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MAKING PREPARATIONS

 

Exodus 28:1 “’Then bring near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister as priest to Me—Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.’”

You are probably wondering, “What in the world can we apply to our lives as Parents from this verse?” Well, let me tell you. First of all, every word of God’s Word is inspired and has a purpose. Yes, even those verses in Leviticus. Lol

We see in this verse God choosing Aaron and his sons as His priests. He gave Moses special instructions in anointing them, clothing them and making sacrifices for them. He was specific in His instructions to make sure these men were set apart for a special purpose.

For what purpose were our children set apart? What does the Lord have planned for them? Well, let me ask you this. Are you following the Lord’s instructions in preparing your children for service? Are you anointing them? Are you preparing the proper clothing for them? Are you presenting them to the Lord as a sacrifice, just as Abraham presented Isaac?

How our children serve the Lord depends a lot on how we prepare them. Will you make the preparations?

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BABY WORDS

 

Matthew 21:14-17 “14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these children are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?’  17 And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.”

“Out of the mouth of babes.” You have heard that saying, I’m sure. Well here we see that saying quoted by the Lord Jesus. He is quoting Psalm 8:2 which reads, “ From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease.”

Have you ever heard your child say something that surprised you? What parent hasn’t, right? Sometimes it is the words they hear around the house. Sometimes it’s words they hear from friends. But what a joy it would be if what they repeated were words of praise and adoration for our Lord. If we, as parents and grandparents, are mindful of those words coming from our mouths, I am sure our little ones would hear and repeat.

Teach your children to sing praises to the King of Kings. Teach them His Word so that it will be with them later in life when they encounter difficult days. But most importantly, teach them to keep a lookout for Him so they too can join in and say, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

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WORSHIP THROUGH GIVING

 

Exodus 25:1-2 “1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution.’”

One of the hardest lessons we teach our children is the gift of giving. Most children had much rather receive than give. Heck, most adults had too. But teaching this gift is so important. When children learn at a young age that giving to the Lord is an act of worship, and when we model that for them, they are much more likely to give when they grow up.

In this passage the Lord instructs Moses to ask the people to give the articles needed to prepare the Tent of Meeting, commonly known as the Tabernacle. This would be the place of worship for many generations to come. It would be the place Moses would meet God and intercede for the people. It is here that Joshua would stand and wait on Moses to return from the Holy of Holies. It was their “church.”

Children need to learn that giving to the church is important because it allows the church to provide that place of worship for the Body of Christ. Their giving provides for the Pastor(s) and staff who are serving the Lord. Their giving can literally change the world as the church sends part of their giving to other ministries and missionaries.

But their giving starts with you Mom and Dad. They need to SEE you giving. They need to see you write that tithe check or give online. And when you give, do it joyfully so they can rejoice with you. Amen? Amen!

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BE THE LAST ONE

 

Matthew 20:16, 26-28 “’16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.’ 26 ‘It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’”

What a lesson to teach our children! And probably one of the most difficult. Twice in this 20th chapter of Matthew Jesus mentions the last being first and the first being last. However, we know that little Elrod and Gertrude ALWAYS want to be first. When they surprise us and allow someone else (yes even their sibling) to go first we almost pass out! Lol

Humility! It’s all about humility. Did you know you can’t teach humility, but it can be learned? You are probably thinking, “Huh? What do you mean?” Humility is a characteristic that is caught, not taught. And guess who models that behavior. That’s right – YOU!!   Mom and Dad!!

So let me ask you a question. Are you being humble? Are you letting others go before you? Do you give up that parking space in the Mall parking lot when someone else wants it? Do you let the person in line at the grocery go before you?

Your kids are watching. They are learning from your actions, not your words. Be last! For Jesus!

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BOUNDARY LINES

 

Exodus 19:10-12a “The Lord also said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; 11and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it;…’”

Borders!   Boundaries! Limits! It seems as Parents we are always stating those to our children. “Don’t leave the yard!” “Don’t get out of my sight!” Why do we set these limits? Because we want to keep our children safe, duh!

The Lord God set limits for His people. He told Moses in this passage as they approached Mt. Sinai to set boundaries around the mountain so the people would not sneak up and try to get a glimpse of Him. He wanted to 1) keep them safe and 2) see if they would obey.

It is interesting that these instructions were given not once but twice (just like we have to do for our own children). After giving these instructions to Moses He told him to go back down and tell them again. Moses said, “God, I’ve already told them. We’re good.” But God sent him back to tell them again, to just make sure.

As you set those limits for your children, make sure they are limits for their safety and not just to make you feel better. And make sure they understand the boundaries. Keep them clear and concise. Kids think concretely. Draw them a picture if necessary. God has drawn us all a picture of our boundaries. They are all found in His Word. Use it!

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CHILDLIKE FAITH

 

Matthew 18:2 “And He called a child to Himself and set him before them”

Moms and Dads, is there anything any better than having your child crawl up into your lap to get some hugs and kisses? I can’t think of anything. Well, maybe grandkids doing the same. Lol

Look at this verse again. Jesus called a child from the crowd to use as an example. Now it doesn’t say specifically, but I have to believe that when it says, “set him before them” that He took that child in His lap, probably hugged him and kissed him. That is just the way Jesus was. He loved children. He was always referring to their faith as the faith we must have to follow Him. He used the child to teach.

What can you learn from your child? You know they can help us learn a lot about faith, if we just let them. They believe simply. They don’t try to “figure things out.” They just believe. They just trust. They just accept.

How about you? Are you so busy with your parenting that you have ceased to be a learner? Have you gotten too “mature” to believe all that nonsense? I certainly hope not. Having worked over 36 years with children, I can tell you that I am still learning from them. They teach me every time I am with them.

Will you listen to your child’s heartbeat for God and get in rhythm?

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OH HOW SOON WE FORGET

 

Exodus 15:24 “So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “’What shall we drink?’”

In keeping with the same thought as yesterday, here in Exodus we read about a very short minded people. The Jewish people, just recently freed from slavery, had witnessed the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh’s army. They walked across the sea bottom on DRY GROUND. How cool was that?

And now here they are three days later, and they are actually worried about not having water. Did they not think that the God who freed them could give hem drink? What ungrateful, unbelieving people.

That kind of reminds us of our children, doesn’t it? At some point our children get brain freeze and forget all that we have done for them. “Hey Junior, I just fed you a nine course meal!” “Hey Penelope, didn’t I just buy you a dress for homecoming.” But past experiences can be so soon forgotten.

Before you get angry, take a moment to reflect on all the things the Lord has done for you which you have forgotten. Think back over the years at all the miracles God has performed in your life. Now – do your children seem so different than you? Probably not! Be grateful and celebratory!

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WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

 

Matthew 16:7 “They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “’He said that because we did not bring any bread.’”

How many times do your children have to be told and shown how to do something like clean their rooms? Every day you show them how to make that bed. Every day, or ten times a day, you tell them to pick up their toys. Will they ever get it? Will they ever learn?

Jesus probably felt the same way right here. The disciples had just seen Him feed over 5000 people and then over 4000 people, and they still were thinking He was worried about bread to eat. He probably was thinking, “Will they ever get it?”

Well, of course, the one advantage He had over you is He was (and still is) God. He knew what His disciples were thinking. He also knew that they would get it. They, in fact, those 11 faithful disciples, would change the world.

Your children can too. We can’t see the future. But we know the One Who can. He knows exactly what your children will become. Ask Him! Pray to the Father that He will guide you as you guide them. Let Him give you a glimpse into their future. They are in His hands.

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STRONG OR STRONG WILLED

 

Exodus 9.35 “Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not let the sons of Israel go, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses.”

 

Strong Willed! Parents, have you ever heard that term? You might have a child who is strong willed. They look at you with those arms crossed and stomp their feet when you ask them to do something. Or perhaps they are a teenager now and consistently argue every point with you, demanding to make their own decisions regardless of your advice.

 

I truly believe Pharaoh was a strong willed child. After all, he was raised to believe he was a god. Who wouldn’t be strong willed and arrogant and defiant if they had been told that since childhood. He believed he could do anything he wanted and everyone else must bow to his decisions.

 

And then he ran smack into Jehovah God. Moses introduced him to Him. “Let My people go!” He resisted, mocked Him, defied Him until…..he felt the full brunt of the wrath of God.

 

What a lesson for our own little Elrod or Lucy Jane who is strong willed and defiant. Now there is nothing wrong with being strong willed as long as you understand that you are NOT God. Strong wills drive people to achieve great things. Don’t discipline your child for that alone. However, allow them to learn that even the strongest of wills must bow to the Almighty Creator of the universe. When they learn that they will truly be STRONG!!!

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HEAL MY CHILD PLEASE!

 

Matthew 15:28 “Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.”

 

Have you ever wondered why Jesus did not immediately respond to this mother’s request to heal her daughter? Moms and Dads, wouldn’t you implore the Lord to heal your child if they were sick? No parent wants to see their child suffer. We would do anything we could to alleviate their pain and sickness.

 

This Mom, like many of the ones I know, begged Jesus to heal her daughter. She came close even to arguing with Him. Why did Jesus test her so? I believe He wanted to make sure she was sincere in her faith in Him. Many came to Him for healing. Why was she coming to Him? What was her motive?

 

When she humbled herself, comparing herself to the dogs who eat crumbs from the table, he said those words to her, “Your faith is great.” Moms, Dads, don’t you want the Lord to whisper those words in our ear? Don’t you want to be told your faith is great? You can! Just trust Him. Just talk to Him. Daily implore the Lord on behalf of your children. After all, He loves them more than you ever could.

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