Asking, Belief, Bible, Correction, Devil, Direction, Questions, Scripture


 ZECHARIAH 4:4  “Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me, saying, ‘What are these, my lord?’” How many times have you been confused about something? Well, I have to admit that it has happened to me a lot. But one thing I have learned to do is ask questions. If I am not sure about something, I ask somebody to help me, to show me how to do it right or how to understand it. It’s humbling to ask for help. But it sure improves my own knowledge. Zechariah asked the angel what this golden lampstand meant (we discussed this in yesterday’s blog). He wasn’t clear on the vision. But he trusted the angel to show him what the purpose was. That kind of speaks to how God speaks to us. Sometimes He shows us something and we don’t understand. It’s okay to ask questions, just like Zechariah did. APPLICATION Do you have questions for God. Ask Him. It’s perfectly fine to tell Him you don’t understand. He wants you to understand. He is not trying to confuse you. That’s the devil’s job. He is the author of confusion. Paul tells us so in 1 Corinthians 14:33. “…for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.” God, I don’t understand. Help me understand. This reminds me of the man who asked for help in his belief. Mark 9:24 says, “Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief!’” Is that you today? Then cry out to the One who has all the answers. Don’t you want to fully know Him? Don’t you want to know His purpose for your life? One day we will have the mind of Christ. Until then, keep asking questions. He will answer you. 

Hear my cry, O Lord. Send me what I need to know when I need to know it.

Answers, Asking, Bible, God's Will, Questions, Relationships, Scripture



“So I said, ‘Where are you going?’ And he said to me, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is.’”

What a great question! Have you ever asked that question of anyone? I remember when my kids were teenagers and they were about to head out the door, I would say, “Where are you going?” Most of the time it was to work or to a friend’s house. But I wanted to know where they were going. Why? Was I just being inquisitive? No! I had a vested interest in where they were going. I was their father and needed to know that.

Verse 2 today is the first time we see Zechariah asking the Angel of the Lord anything directly. In the other two visions in chapter 1, Zechariah converses with an angel sent to speak for the Lord. But here, Zechariah talks directly to the Angel of the Lord. He sees Him with that measuring line headed towards Jerusalem, so he wants to know His intentions. He boldly asks Him and receives an answer.


When is the last time you asked the Lord anything? There are so many verses in the Word that tell us to ask. One of my favorite, memorized passages is Philippians 4:6-7. I have referred to it several times in my blog. It says, “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petitions with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

The verb used there for “let…be made known” is a strong verb. It’s Present tense, which means continuous action. It is also in the Middle voice, which means the subject (in this case – you) have to do the action. The Holy Spirit through Paul is saying to keep asking. Tell the Father what you need.

Boy, I’ve done that a lot. Haven’t you? A friend of mine just lost his wife to cancer this week. She had fought this for quite a while. They prayed for healing, believing God is capable. He chose to heal her a different way. He took her home. But my friend did not hesitate each day to ask the Lord for her healing. Dear friends, keep believing. Keep asking and see what the Lord will do.

Father, every day I come to You with my requests. I know you hear, and I know you answer.

Answers, Asking, Bible, Promises, Questions, Scripture



“Then the angel of the LORD said, ‘LORD of armies, how long will You take no pity on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant for these seventy years?’”

You dread the question every five minutes. You are on a road trip with your little kids. You know the question. “Are we almost there?” The standard answer is “Yes, just five more minutes.” Of course, those five minutes will last an hour or two, right? We are so impatient. We want everything to be at our fingertips instantly.

The angel that was talking to Zechariah asked the LORD of armies a question. “How much longer, LORD?” You see, for seventy years they had been in Babylon. We knew from Jeremiah 25:11-12 that this was going to happen. “11 This entire land will be a place of ruins and an object of horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. 12 Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,’ declares the LORD, ‘for their wrongdoing, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation.’”


The next verse (which we will see tomorrow) begins God’s answer to the question. So, how does this verse apply to us today? One way I believe it applies is that God keeps His promises. Jeremiah prophesied seventy years in exile and then it would end. We see that happening in this verse. We are in an age where we see prophesies being fulfilled. Many, including me, believe we are near the day of Christ’s return. Now, I am not setting a date. Don’t worry. But the point is, God always is true to His Word.

Another point is that it is okay to ask God questions. The angel didn’t hesitate asking Him. Why should we? He tells us to ask Him. He wants to hear from us. He knows we don’t have all knowledge. He knows we have questions. Some questions He won’t answer yet, but He will. But don’t hesitate to ask.

I have so many questions for God. Some will wait until heaven – like “Why did you have to make mosquitos?” Other questions I ask every day. “Lord, why would you rescue me, as wicked as I am?” or “Lord, will You please draw ______ to You? They need Jesus.” I know as long as I ask with the right motives, God will answer in His perfect time.

Lord, are we almost there? How much longer?

Answers, Asking, Bible, God's Will, Questions, Scripture, Trust



“Then I said, ‘What are these, my lord?’ And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, ‘I will show you what these are.’” 

So many times we are faced with questions for which we do not have answers? Why did this happen to me? Why would God allow this? Tough questions! I know I have had those questions in the past. I still have questions like that. As long as we are here on this earth, we will face these types of questions.

Zechariah was no different. Here he is having this incredible experience and he asks the angel, “What are these, my lord?” You can just imagine what he is going through. But he did not hesitate to ask for clarification. And better yet, the angel didn’t scold him. He simply said, “I will show you what these are.” I bet Zechariah couldn’t wait.


The next time you have a question for God, don’t hesitate. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 33:3. “‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” Just call on the Lord. He stands ready to give us answers. God doesn’t want to keep us guessing. He wants us to rest in Him.

He can give you the peace that passes understanding. He can give you rest for your soul. How about these verses from 1 John 5? “14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” What more could you ask?

So, ask away. God isn’t bothered by your questions. He doesn’t say, “Just cause.” Didn’t you just hate that answer from your parents, lol? There are some things that God does that defies answers. We can’t begin to explain God’s mind, but we can trust Him. I was reading in Job today. Remember what he said to his wife after she told him to curse God and die? He said, “‘Shall we actually accept good from God but not accept adversity?’” Know this – God is listening, and He will answer in His perfect time.

Help me trust You like Job did, Lord. I want to be bold to ask and then wait on You to answer.

Abiding, Accountability, Bible, Questions, Scripture, Sin



“Then Haggai said, If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these things, will the latter become unclean?’ And the priests answered, ‘It will become unclean.’”

I was driving down a back country road recently when I started smelling this horrible smell. I instantly looked around in my truck, wondering if I had left something in there that had spoiled. Then I saw it. There was a dead animal beside the road that had obviously been there a few days. The stench from that carcass was wafting up and down that road for miles. I felt unclean just driving past it.

So, the second question gets asked of the priests. This time about passing uncleanness onto something. Remember, yesterday’s verse asked about transferring holiness which the priests answered in the negative. But here, the same action can transfer uncleanness, according to them. The teaching moment – it is a lot easier to transfer your sins. Only God can make something holy, but we can affect others through our actions.


I want to ask you a personal question. Have you ever caused someone else to sin because of your own sin? Have you influenced others negatively? It is so easy to do that. Our actions have consequences, not only on ourselves, but potentially on others. I saw that far too often when I was working with children. Their parents’ choices influenced the children to follow the same sinful patterns.

In Matthew 18:6, Jesus tells us, “‘but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depths of the sea.’” That is pretty harsh, isn’t it? But I believe Jesus meant that. You see, our uncleanness can affect others.

Now, you can’t transfer your sins onto someone else. Everyone is responsible for their own sins. We are all born sinners (Romans 3:23). But our lesson for today is to be careful how we walk so that we do not influence anyone towards sin. That would be sin for us.

Lord, keep me focused on living for You so that I can influence others to live holy lives.

Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Inspirational, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Questions, Teaching


LUKE 12:41

“Peter said, ‘Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?’”

How many times have you answered a question with a question? Working with kids as long as I have, I have done it hundreds of times. I do it to get them thinking. I want them to figure it out for themselves. I could easily give them the answer, but they would forget it soon enough.

Peter wants to know if the parable Jesus is telling applies to them as well. You tell me. Read verses 42-48 and tell me what Jesus’ answer was to Peter. Remember, Jesus never wasted a teaching moment. He was always preparing His disciples for the days that were coming.


Let me encourage you to do the same. Don’t let those teachable moments slip by, no matter how miniscule you may think they are. Our children can always learn new truths. We just have to take the time to teach them.

What can they learn from this story? List five things. I am not going to tell you my five. I want you to discover your five lessons you can teach your children. Chances are my five and your five won’t be the same. That’s okay. God speaks to us differently.

Do you read God’s Word looking for life lessons? Or do you read it out of habit to just get through it? Let the Word transform you daily. Let the truths of each passage speak to your heart and give you a message to share. The Lord gave it to us to spread to others. Do your part today.

Thank You, Lord, for your powerful Word. Thank You it speaks as powerfully today as ever. Give me an audience today to share.

Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Lies, Mentoring, Parenting, Questions, Satan, Scripture, Trust, Truth



“But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;”

You may have heard the phrase “old wives’ tales.” It refers to things that are passed down from one generation to another as being truth when it actually is just superstitions or false information. I used to teach First Aid and CPR in an area of Tennessee to teen moms where I heard a lot of these. One such old wives’ tale was to bind up your baby real tight and drop a pair of scissors behind their back if they have colic. That will cut the pain. Don’t try that at home, lol. 

Paul is warning Timothy about these fables and superstitions. He should stick to the truth of God’s Word. Only that will lead to discipline and godliness. Any other source of information is subject to verification. God’s Word is always reliable. It can be trusted throughout the generations.


Your children will hear lots of silly fables (old wives’ tales) in their lives. Some may even have a smidgeon of truth in them. Those are really confusing to young minds. The easy way to verify if they are true is to measure them against God’s Word. If they agree, trust it. If they don’t, don’t trust it.

Learning to discern fact from fiction is a skill they will need as they navigate life. Satan is around every corner just waiting to try to confuse us or deceive us. When our children learn to recognize those untruths, they will be safer in their journey following Christ.

Are you one who believes all those old wives’ tales? Do you put more stock into what Grandma said than what God says? Give up all those generational truths and turn to the only source of truth. He will teach you whatever it is you need to know. And you can be guaranteed that it is always true.

Lord, help me discern fact from fiction. When I am unsure let me turn to You. I know You are truth and can set me straight.

Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Encouragement, God's Will, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Prayer, Questions, Scripture, Thanksgiving



“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,…”

If you have ever had any doubts as to how you ought to pray, this verse should answer them. Paul spells out how to pray here in four unique and separate ways. Entreaties means “heart-felt petition, arising out of deep personal need coming from a sense of lack or want. Prayers literally means an “exchange of wishes.” You are swapping your desires for God’s desires. Petitions implies a “Spirit-directed intervention.” These are the prayers on behalf of others. And finally, Paul mentions thanksgivings which is “the giving of thanks for God’s grace.”

So, you are to let God know your needs (entreaties), pray His will (prayers), pray for others (petitions) and give Him thanks (thanksgivings). Pretty plain, huh? Are you still confused? Don’t be. Just start practicing these four things each day.


Teaching our children to pray can be a real joy. Don’t cramp their style as they pray. Let them just talk to God. Don’t correct their theology during their prayers. That’s left for another time. Just let them pray. I truly believe the Lord bends His ear a little closer to the earth to hear the prayers of His little ones.

And may I encourage you to do something special? When your children are praying for a specific need they have or for something for someone else, make a note of that and the date they began praying for that. And then when (not if) God answers that prayer, bring out that note and show them. Children need to see answered prayers. God uses that to build their faith.

Do you believe in prayer? Do you have the urge to pray? I go through a daily, weekly and monthly prayer list each day. It keeps me in touch with my Master. I love talking to Him. Why? Because I now He is ALWAYS listening. He never tunes me out. As I pray and trust I rest in His sovereign timing to answer. Will you?

I am so thankful that You are listening to me, Lord. I know You care about my needs and the needs of others. Help me pray in such a way that all I desire is Your Will for my life.

Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evil, Family, Fatherhood, God's Will, Lies, Mentoring, Modeling, Motherhood, Obedience, Parenting, Questions, Scripture, Trust, Truth, Wisdom


1 TIMOTHY 1:10

“and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,” 

I am not going to get into the lifestyles of those who are mentioned in today’s verse. I do not think that is necessary. I want to pick out one word in the verse, though. Look at that word “contrary.” Have you ever known someone who was contrary? Do you even know what that means? It means someone who is against everything. They will argue with a fence post.

These kinds of people cannot be convinced with the truth because they do not believe it applies to them. Or they think they have the real truth. Paul has just listed in the past two verses those who fit into this category. They are opponents or enemies to sound teaching.


Okay, then, how does this apply to our children? Easy, keep teaching them the truth. Point them constantly to God’s Word. Give them sound teaching. Only by doing this can they recognize the untruths. Only by consistently exposing them to truth will they be able to establish that baseline of truth and untruth. 

The world is going to throw enough untruths at your children. Satan does not want them to follow Jesus. He will hurl all sorts of lies at them to try to get them to believe them. You are that buffer when they are growing up. You shield them with the Gospel. You guard them with THE truth. And don’t stop just because they get saved. You have to continue to disciple and mentor them to spiritual maturity. You have a lifetime job!

But how about your spiritual maturity? Have you drunk the Kool-Aid of social tolerance? I don’t mean you can’t accept others and love them. I mean you can’t condone ungodly behavior, many of which are named in verses 9 and 10 of 1 Timothy 1. You have to decide if you are going to be contrary to sound teaching yourself.

Father, guard my heart against the lies of the devil. Reveal to me quickly anything that is contrary to your teachings. I want to live and speak truth.

Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, God's Will, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Questions, Scripture, Trust, Truth, Wisdom



“wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.”

Sometimes you can be confident but also wrong. You strongly believe in what you are saying or doing, only to find out later that you were entirely wrong. That may be to your own lack of research or knowledge, or you may have been fooled by someone else.

Paul is addressing that in today’s verse. These individuals who had strayed into fruitless discussions (verse 6) thought themselves wise enough to teach the Law. But Paul says “they do not understand.” Remember, Paul was a very knowledgeable man. He had been taught by the best. He knew the Law. He could tell when someone was faking it.


Before you spend all these years training your children, shouldn’t you make sure that what you are teaching them is correct? Your little Susie is relying on you to tell her what’s what. If all she grows up believing is incorrect, you have done her a great disservice. That’s why the only true source of wisdom from which you can teach her is God’s Word.

So, before you teach, research. Before you spend the time and energy training your little ones, make sure you check it out with Him. He wants you to teach truth because He is truth.

Have you been fooled by someone into believing something is true when it’s not? I think of the people of Israel when the Gibeonites fooled them into thinking they were from faraway nation wanting to make peace when they were, in fact, their neighbors. If they had only consulted the Lord, they would have known. Don’t take what you hear from others at face value. Check it out in His Word.

O Lord, I praise You that I can always trust Your teachings. I am thankful You are trustworthy. Help me teach only what You have taught me.