VIDEO Snowstorms and Blenders

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. Proverbs 29:17, NIV

Phyllis Diller once said, “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.” In the same vein, Jerry Seinfeld said, “Having a two-year-old is like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”

Parenting has its sweet moments—it’s what we live for!—but between them are some messes. That’s why parents are responsible for using such times to create self-discipline in the lives of their children. Newborns have no self-discipline at all. They cry when they want; go to the bathroom when they want; sleep when they want. We aren’t born with self-control, but we are born with the capacity to learn to manage our habits and emotions. When we discipline our children, our goal is to teach them self-discipline.

As a parent raising children, at times it seems as if we are constantly repeating ourselves working toward the goal of obedience. Remember, God does the same with us if we will only listen. Let’s teach our children the important habits of self-control as we continue to learn the same from our Heavenly Father.

Educate your children to self-control…and you have done much to abolish misery from their future. Daniel Webster


The Fear of Man vs the Fear of the Lord, Proverbs 29:25 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Dealing with Disagreement

Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

The social media powerhouse Twitter created a platform where people all over the world express opinions in short sound bites. In recent years, however, this formula has become more complex as individuals have begun to leverage Twitter as a tool to reprimand others for attitudes and lifestyles they disagree with. Log on to the platform on any given day, and you’ll find the name of at least one person “trending.” Click on that name, and you’ll find millions of people expressing opinions about whatever controversy has emerged.

We’ve learned to publicly criticize everything from the beliefs people hold to the clothes they wear. The reality, however, is that a critical and unloving attitude doesn’t align with who God has called us to be as believers in Jesus. While there will be times when we have to deal with disagreement, the Bible reminds us that as believers we’re to always conduct ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). Instead of being harshly critical, even of our enemies, God urges us to “bear with each other and forgive one another if [we have] a grievance” (v. 13).

This treatment isn’t limited to the people whose lifestyles and beliefs we agree with. Even when it’s difficult, may we extend grace and love to everyone we encounter as Christ guides us, recognizing that we’ve been redeemed by His love.

By:  Kimya Loder

Reflect & Pray

Consider a time when you were quick to criticize a friend or a stranger. What was the result? What could you have done differently to honor God and the individual?

Heavenly Father, I know I fall short of Your glory every day. Thank You for Your unconditional love. Help me strive to be more like You by being patient and gentle with others.

A Living Hope

We who believe in Jesus no longer have to live as sinners; now we should live as children of God

1 Peter 1:3-5

Did you know the city of Corinth was known for its ungodliness? The believers there had once been no different from nonbelievers—filled with sexual immorality, greed, envy, wickedness, deceit, and malice. But now they were new creations, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and adopted into God’s family. The “Corinthian lifestyle” no longer fit who they had become in Christ. 

Paul reminded the believers of that city not to be influenced by their culture or old patterns of thinking (1 Cor. 6:9-11). The apostle was not warning them that they might miss out on the kingdom. Instead, he was encouraging them to abandon old ways and bring their behavior in line with who they really were—children of God. 

We, too, should know that salvation is permanent and faith ought to have a positive effect on our conduct. Our Savior willingly paid the penalty for our sin, satisfying divine justice and the Law’s demands (Rom. 3:25-26). No one can undo what God has accomplished in saving us—namely, pardoning our sins, giving us a new nature, and adopting us into His family. Knowing what His wonderful grace has accomplished should motivate us to live in our new identity as His children, reflecting His light in the world. 

Raised Us Up Together

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)

The Bible clearly identifies the resurrection of Christ as central to the Christian message, just as crucial as the atoning death of Christ. “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). And just as surely as Christ is raised, we who have put our faith in Him shall be raised.

What kind of body will we have then? “We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). In His resurrection body, He could appear and disappear (John 20:19), pass through closed doors (v. 26), be felt by others (Matthew 28:9; John 20:27), eat food (Luke 24:42, 43), and He eventually rose into heaven (Acts 1:9).

Paul, who has been dead nearly 2,000 years, asserted: “We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21). How can a person long since dead, whose spirit has been in God’s presence, receive once again a body? This, of course, is a miracle, for the physical elements that once made up Paul’s earthly body have long ago changed their form, and even while he was alive were continually being replaced. No, God will not restore a prior body to the dead but will present them with a new “glorious” body, fit for the eternal environment and service of heaven. Paul could only write of it by analogy, comparing the difference between the old and the new bodies to the difference between a seed and a plant, to different kinds of living things, and to different kinds of celestial bodies. “So also is the resurrection of the dead.” It is sown in corruption, dishonor, weakness, as a natural body, but it is raised in incorruption, glory, and power, as a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:37-44). JDM

Elegy in the Night

FIRST MOVEMENT

I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me. I am not afraid of the thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side (Psalm 3 vv. 5-6).

Anxiety is deep and profound. Fear controls and dominates. Long nights become threatening. Children cause distress and personal grief. Big questions start to press upon me, and I start to feel that God has withdrawn from me. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I awake disturbed over the changes and uncertainties in the music business; other times I feel uncertain if I don’t have my wife’s approval on a major issue. How vulnerable and needy I am.

At times like this I’m learning to pour out my soul to my Heavenly Father. I’m learning that spirituality begins with honesty. I’m learning to express myself emotionally to God. I don’t want to have just a cognitive relationship to him. I want to learn to share my total personality with him: the mood swings, the ups and downs, the consonance as well as the dissonance of my life, the harmony as well as the disharmony. There is no resolution without tension. And this it true whether in symphonic form or in the structure of my own life.

King David experienced all of these textures in his full but turbulent life. He even had to cope with a son, who though so full of promise and potential, out of rebellion was trying to kill him. Yet somehow David was able to roll all this trauma over on the Lord. He entrusted his troubles to the Lord, overwhelming as they were, and turned over and got a good night’s sleep. He learned that faith could flourish in the soil of fear and that anxiety could be transformed into tranquility.

Personal Prayer

Teach me, Lord, to lament honestly. Then when you miraculously deliver me, I can really praise you.

The Language of Music

Elegy

A mournful, plaintive, sorrowful poem or song.

The Scripture is full of lamentation (The Psalms, Jeremiah, Lamentations), In Romans 8:26 we learn that the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

The Unyielding Judge

Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary … or your adversary will hand you over to the judge.—Matthew 5:25

“God’s wrath,” said George MacDonald, “is always judicial. It is always the wrath of the Judge administering justice. Cruelty is always immoral, but true justice—never.” Those who experience the fullness of God’s wrath get precisely what they deserve. This may sound hard, but it is true.

There is great wisdom in the words of our Lord in the passage before us today. Settle matters with an adversary, He says, before he drags you to court. Do at once what you must one day do anyway. There may be no escape from payment, but why not escape at least from the prison sentence that will enforce it?

The point our Lord is making is that we ought not to drive justice to extremities. God requires righteousness of us, does He not? It is utterly useless to think, then, that we can escape the eternal law. So yield yourself rather than be compelled.

To those whose hearts are true, the idea of judgment is right; to those whose hearts are untrue, the idea of judgment is wrong. Many people live under the illusion that perhaps it might be possible to find a way of escaping all that is required of us in this world. But there is no escape. A way to avoid the demands of righteousness, apart from the righteousness which God accounts to us at the Cross, would not be moral. When a man or woman accepts the payment God has made for them in Christ, the whole wealth of heaven is theirs; their debt is cleared. Those who deny that debt or who, acknowledging it, do nothing to avail themselves of the payment made for them on Calvary, face an unyielding Judge and an everlasting prison.

Prayer

O Father, how serious and solemn is all this, but yet how true. Sin must ultimately be punished. I am so grateful that in Christ my debt has been paid, and availing myself of Your offer I am eternally free. Blessed be Your name forever. Amen.

Further Study

Zph 3:1-5; Ps 103:6; Jn 5:30; Rm 2:2

What does God do morning by morning?

What is God’s judgment based on?

The Silences of Christ

Isaiah 53:7

We remark, and rightly so, on the virtues of Christ’s speech, “His words were with authority.” And so were His silences. The written word is wonderful, but what of the unwritten story which lies folded between the ordinary incidents of that wonderful life?

The things He did were wonderful; what of the things He did not do? All we know of Him is marvelous, but where were the springs of His character? Through what solitudes did He grow brave and strong?

I feel it to be true that people’s attraction to the Master is in large measure attributable to those silent depths that were in Jesus.

No man can ever say that he has discovered the last beauty in that calm, deep character. That is why the multitudes are still studying, preaching, writing about and, in part, seeking to emulate the beauty of this at once simplest and profoundest character ever revealed to man.

When the Jewish ruler paid Him the high compliment, “You are a teacher come from God,” (John 3:2 KJV) the Master did not reply, “Thank you; which of My sermons impressed you?” He ignored the well-meant praise and went directly to the main business. Witnesses to God’s message in this sin-stained world are not sent forth to court praise but to cry aloud “You must be born again.”

Our Master’s speech was admirable in its restraint. It may truly be said that we would be better understood if we said less. God will surely count a prudent silence unto us for righteousness.

In the midst of our activities we need a central place of rest, a place for meditation and prayer where the busy, fevered spirit can find sanctuary. It was ever so in the life of the Master. Again and again we come across those retirements and silences, still veiled with the sacredness of the secret place. We can never learn some of the sweetest things about Jesus, except by turning aside into the secret place to meet with God the Holy Spirit. The Son of Man had need of much meditation and private communion with His Father, and certain it is that no follower of His can keep up the rush and stress of life without following the Master’s example.

Jesus lived above the world while yet He was doing His work in it, and He left us an example that we might follow in His steps. May it be yours and mine so to do by the grace of the Christ who was as wonderful in His silences as He was in speech.

Albert Orsborn, The Silences of Jesus