We live in a world where “enough” is never enough. Whether we realize it or not, there is a constant pull on our hearts toward materialism and covetousness.
But it’s not just adults who fight these battles. Our children are bombarded with the offer of more. They need more friends on Facebook. More style in their wardrobe. More entertainment. More money. More fun. More…of everything.
Of course, more isn’t always bad. But it is harmful if we can’t be satisfied without it.
In today’s materialistic society, however, it’s not difficult to see why our kids struggle with contentment. Children ages two to five see more than forty thousand commercials on television a year. No wonder they need more.(more…)
Parents are responsible not only to teach God’s Word to their children but to “teach them diligently.” Deuteronomy 6:7 describes the level of persistence with which we are to teach our children: “and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
In other words, your home is to be an ongoing school of discipleship—a Bible school. The most practical way I know to obey the instruction to diligently teach God’s Word to your children is to read the Bible daily with your children. In our home, we called this time “Family Devotions.” Some call it “Family Altar.” But whatever you call it, do it. Have a time every day when as a family you learn from God’s Word together.
If family devotions weren’t part of your own growing up experience, beginning them in your home may feel intimidating. But it’s not as hard as you think. Any parent with a real relationship with God—even a new Christian—can lead their child spiritually.
One of the great blessings of being part of a local church that is reaching people with the gospel is the combined efforts that result in fruit. One plants, one waters, and God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). It is, of course, a joy to be part of any of those stages, knowing that all make a difference.
And yet, there is a correlating danger to this blessing—that we would get caught up in being part of a group that is seeing fruit, without investing personal effort or caring to see personal fruit.
It’s exciting to be part of what others are doing, but I believe God is pleased when we pray with old time preacher and missionary, John Hyde, “God, give me souls, else I die!” It glorifies God when we bear fruit that remains (John 15:8, 16). (more…)
A few weeks, ago before the Sunday evening service, we had one of the meetings that I most look forward to—a Pastor’s Prayer Partners fellowship. This is a group of people in our church who have committed to pray with a partner for me, my family, and the ministries of our church. Their commitment and faithfulness is a tremendous blessing and encouragement to me.
In addition to sharing prayer requests in our meeting, I shared with them three basic helps to a vibrant prayer life. None of these will catch you by surprise—they truly are basic—but I’ve discovered that they are basically missing in too many Christians’ lives.
All of us have times when we struggle in prayer. As Jesus said, “Watch and pray…the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Your spirit is willing (that’s why you’re reading this). How then can you overcome the weakness of the flesh?