“Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming …” June 25

 

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming ... Reading through the Bible is a great goal and worth persevering through. To quote that great philosopher Dory, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.” That's true with many other areas of life, as well, not because we're swimming on our own or reliant on our own strength, but because the Christian life requires perseverance and faithfulness.Reading through the Bible is a great goal and worth persevering through. To quote that great philosopher Dory, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.”

That’s true with many other areas of life, as well, not because we’re swimming on our own or reliant on our own strength, but because the Christian life requires perseverance and faithfulness.

It includes our parenting which we’ll talk a little more about today, in particular, about sharing our testimony with our children in ways that are reasonably transparent, yet wise. It also includes our willingness to check our hearts, repent and turn away from sin lest we end up on a downward spiral of sin and consequences.

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Chronicles 13 & 14
Psalm 78.1-11
Proverbs 19.20-21
Acts 7.22-43

 

Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming …

 

1 Chronicles 13 & 1 chron 14:

The Horrible Consequences of Sin

God allows us to see the men and women He uses with all their warts and failings:

Verse 14.3, “Then David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David begot more sons and daughters.”

Remember kings had been specifically commanded not to take multiple wives (Deut. 17.17). Even though God allowed him to do so, He didn’t condone it. And the history of his life and family reveals the horrible consequences, including: infighting, jealousy, incest, and murder. So don’t be tempted to think the men and women in the Bible somehow got a pass on sin.

As a pastor friend of ours used to say, “You can choose to sin, but you don’t get to choose the consequences.”

Someone else has said:

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay”– unknown

 

Reasonably TransparentPsalm 78.1-11:

Reasonably Transparent

The title of this psalm is “A Contemplation of Asaph.” A contemplation is “something to think about.”

Verse 4 reminds the people to tell their children the stories of their history and what God had done. Verses 6-7:

That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments;

We, too, should tell our stories to our children, being “reasonably” transparent about our own mistakes. I say “reasonably” transparent because they don’t need all the gory details. Make sure what you share is age appropriate.

We should remind them of God’s grace, mercy, and blessings in our lives, even though in may cases, He allowed us to suffer the consequences of our foolish or sinful behavior.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life (Gal. 6.7-8).

Share the grace and mercy of God in saving you and setting your feet on the right path.

We should be transparent, too, when we sin or have sinned against them in some way, either directly or indirectly by arguing or acting selfishly in front of them. We should be willing to admit our sins and seek their forgiveness.

A Word of Caution

I’d like to offer a word of caution about sharing your past with your children. First ask yourself about your own attitude toward Your sinful past. Kevin Johnson who co-wrote The Peacemaker Student Edition says:  Continue reading

February 22 “Are you a fanatic?”

Has your family ever thought you were crazy? Have they ever accused you of being a fanatic? You’re in good company!

fanatic

Today’s Readings:
Leviticus 14
Psalm 26.1-5
Proverbs 10.6-7
Mark 3.20-35

Leviticus 14:

Types & shadows

Well, more about leprosy! What on earth does this all mean to you and me today?

When we read the Old Testament we need to remember that the events, God’s dealings with His people, and the ceremonial laws were often types and shadows of things to come. Many of which were fulfilled in Christ’s life here on earth, as well as, His death, burial, and resurrection.

Verses 4-9 talk about the ceremonial cleansing of a leper after he had been healed:

4 then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. 6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. 7 And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field. 8 He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days. 9 But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows—all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean.

Matthew Henry in his Commentary on the Whole Bible said the mixture of blood and water had its fulfillment in Christ’s death when blood and water came out of his pierced side. The slain bird represented Christ dying for our sins, and the living bird His resurrection. Dipping the living bird in blood of the slain bird illustrates the fact that without His death He could not have risen for our justification for sins.

The living bird was let loose just as the leper was no longer restricted from contact with people. He was free to go where he pleased. We have not only been forgiven of our sins, but are freed from the power of sin in our lives. We’re free to live a life that’s pleasing to God. Continue reading