Father: A Godly Man

Sunday, June 18, 2017

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 KJV).

Since today is Father’s Day, we dedicate today’s devotional to the godly (Christian) fathers.

What is a godly father? Oftentimes, fathers are either too authoritative (very strict) or too carefree (little to no concern for their children). According to the Bible (today’s Scripture in particular), fathers must have a balance between setting boundaries and enforcing them, and refraining from being a heartless tyrant.

  • On one hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the nurture of the Lord.” “Nurture” is simply defined as “caring for and encouraging their growth or development.” All too often, fathers (sadly) ignore this, usually being too rough, or even, apathetic (unconcerned).
  • On the other hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the admonition of the Lord.” “Admonition” is simply defined as “authoritative counsel or warning.” He is to lovingly guide them in life, instructing them from God’s Word rightly divided.

A father is not simply one who procreates. God’s Word makes it very clear that they should serve a lifelong, active role in their children’s lives. A Christian man, especially a father, should be a godly man in beliefs as well as in deed. He needs to set an example for his children (especially his sons): it is his duty as an older Christian man to set an example for younger men.

He should be a hard worker, he should meditate on the things of God (the Bible), his speech should conform to sound Bible doctrine, he should be hospitable and caring, kind and loving, he should respect and love his wife, he should love his children, and he should be reserved and cautious in his actions.

Are you a Christian man or Christian father who desires to be the man God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest! Then, you will become the godly man described on the pages of Scripture.

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

A Higher Education: It Is Up to You!

Friday, May 19, 2017

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 KJV).

Eleven years ago today, I graduated high school. Consequently, we dedicate this devotional to high school students who are nearing graduation.

Are you about to graduate high school? What would God have you do afterward? Go to college? Trade school? Something else? What career should you pursue? If you do plan on education after high school, where should you attend school? These are tough questions, and while God’s Word does not answer them, you can make decisions that conform to sound Bible doctrine—that is God’s will.

In today’s Scripture, Paul encourages downcast Timothy. Timothy was considerably younger than the Apostle Paul. Older people who are teaching false doctrine are intimidating young Timothy: “Tim, you are too young to teach God’s Word. Let us handle it.” Young Timothy conceded, became silent, and allowed the (“older and wiser”) false teachers to continue teaching their damnable heresies (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 1:5-8). Paul replied, “Timothy, Speak up! Let no man despise thy youth!”

Christian youth can be just as effectual in their station in life as Christian adults. The lost world is watching us Christians, and we need to be sure that our actions are in accordance with the sound Bible doctrine we claim to believe (lest we be guilty of confusing the already-puzzled unbelievers). Whether “young or old,” our speech, our lifestyle, our acts of love, our determination, our belief in sound Bible doctrine, and our separation from that which God hates, is the way we communicate to the lost world God’s Word and its preeminence in our lives and hearts (today’s Scripture).

Above all, dear graduates, whatever you do post-graduation, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). After all, it really is not your life—it is Christ’s life in you (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4), so He alone deserves the glory! 🙂

*Based on a Bible study by the same name, which can be read here. Also, see the study “The Spirit-Filled Student.”

By the way, you may also be interested in reading this archived special-edition study about my own college experience.

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 14, 2017

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 KJV).

Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this devotional to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 29 years… my mom!

Today’s Scripture is the first verse of the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” passage (Proverbs 31:10-31). King Solomon explained that the virtuous woman:

  • has a husband who safely trusts in her (verses 11,12).
  • is not lazy, but is strong because she works to feed and clothe her family and herself (verses 13-19,21,22,24,25,27).
  • pities the poor and needy (verse 20).
  • has a husband who is well-known because of her godly lifestyle (verse 23).
  • opens her mouth with wisdom, and speaks kindly and lovingly (verse 26).
  • has children and a husband who praise her (verse 28).
  • excels in what she does (verse 29).
  • has works that praise her (verse 31).

Verse 30 explains the virtuous woman is “a woman that feareth the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul wrote that godly women should: not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol and emotions (sober minded), be teachers of good things, love their husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) their husbands… “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters).

A Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).

Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest!

 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO OUR READERS WHO ARE MOTHERS!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

(No) Put Asunder

Saturday, May 13, 2017

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19:4-6 KJV).

If only more people “read” today that of which the Pharisees were ignorant!

While driving recently, I stopped at an intersection where a man was sitting and holding a sign, “She had a better lawyer.” It was sad to see this panhandler in such a predicament. (I did pray for him, that someone share the Gospel with him.) Maybe he really had experienced a painful divorce. Then again, what might he have done to provoke his wife to divorce him? Or, what if fabricated the whole story just to play on the emotions of passersby? Whatever his case, divorce is not fiction in the lives of many others—some 40 to 50 percent of married couples wind up split up!

Divorce is an agonizing event. Young children are particularly devastated by it. While I have never experienced it firsthand, I do know that it is not a part of God’s original plan for mankind (today’s Scripture). I do know that any departure—great or small—from the Creator’s will has always brought about and will always bring about unimaginable, unspeakable suffering. In order to accommodate man’s sinfulness, God commanded Moses to permit (painful) divorces (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4)—the Pharisees tried to use this passage against Christ in the context of today’s Scripture (cf. verses 7-9). Unfortunately, in the days of Christ, the Jews were using any petty excuse they could find to have grounds for divorce! (Sounds familiar, huh?)

The Lord Jesus corrected the wayward Pharisees. While the Law indeed allowed divorce, the Book of Genesis declared that it was not in God’s original plans for mankind. There was to be no “distance” between husband and wife—no “put asunder,” or “separation.” They were to be united“one flesh”not divided (Genesis 2:18-25). God help us provide strong, healthy family units for His glory!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How can God hear all the prayers of all Christians?

Father God

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6 KJV).

Behold, the perfect Father!

Sadly, many parents today are “without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:3). They think nothing of a medical doctor butchering their unborn child in his or her mother’s womb! To them, it is totally acceptable to leave babies and small children at people’s doorstep! They even abandon them in parking lots, places of business, and trashcans! If they choose to keep them at home, they abuse them physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally. Older people still carrying such massive emotional baggage, deep wounds and horrific scars from their childhood, is ever so disturbing for a saint to hear.

How the God of the Bible grieves that individuals who were appointed to maintain the home and family—parents—are often nothing more than “sex-gamete donors.” They contributed sperm and eggs, but never extended a guiding hand or listening ear. For their children, there was no loving heart or vigilant eye. These offspring wandered the streets, sought acceptance in gangs and associated with other “wrong crowds,” and went on to hurt others by engaging in such lifestyles.

Our world abounds with millions damaged by cruel and uncaring parents. Their parents did not accept them, and perhaps they still reject them. Friends, yes, some of us still struggle with the memories of an awful childhood. Nevertheless, what ultimately matters is not the shortcomings of our sinful parents. We need to understand and rejoice in today’s Scripture. If we have trusted Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, Father God has “accepted” us forever in Christ. He is the perfect Father, more than able (and so willing) to take the place of us who never truly had “parents.” There is unconditional, permanent acceptance with Him! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘peeping’ and ‘muttering?’

Teach Them Diligently Unto Thy Children

Thursday, September 15, 2016

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:6,7 KJV).

Such wise words from so long ago!

Earlier, I overheard two women talking about raising kids in this very confused world. The boundaries of human sexuality have been blurred. Children are addicted to electronic entertainment. All we hear about violence. There is such uncertainty. Friends, this is going to sound harsh, but it is the truth. Most children these days have a very bleak future because their parents have such a very weak understanding of what really matters. They have religion, education, and material wealth, but they do not understand the things of God. They cannot stand by faith on the written Word of God because they do not know it. If they do not know it, they certainly cannot teach it to their children!

Today’s Scripture commanded the Jews to teach their children the Law of Moses. If those new generations of Israel did not faithfully keep that Mosaic Covenant, God would forcefully drive them out of that Promised Land. Israel treated this commandment very lightly. They did not faithfully pass on God’s Word to their children. About 900 years after Moses, Israel fell politically. Instead of holding to God’s Word, they had worshipped and served pagan idols. So, in righteous judgment, God fulfilled His Word to them. He forced them out of the Holy Land. Gentile armies robbed, ravished, imprisoned, and killed them! The Jews are scattered worldwide even today!

Friends, if we are worried about future generations today, we had better get them into God’s Holy Word rightly divided. Our King James Bible is a sure (reliable) basis for life. It will be here long after we leave this world. Religious tradition will not do it because it changes through time. Science will not do it because scientific ideas change through time. We had better get our young people especially into the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, lest our society wind up like ancient Israel’s!

The Rod of Correction

Friday, September 9, 2016

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15 KJV).

My eight-year-old nephew misbehaved recently and he received corporal punishment!

Of course, before I whipped him with that flyswatter, he whined and screamed to dissuade me from punishing him. I calmed him down. We carefully discussed his several acts of misbehavior, including his new tantrum. After he admitted wrongdoing, I explained to him he knows disobedience will result in discipline. Once I told him I loved him and wanted to discourage misbehavior, I spanked him on the behind and had him sit right beside me.

I hugged him and said, “I love you.” I told him it was for his good not harm. We got the Bible and read today’s Scripture. Scripture commands me to use “the rod of correction” to drive far from him the foolishness bound in his heart. There was a consequence to not acting wisely. That pain would deter him from repeating the wrong behavior. I reminded him I was not abusing him—hitting his face, pulling his hair, twisting his limbs, or kicking him.

Also, we read together Ephesians 6:1: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” I admonished him that if he does not quit rebelling against authority now, when he grows older he may encounter the police in bad circumstances and go to prison! I explained to him why there are so many people in prison for life. They were probably never properly instructed as children to respect and submit to authority. To conclude, I told him that while he did not understand everything I was telling him, I urged him to believe those verses as best as he could. “One day,” I told him, “You will understand this.” We resumed playtime as if nothing happened.

Every Christian parent should take great care, UTMOST CARE, when administering corporal punishment on his or her children. It should be done, not out of anger or in cruelty, but in love and firmness. There should be no extremism but no apathy either. If you do not correct that foolishness now, friend, your child may just grow up to literally be your worst heartache!