Kids In Jesus’ Day

the-bad-habits-of-jesus“Kids in Jesus’ day were to be seen and not heard. Small children (under age 5) were associated with death. All children were associated with dirt, noise, and annoying habits. It went without saying that they shouldn’t bother the rabbi.

“Even Jesus’ disciples thought He wouldn’t want to be interrupted by rambunctious children. Sound familiar? Many of our churches today banish children to distant parts of the building during worship, then bemoan their absence from church when the same kids reach adulthood. Instead of Jesus’ ‘Let the children come unto Me,’ the church says, ‘Let us babysit your kids while we dazzle you adults in worship.’

“Jesus’ idea of children and childhood was radically different from what was normal in His day. Jesus taught a faith that you might call adultproof. Today we childproof our medicine and our faith, making them as hard for children to get into as possible. In contrast, Jesus made faith child friendly and adult averse, meaning Jesus did everything He could to protect children’s faith from adults and to help even the most adultish among us become more childlike so as to get into the Kingdom without messing it up.” —Leonard Sweet, in The Bad Habits Of Jesus

Dads: Godly Influencers

Godly Influencer - fathers dayIt’s hard work being a Dad!

  • We have to be tough enough to kill spiders, yet tender enough to attend a princess tea party.
  • We have to bring home the bacon, yet not eat too much bacon so our cholesterol doesn’t get out of control.
  • We have to know the strategy of football, and the scoring for competitive cheerleading.
  • We have to be strong and gentle, smart and compassionate.
  • We have to climb the ladder at work, and build a solid foundation at home.
  • We have to knock down our competitors, and build up our children.

The Bible has a lot to say to encourage Dads to do all of these things, and to become the godly influencer God wants us to be in all aspect of our lives.

Please join me this Sunday as we learn from a man in the Bible who had everything to lose at work by doing things God’s way. Yet he chose God’s way and reaped some amazing results. Hope to see all the Dads this Sunday at 10:30am.

Pornography Is Hunting Your Kids

Talking about pornPornography continues to ravage our society. It has a devastating effect on marriages and families, and even on our physical and mental health. Check out some of these latest alarming statistics:

Here are just a few stats on porn usage:

  • 12 percent of all internet websites are pornographic.
  • 35 percent of all internet downloads are pornographic in content.
  • 25 percent of online search engine requests are related to sex, resulting in about 68 million requests a day.
  • 40 million Americans consider themselves regular visitors to porn sites.

Not only that, but porn is now seeking out younger and younger kids. The average age that someone is exposed to porn for the first time is 11 years old! 

Pornographers are purposely setting up on domains on commonly misspelled words of legitimate websites. Even setting up porn where someone types in .com instead of .edu or .org.

So what do we do? Josh McDowell urges parents to talk their children early and often about pornography:

“When it comes to discussing sex and pornography, how soon is too soon? It’s a question many parents ask. They don’t want to overexpose their children or be guilty of stirring up temptation in their children’s lives. At the same time, they don’t want to risk missing their cue and opening the door for other teachers like classmates, sex ed classes, magazines, and porn. The list of poor teachers is endless. In the face of so many mixed and misinformed messages, perhaps the question we should be asking is how late is too late?”

This video talk about parent-daughter communications about porn, but the same principles would apply to a conversation with your son—

Parents, we can no longer simply hope our kids don’t get hooked on porn, we need to actively communicate with them. Porn is hunting your kids, so you need to help them know how to defend themselves from this evil.

Links & Quotes

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“Seeking the Kingdom is not an easy road; Jesus did not exaggerate when He used the term ‘violence’ to describe the progress of the Kingdom in this world. Like the Sharks and the Jets in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, the citizens of the Kingdom of God are engaged in a turf war of cosmic proportions with the citizens of this world and the dark forces that shape their worldview and way of life.” —T.M. Moore

“This vain world is no friend to the principle of the work of grace. If you were of the world the world would love its own, but as you are not of the world but of a heavenly race, you may expect to be treated as an alien and foreigner, no, as a hated and detested foe. All sorts of snares and traps will be laid for you; those who sought to entangle the Master in His speech will not be more lenient towards you.” —Charles Spurgeon

“We do the work, but God works in us the doing of the works.” —Augustine

“One stumble does not define or break a person. Though you failed, God’s love does not.” Read more from Max Lucado’s post: God’s Love Never Fails.

Dr. Ben Carson has a great question for those who support abortion.

The importance of local elections: Ask not who’s running for president, ask who’s running for your local school board.

Eric Metaxas challenges us to see ourselves how God sees us: Wart Hogs and White Robes.

Parents, check this out: You can’t build heaven here.

Links & Quotes

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“There is something which we can do which God does. He does good to all His creatures, and we can do good also. He bears witness to His Son Jesus, and we can bear witness too. … Do you not see, brethren, that we stand on the same platform with the eternal God? When we lift our hand, He lifts up His eternal arm; when we speak, He speaks too, and speaks the same thing; when we purpose Christ’s glory, He purposes that glory too; when we long to bring home the wandering sheep, and to recall the prodigal sons, He longs to do the same.” —Charles Spurgeon

Great insight on the Kim Davis story. Check out what John Piper says.

This is a longer piece, but this attorney points out that same-sex “marriage” is not the law of the land.

Planned Parenthood is big business, and their business is abortion. Check out what they are teaching kids as young as 10-years-old about sexuality. With teaching like this, they are sure to have a steady stream of business!

For married couples, here is a healthy and healing way to handle your spouse’s sexual history.

Many people are crippled by guilt. I love the way my friend, Pastor Dave Barringer, addresses this topic in his post Done With Guilt.

 

Around, Awake, Aware

Fathers DayThe statistics on fatherless homes are quite alarming:

  • 63 percent of teen suicides are from fatherless homes;
  • 90 percent of homeless children and runaways are from fatherless homes; and
  • 71 percent of all high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.

Since the latest numbers tell us that 40% of babies are now born to unwed mothers, we could have a potential societal collapse looming! But there is good news: It’s not too late to do something about this. We—the men in the Church—can make a difference. A father has life-changing power. Not simply someone who is a biological father, but someone who will step into a fatherly role to invest in a person’s life.

God chose David His servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep He brought him to be the shepherd of His people Jacob, of Israel His inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (Psalm 78:70-72)

God is looking for men who are His servants; men who don’t want to plan their own course, but who say, “I am Your servant; use me however You see best.”

David was given a ragtag bunch of men, which the Bible describes as “in distress, in debt or discontented” (1 Samuel 22:2). With integrity and skill David poured into their lives, so that by the end of his life this ragtag group became heroes (see 2 Samuel 23:8-39).

Throughout Scripture God calls men to step into the lives of the fatherless. These distressed, indebted, discontented children of today need a father who is:

  • Around physically—Ephesians 6:2 (it’s hard to honor an absentee father)
  • Awake emotionally—Ephesians 6:4a (one who won’t exasperate them)
  • Aware spiritually—Ephesians 6:4b (one who will bring them up in…the Lord)

We can be a part of reversing the downward slide of our culture.

Hear me, God-fearing men: countless distressed, fatherless kids could become our generation’s mighty warriors because of your investment! 

The Counselor Makes Us Childlike

ChildlikeJesus loved being around kids! In fact, it still is the childlike nature that Jesus wants to see in all of us, and that’s one of the roles of the Holy Spirit as our Counselor.

There is a huge difference between being childish and childlike. Childish is being aware that what you’re doing is foolish; childlike is being innocently unaware.

Jesus was childlike.

  • He knew the kid’s songs in the street—Luke 7:32.
  • He wanted to have lot of kids around Him—Mark 10:14.
  • Most of His teaching examples were basic—farmers, birds, flowers, wedding parties.
  • Some were downright obvious—Matthew 15:16-17.
  • Some of His interactions with His adversaries were playful—Mark 11:27-33.

And when He described the way to Heaven—

He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4)

Humbly loving God and innocently serving others. Isn’t that the essence of what Jesus taught us the Kingdom of Heaven was? Loving God and loving others in a childlike way.

Here’s how The Counselor trains us to be childlike:

  • Think of everyone as your friendMatthew 5:9, 44.
  • Laugh more often because you have no burdens weighing you downMatthew 11:28-30.
  • Don’t use double entendrés—…be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity)… (Matthew 10:16, AMP).
  • Be fascinated by natureLuke 12:27.
  • Exercise your imaginationMatthew 18:10; Acts 6:15; 7:55-60.

The Counselor will teach us Christ-like childlikeness; He will reprove us when we are too “adult” in our thinking; He will continually correct us when we cross the line into childishness; and He will train us to love God and love others in a childlike way.

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