Archive for August, 2014

The one-hundred and twenty degree heat of the sun bore down on my head with fierce zeal. At the moment there was no wind, but I was glad about the fact for it made things worse: just imagine aiming a blow-dryer at your face from only three inches away and turning it on “high”.

I determinedly clambered up the steep hill so I could look across the great rift that separated the Negev Desert from the Sinai. As I reached the pinnacle of the crag that I had climbed, I looked about me but could only see barren wasteland. Before my feet was a small gorge at least three-hundred feet deep, its far side rising sharply up into another cliff-face. Beyond each rocky and lifeless summit was another, the host of desert mountain tops marching on until they faded from sight in the dusty haze of the hot afternoon.

It is often when we are in "retreat" (a pulling away from distraction) that we more readily hear the still small voice of God .

It is often when we are in “retreat” (a pulling away from distraction) that we more readily hear the still small voice of God .

I glanced behind me and realized that the rest of my team members were preparing for a siesta so I would be left to my own devices for a time. I found a stone shelf near the top facing the west that was somewhat flat and out of sight and planted myself there so that I could have a few moments alone.

Well… not alone. It was, in fact, an opportunity to visit with God without the distractions of a busy schedule or the pressures of decision-making that constantly assaulted me. As I looked to the west, I thought about the mountains on the Egyptian side of the rift, the Sinai. Not so far from where I sat, the Israelites had been delivered by God from their centuries-long bondage and had marched towards the fulfillment of special promises that God had made them. Not so far from where I sat, the Lord had saved them from the attack of a hostile army as they made it through the impassable obstacle of the Red Sea and yet their pursuers did not.

As I sat there, I thought of those described in the Bible as having been used by God to powerfully change the world. What set them apart and made them especially attractive to God in His plans and in His mighty movements to work out His will for humanity? Merely their willingness to listen, trust and obey the Lord. Perhaps that was why God’s prophets and even the Lord Jesus Himself would withdraw from their busy lives to the remote wilderness.

Until I had spent that tiny bit of time in the desert, I had always envisioned the “wilderness” mentioned in the Scriptures as being a sort of “Rocky Mountain” or “Appalachian Trail” kind of wilderness… lots of green and lots of animals. But unlike places at which I had previously camped or visited, the wilderness of the Negev Desert was absolutely silent. There were no animals or birds to betray the ominous silence that seemed to fill my ears nearly as tangibly as cotton balls.

Maybe in those brief retreats wherein one was momentarily removed from the buzzing drone of human need and the blare of ignorance and idolatry seemed more remote, one could more readily hear the still small voice of God (1 Kings 19:12).

As I sat on my little rocky crag, I prayed. I praised. And I sat quietly in the vast silence. It was good to be alone with the Lord, if even for only a little while.

But then a fly landed on my arm. I flicked it away and resumed praying. The fly came back… this time with friends. I shooed the crowd of critters away again but they then began to buzz around my head. I continued to pray and worship God, but was now becoming increasingly agitated and less focused. It dawned on me then that my diminutive assailants were like so many little distractions and annoyances that accost all Believers in our walk with the Lord. Little things have a way of buzzing into the forefront of our thinking the very moment we try to settle down to spend some time in prayer or in reading (and meditating upon) God’s Word.

Let’s face it. Little things accumulate so quickly and easily in our lives that many of us are nearly drowning in details. There is such a buzzing going on in our minds so much of the time, even though we may go regularly to church and are perhaps even serving Him in some capacity, we can’t hear a thing He says to us. It’s like having Direct TV with hundreds of channels all on at the same time. Yeah, God’s “signal” is being “transmitted” (as His Holy Spirit moves in our lives), but we cannot make out what He’s saying (we can’t see the tree for the forest surrounding it). Consequently, the end result is that we lose our vital connection with God under the deluge of messages and signals sent our way and so we cannot be refreshed or given guidance: God’s divine provisions are sent, but we never receive them because we cannot find them in all the clutter of our fast-paced lives.

It’s those “little things” that dilute our passion for the Savior. It’s the “little things” in life that “get under our skin”, little annoyances that interfere with the peace of God that SHOULD be filling our troubled minds. It’s these “little things” that imperceptibly compromise our spiritual integrity and draw us from the sure footing of walking with the Savior.

It’s the “little things” that imperceptibly compromise our spiritual integrity and draw us from the sure footing of walking with the Savior.

It’s the “little things” that imperceptibly compromise our spiritual integrity and draw us from the sure footing of walking with the Savior.

But what do you do with the little buggers? As with me on that mountain peak in the Negev, you might try to “swat” a few here and there, but don’t even allow that to steal your gaze from the face of Jesus. Getting caught up in trying to eliminate ALL distractions is too distracting a venture to venture upon. Eliminate those things that CAN be removed but recognize that you cannot cut yourself off completely from responsibility nor can you foresee every contingency that might introduce distraction back into your life.

Also recognize that there is a spiritual power at work that does NOT want you to tune into God and will attempt to step up your distractions. Just as the Lord Jesus, in a critical time alone with God, found Himself the target of distracting ideas, suggestions, and temptations from the prince of that evil power (from Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, & Luke 4:1-13), you too will find yourself subject to notions and impulses that will try to grab hold of your attention and keep your gaze turned away from the Prince of Peace.

These spiritual “flies” will buzz and buzz, but you and I need to just let them buzz while we stay busy with seeking God’s face in His Word, through prayer, and in service to Him for the sake of His kingdom. It is not a coincidence that a “nickname” for the devil is “Beelzebub” (meaning, “Lord of the Flies”). He is indeed the “Lord of Distraction”, as well as, I might point out, the “Lord of Lies”. We too easily follow his leading over the leading of God Himself.

Nevertheless, we have in God both true light and real life. Let us not allow ourselves then to be robbed of an unspeakably marvelous gift by failing to spend quality time with Him in prayer and in personal worship. Even the “Lord of Flies” is tiny and inconsequential compared to the King of all creation. “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God… He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great… things that your eyes have seen” (Deuteronomy 10:17a, 21 ESV).


Copyright © Thom Mollohan


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Good for the Soul

Of the many “church” words that often make us cringe, we find ranked highly them the word “confess”.  Chances are, when you hear it, you have an impulse to stick your fingers in your ears and sing the national anthem.  But it’s an important word.  In fact, it’s a GREAT word – provided it is understood correctly and lived out appropriately.  So just what DOES the Bible mean by the word, “confess”? And why is it important and even necessary for us to have learned how to confess in a Biblical sense?

As far as how the word itself goes (as used in the Bible), the word “confess” is a Germanic/English rendering of two Latin roots… “con-” (meaning “with”) and “-fess” (meaning to “say”); the Greek word from which this comes is “homologeo” which literally means “same word” and should usually be interpreted as to “acknowledge” or “agree with”.

While it’s entirely possible that you don’t really care about the ins and outs of translations, etc., you very likely DO care about the bottom line. The word translated in the Bible as “confess” involves an utterance of the mouth and outward acknowledgement of truth. It means, in a spiritual sense, to speak out. But what is it that one is speaking out?

Well, for starters, saying “I’m sorry” is NOT confession, nor is asking for forgiveness. These things might be attached to confession, but they are not confession in of themselves. For me to confess, I must openly AGREE WITH GOD about Who God is, and about my sinful nature. It means to declare that God is really God, and is the rightful Lord of both the world and of my life. “…If you CONFESS with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one CONFESSES and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10 ESV).

Moreover, confession candidly admits the wrongs that I have done, the hurts that I have contrived, and the sin that I have committed. I do not rationalize these things, nor do I excuse them. I simply own up to what I’ve done and what I’ve said, taking responsibility for them. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean airing all the details of our dirty laundry, it DOES mean that we no longer deny the corruption within our fallen hearts, that we “fess up” to God in prayer, and even learn the art of admitting our faults and failures to those we’ve hurt or to whom we are accountable.

And as bad a rap as confession gets, we would be making a terrible mistake to dismiss it as archaic or irrelevant, and hence miss out on its blessing. In a purely pragmatic sense, confession allows me to address destructive habits and attitudes that may characterize my own life and sets the stage for both change and release from cycles of failure and injustice towards others. Furthermore, confession opens the door to the restoring of relationships that have suffered because of the wrong I may have said and done.

But MOST importantly, confession is a manifestation of my openness to God’s grace when I admit that I have broken His divine commandments and violated His trust (whether outwardly and obviously, or secretly in the hidden places of my heart and mind). Through confession, I make no excuses for my sin and instead throw myself on the mercy of the highest court of all: the Judge Who eternally rules. In confessing my sin to Him, I allow His forgiveness to wash me and make me new. “If  we CONFESS OUR SINS, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 ESV).

"Ultimately, confession is a manifestation of my openness to God's grace when I admit that I have broken His divine commandments and violated His trust.

“Ultimately, confession is a manifestation of my openness to God’s grace when I admit that I have broken His divine commandments and violated His trust.

Real confession cannot happen only inside your mind or heart but must ultimately somehow be articulated by the mouth… largely because SPEAKING the truth realigns the direction of one’s heart and will with that of the Father’s. But even so, there isn’t any sort of “script” to this… each example of “confession” in the Scriptures has its own flavor and is unique to each individual that Jesus called to Himself.

Consider Peter who fell at Jesus feet and confessed, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8) and then confessed to Jesus that He was indeed, “the Christ of God” (Luke 9:20). Or Zaccheaus who said to Him, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor.  And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold” (Luke 19:8 ESV). Or the sinful woman of Luke 7 who stood behind Jesus at a Pharisee’s home and was so choked up by His accepting her in spite of her past that she could only weep and then wipe His feet with her tears in heart-wrenching humility. Or even the Samaritan woman of John 4 who also ultimately AGREED with the Lord when she appealed to her fellow villagers to, “Come, see a Man Who told me EVERTHING I EVER DID”.

Even the thief on the cross beside Jesus “confessed” when he recognized the Lord of lords and King of kings for Who He is, even as Jesus hung dying on the cross of Calvary. “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying ‘Are You not the Christ?  Save Yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?  And we justly, for WE ARE RECEIVING THE DUE REWARD OF OUR DEEDS; but THIS MAN HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG.’ And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom’” (Luke 23:39-42 ESV- emphasis mine).

Again, confession of sin is NOT the same things as saying “I’m sorry” and, of course, any efforts on our part to justify or excuse our sin would be extremely offensive to Him. It’s interesting to note, by the way, that our word for “apology” comes from “apologia” which means “defense” and refers to a plea in which one attempts to clear oneself of guilt. Be that as it may, the Biblical principle is this: inasmuch as we defend or rationalize sin, seeking to justify ourselves, we will fail and fall short of God’s glory.

But, in contrast, when we “confess”, we agree with God that He is holy and just, and that we are, in fact, “poor in spirit”. When we can bring ourselves to do this, we can then expect Him to deliver on His promise to give us the “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). So let us each then learn to pray honestly to the One Who knows our hearts anyway. And let us also seize the joy and victory He intends for those “who shall confess Jesus before Men, for Jesus will also confess us before the Father Who is in heaven” (from Matthew 10:32).


Copyright ©  Thom Mollohan

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To say that Jesus lived out the days of His earthly life always in the midst of controversy and conflict would be a huge understatement. People never seemed to quite know how to take Him and were constantly trying to “figure Him out”. They seemed to think that if they could just get inside His head or could neatly categorize Him as maybe just a teacher, a prophet, a lunatic, or even a demon-possessed man, they then could move on and conveniently go on living their lives as they wanted.

But Jesus could not be and can not be easily understood or tritely explained away. His authority over the physical universe wasn’t, for instance, someone’s repertoire of sleight-of-hand tricks akin to Las Vegas magic shows. He didn’t feed thousands of people miraculously with a few loaves and fishes merely by using mirrors. His liberating men and women from their bondage to evil spirits or diseases and crippling disabilities was not staged with actors and laser lights but with folks who had been widely known as suffering very real and overpowering afflictions.

Nor were His motives open to psychoanalysis as if His message of grace, His call to holiness, and His lifestyle of self-denial were the results of unresolved fixations left over from His childhood. Thus, as much a mystery as “how” He did what He did was “why”. One thing that we can be certain of is that He did not come to earth to coddle the self-righteousness of those who had failed in their charge of connecting people to God. Nor was He interested in spending His priceless time in endless attempts to convince the unconvincible.

“The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Him they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, ‘When it is evening, you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.” And in the morning, “It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.” You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.’ So He left them and departed” (Matthew 16:1-4 ESV).

Did Jesus seem concerned that there were leaders who remained rooted in doubt? No, He simply proceeded with His mission of hope to those whose hearts were tender, to those who weren’t paralyzed by their longing to hold on to the power, prestige, and possessions that their status as leaders gave them. Those who have dined on the fat of their own accomplishments yearn ever for the empty calories that future ambitions provide them. But to those who hunger for something more, for something that isn’t just a “sugary” mixture of short-term pleasures, He Himself will provide bread but will nourish us and produce lasting fruit.

Do you feel like something is lacking in your life? A sense of peace with God and freedom from the tyranny of sin? A hope for something beyond the grave and an assurance that your eternity is secure? Your goal may perhaps be to dine at the “table of self-indulgence”, but you’ll still feel famished, starving for real meaning and purpose. Maybe you’ve drunk the intoxicating “wine of pride”, but find that you are still parched for the cool and clear waters of peace that only Jesus can give. Maybe you’ve breathed the fumes and fogs of confusion and doubt long enough but now crave the fresh airs of God’s presence, sweetly and gently perfumed by His love and grace.

In the event that you want to believe in this message of hope but have trouble fathoming the fact that He offers you an invitation to know Him personally and receive the gift of eternal life, consider the depth and breadth of His compassion for those who are hungry.


Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst." - John 6:35 ESV

Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35 ESV

“Great crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at His feet, and He healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, ‘I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.’ And the disciples said to Him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, He took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children” (Matthew 15:30-38 ESV).

In that day and age, Jesus had great compassion for those who were hungry physically but even more so for those who hunger spiritually. He still has today great compassion for those are hungry. Not only that, He has the power and the provision in this wide, wide universe to meet our hungers with bread that sustains. Are you hungry for God’s love? Jesus has offered you an open door to receive His forgiveness and grace. Are you thirsty for hope and peace? Jesus Himself is a spring that cannot run dry and will quench your thirst for new life.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst…. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’” (John 6:35, 37-40 ESV).

Come to Jesus and let your famished spirit be filled with the bread of His forgiveness. Come to Jesus and let Him quench your thirsty soul with His love.

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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Spiritual life and significance can be measured by neither levels of activity nor by our emotions. In fact, emotional charges we get when we attend highly-charged meetings can encourage us, but are in some ways a bit like coffee.

Things that excite us spiritually, while pleasant and often helpful, can be no more than the metaphysical equivalents of caffeine!

Things that excite us spiritually, while pleasant and often helpful, can be no more than the metaphysical equivalents of caffeine!

Now don’t get me wrong! I like coffee! A bit too much (which is why I frequently will “fast” from it)….

Nevertheless, emotional highs from “super spiritual” experiences (e.g., a Christian music concert with an incredible speaker) can affect us a bit like coffee in the morning. Of course, the caffeine in coffee doesn’t generate any real energy in your system… it just speeds up your metabolism giving you the sensation and temporary effect of a surge of energy. In a similar way, things that excite us spiritually, while pleasant and often helpful, can be no more than the metaphysical equivalents of caffeine!

So if we’re not careful, we can get confused about our own spiritual condition (maybe assuming that we’re way off track because the positive feelings have cooled off a bit). Or we can assume the opposite, that we’re right on track when we’re feeling “high” with enthusiasm.

The fact is, though, that unless we’re carefully nurturing an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we’re going to reach some really wrong conclusions and likely make some really bad decisions. Make sure then that you’re getting more than just spiritual coffee in your life.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).


Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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When all is said and done and when the history of our lives is complete, what measure shall be used for unveiling a man or woman of greatness? The barometer will simply be the fact of the Eternal Father’s pleasure in finding the trusting surrender of a person’s life to His measureless grace. It is this trusting surrender that compels a person to begin the initial trek of turning his or her life over to God’s cleansing forgiveness. It is this abandonment to confidence in God that beckons us to enter a lifestyle of yielding our wishes, desires, and plans to the mysterious, yet perfect, will of God. And it is in the willful casting of ourselves upon His greatness that permits us to enter into the arena of hope in which we may witness the hand of God’s deliverance.

When we shed our garments of flesh, and we leave this earth without all the material things we thought that we needed, what will be our vindication that life was worth the living?

When we shed our garments of flesh, and we leave this earth without all the material things we thought that we needed, what will be our vindication that life was worth the living?

Even if we were to reside in plush palaces and have at our disposal all kinds of conveniences as well as the means to accomplish all that we could wish according to our limited understanding, we must agree (if we are to pursue true wisdom, success, and significance) with ancient and powerful declarations that God is good, God is great, and that His creation is ultimately His sovereign domain.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2 ESV).

What tempests have rocked your world in the past? And what lurks just beneath the horizon that will spring upon you in the days to come, relentless and ruthless, prepared to steal your joy, your sense of security, and perhaps every last shred of dignity? Unless your confidence is only in God, you are not prepared. Maybe you have great insurance. Maybe your job is stable and steady. Hopefully, your health is all that you could wish and you’ve never felt better.

But don’t be fooled by calm waters and steady seas. There are massive leviathans of trouble and tragedy lurking beneath serene scenes that are ready and waiting to upset the precariously crafted lives we lead, and to do so without the benefit of any forewarning. Yet… for someone whose life is held tight in the grip of El Shaddai (God Almighty), the comfort and security that spill out of the knowledge that He is in control, robs the robbers of joy their spoil. Our trust in God binds the burglars of hope and peace when they creep into our lives invisibly or jump out at us with the suddenness of unexpected death.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 62:5-6 ESV).

When we shed our garments of flesh, and we leave this earth without all the material things we thought that we needed, what will be our vindication that life was worth the living? What will be our reward? What will bring us the satisfaction that every grief, every hardship, and every hurt was worth what we have endured? It will be the smile of our Father as He receives to Himself all those who have found the forgiveness that only Jesus’ sacrifice can secure. It will be the knowledge that our trusting in Him for eternal life and holiness was an acceptable offering to Him and that His name was truly exalted somehow through our lives.

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:8 ESV).

The lives that will in the end be proven to have been empty of meaning and will have somehow squandered what promise that had been instilled in their beginnings, are those that are built on the faulty foundations of human wisdom, are riddled with yieldings to the compulsions of physical cravings, and are “sheltered” by the “house-of-cards” presumption of human pride.

“Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.  Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them” (Psalm 62:9-10 ESV).

But tragedy is not the final destination that God has in mind for you. Whatever griefs are given access to you and whatever pain is permitted to approach you, God’s plan is to produce a precious pearl of eternal value that could never have been realized without them. God doesn’t make light of sorrow, nor does He handle our pain with calloused coldness, but He WOULD have us lift our eyes to an eternal hope and not be defeated by a temporary trouble. Our hurt says God is nowhere or that He doesn’t care, but we need to set aside such cracked lenses and let the testimony of His promises heal our sight. Our hope in Christ says God is here and will lead us right, rewarding our faith in Him with the everlasting treasure of His presence.

“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to You, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For You will render to a man according to his work.” (Psalm 62:11-12 ESV).


Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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On one occasion some years ago, my three sons stood in line with me and their uncle (my brother-in-law) as we all scrutinized the sign before us. “You Must Be This Tall To Ride This Ride,” it said. The older two were in the “safe zone” but the youngest just barely “measured up”, so to speak. After breathing a hearty sigh of relief, he began to leap up and down in excitement. In between bounces, he managed to ask me why there was a rule about how tall one has to be.

“It’s to keep you safe,” I answered. “The ride is a very dangerous thing for someone who isn’t ready for it.” Although I suspect he would have found it far less satisfactory if he hadn’t been able to ride it, the answer seemed to satisfy him and he turned his attention back to watching those who were already on it. But as we stood there, my own thoughts remained on the subject, shifting ever so slightly to the ways that families thrust their children spiritually “onto rides” for which they’re simply not ready emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Children, for example, are exposed on a regular basis to the emotionally charged and confusing themes that typical evening television broadcasts into typical homes in our world. Sexual themes, cruel and selfish behavior (often masquerading as comedy), and social ills labeled as “alternative lifestyles” are regularly presented without sufficient parental guidance to guide children in the “digestion” of them. Left to fend for themselves, our young people will have little to no alternative to assuming that the situations being painted on the silver screen before their eyes are the way life really is.

The most important “signs” our kids have to help them navigate the dangers of this world are their parents.

The most important “signs” our kids have to help them navigate the dangers of this world are their parents.

As I continue to consider that lamentable pattern of parental failure, the titanic stupidity of our failing to guide and guard our children strikes home to me. It is no small thing to be given the charge as father or mother to the children that God has entrusted to us. And we must expect an ultimate accounting of our job as parents to God Himself. While He knows that we are imperfect and doesn’t expect us to be perfect parents, He won’t wink at our neglect if neglect characterizes our parenting.

And we of course want to be wary of neglect in ALL its forms. Not only do we nurture our children physically, academically, and athletically, we also are called to guide them in matters of morals, justice, character, and (most importantly) spiritual things. But if you are intimidated by being that kind of mentor and guide, the anxiety that you’re feeling is the right emotion (that’s exactly what I feel).

You and I must therefore learn to depend upon the help of God in the rearing of our children. After all, He has promised that “we can do all things through Christ Who gives us strength” (Philippians 4:13). “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV).

We each must become a “student” of God’s Word so that we might learn His heart, His ways, and His purposes and then in turn share them with our children. “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” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV).

Neglecting to actively engage this most high calling of nurturing our children towards the things of God is to choose to be agents of damnation for these that God has entrusted to us. And we obviously cannot expect our children to begin to demonstrate any commitment or interest at all to things that God esteems if we haven’t taught them to do so and modeled it to them ourselves. After all, honesty, courage, love, compassion, mercy, faithfulness, and sacrifice have their source in Him. If we never work to connect our kids to the source, then we shouldn’t expect to see those things come to fruition in their character.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it…. But a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 22:6; 29:15b).

As we think about how morally and spiritually perilous the world is, let us confess to God the sin of failing to rear our children in His ways and let us turn to Him, wholeheartedly committing ourselves to not only walk in His ways, but to rear our children in His ways also. And as we consider how heavy but wonderful mantle of parenthood is when God places it upon our shoulders, let us remember that God Himself will be our strength and provider of wisdom as we lean on Him and let His Word shape who we are.

Since there isn’t a sign on each opportunity presented by the world to our children saying, “You Must Be This Tall to Ride This Ride”, the only “signs” our kids have to help them are their parents. Let us then be the best, most Godly parents that we can be. After all, the world “is a very dangerous thing for someone who isn’t ready for it.”


Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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