Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 27, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    M is for Mission
    And why must we continually learn and teach the Gospel? We do so that we may not lose sight of the great work that God is doing in our day.  God is actively engaged in the wondrous work of reconciling all things to himself.  It was for this that the Son of God came forth.  “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19).  And this work continues in and through us, the body of Christ, gathered and dispersed throughout the world today.  The very work for which the Father sent the Son, the Son has now sent his church to continue (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21).  And he promises to be with us always.  Being in his presence must be taken as seriously as doing the work of true mission, for mission can only have power and a cutting edge when Christ is indwelling us and we him.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Deb and I went to SouthPointe Shopping Center last week to buy a few items at Scheels, and she asked if we could stop in at one of her favorite clothing stores, Coldwater Creek. I agreed and knew she wanted to get some new clothing items. I took a seat in the “husband chair” as she shopped and came in and out of the dressing room with the question repeated each time, “How does this one look?”  After about 40 minutes of her trying on outfits, my patience had run its course. Deb came out of the dressing room and I immediately looked at her and said, “That one looks great on you. Go ahead and get it!”  

    “Dear,” she replied, “this is what I was wearing when we came in.”  Whoops again on my part.

    By Rick Thomas, Greenville, SC

    Everything is an opportunity for the Christian. All of life is one big opportunity to put God’s name on display. In one sense it does not matter what you do, as much as it matters why you do it. I’m assuming you understand that when I say “What you do,” that I am talking about things that are morally right, correct? 

    For example, in our small group we like to ask this question:  If your wife asks you to go to the store to get a gallon of milk, what would be your main reason for going to the store?
    The answer to that question should not be, “To get a carton of milk.” That would be a secondary reason for going to the store. The primary reason for going to the store is to seek God’s kingdom. You could say it this way: to glorify Him. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) 

    Jesus told us not to think so much about what we eat, what we drink, or what we put on our bodies (Matthew 6:25). Those are the things the Gentiles spend their time thinking about and pursuing. He said that our heavenly Father will take care of those things for us (Matthew 6:32). While we have a personal responsibility to go and get the milk, it is not something that we should spend a lot of time thinking about. Those are things of this world. We have an eternal perspective.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 20, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    L is for Love
    The Gospel is the revelation of God’s abounding love: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).  We do well to immerse ourselves and the saints we serve in that Good News.  The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, for example, is an ongoing, multi sensory reminder of Christ crucified (1 Cor. 11:26).  God’s Gospel love also calls forth love as response.  The Lord’s Supper both declares God’s love and demands that we love one another in turn (1 Cor. 11:27).  John, “the beloved apostle,” makes these truths very clear.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11).  And again he writes, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  Would we see love grow in the hearts of God’s people and reach to their neighbors– both saints and sinners?  Then we must school them continuously in the Gospel of love.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    I made an appointment to see my family physician this past week, out of concern for what seems to be a lessening of my level of energy the last few months based upon what Deb has expressed to me. My doctor asked why I thought I had a problem, and I told him that apparently I am not able to do the things around the house anymore that I used to be able to do.

    After the examination was completed I said to the doctor, “Doc, I can take it; please tell me what is wrong in plain English.”

    He said, “Okay. In plain English, you’re just getting lazy.”

    “Hmm, okay,” I replied. “Now give me a medical term for this so I can tell Deb.”

    By Jim Weidmann 

    Parents need to bring their children into prayer on a regular basis
    Jesus taught his disciples by living with His disciples, so we teach our children - they watch what we do, they listen to what we say.  You can not have a house of prayer if you are not a man and woman of prayer.  Children learn to pray by listening to their parents and having their parents invite them into prayer in the every dayness of life. So as you discuss family situations, good or bad, stop and pray with your children.  Or, when your children call you or tell you of something that happened or is happening in their day - stop and pray.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 13, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    K is for Knowledge
    We continually learn the Gospel, even as believers, because the Gospel is the revelation of the knowledge and wisdom of God.  Though the message of Christ crucified seems foolish to many in this age, “to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24).  The Gospel is “a message of wisdom among the mature” (1 Cor. 2:6), a message that is “God’s secret wisdom” that has been hidden for ages (1 Cor. 2:7).  But “God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:10).  ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he would instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).  Would we grow in the knowledge of God’s wisdom? Would we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? Then let us remain steadfast in the Gospel.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Last week Deb and I had a discussion about things we can change and do better in our marriage this upcoming year. Among many things, one was an agreement that when we have an argument and neither one of us are willing to concede, Deb said that she would admit that she was in the wrong as long as I would admit she was in the right. I agreed and sure enough it was not long before we had one of those arguments. After a short discussion Deb brought up our agreement and I said, “Okay, but you go first.”  Deb said, “All right, I am totally in the wrong.”

    There was probably a little glint in my eye as, sticking to the agreement, I replied, “You’re right.”

    And so, as with many New Year resolutions, this one passed away.


    By Jeff Temple

    Today my two boys got into a little sibling rivalry. After the crying, arguing, accusations of guilt, and vehement assertions of innocence I began my fatherly duty trying to broker peace in my house.

    As parents, we shouldn’t just dole out discipline and leave it at that. There  must be time for sorting out the spiritual details of the fracas. This wasn’t just having my boys tell each other they are sorry and ask for each other’s forgiveness (that is what I used to do).

    Instead I had to clear the rubble away from the spiritual foundation so that my sons could build on it (1 Cor. 3:10). My boys know the gospel, but don’t yet comprehend the importance of living it out daily. The gospel is more of a concept to them, the big picture of salvation as a ticket to heaven, but it has not become a daily reality to them as sinners guilty of treason before God in continual need of grace, forgiveness, and redemptive sanctification.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 6, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller 

    J is for Jealousy 
    We learn and teach the Gospel because we are called to be jealous for those we serve.  The apostle Paul declared to the Corinthian believers, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Cor. 11:2).  If we think jealousy is unbecoming in the apostle, we should remember that God himself is a jealous God (Exod. 20:5).  True love that is covenant based is properly jealous concerning the parties in that covenant.  We must keep the true Gospel before the eyes of those whom we teach and serve so that they will avoid what Paul feared for the Corinthians–that is, that they should “be deceived by the serpent’s cunning” and “somehow be led astray from [a] sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).  Deeper acquaintance with the true Gospel will help believers recognize and reject the preaching of “another Jesus” and “a different Gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4). 

    (Maybe this really happened) 

    Deb was sick in bed with a case of the flu last week. Being a dutiful and loving husband, I offered to fix her some of her favorite herbal tea. When I went to get the tea, I could not find it anywhere. I went back to the living room where she was stretched out on the couch to ask her where it was.  She said, "I don't know how it could be any easier to see. It's in the pantry, third shelf down, in a cocoa tin marked "matches."  

    By Marty Machowski 

    Parents long for the secret to successful parenting much like Ponce DeLeon searched for the fountain of youth.  If there was such a secret tonic, and a person discovered a way to bottle it, they would make a million.  Still parents flock to the latest book, technique, or philosophy hoping against hope their kids will “turn out right.” 

    While we should look to improve our parenting, the secret to good parenting isn’t that elusive.  I was reminded of it last week when a fellow pastor told me a story about his four-year-old son.   Ashley (his wife) found their son Will sitting by himself reading The Gospel Story Bible, which I thought was really cool!  She asked, “Whatcha doing bud?” 

    Will looked up and said with all the seriousness of a four-year-old, “Pretending to be Daddy.” 

    “What does Daddy do?” Mom followed up. 

    “He reads the Bible.”