Dad – Being There!
He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:6
Almost 20 million children in America grow up without a father – 75% of them in poverty. And it gets worse; these children are five times more likely to commit suicide, ten times more likely to take drugs and 20 times more likely to go to prison. Luther Burbank said, ‘If we paid as much attention to our plants as we do to our children, we’d be living in a jungle of weeds.’ Father, answer these three questions: 1) Are you giving your children things instead of yourself? By the time they’re 12, they’ll have learned 75% of all they’ll ever know. The question is who will their teachers be? Television? Some drug-addicted celebrity? Their peers? As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. 2) Are you giving your best to your career or to them? If you spend all your energy at work and leave none for your family, you’ll pay a high price. Remember, you get only one bite at the apple. Your children will grow up either to resent you, repeat your mistakes or rejoice in the memory of a home where love was spelled T.I.M.E. 3) Are you setting a spiritual tone for your family? Or does your wife run circles around you in this area? Thank God for mothers who ‘stand in the gap’, but the Bible holds fathers responsible for the spiritual training of their children. Listen: ‘Fathers…bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4). Ten or twenty years from now, what are you going to wish you’d done today? Start doing it!
Heavenly Father, help me to be the best parent I can be by spending time with the children You have entrusted to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Cool Thoughts for Hotheads – Part 3
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19
Here’s how to control your anger: 1) think before you react. Our reactions are often based more on feelings than facts. Someone says or does something and we suddenly feel angry and assume they ‘made’ us feel that way. No, you made yourself angry by telling yourself, ‘Who do they think they are?’ ‘I don’t have to take that.’ ‘I’ll show them who’s in charge!’ Your self-talk triggered your anger. ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.’ To break anger’s negative cycle, practice saying to yourself, ‘Stop!’ Then don’t react until you ask the person to clarify their words or actions. Say, ‘I want to understand. Please explain what you meant by…’ By stopping and listening to understand, you interrupt your anger build-up and gain self-control. 2) don’t ‘speak your mind’ when you’re angry. An old Irish poem says, ‘We’re constantly hearing O’Flannagan say,”I gave him a piece of my mind.” And it isn’t surprising with so much gone, that so little remains behind!’ The Bible says, ‘…The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do’ (James 3:5). You won’t find a receptive audience when you’re enraged; people will just resist or discount your accusations and get angry in response. ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger’ (Proverbs 15:1). Take a breather and try a gentle response when you’re calm. 3) avoid angry people. Like a bad virus, they infect you, especially if you have a problem with anger. ‘Don’t spend time with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious—don’t get infected’ (Proverbs 22:24-25).
Heavenly Father, help me to listen more, relax more, and understand others more before reacting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Cool Thoughts for Hotheads – Part 3 – March 27, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Cool Thoughts for Hotheads – Part 2
And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:9
A hot temper: 1) drives a wedge between you and your loved ones. Esau resented his brother Jacob so much that he wanted him dead. When his mother Rebekah heard this, she sent Jacob away to live in Haran (Genesis 27:41-43). As a result, the family was separated and they suffered. Angry people intimidate others and rob them of their sense of security and peace of mind. Psychologists say anger is a leading cause of divorce, child abuse and addiction. What a terrible price to pay! 2) undermines a life that pleases God. ‘Understand this…(be) slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires’ (James 1:19-20).Your anger isn’t just ‘your own business’, it’s God’s business, too, because it hinders your ability to live the life He intended. You can’t be right with God until you are right with others. 3) blinds you to reality. Looking through the lens of misguided anger, you see only what you choose to see. It causes you to focus on options like revenge and retribution. Saul saw David as a threat, someone who planned to take his kingdom and throne. So he ‘looked at David with suspicion from that day on.’ His anger made him see David as someone who deserved to die because he was God’s choice to succeed him as Israel’s next king. Sadly, it also kept him from seeing that David was actually his best friend. Don’t let that happen to you.
Heavenly Father, help me to control my anger so that I can objectively view things that I cannot see when angry. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Cool Thoughts for Hotheads – Part 2 – March 26, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Cool Thoughts for Hotheads – Part 1
An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. Proverbs 29:22
Righteous indignation is the capacity to get aroused when it matters. When you see people mistreated and don’t feel concerned, you’re either in denial or lacking compassion. God designed anger to move us to action. The Bible says, ‘…God is angry with the wicked every day’ (Psalms 7:11); it motivates His actions against man’s wickedness. When Jesus saw His Father’s house being desecrated His anger drove Him to make a whip, overthrow the money tables and chase out the loan sharks. His ‘…Passion for God’s house [consumed Him]’ (John 2:17). He couldn’t remain passive or compromise. The world needs people who’ll take action when the weak and vulnerable are ‘used and abused’. Hot temper, however, isn’t the fruit of godly motivation. It’s driven by our lower nature. Like Balaam who got angry when he was challenged by the truth, our pride gets hurt (Numbers 22:29). Or like Cain, who was jealous because his brother’s gift was accepted and his wasn’t, we get resentful when someone else seems blessed more than us (Genesis 4:3-7). Like Haman, who was enraged that Mordecai wouldn’t bow before him, we selfishly desire to have our way (Esther 3:1-6). Like King Saul, who was envious over David’s popularity, we get jealous when someone else has accomplished more than us (1 Samuel 18:8). Like King Ahab, who was confronted with the truth he’d rather not hear, we refuse to face our sinful ways and failures (1 Kings 22:15-27). The Bible cautions us: ‘If you are angry, be sure it is not a sinful anger…don’t give the devil that sort of foothold’ (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Heavenly Father, help me control my anger to only things that are “Righteous Indignations”. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Cool Thoughts for Hotheads – Part 1 – March 25, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Serving Requires Faithfulness
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. John 5:30
In His dealings with people, the Bible says of Christ: ‘Having loved His own…He loved them unto the end’ (John 13:1). And when it came to His dealings with God, He could say, ‘I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me’ (John 5:30). Can God count on you? Can others? When you make a commitment, do you keep it? Do you quit on a whim, or break your word because you get a better offer? ‘…There was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Behold, I am here, Lord”’ (Acts 9:10). God knew where to find Ananias. Does He know where to find you? A Pastor shared this story. He was preaching one Sunday when an elderly woman, Mary, fainted and struck her head on the end of the pew. They called for an ambulance and as they put her on the stretcher she regained consciousness and motioned for her daughter to come near. Everyone thought she was summoning her strength to convey what would be her final words. Her daughter leaned over until her ear was at Mary’s mouth. ‘My offering is in my purse,’ she whispered. God’s work shouldn’t go lacking because you’ve gone on holiday and taken your tithes and offerings with you. ‘Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce’ (Proverbs 3:9). Your faithfulness shouldn’t be contingent upon economic conditions, but upon your commitment to Christ. Remember the US Marine Corps motto, ‘Semper Fidelis’, the Latin for ‘Always Faithful’.
Heavenly Father, help me to be faithful in my service to You and others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen