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May 19, 2018, 12:50 PM

Building Character

Babies grow into toddlers and then preschoolers. All too soon they are teenagers and then off to college. We begin early in children's lives to build character by telling them right from wrong. We teach them how to love and share and show compassion. We want them to make good choices at school, church and at home.

God wants the same for us. He created us in His image and for His pleasure. But how can we please God? He has given us the Bible, which is good for teaching, counseling and comforting. God is our Heavenly Father, and He cares for us. "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy" (Psalm 145.8). God's word teaches us how to live in relationship with Him. One way is by giving us ten rules He calls commandments. We could never keep all these rules because we are so prone to sin. Yet, when we confess our sin to God, He will forgive us and help us be more like Jesus.

It would be tempting to follow the commandments and do good things to please God. However, without love and relationship, our selfish pride might make us believe that we are good enough. Good works without love are worthless to God. With God's help we can learn how to live for Him and build character in ourselves and our children.

Prayer: Father God, we love you and we love our children. Help us to teach them right from wrong, and how to live for you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

January 25, 2018, 12:00 AM

Bath Time

One of the sweetest times a mother spends with her baby is bath time. A loving touch and soothing words comfort your child. This is a refreshing time for the two of you, especially if he was smelly from sleeping in a wet diaper. Or maybe he spit up on himself and your new blouse. Maybe he dumped a bowl of cereal on his head. A bath and baby oil  make your little one soft and cuddly again.

In the same way, our Father God wants to come close to us. Yet, we have a BIG problem. God is holy (pure, sinless, just and righteous). He cannot look on anything that is sinful, which we are. We are not holy as God is holy, because we think and do wrong things. God made a way to cleanse us of all unrighteousness through Jesus Christ our Lord. He loved us so much He sent Jesus, His only Son, into the world to save us from ourselves.

Jesus took our sinfulness to the cross and died a criminal's death on our behalf. In return, He gave us forgiveness for our sin. He rose from the grave to give us new and everlasting life. When we believe this, we are not dirty on the inside any more. We have been washed spiritually and God will come to us, refresh us and comfort us. He will counsel and guide us. He will give us an abundant life far beyond anything we could imagine.

Prayer: Thank you, Father God, for Jesus. Thank you for cleansing us from our sin and being with us through all eternity. In Jesus' name, Amen.

"It is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy' " (1 Peter 1:16).

"The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His works" (Psalm 145:17).

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

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January 21, 2018, 2:48 PM

Have You Been in Love?

Have you been in love with God? Do you know God? A child in a grocery cart asked a woman in the check-out line this question. "I know about him," she said. Persistant, the child said, "No, no. Do you know who He is?" It's probably no  mystery that the child was a preacher's son. 

What about you? Do you know God in a personal intimate way? One way to understand the meaning of intimacy is, "into-me-He-sees." When you are in a close relationship with someone, you expect him to: 

  • Be true to you.
  • Be someone you can depend on.
  • Be someone you can trust and believe in.
  • Let you be yourself. 
  • Totally accept you.

God wants the same from us. He wants to be loved by us. When we are in a love relationship, we want to please the person we love. It's the same with God. Yet, it is impossible for us to please God unless we believe who He is, the Creator and Savior of the world. 

Jesus shed precious blood on the cross to pay the price for our sin so we wouldn't have to. How will you respond to such great and redeeming love? May we love as we have been loved, forgive as we have been forgiven, and be devoted to God as He is devoted to us.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for loving us first. Help us to live our lives pleasing to you. Teach us your ways and show us your paths. Amen.

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5).



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