Month: December 2022

Teach Your Children

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If I could turn back the clock and more diligently put into practice just two Biblical principles in raising my children, it would be the following verses:

In Deuteronomy 11:19, the things one must teach to children are the commandments, promises, and ways of the Lord until the child is prepared, disciplined, and proficient in serving others in the name of Jesus. It becomes apparent that this is to be done consistently and constantly, from a very early age; and in a way that they can clearly understand, such as through practice and example. My good friend, Pat, comes to mind as I think on these verses because her now grown daughter practices and enjoys serving and helping others–a natural outcome from the way she was raised.

Recently, while conversing with Pat concerning how to better help others, she relayed a story: When her daughter was very young, they purchased a warm coat for a homeless lady they often visited. However, Pat did not give the coat to the lady herself; she instructed her daughter to give it to her– putting into practice what she had been taught. Later as a teen, Pat’s daughter helped feed the homeless in NYC through a local organization; however, the results of biblical “training up” did not end there. Today Pat’s young grandson eagerly joins his mom in serving others, and is provided with abundant opportunities to put into practice what he has learned. Without a doubt, God’s instructions are true and effective.

My friend comes from a long line of believers who faithfully endeavored to raise their children in the way they should go according to God’s word. And, although that has not been my heritage to that degree, I am greatly encouraged by God’s promises to me for my grown children and grandchildren: Thankfully, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 reveals that the Lord desires for all to be saved and come to the knowledge of His truth. In addition, it is extremely encouraging to know that I can confidently pray for my family according to James 5:16“The heart-felt and persistent prayers of a righteous man [a believer in Christ] can accomplish much when put into action and made effective by God. It has tremendous power .” (Amplified Bible)

You Knitted Me Together

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About two years ago, as I picked up a large vintage candy jar full of cereal, it inexplicably shattered. I felt nothing, but when I looked down at my arm, blood was flowing from a long, deep gash…the fatty tissue was visibly extruding from beneath the epidermis. Of course, my husband and I panicked as we wove through rush hour traffic to the ER, where the wound was repeatedly subjected to thorough cleanings. The ER doctor skillfully stitched the gash with wide deep sutures, dressed it, and sent me home with instructions for after-care. During my followup visit, my family MD complimented the good job that had been performed in the ER.

Although I was not concerned about scarring, the threat of infection or nerve damage was on my mind throughout the initial healing process. After several weeks, during a visit back to the ER, the doctor on duty commented that it was fortunate that my hand was not seriously affected from nerve damage. His comment sparked even greater appreciation on my part for the Lord’s provision regarding my accident. God had used good doctors to perform their part in my healing; yet, the extent of their skill had been to bring the sides of the skin together, and to clean the wound in hopes that proper healing would take place.

It was the Lord that caused the skin to actually grow together–remarkably to the point that a year later, the pronounced scar was scarcely noticeable. If you have ever had a cut, bruise, broken bone, or any kind of trauma to your body, you have been supernaturally healed by our Creator and Healer. I once had a conversation with a wonderful, but unbelieving couple who said that the white blood cells should be credited with healing, not God—to which I replied “Yes, but white blood cells just don’t up and decide to heal; they are programmed and designed by their Creator.” Yes, the Lord lovingly knits us together in the wound and throughout life; He is greatly to be praised!

Sorrow Will Turn to Joy

John 16:33- Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer [courage]; I have overcome the world.” KJV

Some of the “things” Jesus spoke that would give peace to His disciples were the promises that:

  • God would provide them with another Comforter (the Holy Spirit) to abide in them, lead them into all truth, and help them remember everything Jesus had taught them (John 14: 26).
  • He was going to the Father to prepare an eternal place for them; and in this wonderful place, they would be with Him forever (John 14:1-4).
  • Jesus left His peace with them that was unlike the peace of the world, which depends on circumstances; rather His peace always has the power to calm troubled hearts (John 14:27).
  • He would return! (John 14:28).
  • If they continued to abide in Him, and keep His word, then they could “…ask what you will, and it will be done unto you” (John 15:7).

Although these assurances were made to the disciples of Jesus, these promises are further supported throughout the New Testament as promises all followers of Jesus can rely on:

We will be in heaven and have eternal life– John 10:28-30; Rom. 6:8-11; James 1:12

The Holy Spirit/Comforter indwells us– Acts 2:38

We can live in His peace– 2Th. 3:16; 1Cor. 14:33

Jesus will return– Mt.24:27; Heb. 9:28

He answers our prayers– 1 John 5:14-15

As Jesus had said to His disciples, tribulation is inevitable in this world:

Therefore, the farewell words Jesus gave to His disciples in John 14-17 become all the more precious as we approach Christ’s return. No matter what befalls us, the Lord’s promises remain true…we can confidently count on spending eternity with our dear Savior. Meanwhile, it is possible to live in supernatural peace and to pray knowing He will answer our prayers. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit indwells and empowers us just as with His disciples; and so, just as with His disciples, all our sorrows will be turned into joy.