Focus Friday: Parenting is Gospel Ministry

Parenting isn’t for cowards. But as Paul Tripp points out “parenting is impossible.” I don’t have the qualities needed for gospel centered parenting, because I am a selfish sinner. 

Parenting resources are great, but they need a foundation. The foundation is the Gospel. I heard this talk yesterday and wished I heard it 22 years ago. 

THIS PARENTING TALK IS A MUST FOR ALL PARENTS. 

Please take the time and watch or listen with your spouse, for your benefit and the benefit of your family. 

Audio

Meditation Monday: Building Character 


Our pastor has been preaching through Genesis, currently, we are studying the life of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Jacob from Rachel who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers when he was 17. 

For thirteen years Joseph experienced heartache after heartache. Sold into slavery, falsely accused of a crime, falsely imprisoned, neglected and forgotten. Yet we never read of Joseph throwing a pity party or bemoaning his situation. As a matter of fact we see the opposite, in every situation of injustice which came into his life, his response seemed to be how can I make the best of this situation. As a young slave he worked hard and was promoted, in prison he worked hard and was promoted, when released because of the Lord’s favor on him to interpret dreams, he was promoted to second in command of Egypt.

From the ages of 17-30 he experienced heartache and trouble, yet he responded favorably in every situation. If we are not careful, when we read the story of Joseph we will miss this fact, every situation he went through was a test of character and a character building opportunity.

In our lives we experience tests of character and character building opportunities, it is how we respond to those test and opportunities which determine our growth. The apostle Peter writes, 

though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:6-7
The various trials we face is the test of the the genuineness of our faith. Every time we are tested our character is under the microscope, how will we respond, and yet how we respond also provides a character building opportunity. Here is what the Bible tells us in the book of James, 

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

Peter tells us trials test our faith. James tells us trials test our faith and produces steadfastness, which means endurance or patience. But notice when steadfastness has its full effect we become perfect and complete,  lacking nothing. The Lord test our character for the purpose of building character in us.

How many times do we seem to struggle through similar trials? 

Could it be the Lord is trying to build something in us he could use in the future for his glory? 

Could it be we are failing the Lord’s test of character, so we continue to struggle through similar trials? 

Examine your life today.

Until Next Time 

Soli Deo Gloria

Fickle Faith


I am reading through Exodus for my devotional reading. This morning I read about the Passover and the final plague on Egypt, the death of the firstborn. I read about the Lord freeing his people from slavery and blessing them tremendously through the Egyptians, most likely because of their fear of the Lord after the pounding they recieved at the hand of the Lord through the plagues. We see the Lord deliver them from stubborn Egyptians by parting the Red Sea and crashing the sea upon the Egyptians which were after them. Then on the shore the people of God have a tremendous worship service. They sing praises and dance before the Lord. But then three days later they are complaining and grumbling to Moses. It only took three days for them to forget what the Lord had done for them. 

How long does it take you to foget what the Lord has done and begin complaining about whatever situation your in?

The Bible says the Lord was testing them, testing their faith, which was displayed in celebration three days earlier but when a difficult situation arose they immediately began to complain. The Bible says in 1 Peter the purpose of various trials or testings is for the purpose of testing the genuineness of your faith (1 Pet. 1:6-7). The results of the testing of the Israelites was fickle faith.

Fickle Faith

Fickle faith is a faith that ebbs and flows with the circumstances of life. A fickle faith will experience celebratory worship in the victories and experience crushing doubt in the moments of trials, testings or suffering. We see this with the Israelites, throwing a party after the Red Sea and then 3 days later grumbling and complaining about bitter water, later they will say it was better if they remained in slavery in Egypt. 

As disciples of Christ, we all experience moments of fickle faith. Moments when we are down in the dumps of trials, testing or suffering and we complain or doubt the Lord’s work in our lives. But it is in these moments of testing which the Lord can use to bring growth and conformity into the image of Christ.

How?

There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.” – Exodus 15:25-26

When we are going through the fire, experiencing a time of testing, trial or suffering, the Lord asks us to trust and obey and put aside fickle faith. The Lord says if you will diligently listen, in the the time of the Exodus, when they had no Bible, what the Israelites should have done was seek the Lord, present their needs to Him and wait. Instead they grumbled and complained to Moses. 

Today we have a Bible and the Lord wants us to hear His voice through the Scriptures. He wants us to bank on the character of God displayed through the pages of your Bible and come to him with our worries, needs, trials, testings and sufferings. Where we lack faith he wants to pray, Lord I believe help my unbelief. 

Secondly, the Lord wants us to display a posture of obedience in our suffering. We all know it is easy to obey when everything is smooth sailing. When Egyptians are being destroyed in the sea it is a party. But what happens when you have to walk through the desert? What does your obedience look like then? The Lord desires to develop in his disciples a life of trust and obedience, a posture of listening and doing in the good times and the bad.

Pray for a strong, steady faith and where you struggle or lack pray for the Lord to help your unbelief. 

Until Next Time 

Soli Deo Gloria

Two Ways We Damage Our Conscience

I have been reading a very helpful book concerning our conscience, Conscience: What it is, How to train it and Loving those who differ  by Naselli and Crowley. img_0539

Naselli and Crowley point out that the conscience is a God given human capacity and define it by saying, your conscience is your consciousness of what you believe is right and wrong.  So generally when you hear that little voice in your head prompting you to do or not to do something, it is generally a good idea to obey it.

Yet sometimes your conscience can be wrong, Continue reading “Two Ways We Damage Our Conscience”

3 Goals For A New School Year

Back-to-School

Where I live school is back in session, the buses are running, lunches are being packed and school traffic is back on the road. Some are glad, but if I were to take a guess most are not, but it is a part of life. The Bible encourages us to glorify God in whatever we do (1 Cor. 10:31), which means, when it comes to school we are to glorify God. But how? Continue reading “3 Goals For A New School Year”

Deep and Wide Worship


As I was driving yesterday afternoon listening to some worship genre music, I felt it lacking depth, as I reflected back on my worship throughout the week, it felt depthless, monotonous and routine, I felt it lacking awe.

But how can my worship of God lack awe?

I worship an awesome God, who is holy and sovereign. He reigns on high, who can compare to the greatness of the Lord? His mercy is everlasting, his love is a steadfast love, his compassion is on display in the many acts of love showered on us daily. Who can compare to the greatness of the Lord? 

I began to ask God for mercy, grace and forgiveness for my depthless, monotonous and routine mouthing of words because whatever I was doing it was not worship. As I was praying I began to ask the Lord to help me worship like the Apostles because I was reminded of Peter’s outburst of worship we will be discussing in our Sunday School class,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5

Peter wasn’t lacking awe, his worship was the opposite of depthless, monotonous and routine. Peter burst forth in praise, crying out blessing to God the Father for Jesus Christ. Peter most likely, thinking back to the words of Jesus “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Remembering the Father’s mercifully choosing him through Christ and causing him to be born again to a living hope. In this moment of worship he most likely thought back to the moment his salvation was sealed forever, when Mary and the other women burst through the upper room proclaiming “He is risen” and Peter probably remembered seeing the the risen Lord on the seas shore, hearing the voice of love and grace, “Peter feed my sheep.” 

Peter was awestruck by a God who took a sinner and made him an heir of heaven. An heir who will recieve that which is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” An heir who through faith in the Father, through the work of his Son, by the power of His Spirit is being guarded and kept for that great day of salvation. On that great day of salvation, faith will become sight and awe and worship will be eternal. 

I stand in awe because just like Peter, the Lord has mercifully chosen and caused us to be born again. The Lord has sealed our salvation by rising from the dead. The Lord has taken us sinners and made us heirs of heaven. The Lord guards and keeps us until that great day of salvation. Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

How is your worship? Is it depthless, monotonous and routine? Or is it deep and wide, flowing like the worship of Peter?

Lord help us worship like the Apostles.

Denial Through Affirmation 

You have heard it before, haven’t you? “Jesus says nothing about same sex marriage.” Is it true? 

This weekend I had the privilege of leading our Sunday School class through Matthew 19. Jesus is being tested by the Pharisses concerning divorce and Jesus answered, 

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:3-6

Did you see what Jesus did? Through his affirmation of marriage he was denying a culture of divorce. Imagine for a moment if Jesus walked the earth today, someone could walk up to Jesus and ask, is same sex marriage lawful? What would Jesus say? 

His reply would be the same. He would affirm God’s original plan for marriage as He does in Matthew 19. Through Jesus affirmation of God’s original intent of marriage in Genisis he is denying,

  • Same Sex Marriage- He created them male and female and then Jesus’ affirmation of a man leaving and cleaving to his female partner is God’s original intent
  • Gender Identity- Jesus also speaks to our gender confusion culture. “”Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female.” God created people either male or female, the problem is we have separated gender identity from biological identity.
  • No Fault Divorce- Jesus speaks to a divorce for any reason culture. 
  • Polygamy- Jesus takes us back to the Garden of Eden to where God created 1 male and 1 female. He also said a man should cleave to his wife not wives. 

Through Christ affirmation of God’s original intent for marriage he is setting perimeters around marriage. Through his affirmation he is denying anything which strays from those perimeters. God’s word is timeless and speaks to us in the twenty first century. The question is, will we listen?

Until Next Time 

Solo Deo Gloria