Advice, Advocate, Bible, Born, Calling, Commitment, Darkness, Doubts, Encouragement, Friends, Infidelity, Obedience, Prayer, Scripture

WHOSE CHILD IS THIS?

HOSEA 1:8

“When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son.” 

My wife and I have three children. One of those, Cathleen, is in heaven, having only lived six hours due to a premature birth back in 1987. Our other two children are now 34 and 30. There is no doubt whose children they are. They were birthed by my wife, but they were conceived by us both. I know my children are my children.

I couldn’t help but wonder, though, about Hosea’s children. Here we have the birth of a third child, a son. Remember, Hosea was told to a marry Gomer even though God knew and told Hosea that she would be unfaithful. How did Hosea know if these children born by Gomer were his or someone else’s? He didn’t. He simply was staying with Gomer because the Lord told him to. He was being obedient in the face of doubt and mistrust. That took a powerful amount of faith.

APPLICATION

Have you ever had to trust the Lord during a dark time? Perhaps you were going through a period of testing and your faith was shaken. Maybe you were doubting whether God was there at all. I have talked to many a person who have had those feelings. How do you get through those times? It’s not easy. In fact, it’s impossible on your own.

So, what do you do? First, you turn to other believers for support and prayer. You need allies on your side who can love you and confront you, if needed. Secondly, you turn to the Word for guidance. You won’t find true deliverance from any other source. Those other sources may make you feel better, but they won’t provide lasting results. Finally, you come before your heavenly Father, begging Him for deliverance.

Now, you may say those are in the wrong order. Perhaps. But I know that most people won’t go to God first. They turn to those close to them first for help. Any true friend will immediately point them to God. So, these can actually be happening at the same time. Don’t get stuck on the order. Just follow them.

Are you going through a time of questioning God? I bet Hosea had a few of those moments while married to Gomer. Who wouldn’t have? But he remained faithful to God and to Gomer. He was obedient to God’s original calling. Will you do that? Go back to that original calling on your life. Let the Lord remind you of who you are in Him.

Lord, I don’t understand everything You ask me to do. I simply have to trust that You are faithful and will see me through.

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Bible, Born, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Mentoring, Parenting, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Testimony, Victors

VICTORY

1 JOHN 5:4

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

Who doesn’t like to be victorious? We all do. No one wants to lose. It doesn’t matter what we are talking about, we want to win. It could be a ballgame, a test or a health crisis. We all want to come out on the winning side. That’s just natural. We feel better when we win. We feel better about ourselves and even life in general.

John uses a word here in today’s verse twice that means to be victorious. He uses the Greek word nikao, which comes from nike (victory). It’s interesting to me that this word nikao is used 28 times in the New Testament, but 24 times by John. John really liked this word. It must have meant something to him. He must have experienced it and wanted us to experience victory. But don’t miss the point of the last two words in the verse. It’s our faith that makes us victorious, not us.

APPLICATION

The next victory your child has should be celebrated. Even small victories need to be celebrated. You don’t have to go overboard but recognizing those small triumphs are remembered by your child. Some of those victories can have lasting impacts. Don’t miss those opportunities.

But I want you to talk about spiritual victories with them, as well. When they say no to the lure of peer pressure to do something they know is not godly, that’s a victory. When they follow the Lord in believer’s baptism, that’s a victory. When they memorize that passage of Scripture for AWANA, that’s a victory. Celebrate those, too.

What do you need to celebrate today? Maybe you failed today. That’s not the end. Pick yourself up and look towards the next challenge. Victory is within your reach. Now, this is not a name and claim it devotional. Your spiritual victories are tied directly to your faith. Stay in the Word. Pray daily. Let the Lord show you what a real victory looks like.

Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever. That the source of my victory. I know that and will live in it.

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DO YOU BELIEVE?

1 JOHN 5:1

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.”

I guess I have always believed in Jesus. I was raised in a church-going home. We were there every Sunday. I remember going to

Sunday School, church, revivals, etc. Church was a regular part of our family life. But you have to understand something. It was all head knowledge. All that church going gave me a false sense of salvation.

It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I truly believed. When the Holy Spirit drew me towards the Father through the Son, I surrendered my life to Him. My church-going belief became true belief in Christ. I joined the family John is describing in today’s verse. I finally fully believed that Jesus was the Christ. What a change! Knowledge about something does not equal belief in something.

APPLICATION

As your children grow, I am sure you have been telling them about God and Jesus. You may even have pictures of Jesus or other Christian decorations in your house. You talk about Jesus at Christmas and celebrate His birth. You have been filling their little skulls full of mush with knowledge about Jesus. But try as you might, you can’t flip a switch and give them saving knowledge. That is truly between them and God.

So, how do you ensure your child comes to faith? No one wants to think of the alternative, right? You have to remain consistent in your teaching. You have to take every opportunity to talk about what Jesus has done for you. When a prayer is answered, make sure you share that with them. They need to see Jesus working in your life. God may just use that to draw them to Himself. And, of course, pray every day for their salvation. God hears your prayers.

Can you effectively share your salvation experience with someone? Can you articulate the joy you have in Christ? You may need to practice doing that. The Lord will give you the words to say each and every time He gives you the opportunity to share. You have to trust Him. Tell the world about your saving knowledge of Jesus. He is the Christ. Celebrate it.

I praise You, O Lord, for sending Your Son, Jesus, to rescue me. He is indeed the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

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