2809, 2015

thinking about my grandkids

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

“that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son…”

I must admit that I have rarely, if ever, thought about my grandchildren. For clarity, I do not have any grandkids. And I do not know if I ever will have any. I feel like I just became a father, and I have yet to figure out how to parent well. And besides that, I am having a hard enough time with being 35 years old and dealing with these new gray hairs.

But the other day I was reading again that family-focused-super-rich passage in Deuteronomy 6. I am in awe of the heart, diligence and focus God has for parents in verse 7 of chapter 6: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Every time I read that passage, my heart is stirred to love and lead my kids well. Again, my kids.

But as I was preparing to lead our parenting community group for church, I was struck by verse 2: “that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son…” Wow! That stopped me! God is thinking about my grandchildren! God is teaching me to think about my grandchildren. God is saying that who I am now will impact my grandchildren. God is saying that how I teach and lead my son will impact my grandson. God is saying that how I teach and lead my son will influence how my son teaches and leads his son, my grandson.

Incredible! That hit me hard. As I learn the word of God and by faith obey it, I am growing in my love and fear of my Lord & Savior. And that in turn will carry over into my parenting and therefore my son’s life and faith. And that in turn will carry over into my son’s parenting and therefore my grandson’s life and faith.

God is mindful of my grandkids!  And now I am too. May God be gracious to us and our family.  For my sake, my sons’ sakes, and my grandsons’ sakes! To God be the glory!

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809, 2015

3 Characteristics of Winners

1 Corinthians 15:57

“But thanks be to God who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ”

  1. Winners are thankful!
    This verse begins with giving thanks. Thanks to God for the victory- the win! People who are thankful are winners. People who are not thankful are ungrateful.  All of us know some teenagers who are spoiled and ungrateful. About a month ago as school was about to begin, there were some wild scenes in the mall as parents were looking to get their children new school shoes. I saw kids getting mad at their moms or dads because they couldn’t get the $275 Nike Lebrons. Their parents were willing to buy them some shoes that were only $100, but the kids were so ungrateful (not thankful) that they responded with getting upset. They were ungrateful. Winners are thankful!
    I like to pay close attention to post-game interviews. I am curious to see how the winners talk and how the losers talk. Winners are those that thank their coaches and teammates.  Very rarely will you ever hear a loser give thanks. When Kevin Durant won the NBA MVP award at the end of the 2014 season, he thanked his mom for everything in a famous speech in which he said “Mom, you the real MVP!” Winners are thankful.
    In this verse, Paul is thankful that he has the victory. He is a winner because God has given him the victory through Jesus. Winning at life cannot be earned. Winning in life is a gift from God. That is reason to be thankful!
  2. Winners are aware of losing!
    You cannot have a winner without a loser. Winners know this! If everyone on both teams gets the same trophy, then there is nothing special or significant or rewarding about the trophy. Recently pro football player James Harrison made headlines trying to teach this to his sons. Why did he do this? Because he wants them to be winners!
    When I was a teenager, I had the Michael Jordan poster in my room that said “I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Winners are aware of losing. I am not saying that all winners are losers at some point. But I am saying that at least, they are familiar with losing.
    People do not like to say it, but it is possible to lose at life. Some people are losing at life! Some people are losers.  The wages of sin is death. The devil comes to kill and destroy us. And sadly, many lose. We need to be aware of losing. Winners are those who know what losing looks like. They are aware of losing, and therefore they are winners!
  3. Winners know how they get the victory!
    Winners know how to get it. They know what it takes. You cannot just go through the motions and up winning. The winning team is the one who knew how to win. They had to be better than the opponent. They had to score more points. They had to keep the opponent from scoring more points. They had to have a strategy. They had to execute the game-plan. Winners know what it takes to win! I enjoy watching tennis on TV, and I especially like watching the finals of majors. Whenever the championship match is finished, tennis does something that no other sport does. They ask each player to give a speech there on the court. It is fascinating to watch! The runner-up (the loser) has to give a speech. And then the champion (the winner) has to give a speech as well. But you can tell a lot about the competitors when they talk. They are often very gracious toward their opponent. And they always speak about how tough the match was, and what it took to get the win! This is true! Winners know all that goes into becoming a winner!
    In this verse, Paul tells us how we get the win in life. It is through Jesus Christ. There is no victory in life apart from Him. There is salvation found in no one else. Jesus is the only one who died for our sins. Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. God forgives sinners, and He does it through Jesus. And if you are forgiven through Jesus, then you have the victory. You are a winner!

3 Characteristics of winners: They are thankful! They are aware of losing! And they know how to get the victory!

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607, 2015

a stone, a sure foundation

Recently, I was teaching our college group from Isaiah 28.


Verse 16 of Isaiah 28 says this:

“therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.'””

God, speaking through his prophet Isaiah there, is assuring his people of stability, safety and certainty in the midst of their unstable, unsafe and uncertain times. The key though is that God’s stone & foundation is not in a deed or even a system. It is in a man. Salvation is not something we do. Salvation is someone we believe in! The preciousness of life and the foundation of life is in trusting in Jesus Christ for forgiveness.

That is what this passage in Isaiah 28 is about.

But if that is not clear enough for you, then check this out. Look at all these other passages in God’s Word that point to what Isaiah was talking about.

Psalm 118:22 “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

Acts 4:11-12 “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1 Peter 2:4-7 “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture ‘Behold I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’  So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ 

Matthew 21:42  “Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’

Romans 9:32b-33 “They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’

I wish you could have been there that night to see that room full of young adults as they saw the beauty, power and continuity of the Word of God in our Bible study. The Word was coming alive to them!

Certainly the Bible was written by many different men, but it truly has God as its author! Just from this short study we see that Isaiah, Luke, Peter, David, Matthew, Paul and Jesus all affirm and believe that when Isaiah talked about the stone and sure foundation, he was referring to the Lord Jesus. That is remarkable!


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