Abiding, Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Knowledge, Mentoring, Parenting, Scripture, Teaching, Truth

KNOW IT ALL

1 JOHN 2:27

“As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”

Have you ever known someone who knew everything about everything? You couldn’t tell a story without them butting in and finishing it or trying to top it. Name any subject and they would have an opinion. You really couldn’t tell them anything. Those kinds of people are kind of annoying, aren’t they?

You could read this verse and think John is telling us to be like that. You may even think he is shunning education and teachers. I mean, at first glance it appears that way. He actually says, “you have no need for anyone to teach you.” But John is warning us to be careful of who we let influence us. Everything must be in agreement with what the Spirit tells us according to the Word of God.

APPLICATION

This is never more true than today. Our children are constantly being told how naïve and even ignorant they are if they believe in the creation story. After all, science teaches that evolution is reality, right? But what does God’s Word say? Does evolution match up to Genesis 1-3? No, it doesn’t.

Other examples of teachings that go contrary to the teachings of God are abortion and the redefinition of marriage. We have to keep pointing our children to the only true source of knowledge. Only God’s Word gives the wisdom needed to guide us through life. Only God’s Word will always point us in the right direction. There is no other truth.

Let me encourage you today to reexamine your knowledge base. Whom or what do you trust for truth? We have seen in just the past few months the vacillation of scientist on the covid-19 causes and treatments. What one holds as truth, another says is not true. Aren’t you glad that we know THE Truth – Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior?

Father, thank You for sending Your Spirit to be my teacher. I thank You also for sending others into my life to mentor and direct me.

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Advice, Advocate, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Completeness, Devil, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Knowledge, Mentoring, Parenting, Satan, Scripture

PERFECT

1 JOHN 2:13

“I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.” 

You may read the title of this devotion and then read the verse and wonder how I got that title. Well, you have to dig a little deeper than the English translation. You have to look at the verbs in the verse and the tenses that were used. Now, hold on. Don’t let me lose you here. Keep reading.

All three verbs John used, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in reference to his audience (fathers, young men and little children) are in the Perfect tense. That Greek verb tense means an action was taken in the past sometime with lasting results. So, that means the fathers and little children knew God and still know God. The young men overcame Satan and have still overcome him.

APPLICATION

If you think about it, a lot of our actions have lasting results. Do you want your children’s actions to have good results or bad results? Simple question with an equally simple answer. Of course, you want good results. No one wants their children to fail or leave a disaster in their wake. How do you help them accomplish those good results?

The only sure way is to teach them make every decision based on God’s Word. If they bathe their decisions in prayer and allow Him to guide them, then the results aren’t up to them. They are up to God. We know that anything He does is perfect. There you have it – perfect results. We just have to get out of the way.

Are you wrestling with a decision right now and worried about the consequences of that decision? Let the Lord have it. Ask Him what will give Him glory. If you do that, you are placing your trust in the One who manages the cosmos. I think He can handle your problem. Don’t you?

I will allow You to perfect my decisions through Your perfect Will. I know You always want what is best for me.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Inspirational, Knowledge, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Surrender

HOW DO YOU KNOW?

1 JOHN 2:3

“By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”

I get asked a lot by people how they can be sure they are saved. They want a firm reassurance that they can rest on. Well, here is one way. John states it pretty clearly. He says, “By this we know that we have come to know Him.” Both times that word “know” is used it refers to a knowledge gained through experience. You know it because you have experienced it.

Then John goes on to say how we will know – by keeping God’s commandments. Simple enough, right? If you have given your heart to Jesus and are following His commands, you know the Lord. You obey out of love. You don’t obey to be loved. Keeping God’s commandments is just a natural result of knowing Him.

APPLICATION

Do your children obey you? Now, come on. Be honest. Do they obey you all the time? Probably not. Do they trust that what you ask them to do is for their good? Most children do. But why? Because they know you. They have grown up with you. You have been there through all their challenges. You have been there in the good times and bad times. You know them and they know you.

Explain this to your son or daughter the next time you have to discuss a “rule” with them. It is just like obeying the Father. He has known them even before they were born. He knows them completely. He has fashioned His plan for their lives for their good. He has written His Word to guide them towards perfection. They simply have to believe and follow Him.

Doesn’t that all sound easy? Well, we both know it isn’t. In fact, it’s impossible – by ourselves. But when we surrender to the Lord and bow before Him, all those challenges become opportunities to trust Him. All those hard times become times for growth.

Lord, I’m thankful You have given me Your commandments to follow. I know I can trust them to lead me where You want me to go. I trust Your Word.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Encouragement, Inspirational, Knowledge, Mentoring, Parenting, Scripture, Time

TELLING TIME

2 PETER 3:8

“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” 

It seems we are always in a hurry. Hustle here and hustle there. We actually seem to think we can squeeze more minutes into the day, but the last time I checked there are still only 1,440 of them. We can rush and scurry around like we can get more done, but we really can’t.

Peter makes a point here by stating, “do not let this one fact escape your notice.” He doesn’t want us to miss this. He actually uses the same word back in verse five. And what is this spectacular truth? God tells time different than us. That’s it. God doesn’t dwell in a twenty-four day. So, sit back and relax.

APPLICATION

Do you remember teaching your children to tell time? Nowadays it is a little easier with the digital clocks. But teaching them with an analog clock is a little harder. There’s the big, short hand for the hour, the big, long hand for the minutes and the sweeping hand for the seconds. It takes a little bit more teaching to get them to catch on.

What a great time to teach them about God’s time. Explain to them how He can see the past, present and future all at once. He doesn’t need a wristwatch or wall clock. He made time by putting the sun in the sky and setting the earth to spin at just the right speed for a twenty-four hour day. Amazing.

Can you trust God’s timing in your life? He is at work, even when you don’t know it. And His timing is impeccable. He is always perfect in His timing. I once heard a joke about a man who wanted to ask God for a favor. He said, “God, I know to You a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. I know money is nothing to you. Shoot, to you a penny is like a million dollars. Could You send me a penny?” God quickly answered back, “Give me a second.”

O Lord, I don’t want a penny. I don’t want an extra day. I just want to please You each day I live.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Commitment, Direction, Encouragement, Knowledge, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Punishment

YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THAT

2 PETER 2:21

“For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.”

Did your mom or dad ever say, “Young man (or young lady), you know better than that”? Why did they say that? Because you had obviously been taught something which you had now disobeyed. You knew the rule, but didn’t care. Peter is telling us something similar to that in this verse.

These individuals he is writing about here had heard the “way of righteousness” and “the holy commandment.” They knew the right choice to make. But they turned away. They turned their backs on the right choice. And because of that, Peter says they have no excuse. They can’t say they didn’t know.

APPLICATION

I bet your children break the rules from time to time, don’t they? I haven’t met a perfect child yet (contrary to what some grandparents think, lol). They have been taught not to steal and lie, right? If there were no rules, how do you think your children would act? I think we all know the answer to that.

Rules are given for a reason. Without rules, anarchy erupts. We’re seeing that right now on the streets throughout our country. The beautiful thing about the gospel is it writes the “rules” on our heart. Jesus fills us with the desire to obey Him. Your children need to hear that. And when they obey Him, they obey you.

So, are you hearing what the Lord would have you to do and turning the other way? Maybe you have never asked Christ to be your Savior even though You believe He is just that. Maybe you are a believer, but you live like the world. Turn to Him today. Let Him live in and through you.

Father, forgive me when I turn from You. I want to follow You each day and live for You.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Disciplemaking, Following, Holy Spirit, Knowledge, Mentoring, Parenting, Scripture

NO INTERPRETATION NEEDED

2 PETER 1:20

“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,” 

No truer statement has ever been made. It is not up to us to determine what prophecy or Scripture means. It must speak for itself. We can force it into our own little box and make it say what we want it to say. A friend of mine has said, “Scripture is like a prisoner of war. Torture it enough and it will say anything you want it to say.”

The Greek word for “interpretation” is only used here. It means to get to the bottom of things. I love digging out Scripture. I love finding out the meanings of the original Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic words. But it is not up to me to interpret the Scriptures according to my own thinking. I have to trust the Holy Spirit to reveal to me how to apply it to my life.

APPLICATION

Have you ever spent time with your child studying vocabulary words? I am sure you have. Every once in a while, a new word pops up that they have never seen. It takes a while for them to learn how to spell it and learn its definition. That definition isn’t dependent on your child’s understanding of the word. The definition is the definition. Period.

However, someone else may read the same word and understand it differently. The read the same definition but their mind processes it differently. The Holy Spirit does that for us with Scripture. Five people can read the same verse, and the Spirit will show them five different truths. There is only one interpretation, but there are various applications.

How are you reading His Word? Do you approach it with an open or closed mind? Let me encourage you to allow the Spirit to speak through the pages today. Expect something new. Expect the voice of God to boom through the words as you read.

Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that each day I can experience a brand new truth.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Godliness, Inspirational, Knowledge, Mentoring, Modeling, Parenting, Perseverance, Scripture

GET INTO IT

2 PETER 1:5

“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,” 

There’s a Greek word that is really missing in the English translation of this verse (at least in the NASB). It’s only used right here in the whole New Testament. It’s the Greek word  pareispheró, and it means real personal involvement or energy. The Lord is telling us through Peter that we have to be involved in our spiritual growth. It doesn’t just happen.

Now, I am not inferring we need to be “works” minded. However, we need to be focused on our faith. Peter begins in this verse and continues in verse 6 to list several areas that will help us grow as believers. You need to exhibit moral excellence which only comes through God. Through that you gain knowledge of God, a personal experience of Him. Those two are listed first. Do you have those in your life?

APPLICATION

Your child’s faith in the beginning is normally a reflection of yours. They mimic your spiritual walk. They do what you do. However, they can’t stay there. Usually, around the middle school years, they begin to develop their own spiritual understanding of God. Along with that comes doubts. That’s normal. Our job is to help them work through that and keep pointing them to Christ.

We can’t grow them spiritually. What? Yep, that’s what I said. We can only provide the spiritually rich environment for growth. It’s the same as growing a garden. We can’t make the seed grow, but we can prepare the soil and add in the nutrients needed. We can water the seed when it’s dry. But only the seed can germinate itself. Make sure your children are involved in their own spiritual growth process.

Too many believers want to be spoon fed when it comes to growing spiritually. Often times, the Lord chooses trials and hard times to grow us. We complain and bicker and fail to see these as opportunities to develop moral excellence and knowledge of God. Get involved in your spiritual development. Seek out ways to grow and become more like Him.

Thank You, Lord, for growing me. I want to be more like You each day. Help me see each challenge as an opportunity for growth.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Grace, Knowledge, Parenting, Peace

MULTIPLICATION

2 PETER 1:2

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;” 

I will never forget Mrs. McCracken. She was my fourth grade homeroom teacher and also my math teacher. That was the year we had to learn our multiplication tables. Remember those? We had to recite them correctly or stay inside during recess and work on them. I still remember those multiplication tables, so I guess it worked.

But we don’t get to know God by quoting multiplication tables, do we? I love the Greek word for “knowledge” here. It is epignosis. The second half of that word, gnosis, means knowledge, but the epi on the front intensifies it. It has the idea of contact knowledge or first-hand knowledge. That’s how grace and peace is multiplied – by getting to know God first-hand.

APPLICATION

Ask your children how they get to know somebody. They may say by talking to them on the phone. Wrong! They may say by facetiming. Wrong again. We get to know someone by spending time with them face to face. Not on some screen.

They need to know that they get to know God by spending time with Him. By reading His Word and spending time in prayer they get to know the God of the universe. By setting aside time each day to be alone with Him, the grace and peace multiplies. They get the answers to life’s questions. They learn to grow as a believer. But they have to get first-hand knowledge.

How is your time with Him? Do you need more grace and peace in your life? Then there is only one way to get it. You need to know Him more fully. Spend time. Spend some energy getting to know Him. Trust Him to pour Himself into you as you open up more and more to Him.

Lord, I want to know You more. I need more grace and peace and am relying on You to multiply it in my life.

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