Abiding, Accountability, Affection, Baptism, Belief, Bible, Calling, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Commitment, Disciplemaking, Faith, Family, Following, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Prayer, Rejoicing, Scripture

WALKING IN TRUTH

2 JOHN 4

“I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.”

When I was growing up I attended church and even sang in the youth choir and ensemble. Honestly, I went to church just to be with friends and meet girls. You see, at eight-years-old I was baptized but just got wet. It wasn’t until age sixteen that I was saved. All those previous years I faked it. I wasn’t walking in truth. I was walking in falsehood, just like many are doing every day.

John expresses his joy that his friend’s children are walking in truth. The Greek there actually says “rejoice exceedingly.” He was thrilled. Because he loved her, he loved her children. Hearing that “some” of her children were being obedient to the Lord’s command made his heart glad. We don’t know how many children she had, but at least these were living for Jesus.

APPLICATION

There is nothing we want more for our children than to live for the Lord. When they make that decision to follow Him, our hearts are like John’s heart. We are thrilled. We rejoice exceedingly. I had the privilege to baptize both of my children. I still remember getting choked up trying to speak while doing that. I pray daily for their walk with Him.

But we can’t let our guard down just because they have accepted Christ as their Savior. We have to continue to disciple and instruct them in the things of the Lord. And listen – that never stops. My children are 34 and 30. I still try to lead them as they allow me to. Their walk with Christ and their families’ walks with Christ are still at the top of my prayer list daily. Never stop discipling your children because they never stop needing it.

How are you doing with that? Are you offering godly counsel to your children? Some of our adult kids ask for it. Some don’t. But we still have a responsibility to them for the sake of the Lord. Today, on Christmas day, you may be spending some time with your adult kids and their families. Don’t forget to ask them how their walk is. You will be glad you did.

O Father God, You have blessed me with children who know You. Help me continue to guide and disciple them in their walk  with Christ.

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Baptism, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Disciplemaking, Following, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Mentoring, Parenting, Redemption, Salvation, Scripture, Submission, Testimony, Witnessing

WITNESSES

1 JOHN 5:6

“This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.”

In the court of law, witnesses and evidence are required to convict you of something. Heresay and opinion aren’t enough. You need proof. Aren’t you glad of that? I have been accused of stuff in the past that I didn’t do. Some were serious. Someone wanted to get me in trouble, but thankfully, the truth came out and I was proven innocent.

John is laying out the evidence here about Jesus. Now, this verse has had many different opinions by many different scholars. But the majority of them agree that John is referring to Jesus’ baptism (water) and His death on the cross (blood) in this verse. His purity and submission testify to who He was and is. The Spirit also testifies in our hearts today the truth of these words.

APPLICATION

You need to take this verse apart to explain it to your children. Take them to Matthew 3:13-17 and talk about Jesus’ baptism. You can show them there Jesus submission to His Father in this act. You can also show how the Spirit testified about Jesus through the appearance of the dove. Pretty cool! Wouldn’t it be cool if a dove came down when they got baptized, lol?

And then take them to John 19 and read the crucifixion story to them. This may be hard on tender ears so be mindful of that. But our children need to know exactly what Jesus did for them. His shed blood wasn’t a finger prick. He died for them. He gave his life for them. His blood was dripping from His pierced hands and feet. His body was ripped and bleeding from the beating. His head was bleeding from the crown of thorns that was shoved on it.

Water and blood testified to who Jesus was and is. Let me ask you a question. What testifies to your faith in Christ? Have you accepted Him as Your Savior? Have you believed upon Him? His blood still covers sins. His baptism still serves as the example for us to follow. I pray that today you will take a fresh look at just who Jesus is. He wants you to live through Him.

O God, forgive me for taking Your life for granted. All You did for me is not forgotten. Thank You for Your submission in baptism and death.

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Advice, Baptism, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Encouragement, Following, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Surrender, Testimony

BAPTISM SAVES?

1 PETER 3:21

“Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

Here lies a verse that is argued by many a scholar. Let me say I am not trying to start an argument or persuade others to my view of Scripture. I am merely using this verse to encourage others. Baptism is a symbol of our regeneration in Christ. The phrase “an appeal to God for a good conscience” implies a work that is already done. Baptism is an outward expression of an inner work.

Let me give you my example. I was baptized at eight years old. But I never really gave my heart to Jesus. I believed in Him, but I didn’t surrender to Him until age 16. I was baptized again as a believer. The first baptism meant nothing. I just got wet. But as a believer, I knew I needed to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism.

APPLICATION

When should your child get baptized? I am asked this a lot. My simple answer is when they understand the basic Gospel message and have asked Jesus into their life. Jesus referred to a child’s faith over and over in Scripture. We adults complicate it. We want to “make sure” they understand everything. Let me ask you, mom and dad, do you understand everything about salvation?

I’ve been a believer since July 1977, and I am still learning. I have been in ministry over 40 years, and I am still learning. Trust your children when they tell you they have asked Jesus to be their Savior. Sure, talk to them about it. And then encourage them to be baptized.

Maybe you have put off this decision for years. Don’t wait any longer. Call your church and find out when the next baptism is and get it done. Be obedient. You will still get to heaven without baptism, but you will have missed a blessing.

Father, I want to be obedient to You in all I do. I am thankful I can follow Your Son’s example in baptism.

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