Father: A Godly Man

Sunday, June 19, 2022

“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.

ARCHIVED: “What does the Bible say about fatherhood?

Superfluous #5

Monday, June 13, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

Read today’s Scripture with its context: “[1] For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: [2] For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. [3] Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: [4] Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. [5] Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.”

Paul knew how “froward” or zealous the Corinthians were in their giving (verse 2, today’s Scripture). This Greek word is also translated “willingness” or “readiness” (Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 8:11,12,19). He had even alerted the Macedonian believers (northern Greece) how these Achaian believers (southern Greece, including Corinth)—as much as year prior—had been enthusiastic in giving of their resources to support God’s people (Israel’s believing remnant). That news encouraged other saints to make donations too.

It was thus “superfluous” or redundant for Paul to write to the Corinthians about giving (they were already well informed about the situation). Yet, just in case any Macedonians would visit Corinth, and Corinth be not ready, Paul sent the Corinthians this second epistle (and brethren, including Titus; 2 Corinthians 8:16-18) with guidelines for giving. Unless the Holy Spirit led Paul to pen 2 Corinthians, with chapters 8–10 in place, we would be without principles for giving under grace. Saints, let us be thankful for those “superfluous” words.

Superfluous #4

Sunday, June 12, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

Since the Lord’s introduction of the mystery program (the Apostle Paul’s ministry and message) delayed the conclusion of the prophetic program, it was only natural for Paul’s Gentile converts to then contribute financially to the welfare of Israel’s believing remnant already formed during the prophetic program. If Israel’s God was now the God of non-Jewish heathen—the fruit of Paul’s ministry—then these Gentile saints (the Church the Body of Christ) should support believing Israel (the Little Flock).

Romans 15:27 again: “It hath pleased them [Paul’s saints] verily; and their [Israel’s] debtors they [Paul’s saints] are. For if the Gentiles [Paul’s saints] have been made partakers of their [Israel’s] spiritual things, their [Paul’s saints] duty is also to minister unto them [Israel] in carnal [material, physical] things.” Hence, the Apostles James and Cephas (Peter) and John, leaders of the Jerusalem Church, prompted Paul and Barnabas to “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10; the Acts chapter 15 conference). Contrary to popular belief, the “poor” here are not underprivileged people in general: they are the poverty-stricken Little Flock of the Acts period!

In today’s Scripture, the issue is members of the Church the Body of Christ (Paul’s ministry) giving financial aid to Israel’s “saints” or believing remnant (under the leadership of Peter and the 11 Apostles). As Paul established and visited local grace churches, he took up collections of money and goods to bring to “the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” (Romans 15:26; also, remember 1 Corinthians 16:1-3). By the time of today’s Scripture (2 Corinthians), the Corinthian saints (in 1 Corinthians) had already been made aware of the plight of the Jewish believers in Christ in Jerusalem and Judaea; the Corinthians needed no instructions about giving, so it was “superfluous” for Paul to write to them on the subject.

However, the Holy Spirit through Paul taught them again about giving under grace anyway….

Superfluous #3

Saturday, June 11, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

To prepare them for the Antichrist’s satanic religious-economic system (Revelation 13:15-18), Christ directed His disciples to relinquish and sell their material goods (Matthew 19:21-30; Mark 10:21-31; Luke 18:22-30). Guarding against Satan’s distractions, they were not to be attached to this world’s riches (Matthew 6:19-34; Luke 12:13-34). In Acts 2:44,45 and Acts 4:32-37, Israel’s believing remnant obeyed Christ: they literally sold their personal possessions and lived off a common fund.

Of course, our dispensation introduced in Acts chapter 9 postponed the prophetic program, so the Antichrist is still future and their common fund went bankrupt. In Acts 11:27-30, a “dearth” or famine struck Judaea (the neighborhood of Jerusalem), further compounding the Little Flock’s dire financial straits: “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul [another name for the Apostle Paul].” Hence, in some of Paul’s “Acts” epistles, we read such verses as the following.

“But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things” (Romans 15:25-27). “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality [kind donations] unto Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:1-3).

Here is “the ministering to the saints” of today’s Scripture….

Superfluous #2

Friday, June 10, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

Remember, as per Leviticus 22:23, “lacking” is on one extreme of the spectrum and “superfluous” is on the other end. This concept agrees with the dictionary definition: the prefix “super–” is derived from the Latin for “above, beyond,” whereas “fluere” means “to flow.” To be “superfluous,” therefore, is to overflow. Let us now take what we have learned about this term and plug it in to today’s Scripture so we can amplify Paul’s words to Corinth.

Today’s Scripture is actually part of a larger context—namely, giving under grace. Chapters 8–10 outline the principles of how we should give our resources (money and other material goods) for the furtherance of the Lord’s ministry. Bear in mind: we do not (!) appeal to the so-called “10 percent” tithe of the Law of Moses, for that was “perform to get the blessing or fail to perform to get the curse” (Malachi 3:8-12). God’s legalistic words to Israel under the Law in Malachi (Malachi 1:1) are wholly contrary to His words in the Dispensation of Grace, 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let [allow, not demand!] him give; not grudgingly [reluctantly, unwillingly], or of necessity [commandment-keeping, requirement, forced giving, extortion!]: for God loveth a cheerful [wholehearted, happy, excited] giver.”

Never once does the Holy Spirit through Paul ever order us to give a certain percentage of any amount (including “10 percent!”). All we do is “give ourselves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5), and the Word of His Grace (not Law!!!) will work in us believers to give of our assets to accomplish the work of the ministry. Provided we are willing to forsake the preconceived notions we learned in our denominational systems, it will be quite clear how God’s grace motivates us to give.

We want to transition now to focus particularly on Paul’s “Acts” ministry, “the ministering to the saints” of today’s Scripture, and the role “superfluous” played in that regard….

Superfluous #1

Thursday, June 9, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

One recurrent complaint lodged against the King James Bible is that it is “hard to read.” Such a grievance likely stems from a mindless echoing of a sales pitch heard from a translator or publisher of a modern English version. Instead of seeking a Bible that is “easier to read” (the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages read just as difficult!), we need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour so the indwelling Holy Spirit can then teach us! Though the Scriptures have been habitually reworded via the aid of “textual criticism” (over 100 times!), it has come at the cost of sacrificing God’s spiritually-mature words. An “easy-to-read” version is simply “God’s Word” corrupted by natural-man thinking. Holy Writ should be handled far more reverently.

Let us take, for instance, the King James term “superfluous” in today’s Scripture. What does it mean? Of course, at the very least, we could look for the definition in a dictionary. However, a more profitable approach would be to take a concordance and see if the Bible uses the word in other verses, and if those passages would shed any light on today’s Scripture. Studying and comparing verses is the mature Christian’s method to spiritual enlightenment and growth.

We find “superfluous” also appears in Leviticus 22:23, in the context of animal sacrifices offered according to the Mosaic system: “Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.” Be careful to recognize how “superfluous” sits in opposition to “lacking in his parts.” Obviously, “lacking” indicates the absence of something that should be present; therefore, “superfluous” is the other extreme, the presence of something that should be absent. Read verses 17-25, how deformities in or injuries to animal bodies render them inadmissible for vow offerings.

Thus, “superfluous” means excessive, unnecessary, extra….

Teach Your Children #3

Sunday, May 29, 2022

“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 11:19 KJV).

If single-parent homes are a calamity, “no-parent” homes are even more catastrophic!

Contrary to popular belief, the greatest gift that parents could ever (!!) provide their kids is not substantial bank accounts, expansive properties, lavish mansions, or even good genes. While wonderful to have, and there is nothing wrong in possessing them if we do not confound them with Almighty God, the fact of the matter is that they are all temporary. Inflation and irresponsibility diminish funds, taxes and upkeep make real estate a burden, buildings deteriorate with age and so require daily maintenance, and even the “best” DNA can be traced back to Adam (sin and ultimate death).

Long after Mom and Dad are gone (no longer there to advise), and their children remain, what will those younger generations do with their chronic sin problem? Have they ever been taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, how He paid for their sins in full at Calvary, and how the only way they can have victory over sin is by placing their faith in Him alone? Will they have a final authority, something solid and certain on which to build their lives? Have they ever been encouraged to read, study, and trust the Holy Bible rightly divided? Are they proficient in the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, the principles of grace living? Or, like so many billions now, will they drift from this group to that group, aimlessly and hopelessly floating on that vast sea of error, struggling in vain to fill that God-shaped vacuum in their heart, to eternally perish once they drown in sin?

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3). Teach your children sound Bible doctrine, that they may teach their own children, and so on. If this we fail to do, remember well, we ourselves have contributed to the overall global problem.

Teach Your Children #2

Saturday, May 28, 2022

“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 11:19 KJV).

If single-parent homes are a calamity, “no-parent” homes are even more catastrophic!

Consider these analogous passages. “Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children (Deuteronomy 4:10). “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 6:7).

If these Jewish youth were not thoroughly educated in the words of JEHOVAH God, they would adopt their Gentile neighbors’ pagan belief systems. With each passing generation, the nation Israel would become more compromised, gradually but eventually losing its identity to Satan’s evil world system. As history testifies, it did happen. The standards and norms confused, there was nothing but inescapable societal collapse. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

We find ourselves today in a world just as disorderly. Right is wrong, wrong is right, man is woman, woman is man, child is parent, parent is child, life is non-life, non-life is life, Creator is creature, creature is Creator, wisdom is foolishness, foolishness is wisdom, and on and on. Over a decade ago, it was estimated that, by the end of four years of college, some 70 percent (!) of evangelical Christian youth were being lost to non-Bible views. It is a safe assumption that that figure has increased since then. The problem, as always, started at homelong before any professors delivered secular, humanistic lectures to those precious unsuspecting minds and hearts. Frankly, our current world is the product of a lengthy series of failed parenting….

Teach Your Children #1

Friday, May 27, 2022

“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 11:19 KJV).

If single-parent homes are a calamity, “no-parent” homes are even more catastrophic!

Surely, it is no secret that “wayward youth” is one of our society’s most problematic issues. It only took us about 50 years before we noticed it. Moreover, we have yet to realize poor (actually, “no!”) parenting is the more serious matter. Consider what a university president stated when he addressed a parents’ group a century ago: “I get many letters from you parents about your children. You want to know why we people up here in [college name] can’t make more out of them and do more for them. Let me tell you the reason we can’t. It may shock you just a little, but I am not trying to be rude. The reason is that they are your sons, reared in your homes, blood of your blood, bone of your bone. They have absorbed the ideals of your homes. You have formed and fashioned them. They are your sons. In those malleable, moldable years of their lives you have forever left your imprint upon them.”

Let us think of another true story, one much more pointed. A 76-year-old man died in prison after eight years of incarceration. His wife served a lengthy sentence in that same facility. Their daughter was confined there. Lastly, their seven sons were inmates at that complex too! Without a doubt, “Mom and Dad” had left quite a memorable legacy in the world.

In today’s Scripture, the LORD knew the great potential sin had in the hearts of youth who lacked His words. The human soul, left to itself, will devise all kinds of evil thoughts and transform them into despicable actions—growing worse as the years pass. To counter this, God’s words were to so fill the Jewish parents that they could not help but teach their children to value that Divine revelation too, constantly reminding them of the Holy Scriptures and the issue of obeying final authority….

Bible Q&A #955: “For him hath God the Father sealed?

A Higher Education: It Is Up to You!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

“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).

Sixteen 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.