I’ve yet to meet anyone who likes being lied to. How do you feel about being lied to? What if someone close to you lied to you? Do you ever lie? Do you ever lie to someone close to you?
If you answered “yes” to lying, shouldn’t that sin be dealt with immediately?
Let’s assume your answer was “no,” you don’t lie. Let me ask you another question. Do you ever lie to yourself? No? When was the last time you said you were going to do something but didn’t do it? Even if you didn’t tell anyone else, wasn’t that a commitment to yourself?
If we excuse ourselves from keeping commitments, then it will be easy to excuse ourselves (lie) to others too. May we be men of integrity.
“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:9,10).
For those who have worked for someone who consistently made poor decisions, you understand how demoralizing poor decisions can be for those who must live with the results. Frankly, quite often Teri and my hearts go out to wives whose husbands would resemble that employer just mentioned. At least with a job, you can look for another one, but that isn’t God’s plan for marriage. (God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16)
Listening to dads share decisions they made and the corresponding fruit they are harvesting often prompts me to ask my favorite question. “So Brother, how’s that working for you?”
It is good to step back and consider the fruit resulting from a previous decision and perhaps re-evaluate. “But wisdom is justified of all her children” (Luke 7:35). Over time the fruit will prove the decision.
Evaluate those situations. How did you get there? What might have been your motives in making the decision? Were you just trying to “make the pain go away” or earnestly seeking the Lord’s will, no matter what the personal cost?
“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:21).
I am confident most of you remember the first car you owned. I don’t even have a photo of mine, but I can see that 57 Chevy clearly in my mind. Back then, I knew nothing about cars, but for some crazy reason, I got it into my head to change out the 6 cylinder automatic for a V8 and 4 speed. It was a great learning opportunity as I poured time, energy, and money into that car.
Having been junked, crushed, melted, and the metal reused, that car is likely a washing machine or something else today. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” (Matthew 6:19). It is so easy to have our hearts pulled to the things that are not eternal.
The Lord has a command for us. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20). Most of our work is simply wood, hay, and stubble, but our wives and children are eternal investments worthy of pouring everything we have into.
I’m so blessed to be able to encourage dads who are serious and committed to their families. I am sure your wife is thankful for a husband like you. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
We each have a need for purpose, which is no surprise since God created us that way. What is your experience with people who know that they know their purpose in Christ and live it? Don’t their days have meaning and direction? Aren’t they energized by it?
If the Lord’s will isn’t our purpose in life, mankind turns to the world. Therefore, may we live and breathe to do the Lord’s will and bring Him 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).
The Lord bought us with the most precious substance, His blood. We are His. He is to be the focus and very purpose of our lives. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Jesus embodies this with the Father.
To focus on His will gives us meaning and direction. He is our leader and the full Authority directing us (BTW, we are commanded to live under the laws of the land). He will use our every minute according to His good and perfect will if we will let Him (read choose it).
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
- Young adults are lost without it.
- Adults may have it, but often it is misguided.
- It seems rare to find the elderly with it.
- Having it gives hope.
- Money often gives it.
- Sports often give it.
- Marriage proposes it.
- Death kills it.
- Jesus Christ embodies it.
What’s yours? Give it some thought until next week.
“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).
If your name described you, what would it be?
- Head-in-the-Sand Randy: Other things have his interest not his family.
- Fun-Loving Freddy: Life’s a lark. There are more fun things to do than there is time.
- Daring Dan: No risk is too great as long as there is a huge hit of dopamine.
- Entertainment-Loving Ed: Work’s a drag so why bother.
- Angry Arnold: Everything makes him mad.
- Lazy Larry: “Hey, where’s the remote?”
- Victim Victor: If it goes wrong, it wasn’t his fault.
- Christian: A follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“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).
Teri and I were on our early morning walk and as we crested the hill, I could see the bright lights focused on the US Penitentiary a couple of miles off in the distance. Those lights are on so some homesick inmate making an escape attempt might be visible and convinced to stay longer.
My heart was heavy as I thought of the men locked up behind bars. At some past moment, each inmate made a life-changing decision that cost him a portion of his life. Likely there was something he felt was more important than his future.
No doubt, all rational inmates wish they could have a retake on that moment. Yet when it happened, how many thought about the future cost? (Also, the “moment” can be defined as more than an instant, but a sum of prior decisions.)
The reality is that each of us face decisions every day that can have far reaching consequences. What good habits do we nurture and bad habits diminish? Are we daily feeding ourself and our children the Word of God in family Bible time? Are you daily spending time with your wife and children? Are we men of gratefulness and kindness?
Answers to questions such as these define our “moment” and our family’s futures. Brothers, regrets hurt and go on hurting. I know and so do you. Might we do the right thing each and every day?
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
My heart goes out to the hopeful, wanna-be millionaire who just spent his money that could have had much better uses than on a million to one chance. His hope, and anticipation, suddenly shredded, is replaced by disappointment. “Oh well, next time, surely next time.”
I wonder if many a Christian dad isn’t actually a gambler at heart. Instead of throwing away $5 a week, he’s wagering something of immeasurable, okay eternal value – his children. He’s hopeful his children will turn out well. At least then they won’t be a lifelong burden for him. Of course, he believes he loves them, but what influence he has, is likely negative. He sows seeds of worldly appetites via double-mindedness that will yield a harvest of bad habits and a dismal life in Christ, at best.
I implore you. Examine yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5). Don’t be like that dad I just mentioned. Don’t be average. Don’t base your self-approval rating by comparing yourself to today’s Christian dads. Jesus is to be our Lord, and Scripture our admonishment. Pour out your life into serving your Lord and discipling your children.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
I study people. If I know you, I’m watching. I want to learn from anyone and everyone, and I compare what I observe to Scripture. There are good and bad examples to learn from. This has nothing to do with being judgmental and everything to do with learning.
“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding” (Proverbs 24:30). “Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction” (Proverbs 24:32).
One thing I’ve observed (of many) is that the believer who seeks as much freedom “in Christ,” as he can have, will likely have a dismal and unproductive future because his life is wrapped up in himself. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16)?
If you want a fruitful life in Christ, deny yourself, and take up your cross as you follow Him. Sure doesn’t sound like freedom does it? But it is.
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
No one wants to be overweight (>60%), indebted (>80%), or addicted. Then why does that describe the majority of adults in the US today? One small, bad choice, then another, and another is how it begins. Those seemingly insignificant choices when chained together become enslaving habits.
How much better to make small, good choices and reinforce them daily, to develop beneficial habits that free rather than enslave? Why not begin today by making good decisions in Bible reading, exercise, healthy eating, frugality, and wise time investment?
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12).