Category Archives: Parenting

How Are We To Behave?

The entire Bible is a guide for us to help us lead our lives in proper relationship with our heavenly Father. In his letter to Titus, Paul takes time to instruct on the way in which older and younger men and women should behave. This is not a comprehensive list of everything we should do, but it is a good checklist at least on some of our attitudes and behaviors toward YHWH and toward one another.

Titus 2

Duties of the Older and Younger

     1But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

      3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

      6Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

      9Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

      11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

      15These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Celebrating Good Fathers

It is a good thing to celebrate good fathers and to take some time to thank them for their role in the family, just as we do also with mothers. The Lord created the family unit with intent and wisdom… with intelligent design. Each family is intended to have one man and one woman… and of course the children. Not all people get married and not all married people have children… and this is not intended to ignore or discount them. But for father’s day we are taking a day to focus on exactly that… fathers.

Good fathers should pursue after Christ and be spiritual leaders in their family. They should put YHWH first, their wife next and then the children in their priority list and then actually live their lives according to that standard. YHWH has said much about what it means to be a good father. It need not be a mystery.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Luke 11:11-12 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?

Joshua 24:14-15 “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Perhaps some scripture does not explicitly call out “fathers”, but as in Joshua 24:14-15… he demonstrates the role of a good father as a strong leader for his family committed to serving YHWH even if others refuse to do so. Psalm 127:3-5 shows a good father feels blessed to have received the gift of children.

There are many more such scriptures. I encourage you to do an internet search for “Bible scriptures about good fathers” and invest time to dive deeper.

Good fathers are not perfect… there is only one perfect Father.  So on behalf of all those fathers out there who are trying to lead their families and protect and provide for their families… we appreciate your grace and forgiveness when we get it wrong and we welcome your prayers and encouragement on our behalf so we may become better and better at what YHWH has called us to be… fathers.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Let Us Celebrate, Honor, and Love Mothers

We should celebrate, honor, and love mothers all year round.  Honoring mothers should be more than a once a year “Thank you, Mom. Here is a gift I bought.” Let’s reflect on some of what the Bible says about the role of wives and mothers.

Deuteronomy 5:16

16‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Not everyone who gives birth is a good and selfless mother, but many mothers sacrifice daily to take care of their household. They work hard. They are compassionate and loving. Good mothers are seldom idle.

Proverbs 31:13-31

13She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.

14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.

15She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.

16She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.

18She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.

19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.

20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.

26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:

29“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”

30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

31Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Good mothers help to teach and guide their children in righteousness.

Proverbs 6:20-22

20My son, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;

21Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.

22When you walk about, they will guide you;
When you sleep, they will watch over you;
And when you awake, they will talk to you.

Children should live in righteousness and bring joy and gladness to their mother. This is a greater gift than can be put in a box with a bow to be given one day a year.

Proverbs 23:22-25

22Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.

25Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

Good mothers exemplify Biblical love, especially for their families. Their children should demonstrate this kind of love to them (daily) as well.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

   4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Remember to celebrate, honor, and love mothers all year round. There is no gift that can be purchased once a year that will bring more joy to them than loving and honoring them year round in a biblical manner. As children, let us seek to live in righteousness and lovingkindness, which will bring joy to good mothers and to YHWH.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Leadership Qualifications for the Church

Paul provides some timeless guidance on how carefully we should choose leaders within our church body. They high standards and appropriately so. Someone not only needs to meet these standards to lead in the church but also to remain in leadership within the church. If they fall, even if they repent, one must still consider very carefully if they are “beyond reproach” and if it is appropriate for them to retake a leadership position again. The emphasis is really about helping those they lead to grow closer to YHWH and it is not about maintaining the career interest of the leader.

1 Timothy 3

Overseers and Deacons

     1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

      8Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

      14I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

16By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:
He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.

I think this is an valuable standard to consider for all of us who wish to lead lives pleasing to YHWH, whether or not we take a formal position in the church. Prayerfully reflect and ask the Spirit to show you, without bias and defensiveness, how you and your household stack up to this standard. Ask him help to lead you in change as needed or continued growth in these areas. Pray for one another in this regard, that we would grow toward this standard.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What is Love?

What is love? This is a very old question with many answers. Context is important. We may “love pizza”, but that is different than when we say we “love our spouse”. Today, the world even steals the word “love” as a replacement for “sex”, which is completely incorrect. These are certainly not the same meaning. Greek, the language in which the New Testament was largely written, had multiple different words for different types of love. In English, we have one word and we must therefore pay close attention to context.

Many put a lot of time and focus into the highly marketed cultural holiday of Valentines Day. Candy makers will tell you that you must buy chocolates to show you love your spouse. Greeting card makers insist you must “care to send the very best” and thus spend $5 or more on a card, and send one to everyone you know. Flowers are a must, right? But now they even sell gold dipped flowers. Wow. Of course, not to be outdone, Jewelers insist that you are a buffoon if you don’t buy diamonds for that special someone in your life. We do well to remember that this is marketing intended to sell things and get our money. This is not how God tells us to show love to one another.

God calls us to show love to one another daily, not once a year, or on a few annual special occasions!

1 Corinthians 13

The Excellence of Love

      1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

      4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

If you want to give a gift, and it is wisely within your budget to do so, go ahead. But don’t do so because you “have to” or are “expected to”. These gifts mean little and will ultimately have a very limited impact if you do not show love the way God tells us to. Often times just giving gifts on designated marketing holidays comes to be expected and not appreciated as much. If you choose to give an expensive gift, don’t do it because it is Valentines Day, do so because you want to give a gift and can wisely afford it within your budget. Consider intentionally giving it at some other time besides the widely marketed holidays for an even greater impact.

Warning… if you come to make changes in how you celebrate these marketing holidays, discuss it openly with your spouse ahead of time! Don’t surprise someone by not giving them something they already expect from years of habit.

When you are ready to truly grow in maturity, turn towards God’s definition of love and begin showing it today to those you love. No warning necessary. They will greatly appreciate how you treat them. However, you may consider sharing the scripture with your spouse and helping one another as you both make the effort to shift focus from the world’s definition of love to God’s.

You can also ask yourself, if I am celebrating love, would it not be right to celebrate loving God as well as loving one another? And to come in thanksgiving to Him for all the love He has shown, shows, and will show us? If we are to focus on love in the Biblical sense, Valentines Day just does not match up very well at all. If you explore the origins of this celebration you will find that once again the Catholic church embraced this festival, but it was based first on a pagan celebration. As followers of Christ, we are better off separating from these pagan festivals and loving one another His way instead of man’s way.

World Religion News: Pagan origin of Valentines day

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

YHWH Is A Loving Father

My loving wife gave me a card this morning. I opened it just after praying for my wife and children and for our nation and Christian brothers and sisters around the world. There were two scriptures, one from Psalms and one from Proverbs that really struck me as if from the Holy Spirit Himself. They were in part a direct confirmation of some of the things I pray for daily. Guidance and obedience for me in leading my family under God’s authority and for my children that they would know the Lord and know Him joyfully.

Proverbs 14:26

    26In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And his children will have refuge.

All of us who are parents and love the Lord want our children to have refuge in Him, to have relationship with Him. Our first step in this direction is to fear the Lord ourselves. This does not mean to fear Him as a scary and mean person, but rather as one might fear a father whom we know will discipline those He loves when they do wrong. Yet at the same time, He will give us and our family refuge.

Psalm 37:23-24

      23The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.

      24When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

No matter how much we may think we are in control of our own steps, for those of us who submit to YHWH, our loving Father, He establishes our steps and delights in us. When we make mistakes, we have a loving Father holding our hand so we do not fall headlong but rather He helps us recover from our stumble.

What a beautiful picture of our loving Father and example of the type of Father He wants us to be to our children.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

God’s Instruction On Family Relations Is Actually Clear

Our culture is so far off from YHWH’s design that even people who claim to follow Christ, often want to pick and choose which scripture “they agree with” and which they don’t. This is not the way. Seeking to understand scripture through study and prayer when it may not make sense to us…that is good. Recognize, though, that in these circumstances it may be you and I that need to change and not the instruction of YHWH.

As an example, many women really struggle at the concept of “wives be subject to your husbands” and want to find a way around submitting to the leadership of their husband, but then want the husband to “love your wife” and children to “be obedient to your parents”. Perhaps some men want to have wives submit, but not really love their wives the way YHWH calls them to.

Colossians 3:18-25

Family Relations

       18Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

      22Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

The point is simply that we should accept all of scripture. YHWH’s design for family is wonderful. Keep in mind that the framework around this family model includes the beginning of chapter 3 as well, in which we are to each become new in Christ. This foundational to making the family model work as YHWH intends. We become more like Him and less selfish.

Do not seek to redefine YHWH’s word by trying to find “loopholes” for how we are to behave. Instead seek to transform yourself in Christ and study the word to understand it more clearly. Submit to Christ and obey His instruction, even if you don’t agree. Pray and seek discernment to increase in understanding of the scriptures.

The path to change your life to be more like YHWH desires is not always easy, but obedience is good and a primary way we truly show love for Him. (There are many scriptures where YHWH equates loving Him to obeying His commands. You can search for them if you like with a search engine.)

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

When The Righteous Increase, The People Rejoice

Let us pray for an increase of righteous, godly people in our churches, communities, states, nation, and across the world. Let us seek righteousness in God’s word and through relationship with Him. Do not pursue the deceptions of worldly teaching on what is righteous and what is wicked for Satan revels in deception as those that claim God all the while rebel against His ways.

Proverbs 29

Warnings and Instructions

       1A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

      2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

      3A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.

      4The king gives stability to the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

      5A man who flatters his neighbor
Is spreading a net for his steps.

      6By transgression an evil man is ensnared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

      7The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,
The wicked does not understand such concern.

      8Scorners set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away anger.

      9When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man,
The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

      10Men of bloodshed hate the blameless,
But the upright are concerned for his life.

      11A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.

      12If a ruler pays attention to falsehood,
All his ministers become wicked.

      13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

      14If a king judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

      15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

      16When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

      17Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.

      18Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.

      19A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

      20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

      21He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will in the end find him to be a son.

      22An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

      23A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

      24He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the oath but tells nothing.

      25The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

      26Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.

      27An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

For those of you who read our article yesterday, the introduction to this companion article will be redundant, but we pivot to focus on the last 6 commandments in this article where we focused on the first 4 yesterday. (You Shall Love The Lord Your God With All Your Heart)

The ten commandments do not represent the sum total of God’s law or instruction for His people. However. He saw fit to focus on these 10 as He addressed the people. Much more detail was shared with the people through Moses and is available for us to study and learn in scripture. The point is, that learning and obeying these 10 commandments is not sufficient but it is a good place to start.

Some immediately want to say that this is out of date, “Didn’t Jesus say to love God and love others was all we need to do?”

Matthew 22:34-40

     34But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Context is important. This is not a new commandment replacing the others. Jesus lived obeying the law of Moses and quoting from it in His teaching. He explicitly said He did not come to change the law.

Matthew 5:17-19

      17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

What Jesus is essentially saying is that He can summarize God’s instruction down to loving God and loving one another. However, we don’t get to define what that means on our terms. All too often people today define that as accepting sin and encouraging people that they do not have to repent of sin to be in right relationship with God. God already defined what it means to love God and love one another. As a starting point, we can use the 10 commandments. The first four are about our relationship with God and the next 6 are about our relationship with each other. This is not an all inclusive list, but it is a good place to start and to a health check on our relationship with God and others. We focus today on our relationship with others.

Deuteronomy 5:16-21 (the last six commandments)

    16‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

      17‘You shall not murder.

      18‘You shall not commit adultery.

      19‘You shall not steal.

      20‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

      21‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’

Let us first observe that loving God comes first, before loving others. This is true in the order in which the commandments were given by God and also the order in which Jesus spoke about them… love God and love one another… the order is important.

Honor your father and your mother. God has commanded us to honor our parents. In particular this is important for children when they are in the care of their parents before they grow in wisdom and relationship with the Lord. Their parents are there to protect and provide for and guide them. Even as adults we should honor father and mother. Children do not need to agree with parents in order to honor them.

You shall not murder. Too often this is mistranslated as “do not kill”. There is a difference between killing (e.g. in self defense) and murder. God’s people were often called to defend their nation in battle or to take the promised land at God’s command. God Himself provided a legal system in which some offenses are punishable by death. These are not the same as murder even though people die. On the other hand, abortion is the taking of an innocent life… it is murder. This will be tough for many to accept and internalize. However, keep in mind that Christ has died for our sins and so we can be forgiven.

You shall not commit adultery. Sadly, this should be obvious to anyone who loves their spouse, but our culture seems to be less and less concerned with calling out this sin. It is almost accepted as not ideal or flattering, but commonplace. It really should be considered a terrible offense and not lessened in significance just because so many fail in this area. It rips apart marriage, which is intended as a very close, personal bond between a man and a woman for life. It rips apart and damages families and children. It is very destructive on our society and culture.

You shall not steal. We do not love others by taking what is theirs. That is extremely selfish and hurtful.

Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Do not lie to get someone else in trouble. Speak the truth and treat people honestly and with integrity.

You shall not covet. Coveting is an everyday part of our lives. For America, and much of the world, it is the new favorite national pastime. Marketing constantly tries to make us covet what others have so we go buy it. People go deep into debt buying things they don’t need and can’t afford (e.g. houses, cars, clothes, phones, anything and everything) because they covet. People hate others and resent others because they covet. Do not let this sin sneak into your life because it is so accepted in our culture. Look for it and ask for God’s help for you to be content rather than coveting.

Think you are scoring well? Let’s take a look at how Jesus told us to judge against these commandments.

Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28

      21“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

      27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus shows us how high God’s standards are. We don’t get to redefine them so they are easy just because we fail. They are the righteous standard and good reference point to measure our progress in becoming more like Christ and less like the world. It should be clear by now that we all truly need the grace of Christ’s offer of forgiveness through grace by faith based on His death on the cross for us. None of us can meet God’s holy standard.

Consider this a health check on your relationship with God and others. Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do you love others as yourself? Most of us would admit we have further to go to live up to this standard… and we need God’s help to get there. Ask for Him to help you love Him more. Then look to understand more about how to demonstrate love for God through your decisions and attitudes of submission and obedience to Him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Make Learning About God Fun!

Check out the Kid Zone section in Resources on our website, www.HearingFromJesus.org. Click the specific links below to dive right into the Kid Zone.

Kid Zone

Proverbs 22:6

6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

The world continuously bombards our children with messages that are not consistent with a Christian world view – whether online websites, apps, videos or music. However there are some very creative Christians that have put their talents to work honoring God by creating wonderful material that is consistent with what we hear from Jesus. You and your kids can honor God and have fun doing it!

What your children are exposed to does matter. Don’t settle for programming and entertainment that mocks or ignores our Lord. Instead seek out material which trains up our children in the way they should go. Please take some time to explore the resource links we have included here and share with those you think may benefit from it.

Do you have recommendations that honor God? Please share your input through our Contact Us page.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.