And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath

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And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4 KJV

We are called to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  As fathers our desire should be to reflect our Father in Heaven.  He was revealed through His Son Jesus Christ.  Because of Jesus we know that our Father is full of grace, mercy, and love.  His love for us is unconditional and eternal.  He desires to teach us through every mistake and that we would continue to grow to deeper maturity in Him.

This should be our desire for our earthly children.  We should love them with an every lasting  and unconditional love.  Yes our children will make mistakes, but our desire and aim should be to teach them through every short coming.  We must develop within them a deep study and understanding of God’s word and prayer.  This only comes as we daily set the example before them in the way that we live our lives and pursue the Lord with our whole heart.  May we understand that our children are not our own, but ultimately belong to the Lord.  May we be wise stewards of our children and do all things by the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

 

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How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him

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If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 11:13 NIV

Our Father in Heaven has created us with purpose and with destiny.  We are not saved by accident or coincidence.  The Lord chose us before the foundations of the earth.  He has gifted us and He has anointed us.  He desires to pour out all that He has planned for our lives.  But it all comes as we seek Him in the place of prayer.

God has created the earth in a way that He chooses to operate through the prayers of His people.  We will never fully understand how prayer works until we stand before the Lord in His kingdom.  But we know that time and time again we are called by the Lord to pray.  He not only calls us to pray but tells us that He hears us when we pray and He responds.

There is much that takes place in the spiritual realm that we cannot see nor fully understand.  But we are called to pray and to do so by faith.  The Lord has called us to ask, seek, and knock.  He has even told us that if men who are evil know how to give good gifts to their children when they ask, how much more will our Father in Heaven respond at the prayers of His children.

The enemy will always try to discourage us from the place of prayer.  But we need to recognize that it is simply a lie and deception.  God has called us to pray in His word.  He has called us to pray without ceasing.  He has called us to pray according to His will and in the name of Jesus.  This is not complicated, we need to simply open our mouths and press into the place of prayer.  May we flood the throne of Heaven with prayers and may our prayers never be limited by our fears or our human understanding.  May we simply pray as the Holy Spirit leads and simply be obedient.  May we simply be a people and a house of prayer.

Bearing graciously with one another

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12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.  Colossians 3:12-13 AMP

We are God’s chosen people.  We are called to be holy because He is holy.  As we live our lives for Him each day our lives become a vessel of his glory.  Our lives have been set apart for His purposes.  As we walk with Christ we are sanctified on a daily basis.

We are called to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Simply put we are told to put on the character and nature of Christ.  As we seek the Lord and abide in Him our hearts are transformed.  Our hearts become one with His and we begin to see the world around us as Jesus sees it.

We are called to bear graciously with one another.  We live in a world of broken people and even in the body of Christ we are a people in process.  We have people who are at all different growth and maturity levels and because of this we must bear with one another.  God because of His grace and His mercy has poured out His love upon us and therefore we must pour out our love on one another.

We must be willing to forgive one another.  One of the greatest weapons of the enemy is offense.  He has used offense to create divisions in families, marriages, and churches.  But if we are to truly have the heart of Christ it is a heart of forgiveness.  It was Jesus who cried upon the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” as He hung upon the cross.  Let us love one another and be the sons and daughters God has called us to be.

Enter through the narrow gate

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“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 AMP

We are commanded by the Lord to enter through the narrow gate.  Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life.  There is only one way to the Father and it is through Him.  What is interesting is that in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve could eat from every tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  But today on earth there is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ.

Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many will find it.  We live in a culture and day where people claim to believe all types of things.  Our culture will claim there are many ways to God or that God doesn’t exist at all and a person is simply their own god.  But the truth of God’s word has not changed.  Jesus is the only way to the Father.  What is very said about this verse is that Jesus says many will find the broad road that leads to destruction.  One of the reasons I believe this is is because to follow Jesus a person must be willing to make Him both Lord and Savior and where many struggle is making Him Lord.

But small and narrow is the road that leads to eternal life.  It is not an easy road.  A decision to follow Jesus Christ is a decision to die to ourselves on a daily basis.  Our sinful nature and our flesh desire to be comfortable.  They desire to chase after the lust and desires of this world.  But for us to live for Christ each day we must abide in Him.  It is only through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit that we are able to do this.  It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us for all things.

No matter what the world and our culture claim there is only one way to God and that is through Christ alone.  For a person to be saved they must confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus is truly Lord.  It is through Him alone that forgiveness can be found because of His precious blood that was shed at Calvary.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty

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Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. – 1 Chronicles 29:11 NASB

God is the only one who deserves to be worshiped. So many times people in this world spend their lives worshiping celebrities, people in power, and even those in ministry. But when we examine God’s word and take time to meditate upon the greatness of God we see that He alone deserves our worship.

Satan’s greatest mistakes was in his pride he believed he deserved to be worship. He allowed pride to fill his heart and his eyes to become focused on himself. Today he still tries to steal the worship only God deserves. It is when our worship is given to God alone that we truly experience all that God has for us. And worship is not merely the songs we sing it is the way we live our lives. The more we come to know the Lord and grow in Him, the more He simply becomes our obsessions and our pursuit.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His loving kindness

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18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His loving kindness,
19 To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine. Psalm 33:18-19

To fear the Lord means to reverently worship and live for Him each day. It doesn’t mean that we live in terror of the Lord because those who fear Him are those who truly have come to know His love and His grace.

Everything God does in our lives is because He loves us and wants what is best for us. There are times when He closes doors and allows difficult circumstances because He knows and understands what He is accomplishing is our lives.

He protects and watches over those who serve Him with their whole heart. It is impossible to experience all that the Lord has for us if we fail to walk in obedience to the Lord and seek Him. Those who simply treat God like some genie that they only cry out to when they want something fail to understand Him and fail to truly know Him.

The Lord has promised to meet our every need. Even in the midst of a famine the Lord would still provide our every need. He is our good Father and Shepherd. He holds all things in His hands and nothing is too difficult for Him. May we seek and cry out to Him daily. May we commit our whole heart unto Him. He is returning soon and is calling us to remove anything from our lives that would hinder our relationship with Him.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you

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When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?  Psalm 56:3-4

The Lord is our light and our salvation.  He is our rock and our fortress.  He is our sword and our shield.  We have nothing to fear. Often times in life as we walk with Christ we can face circumstances and situations which will test us and stretch us.  If we simply focus on the situation without seeing it through the eyes of the Lord, we can become filled with fear.

But when we view all things from God’s perspective we see He is simply in control.  He can work in any situation and circumstance and use it for our good and our glory.  He chose us before the foundation of the world and He has designed and ordered our every step.  Nothing is a surprise to Him and nothing with Him happens by accident or chance.  Everything is on purpose for an eternal purpose.  He has simply put us on this earth to bring glory and honor to His name.  May we fix our eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ and prepare our hearts for His soon coming.

But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

Salvation is a free gift from God.  It is not earned but simply received.  It is received by placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and living for the Lord each day.  Placing our faith in Jesus is more than just simply believing in Jesus.  To place our faith in Jesus means that our life is built upon Jesus, we have turned from our sins and turned fully to the Lord.

The only result of living in sin is destruction and death.  Sin is deceptive and it would seem when we are living in sin and pursuing the desires of our sinful nature that we are truly living in freedom.  But we are simply bound by sin and we are enslaved to the devil.  But when our hearts are given to Christ we are set free from the bondage of sin and are no longer enslaved to the devil and this world.  Each day as we abide in the Lord He leads and guides us one step at a time.  It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us from the inside out.  As we study God’s word each day our minds are renewed and as our minds are renewed our lives are transformed.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV

There is great blessing in simply trusting in the Lord.  In this life we will face trials and tribulations.  We will faces many storms on our journey with Jesus.  But through everything we face God will sustain us.  He will sustain us by His grace and power.  As we grow in Christ we learn to trust the Lord more and more in all situations.

Growing in Christ is a very uncomfortable thing.  Because what God is continually doing is He is challenging us.  He is pruning us and cutting away the aspects of our sinful selfish nature and He is replacing it with the character and nature of Christ.  He has given us His word each day to feed off of because the enemy is continually trying to bombard our minds with lies and deceptions.

God is faithful in every situation.  The dreams and desires He has placed within us, He will be faithful to complete and fulfill.  Many times the enemy will fill our hearts and minds with doubts and fears that some how God has forgotten us or somehow we have missed it.  But as we abide in Him each day and walk closely with Him we will be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river.  Hold fast my friends, God is always faithful.  He is leading and guiding us each day and preparing us for His glory.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

The Lord will comfort us in the most difficult moments of our lives.  He does this to strengthen and sustain us for the journey.  He does it to develop compassion within us for those who are also suffering so that the same comfort we have received from the Lord, we will pour out upon them.

Many times when we are going through something hard we can feel overwhelmed.  But we must remember where our strength comes from.  It is the Lord who sustains us and His grace is sufficient for all things.  He has given His word to sustain us and transform us.  He is faithful 100 percent of the time.

Too many times we allow the discouragement of the enemy to creep into our hearts and minds.  But we must recognize it for what it is and where it comes from.  God is faithful.  Today if you are suffering or going through a difficult time simply draw near to the Lord.  Allow Him to minister to your heart and strengthen you for the journey.  He has created you with destiny and purpose.  By His mighty power and grace He will bring all things to pass.