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Teach Your Kids Not to Flinch

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NIV). 

No good parent ever wants to see their children hurt or in fear or distress. As a father, I don’t want bad things to happen to my children to teach them a lesson. I want to help them, protect them, and teach them wisdom so that they can avoid bad stuff and not have to go through it. A parent’s first nature is to protect their child from all harm.  

God is no different. He is the ultimate Father! He loves us and wants to take care of us, protect us, and bless us. He is a good Father and doesn’t make bad things happen to us to teach us lessons. 

I have six grown kids, and I want them all to be wise and know how to live by faith. I want them to know that God loves them and is for them, not against them. As they were growing up, my wife and I taught them that God wasn’t the one causing bad stuff to happen to them. When things didn’t go well, maybe their boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with them, or their dog got sick, or their car transmission started leaking, it wasn’t God making those things happen to try and teach them something.  

I taught them that many problems and challenges are just a part of life. If they understand that, then when they get hit with one, they won’t flinch. I don’t want them to waver in their faith toward God, thinking that He’s the one causing bad stuff to happen. I want them to know God is good all the time! Those challenges are just opportunities for them to walk by faith and prove that God is with them, and there is no problem or challenge that can defeat them!   

Take Away: 

How many of you know that no matter how hard you may try to protect your kids, things happen in life that are beyond your control? Life’s challenges come to all of us; there are no age restrictions. So, it’s really important that we teach our children from an early age how to walk in God’s wisdom and how to respond in faith when difficult situations come up so that they can be overcomers in this life! 

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Believe God Meant What He Said

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you(Matthew 17:20 KJV). 

In order to live in the blessing of God and have everything that He says we can have, it’s going to take faith. What is faith? Faith is not a hard-to-follow formula or some mystical thing. It’s simply believing that if God said it, then it is true.  

The same way you used your faith to become born again is the same way you use your faith to receive all of God’s promises—you simply believe God meant what He said. The “fight of faith” happens when the devil comes along, just like he did with Adam and Eve, and starts throwing doubt and unbelief your way. “Has God really said that? Did He really mean it? Are you sure?” And the Bible says if you listen to those thoughts and start to doubt, you’ll be tossed to and fro like the wave of the sea (James 1:6). It goes on to say, “Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7-8 KJV). 

That’s why faith is so critical. To receive all that God has provided for us, we have to believe God said what He meant and meant what He said. Every single word He’s spoken in the Bible is true. Every single promise is for you and me! But we can’t doubt or be double-minded. We have to receive every one of them by faith.

 

Take Away: 

Many people think faith is really complicated, but it’s not. God made it really easy for us to receive from Him. He said, “All you have to do is simply believe and receive.” That’s it. It’s so simple even a child can do it! In fact, children sometimes can be much better at using their faith than an adult. If Mom or Dad tells them something, they simply believe it will come to pass.  When it comes to God and His Word, be like a little child and have faith that what your heavenly Father has told you will come to pass! 

 

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The Three Most Sought After Things

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold… nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15 NIV).

The three most sought after things in life are wealth, fame (or honor), and the proverbial “fountain of youth.” People will invest a lot of time and money to get these three things. They’ll pay to go to seminars on how to get rich. They’ll spend endless hours working to perfect their skill or talent. They’ll hire coaches, instructors, and talent managers, and do whatever it takes to become famous. And many people will spend a whole lot of money on all kinds of products, procedures, and surgeries that’ll make them look and stay young.
 
Now, going to financial seminars, working hard and hiring coaches to help perfect a skill or a talent, and doing what we can to stay young and healthy aren’t wrong. But God’s Word tells us exactly what the key is to get those three things, and that key is wisdom.
 
Proverbs 3:16 (NIV) talks about wisdom and says, “Long life is in her (wisdom’s) right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.” God doesn’t have a problem with us having any of those things, but if we seek those things apart from Him, then even if we obtain our goals, ultimately those things in and of themselves won’t make us happy.
 
Many people have obtained wealth and fame and live a long life, only to end up feeling empty and unfulfilled. Our happiness and fulfillment in life comes from God and from following His plan for our lives, using the gifts and talents He gave us to bless others, and living life in that way requires God’s wisdom.
 

 

Take Away:

The desires to be prosperous, honored, and live a long time are all desires that have been put inside of us by God. He wants us to have all those things. The issue lies in how we go about getting them. We can use man’s wisdom and go after them the world’s way, or, we can get God’s wisdom and obtain them God’s way. Just remember, the world’s way will leave you empty and unfulfilled. But God’s way will bring blessing, peace, and a happy, satisfied life.
 

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Wisdom Doesn’t Just Happen—It’s a Choice

I [wisdom] love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver(Proverbs 8:17-19 NIV). 

Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom. Repeatedly, it talks about getting wisdom, seeking wisdom, and finding wisdom. So, it looks like getting, seeking, and finding wisdom is choice; it’s not something that just falls on us or just happens. We have to do something. We have to choose to get wisdom. Where do we get it? From God’s Word.  

Realize this, God is not a dictator. He won’t make you do anything. He always gives us choices. For example, He said, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).  

That’s pretty plain, isn’t it? It’s like asking someone, “Would you like to have a nice day in the sun with your friends? Or, would you rather be lying in a casket at the morgue?”  

But if they hesitated and said, “Well, I just don’t know. That’s a hard choice. Give me a few days to think about that,” you’d probably think, Man, that’s just stupid!” But people do it every day, and many end up making the wrong choices.  

God has given us a book full of wisdom on how to live a victorious life. But He’s also given us a free will. The choice to get that wisdom and walk in His blessing is up to us. What will you choose today?  

Take Away: 

If you want wisdom, you have to go and get it. You have to hang around wise people, read wise books (like the book of Proverbs), and you can also ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). If something’s not working in your life, you probably need some wisdom in that area. God’s a pretty smart Guy! If you ask Him, He’ll show you what you need to do to get things working successfully. 

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The Key to Life

Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life” (Proverbs 4:13 NLT). 

A lot of people will pay a lot of money to go to a seminar on how to get rich and be a success in life. But if you want to know the real key to living a blessed life, God tells us what it is—wisdom. Proverbs 4:13 says for us to take hold of wisdom’s instructions and don’t let them go because they are the key to life 

Wisdom is the single most important thing you can get. It’s more valuable than gold, silver, stocks, bonds, and real estate because wisdom is the key to getting all of those things. If you only get those specific things—gold, silver, stocks, etc.—you can lose them. But if you seek after and get wisdom, then even if you those lose assets, you can get them back again because you have the wisdom that enabled you to get them in the first place.  

You’ve heard the saying, “You can give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for the rest of his life.” Many people are seeking after the “fish” instead of getting God’s wisdom. But wisdom will enable you to eat at God’s table of blessing for the rest of your life! 

Take Away: 

Don’t chase after material stuff; pursue God and His wisdom first and foremost, and when you do, God will show you how to get all those other things. Matthew 6:33 (KJV) says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When you walk in the wisdom of God, then you’ll walk in the blessing of God, and “the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22 KJV).  

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Wisdom Is Better Than Gold!

“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16 KJV). 

Every day, you and I make decisions. There are only so many hours in a day, so the decisions we make on many levels are really important—how we spend our time, who we hang out with, the jobs we take, and the things we choose to get involved with. And some of the decisions we make today can affect us and those around us for the rest of our lives. That’s why it’s important to know grow in wisdom so that we can make wise decisions.  

The Bible gives a comparison between a wise and an unwise person. And let me just say this—you don’t want to be unwise! Life is challenging enough, and being unwise, immature, and constantly making poor decisions only makes it that much harder.  

The Bible says a foolish, unwise person will despise instruction and end up in poverty and shame (Proverbs 13:18 KJV). Disaster, calamity, distress, and trouble will overtake and overwhelm them (Proverbs 1:26-27 KJV). That’s a picture of many people’s lives. But God’s Word says we don’t have to live that way. If we will listen to God’s wisdom and determine to be a wise person, then we can live long, have riches and honor, and live a pleasant and peaceful life (Proverbs 3:16-17). 

That’s how I want to live, and that’s how I want my children to live. So, I’ve determined to study God’s Word and find out how to walk in wisdom. You know, God’s been around a whole lot longer than I have, and He’s a whole lot smarter than I am! So, if I’ll respect His Word and have faith that what He says is true and do what He says to do, then God says I’ll have a really good life! Make a decision to grow in wisdom and walk in the benefits of being a wise person! 

Take Away: 

Make a decision to become not just a “reader” but also a “studier” of the Word of God. Take time to look up and meditate on scriptures about wisdom. Ask God to show you how you can apply His Word to your own life. It’s when you become a “doer” of the Word and choose to walk in God’s wisdom, that you’ll see the benefits and blessings of God’s Word in your life. Be a studier and a doer!  

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From Dysfunction to Function

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 KJV). 

 

When God creates something, He creates it to work and function in a certain way. That’s why there are laws in operation on this planet—laws of physics, gravity, nature, etc. However, if any of those laws are broken, things can get messed up, cause damage, and not work the way they were intended. 

The same is true of “family.” God created family, and He created it to work a certain way. He created the very first family on earth and their job description was to multiply, replenish, and rule over this earth under God’s authority (Genesis 1:27-28). God intended for the family to function in unity, harmony, and fellowship with Him and with one another. But that’s not the overall picture of “family” that we see today. Families have become broken to the point that a common quote today is, “Well, who doesn’t come from a dysfunctional family?” Dysfunctional families may seem to be the norm, but that was not God’s intention in the beginning.  

Dysfunction came because of breaking the one law God had given. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instructions and ate the forbidden fruit, they became the first dysfunctional family in the history of mankind. They were evicted from their home in the Garden, sentenced to a life of sweat and toil, and then their firstborn son murdered his brother! The family God originally intended to walk in fellowship with Him and rule under His authority on this planet, became broken, dysfunctional, and messed up. 

Thank God, He loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to come and fix the mess that was created in the Garden!  

Take Away: 

God’s original design for the family may have become broken and skewed when Adam sinned, but Jesus regained everything Adam had lost, including the ability to operate as a family the way God intended. The key is to walk according to the laws God has written in His Word. When we do things God’s way, our families will be blessed, prosper, multiply, and be a mighty force for God on this planet! 

 

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Grow Up and Get Wisdom

“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT). 

 

Probably one of the most important and foundational keys for living is wisdom. If you’re a parent, wisdom is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. Unfortunately, we aren’t born with wisdom. Neither does wisdom just somehow come upon us when we reach a certain age. We don’t turn fifty and suddenly, it’s like, Man, I feel really wise now! A person might be fifty years old and have a head full of white hair, but that doesn’t automatically mean he or she is wise.  

Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow! So-and-so is really wise beyond their years”? That doesn’t mean that person has a special gift or an anointing. But it describes a person who has chosen to grow up and get wisdom. There are some 30-year-olds who have more wisdom than some 50-year-olds. Why is that? Because some people don’t want to grow up. They don’t want to mature or take responsibility. They may be older in age, but they still act like a child and make poor decisions. They haven’t grown in wisdom. 

In 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT) the Bible talks about growing up and putting away childish things. If we want to grow up and mature, we have to make a decision to put away childish things—childish talk, childish thinking, and childish reasoning. We have to make a choice to grow in wisdom.   

Where do we get wisdom? From reading God’s Word. God is smarter than we are. He is the author of wisdom, so if we want to get wisdom, we need to make it a priority to read His Word. 

Take Away: 

Did you know that you have to go get wisdom? The Bible says, “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!” (Proverbs 4:7 NLT). But you have to do the “getting.” Make it a priority to get wisdom, and then teach your kids how to get wisdom. A great place to start learning about wisdom is by reading through the book of Proverbs. A good idea might be to take time to get together as a family and read a chapter a day.  

 

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My Life’s Not Working—How Do I Fix It?

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8 NLT).

 

If you buy a new car, or a new TV set, or a new appliance, it’s always a good thing to read the manufacturer’s instruction book. It’ll give you the list of parts included, directions on how to put it together, make it work, and keep it running efficiently. It’ll also have warnings to look out for on what not to do so that it doesn’t break down and quit working. So, instruction manuals are a pretty good thing to give some attention to. 

Well, God is the creator of life. And since He created it, He knows how it’s supposed to operate and work. He wrote the operating instructions down in a book called The Bible. In that instruction manual are directions on how to make our lives work and how to keep them running successfully. He also included warnings so we’d know what not to do, so that our lives wouldn’t break down and quit working. 

If we do things the way God said, which is the way He’s laid it out in His Word, then God says we’ll have success in all we do. That doesn’t mean opposition and challenges won’t come, but when they do, He’s given us the instructions in His Word on how to overcome them and live in victory. 

Take Away: 

Do you feel like some pieces to your life are missing, or aren’t working quite right, or maybe they’re completely broken down? Have you taken time to read the Manual? Take time to go to the Word of God and look up scriptures concerning the area you have a need in and find out what God says about it. Things work a whole lot better when we find out what God’s instructions say and operate our lives based on what He says rather than how we think they’re supposed to operate. If you want your life to operate successfully, you have to read God’s instruction manual. 

 

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