“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Sunday, September 28, 2014

John the Baptist - A Man's Man and God's Man

John the Baptist was not afraid to speak the truth to the civil leaders and civilians of his day, because He feared God and knew what was good for the people (Matthew 14:3-4, NASB):
3 For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. 4 For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
This is why Jesus said of him (Matt. 11:11, NASB), "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

Men, it is time to stand firm with a backbone and speak the truth, especially when it costs you.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

With Honor

In reading Matthew 13 this week, I have been contemplating the significance of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is so powerful and influential, that if we understood its value, we would give up everything else to make sure we don’t miss it. But why are so many young adults missing it today? This passage gave me some thoughts on this question.

Matthew 13:53-58 NASB:
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. 54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
This passage makes me think of the importance of raising children well with the guidance of the Bible. With my experience of sharing the gospel on the U.F. campus, I have found that often the hardest of unbelieving hearts are the ones who came from a family who had some participation in a church. The children, now young adults, are familiar enough with God to think they understand and know Him. Their experience in their family and church has given them a corrupted understanding of God, often due to experiencing significant hypocrisy. When they get to college, their attitude toward God is “been there, done that.” They want to try something else, because “God” didn’t work for them.

I approach my responsibilities as a son of the King, a husband, and a father with great fear and trembling, understanding that I have a great responsibility that is mysteriously woven into the sovereignty of God’s will.

With that said, I am very thankful that God has left us with instructions for raising children. I can’t imagine life without a thorough understanding of the Bible, gained by simply reading it regularly with a heart to obey it. Doing this is the only reason that Lauren and I have any confidence with the decisions that we make regarding all aspects of our lives, especially with parenting.

There is value in the counsel we receive from older, experienced parents and friends, but their counsel means nothing or could possibly be destructive without the ability to know whether it is firmly rooted in biblical principles. Being confident that the counsel of others and our own decisions are firmly founded in the truth of the Word, we can make decisions that withstand great trials and testing. We can stand firmly and make principled decisions, something that seems to be nearly extinct in our society

There is hope. We can turn our society around, but it is going to take Christian fathers who know and live the truth of the Bible and are, especially, worthy of honor in their own hometowns and in their own households, because the fruit of a life devoted to Christ is clearly evident in their leadership and service.