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As precious as sparkling drops of crystal clear water in parched and dusty desert land are the words of God in today’s spiritually arid day and age. Promises, invitations, and declarations of His holy identity are priceless… particularly when the best alternatives the world can offer are nothing more than philosophical and spiritual band aids. Such plastic alternatives to the real life that God would give us inevitably lead us in ways contrary to the divinely appointed purpose for which you and I have been created.

But because the hand of God Himself has fashioned you and placed you in your corner of the universe at such a time as this, you have inestimable worth and unfathomable significance! Your life, precious and priceless in the mind of God, is a vital thread in the tapestry of creation. You’ve been given life from God and just as God observed that each phase of His creation was not only good, but with the triumphal arrival of human life was “very good” (Genesis 1:31), so does He look upon the potential of your life for His glory. The kind of thread that you will be, will be shaped to the extent that you drink in the words of God, absorbing His thoughts towards you and all of humanity, and fleshing out the truth His Word would bring forth in you.

Not only that, your precious life, when it is placed under the hedge of divine protection apportioned to those who would choose to trust Him, has every opportunity to intimately know the goodness of God. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1 ESV).

What an incredible destiny is yours for the taking! What an amazing invitation has been extended to you! All He awaits is faith. Make no mistake, the faith that He desires to harvest from your life isn’t some sort of super spirituality that you have to somehow muster up on your own. Real faith is simply the trusting obedience of regular men or women, even if and when doubts stir in their hearts or nagging whispers of worry and apprehension gnaw at them. Trusting obedience tenaciously lays hold of God and is an unshakable commitment to live life His way.

“And now… what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it… the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, Who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:12-14, 17-18 ESV).

Amazing, isn’t it? Humanity spurned its Creator and chose to attempt to rise to divine heights on its own (see Genesis 2:8-17, 3:1-23). But no matter how much we may have deserved rejection from the broken heart of a perfectly holy God, He did not shrug His shoulders and point His finger at us with accusatory brow-beatings, “You made your bed; now sleep in it!” Instead, He vindicated His holy Law by taking our punishment upon Himself in the form of Jesus Christ and simultaneously extended to each of us the offer of reconciliation. Oh, yes! How precious indeed is your life in the eyes of its Maker! How precious is the life of every man and woman, boy and girl to this amazing God!

How comforting to know that in a world as twisted and riddled as is ours with the disease of sin and selfishness, that one’s destiny doesn’t need to be a lifetime of futility ending in spiritual death. And what a tremendous blessing to know that this same God, Who bequeathed to me an enduring hope even as I placed my faith in His Son. This loving God has plans for me, my children, their children, and their children’s children, even though our world paints horrid pictures of despair and surrounds our young people with images of hopelessness and terror.

There are children today that the world says don’t matter and don’t count. There are children today who have been abandoned, orphaned, as it were by society. Nevertheless, they matter in the mind of God.

There are children today that the world says don’t matter and don’t count. There are children today who have been abandoned – orphaned by society. Nevertheless, they matter in the mind of God.

There are children today that the world says don’t matter and don’t count. There are children today who have been abandoned – orphaned by society. Nevertheless, they matter in the mind of God. Whether handicapped, abandoned by one or both parents, or unborn and unexpected, they too have His eyes watching over them and are objects of the same blessings that our Maker would lovingly pour out on all His creation.

Are you wrestling with feelings of inadequacy? Are you finding that a sense of belonging is eluding you? Have you ever been told that you’re not wanted or awakened one day to find yourself left behind by someone who should have loved you and helped you? Have you ever felt shut out of life and happiness, wondering if you’ll always feel like an outsider, wandering aimlessly through life?

Remember that God specializes in lifting up the downtrodden and repairing the broken-hearted. Remember that He is a guardian to those who are weak and afraid. Remember that “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18 ESV).

A person’s life is precious to the One Who gave it… even the one given to you. Guard it well and invest it wisely. Give it back, day-by-day, to the only One Who can enrich it and fill it with purpose, joy, and peace. Surrender it daily so that God Himself might multiply it and give back to you the riches of eternity, as He moves through your life and makes His goodness known to the world.

“… Fear the LORD your God….  Serve Him and hold fast to Him, and by His name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God.…” (Deuteronomy 10:20-21a ESV).

 

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

 

 

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Over the years, my sons and daughter have frequently enjoyed playing pranks on each other and so I have often seen their antics escalate like little familial arms’ races.  On one occasion my sons’ ran through the house, yelling and cackling as someone’s playful splash of cold water turned into militant attempts to slide ice cubes down someone else’s shirt. From that first small smattering into someone’s face came a step-by-step intensifying until no one seemed to be capable any longer of stopping – in spite of pleas to “hold it down: you’ll wake your sister!”

I clomped noisily through the house, deliberately attempting to add an ominous sound to each footstep and hoping to assert some restraint upon my sons as their mother worked to get them settled down enough for bed. My wife turned to me with a twinkle in her eye and said, “Why don’t you write about ‘revenge’? That’s how they’ve gotten so wound up: everybody feels like they’ve got to get everybody else back!”

It seemed very interesting that she had said that to me at that moment. I had just been remembering exploring a cave in the desert in the Middle East about eight years earlier, a cave that may have been very similar to the one that David, warrior of God, had used for refuge from his king. The heart of this king named Saul, although supported by David in every way, had turned in resentful jealously against this young and loyal subject.

David had been running from Saul for months, partly to protect his own life, but also partly because he was well aware of God’s promise of protection. Saul, a spiritual lemming if ever there was one, was apt to destroy himself in his reckless drive to murder David. And why was this? It was the result of an inward lashing out at God, as well as a kind of madness that besets us when we will not humble ourselves and submit to the lordship of Christ. His beleaguered vision, when looking David’s way, could only see the young man’s successes through eyes of rationalization and victimization. Consequently, each of David’s victories was interpreted through the prism of Saul’s jealous resentment, throwing fuel on the nasty suspicion that David was out to get him. So… with each of David’s imaginary conspiracies, Saul’s bitterness grew as did his dour-minded plots to dispose of him.

You might as well know that an innocent man makes a handy target. In innocence, his guard is generally down, making him very vulnerable. And the presumption that “all is well” permits him to walk a long way out on the thin ice of human relationships riddled with envy, unaware that his world might collapse beneath him at any moment. And when it does, such an episode can leave him feeling flabbergasted, exasperated, outraged, hurt, humiliated, and resentful. Before he knows it, unless great care has been taken to avoid this situation, he soon finds himself overflowing with angry thoughts towards the person(s) who hurt him and can fall very easily into a mindset of retaliation.

Such revenge, unlike the fun my sons were having, will do as much harm to the avenger as to the object of his vengeance.

David, on the lam for a long time, finds that the enemy has closed in on him. But, when it turns out that the older man doesn’t realize that David was in the same cave that he had chosen to uh… um, take care of a personal need (see 1 Samuel 24:3), David’s supporters, hiding with him in the back of the cave, attempt to provoke him to get his revenge upon Saul. The “natural” and “normal” thing to do would have been to do just as his companions urged. Nevertheless, vengeance was not the master of David’s heart or his head. The grace of God was.

“He said to his men, ‘The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.’ So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul.” (1 Samuel 24:6-7a ESV).

Revenge is a ghastly, double-edged sword. Of course, my children were simply playing a game, but if you take out the jovial and fun-loving nature of what they were doing, it would not have been long before their competitive spirits would have led them into hurting each others’ feelings. In a similar way, our pride and hurt often move us to quickly formulate strategies for retaliation against those who hurt us… but always to our own detriment. As long as we permit ourselves to be ruled by the compulsion to “get even”, we permit someone to have a power over us. We’ve given to our “adversaries” the keys to our own happiness and actually increased the potential for their damage against us, having given our attackers, as it were, the keys to our hearts.

Revenge is a ghastly, double-edged sword.

Revenge is a ghastly, double-edged sword.

But just because we have the opportunity to work out a little revenge in our words or actions, doesn’t mean we need to fall victim to our own bitterness and hand off to our “adversary” our capacity to be happy. Instead, “repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21 ESV).

1 Samuel, chapter 24 records David’s incredible opportunity to get even and get out from under Saul’s persecution of him. Yet, he chose a higher, more heavenly-principled path that, although much harder in the living in the short term, kept his conscience clean before God. Be wary of revenge. It promises satisfaction but only leaves an empty ache in us no matter how righteous it may seem. Besides… with the infinite beauty of the Lord before us to discover and celebrate, who has so much spare time that he or she can squander it by plotting out strategies to make someone else pay? Certainly not you… you have better things to do.

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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The biggest danger that we as Christians have at any given time is the ease with which we have in becoming distracted from the highest calling bestowed to us – that of loving God with all our heart and soul and strength (Matthew 22:36-38).  Gradually slipping from the wonderful summit of our first love, we cool down in our spiritual exhilaration.  The fading of our adoration is never instant nor easily recognizable.  Instead, it dissipates by degrees as the corrosion of our over-burdened schedules, over-stimulated senses, and over-whelming responsibilities eats at us leaving us little more than organic shells that function but don’t really live.

Just as each individual believer in Jesus is summoned to place all things under the banner of loving God with all that is within him, and secondly to love each other at least as much as each loves himself, the collective assembling of these Believers (the Church) is charged with the urgent and supreme task of leading people to faith in Jesus as Savior and teaching them to submit entirely to Him as Lord.

Just as individual Christians can become distracted, and as a result of that, become ineffective and fruitless, the Church can also be made so because those within her ranks become cold, apathetic, distracted, and disoriented.

The burning question follows, “Is the Church all that it should be?”  Is it compassionate, seeing with eyes like God’s the hurt and hopelessness of the world?  Is it pure, casting aside all things that hinder the fullness of God’s presence in its midst?  Is it faithful to carefully follow all of God’s loving commandments?  Is it visionary, seeking to bring the power of God into all spheres of human affairs?  And is it mobilized, soothing the wounds of people in the world with the balm of Jesus’ love?

And if we find ourselves unable to answer in the affirmative in each of these matters, the next question is one that we each should ask ourselves.  “Am I all that I should be in the Kingdom of God?”  The health of the Church is determined by the spiritual health of those that comprise her.  And if we do in fact find that the church (by which I mean all Christians as well as individual assemblies) is ailing, then we must conclude that those within her are ailing too, sick with the diseases associated with disharmony with God.

If we find that we have the symptoms that indicate that all things are not what they should be and the viruses of worldly perspectives and selfish agendas have infected us, we can assume that the Great Physician has already diagnosed our problem and is set on providing us the remedies necessary to set things right.

For example, in Revelation 2:1-7, Jesus speaks to the church in the ancient city of Ephesus, commending them on their hard work, but with His supernatural x-ray eyes, chides them for having lost their first love… their “passion” for Him.  The church in the city of Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) He acknowledges that they have been faithful in spite of strong spiritual opposition, yet points out that their passion for Him has become watered down among many passions, particularly physical ones which many today also erroneously equate with the term “passion”.  The church in the town of Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) He recognizes for their loving disposition, faith, service, and endurance, yet He zeroes in on the fact that their passion for Him has become obscured by immorality and idolatry.  In regard to the church in the city of Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6), He sees its program and visibility which likely seems really great and “cutting edge” to people all around them, yet, Jesus says that they are dead… that there is no life… no genuine connection with God and, therefore, no genuine spiritual activity in the hearts of its people:  a whole lot of “human” activity doesn’t necessarily mean that what is taking place is of God.  And finally the church in the town of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-20) He strongly rebuffs, diseased as it is with self and worldliness that run so deep that they have delusions of spiritual wealth and health.

If we find that we have the symptoms that indicate that all things are not what they should be and the viruses of worldly perspectives and selfish agendas have infected us, we can assume that the Great Physician has already diagnosed our problem and is set on providing us the remedies necessary to set things right.

If we find that the viruses of worldly perspectives and selfish agendas have infected us, we can assume that the Great Physician has already diagnosed our problem and is set on providing us the remedy necessary to set things right.

In each case, the remedy is the same.  Jesus said, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:19-22 ESV).

In each case, Jesus Himself is the answer.  We may look to a lot of different things in life to satisfy our cravings for attention, affirmations, and applause, but nothing and no one but Jesus Himself can bring to our hungry hearts genuine peace and hope.  We may settle for busy schedules and a lot of meager personal accomplishments that last for a little while, but nothing and no one but Jesus Himself can receive the investment of our love and service, multiply them so that they not only achieve more and go deeper than what we could on our own, but also make them last for eternity!

God’s love, revealed perfectly in the death and physical resurrection of Jesus, is the great need of our day… for us individually, and for us corporately in the church!  Not only so, but it is the great need of the world also.  If the church and her individual members have lost touch with their great lifeline, how then can the church be the conduit of hope that this messed up and suffering world needs?  Let it not be this way for us in our churches!  Let us seek God with all our heart, soul, and strength, bowing to His authority for our lives, for our families, and for our churches knowing that His will is best for us all.

“Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not Mine but the Father’s Who sent Me” (John 14:23-24 ESV).

 

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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Like anyone else in the world, God’s people today frequently find themselves in the midst of changes and feelings of being out of control. As long as they look at their circumstances from any perspective other than God’s, they will also fall victim to such internal calamities as discouragement, despair, worry, anger, bitterness and resentment.

On one occasion of great change in old Egypt, a new Pharaoh coming to power (see Exodus 1), the people of God found themselves suddenly faced with a hostile power that was determined to control them or even wipe them out entirely.

“…There arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.’ Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves…. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live” (Exodus 1:11-14, 22 ESV).

An evil plan from an evil man, meant to thwart the purposes of the Most High…. When will we ever learn?

The one thing that does not change is God. His love and power cannot be conquered. Time cannot erode them, whittling them to false hope. Nor is the promise of them for us ever forgotten by the One from Whom they flow. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 ESV). “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8 ESV). “For I said, ‘Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness” (Psalm 89:2 ESV).

Now, even though the worldly powers-that-were in Egypt were weaving a web meant to snare and destroy the people with whom the Lord had established a special covenant, God was also at work behind the scenes. He was moving in the lives of those the world had branded unimportant. And He did it specifically through a mother.

“Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him” (Exodus 2:1-4 ESV).

Through this woman, God secured two provisions essential to this nation that would be the line through which the Messiah would come. These things that He provided are the highest achievements of motherhood and define what it means to truly be a “mother”. The first provision was in the guarding of the life that God had entrusted to her in her son. In granting her a child, the Lord was giving her a part in the shaping of the future.

Keys in the Hands of MothersShe could have shirked that responsibility, walked away from it, made excuses as to why she could not fulfill it in a time when it was very possible that she also could have been killed for harboring her son. But she didn’t turn from the responsibility. She shielded him as long as she could and then, in placing him in the floating basket on the Nile River, trusted God to protect him when she could no longer do so, and then had her daughter stand nearby so she could still watch over him. And because she did all these things, her little baby boy was “given back” to her when she is “hired” to be nanny to her own son as he grows up in the house of the princess who pulled him out of the river.

“Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it.  When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying.  She took pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’  Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother.  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him” (Exodus 2:5-10 ESV).

So, in addition to the awesome task of guarding the future in the guarding of her son, she was also given the privilege of fulfilling another facet of her motherly calling by being a vessel through which God brings about His second great provision: the establishment and handing down of a godly legacy. The Scriptures do not actually say what she may have specifically taught her son, but we have a tremendous clue given us when we read later that, “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people” (Exodus 2:11 ESV – emphasis mine). He knew where he came from. And in knowing it, both a courage and a loyalty were stirred up within him to respond to the injustice that he saw taking place.

While the way Moses initially responded to what was going on in the world around him was a human way of dealing with problems resulting, of course, in failure, the foundation that his mother had laid within his heart would get dusted off again in later years and be the very ground upon which God Himself would build His great work of deliverance for His people from bondage and oppression.The Hands of Mothers

Today is no different in this respect. It is true that cultures change and that societies shift in their values and morals. It is even true that things that seem immutable can be gone in a flash: skyscrapers collapse, cities are nearly wiped off the face of the planet by wave and wind, governments are toppled and replaced. Even here in America, things can change in an instant.

But God is even now preparing for the future and is at work behind the scenes as He always has been. Today He has given the keys of the future into the hands of mothers. So let us thank God for His provision of godly mothers and let us pray for them that they might be instruments in His hand to guard the future and to hand down of a legacy of hope and holiness through Jesus Christ.

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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As far as pastimes go, “drawing lines” probably doesn’t rank on many people’s “to do” list. In fact, “drawing lines”, as in establishing boundaries for ourselves and for our children, seems to have a connotation of severity that many folks feel too narrow-minded and/or judgmental. On the other hand, I suggest that a failure to learn how to appropriately establish boundaries by which we stand in our habits, activities, and attitudes is essentially the equivalent of relational suicide in our homes and families. Without such wisely appointed boundaries, relationships, no matter how intimate, will suffer the devastation of disappointment and broken trust, as individuals either “use” others or are “used” by others in patterns of presumption. Without setting boundaries for ourselves as a people we are also committing a kind of societal homicide in which our lack of respect for God and other people escalates “reactive measures” as we are forced to legislate rules and laws which aren’t necessary when people are simply committed to doing things God’s way anyway.

People who cannot perceive the need for personal boundaries and do not instruct their children in how to constructively establish, evaluate, and maintain personal boundaries will reap a harvest of heartache and disappointment.

I think that one very strong reason that people have an innate distaste for drawing boundaries by which we determine how we will invest our time, energy, and affections is that we believe in our own innate goodness and assume that we have a sort of intrinsic spiritual wisdom inherent in our psychological make-up.

But human nature really isn’t as benevolent in essence as we would like to believe to which human history attests. And in reviewing how God has historically interacted with people throughout time, we see that some boundaries actually have divine order behind them. For example, even as God sent His people back into a land that He had given their ancestor over 400 years earlier, He drove out of the land of Canaan peoples who had geographical boundaries but no moral boundaries whatsoever, practicing the evil work of “passing their children through the fires of Molech” (a kind of human sacrifice involving their own babies being burned alive as offerings to pagan gods that they worshiped), and temple prostitution by which the “gods” vicariously had relations with worshipers in their temples.

As His people were sent into the land to take ownership of it as God had intended, just as important (if not more so) than the physical allotments being made (although they too were guided by God) were the spiritual, moral, and social boundaries given them by the One Who had delivered them from their bondage in Egypt.

In Exodus 20, verses 1 through 17, and reiterated in Deuteronomy 5, verses 7 through 21, God gives His people ten basic principles that would shape their personal assessments of right and wrong, the ways in which they must structure their familial relationships, and the laws that would govern their society. Worshiping no other gods, refusing to participate in idolatry, treating God’s name with reverence and awe, keeping a Sabbath day set aside to honor God, honoring our fathers and mothers, not committing murder or adultery or stealing, and neither lying or coveting the things of other people were very specific boundaries that were relevant then and are relevant now: even today they should serve as boundaries for Christians.

Frankly, I don’t think we merely fudge on these Ten Commandments; we blatantly defy them. It’s bad enough for folks to live life morally without an anchor if they’ve not had opportunity to learn that there IS an anchor on which they may depend. But what should be especially troubling and indeed heartbreaking to us as Christians today is that we don’t seem to see the relevance of God’s Law for our own lives. Some say, “But we don’t live according to the Law, but by grace.” And they’re quite right. But what escapes them is that the essence of God in the New Testament is consistent with His essence in the Old. And while we do truly live by the grace of God (by which we mean “unmerited favor”), those Ten Commandments are essential moral codes for navigating life today.

Some time ago, I was involved in a conversation about the “over sexualization” of teens and preteens. Much was said about the various social factors fomenting it. On the one hand, it was observed that our culture is absolutely saturated with sexually confusing and explicit information, and that our children are caught in the crossfire. I almost agree but believe that the truth is far more heinous than that: our children are actually targeted by selfish and evil-minded companies looking to attract younger customers to “exciting and cool” products.

Then, on the other hand, it was stated that, while the other observation is true, the “blame”, as it were, falls back on us parents who may think that making sex symbols of children is “cute”. We are also guilty of this spiral into immorality when we are pushovers when it comes to drawing lines for our children and then sticking by them (in movies, music, television show, un-chaperoned or poorly supervised teen events). Can one see why God gave us Ten Commandments in the first place? In addition to lifting us up out of natural instincts into a mindset more like His, He also gives us “boundaries” that move us collectively towards a greater corporate good and allow for higher personal happiness.

One of the greatest things that parents can do for their children today is to lovingly establish and gracefully enforce boundaries for their children so that they may learn and benefit from the love and wisdom of those who are their mothers and fathers.

One of the greatest things that parents can do for their children today is to lovingly establish and gracefully enforce boundaries for their children so that they may learn and benefit from the love and wisdom of those who are their mothers and fathers.

One of the greatest things that God has done for humanity is the giving of boundaries for our lives. One of the greatest things that you and I can do as His children is to observe them and yield to His loving authority, remembering that the reason Jesus came to earth in the first place was to restore the heart of humanity to a position of desiring to live peaceably within God’s boundaries (one “must be born again” – see John 3:3). And one of the greatest things that parents can do for their children today is to lovingly establish and gracefully enforce boundaries for their children so that they may learn and benefit from the love and wisdom of those who are their mothers and fathers.

Let us stop and catch our breath. Let’s pause and think for a moment before we get sucked into all the hyperactivity of spring and summer. Let us think about how we need boundaries for life (yes… even grownups need boundaries). We need boundaries in our relationships. We need boundaries in our spending. We need boundaries for our time and our pursuits. We need boundaries for our families. And we need boundaries spiritually speaking so that we may remember why we were put here in the first place… to love God with all that we are.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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…. When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were.. slaves… And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand…. The LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as we are this day” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, 20-21, 24 ESV).

It is time that we reconsider how God’s ways aid us in maintaining healthy priorities; teach us to discern what is holy and lovely versus what is ugly and common; and give us standards for life that allow us to live lives with an abundance of joy and peace which God Himself created for those who love and serve Him.

 

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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