on a tall, precarious ladder? If so, you exercised great caution because you valued your safety and recognized the risk. Notice that high value and significant danger produce caution. 

Satan’s tactics are quite predictable–he seeks very small compromises where value is insignificant: therefore no apparent risk, and no need for caution. He then comes back for more, and more, but who cares. What’s a penny? Before long the person is comfortable with compromise and set up for the fall. 

King David did not go out with his troops (a penny). When he couldn’t sleep he went out to the roof. Then he “looked” (another penny) and kept looking until desire conquered him (gotch-ya). 

King Solomon (the wisest man ever) in 1 Kings 3 made affinity with Pharaoh (frankly more than a penny) and took Pharaoh’s daughter to wife (seemingly a penny). Then, “… king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.” 

Ultimately, “when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God …. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord…. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods” (1 Kings 11:1-8) (beyond gotch-ya).

Dad, are you valuing your marriage, family, and relationship with the Lord? What “little” compromises are you making? Are you flirting with the world?

Steve

Glory Bubble Anyone?

I wonder how many professing believers attempt life in Christ while in a “glory bubble”– not serving or reaching outside their church or family. Might you be in one? They are great for tasting the sweetness of the Lord, but that isn’t following Jesus. For the disciples, the time on the mountain during the transfiguration was wonderful, but then it was down the mountain and back to serving. Is part of the discipleship of your children helping them become followers of Christ through ministering and serving first in your family but then with you outside the family?

Jesus could have spent all of His time with the disciples in the wilderness teaching them about the Father and life in Him. He didn’t. They were with Him as He “… went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23). Then later, when they were ready, the disciples were sent out by themselves.

How are you ministering and how frequently? Who are you sharing the love of Jesus with? Yes, we minister daily to our families but if we aren’t ministering beyond them, something is broken, and it will reproduce a dysfunctional spiritual life in them. Are you following Christ? What is your example, and how are your children serving along side you?

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).

Steve

Daily Bible Time Foundational for Families

Do you have a personal time in the Word daily? Do you also have family Bible time every day? If you spent a half hour each, that totals one hour a day in God’s Word. Why you are spending that much time reading the Bible? Might some think that is a little “over the top”? I’m confident that a lot today would think that extreme which is likely the reason why they don’t. 

Building Strong Lives in Christ

Aren’t we are in the Word because we value our God so much–the One Who died for our sins–that we want to spend that much time and more hearing what He wants to speak into our lives so that we can live it?  

“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 12:2). 

Steve

Who’s Greater?

Do you consider yourself a greater man than John the Baptist? “No way!” you say. “He was the Lord’s forerunner. Didn’t Jesus say that there was none greater than John the Baptist? Doesn’t that mean John was even greater than Moses and David?” 

You are right. That’s true, but let’s look further to the rest of the Lord’s statement: “… notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” 

Friend, are you saved? Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of life? If so, then you are part of the kingdom of heaven. 

We are greater because we have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables and empowers us to do what our Lord calls us to do. We can do whatever is His will. 

Brothers we have no excuses, and we are not victims. We are joint-heirs (Romans 8:17) and must be about the Master’s business (Luke 9:62).

“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11). 

Steve

The Secret Sauce

Want to make your life following Christ a joy and delight? Wake up every morning and sincerely tell the Lord “I delight to do your will, my Lord.” Then spend quality time reading His Word with the commitment to live it. 

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalms 40:8). 

Steve

Clear Guidance

Have you observed a believer who claims to follow God’s will make a decision that you greatly wondered how that could be ever be God’s will? Or, maybe you are wrestling with a decision currently. Here are some thoughts.

Jesus gave a clear, unambiguous command concerning following Him in Matthew 16:24. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

If any man will come after me: would your desire, your love, your resolve, your delight be to follow Jesus? (Not begrudging or a legalistic “do I have to?”) Is the deep desire of your heart to please Him?

Deny himself: forget yourself, your interests and desires. This can be summarized as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The flesh desires pleasure, fun, ease, attention, money, power, and gratification. Jesus’ will is guaranteed to go against the cry of our flesh. Otherwise we wouldn’t have to deny ourselves. I have to wonder if what is often claimed to be “God’s will” might be self-gratification.

Take up his cross: it will (or is assumed to) be painful for not only the flesh but the soul. Jesus’ greatest suffering was taking on our sins, which exceeded His physical suffering.

Another test might be to observe what the world thinks about your choice. If it is popular with the world, you can expect it not to be Jesus’ will. “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).

Steve

If Only

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if being godly parents guaranteed godly children? I believe that most Christian parents consider themselves to be godly. Therefore, Christians go about their normal “godly” lives and expect their children to be godly, just like they are. 

Here’s an intriguing example illustrating the fallacy of our thinking that way. The very good king Hezekiah and the (believed-to-be) godly wife Hephzibah were responsible for bearing the most wicked king. Their son, Manasseh reined 55 years, the longest of all the kings.

I plead with you to make your most pressing focus—the cry of your heart—to be raising your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Don’t assume it will just happen.  

Brother, if that isn’t your lived-out passion, you are headed for a train-wreck of a heartbreak. Then it is too late. 

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel” (2 Kings 21:1-2). 

Steve

What Brings You Joy?

“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:5-7).

Is what brings you joy worth Christ dying for?

Sweeten Your Marriage?

The heavy burden on my heart is to do all we can to build up and encourage Christian families in the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Consistent with that goal, I am compelled to urge each husband reading this to bless your wife (and your marriage) with Teri’s latest book, My Delight, a message from her heart to your wife’s. 

A wife who followed this counsel recently said: “I feel new love for my husband and appreciation toward him. He is soo happy and a little bit sad, because it happened late in our marriage. 🙂”  A now delight-filled wife

I strongly encourage you to order a copy right now for the sake of your marriage. You won’t be disappointed. 

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31).

Ya Like Salt?

Do you have fond memories of what you left behind in the “good ole days?” “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).

Love of the sought after, popular things of this world is offensive to the Lord Jesus (Matthew 16:23). The cure isn’t just saying “no” to the appealing things of the world, but following Jesus wholeheartedly. Pursue a relationship with Him that makes the world look like dung.  “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8). 

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). 

The sting of the world is bitter, but there are no regrets when we (and our family) unashamedly follow Jesus with everything we have. 

Steve