Man In the Mirror – Father’s Day

Raising the perfect child is a myth.
The goal of Christian parenting is to raise Christ-followers.

Bruce Wilkinson has written that the journey of generational faith can look like this:
First generation Christian experiences faith (the best).
To the second generation, faith is an inheritance (a good thing).
To the third generation, faith is a convenience (a dangerous place).
And to the fourth generation, faith becomes a nuisance (disastrous).


Parents have great power

Luke 12:48

Proverbs 22:6


Parents have the great responsibility to lead

Parents are not just under the same roof as their kids. They are the leaders in the home, as ordained by God.

Parents do not lead children by consensus. Parents are the leaders. Walk in front of your children. Show them “the way” and a big part of “the way” is to be present in the community of other believers, your local church.

Dick Hardy

Parents have the constant responsibility to guide their children

While we want to be sensitive to the needs of our children, it is the role and responsibility of parents to guide their children to being responsible citizens and more importantly to becoming the Christ-followers. Children don’t get there accidently.

For example, parents have a hand in choosing their kids’ friends, either on purpose or by accident. Don’t forget that, nor neglect it!


Parents set spiritual priorities

Choose and display right spiritual priorities by physically being committed to Christian community with other believers.


Parents model

Parents may feel like they can do church online forever. But kids don’t have the foundation an adult Christian has. And online church cannot fulfill the necessity of gathering together.

Take advantage of teaching moments, family events, materials and online content from your church, and serve opportunities.

Whatever you hope to see in your kids’ lives when they are grown you have to model – now!


From an old sermon, over 8 years ago:
“My goal as a father should be that my family would be better in everything they are and everything they do because of their time spent with me. Everywhere you walk you make a footprint. Make sure you’re making footprints in the right direction because that’s the ones your children are going to follow. They’re not going to follow what you want them to do. They are going to follow what you DO! It’s your responsibility to bring them closer to God. That includes your spouse, too.”

A final note to heads of house: stay on the porch!
Exodus 12:22


Check out these articles!

10 Manly Things Every Dad Should Teach His Son How To Do

Your Kids Will Remember These 7 Things About You

Come Together – The Church

ekklesia – called together

Matthew 16:18

That is not a personal promise but a corporate one!

We are not called merely to follow Jesus but to follow Him together!

Romans 15:5

As the church, we are not called to prove what we know. God is truth, we aren’t, and His truth will always prove itself. We are called to unity.

We have been given the gift of one another.

Worship

Hebrews 10:25

Ephesians 5:18-19

Prayer

James 5:14

Acts 1:14

see also Acts 2:42

Completeness

Ephesians 1-16

Hebrews 10:24

see also 1 Corinthians 14:26, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 2 Timothy 2:2, Hebrews 5:12

Reach

Acts 2:47

“The Way”Acts 9:2, 19:9, 19:23, 22:4, 24:14, 24:22

Matthew 5:13-16

Who Wrote the Book of Love?

History of the Bible

Where did the Bible come  from?

Contrary to authors such as Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code) and Voltaire, the Council of Nicene in 325 AD was not the meeting that once and for all decided Biblical canon, rather it was the work of teachers and scholars over many years. 

The “books” of the Bible were originally scrolls or letters on parchment or skins rather than what we think of as books. 

Non-canon books, such as those found in the Apocrypha and the pseudepigrapha were viewed as non canon for various reasons over the course of a few centuries.

Eusebius-  Christian historian from the 3rd century AD who provided one of the earliest “lists” of canonical books.


Why should I believe the Bible?

One of the arguments against the Bible is the belief that many of the books, especially the OT were passed down through oral tradition for hundreds of years before being written down. However, MOST ancient history was passed via oral tradition including Buddhist texts, Greek literature, and many traditions such as King Authur and Robin Hood.

Many people attack the veracity of the Bible because of lack of “historical” evidence.

Flavious Josephus “Antiquities of the Jews” 
– First century historian refers to Jesus and other biblical people
– Archeological and historical events that are actually found in the Bible


Is the Bible God’s word?

Scripture is its own endorsement.

Psalms 119:11 

The word is meant to challenge us.

2 Timothy 3:16  

Psalms 19:7  

John 8:31  


READ YOUR BIBLE!

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Trust, but verify! Not all sources hold up to scrutiny.

Jesus is The Baptizer

Matthew 3:11

The Holy Spirit is present throughout the Bible
Very obviously, from the second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2
Acts 2, we’ve been introduced to the Father, Jesus the Son, and now the Holy Spirit
See also 1 Corinthians 14:39, 14:1-5
Power for life, miracles, etc, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
He seals us until the day of our redemption, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30
And helps us in our weaknesses and when we pray, Romans 8:26-27

The difference Jesus made…

Our goal is not to win the argument!

What about me – and you?

John 14:12-17

Jesus didn’t die so you could fit in. He died to make a difference! And He left us that commission as our mandate! (see also Matthew 28:18-20)

Some facts about Fire…
Fire changes things.
Fire grows exponentially.
Fire is not a thing but an event. It is not something you possess. Fire is something that must be tended!
Fire requires 3 components: oxygen, fuel, heat

Pray that God will give you this fire. But we must keep it going.
Fan the flame! Keep your tank full! Don’t let the spark go out!

Jesus is The Way and The Truth

But how do we get there? Is it automatic?

JESUS IS THE WAY
If we do right things we get there!

Jesus’ way is different. You are different! Jesus followers’ motivations are different, passions, goals, etc.
Look out for #1 – or – The first shall be last. Luke 22:26-27
Get all you can, can all you get – or – Give up your life. Matthew 10:39
Believe in yourself – or – Trust in God. Proverbs 3:5-6
Discover yourself – or – Deny yourself. Luke 9:23
Be true to you – or – Seek truth. John 8:31-32

Christianity is not a spectator sport.

Luke 9:62

Christianity is not a la carte

Here Am I, Send Me – Isaiah 6


JESUS IS THE TRUTH

Luke 20:20, Luke 7:30, Luke 20:21-26

When your opinion becomes part of your theology, you taint the message.

“Surround yourself with truth-speaking people.”

John Powell

Tempered: having the requisite degree of hardness or elasticity.

How do we find the Way? How do we know the Truth? Jesus gave us a “tool.”

John 14:6

Jesus Is The Life

John 14:6, John 1:4, 1 John 5:11-12, John 10:10, John 3:16

Happiness is not the goal.
– We aren’t designed to feel constant happiness.
– Happiness is an unrealistic metric for our lives.
– The pursuit of happiness is a sure recipe for unhappiness!

The blessed life is one of purpose and meaning!

The life Jesus gives produces love, joy, peace, contentment, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, self-control. (see Galatians 5:22-23)

John 11:25

Yesterday ended last night.

Zig Ziglar

Jeremiah 29:11

God was not promising to overlook their past but to redeem it!
Plans – God has long been thinking and planning for you
Good – to establish a place for you, to settle things in your life.
Not disaster – He is against all attacking you
Future – for it isn’t over, you have a future,
Hope – no matter the circumstances!

Habakkuk 3:5-6 – God is no stranger to troubles and suffering! He is comfortably right in the midst of them!

Numbers 16:46-48 – Aaron the high priest of Israel ran into the midst of a deadly plague! Unafraid! Without hesitation! He literally stood between death and life!

Mark 1:40-41, Luke 7:12-15, Luke 8:51-55 – Jesus touched lepers, coffins and dead people! And a lot of other sick people, too.

So one more right question… Whose life have I made better this year?

Don’t just exist, don’t just get by, don’t just make it. LIVE for something!

Faith is not merely what we think or feel but what we live!

The Head AND The Heart

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” – Psalm 14:1

The “heart” commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason (Pr 3:3; 6:21;7:3), but also includes the emotions (Pr 15:15, 30), the will (Pr 11:20; 14:14), and thus, the whole inner being (Pr 3:5).

ROMANS 1:19-20 MSG

Based on His creation, what can we learn about God?
– God is intelligent.
– God is creative.
– God is personal.
– God is… good?

  • The world isn’t perfect. The world is broken.
  • God didn’t make it that way. He made it good.
  • He created us to be part of that good world, AND for relationship with Him.
  • We broke the relationship. We broke the world.

WHY DOESN’T GOD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
What if He already has?
1. He sent Jesus – To show us how live in step with God.
2. Jesus died – To open the door to have a relationship with God.
3. Jesus set up the Church – To be a light in the darkness

WE HAVE TO DO BETTER.

“Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:1-5

“Faith sees best in the dark.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
Job 42:5

I realized at that moment this historic figure of Jesus was no longer just this historic figure, but he was the one who was calling me all along through my creativity, and I realized, if this is true— if Jesus is the one who gave his life for me so I would know love, the greater love that I have been longing for— if this is true, then that is exactly the paradigm that would allow me to understand beauty, beauty that I was creating.”

Makoto Fujimura

Matthew 7:21-23

“We can be left utterly and absolutely outside – repelled, exiled, estranged, finally and unspeakably ignored. On the other hand, we can be called in, welcomed, received, acknowledged. We walk every day on the razor edge between these two incredible possibilities. Apparently, then, … our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”

C.S. Lewis

Matthew 16:13-20

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions blog article from 2017

Asking wrong questions…
Do Christians have to go to church?
Can I _______ and still get to heaven?
Can Christians watch R-rated movies?
Should Christians tithe on all increase?

Asking right questions…
What is the importance of the church?
How does ________ affect my testimony and my reliance on God?
What parameters, what protections have I set for my mind, for my heart?
What part of my finances do I want God’s blessing on?

No one is righteous— not even one. Romans 3:10

We are fallible, errant, imperfect, flawed, envious, resentful, vengeful, unforgiving, selfish, proud, weak people in need of this God who was willing to die for us and deliver us from ourselves!

We first must address our humanity, our carnality, our sinfulness, yes, our wickedness. I am a sinner. I need a Savior!

“Do good people go to hell?”
Who is good? What does a good person look like? What constitutes being good? I mean, is doing good things enough?

“Who is perfect?”
Maybe the right question isn’t how many evil acts did God allow last week but how many He prevented!

So let’s talk a little bit about hell. Matthew 25:41

So “why would an all-loving God send people to hell?” is the wrong question. Because He doesn’t! We either choose to change direction and get on the lifeboat or stay on the sinking ship.

So maybe the question of heaven and hell isn’t who is perfect or who commits sin. Perhaps the real question is:
Who does eternity belong to?
Honestly, what is my true personal moral character?
How do I choose to respond to the greatest love ever displayed on earth?

A couple quick stories from the Bible:

Jesus is willing to go out of His way to reach someone who is sincere and willing to listen!

  • Jesus even reaches out to those He knows will reject Him!

Every person must acknowledge their personal moral shortcomings,
realize Jesus is the only solution to sin,
and accept
His sacrifice as payment for our sin,
His grace as forgiveness of our sin and
His power for deliverance from our sin!

Start With Jesus

“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Matthew 3:16-17

John the Baptist, who was in prison,… sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Matthew 11:2-3

  1. Experiencing doubt is a normal part of faith
  2. Asking questions is the surest way to find answers
  3. We need people who walk with us through these times

Knowing WHAT you believe is good.
Knowing WHY you believe is better.

Why is it so important for us to watch out for how we treat others?
We never realize how our small actions affect the faith of those around us.

START WITH JESUS.

What I found…

What would the world look like if we all lived like that?

The church has done a lot of good.

The way Jesus taught us to live is the best way to live.

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic…or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

C.S. Lewis

Did Jesus Exist?

Did He claim to be The Messiah/God/Son of God?

Did He rise from the dead?

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…
1 Corinthians 15:3-5

“What is certain is that the earliest followers of Jesus believed that Jesus had come back to life, in the body, and that this was a body that had real bodily characteristics: It could be seen and touched, and it had a voice that could be heard.”

Bart Ehrman

 If Jesus is who He says He is, it changes everything.

Making of the Bible – Tim Mackie Video