Advice, Bible, Blessing, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Conceit, Encouragement, Following, Gifts, Glory, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Mentoring, Parenting, Praise, Scripture, Service


1 PETER 4:11

“Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

The previous verse in 1 Peter 4 states that all believers have been given a special gift. That’s wonderful. But Peter goes on in this verse to emphasize why. Look at the third part of this verse. Peter says, “so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” This is why we have our gifts – to give Him glory.

Why does Peter say this? I think it is because some people can begin to get proud of their gift. It happens quickly. Others start praising you for what you are doing. Soon you begin to think your gift is better than other gifts. You begin to see yourself as better than others. After all, God you the best gift. No! That is not how it works. Focus on Him! He is the reason for the gift.


Children can get boastful pretty quickly, can’t they? As they discover their gift in Christ, make sure they understand why they have been given that gift. It is not to bring attention to themselves. It is not to gain praise from others. It is simply to bring glory to God. He will exalt the humble.

And we parents can be the guilty ones. We can brag on our kids too much. I believe in praising our children. They need that. However, too much praise can give our kids the bighead. There’s a balance needed. Always point them to Jesus. Tell them how pleased their Heavenly Father must be of them for being obedient in their gift.

Are you giving all the glory to God all the time? As He gives you the opportunities to exercise your gift, praise Him. As He uses your gift to bless others, praise Him. Whatever it is He has you to do, praise Him. Let all your praise be directed to Him and not to yourself. Praise be to God “to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

I will praise You, Father. You deserve all the glory and honor! You have gifted me with Your gift to use to glorify You. That is what I will do.

Advice, Calling, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Courage, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Service, Submission, Witnessing


ACTS 2:14

“But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.’” 

I remember the first sermon I preached. It was at Harmony Baptist Church in Pelham, GA. I was asked to preach at their annual Youth Sunday. I prepared what I thought was the perfect sermon and was sure it would last the allotted thirty minutes. Lo and behold, I was done in about seven, lol. But I found out something. No one complains about a short sermon.

Peter had been transformed by the arrival of the Holy Spirit. He was filled with the very presence of Christ now. He was no longer that disciple who had denied Jesus. He was now the leader of a new movement to evangelize the world. And here he is preaching his first sermon. What a message! What a transformation.


Do you recall the first time your child performed at church or school? Perhaps their first solo or part in a play? I sure do. I was so proud of them. My shirt almost lost buttons, lol.  Tell your kids about that. Tell them how proud you still are of them. They won’t soon forget that.

Then tell them how proud the Lord is when they share Christ with someone for the first time or when they make that first gift to the church. First times can be hard and challenging, but the Lord will give them the courage to follow through. Challenge your children to take on those “firsts” just like Peter did. He was accused of being drunk when the Spirit came upon him and the other disciples. But he didn’t get mad and leave. He delivered his first sermon empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Are you fearful of stepping out on those “firsts”? Don’t be. Trust the Lord to use the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and give you the courage. He loves to encourage us. We just have to step up and trust Him. Will you do that today? Who knows, maybe your first sermon may last longer than seven minutes.

I will trust You, Lord, to empower me to step out and do what You ask, even if it is for the first time. I want to honor You with my obedience.

Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Courage, Direction, Encouragement, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Service


ACTS 1:15

“At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said,” 

If you notice, whenever lists of disciples are mentioned in the New Testament, Peter is almost always listed first. I wonder if that was because of his big personality or because he was seen as the leader of the bunch.

We know that Jesus put him in charge after the resurrection, but I also believe that Jesus was grooming him those three years they were together. He knew it would take a strong man to lead in the face of the coming opposition. Peter begins right here taking the leadership role. They were moved to fill the vacancy left by Judas Iscariot’s betrayal. Verses 16 through 26 tells us how they selected Matthias to fill that spot. But it was Peter who led them through this.


Do your children have natural leadership skills? Many do. You can see it in their play when they take over to direct the other kids. You can even see it in their bucking of the rules sometimes. It is our job as parents to help develop those leadership skills so they can lead in a positive way.

I will never forget a young man I that I dealt with in a children’s home where I served. He was always in trouble because he was always fighting against the rules of the program. He was a natural born leader, but he wanted to lead in the wrong way. When I recognized that, I started giving him some opportunities to lead on campus in a positive way. I put him in charge of a work crew. The staff thought I was crazy, but that one little thing turned him around. He took ahold of the leadership opportunity and embraced it.

Has the Lord selected you to lead? Are you doing it? You may be fighting against it. Don’t do that. God needs strong, Christian leaders in today’s society. He wants you to step up, and like Peter, take charge. Many are depending on you to lead. But remember – the Lord is right beside you. You are not leading by yourself. In fact, you are co-leading with Jesus. Now get started.

I know You have called me to lead, Lord. Give me the courage to step out and do that. I will hold Your hand as I do it.

Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Inspirational, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Service, Surrender


JOHN 21:11

“Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.”

From catching nothing the night before to an overwhelming catch! One hundred fifty three, not fifty two or fifty four! This catch was so big with large fish that the disciples counted the fish. John records the number of fish. Why? Because this was an unusually large catch. This miraculous catch of fish convinced them all that it was indeed the Master on the shore.

And Jesus tells them in verse ten to bring some of the fish to Him so they can eat, even though He already had some fish on the fire. Why? Matthew Henry’s commentary says He wanted them to eat some of their labor. He wanted them to taste of the miracle that He had just performed. Aren’t we all supposed to bring to the Master anything He has done through us? Peter ran to do that.


How many fish can your children catch? When we have our Family Fishing Rodeos at our church, some of the children are especially good at catching fish. Some catch stringers full of nice fish to take home and eat. Catching fish is always fun.

Ask your children what they have done if Jesus had helped them “land the big one.” Would they bring the fish to Him or run off to show their friends? This lesson isn’t about the fish. It’s about bringing to Jesus whatever He chooses to do through us. He deserves all the praise, not us. Anything we do on our own is temporal. Everything He does through us is eternal.

What has the Lord done through you lately? Did you give Him praise for using you? I have known some people who love getting attention for things they do in the church. They love the praise others pour on them. Don’t be like that. If you are being used right now by the Lord, make sure everyone knows who it is who deserves the praise.

I thank You for using me, Father. Let all the praise be given to You. I am only the net You use to gather the fish.

Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Testimony, Witnessing


1 PETER 2:9

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may;” proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Many have memorized this verse. Most of us remember the first part but forget the second. Let’s take a look at that. Peter tells us we are chosen for a purpose. We are chosen to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

We tend to get stuck on the first part of the verse which makes us so special. But since we are chosen, since we are a royal priesthood and holy nation and since we are God’s own possession, He expects us to tell others. We are proclaimers of the good news of Christ.


How hard would it be for your children if you asked them to keep a secret about something incredible? Suppose you have planned a fabulous vacation and you told your kids all about it but swore them to secrecy. Their little tongues would be chewed raw biting their tongues to keep from telling someone.

We should have the same excitement about what Christ has done for us. We should be busting at the seams wanting to tell everyone. But we relish in the chosen part without looking at the responsibility part. He saved us to use us to spread the good news.

Have you told someone lately how incredible Jesus is to you? Have you told them what He has done for you? Don’t miss an opportunity. Don’t simply rely on your position in Christ. Now, I don’t mean you HAVE to do anything to guarantee your salvation. What I mean is you should have a burden to share every chance you get.

Thank You for choosing me and claiming me as Your own possession. I belong to You. Help me spread the Word.

Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Humility, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Service, Testimony


JOHN 13:5-11

“5 Then He poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, ‘Lord, do You wash my feet?’ 7 Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.’ 8 Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’ 9 Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.’ 10 Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.’ 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’”

Back in Jesus’ days on earth walking was the primary means of travel. If you were lucky, you may have a donkey to ride. But the roads were still pretty much dirt roads and were well…dirty. It was customary for someone to provide you water to wash your feet or have a servant to wash them for you. This was considered the lowliest job in the home.

Remember, back then they didn’t sit around a table in chairs. They reclined on the floor with their feet to the side or in front of them. No one wanted to eat with nasty feet in their face. So, when Jesus began to wash their feet, the act itself wasn’t unusual. But the thought of their master performing the act was more than Peter could handle.


I bet your children would enjoy a foot washing. Act out the story we read today. Ask them how it feels to have your feet washed by someone else. Have each family member take turns washing feet. Ask them how it felt to wash someone’s feet. This is not a common practice today, so they may not get to experience elsewhere.

Explain to them what Jesus was teaching – humility and servanthood. Even He, the Son of God, came to serve. We should never think we are too good for service. God may give you the blessing of service at your church or at a mission. Never place yourself above the person God has asked you to serve.

When is the last time you humbled yourself in service? Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity today. When is the last time you have been the recipient of service? Don’t shun it. God wants to bless you and use someone else in the process. Let them bless you.

Lord, thank You for this example of humility and service to others. Give me opportunities to serve others and humble myself.

Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Denial, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Service, Shame, Trust, Witnessing


MARK 16:7

“’But go, tell His disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.”’” 

Oh boy, do I remember those days. I was quite the class clown and got sent to see the principal on numerous occasions. I wasn’t mean. I just loved making people laugh. Let’s just say the principal knew me well. His paddle did too.

I don’t know what the disciples were thinking when they heard these words from the women. But I bet Peter was thinking Oh no! What will I say? I just denied Him three times just as He said. Will He tell the others? Peter probably felt embarrassed and a little scared.


Your child will probably do something that cause them to feel like I did. They, hopefully, won’t deny Jesus like Peter. But being ashamed is hard. When you have to deal with them, use this passage. Ask them how they think Peter felt. Ask them what they think happened when Jesus finally saw Peter.

Skip ahead and read that passage in John 21. Your children need to see how Jesus restored Peter to his leadership role. If hadn’t done that, Peter may have spent the rest of his life in deep grief and sorry. Jesus restored him because had just spent three years preparing him to accomplish his mission to a lost world.

What has Jesus been preparing you for? Will you let him use you? You may have unconfessed sins that are holding you back from being fully utilized by Him. Confess them today. Let Jesus use you to accomplish His mission. He still uses us. Let Him have you.

Take my life and use it, Lord. I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me now so there is nothing in me that could thwart Your mission.

Child Raising, Child Rearing, Completeness, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evangelism, Following, Inspirational, Ministry, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Promises, Service, Surrender, Witnessing


MATTHEW 10:2-4

“2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.”

Of all the apostles, Simon, “who is called Peter,” is listed first. You could suppose that was because he was the very first one called by Jesus. But I think it was more than that. He was the only one whom Jesus changed his name. He was making a point. Simon would now be called Peter. He called him a rock, specifically a pebble that could be thrown.

Some scholars argue this referred to his future role as leader of the church. Jesus appointed Peter to be resolute and firm, compared to his original rashness and hot-headedness. Whatever the reason, Peter is the first of the disciples. Jesus chose him first. Jesus changed his name. Jesus used him fully. Jesus saw in Peter what he couldn’t see himself.


Children often pick teams when they play games. I remember being chosen for teams during recess play times. No one wants to be chosen last. If you were picked first, it usually implied the one picking saw you as a good player and one who could help win the game. You had skills or at least the ability to make the team stronger.

Your child will probably face that situation and may come home dejected from being the last one chosen. Take them to this verse. “But Carl, won’t that make them feel worse?” Just wait! Listen, Jesus chooses ALL of us. We ALL have something to provide the team. Jesus sees in us what we can’t see ourselves. He sees what He will do to make us whole and complete. We just have to say “yes” and allow Him to use us.

Will you say “yes” today? Will you allow Jesus to make you part of His team of ministers spreading the gospel to a lost world? Peter was a fisherman. He was uneducated. He was brash and crude. But Jesus transformed him into the leader of the early church which shook the world. Jesus did in and through Peter what Peter could have never done on his own.

Father, take me and use me however You choose. Knock off my rough edges. Make me into an instrument of Your choosing.

Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Parenting, Scripture, Service


1 Peter 1:1

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen”

Peter begins this letter by identifying himself. He was an apostle! Now, he’s not bragging. He may have done that at an earlier time in his life, but not now. He was merely letting the recipients of this letter know he was writing with authority, authority that only came from Christ. These would not be his words. They were Christ’s.

He is writing to believers who were “aliens” in these provinces of Asia. This wasn’t their home. They didn’t belong there. How they got there isn’t the issue. They were there now, but the Lord had not forgotten them. They were in His family no matter where they dwelled. We can take a lesson from that, can’t we?


This may seem a strange verse to try to make an application for our lives. But I believe every word of Scripture has that capability. First, we must be careful to ensure the words that come from us are words the Lord Himself would use. We dare not speak for God when He hasn’t spoken to us. We have the advantage of having the Old and New Testament to draw from. We can trust it.

Secondly, our home is wherever God places us. Some people resist allowing God to move them for fear of losing “their home.” We are secure in Christ wherever we are. Some places are more comfortable than other, for sure. But God doesn’t call us to comfort. He calls us to service. He may even drive us to places through persecution in order to spread His word. Are you willing to go?

These are lessons worth teaching our children. Speak only God’s truth. Speak only words that are pleasing to Him. Let no untrue word proceed from your mouth, little one. And wherever God leads you, follow. Trust Him to make your home where He wants it. He will never take you anywhere that He will not be there. We are in His family, so home is wherever He is.

Father, thank You for this reminder that I am Your messenger and that You are my home. I forget that sometimes. Forgive me.

Advice, Bible, Busyness, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith, God's Will, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Service, Witnessing


TITUS 3:14

“Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.”

There are some qualifying words in this verse. If you read and stopped at “good deeds,” you might be led to believe that any good deed goes. But Paul goes on to say, “to meet pressing needs.” In other words, necessary needs, needs that are indispensable. Otherwise, you can busy yourself with deeds that really serve no purpose.

And then Paul finishes the verse with “so that they will not be unfruitful.” Romans 14:23 tells us all that all decisions not born of faith are sin. So, it is important that we make sure that all good deeds, no matter how good they may seem, are truly born of faith. Doing good deeds just because they are good doesn’t make them right in God’s eyes.


Ask your children to make a list of good deeds. Tell them they can write down anything. After they are done, have them try to tell you how God’s Word backs up that good deed. Give them some time to think about that. Then take the list and see if you can help them. You will probably have some that just don’t match up to Scripture.

Now you can explain to them how this verse applies to their list. Some things that appear good are not given or implied in Scripture. We, as believers, need to focus our good deeds on things that draw people to Christ and share the Gospel. There are a lot of good intentioned people out there who have their own causes. They appear good, but are they fruitful?

What causes do you support? Are you sure your money and time are going to God’s good deeds? Let me encourage you this year to examine where you spend your energy. You want the good deeds you do to reflect on Jesus and not you. You want others to know that the only reason you are doing this is to share His love for them.

Father, help me focus all my good deeds on bringing glory to You. I desire to see others drawn to Your goodness, not mine. Point me to those opportunities daily.