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).
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.
A good dad is concerned with protecting his family since God has assigned him to be head. As head, Dad is to be aware of what might threaten their physical safety. Ephesians 5:25 calls Dad to even lay down his life for his family as Christ did for His bride the church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
I’ve known a lot of dads who are focused and concerned with their family’s physical security. However, there are dangers to the family that are of greater importance and often go unnoticed. Are you careful and on guard with what is coming into the minds and souls of your family? Media abounds, and people have their favorites, justifying why it is good for them. However, I’m confident, most are similar to “dumpster diving.”
I believe if you embrace the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:23, you will not only enjoy safety, but your family will grow in the Lord Jesus Christ. If it edifies, embrace it. If it doesn’t, pitch it.
“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).
Are you a professing Christian whose life tends to “fall apart” (meaning no stability) when the storms of life come? Jesus made it clear what you need.
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:46-48).
Note three very key aspects. First, he came. We came to Jesus as repenting hell-bound sinners needing a sin-atoning Savior. That is like a stage 4 cancer patient (a living dead man) who sought a cure and found it. There is no question in his mind that he was cured. For us, no question, either. Jesus is my Savior, and I DAILY depend on Him.
Next, he hears His Word. Not just simply heard, but hears it (ongoing). Are you reading the Bible every day and hearing biblical preaching?
Finally he obeys it. The Word must be daily applied to our lives. Knowing but not living it, does no good in stabilizing our lives. Brothers, we are to live it. Then, we can rest assured. We will have stability because we have a sure foundation.
My heart aches hearing of the problems some are facing. Is God still good? Yes, beyond measure! Has He forgotten His children who are struggling? No.
Are you complaining and fearful or praising and joyful? Brothers your wife, your children need you to be strong. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
As you have needs, lay them before your Lord. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).
Keep a journal and capture all your needs and God’s answers for future encouragement. God is always good, always.
I spoke with someone a while back about their walk with the Lord. They described it as fantastic. I asked how often they read their Bible. They said they didn’t, but they loved God so much and prayed to Him all the time.
People often seem to be more willing to pray than to read their Bibles. Prayer becomes a spoken, laundry-list of requests or maybe even commands for God to fulfill. “Snap, snap. I want this. I want that.” Reading Scripture is much different. As we read God’s Word, God speaks to our hearts. We need to hear God’s commands, encouragement, promises and rebuke.
I heard a verse in church recently that would have been appropriate to have shared with this person. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). The Hebrew word for “law” in the verse is Torah. The prayer of a person who doesn’t want to hear God’s Word, is an abomination, something wicked and disgusting.
Are you in His Word every day? Do you love it? Brothers, do you do your best to live it?
I couldn’t count how often I have heard someone defend having a TV by saying, “It does have some good programs on it.” To me, that is the equivalent of justifying dumpster diving. I’m confident if I dove deep enough into a dumpster and spent long enough there, I might find something that had some value. However, in the process, I would likely be exposed to much that was disgusting and vile. Also, the aroma of where I had been would go with me.
I’m confident that most who have a TV would admit they watch things that at the least aren’t edifying and, at the worst, damage their souls (i.e. news). I grieve over dads who squander their time when they could be spending it with their wives and children. On that final Judgement Day, what excuse will you try to give the Lord?
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12).
Mentally go through three praiseworthy things your Lord has done in your life recently. Have you shared them with your children? “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days…” There won’t be parting-of-the-Red-Sea examples, but there will likely be times you saw the hand of a gracious, loving Heavenly Father at work. BTW, if it was chastisement in your life, that counts DOUBLE. Do your children see a living Savior at work in your life so that life in Christ is desirable, or could they see life in Christ as stale and boring? If life in Christ is the best thing on earth–tell them about it.
I believe many children don’t want their father’s faith because having observed their father, it is nothing more than a preference, a mere religion, a club, something you feel you need to do on Sunday morning. Sort of like Dad like’s chocolate ice cream and the children like vanilla. Frankly, Dad, if you are merely going through the motions, ask yourself the hard question, “do you have real life in Christ?” If not, want to talk?
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
It grieves my heart to hear a dad say he isn’t leading his family in the Word every day. We aren’t to be motivated in a legalistic, checking a box sort of way, but rather to use it as a joyful opportunity to wash/feed your family with the pure living Word of God (Eph. 5:26). It is a daily opportunity to build up while Satan is working to tear down.
God uses the analogy of building a house to a legacy of descendants that will follow the Lord. “And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, …” (1 Kings 11:38).
I love the example in Nehemiah as he rebuilt the walls. “As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built” (Nehemiah 4:18). This pictures always having the Word of God ready and at your side while you build. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Many dads have experienced heightened emotions–okay, terror–on handing their car keys to their son for the first time. The combination of the son’s driving ability, attitude, and level of responsibility all might proportionally affect Dad’s emotions. Dad is giving his son the authority to drive the family vehicle, registered in Dad’s name, and hereby Dad might have over-the-top liability should something go very wrong.
God established authority structures on earth and in marriage has given husbands the higher authority as exemplified in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 6:4. Husbands and wives are a team, but Dad leads the team because God has placed him in that role. Therefore, we will answer to God for what we did with the authority He entrusted to us.
Cars and dollars are temporal and will burn one day. However, our children have eternal souls. We will be held accountable for what we have poured into their lives.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:22-24).