Is Christian Parenting in Decline?

Matthew 10.37 warns, whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

This is one of God’s requirements we read about and dismiss quickly. It’s easily understood but hard to comprehend it’s application. Two thousand and more years ago, parents proved their love for a god more than their children by sacrificing their children to the god. A deplorable practice the one true God never required and always forbid from His people.

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How Can We Pray More Effectively?

Matthew 6.8 observes, your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. So why pray?

Knowing everything is an integral character quality for being God. Since God knows everything why should I pray? The God-Man, Jesus the Savior, makes this observation. So why pray?

We really can’t help but pray. We will pray. Everyone prays. We don’t have to live long on this earth before realizing we need someone greater than ourselves to be in control and to gain control of this world. In our darkest hours all people pray.

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What We Do Proves What We Believe

Matthew 3.8 commands. produce fruit that proves your repentance.

To the religious, to those who think they are approved by God, to those who know they are ‘right’ theologically; God says, ‘produce fruit that proves your repentance.’ This command is offensive because we like to be measured on our knowledge and intentions rather than the result of our actions.

Indeed, this command was offensive to the religious leaders who first heard it.

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If God Is Real Then Shouldn’t We Listen To Him?

Revelation 22.19 records, if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.

If there really is a God doesn’t it make sense that He gets to make the rules for how we should live? This is important if our concept of God includes a day of accountability before this God. This accountability would seem to be a review of our life’s deeds compared to the rules or commands this God made for people to follow.

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Striving to be Successful

Isaiah 48.15 I have spoken – yes, I have summoned him; I lead him and he will succeed.

Everyone wants to be successful. It comes from our being created in the image of God, Who described His pleasure in making the universe and all it contains as being very good. After every thing God made He would step back and say to Himself, ‘that is good.’ When He made humanity He was even more pleased, stating, ‘this is very good.’

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God’s Marketing Department

Deuteronomy 18.18 promises, I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command.

This promise has already been literally fulfilled. It is one of more than 300 promises Jesus fulfilled making Him the unequivocal option for Messiah the Jews have always longed for. However, what this promise communicates and what Jesus communicated, is that God is committed to using people for marketing His Personal reality and His ultimate destiny for humanity.

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The Purpose of Our Faith

John 20.21 observes, just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.

Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples has Him restating His purpose for not taking them with Him immediately into heaven. This purpose is lost to most of the Church. Every Christian should ask themselves why they are not immediately transferred to heaven upon their adoption as children of God. After all, parents adopting children don’t really feel they have adopted the child until that child is officially delivered into their arms as their own.

So too, God Whom we call Father, is in heaven while we remain on earth awaiting either His return or our death. Why? The answer is because the children of God are the means of God through whom He adopts the estranged from God to Himself.

Christians are left on earth for one purpose: to share with people God’s love for them through Jesus the Savior and announce their opportunity to become children of God through repentance and faith in God, the Lord Jesus, Who is the Christ. Failure to give our best and most effort to this mission is to fail at obeying God’s will for our lives. This work is the vocation of some but is to be the occupation of all who claim to be children of God.

When we live self-absorbed, self-seeking, self-promoting lives we demonstrate our disobedience to God and our apparent similar need to repent and have faith in Jesus the Savior because He is sending His people to do His work as He was sent from His throne in heaven. How did Jesus do His work?

First, it was the Father’s will not His. Jesus did not come to do His own will but the will of Him Who sent Him. Absolute adherence to the will of God was the way in which Jesus accomplished His work. The will of God, the salvation of the world, must be our primary work as well.

Second, Jesus came to save sinners. Jesus was a friend of sinners. Most Christians separate themselves from sinners failing to realize they are sinning when they do this. Christians see so little fruit among sinners because they place no seed in the midst of sinners. Christians must stop seeking isolation and begin to develop real relationships with people so that they can start winning people into God’s Kingdom.

Finally, the way Jesus became a friend of sinners was through serving people’s needs. Jesus came not to be served, though He is God, but to serve culminating in the surrender of His own life. Christians are to be the servants of all. The greatest Christian is the greatest servant. As we serve people we demonstrate love for people thus drawing people to the love of God.

Christians are to serve at their own expense and inconvenience so that people experience genuine love from God. This is how Jesus served and so we must do the same.

The Christian mission is clear, the example has been set, who will obey?

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What Does God Want? LOVE

Deuteronomy 10.12 declares, what does the LORD your God require of you except to revere Him, to obey all His commandments, to love Him, to serve Him with all your mind and being.

Repeatedly the Bible makes clear what we must do if we are to pass successfully the judgement to come. So many assume they will argue with God about His standards upon meeting Him face to face in order to justify their behavior while they lived upon the earth. How ludicrous. God holds all of the cards. Why should He change His standards upon meeting us?

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Jesus is God

John 14.9 records, the person who has seen Me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Jesus is the only ‘prophet’ Who claimed to be God. It was this claim that made Him so hard to believe in by those who lived with Him during His three years of ministry. All of us would no doubt similarly struggle were a friend we had known for 30 years suddenly leave his skilled trade to enter ministry claiming to be God. It really wasn’t until His resurrection from the dead that the disciples finally ‘believed.’

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