Today's Word for Pastors...
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Handling Your Children And Handling Your Parents
The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures. (Proverbs 30:17)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" — this is the first commandment with a promise: "so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-3)
Today, on Father's Day, I feel led by the Holy Spirit to address parent-child relations.
Let me make clear that I do not share with you from the authority position of one who has mastered biblical teachings in my own life as either a father or a child. But I am endeavoring to wrestle with these issues along with you. God forbid that there be any attitude of arrogance or superiority. The starting point of everything I teach and preach is that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. None of us is perfect. That's another way of saying that all have sinned. Each of us, myself included, is part of this local organization, the church, which could just as well be referred to as "sinners anonymous." We are a group of men and women of all ages who acknowledge that we are sinners and need the forgiveness provided through Jesus Christ and the help and strength of the Holy Spirit and each other to make it through one day at a time.
Once this ground rule is clearly established, that I speak as one of you, not as one separate from you, we can move on as we endeavor to confront these very important teachings of God's Word.
The message has two parts. Part one is addressed to parents. Part two is addressed to children.
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In a recent issue of his One Minute Uplift newsletter, Rick Ezell writes: "The pages of history are lined with individuals encountering negative setbacks only to make something positive out of them. They are better for it. In many cases so are we."Thomas Edison, when a boy, received a blow on his ear which impaired his hearing. What a tragedy! Later he felt his deafness was a blessing, for it was a tool by which he was saved from distractions.
This allowed him to concentrate on his work, and out of that concentration emerged some of the greatest inventions of all times."Victor Hugo, a literary genius of France, was exiled from his country by Napoleon. What a tragedy! Out of that period of exile arose some of his most creative works. When he later returned home in triumph, he asked, 'Why was I not exiled earlier?'"Helen Keller, born blind and deaf, faced obstacle after obstacle in her life. However, on more that one occasion she confided, 'I thank God for my obstacles, for through them I have found myself, my work and my God.'"
George Frederick Handel was at a low point in his life. His money was gone, and his creditors hounded him, threatening him with imprisonment. His right side became paralyzed, and his health deteriorated. For a brief time he was tempted to give up. In the midst of the darkness he picked himself up and began to do the only thing he knew to do--write music.
Out of that despair he wrote the oratorio known as The Messiah, which many consider the greatest piece of church music in history."The fiber tying Edison, Hugo, Keller and Handel together is that these people refused to be defeated by their problems. They saw their misfortunes and bad luck not as dilemmas to destroy them, but as opportunities to grow and develop in ways that otherwise would have been impossible."
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