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Posts Tagged ‘Teaching children’

Three words, my Father’s hands, stir memories in my mind and in my heart. Loving memories. Bringing tears.DSCF3557

In his early years my father’s hands were full of good times and fun. Memories of summers at the beach and the lake. Memories of Daddy pulling on a slalom, poking a cigar tight into the folds of his mouth, slapping that ski onto a mirrored lake behind a speed boat. His antics always delighting those watching, ‘til he sprayed a rooster-tail over those silly enough to be standing at the end of the dock as he flew by.
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With style and flare, he glided onto the white sand and hopped out of the ski boot. Cigar dry, still tucked in the safety of his lips curved in a smirk. But trials, life experiences, and illness wore much of his humor very thin.

However, his hands—aged, calloused, worn—taught me many lessons for which I’m grateful. Even though some of those lessons were what not to do. No, Daddy wasn’t perfect, but Sunday morning was certain. We went to Sunday School and Church. If I was too sick to go to church that morning, you were in bed for the day. And there was no TV in my room. Nor any phones or games—just Daddy’s discipline.
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Daddy’s hands delivered loving hugs and atta-girl praises and they also delivered discipline. Not often, but when the need arose, discipline was swift and sure.

What kind of hands does your father have? Rough and calloused work hands? Gentle and loving kind hands? Or impatient, harsh hands? Whatever hands your father displayed have shaped the memories and images you have retained through your life.

What memories will your child treasure about your hands? What memories will bring sadness to their hearts? What memories will they despise? Now is the time to build joy-filled memories.DSCF3205

We have a Father in heaven whose hands are always outstretched and full of mercy, love, and grace to all who seek a relationship with Him. A Father whose constant desire is to build in us memories of trust in His truth and faithfulness. A Father who never changes. Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But a Father’s whose greatest desire is to transform, shape, and mold us into the image of His Son.

And sometimes that transformation requires discipline.

“My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11 NAS).

Does that mean He abuses us to get His way. Oh my no, but if you’re His child, He will not let you continually walk in disobedience and rebellion. Throughout the Bible He urges us to “Return to Me… so that I may return to you” (Zechariah 1: 3 NAS).
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Then why have so many within the church turned their back on God, living lives contrary to His Word? And, at least for the moment, they believe there are no consequences.

Have we become so accustomed to life in the chaos of compromise we no longer desire the pure standard of God’s righteousness? Have we tolerated the constant dripping of unrighteousness into every portion of life so we now deem godly righteousness unpleasant and distasteful? Have we considered when Jesus rules and reigns there will be perfect righteousness? His righteousness.

When a church member continues living life on their terms, rather than God’s standard, it may be they have no relationship with Jesus. They may not be a child of the Holy God. Scripture warns, “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me…and they did not know My ways; as I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest” (Hebrews 3:7-8,10-11 NAS).

God’s ways are not our ways. We have the patience of gnats. But His patience, love, and longsuffering endure…scripture says “Forever”. And as long as there’s life and breath, there’s hope for change. God is willing to forgive even the most despicable acts of sin, iniquity, and unrighteousness because of the payment Jesus made for all who trust and obey Him.
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But in that day, just like our earthly fathers, God’s final judgment for sin will come. Swift and sure. And in that final day, when the Church Age is over and Christ comes to claim His own, those left behind will suffer the severe judgment of the Lord God because they chose not to accept Jesus death, not to accept that cross covered with His blood, as full payment for every sin ever committed by men and women against a righteous and holy God.

That period of time is called the Tribulation. It will last seven years. And it will be brutal beyond our ability to comprehend. Many will be saved during those days and many will be killed for their decision to follow Christ. Many will harden their hearts, just like they’ve done all their lives, and these will be separated from God forever. Confined to abide with Satan and his demons in a place where “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48 NAS).

God never does anything unless He first tells His prophets. And He has, folks. The facts are all there. Given and protected by God’s hands, in the pages of His Word. Are you teaching these ancient words to your children and grandchildren? Do you know enough of the Word to teach these truths to the little ones in your care?2009 07 24 079_edited-1

Time is growing short. God has placed precious treasures in your hands, to model His hands of love and discipline. What are your hands teaching your children?

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