In Sons, Sports on March 21, 2013 at 11:14 am
This week marked a very important achievement in the life of my boys. They did something they had never done and did it with excitement that made their dad proud. They sat down out the kitchen counter and debated, chose, changed their mind, debated some more, and then finally chose again who would be the NCAA national champion (we picked Louisville, by the way). This year my boys have become increasingly interested in sports (once again something that makes their dad proud). So we decided to fill out a March Madness bracket together. The two opening days of March Madness used to be my two favorite sports watching days of the year. So to see my boys get excited about it brings me joy.
When our children are born we envision things that we will one day get to share and enjoy with them. March Madness is one of those things that I always hoped to enjoy with my boys (and who knows maybe my daughter too). Who knows if this is a one time occurrence, or if 20 years from now we will be comparing brackets like me and my dad and step-dad still do. One thing I do know is that one of the things I remember hoping would happen when my boys were born has happened, and it’s pretty cool.
As I sat at our kitchen counter explaining how the brackets worked and helping them understand who to pick or not pick (as if I have a clue, trying to explain to a 7-year-old how a 12 seed always ends upsetting a 5 seed is difficult), I thought about another hope for our future that I had when they were born. I hope to sit in our kitchen, living room, or wherever and with the same excitement have them discussing what God has done for them in Christ. It’s my prayer that they will get excited about knowing Christ. I would love to be debating, explaining, questioning, and answering questions about the Bible with them. I pray that they would be excited about learning and knowing more of Christ. I hope that they will be excited about seeing what God has planned for their future.
“For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:3-4
So as you watch March Madness over the next couple weeks pray for your kid’s or grandkids’ to find joy and excitement in trusting and watching God move in their lives. If the opportunity arises be bold to share with them of a greater joy than sports. Enjoy March Madness, but make sure you are pointing your children to the greatest joy, don’t let them settle for an insufficient substitute.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11
In Bible, Money on February 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm
The last three weeks we have discussed what the Bible says about money. We’ve spent a majority of our time looking at what our attitudes should be towards money.
The first week we looked at Deuteronomy chapter 8 especially at verses 17 and 18, pointing out that all that we have comes from the Lord. Therefore, we should not think too highly of ourselves in regards to what we have obtained. Also we shouldn’t worry about our circumstances because we know that our provisions come from the Lord and since he cares for us we shouldn’t worry. In good times and in difficult times we must focus on God not ourselves.
“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
(Deuteronomy 8:17-18 ESV)
The second week we looked at Psalm 73 and realized that we shouldn’t compare our situation with other people’s place in life. What we have or don’t have is a result of what God has prepared us for or what he is preparing us for. We don’t know what is in store for others, be it good or bad, therefore we shouldn’t envy anyone. We all know people that we think have it all and in an instant their life seems to fall apart for some reason or another. Don’t focus on others focus on God.
The third week we looked at our priorities. We looked at Matthew 6:10-34. We noted that we must choose between God or money, but we can’t serve both. We don’t need to worry about tomorrow but we should focus on trusting God for today. We also looked at 1 Timothy 6 especially verse 5, where Paul says, ”imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” It is amazing that we are so screwed up. God sent his Son to die in our place, for our sins, so that we could have a relationship with Him. ridiculously we aren’t satisfied with eternal life, we aren’t satisfied with a relationship with our Heavenly Father but we are greedy for something far less valuable…money. Paul points out that there are those who incorrectly see godliness as a means to wealth. If we see God as a means to an end rather than “the end” we have jacked up priorities. When our focus is our relationship with God all other things have a way of working themselves out. When our focus is on money things have a way of getting out of balance. Our first priority is to focus on God.
Our discussion about money has led me to conclude that we should view money by focusing on God and letting him guide our financial future. Rather than using God to attain what we think our financial future should be. He knows what we need. He promises to give what we need. He loves us. We can trust Him.
In Money, Questions on February 7, 2013 at 7:52 am
Below are some questions that might help you diagnose what your treasure is. Kevin Thompson wrote these questions for use at Community Bible Church .
1. Would your satisfaction in life be greater if your income significantly increased?
2. Would a demotion at work deeply attack your self-worth?
3. Do you view giving as an obligation or as a joyful opportunity?
4. Are your annual expenses significantly different from your friends who have a similar income but no real connection with Christ?
5. Do you feel a responsibility to use the resources given to you to make a difference for Christ?
6. Do you feel superior or inferior to others because of your job title or income?
7. Would you do more for others if you had more?
8. Do you assume people who make more money than you live an easier life?
9. Do you recognize that everything you have is a gift form God which you do not deserve?
10. If offered $10 million to denounce Christ, would you take the money?
This excerpt from Kevin’s sermon series studying the Sermon on Mount is really helpful.