Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THERE IS POWER IN THE BIBLE

THERE IS POWER IN THE BIBLE
I have read many books in my life. And a number of them had to do with "self help" and usually had to do with thinking or communicating. Though I have found these to have some good thoughts that were helpful, finding the helpful parts were like mining for a gem so that when finished with the book I walked away with a single or small number of good thoughts. Some books might be ultra useful and offer a number of habits to focus on. Still, it's like mining so you walk away with a few things that help my walk in this life. Now that's their problem.

I'm a student of the Bible because every day of reading the Scriptures do I find another gem to guide my life. And it's not just for matters of this life but it calls for me to be ready for the next life. Books of men, even ones with a spiritual focus, only have a few gems in their entirety, but the Bible is the motherload. Consider what the following verses have to say about the power that is in the Holy Scriptures.


"[the scriptures] are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" 2 Tim 3:15

"in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls" Jas 1:21

"you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls" 1 Pt 1:22

"like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation" 1 Pt 2:2

"And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified." Acts 20:32

"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Heb 4:12

"So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11

"“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?" Jeremiah 23:29

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" 2 Tim 3:16

"which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words" 1 Cor. 2:13

"for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Pt 1:21

Here's what we know. God has spoken to us. The question is are we listening? Are we reading the Bible? Some people are never going to read through the Bible; not even through the New Testament. Knowing God's intent that it be read and knowing the power that's in God's word, it seems we all should have a renewed commitment to be in God's Word so that it might guide us in our decisions and so that we might be saved by the wisdom found in it. God bless you. Dan Mayfield, M.A. Bible.

IT'S MORE BLESSED TO GIVE, Acts 20:35

JESUS SAID...."It is more blessed to give than to receive" ACTS 20:35

Everything in the world is not equal or neutral. There is good and bad; there is right and wrong. When it comes to giving and receiving, one is better than the other.

It's true there must be a receiver for every giver. Jesus would have no mission to give salvation if there weren't so many in need. Blessed is everyone who 'received' Jesus, because "to them He gave the right to become children of God", JOHN 1:12. And as men become children of God, remember the importance of the words, "freely you received, freely give", MATTHEW 10:8. The wear are blessed to receive, but there is a greater blessing to those who are the givers of blessings. It is then that we are the most like God.

The world is filled with unfortunate, burdened, and weary souls who need a little light of Jesus shown on them. The followers of Jesus are going to be the blessing in their lives.

The natural state of man as God designed is to be blessed and a blessing to others. The one who is forgiven becomes a forgiver of others. The one who is shown kindness by God learns to show kindness to his brothers. Christians learn to treat others they way they were treated by God with patience and forgiveness.

Today do the more blessed thing. Said with love, Dan Mayfield

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

THE DUPLICITY, CONFUSION, AND DISOBEDIENCE OF THE BAPTIST CHURCHES....

THE DUPLICITY, CONFUSION, AND DISOBEDIENCE OF THE BAPTIST CHURCHES....

This morning I was thinking about the duplicitous message of the Baptist....

First, almost all Baptist baptize (immerse adults) but not for the reason mentioned in the Bible, cf Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:26,27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pt 3:21

Second, almost all Baptist say Baptism has nothing to do with salvation, that an unbaptized person can go to heaven, after all, "what if he died on the way to his baptism".

Third, almost all Baptist say that Baptism IS NECESSARY for church membership. "Leaders like John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, and John Murton among the General Baptists in England searched the New Testament and arrived at conclusions about the true nature of the church. They believed that "a true church of true believers" should be known by a covenant with Christ and amongst each other, and this should be signified by a new and valid "believer’s baptism." 1

--- This position of most Baptist that it isn't necessary for salvation BUT IS NECESSARY for "membership", meaning full participation and acceptance, and let's call these "privileges", by the Baptist church (note: it's good and brings all of the privileges in all Baptist churches as letter are carried to a new Baptist church should the baptizee move to a new location) is a duplicitous message even for Baptist because how is it that God fully accepts me into His fellowship without the Baptism but the local Baptist church doesn't until the person is baptized?! This duplicity has led me to the conclusion that by their teaching, it would be harder to be a Baptist than to be a Christian. Of course all of this is wrong. This leads me to the next group.

Fourth, some Baptist, a very very confused and liberal brand of this denomination, say that salvation AND acceptance into the church is not necessary at all. This is not something you would discover by going to a Baptist church web-site as the official position will include adult baptism, but the experience says it is so. The message communicated at one such liberal Baptist church in my town is not so strict and legalistic as the "Grace Baptist" that of the American Baptist affiliation (very Calvinistic) and the message I have heard from many people who attend said liberal Baptist church is that no Baptism is pushed at all. Now accepting that a Baptist (the name implies they Baptize) Church no longer requires baptism says these have evolved from their traditional brothers, most likely out of desire for consistency, which is to say that they understand their local membership cannot be more stringent than what they believe are God's requirements. According to them, faith alone (along with a prayer, wink) is all that's required to enter into God's saving grace and therefore how can they place any greater hurdle upon the same people. Well I applaud them for being more consistent than their Baptist brothers who still demand baptism for church membership. However, and here is their problem, they are not Baptist! Also, they are contradicting God, who said, "Make disciplines, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all that I commanded you", Mt 28:18-20.

I say all of this with love for my friends. I do not intend to hurt anyone. I just pray that all will see what I preach is the Lord's commands that we must repent and be baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins. At Baptism (not Baptism "in and of itself" as the liars have accused us in the church of Christ as teaching, and their condemnation is just for doing so) there is the saving grace of God that intersects with the obedient faith of the sinner (what, you didn't know that saving faith is obedient, cf Rom. 1:5; Rom. 16:26; 1 Thess 1:3, 2 Thess 1:11) getting into the water, cf Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:26,27. Salvation from God is only for those whose faith is in Him.

Sincerely, Dan Mayfield, M.A. Bible 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

VANITY AND PRIDE

Vanity and Pride,  Dan Mayfield

Some things are hard to overcome. The vanity and pride of youth are examples of this. Like a stowaway on a ship, it may seem they are no longer part of our Christian lives but they can spring up later in life if we are not vigilant to eradicate them from our heart and mind. We may think they were overcome but truthfully we allowed them to remain. This is dangerous because they may rise up some day to devour us like a beast from the abyss. 

As we age we may begin to wonder what we should do so we get the respect we deserve. After all, men want their life to have meant something. The "mid-life crisis" is driven by things that have been buried for a long time. Maybe a new job with bigger pay would do the trick. For me personally, I'm pretty happy with the job I have and there are plenty of challenges. And shouldn't I be more concerned with the reward of being pleasing to the Lord (2 Cor. 5:9)? Looking in the mirror I notice the awesome hair of my youth is nearly gone and I'm left with thin and graying. Maybe hair transplants? No, I don't think so. The problem with vain thinking is that it diverts the eyes from looking at the heart and seeing the me that God's sees. 

When vanity pops up and you are saying, "I'm a handsome devil. Look how beautiful my hair is, and my body is so very strong", remember that God is probably rolling His eyes. Also remember that these things appeal to vain people and that spiritual people see them as a facade. When you aren't getting the accolades you think you deserve so that you are ready to erupt and shout "Respect Me!", don't forget that God exalts the humble. 

Each of us may have those passing moments, perhaps they are temptations, where they are dissatisfied that their service to the Lord goes unnoticed and unrewarded. That's a good time to tell the devil to step back and shut up. That's a good time to remember we were called by Jesus to be a servant. Like Paul, the best thing that can be said about us is that, "He was a clay pot, an earthen vessel for the Lord", (2 Cor. 4:7). 

Only when we have dispensed of vanity and pride can our lives be truly meaningful. The gates of heaven are set too low for the proud and vain to enter.

Said with love, Dan 

Monday, March 31, 2014

GOD SAID TO SING. SING OUT, CHURCH!

I was really edified yesterday in the worship and especially in the song service. The voices truly were lifted up together to make wonderful praise to God. Nice job, Randy! 

I'm writing just a short note this morning after reflecting on my Colossians reading. Let me share with you what I discovered that we all should sing out. It's not just commanded, it's a privilege to participate in God's word in the congregation - men and women alike.

I wonder if people understand the power and purpose of singing in worship? In Colossians 1:28 Paul says, "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ."

Yes, that we may prepare people to stand before God, complete, we teach, admonish, and proclaim the truth to them. In this vein, think of what Paul says two chapters later, to, "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God," Col. 3:16.

The beautiful singing in our worship is God's wisdom that every man and every woman has an avenue to teach and admonish others that they may stand complete before Christ.

Don't like singing? Too bad. Are you still resisting the will of God? Think your voice isn't up to par? It's not up to you to decide. One of our members has commented more than once concerning her voice that it's not the best but you know what? She sings and, honest to God, I LOVE how she sings with her heart. I just love it!

Singing isn't singing according to God's will if you intentionally keep your voice so low that the person next to you can't hear. Singing that can't be heard is not "teaching and admonishing one another". Remember that singing is a chance God has given to you to participate in advancing the Gospel in this world and it's the chance to build others up. Please sing. Sing out and make sure it's rich with thanks and love, without any vanity, and God will bring the increase. Have a little faith even if you think your voice isn't up to par.

A Christian from another state visited yesterday and he made some complimentary remarks about the congregation before he left yesterday to the effect that it is apparent how blessed we are as a congregation of God's people. I have to agree. We love God and we love each other. Every soul is precious.

On your own, reflect again on what Paul said in Colossians 1:28 and Colossians 3:16.

Said with love, Dan

THE CHURCH IS SO VERY IMPORTANT TO YAHWEH, GOD ALMIGHTY!

I love God, I love Jesus, I love His Church, I love His wonderful Plan in the Church!

PLEIROMA - Gr., "fulness"

1. In the "fulness" of time Jesus came into the world, Gal 4:4; Eph 1:10

2. It was the Father's good pleasure for all of his "fulness" to dwell in Jesus Christ, Col 2:9; 1:19, cf. John 1:14

3. The church, the body of Christ, is the "fulness" of Christ, Eph 1:22,23

4. The church becoming His "fulness" is a growing process, Eph 3:19; 4:13ff.

When I think about Jesus being the fulness of the Father, I think what a wonderful thing to know Jesus Christ and to know my Heavenly Father. When I think of the church being "the fulness of Him that fills all in all", I think what a beautiful privilege and blessing He has entrusted to us. The body functioning all together, each part important and each part doing its part, it makes more sense that we are important to God's plan. When he says in Eph 3:8ff that "the manifold wisdom of God" is seen through the church to the "rulers and authorities in the heavenly places", it brings an overwhelming feeling of joy that I'm part of God's plan.

Are you praying to be his "fulness"? Are you working in the body, doing your part, so that we accomplish in the world what God wants accomplished in the world? Said with love, Dan

Friday, March 28, 2014

PROPHETIC END OF THE WORLD: METHUSELAH

Enoch never knew Noah, but Noah surely knew Enoch through the teaching and example of Enoch's son, Methuselah. Enoch was very righteous and known for walking with God. Interestingly it says that Noah walked with God, Gen 6:9. It's interesting that Enoch named his son what he did, which means, "When he dies, Judgment". And in fact, the dating lines up that the year of the flood is the year that Methuselah died.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PREACHER SUPPORT AND CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (Galatians 6 and 1 Corinthians 9)

The Scriptures show that the church is obliged to support the Preacher that's serving in its midst. I would like you to read the following verse. It's from Galatians 6:6 which says, "The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches." Who are the two subjects here? The Taught and the Teacher, correct? And what has the Teacher given to the Taught? The word of God, correct? And what therefore is the Taught to do in return? To share all good things with the Teacher, correct? I am certain this is speaking of financial support to be given to the Teacher as this is likely the way he is making his living.

Look at another verse. It's from 1 Cor. 9:11 which says, "If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?" Now who is the We and You? It's the Apostles (including Paul, 9:1,2) and the Corinthians, correct? And what spiritual things did the Corinthians have sown among them? It was the Gospel of Christ. And how should the Corinthians return the great favor done to them? They should sow material blessings towards the Apostles and others who preach the Gospel. How do we know that Christians should be supporting monetarily, "sharing all good things with them that teach"? Because of what else Paul says here that, "So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:14). So how does a Preacher get his "living" from the gospel? Easy. Those who are taught are to "share all good things" with the ones that taught them.

Truthfully, I feel embarrassed to have to resort to teaching Christians that they should be supporting the Preacher. But I don't know that Christians understand there is a certain responsibility, if I can call it that, to make sure the Preacher is supported. Maybe "responsibility" isn't the best word. Maybe "honor" and "love" are better words to describe the motivation. Is there a sense of obligation? Yes. But rather than reduce it to that, as Paul had to do with the Corinthians, let it be an act of love and honor to make such a return to the church so your Preacher is supporting with a living.

Said humbly,
Dan Mayfield

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

CALVINISM; INVOLUNTARY SERVICE

Wikipedia defines 'involuntary actions' as the following:
"An involuntary action is one which occurs without the conscious choice of an organism. If it occurs specifically in response to a stimulus, it will be known as a reflex. Involuntary actions are opposite of voluntary actions that occur because of choice. Involuntary actions may or may not occur with the awareness of the organism performing it. Common involuntary actions displayed by humans and most other mammals are heartbeat, hiccups, digestion, coughing and sneezing. Breathing can also be considered both involuntary and voluntary, since the breath can be held through apnea."
This definition works very well for explaining how a person becomes a Christian according to John Calvinism. The five tenets assumes a distorted view of God's 'Sovereignty' and a distorted view of man's fallen nature. The first is absolute so every action is controlled by God and the second is absolute corruption that's inherited before a human has any say or control of his or her life. If you are a Calvinist, you believe in something that perverts the beauty of the Gospel of Christ.
We are thankful that God has designed the body to have many involuntary actions that require no thinking on our part. But to become a Christian is a choice, Mt 16:26. And God will judge each person on the basis of that choice, 2 Cor 5:10; 11:15; Rom 2:5-11.
Calvinism says that everyone is damned to hell due to no fault on their own. They inherited the lost, depraved condition from their parents by way of the fall of Adam. It isn't true. Though we inherited pain and physical death as part of the curse described in Genesis 3, we did not inherit their sin and no stain on our soul. Calvin says each person is already separated from God at the time of conception and it is INVOLUNTARY. It's not a Christian doctrine. But many believe in it.
Calvinism, who I relearned the other day is the father of Presbyterianism, is the one who taught that man is so lost and depraved that he's completely, entirely unable to give even the slightest twitch of movement or glimpse of thought toward believing and being saved. According to Calvin's tenets, salvation comes unconditionally and irresistibly to an elect few. The sinner is saved INVOLUNTARILY.
The involuntary servitude of Calvinism is nothing like the voluntary choice to be a bond-servant of Jesus Christ. Hopefully people can see what a devilish doctrine Calvinism is.
People like to say that God's love and salvation is 'unconditional'. It's not true or else we would be stuck with having to believe one of the following: 1] there IS partiality with God (Rom 2:11 says He's not), or; 2] God is going to save everyone (Jn 5:29 says many will go to hell). God loves the whole world, Jn 3:16. And anyone may come to Christ if they will believe in Jesus Christ, Rom 22:17. The Scriptures say that the plan of salvation by God is what was foreordained. God foreordained that any who believe in the Son may be saved. The person that believes in and obeyes Jesus Christ becomes one of the elect of God. This is possible for every sinner. We are NOT lost by inheritance; instead, we are lost because we all sin like Adam did, Rom. 5:12. Calvinist like to leave off the last three words of that last verse because they don't fit their doctrine. Spiritual death "spread to all men, BECAUSE ALL SINNED." And when you sin, you too are spiritually separated from God, Isa 59:1,2. Salvation by God is not unconditional. Each sinner must believe in Jesus, repent of his sins, confess that Jesus is Lord, and be baptized in the water to wash away his sins, Acts 22:16.
Following Jesus is a choice. You and I stand at the fork in the road and to our right is the straight and narrow path. To our left is the broad and and wide way that leads to destruction. Many go that way and few find the way to eternal life. You may have salvation today if you will choose to follow Christ. It feels so good to know that God loves us all and offers His salvation to every sinner. And it feels so bad to believe like a Calvinist to think that hell is going to be filled by no fault of their own. They are conceived damned to hell and they stay that way, according to Calvin, because God just arbitrarily decided not to elect the majority to eternal life. And so this doctrine says the majority just pass through this life with the sentence of death they inherited and they die and then they go to hell. That's a devilish doctrine. If you believe it, please repent and believe the Truth.
Following Christ requires no chains. Christians are voluntary servants of Jesus Christ. Involuntary service is what Calvinism is. A Calvinist who says, "No, it isn't true, I want to follow Jesus Christ" is ignoring his own doctrine that says God is absolute and you have no choice and that whatever you do is only because God causes you to do it. Calvin's doctrine of involuntary salvation is a false doctrine. It's not good news. It's terrible news and completely redefines love, faith, grace, sin, human nature, the work of Christ, and much more. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news and is offered free to all men without partiality, Gal. 2:6; Ro 2:11.
God bless you. Message me if you want to know more about being saved by God's grace.








Friday, March 21, 2014

BELIEVE THE GREATEST SIGN, THE SIGN OF JONAH

"Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “ An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Mt. 12:38ff.
Jesus could have been talking about our own generation and many so-called Christians. They want and need a "sign" to believe because the sign of Jonah just isn't enough for them. The "sign of Jonah" is the resurrection of God's son.  

It's sad. Go into a charismatic church and on any given day there will be multiple people doing the only real "sign" they have, the making of babbling sounds that don't do what the tongues of the Bible did. Tongues of the Bible actually taught the Gospel and spoke praise to God. But these babbling people today miss the point. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest miracle ever and Jesus said, "blessed is he that does not see and yet believes." 

I was speaking in my English tongue to a man the other day who came out of the Charismatic Movement who said, "those people are crazy."  He said a pastor said he could teach him to speak in tongues.  An old friend of mine told me he grew up in the charismatic environment and his grandmother tried teaching him to speak in tongues. And years ago, while I was still at Bear Valley in Denver, a husband and wife formerly from Canada told me about their experiences in the Charismatic Movement. They said that they were all assembled one time to speak in tongues, they were all in a row, and the preacher would walk past each one listening to them and giving instructions. When the false preacher came to either the husband or wife, I can't recall which said it, the preacher said in his/her ear, "More K's."  I kid you not. This struck the person who was relating the story to me as very odd. If this is from God, why are you telling me to make more "K" sounds? That was when they began looking for the Truth. 

The spirit of the Jews who kept asking for signs is alive and well today. But we read the Scriptures by which we are thoroughly furnished and equipped with all we need to be strong Christians. God's Son is risen and we believe with conviction.

IT'S HARD TO, BUT YOU CAN BE SEVERED FROM CHRIST AND FALL FROM SAVING GRACE

A Christian can be cut off from Christ. Paul says to the Christians in Galatia who are being deceived and bewitched to go back to the Old Law. He says to them, "You have been severed from Christ,..." Gal. 6:4.
Paul went to great lengths to show the Christians there is no justification in keeping the Old Law, "Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, 'The righteous man shall live by faith'", Gal 3:11. And, “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified", Gal 2:15,16. Paul even went on to show how Peter stood condemned because he withdrew from the Gentiles in order to please the Jews, Gal. 2:11,12. These Galatians were in jeopardy of losing their salvation by turning back to the Old Law. Those who turn back to the Old Testament law and worship would be severed from Christ.
So Paul says to some Christians, "you have been severed from Christ." There's no way to read that except with the understanding that Christians can lose their salvation.
To some people this news is a little shocking because they have been deceived to believe that a Christian cannot lose his salvation. They turn to passages like, Romans 8:38,39 and John 10:28. Though these passages give comfort and confidence of the security we have with Christ, they do not say that the sheep cannot themselves stray nor that we cannot separate ourselves from God's love.
Admittedly, this knowledge can be disconcerting to someone who has been raised to believe the doctrine of "eternal security", or in Calvin's terms, "perseverance of the saints." And in fact it is hard to lose your salvation. 1 John 1:6ff shows that God is light and if Christians walk in the light, two things: 1] they are not going to be perfect, and 2] the blood of Jesus continually cleanses them from the sins they will commit. So imperfect people are going to be saved. The Christian that loses his salvation is the one who has decided not to walk in the light of grace by faith. To lose your salvation requires a wholesale turning away from trusting in Christ to doing something like turning to the Old Law or a different Gospel, Gal. 1:6-9.
I don't write this to trouble anyone. In fact it should be comforting to know that the God of patience is loving and forgiving to imperfect Christians. But we should also be aware that we can fall from saving grace, Gal. 5:4. So keep your faith in the atoning work of Christ. And obey Him with all of your heart and you will be saved.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

YOU WILL GIVE YOUR SOUL AND YOU WILL GIVE MUCH MORE

WHEN YOU GIVE UP YOUR SOUL, YOU GIVE UP MUCH MORE
"For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mk 8:37
All of the translations I looked up say the same thing. And in my mind, I first think shouldn't it say, "What will a man GET in exchange for his soul." But all of the translations say, what will a man "GIVE" for his soul. This is interesting to think about. We give up our soul and we give up something else too. There's no real "getting" in the transaction Satan has conned you into. When you give up your soul, you give up even more than that.

When you give up your soul, you give up peace, knowledge, wisdom, relationships, prosperity, joy, and so much more. When you give up your soul, you might get an immediate sensation of pleasure, a few moments of gratification, but these are fleeting and at the end of the day in darkness there is only emptiness. Indeed, give up your soul and what more will you give?!

TRAINING CHILDREN: DIRECTION, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY, LONGEVITY

DIRECTION, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY, LONGEVITY.... Dan Mayfield, M.A. Bible

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Pro 22:6

1. Direction: Parents, do you know the way your child should go? Do you live the way you are training your child to go? You train your child to eat good food or bad food. You train your child to be good or bad with money. You train your child to value education or play. You train up your child to be responsible or not. You do all these things by careful planning or you do by neglect. Training up a child isn't a haphazard enterprise.

2. Consistency: Parents, day in and day out, do you reward good behavior and discipline bad behavior? Are you consistent or do your friends wonder why you ignore so much bad your children are doing? Consistency means that you keep your word. Yes means yes, and no means no. The child fussing or ranting does not break you down. You don't bargain or show exasperation, a sign you are losing the battle and out of your league when matching wills with a child. You can't train up your child if you don't teach them daily from the Bible and teach them daily to pray. Talk to your kids daily about the awesome things of God and you will teach them the way to go.

3. Intensity: Parents, are you excited about truth? Are you showing steely resolve and unwavering commitment to your children. Parents show intensity for their favorite sports team. They show intensity for their politics. They show intensity for their work. But do your children see how serious you are about doing the will of Almighty God? If your children see no passion for Jesus Christ, why should they think it's important to you? To raise up a child in the way he should go means you are pretty serious about this job. Show your passion for God.

4. Longevity: Parents, training up the child is a day to day, 365 day a year, job that last for a couple of decades or more. You can't train them up if you go AWOL. You can't train them up if you are fooling around and leave the family. Being a Christian is a lifelong commitment to God. Any wavering by you is going to train your children exactly the opposite direction to go. A child needs to look back over the years and be able to say they learned from you a loving example of God's truth.

The promise "and when he is old, he will not depart from it" is positive and negative. Many never really train with the direction, consistency, intensity, and longevity that it takes to see this wonderful promise. The parent can talk about God's plan, but without consistency, it will never take. The way you train your child is the way he or she will go. Children aren't dumb and they see inconsistency as a lack of serious commitment. A parent can have the longevity in the sense that they "always went to church", but without the intensity, the passion, the children will choose to follow that other thing that you did get so passionate about.

And all of this direction, consistency, intensity and longevity will have lasting influence if it is always done with love. I like what Paul said to Timothy that "the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith", 1 Tim 1:5. That's really what parents are striving to develop in their children. God bless you in your raising of children with lots of love.

Sincerely, Dan

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I COULD NEVER FALL AWAY FROM GOD

I COULD NEVER FALL AWAY FROM GOD...

Falling away doesn't take much of a fall. What's the difference between walking with God in the light and stepping over into the domain of darkness? It is as simple as turning the attention to yourself and away from God. Worship is no longer worship of God because we are exalting our own desires for what makes us feel good.

The devil is happy to see us give up one sin if we will take up another. When we think we have beaten one habit, another one crops up. When you think you have beaten the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes is right around the corner. And when you think you have beaten the lust of the eyes, watch out "boastful pride of life", 1 John 2:15ff. Thinking you can't fall away is naive.
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. - Gal 5:4
I'm sure there were plenty of Israelites who "thought they stood" firm, but look how they fell. And Paul is writing to the Corinthians who are dangerously close to doing the same. In vss 1-11 of the same chapter he tells them the example of Israel falling into idoltary which manifested itself in seemingly harmless of ways: eating, drinking, and playing, 1 Cor. 10:7. The devil is crafty though, deceiving men to abuse even the best of things. When a party becomes sinful. When eating and drinking becomes idolatry. When "playing" becomes sinful because it is an idol.

Satan disguises the sin so as to catch even the strongest Christian. Paul says, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." 1 Cor 10:12

As strong as I believe my faith is, there is always room for growth. And if I feel immune to falling back into sin, I need to remember just what it is that Satan's working for. Paul said to the Corinthians,
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." 1 Cor 12:13
The temptation to sin that comes from Satan is subtle. "Come on, God gave you the sense of pleasure so why not please yourself. God is the one that gave you your talents, so how can God be upset if you are using them? God is the one that gave you free will. So how can God be angry if you are exercising it. And nobody is perfect. God gave you life. So live it. Have fun because God wants you to be happy." Sound familiar? Anyone who thinks he could not fall away is forgetting the craftiness of Satan. Paul promises you are going to be tempted and that you need to look for God's providence that you might endure the temptations.

Paul's words to the Corinthians could be harsh. But a thorough reading of 1 Corinthians shows that the Christians were fairly immature as Christians and in danger of falling away. They were exalting men and dividing the church, were immature and fleshly, boastful of sin, attacking and suing fellow Christians, challenging Apostolic authority, bragging on and misusing the supernatural gifts, turning the worship into a circus and some were questioning the resurrection. What a mess. And so it seems completely appropriate for Paul to remind the Christians of their past in 1 Corinthians 12, saying, "You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led" 1 Cor. 12:2. Instead of being upset at Paul, I'm sure many of them understood completely that their idolatry was being replaced by a new idolatry.

Peter reminds enlightened people that they can return to the unchristian life of the past.
21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returnsto wallowing in the mire.”
The one who thinks he stands is the one who likes to think he is the least susceptible to falling away. "Take heed" means keeping an ever vigilant watch over your soul. Don't think you can't fall away from God. Instead keep putting your faith in Christ.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A MOTHER AND A DAUGHTER

My daughter wrote the following:

"I was reading about the worthy woman to my sweet girl and she stopped me in the middle and in the sweetest most genuinely excited voice she said, 'momma this is taking about you!' And after hugging her I told her this verse was talking about her... 'her children rise up and bless her'. I thank God for the weighty but gratifying task of raising my children to know God. There is no greater job." - Heidi
Is it not awesome to see the beauty in a child? Truly as Jesus said, "the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." And what a wonderful thing to see the innocence and openness being protected and nurtured.

God wants parents and grandparents to protect the little children. The angels are watching. We have a divine warning to do nothing that that causes them to stumble. And I love seeing my children teaching my grandchildren about our Heavenly Father.

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