Love in Discipline

Saturday, October 7, 2017

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24 KJV).

People ages 20 to 40 years old—“the Millennials”—are tremendously misguided. Today’s Scripture makes it unmistakably clear who is partly responsible for such an unfortunate dilemma that permeates our society.

Friend, if you listen to, read, and/or watch the Millennials (especially on their online, social-media platforms), you will recognize very few have a healthy worldview. Usually, they are emotionally-driven, naïve, indoctrinated individuals. As a Millennial myself, I see most of my peers holding to an extremely perverted sense of reality. They have been so thoroughly educated in colleges and universities to share their professors’ philosophies. In fact, they believe the world revolves around them—that they are entitled to have their way every time. It takes little to make them protest, rail, scream, vandalize, riot, and even weep and literally throw tantrums like spoiled brats!

Once, an older Christian complained about today’s foolish young people. When I asked him if he educated his own children in the Scriptures during their upbringing, he had nothing to say! Make no mistake, dear friends: we make our own decisions, and God holds us responsible for them. However, there is more than enough blame to fall on the parents. What, oh what, did the Millennials learn at home? Their parents grumble they were misled at institutions of “higher learning,” but what morals and values did they teach those children before they attended school? Why grow upset with people who taught your children what they believed and deemed important, when you did not think your beliefs were worth passing on to those children before college?

Were the Millennials ever taught right and wrong at home? Concerning most, the answer is a resounding NO! Today’s Scripture, dear friends, says that a parent disciplining a child with corporal punishment—spanking—is an act of love. To forbear (avoid) such punishment is really hatred. Furthermore, that correction is to start “betimes” (early), not when the children are too advanced in years and “set in their ways.” “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture [encouragement] and admonition [warning/advice] of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Educate the Children

Saturday, July 15, 2017

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:18,19 KJV).

If children are untaught in Scripture, the parents (especially the father) are usually to blame!

Someone recently told me of a certain unruly, indecent young woman in her “Christian” family. When it was suggested that her father get involved, the woman told me that the mother “wore the pants in the family.” The young woman’s father is actually “scared of” the mother, and he will not reprimand his daughter “for fear of” his wife (her mother). Such a sad predicament, and very common!

As our “rotted” society demonstrates, most fathers have failed in their duties at home. Perhaps they are hard workers, good providers. The Bible does say: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8). However, according to the Bible, fathers—not mothers—are to be the primary Bible teachers of their children: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Husbands are to be the Bible teachers of their wives: “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:35). Furthermore, God commands the husband to be the spiritual leader of the marriage, as Ephesians 5:23,24 instructs: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

To the men reading this, if you care about your family, my friends, you will heed these Scriptures!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How was Jesus Christ ‘raised again?’ Why ‘again?’

A Father to Follow

Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:1,2 KJV).

Lo, a Father to follow!

Early one morning, after a snowfall, a drunkard walked from his house to the saloon. As he left footprints, he heard the snow crunching behind him. Turning around, he saw his four-year-old son. The little boy giggled, “Daddy, look, I am following in your footsteps!” Instead of going to the saloon, the man picked up his son and they went home. He never went to the saloon again!

Brethren, it is no secret that children are a reflection of their parents. Usually, people unwittingly adopt their parents’ habits. A small child told me recently he yells all the time because “my daddy does it.” Bless his little heart, but he has no idea that his daddy is not to be his pattern if his daddy disregards the Holy Word of God. While some parents do their very best to lead their children in the ways of Christian living, unfortunately, that is often not the case. Many of the world’s problems originated from individuals whose parents taught them wrongly or failed to teach them anything decent at all!

Today’s Scripture says that, in light of everything that has gone before in Ephesians, we should be “followers of God, as dear children.” We are to be cognizant of God’s love for us at Calvary, and we are to “walk in love.” The pattern for us “walking in love” is to see how “Christ also hath loved us.” He loved us even to the point of self-sacrifice—yea, literally, to the death! It is that love of Christ that makes God pleased with us: He does not smell our rotten sin or sins, but rather the wonderful fragrance of Jesus Christ! He wants what is best for us, and, if we love Him, we will listen to His words and obey them. Will we act in accordance with how He “smells” us? Remember, He is a Father worth following!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What was ‘the epistle from Laodicea?’

Waiting for His Son from Heaven

Saturday, July 1, 2017

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10 KJV).

Friend, have you ever excitedly waited for a loved one to stop by for a visit?

The Bible says that we members of the Church the Body of Christ are “waiting” for a very special Loved One to come and visit us (and He will literally “drop by” at anytime!). While many people—even some professing Christians—are waiting for the Antichrist to appear on earth, today’s Scripture says we as Bible believers are looking for Jesus Christ to appear in heaven. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13).

While we are waiting for God’s Son from heaven, we are not sitting around doing nothing. We are praying. We are preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God. We are studying our Bibles. We are passing out tracts and Bible literature. We are teaching Scripture to others. We are working at our secular jobs. We are being upright spouses, parents, and children. Before we leave though, others must come with us. That grace of God on display in our lives entices them to join us in that heavenly abode that awaits all those who have placed their faith in Christ alone.

Brethren, we need to be about Father God’s business. If we are to truly experience the Christian life as He intended, we must be learning and doing that which fits Pauline doctrine. We are serving “the living and true God,” not some dead idol of wood or stone. What we do for Him will matter; it will not be overlooked in eternity future. If we really honored and valued Him, we would get into His Word, get His Word into us, get off our behinds, and let that Word work in us because we believe it! We are indeed waiting… but we are working too! 🙂

Bible Q&A #395: “Should we use Bibles on electronic devices?

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.