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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Real Christianity

"True virtue never appears so lovely, as when it is most oppressed: and the divine excellency of real Christianity is never exhibited with such advantage, as when under the greatest trials. Then it is that true faith appears much more precious than gold; and upon this account, is found to praise, honour, and glory."
-Jonathan Edwards, in Religious Affections

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Vice of Self-Reliance

"Good morning, Toby!" I greeted him as he sleepily looked up at me from his bottom bunk.

"Before you get dressed, I want to pray with you about your day."

Toby's in the throes--as we all should be--of learning humble obedience. Knowing that today was likely to bring some challenges, I wanted to help him get started by praying, "Give us today our daily bread," asking that Jesus would give him the strength to be obedient.

Toby considered my prayer announcement. Then he quietly said, "I think I can manage without it."

"What?" I thought I heard him correctly, but wasn't sure.

"I think I can manage to do it without prayer."

His candor surprised me. I gently told him that he was quite wrong and that Jesus tells us in His Word that "apart from [Him we] can do nothing." (John 15:5)

I often have the same attitude, but I'm savvy enough to know I shouldn't ever voice such a sentiment. But don't I live like it is true?

Not only do we commonly tackle the challenges--large and small--of our day without prayer, we try to follow Jesus without reading His Word to us, the Bible. May God keep me faithfully near Him in prayer and in the Scriptures, that I might be a living example to my children.

I gathered Toby up into a hug and we prayed together for Jesus to enable him to respond in obedience. God is faithful and Toby saw His power at work in his life.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Attitude Check

There surely comes a point in every mother's experience in which she realizes, "I cannot control my child." Whether it is the mortifying tantrum at Wal-Mart, the ill-mannered snickering during church, or rebellion over wardrobe choices, there will be a day in which the truth settles heavily on one's soul: I cannot make this child do the right thing.

Tantrums and manners are one thing; eternal salvation is another. It is a sobering thing to realize that the precious bundle of life that you tenderly suckled, the baby that depended upon you for everything, cannot be saved by you.

It is very easy as a mom to slip into the error of thinking that saving or fixing my child (or spouse, or whoever around me seems to need fixing) depends upon me. This blog post from Desiring God, written by Tim Chester, gave me an attitude check this morning:

People trying to be their own saviour often live morally good lives. They’re good husbands, wives, and parents because they want to rescue their family. Or they’re involved in good causes, e.g. raising money for the poor, campaigning for justice, or addressing environmental issues.

These are commendable things. Replacing Jesus as Saviour often looks like a good life. People in your church are doing this and you think they’re doing great.

But its fruit will eventually become apparent: pride, frustration, stress, anxiety, or manipulation. Consider a parent trying to fix their child thinking it all depends on them. They may be manipulative or domineering as they attempt to control and protect their child. Or they may be bitter about their child’s behaviour or weighed down with stress.

The people who are rejecting Jesus as Lord will usually be easy to spot. But be on the lookout for people who are rejecting Jesus as Saviour.

Read the whole thing.

What to do? Chester writes,
People who are rejecting Jesus as Saviour must do … nothing. Instead, stop. Listen: “It is finished.” There is nothing left to do. You have a heavenly Father who loves and cares for you.
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