Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Larry, The Cucumber, Looks Overwhelmed

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warning Your Children

Let me take you to a passage in the Old Testament that will further define this heart-centered instruction. In Deuteronomy, chapter 6, you have a very important formula given here for the raising of children. Deuteronomy 6, is really a chapter instructing parents. Down in verse 7, it talks about teaching them diligently to your sons. This is all about family instruction, a very, very important chapter. It refers to instructing sons again several times later in the chapter. Now, as you bring them up and as you teach them and as you instruct them, what do you teach them?

Let’s start at the beginning, verse 4:

1. The first thing you teach them in this section, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one!" The first thing you teach them is to recognize the true God and that He is sovereign. To recognize God, the one God, the Lord who is one. That’s the first thing: teach them about God.

2. Secondly, verse 5, teach them to love God. "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might." That’s the second essential in bringing them up.

3. Thirdly, verse 6, teach them to obey God. "And these words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart and you shall teach them diligently to your sons." Teach them about God. Teach them to love God with all their heart and soul and might and teach them to obey God, all his commands.

4. Then fourthly, teach them to follow your example. Verse 7, "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up…" In other words, show your children that at all times in your life, all experiences in your life, on the tip of your tongue always, is the Word of the Living God. Let them see that your life is dominated by divine truth.

Let them see all of life as a classroom—every occasion in life, an opportunity to teach…every experience in life, an opportunity to point them to heaven. Everything that happens to them is a path back to Scripture. Jesus was the absolute Master at drawing spiritual reality from the world around him—from water, from fig trees, from mustard seeds, from birds, and bread, and grapes, and pearls, and wheat, and tares, and cups, and platters, and nets, and dinners, and vineyards, and foxes, and men, and women, and light, and dark…everything that happened in life opened up a window on divine reality. I must sensitize my children to see the hand of God and hear the voice of God and the "print" of God in every flower, every rock, every mountain, the sea, the sky, the babbling brook, the whispering trees, the cricket’s chirp, the roaring waterfall, the gentle slap of the surf, the fragrance of a flower, salt air, little babies, fresh hot berries, hot buttered baked bread, a puppy, a squirrel, grandma, and on it goes. Everything in life is a classroom to draw them back to God.

Also, it is essential in bringing them up, verses 8 and 9, that they be reminded repeatedly about these truths. Reminded about the true God, about loving God, and about obeying God, and about following your example. How do you do it? "Bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." All of that—simply ways to say keep the reminder going all the time, constantly, constantly, at all times. Have it, as it were, at the front of your mind. Have it right on your hands. Put it on the doorposts of your house and on your gates so that you are incessantly taking them back to the truth of God.

Then, one other lesson: teach them to be wary of the world around them. Verse ten, "Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—to give you great and splendid cities which you didn’t build and houses full of all good things which you didn’t fill and hewn cisterns which you didn’t dig…" In other words, they’re going to take over a very advanced civilization already in place, "…vineyards and olive trees which you didn’t plant and you shall eat and be satisfied. Then, watch yourself lest you forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt out of the house of slavery." Warn your children that when they get out in the world and they begin to see all that’s there and they begin to touch, and taste, and explore, and sense, and experience, that they not forget God. Teach them about the true God. Teach them to love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their might. Teach them to obey Him. Teach them to follow your example. Show them that life is a classroom no matter what the scene. Constantly remind them of those things which are precious to them and to you and teach them to be wary of the world.

It was said of Eli’s sons in I Samuel, this tragic statement, "His sons brought a curse on themselves and Eli did not rebuke them." If you read the sad, sad story of Eli’s family, you have the key right there. It wasn’t because of something he did to them, it was because of what he didn’t do. He did not warn them.

The Minnesota Crime Commission says this, "Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it—his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmates’ toys, his uncle’s watch. Deny him these wants and he seizes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous, were he not so helpless. He’s dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, and no developed skill. This means that all children are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free rein to their impulsive actions to satisfy each one, every child will grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, and a rapist." Not bad from the Minnesota Crime Commission. What they’re describing is what? Depravity.

Taken from:
A Crash Course in Christian Parenting
by John MacArthur
Copyright 1997

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Should "In God We Trust" Stay?

NBC is taking a poll on "In God We Trust" to stay on our American currency.

Please vote right away, before NBC takes this off the web page.

MSNBC poll is still open so you can vote.


Let your friends know!