What would Jesus do?

Do you remember this question from a few years ago? “What would Jesus do?” “(WWJD?)” I have found myself coming back to this question several times, recently. The question isn’t in the Bible, as far as I know, but as Christian parents/grandparents we are to be “Christ like.” Meaning, we are to act in the same manner as Jesus would.

This needs to drive everything we do, especially when it comes to our kids and grandkids. They need to see us as Christ does. What does Christ see? We need to be about our Father’s business. Nothing more, nothing less. We need to remember who Jesus is,  and what He sacrificed for us. WWJD?

I Corinthians 13:1-7, 13 –  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. And If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3. If I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5. or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6. it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

13. So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Do you know the ways to bring Jesus home?

Over the past seven months or so, I have been posting about things that parents might want to make a priority, when raising Christian kids. Last week I went over all the posts I have written so far, collected and prioritized these, in order to have one “document” that lists what I think God has given me as important things that help families incorporate Jesus into their everyday lives.

I am going to make this a downloadable document, so it can be printed out and won’t look like a blog post, but it doesn’t exist yet. I’ll let you know when it is available.

I have sub-divided this list into things to can do for yourself, and things to do with your family.

With your family…

A. Make sure your kids are Christian.

  1. I know this seems silly, but many kids believe that people are born into whatever religion their parents are.
  2. Help your kids realize that being a Christian means having a relationship with Jesus, and that it is much more than just a “religion”.
  3. If your child is not sure, or you are not sure they have accepting Jesus into their heart as their Savior, share the gospel with them, and ask them if they want to ask Jesus into their heart.

B. Trust your kids into God’s hands.

  1. Let Him control what you do and say to them about Him.
  2. Believe that God will have a hand in how you raise them, if you want Him to.

C. Pray, pray, pray!

  1. Discuss with your kids on when during the day you should pray, both as a family, and individually.
  2. Share with them the things you are praying about (unless it shouldn’t be shared, of course).
  3. Create a prayer journal, and review it to show your kids how Jesus has answered their prayers.
    1. (Remember, “wait” and “no” are also answers to prayer!)
  4. Encourage your kids to pray for the Holy Spirit to take away their desire to get mad, or get even with other kids, and also, to take away temptations to gossip, and complain.
  5. Have your kids hold you accountable to pray everyday, as you hold them accountable as well.

 

How many ways are there to get to Heaven?

Do all roads lead to Heaven? In today’s world, with political correctness being the norm, it is said that as long as you are spiritual, or have some sort of faith, you are fine. Does that mean Jesus was wrong? Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (goes to Heaven), except through Me.

Our kids get the politically correct information about being a good person all the time. Just ask their teachers. And a lot of their parents. If Jesus said He was the only way to Heaven, was He lying? Was He just another crazy cult leader? Or was He telling the truth? Ask your kids what they believe.

Jesus said, Unless you are born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.  Was He being a hater, racist, separatist, isolationist, or politically incorrect? Or was He right?

In our world today, many, many kids are growing up with little to no beliefs about Heaven. Most kids don’t go to church regularly. Their parents also have no particular beliefs about Heaven, or think it’s an issue they will deal with “when the time comes.” I believe that this is one very big reason kids go into their schools and shoot their peers. A child with no faith can be a child with no hope.

It is time that as a Christian parent, we make certain that our kids are firm in their beliefs, and can share that faith. Satan is on the prowl, and in today’s world our Christian kids are prone to do the same hateful things that non-Christian kids do, in terms of gossiping, backbiting against their peers, and living as though they didn’t know anything about Christ.

Christian kids should have a faith that is unshakable, because Jesus died and rose again to make it so. Do your kids have an unshakable faith? Do YOU? According to the web article: “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity”, most Christian kids (63%) don’t believe Jesus is the son of the one true God.  http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/

Please don’t leave your kids’ faith to chance. Don’t expect them to figure it out for themselves, because they won’t.

John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 3:3, Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

God did WHAT?

Unless they are in church or a Christian atmosphere, many Christians don’t know how to respond when they hear someone start talking about how God is working intimately in their life. I know, because I was one of those who felt awkward when a Christian would share an experience they had with Christ, in a secular atmosphere. Especially if we were in a group of people who were not Christians.

However, unless you decide to make Christ an intimate part of your everyday life, you are just living on the fringes of Christianity. And you and your family really are missing a lot of God’s blessings. What IS God doing in your everyday life? If you are tempted to say “nothing,” something is wrong with your relationship to Him.

Jesus loves us like crazy, and He really does want to “bless our socks off.” Don’t be afraid to tell people what God is doing in your life. Tell your kids/grandkids especially. They don’t just need to hear that God is real, they need to see Him working in your life.

Start a prayer journal with your kids, and record how God answers those prayers. It will amaze your kids, and probably you, as well.

TIME SPENT WITH CHRIST, IS TIME WELL SPENT.

Acts 1:8, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Mark 16:15, And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

I Peter 3:15, But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

Pay attention!

Do you ever remind your kids to pay attention to you? If you haven’t, you are in an amazingly small group! Yet one of the things most Christians are good at, is forgetting to pay attention to what God is doing; in, through, and around us.

I would like to suggest that we re-energize our desire to see Christ at work. When we are truly paying attention, we can see what He has done to us and for us, as well as for the people and situations we are praying for.

In the picture here, we can’t see who made the footprint, but we know it was made by someone. Look around to see the evidence that Jesus leaves when He works in your life, and the lives around you.

This is not only a wonderful way for us to stay close to Jesus, but a wonderful way for our kids to witness Christ at work. God either causes or allows all things to happen. When we realize and accept this fact, there’s no room for “luck,” or “coincidence.” Everything happens for a reason, and when we watch for evidence that He is at work, it can be truly amazing what He does for and around us.

Just pay attention!

Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Philippians 1:6, …being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

How is the family devotion time going?

One thing God has made clear to me over the past months of this blog is that I am good at being able to tell others what to do, but don’t necessarily apply the advise to myself. In other words, I need to do more to bring Jesus home when I am with my grandkids (which is almost everyday). The Holy Spirit  has been nudging me to start doing devotions with my grandbabies, and I thought I’d look for online devotions to see what was “out there.”

I found one I am going to use that includes a lot of resources to help parents/grandparents. The website is: www.truthforkids.com. Go to “kids devotions online”. The devotions are aimed at kids 8-12, but there is a link for preschool devotions as well.

The site has information on how to get kids into reading the Bible, tackling difficult subjects, a template for kids to journal their reading, ideas for crafts, activities and more, and most of it is available for FREE.

I know this sounds like an advertisement for this website, but I haven’t even contacted the author, so it really isn’t. I just thought this could be a very good place for parents to start on the journey to doing devotions with their kids.  I will let you know how it goes with my grandbabies (the oldest “baby” is 12, but I still call them grandbabies). Right now I am praying for a time to do devotions when the kids will be the most interested, and the least distracted by other things they are already doing (like electronics).

James 1:5, But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (NIV)

Psalm 32:8, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go, I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (ESV)

What kind of Father is God?

Today, families come in all types. As a teacher, I have “seen it all,” I suppose. One of the really sad things about families these days, is their non-permanent nature. When someone in the family is tired of dealing with the problems and issues all families have, they leave – leaving a gaping hole that the kids are supposed to just accept and adapt to.

This is not what God intended for His children, and teaching kids about God as our Father is important when raising kids and “bringing Jesus home.”

God describes Himself over and over again as “Father,” or “our Father.” He also calls us, “His children.”  In Isaiah 64:8 Scripture says: “But now, O Lord, you are our Father,”; Jeremiah 3:19 states, “You shall call Me, My Father, and not turn away from following Me.” And just one more here: Luke 11:13 states, “If you then, being evil, [sinful] know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give… to those who ask Him?” (Look for more verse references at the bottom).

God states in His word that He will never leave us. He will not use our sins and weaknesses against us, as a reason to leave us. He will not separate Himself from us for any reason. Satan has a nasty way of making us feel like we don’t deserve His love, and we often don’t pray about our sin and problems, when the first thing we should do, and God wants us to do, is talk to Him.

God is LOVE. He loves us purely and completely. Through Jesus, we are His “kids,” no matter how old we are. Our kids, and we as well, need to know we have a Savior we can trust completely. One who loves us and wants the best for us. One who will stand by us no matter what happens in our earthly family. Because He is our Father, and we are His children.

John 20:17; Romans 15:6; Matthew 6:9; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 3:26;  1John 2:13; John 1:12-13; Romans 8:14

Have your kids read the story?

I think the Christmas story is one of the most beautiful in the Bible. Have you and your kids actually read it together out of the Bible?

How about reading it together on Christmas Eve? If your kids are very young, you and/or your spouse can read it to them. If they are older, divide up the verses, have your kids practice reading it out loud before you read it as a family, then make time before bed to read it together. Anyway you do it, you are refocusing everyone back to the real meaning of Christmas.

Luke 2:4-14 (NIV)

4 Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Also: Look at Matthew 1: 18-25; Luke 1: 26-38; Luke 2: 1-7, 8-14, 15-20; Matthew 2: 1-12; Luke 2: 21-33

God Bless you and your family, and have a wonderful Christmas.    Jan

Who IS Jesus, anyway?

Most kids, at several points in their lives, want to talk about God and Jesus.  They readily ask questions such as “Who is He?” and “Where does He live?” As they get older they may get into the tougher questions, such as “My friends don’t believe in Jesus, why should I?”

I think the best way to answer this question is by letting kids know who Jesus said He was. Obviously, this blog is only going to have a very short answer for a complex question, but it is a start. For a fabulous “shorter,” easy to read, but more complete answer, go to www.scriptureinsights.com/WhoDidJesusSay.html.

Ok, here goes.   Jesus called Himself: “Son of Man” (Matt. 16:13), and “Son of God” (John 5:25, 10:36, 11:4, 17:1).

Twice the voice of God spoke audibly to people that, “This is My Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased,” (Matt. 3:17, 17:5).

Jesus claimed equality with God: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30); “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father,” and “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14: 9-11).

He clearly claimed to be the Messiah (deliverer, or Savior) in John 4:26 when speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well, and when asked by John the Baptist’s disciples, “Are you who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matt. 11: 3-4)

Jesus also:

  1. Claimed all authority (Matt. 28:18, Luke 10:22, John 16:15, and more),
  2. Claimed to be the source of salvation and eternal life (John 3: 15-16, 18; 4:13-14; 5:21, 40; 6:27, 40, 54; 10:28)
  3. Declared He was the only way to Heaven (John 14:6)
  4. Lives in every believer (John 15:4-5)
  5. Is with us always (Matt. 28:20; John 15:4-5)
  6. Has always existed (John 1:1-2; John 17:5)

We are going through a battle with Satan over our kids/grandkids. It is good to be “armed and dangerous” (this is what I call it when I have all my tools ready).

One more thing…pray, pray, pray over what you will say when the time comes. Don’t give kids more than they can understand, but give them as much as you think they are ready for, and DON’T force the issue. Then your kids will come back for more when they have another question.

PROVERBS 3:5-6,  “TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING; IN ALL YOUR WAYS SUBMIT TO HIM, AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.”