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.

ThankFul FOR You

Brothers, I am truly thankful to God for each one of you. Thank you for giving your thoughtful attention each week. My prayer is that your relationship with the Lord and your love for, and investment in, your family will intensify. 

Here are worship thoughts from several of you:

The worship of God is our eternal destiny. God is looking for true worshippers. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23).  DC 

Obedience seems to be one of the highest forms of worship. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Worship is impossible to avoid. We either worship God or something else. I see worship as a consecration to God of our entire being which manifests itself in every moment and part of our lives. We need to repent and understand God seeks all of our attention and devotion, that we would worship Him always in our hearts and minds – and that would always directly transpire into acts of love, mercy, compassion, self denial, and self sacrifice in following our Lord, that our motivation in all things would be to His glory and honor. A person can be worshipping as they are doing the most mundane or dirtiest, lowest of jobs if they are doing it with a thankful heart of love to God and love to neighbor. In fact those acts of love may mean more in the sight of God in consecrated adoration and reverence to Him than showing up to church multiple times per week for worship.  WH

“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2b). I have seen this verse best lived out in the life of my Grandpa. Everything he does and says is rooted out of a desire, and I would say sense of duty, to show the “worth-ship” of God in practical and humble ways. He does not do so for men to see but because he knows God sees. I have heard it said that there is “a time for worship.” From this verse, I would say that time is someone’s whole life, not so much a weekly event.” ZP

Worship is abiding in the presence of the shadow of the Most High. MR

A Tire Performance

He looked to be about 25 years old—tall, thin and muscular. He stood at the back-end of a large, open, box-truck waiting to begin. It looked like it would be a boring, unglamorous, menial job of loading dirty tires to be hauled-away from the Costco tire shop. I was very wrong. Then, it began. The only thing missing from this incredible performance was an orchestra.

Tires started being launched at him in rapid succession as if from a “giant, rhythmic, tire, machine gun” inside the shop.  Not missing a beat, and with the appearance of no effort, he bent enough to grab the inside edge of each rolling tire. He skillfully used the incoming tires’ momentum, altered its trajectory, and slung it five to ten feet up into the back of the truck. Right arm, twist, sling, rotate, repeat. Over and over he did this with an occasional left arm movement thrown in. What an incredible show of strength, timing, and coordination. This man knew how to make something boring a work of art.  

Brothers are you turning every activity of your day into a pleasing offering of sacrifice to our God for His glory? “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). 

Your Turn

God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden to test Adam’s obedience. Adam disobeyed, and mankind still experiences the consequences. Actions of one flow down to others.

Jesus’ obedience to the Father brought Him to the cross to atone for man’s sin. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). Jesus obeyed, and those who are Christ’s, experience the blessings of eternal life. Actions of One flow down to others. 

Now, our turn. Have you meditated on Romans 12:1? “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.” Daily we have manifold opportunities to bring God glory by loving obedience to Him. And the actions of one (you) flow down to others. Presenting yourself to God as a living sacrifice for His glory is impressed on the hearts of your family because what you love, obey, and give yourself to affirms your words of praise and adoration for your God and Savior. 

Steve

Do You Feel The Pull?

Prior to Jesus’ ministry beginning, He needed to put Satan “behind” Him (so do we). First, Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus to satisfy His flesh. Next would Jesus question/test God’s love? Finally, Satan tempted Jesus with, “… All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9a). Yes, Satan wants your worship, and he offers you treasures if you don’t worship the Father. Satan’s lures are of this world. The question is: How much of our hearts have we given over to the treasures of this world?

Then Jesus said, “Get thee hence, Satan (Matthew 4:10a).” We must get rid of our love/worship of the world and the things of the world. God wants all of our hearts. Now in fairness: Have any of us given Him 100% of our hearts? We wish we would. With that goal, It is a daily process of shedding our love for the world and abiding in Him. “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)

Seemingly, so many men are blind to the “death-grip” embrace they have on the world, which equates to love for and worship of these worldly things – leisure passions, success, status, money, pleasure (to name a few). “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:9b).

“But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men” (Mark 8:33). What do we love and worship, Brothers?

Do Something of Real Value today?

Has it ever entered your mind that you could give God pleasure? Think about it. The righteous and holy Almighty God, Who owns everything and has need of nothing, receives pleasure when His children worship Him. God created man to give Him the glory, honor, praise, and worship that is due Him.1  “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). Would you meditate on that verse for awhile?

Does knowing that you can give God pleasure motivate you to do it? It sure does me because I love Him and want to please Him. 

To many, worship is something they do at church, but worship is much more than that. Consider how you might live out this verse. “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” (Romans 12:1).  

Steve

1 However, that wasn’t possible after man sinned in the Garden and that is why only saved, regenerated man can worship God in spirit and truth. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8). Hence the theme of the beginning of this Seriously series last week was: you must be saved to worship God.

Beginning With The Beginning

Are you a spiritual brood-parasite? There are a few types of birds, (I.E. cuckoos and cowbirds) where the mother lays her egg in another type of bird’s nest. The other, unsuspecting mother bird then hatches and feeds the imposter hatchling, thinking the imposter is her own offspring. 

 Churches seem to have a similar problem. Each week, professing Christians (spiritual brood parasites) who are not saved go to church “worshipping” and “fellowshipping” outwardly. They then go home feeling like they are part of the family of God, but in actuality, they are a bird of a different feather. That imposter cannot please God in anyway. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8). 

Jesus said you must be born again (John 3:7). Friends, that new birth is real and imparts a new nature. Our old nature is hell bound, but the new nature, is heaven-bound. The lost person cannot worship God as he is under the wrath of God. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). If you aren’t saved and want to be, or not sure if you are saved and tired of pretending, reply to this email with “let’s talk” in the Subject Line. 

The saved person can worship God. The question is, will we? (To be continued.)

Proving Opportunities

We are approaching a day at the end of the month that Christians are quite divided on. Some say it is simple, harmless fun for children. Others say it is evil, and every aspect related to it should be abhorred. 

Where do you stand, and what do you base your position on? Maybe it was how you were raised, or it is simply your opinion because you feel that way. As believers, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, we should have a Scriptural basis for everything we do. 

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). Doing in the name of the Lord Jesus means we only do things consistent with God’s Word. 

It is easy to mindlessly do things that others do without questioning. In this case, we should, however, ask ourselves: Is the name of Jesus being exalted or debased in having ANYTHING to do with “participating” in that holiday? “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22). “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil…” (Proverbs 8:13). 

My Brothers, we have proving “opportunities” that reveal our love for our Savior, all day, every day.

Your Input Needed

I would appreciate your thoughts on the topic of worship.

Mankind has been made with an innate need/desire to worship. What do you see people  worshipping today? How would you define worship?

I’ll read all of your responses when you reply to this email.  

“But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:18)

Ugly as Sin

Have you ever seen lambs frolicking in a field? They are the picture of innocence. Now picture a lamb that is being used to pay for your sin, because you broke God’s law. The knife is applied to his neck, and his blood is poured out because of your sin.  

In my Bible reading I just read of the Levitical animal sacrifices again. Had I lived in Old Testament times, it would have been difficult for me to have my sin cause the death of an innocent lamb in such a bloody, graphic way. Yet, I would have been grateful there was a remedy for my sin.

Sin damages relationships, is ugly, and costly. Our offenses separate us from those we love, but worst of all they separate us from God. May we confess, repent and ask forgiveness. Our sin nailed Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, to the cross. Oh my brothers, may we not trifle with sin. 

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). 

Cost of Love

When was the last time you woke up, thought about the day ahead of you, and hoped to show your love for your wife by having an opportunity to die for her? Not recently? Me neither. But how did it go when there was an opportunity to show love in lesser sacrifices (difficult to call them sacrifices) such as patiently listening, being gentle and kind, forgoing a convenience, or doing some extra work to help her?  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25, 28). 

Being committed to following Jesus is a good foundation for being a great husband. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). What opportunities and need we have for grace, obedience, and growth.