Thursday, October 10, 2013

When Do You Need God?

The other day my family and I were sitting at the table discussing an activity from their Bible Study in Sunday School the previous Sunday to help us as a family know how to assimilate what they learned and put it into practice in their (and our) daily lives.  The activity said:  "Remind kids that God is with His people today.  Invite everyone to think of a time they need to remember that God is with them."  So we did.  I asked all four of my children, my wife and myself to think of a time that they needed to remember that God is with them.  Here's the six answers we came up with:

1.  When facing a temptation to sin.
2.  When facing a difficult or scarey situation.
3.  When taking a test, exam, or doing a project of some kind.
4.  When hurt or sick.
5.  When I have to make important decisions about ministry or family or personal matters.
6.  When afraid, anxious, or nervous about something.

Pretty good list, huh?  Can you identify with some or all of these scenrios of needing to remember God's presence?  So what would make your list?  When is a time that you need to remember that God is with you?  The cool truth is that no matter what the situation or scenario in your life, you need God; and He is always with you.  Whatever is important to you is important to Him.  He loves you.  And if you belong to Him (that is, if you're a part of God's family through a personal relationship with Jesus), you can be sure that God is concerned about the things that concern you.  And to go a step further, He's not only concerned about what is going on in your life; but He's always actively working to bring about His best and for your good in every situation.
When do you need God?  Always.  When do you need to remember that He is with you?  In every situation.  With every emotion.  In family matters.  Monetary issues.  Life and death concerns.  Parenting challenges.  School trouble.  Work.  Yes, in every situation, He knows about it, He loves you, and He's working to bring about His glory and your good.  His Word says it best in Hebrews 13:5b, "...He Himself (God) has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'"  What a great promise.  But don't just believe it.  Access its truth in your life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!  You are not alone.   

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Importance of Encouraging Your Children Part 2

Honestly, it's easier for me to critique my children than to show them encouragement.  It's easier for me to question one B on a report card than to praise the six A's.  It is at times easier for me to look at the one mistake than the numerous successes.  The admonition of Scripture in Colossians 3:21 is convicting:  "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."  

Barnabas.  His name means Son of Encouragement.  He was an encourager.  You can be one, too.  In Part 2 of Dr. David Jeremiah's message, he teaches about four simple acts that children need that will encourage them.  This message is adapted from his book, "Acts of Love."