Tag Archives: teaching

I Missed the Conference

I Missed The Conference

Red face. Swollen brow. My left eye was nearly swollen shut.  It was somewhat difficult to breath. The headache was paralyzing.  “You look terrible.” My doctor said to me Monday morning.  I appreciate it when my medical doctors are straight up with me.  “Take this medicine and you will be better in 3-4 days.”  I would rather be “better” in 20 minutes, but I was grateful.

That night was our Mission Conference.  I fought through the pain the previous day or two, but after several nights of not sleeping well and with the eye still swollen and headache still pounding, I knew I was a “no go” for the conference.

I do not recall ever missing one of our church missions conference.  Never. Ever.  Even as a young person, it was a priority in our home to be at every church service and every church event.  Our parents were faithful to see us be involved in church.

Missions conference holds many special memories in my mind as a young person.  The kid’s conferences, meeting the missionaries from around the world, and seeing the pastor call “all those willing to serve as missionaries” to come to the front so we could have a word of prayer.

As I have been reflecting on the message I heard Dr. Scott Caudill deliver on Tuesday night (I was well enough to attend) I began thinking of a verse he referenced, Matthew 6:21, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Of course, the context of what Jesus is speaking is dealing with money and stuff.  It applies to our time and talent as well.

Because my parents placed their treasure in the things of God; church, missions conference, youth group, etc. they made sure that their sons were at these events and services.  Ball games, piano practice, art class, overtime at work, and other stuff (even school) were not more important than the church stuff.  This made a difference in my life.  Their “Treasure” eventually was where their heart (and where my heart also) ended up – invested in the things of God.

Check out this verse again, “Where your treasure is…”  Before the heart is moved, the treasure is already in it’s place.  The heart catches up to where the treasure is.  It does not say “Love God with your heart and then your treasure will be at the right place.”

No, Jesus is saying, “Put your treasure in the right place and then your heart will be in the right place.”  There is a big difference in this approach.

Where is your treasure today?  I can’t believe I missed a mission conference service!  I feel like the sickness “Providentially Hindered” me from attending on Monday.  That said, most of the time, when my treasure is not in the right place it is my personal choices and my own decisions that hinder me.  Believe me, I know we can’t be at everything the church offers, but shouldn’t I make an attempt?  At least for the Mission of the Gospel?  We have no reason for living were it not for the Gospel.  I don’t expect everyone to be at everything.  But what about your treasure?  Where is it today?  When you find your treasure – you will find where your heart truly is.

Be encouraged today to put your treasure in the right place.  Only then will your heart be in the right place.

 

 

 

 

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Hearing, Learning, and Fearing

Hearing, Learning, and Fearing

Moses is 120 years old.  His voice is still strong, mind still sharp, and his body is still capable.  He is told by God that he will get to peer over and get a peek at the Promised Land, but that he will not be able to go into the land. This was because of is disobedience in striking the Rock.

God gives Moses a “song” to declare to the people.  Following the song and some final words, Moses hikes up Mount Nebo and dies. Amazingly, God buries Moses.  No-one knows where the burial plot is to this day.

Interestingly, we get an idea of effective parenting and effective communication from the instructions Moses leaves with the people in this farewell address:

Deuteronomy 31:12-13  says, “Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.”

Please note the underlined words above.  Perhaps you want to underline them in your Bible.  Several times in Scripture this idea of “Hear and Fear” and of “Hear, Learn, and Fear” are found.

In the narrative of Deuteronomy, Moses is giving God’s promises concerning blessing and cursing.  The nation of Israel would be blessed and prospered when they worshipped God alone.  They would be cursed and other nations would conquer them when they would worship false gods.  Much of the rest of the Old Testament is dedicated to this underlying theme of Israel’s blessing and cursing, their wandering and coming back to God.

Consider the teaching points Moses gives: “Hear, Learn, Fear.”

Hear. If you have ever been a teacher in a classroom of students or have taken classes on the subject, you know that you cannot teach someone if you do not have their attention.  The student must give their “hearing” to the teacher.

Limiting classroom distraction, and insisting on a student to focus are part of the “hearing” aspect of instruction.  There are many distractions in school settings today; it could be the glib comments of another student, the immoral seduction of a immodestly dressed girl, or the profane words of a teacher.

In addition, the student must want to focus and the parent must make the student motivated to want to hear the instruction in the classroom.

In much the same way, the Lord wants us to “hear” Him.  God wants us to listen to His Word.  Avoid letting other people distract you from hearing the message of the Lord.  Do not blame others for your lack of focus or lack of attention.

In parenting, be sure to help you child focus on the main things in life, not the inconsequential.  Develop their listening skills.  One reason we listen to many radio dramas in our home is to develop the “hearing” senses in our children.  Being able to give instruction and not having to repeat it several times is a good goal for parenting.  Our children should be taught to “hear” well.

Learn.  Learning takes place in every area of life.  We learn responses to others, defensive mechanisms so others do not hurt us, and reactions to undesirable situations.

When you were in school, you learned both good and bad lessons.  You learned some academics, and you learned some immoral or sinful behavior from other students.  We learn from what we are “hearing” the most.  If you are hearing and focusing on the facts of History or Science, that is what you will learn.  If you are hearing people mock or curse God – that is what you will learn.

Be careful what you are learning and from whom you are learning.  Who we listen to dictates much of what will be learned and what we will end up believing.

Parents have a challenge of developing the “learning” of their children.  From the classroom to the living room, you are responsible to make sure they are hearing the correct teaching and learning the Christian way to perceive and live life.

Limiting TV, controlling social media outlets, and having specific guidelines for cellphones is part of your parental responsibility.  I would not encourage any teen to have a cell phone or computer alone with them in their bedroom at night.  The heart of your teen is the target for many evil people who want them to “hear” them and then in turn “learn” from them.

Fear. Like Moses addressed the “Children of Israel” we can appropriately determine to have the same course of action in our parenting approach.  The goal of “hearing” and “learning” was to “fear” God.

Fear is a term that can be misunderstood today.  Biblical fear of God means “to fear; morally, to revere; be afraid, and to hold in reverence.”  The Lord is someone Who means what He says and says what He means.

Sometimes we are “afraid of being caught.”  That is not the same as the “Fear of the Lord.”  Fearing God has to do with a respect, reverence, and wonder for God – His might, power, ability, and Who He is – the King, Judge, and Savoir.  We should want to please Him.  There are blessings and consequences to all our actions.

Just like a child who loves his earthly father but is afraid to do wrong because he knows he will displease his father and face punishment -we too are to fear the Lord.  Just look at the criminal justice system for an example.  Those incarcerated had a disregard for the law – they did not fear the consequences nor have a fear for the law.

One of the greatest tragedies about many Christian families today is that we can make our kids “Hear” but we do not get them to the “Learn.”  Then others have their kids “Hear” and “Learn” but they never get to the “Fear” part.

The passage does say “Learn to fear.”  It is one thing to learn about God and another thing to learn to fear Him.  Somehow each parent must guide their children to have an overriding fear of God in their heart.  Here are four ideas to help:

  1. Follow through with promises. Be a parent of your word.
  2. Follow through with consequences. Do not rob your child the good (and sometimes painful) lessons that consequences bring.
  3. Focus your family life on pleasing the Lord. Let them see the underlying principles of loving God and others more than self.
  4. Let your kids see your Christianity in such a positive way that they will want it for their lives too. Like Ecclesiastes 12:13 instructs: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

 

 

 

Life Lessons From Mother

Recently I came across the following in a message illustration file…

‘My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done. “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.” 

My mother taught me religion. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

My mother taught me logic. “Because I said so, that’s why.”

My mother taught me more logic. “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me irony. “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about the science of osmosis. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about stamina. “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about weather. “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

My mother taught me about hypocrisy. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

My mother taught me about envy. “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about anticipation. “Just wait until your father gets home.”

My mother taught me medical advice. “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

My mother taught me humor. “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me about my roots. “Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me wisdom. “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

My mother taught me about justice. “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.”’

Did you enjoy those sayings?  Perhaps your mother spoke some of these things to you too!

Today, thank the Lord for your mother.  Determine to show her honor and respect.  Recall and remember the instruction she gave to you.  There are many serious lessons she taught you during your childhood.  Some were verbal lessons while many were demonstration lessons given in everyday life.

Much of how you act, behave, speak, and even what you accomplish in life has been impacted by your mother. Don’t forsake the lessons she gave.  Take them with you.

Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

Mom, I love you.  Thank you for the life lessons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Can Make a Difference!

You Can Make a Difference!

“Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”  Psalm 2:11

Believe it or not, the Lord can use you in His work here on earth. You can be an important part in someone’s coming to Christ in salvation or a believer’s encouragement for Christian Service. Each of us can determine to “serve the Lord” as the verse tells us. As we serve, we can know that rejoicing is soon to follow.

The following story I read years ago illustrates how the Lord can use you this week for the furtherance of the Gospel and to make a difference in another person’s life!

“D. L. Moody was known as “Crazy Moody” because of his zealous approach to evangelism. He resolved to speak with at least one person each day regarding his or her relationship to Jesus Christ.  Most Christians recall at least something about this evangelist who dominated the last four decades of the nineteenth century.  When a fellow minister told him, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him,” Moody resolved, “By the grace of God, I will be that man.”  He and Ira Sankey shook two continents for God, but what if Edward Kimball hadn’t been obedient to God on April 21, 1855?”

“On that day, Mr. Kimball led Moody to Christ. This very timid man was Moody’s Sunday School teacher at the church where Moody’s uncle forced him to attend. Mr. Kimball determined in his heart that he would go speak to his student at the shoe store in which he worked. With tears in his eyes, Kimball approached the seventeen‑year‑old shoe clerk. “I asked him to come to Christ, who loved him and who wanted his love and should have it,” said Kimball. The surprised Moody opened his heart to Christ, and thousands of lives were transformed by his forty years of ministry. Only God knows what he has planned as a result of our obedience in sharing the gospel.”  (Source Unknown)

You could be that Sunday School teacher. You could minister to another future preacher of the Gospel. Today you may be the co-worker, class-mate, leader, and witness that the Lord uses to bring another person to Christ! Just think what the Lord would do, if we wholly consecrated ourselves to serving the Lord!