Happy 4th of July!!!
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions,and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.
1 Timothy 2.1-3
2 Chronicles 3 & 4
Parenting, Pruning & Praying for Our Nation
How do you view what is going on in our country? Do you believe God is chastising or pruning our nation or us as individuals? How are you responding? Are you praying or merely complaining?
And from our Proverbs reading, by what are your children known? Do you see tendencies that, if not dealt with biblically, will produce attitudes and actions that are not pleasing to God?
Even a Child is Known by His Deeds
Verse 11, “Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right.”
Jesus said you will know a tree by its fruit and Matthew Henry says, about this verse, “even a young tree by its first fruits, a child by his childish things.”
What sinful attitudes and behaviors do you see in your children?
We need to seek God and His wisdom about those tendencies. We cannot allow them to be selfish, to throw tantrums or to be cruel and unkind, thinking they will just outgrow it.
How can we expect them to be good spouses, employees, parents, etc. if we don’t train them? Our desire should be to see them live within God’s circle of blessings by learning to live obediently.
We must do our part to teach and train them, to be faithful stewards of the responsibility God has given us over them, even though they are ultimately responsible before Him. We, however, will answer for our faithfulness to our task.
Proverbs 19.18 says, “Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death.”
If you would like other resources on biblical parenting, I’ve provided a list at the bottom of this post.
Today’s Other Readings:
2 Chronicles 3 & 4:
The Grandeur of Solomon’s Temple
I don’t think we can even imagine the grandeur of Solomon’s Temple, not even in our high-tech Hollywood world. The gold and brass and handiwork alone must have stunned the senses! The craftsmanship and attention to detail were unlike anything else.
As magnificent as it must have been, even in that, God was more concerned about the heart of those who built it and those who worshiped there. What have you done and what do you do on a regular basis to prepare your heart to be a temple for worship to the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the Creator, the Great I AM?
Bow your heart before Him today. Ask Him to clean it up and make it a holy place where you worship Him.
“Because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy'” (1 Pet. 1.16).
When God Allows the Wicked to Prune & Chastise His Children
Verses 5-7 say, “How long, LORD? Will You be angry forever? … the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.”
Sometimes God uses the wicked for His holy just and righteous purposes. Sometimes it is for discipline as it was here. Other times it is the Vine Dresser pruning us so we can bear more fruit (Jn. 15).
If it’s discipline, the answer lies in the remainder of these verses and in others like 2 Chronicles 7.14:
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
And here in Psalm 79.8-9:
Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, For we have been brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake!
This is true on a national scale, just as it was for the nation of Israel. Most of us have done our share of complaining about the problems we see in our country, but are we praying for our nation and our leaders?
These principles are also applicable to our personal lives.
If we have searched our hearts and do not see evidence of sin, God may be pruning us. If so, we should thank Him for His love and ask Him to help us be good stewards of our trial.
Either way, we can thank Him, because whatever He does is for our good and because of His love!
Proverbs 3.12, “For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Do You Believe … When You Pray?
Peter had been arrested, perhaps doomed to be killed like the Apostle James when an angel wakes him and releases him from prison. In the meantime, the believers were gathered together praying for him. Yet when He showed up at the door, they, at first, didn’t believe it was him. Instead, they said, “It must be his angel.”
How about us, do we really believe prayer changes things or is it too often just a religious activity?
Let’s purpose to be more faithful pray-ers and let’s make sure our prayers are filled with faith!!!
Lord, help us to be Your humble servants today and every day whether parenting our children or living out our lives in other ways. Help us become people of prayer. Give the men and women and young people of our nation a desire to know You, to turn from wickedness and unbelief, beginning with us. And as we do, please hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land.
How are parents to raise children so they don’t become Pharisees (legalists) or prodigals (rebels)? It’s all about grace-filled, gospel-driven parenting, says the mother/daughter team of Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. Christian parents, in their desire to raise godly children, can drift toward rule-centered discipline. There is, however, a far more effective method—a grace-motivated approach that begins with the glorious truth of God’s love for sinners.
In Give Them Grace, parents will learn how to connect the benefits of the cross—especially regeneration, adoption, and justification—to their children’s daily lives. Chapters address topics such as our inability to follow the law perfectly, God’s forgiveness and love displayed at the cross, and what true heart obedience looks like. Fitzpatrick and Thompson also discuss discipline, dealing with popular culture, and evangelism as a way of life. Parents will find this book a great resource for raising grace-filled, Jesus-loving kids.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart is about how to speak to the heart of your child. The things your child does and says flow from the heart. Luke 6:45 puts it this way: “…out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child’s heart into the paths of life.
In this revised edition of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Dr. Tedd Tripp not only draws on his thirty years experience as a pastor, counselor, school administrator, and father, but he also shares insights gained in many years of teaching this material in conferences worldwide, providing more valuable help for parents.
Anger! Is it ever a problem in your home? Do your children ever speak to you in angry, disrespectful tones? Or do they fight between themselves? Have you ever lost your patience when dealing with an infuriating situation? If you honestly answered “yes” to any of those questions, you could use this book. Of course Christian families experience episodes of frustration and anger. Here’s a book which goes beyond the external manifestations of anger and deals with the internal source: the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Get Outta My Face!, written for Christian parents, teachers, and youth workers, is about reaching angry, unmotivated, disinterested teens with biblical counsel. Such teens confused and insecure – are selfish; they want what they want, right now. They are corrupted by sin and this corruption is the cause of their problem. Despite all their sin problems, they are still made in the image of God, and this is the key to helping them. This book will help with addressing the teen’s sin and bringing them to their God-given desires and godly actions. Far from dismissing or sugarcoating sin, this approach opens wide the door to evangelizing the unsaved teen and to helping the Christian teen grow in holiness and wisdom.
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