Category Archives: Dad’s Corner

A Visitor with a Message

When “he” comes to visit you, “he” brings pain. “He” stays much longer than you would prefer. However, there is a potential benefit from the visit. Seek the Lord as to whether this painful visitor was sent by the Lord to bring about repentance or change in some area of your life. 

Similar to childhood, when our parents would introduce something painful to affect our behavior/choices for good – that can be God’s purpose as well. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). 

Hence, my encouragement is when you find yourself in painful circumstances immediately ask the Lord to show you if it is chastening. I always do because if there is something in my life that He wants me to change, I want that understanding as quickly as possible.  

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).

Woe

Don’t you love God’s Word? Isn’t it wonderful? I can’t imagine what life would be without it. He gave us His Word so that we might know Him and follow His commands. However, for most of the time since creation, mankind did not have what we have. My brothers, we are blessed beyond measure. 

Then how can it be that our country is in such a dire spiritual state? God has been thrown out of the government and schools. His Word is not the basis for right and wrong. I praise God that the government schools did not educate our children. I shudder when I consider those being processed by schools today and their horrendous impact on the US as they become voters. If I think it is bad now, I remind myself it is nothing compared to what is ahead. Woe are we. 

Brothers, I plead with you to do everything you can possibly do to enable your wife to educate your children at home using a curriculum based on God’s Word. Lead your family in the Word every night. Discuss it as you view everything around us through the lens of Scripture. (Deut 6:7) Fill your family with the Word and not with ungodly media and movies. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

Be lights to a lost and dying world around us. Confess Jesus. “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9).

A Great Heart Exercise

It might not be popular, but it is very beneficial. It won’t burn hardly any calories, but it is very good for your heart. It doesn’t matter what you wear, and you won’t get sweaty. You can do it almost anytime, and it doesn’t take hardly any time. Go online to the website of a popular funeral home’s obituary page. Then slowly read down the obituary briefs. Usually, that has a photo, their name, when they were born, when they died, and sometimes what church they were members of. 

I have found it to be deeply moving. When I see the people who have passed from this life into another, either eternal life or eternal death/suffering, my heart breaks. When you read the obituaries, “everyone” is going to heaven (if only). Optimism, however, is not enough. 

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).

May this heart experience, enlarge your heart with a love for others and the deep desire to see them saved by the blood of Jesus, not merely church members. May it help you be purposeful in sharing the love of Jesus with others every chance you get. 

We Have Hope

The most precious day of Christian remembrance has arrived, and may we rejoice in it. Christ paid such a price. It was such a gift (Ephesians 2:8). Our God is so worthy of our eternal praise! It was an event of betrayal, cruelty, sacrifice, innocence, and suffering, –all for our redemption. What a plan, and it was executed perfectly. 

There would be no redemption without the crucifixion. An amazing part of the story was Jesus’ betrayal by Judas. Judas sat under Jesus’ teaching with the eleven, but Judas received Satan’s temptation to betray Jesus. He acted upon what he should have rejected.

After the betrayal, it continued downhill. “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:3-5). 

Judas’ worldly sorrow led to his earthly and eternal death/destruction. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). 

Imagine, if Judas, after being rejected by the chief priests and elders, had gone to the crucifixion exhibiting godly sorrow. What if he had fallen face down at the bloody feet of the dying Lord Jesus and begged forgiveness for his betrayal? Jesus would have forgiven him, and Judas would not be in hell at this moment. (BTW, I’m not suggesting an improvement on the account.) 

May we learn from Judas. First, reject sinful promptings. Second, when you fail, choose godly sorrow. When you wrong someone, go to them in a spirit of repentance, not justifying yourself. Seek their forgiveness and the Lord’s. Also, if you are trusting in your works for salvation (being a good person), repent and place your faith in the One Who died to redeem you. 

Understatement 

Have you noticed that often one word doesn’t tell the story? Especially, I’m thinking of the word “birth” or “death.” One is the beginning of life on earth and the other is the end of it. But each one has a story that goes with it, and usually, we want to know more. That is why after a baby is born, moms want to hear the birth story. 

Often when I am inquiring into someone’s spiritual life—whether they are truly saved—I hear the words “I believe in Jesus.” Think about it. When someone asks about your salvation, what do you say? Do you reply in a monotone? Is the story of your birth and resulting life in Christ, ho-hum? Maybe your “birth” so to speak was merely a formality that your church required. Perhaps it is like the woman who said that after her divorce, she was baptized again. She wanted to make sure things were all good with God. After a child is born, there are signs of life such as pulse and breathing Do you exhibit signs of real spiritual life? Don’t wait until you die to find out. We will not have a church representative standing next to us at the judgment to answer for us. 

Brothers, be sure you are saved, then live it, proclaim it, rejoice in what the Lord Jesus did for you. He rose from the dead to show the world that He has power over death and can give new life. 

“Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalms 96:2-4).

Simple Actually

I have not understood how a dad who loves his children would not be very concerned about protecting and guarding their hearts from as much of the world as he could. Frankly, I have been totally at a loss to figure this out. I now believe I have an explanation. 

Proverbs 4:23 is foundational to this discussion. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” As you study and meditate on this verse, I believe you will see that everything coming from a man in a natural sense–his actions, his words, and thoughts–are from his heart. That is why it is critically important that good things are taken in, and things that will lead to bad fruit are avoided. 

Likely, the dad mentioned earlier has an inflated self-confidence in his ability not to be affected by negative worldly things to which he exposes himself (contrary to Proverbs 4:23). He believes he is spiritually mature and will not be pulled down by things that weak believers will be. Furthermore, he might have little concern for the command for holiness and a host of other verses I share regularly. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”  (1 Peter 1:15-16).

I imagine that if a man isn’t keeping his own heart, likely he won’t be concerned about his children’s hearts either. After reading this, if you have another explanation please write me back. “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).

Just an Hour

Imagine that tomorrow you wake up with a strange pain. It is not a muscle ache or something you have ever had before, but something totally different. As the morning passes, it is growing massively in intensity. Regardless of what was planned for your day, you head to Urgent Care. The day is spent running tests. Finally, you are told you have a terminal disease and will die very, very soon. 

You return home with the pain lessened due to medication, but you are thinking of end-of-life details that must be attended to quickly. You have an awareness of every minute passing and things to be done. High on the list are people you want to say goodbye to before your disease renders you unconscious. Then there are those you know who have rejected Jesus, both family and friends. The list is long, and time is short. 

Then the regrets begin of all the time that you wasted. It wasn’t sinful, or you wouldn’t have done it. You justified it because of being tired, bored, or wanting something pleasurable. But there was no profit in how the time was spent. That time is now gone for eternity and can’t be reclaimed. Oh, how foolish you were. “Oh God forgive me.” You fall asleep in a drug-induced coma with a heavy, heavy heart. 

 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalms 90:12).

Real Life Stories

I love to learn from people. I met a cashier at a c-store. He was in his mid 50’s, well groomed, and pleasant. I was engaging him to get to know him and take the conversation spiritual, if I could. I found out this was his part-time job, but his full-time “job” was playing poker. Poker was the PASSION of his life. (BTW — If he was good at it, he wouldn’t need a part-time job, would he?)

Another man about the same age, with whom I’ve been dialoguing is an alcoholic. Alcohol isn’t his passion, but it is his go-to for comfort. Somehow he can hold a job, but as he put it,  “Life is real hard.” I asked him if life was hard because of bad decisions he had made. He agreed. My heart breaks for both of these men. 

How good it is to stop and take an objective look at our lives. Could some, or many, be headed for trouble just like those two men? One knows he is in trouble. The other doesn’t. They didn’t plan to be where they are now twenty or thirty years ago.  Evaluate the path you are on. If headed in a bad direction, which is not pleasing to the Lord, or is compromising, now is the time to stop. Prune the weeds out of your life. Those weeds may not be gambling or alcohol, but you probably know what it is in your life that isn’t pleasing to the Lord. Sure, it will take courage, but that is what being a man is about. We live for Him Who died for us. 

The fear of the Lord is such a good thing. At the least, it keeps us from doing stupid things. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).

Yup Peculiar

Last week we considered the impact of the American male’s idol – football – on the hearts of professing Christian men. As our society spirals and you remain steadfast, be prepared to be considered peculiar if you don’t share the same idols. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:13-14). 

Will we be longing for our Lord’s return and busy about His business or having a great time while our Master is away? He gave Himself for us. Will we give ourselves for Him? The more of the “worldly stuff” we are involved in and has our hearts, the more pulled away from being steadfast in the faith we are likely to be. Paul had just warned them “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Don’t be deceived. Worldly influences will corrupt our hearts and walk. That is why Paul commanded us to be “stedfast, unmoveable,” and to do that we must always abound in the work of the Lord. 

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Not Now!

What is something you look forward to and gladly exchange your precious time for, and if it didn’t happen, you would be MOST disappointed? For many Christians, an example of that occurred on Sunday evening, and I’m not referring to church. I can picture that if the rapture had happened during the big game, many would have exclaimed, “OH NO. Not right now. It isn’t over!” “But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them” (Psalms 106:35-36).

I don’t believe it isn’t because they don’t love Jesus. They would say they do love Jesus. But do they love Jesus enough to truly value and live by His commands to us? If we LOVE Jesus and are grateful for our salvation, everything else this world offers pales (stinks) in comparison. We set our affection (heart) on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, not on things of the earth (Col 3:2). 

Some might say, “Come on. God expects us to have some fun.” Really? “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). We will look at this verse in more depth next week.