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A REAL LOOKER

 

Proverbs 31:30 “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”

REAL BEAUTY

God makes beautiful women.  But it has NOTHING to do with how they look.  They say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Well, whomever God beholds is beautiful.  There!  Enough said about that!  Period!  Exclamation mark!

I get so tired of the world’s view of beauty.  You have to be this height or that weight.  You have to have sparkling teeth and shiny hair.  Phooey!  You need to read Proverbs 31:10-31 to get a real picture of what beauty is.  I can’t begin to describe it better than the writer.

TEACHING MOMENT

So, what has this to do with our children?  A lot!  Don’t let them buy into the world’s view of beauty.  You need to tell your little girl EVERY DAY that she is beautiful because God made her.  You need to tell your little boy how handsome he is because he is made in the image of God.

If we don’t build their self-esteem in a holy manner, the world will tear them apart.  We need to inform them of how God sees them.  They need to experience praise for their walk with Christ, not their “cuteness.”

Don’t hear me bashing attractive people.  I am one.  Lol.  Seriously, I appreciate that people take care of themselves and want to look their best.  Just don’t spend more time “decorating” yourself than you do in God’s Word.

So, Moms and Dads, what example are you showing your kids?  Are they modeling your walk with Christ or how you walk?  Are they playing dress up to look like you or loving others as they have seen you love them?  Now – go be beautiful!

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COVENANT

 

Hebrews 9:16 “For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.”

MY FATHER’S WILL

My sweet daddy died a few years ago. He worked hard all his life and accumulated some things to leave behind to his children in his will.  I never knew what my dad had, in regards to insurance or money.  I just knew he loved me, my brother and my two sisters.  All he had he left to us.

The funny thing is though none of his possessions became ours until he died.  He had it all written down in a will, but it didn’t become ours until he died.  That’s the hard thing about wills.  Someone has to die for it to become active.

TEACHING MOMENT

As your children get older, and consequently you do too, I am sure you will go over your will with them.  You should, if you don’t already, have a written will to provide for them in case something happens to you.  But enough legal advice, lol.

Jesus cut a covenant with us which could only become active when He died on the cross for us.  His death ensured us of our inheritance.  He provided for us eternally through His death and shed blood.  Your children need to know that Jesus died for them and that our inheritance in Him will NEVER expire or be depleted.  It will last for eternity.

Have you claimed that inheritance?  Do you realize how rich you are in Him?  Will you allow Jesus to bless you by being a part of His family?  Only those in His family will receive the blessings of His covenant.  I am thankful that He died for me.  Aren’t you?

 

 

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AN ANCHOR

 

Hebrews 6:19 “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,”

UNMOVABLE

I was fishing recently in a nearby lake on a very windy day.  We finally found some fish right out in the middle of the lake where the wind was horrible.  Have you ever tried to stay in one spot and fish when the wind was blowing?  It’s not easy, even with a trolling motor.  We caught several but had to give it up after a while.  What we really needed was about a twenty-pound anchor.  Lol

Aren’t you glad that Jesus is the anchor of our soul?  When He is your Savior, there is NO force in heaven or hell that can move you.  He has you anchored solid.  He is immovable.  You may feel you are being shaken, but if you stay connected to the anchor you are secure.

TEACHING MOMENT

Our children are going to face some storms in their lives.  There will be winds of trials that hit them.  They need to know that Jesus is there for them – ALWAYS.  He is the anchor that can keep them grounded.  He is the One Who will NEVER move.  They can depend on Him.

Many children have had to deal with the divorce of their parents.  Their lives have been turned upside down.  Divorce is hard.  Divorce is tough.  Those children may feel all hope is gone.  But we have to remind them of the anchor.  Jesus will never leave them.  He can be that father or mother who is not there now.  Don’t let them forget that.

Are you drifting, Mom or Dad?  Has your anchor rope slipped?  Notice I said the anchor rope.  You see, you have to keep the anchor tied to the boat in order to stay put.  We tend to loosen the rope sometimes because we think we can handle the wind.  Keep the rope tight.  Jesus is the Anchor.  Let Him keep you steady!

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Piercings

 

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

You are probably thinking, “What is Carl going to say about piercings?”  Fooled you!  This is NOT about body piercings.  I will save that topic for another day.  This is about the piercings of God’s Word in our life.  Look at the verse – “piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit.”  What is the writer of Hebrews (I believe it’s Paul) saying here?

Every time I pick up the Word my soul and spirit is pierced.  I am convicted.  I am redirected.  It never fails.  God’s word is “sharper than any two-edged sword.”  It cuts me to the quick.  But it is not a ragged, ugly cut.  It is smooth and to the exact point in my life.  It knows exactly what I need.  The Holy Spirit penned these words generations ago through a multitude of writers for me and you.

TEACHING MOMENT

That is why we need to teach our children how important the Word is to us and them.  We need to show them every day how to read a portion of Scripture to guide them.  It doesn’t matter whether that is done in the morning or evening.  Just pick a time to ingest the Word.  Help them find the time that’s best for them to study a passage.

We are all, as parents, so diligent to force our kids to study their school subjects and to read that assigned book for a teacher.  But the Word is the only book they will read ALL their lives and that will NEVER get old.  They can learn from this book every day.  That’s the key.  Every day piercings!

Are you diving daily into the Word yourself?  Are you making the time to grow?  Are you allowing the Word to slice through your hard skull to your spirit and soul?  Why not?  Let the Lord perform spiritual surgery on you each day.  I promise He will guide the sword of the Word with perfect skill and heal what ails you.

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GUARDIAN ANGELS

 

Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”

MY ANGEL

I know you have heard people say their angel is watching over them.  I can still see clearly the framed picture my parents had of two small children walking over a scary bridge with an angel watching over them.  I have never forgotten that image, but have never been very sure of its theological truth.

But here we see in Hebrews 1:14 that the angels are indeed sent by God to serve the believers.  Their duty is to follow the Lord’s commands, and we are part of those duties.  The Lord, not only sends the Holy Spirit to indwell us, but He also sends His angels to watch over us.  That’s pretty cool, huh?

TEACHING MOMENT

I don’t think we need to tell our children that they have a guardian angel.  I am not sure that is technically true.  I don’t believe there is any Scriptural evidence that we each have our own angel.  But we can tell them that the Lord is watching over us, and He will use whatever means necessary to care for us.

Does that mean they will never face hurt?  No!  But even in the midst of tragedy He is there to comfort us with comfort that goes beyond words.  Will He use angels to comfort us?  I am sure He will.  We may never realize it.  We probably will never see an angel this side of eternity, but they are there, and they exist to serve the Lord by serving us as He commands.

Do you need an angel today?  Talk to the Lord.  Tell Him your needs. He may just send one to meet your needs.  He may just send one to comfort you with comfort too special for words.  And when you experience that, don’t be shocked to find that you may have “entertained angels unaware.”  Blessings!

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OUR REFUGE

 

Numbers 35:10-11 “10 ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 then you shall select for yourselves cities to be your cities of refuge, that the manslayer who has killed any person unintentionally may flee there.’”

A SAFE PLACE

I love the fact that the Lord gave detailed instructions for the cities of refuge, places where an accused person could flee for safety until his case was heard by the elders.  God didn’t want people to seek revenge ignorantly.  He didn’t create these cities where the guilty could hide, though.  It was never intended for that.  He meant it for justice.

You may not realize it, but when these cities were designated their location allowed just about anyone access within 50 miles from where they were.  When I served in Florida, the ministry I was serving had a Sanctity of Life program.  One of our goals was to help create Pregnancy Counseling Centers within 50 miles of anyone in Florida.  Basically, we wanted places of refuge where a woman could seek counsel about an unplanned pregnancy and help her choose life for that child.  We wanted a safe place for the child.

TEACHING MOMENT

So, you are probably thinking, “Okay Carl, how in the world can I apply this to my kids?”  I’m glad you asked.  Our children need to know that we have a place of refuge, a safe place, in Christ.  It is to Him we run for protection and comfort.  It is to Him we run for forgiveness of sin.  It is to Him we run to plead our case.  And the beauty of it is we don’t have to go 50 miles.  He is just a prayer away.

One of the most precious truths we can teach our children is the accessibility of Jesus.  His Spirit is always within reach.  There is no place He can’t reach.  No matter how far our children may have strayed, they can still contact Him.  Teach them to reach out to Him whenever and wherever they are.

And you?  Do you know that?  Or have you believed the lie of Satan that you are too far gone?  Turn to Him today.  Reach out to your Lord and allow Him to draw you to safety.  He IS our refuge!

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ENEMY TREATMENT

 

Proverbs 25: 21-22 “21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

HATRED VS KINDNESS

I recently read a little poem that describes our passage today.

“By heaping coals of fire upon its head:

In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,

And pure from dross the silver runs below.” S. Wesley.

Those words describe exactly how we are to treat our enemies.  We are to treat them with kindness so that they may learn to glow.  Our light (Christ’s light) can shine through us and cause them to glow.  What a blessed thought.  But it isn’t easy.

TEACHING MOMENT

Your children will encounter enemies during their life.  Now they may not be life threatening enemies, but they will cause your children grief.  Teaching our children how to handle these individuals is a life skill that is so important.

They should pray for their enemy.  They should seek ways to bless their enemy.  They should repay cursings with blessings.  It won’t be easy for your children.  They will still shed tears.  But by allowing themselves to be intimidated or scared by their enemies, they give them all the power over them.  Don’t let that happen.

Parents, are you allowing the Lord to love your enemies through you?  How can you turn all the anger they have for you into love for them?  Your children are watching (and learning) from you.  They will observe your actions toward people they know don’t like you.  Show them how to do it Christ-like, not the way you want to do it.  Then “the Lord will reward you.”

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JUMPING TO JUDGMENT

 

Numbers 32:8 “This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land.”

NO ONE’S PERFECT

When the leaders of the tribes of Reuben and Gad approached Moses about staying on the East side of the Jordan to live, he was livid.  He assumed they were repeating the sin of their fathers who had refused to enter the Promised Land 40 years earlier.  Moses immediately chastised them and sought to convict them to change their minds.

However, the leaders gave him an answer he didn’t expect.  They promised to lead the people across and fight for them for the land, but leave their families behind.  They were willing to leave their families for years in order to fulfill the Lord’s command to go and possess the land.  That wasn’t what Moses was expecting to hear.

TEACHING MOMENT

This passage struck me as something that we do all the time.  We jump to judgments.  You may have heard the saying “Some people only get their exercise by jumping to conclusions.”  That’s so true.  We must teach our children to refrain from judging others.  We do not know their whole story most of the time.  We especially should not pretend to know what someone else is thinking.  That can be very dangerous.

Once again, the question is how to do that.  And once again the answer is by modeling the behavior for your children.  We must set the example.  When we are faced with the opportunity to judge, we must refrain from doing so.  God is our judge.  We have no business judging others.

Now let me just say that I am as guilty as the rest.  But we must refrain.  We must let the Lord reveal their hearts.  We can observe their actions and behaviors and see how they match up to the Word, but we cannot judge their intentions or motives.

Will you allow the Lord to subdue your judgmental spirit?  Will you allow Him to speak truth through you to others?  Be like Moses – just keep pointing them to the Promised Land.

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SPARE THE ROD…

 

Proverbs 23:13-14 “13 Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. 14 You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol.

PROPER DISCIPLINE

Before you stop reading, hang on.  I am NOT advocating beating your children.  I have worked with children since 1979, so I would never tell you to abuse your child by beating them with a rod.  That Hebrew word could also be translated as “club.”  Don’t use that either!  Lol

Neither is Solomon saying to club your child.  What he is saying is that an undisciplined child is headed to no good.  I am reminded of Hebrews 12:11 “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”  No one likes to be disciplined, and parents should not enjoy disciplining their child.  But to be good parents we must correct them when they have willfully disobeyed us or God.

TEACHING MOMENT

This is a perfect verse to share with your children when you have to discipline them.  They need to understand that, just as the Lord disciplines us, we must discipline them.  They need to know that by doing that we are showing our love to them.  Now I promise you that little Gertrude or Elrod are not going to believe you.  They do not want to be disciplined.  But I also promise you that later on, they will appreciate it.

Children thrive in a disciplined environment where they know the boundaries.  They feel safe knowing Mom or Dad are watching out for them to keep them in line.  A child who does not have any rules applied to them will choose the easy way every time, thus not learning those life lessons so necessary for success as an adult.

Do the world a favor.  Discipline your child.  Seek advice from other parents or a child specialist.  But whatever you do, do not “spare the rod.”  You need to find whatever method of discipline works best for your child and be consistent with it.

Be honest with me.  Don’t you want the Holy Spirit to correct you?  Don’t you want the Lord to “scourge” you when necessary.  Welcome correction in your life.  The Word does say that the Lord scourges those whom He loves.  And you know He loves you!

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REMEMBERED

 

Numbers 27:18 “So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him;’”

WHO SHALL LEAD?

Moses had just been told to go on the mountain and look at the land of Canaan across the Jordan for he would not set foot in it.  Then Moses would die.  Moses’ first thought was, “Lord, who shall take my place to lead these people?”  He wasn’t bemoaning the fact that he was going to die or that he would not enter the Promised Land.  His first thought was for the people he had been leading for 40 years.

But the Lord had already chosen his replacement.  There was no hesitation on the part of the Lord.  He immediately told Moses to take Joshua, the man who been beside Moses these 40 years, the man who had led the armies of Israel, the man who had stood guard at the tent to meeting, the man who had been one of the spies 40 years earlier, and anoint him in front of all the people.

TEACHING MOMENT

How do you get an application from this passage for your life and the lives of your children?  For me, it is saying that God has a plan for your life long before you are ever aware of it.  He had been preparing Joshua for 40 years to lead.  Joshua had not been told that he was next in line to lead.  He just led as Moses instructed him.  He had been faithful to what God had entrusted him, and for that, God had found him worthy to lead.

Your children need to learn to trust God in the way He leads them.  The purpose He has for them may not be revealed right away.  He may wait 40 years to reveal it to them, like He did for Joshua.  He may choose to use them in a way they never even thought of, like Joshua.

How about you, Mom and Dad?  Are you fulfilling God’s calling in your life?  Are you still waiting for God to reveal it to you?  Perhaps He is still preparing you for something.  Perhaps He has told you but you don’t like what He said.  Joshua struggled with this, I am sure.  But He allowed the Lord to work through him.  Will you?

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