En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘children’

What holds the substance of your kids heart? Part I

Posted by Scott on September 10, 2009

In keeping with my series on Training up the Children or “Which way did they go?” it is imperative that we as parents know who has the heart of our child.  This is an individual glimpse not corporate.  Each child will give their heart to someone, something, or a multitude of someone’s and/or things whatever that is, their heart does not remain dormant once alive on this planet.  Our job as caring parents is to know just who owns our child’s heart in order to help them grow into that fact or away from that fact.  Parents must use the Scriptures such as this in order to deal with the deepest core of the child.  Sinful prostitutes are positioning themselves to lure the heart of our children away.  These prositutes are not limited to just female or male, but the television, movies, cars, trucks, money, houses, vacations, video games, sports, clothes, the “in” crowd, the latest fads, and so on….these can all be prositutes to the heart of our children.

Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways.”

Wisdom is speaking in this instance.  Wisdom is another name for God or the Lord Jesus who is the incarnate wisdom.  Wisdom calls out, demands that we give Him our heart.  To train our children to be wise is a very important lesson.  As our kids get older all kinds of activities, events, people, and obsessions will make every attempt at luring them away from God. 

Why does God call us out and demand our heart?  As Spurgeon so eloquently put it “Only love will thus seek love.”  He is not calling for our heart in order to spoil our lives.  God knows that the heart of man is an evil destructive machine and without us giving Him our heart this destructive vessel will destroy not only our own lives, but the lives of others.  Wisdom is greatly increased by one giving their heart to God in totality.

The saying goes “He who has the heart has the man.”  Whatever object, person, or place that enjoys being the king or queen of our child’s heart will lead them down a destructive path.  As parents we need to be sure that we are training our sons and daughters to refuse by the power of God to allow their hearts to be given away or even taken away by anything that would pull us from the feet of Christ.

They must see in us a heart that belongs to Christ.  Our actions speak of what is in the heart…from our mouths gives a picture in words of the scene going on in our hearts.  We must be careful to exhibit from our actions and our speech a reflection of God living vibrantly in our lives.  Our children will know the owner of our hearts by who they hear and see us to be.  A quick study was done recently about this very thing.  The study was done on children to see if their parent’s actions spoke louder than their words or visa versa.  The results are astounding.  The test was done concerning charitable giving.  The parents that would say to their kids, “Don’t give too much, keep your money” yet would always end up giving much more themselves resulted in children that would give very much of their time and money.  However, the results from the parents who taught their children in word “Give much of your time and money to these great causes” yet they themselves never gave much money or time, those children became the worse givers of all. 

As parents our actions really do speak loudly.  If we are going to train our children it must be done from the position of action not just words.  Whenever we mess up, a training opportunity was created and they can learn from our mistakes as well.  We must let the kids know that our hearts belong to God and then be transparent on that.  Make sure our actions even in a mistake prove to our children that we belong to God.  God called David “A man after His own heart”.  We all know that David was not perfect and sinned violently…yet, when confronted about his sin, immediate repentance and crying out before God.  This is the transparency we want to pass to the kids.  This is the training that will build wise respectable young adults someday.

Hugh Stowell said this:

“For two reasons we should give God our heart:  1) unless the heart be given, nothing is given.  Read further in Hosea 7:14, Matthew 15:8-9 and 2) if the heart be given, all is given.  Read further in 2 Chronicles 30:13-20

So, in the daily event called “life” we are training our children in a direction to go.  An important part of this training is that they give their hearts over to God completely without holding back anything.  Many o the greatest missionaries of the past 200 years would tell you that without the giving of themselves over to God 100% their mission work would have been in vain.

 Spurgeon went even further to say “At once-give God your heart. Delay is wicked and injurious.”

 God desires not half a heart or trust nor does He want a divided loyalty or trust.  He commands total obedience which requires a complete heart.  Great training is done when they understand they should give their heart or trust to God.

 

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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A good name is more desirable than great riches!

Posted by Scott on September 9, 2009

In today’s society, our children hardly hear anything about keeping a good name.  I grew up understanding that the preservation of my name was important.  We are to correct the ills that have infected our names from the past if we can.  Our kids today may think, “What does having a good name have to do with anything?”  Well, I can tell you that God says is should be more desirable than silver or gold, more desirable than great riches.  A good name requires training, sacrifice, and daily discipline.

Four areas I will touch on that come to mind on keeping a good name:

1) Do not settle to do something illegal or unethical in order to gain great riches.

2) Strive to improve the family name and honor as we represent not only our family, but also the name of Jesus Christ.

3) Guard our testimonies with our good names.  Guard the reputation in all family affairs both in pleasure and in business.

4) Guard the gospel as a great treasure as Paul instructed Timothy (2 Tim 1:13-14) with a good name.  Do not allow our names to be tainted if possible, so that people will listen to us as we share the good news.

In light of these four points, it takes a lifetime sometimes to have a good name, but it only takes one mistake, one moment in lapse of judgement to destroy decades of work.  Many times we can never recover the name for many generations when this happens. 

Our children need to be trained that the choices they make in life have consequences that attach themselves to their name and can survive even death.  It is important that our children be taught this from a very young age not to compromise their integrity and honor not just for their preservation, the family name, but the honor and integrity of the Lord Jesus of whom we serve and claim as our Lord and Savior. 

Keeping a good name is important.  God has given us each a name and placed us in a particular family in order to serve Him to greater heights within that family.  Before the beginning of time our names were chosen and written in His book of life.  So, guard the name to which God has given you.  John 10:3 tells us:

“…He (Jesus) calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.”

As a part of God’s elect or sheep as it states here, when Jesus comes calling for us to believe and place our trust in Him, He calls us by name.  How awesome is that?  The name given to us is very important to God and should be important to us.

Kids today are being drawn over to a very evil side of the world.  Constantly being encouraged to do activites that may not be illegal, but are very unethical.  Finding money or a valuable of someones and keeping it, because they can.  Petty theft is huge in our young peoples lives today, lying in order to stay out of trouble, cheating on test and homework, etc.  Great riches are exploited constantly on the television and radio.  Our professional athletes lead the way in showing what power great instant wealth can provide for a person, but also the destructive power that has as well.  Use these moments to train the kids that setting their eyes on being rich and famous is not God’s plan.  Money and fame are something God can give to them, but that is not the ultimate goal and most are not ready for it for decades to come.  Our ultimate goal as parents should be to train our kids to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, mind, and actions.  God will promote each of the kids as He has ordained, but the focus should be to serve the Lord at a greater capacity in order to keep themselves away from boredom of an idle hand and the lure of a harlot named “money”.  It is tough for parents today as the information highway means we have to be on our guard at every turn, no time for relaxation as long as our little ones are awake.

” A good name, like good will, is got by many actions and lost by one.”  -Lord Jeffery

Train the children to build a good name and guard it from the enemies desire to destroy it.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Train the children to be virtuous citizens!

Posted by Scott on September 7, 2009

In reading from the 1599 Geneva Bible that I love to refer to, Proverbs 22:6 reads like this “Teach a child in the trade of his way and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Then I look to John Calvin’s commentary on that verse and he states “Bring him up virtuously and he shall so continue.” That is profound to this verse. Bringing up a child virtuously so he continues in the ways of his training is terrific.

What does virtuous training mean though. I looked deeper into this training to see what the possibilities are and this is what I found. Virtuous is to be morally excellent and righteous in the sense of this passage. It also relates to raising our children to be effectuous. Effectuous is to have the power produce a desired effect or remedies. I like this as well…we should be training our children to be effectual in their lives towards Christ. We want them to have great effect over others and situations to the point they desire to have a Believer around because of the great effect they have in their lives.

Then I dug deeper into this virtuous training of our kids and discovered they are to be trained to be potent which to have great authority or influence. How great is that? By training our children in a virtuous life in the ways they go we want them to have a godly influence over the people they encounter. Our children will be good honorable citizens by way of virtue in the ways of Christ. This is why God instructs us parents to train them while we have them under our roof.

However, another category under the virtuous topic stunned my thinking on training. It is a reference to training them to be chaste. This is an old word, but still applies today. Training our young men, especially, to be chaste is training them to be pure in thoughts and actions (modesty). Further commentary on this for them to be “innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse”. Now, that puts it pretty point blank to me. We are to be instructing our kids from very young to they leave the home in many righteous ways, but surfacing to the top would be training them in sexual purity both in mind and action. Now, training this way is not what stunned me, but what stunned me was that it so specifically surfaced as a very important training for our kids. When you look at our culture, even within some church circles, sex is taken so lightly that our kids do not take it seriously either. Yet, from the very research I have done, this specifically was pointed out in the training. We have much to train our kids, but along with biblical truths, we need to be specific to the kids on each virtue especially sexual morality. Kids can find this battle difficult as the internet has brought every sexual perversion ever thought of right into our homes many times undetected, but we as parents are to do battle with this if we are to give our kids the proper training. Warning: DO NOT expect your public school to give this kind of training to our kids…please, DO NOT think they are going to be trained to be pure in thought and action at school.

Parents’, training our kids is not easy, but it is an area we need to take serious. Food to ponder on isn’t it?

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Who do you want in your army? (From the Train up our children series)

Posted by Scott on September 7, 2009

My studies and research into Training our children is an eye opening experience.  We as parents too often have regarded this training too lightly and without any personal sacrifice.  We have expected other institutions and someone else to do most of the scholastic training, the church to do much of the spiritual training, and that has left us parents with too little time to train our children properly in the way the Lord intends that we train them.

 

In Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV) To “Train…” could also be translated “Start a child in the way he should go…”  It is our job to start our kids from birth to the time they are out of the house in the way they go.  We are to point them in the right direction based on their inclinations, their bents, their personalities, their characteristics that God has planted in them from birth.  The instruction we give them in order to accomplish this endeavor for some 18 years or so cannot be done in one thirty minute interval each day throughout the week.  It requires that we spend time understanding how they are made and build this training around what God has wired them to do.

 

The daily 30 minutes (30 minutes may be too generous) each parent gets with a child to possibly inject something serious, something educational, something spiritual becomes impossible.  The first task a parent has to do each day is deprogram the humanistic worldliness that has been injected into them for 8 hours each day to start with.  Then deprogram the extra-curricular hours spent with others daily.  By the end of each day a parent may have 15 to 30 minutes to give the child something meaningful to remember.  My question is, can that short period of time overcome the barrage of hours they are being fed something contrary to what us parents should be teaching them?  The government run institutions by law cannot inject Christianity into our kid’s lives.  By virtue of the laws it has passed these institutions must teach secular humanism as the religion of the land which leads to socialistic attitude which will soon embrace socialism as the better way…all this will come from our kid’s public education.  While the church slept our country moved away from God into secular humanism decades ago.  Now, you are not allowed to pray in the schools without trouble.  You cannot bring a Bible to school without trouble.  You cannot inject any kind of bold Christian verbiage without possibly being disciplined, expelled, or fired from the school system.  You must teach evolution as proven fact while not even mentioning creationism as a possibility.  This is because the schools no longer hold to any kind of godliness at all even with Christian’s within its walls which is having no real measurable impact for the kingdom of God and will not as our time here draws to a close.

 

If we were to go into battle as families based on a holy war…in other words Christians vs. Secular Humanism or socialism, who would you want in your army?  Would you want someone on your team that has been trained 75% of their early life from say 6 yrs old to 18 yrs old in socialism, worldliness, humanism, and anti-Christianity?  In Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  This type of training is first and foremost in the ways of the Lord, not how to get a good college education, how to become a good little employee or how to be model prisoners (another subject in and of itself).  I will not get into the other trainings that are coming from government education, but most of all, we as parents must make every effort and time to inject as much biblical training as we can on a daily basis if our kids must remain in a public school.  This may mean that we men stop playing golf as much or at all, stop fishing or as much, stop hunting or as much, stop spending so much time at the bars with the buddies having a beer (another subject all by itself), etc.  It may require we make tremendous sacrifices during our children’s adolescent years and teen years in order to be sure we have exhausted every chance to inject the proper training in the ways of the Lord, even if the kids must remain in the public school system, which I pray that many will reconsider.

 

Going back to who would you bring to battle with you, I refer to this training that is cross referenced to Abram in Genesis 14:14 where a relative, Lot and his family, was captured and Abram (future Abraham) called out for the 318 trained men born in his household and pursued the enemy with them.  These 318 men had been born under his roof and trained by him, not someone else.  He entrusted a serious situation with those whom he could trust, those trained and born under his roof.  This was an important mission for Abram and he could not depend on just anyone, but relied on those he could depend on and that was those men trained by him.  It was a long and difficult journey that required men that Abram knew their character, their bents, their personalities, their inclinations, their trainings, and most importantly, Abram could depend on who their allegiance was too, the Sovereign God.  Abram knew these men would perform, he did not worry for a moment that something a government school had taught them could come back to compromise this mission…Abram took this mission serious and Abram had taken these 318 men’s training serious years before.  Abram had not sent them off for someone else to raise, to train, to inject ungodly thoughts into…Abram sacrificed his time to train them or someone within his household he trusted to train.  This is why it is even more important that we as parents do the training of our children now and take the majority of every available moment with them to train them in the ways of the Lord above anything else. 

 

The training referred to in Genesis 14:14 crosses over to Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”   The Word of God does not leave much for discussion when it comes to training and teaching the children.  We are commanded to train our children in the way should go.  Whatever direction we send them daily, whatever actions we take on a daily basis more so than what we say on a daily basis will influence the way they will go.  How important do we really see our children and the future of Christianity in the world?  Do we see our children as true blessing of God to be cherished, watched over, trained, and even guarded?  I am afraid the message most kids get from parents today is that they are burden, parents can’t wait until the kids go back to school to get out of their hair, the parent(s) are always travelling while someone else keeps the kids, time spent with them is secondary to the parents work, golf, hunting, fishing, workout at 24 hour fitness, ladies night out or men’s night out, etc.  I know this will smash some toes and I am not saying any of these activities are wrong in and of themselves, but the message sent by many that I have encountered over the years is not far off from what I am talking about…that “kids are a necessary evil God has put upon them as punishment for some sin in their past”.  I have heard this on more than one occasion or some variation of that.  I am sorry, but that is the message coming across.  The kids are reacting to the message from the actions of their parents far more than the message coming from their parent’s mouths.

 

We have an 88% failure rate in our future young people.  That is huge and if it is continued will result in catastrophic events in our country in the near future.  Parents will find themselves as the enemy of their own children when it comes to Christ vs. humanism or socialism.  It will put dads against their sons and mothers against their daughters.  Jesus said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  Jesus is the sword that will divide households, families, friendships, and even churches.  If we as parents do not take our job in the training of our children more serious, we are going to see more and more households divided by the very subject of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior vs. worldliness, secular humanism, socialism, entitlement, riches, self-glorification and gratification, etc.  Not all kids will turn out this way, but an alarming 88% of them have the potential and in my humble opinion it is because of the failure of us parents not training our children in the ways of the Lord while turning our heads away and allowing the world to have all the time it wanted in training them in the way it wanted them to go.  Satan’s world wants your children to love to be rich, to want more stuff, to more entitlements, to want more government security, to desire to be a pro athlete, super model, world scholar, to want to look good all the time, to be more educated socially, to be a social party person, to want to be healthy all the time, to want more and more of this world while pulling them seriously away from the ways taught in the Scriptures. 

 

While the world and its system train the kids to be good socialist, God’s Word has commanded a different training…training in the ways of God which are drastically different than the ways of the world.  Why are we considered as aliens in this world?  Does much of the church today look foreign to you?  Do we teach our children any differently than the world does?  It is hard to see much light in this world of darkness even in the church today.  As parents our job is far too important to leave to the world.  God is using us to train the kids away from the world…yes, we have to live in this world and He did not say that would be easy either, but while we are to obey the laws of the land, we also to obey God’s holy Word in training our kids.  Our kids are future missionaries no matter what they do for a living.  They need to be taught that their job first and foremost is serving God. For our young men, when they have a family their first mission field is their wife, then their children then they can minister to those outside their homes…not the reverse.  The same can be said for the young women.  Individually, their first goals should be in service to Christ…God will take care of their living if they will work honoring God in all they do and that requires they be a very good employee yet knowing making money is not their priority, but serving God is.

 

In conclusion,  does training those hours per day in the ways of the Lord guarantee our children will turn out godly, no!  Only God can guarantee anything.  However, this sacrificial training us as parents is commanded to do give the proper tools to work with.  It is this training that the Holy Spirit uses in order to take them deeper into a relationship with God, making it harder for Satan to take them away.  Chances are greater, even if they do move away for a short period of time from the ways of God, in returning to their faith someday to grow in godliness and serve their Lord from then on into eternity.  The old saying “you can pay me now or you can pay me later” can be translated in this situation “you can pay the price now in training your children or you will pay a hefty price later for not training your children”.  The challenge is this; will you consider a different way of educating your children by seeking the face of God on this matter?  Can we commit to giving up activities in our own lives that take time away from a deeper training of the children in the ways of the Lord?  Are we willing to admit that all the excuses we as parents use in order to not change anything we are doing in regards to the lack of training our children get is sin and needs to be repented of?  This challenge is strong I know, but the future results of us having a godless generation is at stake here.  True Christian parenting does not resemble the world, the public schools, the social institutes in our country or anything else…Christian parenting has specific instructions from Scripture and we will be all the better for being obedient to it.

 

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Obama is telling our kids what?

Posted by Scott on September 4, 2009

Today, the water dam broke as parents all over the country realized President Obama is making a speech to their children from the White House. A tremendous tidal wave is moving swiftly across the land.

I want to share some positive thoughts concerning this along with some that are not so flattering. I am not an Obama fan at all and do not trust him and what he says for one second. However, his speech next Tuesday will not deliver anything profound or new. It is not the speech content itself that really has the people turned upside down.

 What disturbs the masses and myself is lack of trust we have for this man and his administration. Look back into history, the history that no one learns anything from, and many of us can see socialism quickly on the rise. From socialism stems the mistreatment of our elderly, doctor assisted suicides, mercy killings, massively high taxation, religious right dissolved, freedoms to worship and speak freely about our God gets less and less….we know of past countries that have been swayed by flattering speech and new directions that ended in disasters.

However, I can get past all that. Even if Obama came out next Tuesday and said lets stand and state a new pledge of allegiance to one nation under Obama it would not surprise me nor cause me to flinch. As a parent of kids from 2 yrs old to 18 yrs old I have a God given responsibility to protect my children from any potential danger in word or deed. It is my responsibility to make sure my younger children are trained in the way they should go not merely told.

I have heard for years the “missionary” factor as to why Christian kids need to be in the public schools, yet what most dont understand is that our kids are not missionaries yet. Most missionaries go through alot of training and understanding before embarking out into the jungle to minister to unchurched tribes. So, that excuse never holds up. Another good one I hear on a regular basis is the public schools are “burning hospitals and our kids are the doctors”. Sounds great in theory, but again it will not hold water biblically. Think about it for a moment, do we really think these little kids are ready to be doctors in a burning hospital? From K-6 they are no where ready for this type of mission work or doctoring using those analogies…God does not tell us to train our kids this way. Do we give a doctor a manual, stethoscope, and white rob and say now get in there and start doctoring those people? Do we send missionaries into the jungles where people speak an unknown language before first training them in the ways of these people and getting to know their language. We dont send them into these jungles to figure it out for themselves with a Bible and backpack. Some have had to pioneer the way, but they also have been thoroughly trained.

Proverbs 22:6 God tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This means so much to us as parents and yet most of us fail miserably at it, including me. However, I must keep striving to train my children on a daily basis. Sending the kids in the socialistically run government indoctrinated schools is not what God called us to do and call it training. Why do we think our youth are leaving their faith in such huge numbers…88% by the time they are in college all but denounce their Christian faith. Truth be known, mentally and spiritually they left the Christian faith well before they leave high school, they just do not have the freedom to say so.

Training a child in the godly way they should go requires countless hours and quality of time to make the impact that will last until these children are old. I am afraid the impact already made on many that have left the faith may not be reversible. However, we do not have to give up on them, but we certainly do not have to allow this same fate happen to our children if we will see the dangers that are ahead and many dangers are ahead for our children when they are teens and adults.

Going back to the topic at hand about Obama’s speech brings me to two simple yet profound verses that address a portion of how we are to train our children in the way they should go. Proverbs 22:3 (ESV) tells us “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” Now, tell me, if we are to train our children, do we honestly think that setting them down and explaining the dismay we have for what Obama is doing will help when we pat them on the backside next Tuesday morning signalling that it is important, but not so important that we will not remove them from any danger. The training in this case is when we say “Obama is dangerous and you little ones need to realize he is dangerous, but it will be ok, go on to school and try not to listen to him much.” How ridiculous is that? Is that training our children? Training requires choices on our part as parents that go directly against most of our peers beliefs and decisions. Training our children requires that we live a most different life from the rest of the world especially our peers. Training matches the talk…training is not just talk.

Training is to dedicate ourselves to teaching our children…this will require sacrifices on our part most of the time. It may require less money, less “worldly” success, but it will result in children that will not depart from their training when they are older. God is looking for our kids to be devoted to Him and His cause, not this new worldly gospel of moral-ism, world hunger, and aids awareness. Those things will always be around us and we must address them in the love of Christ, but that is not to be our all consuming fire. The gospel is repent for the kingdom of God is at hand, God made a way for us to be forgiven for those sins, trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior saves us, and drastically change our lives to one of striving for holiness rather than grooviness.

One final thought to wrap it all up. Training our children is taking Proverbs 22:5 to heart “In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.” It is our job to help guard our little ones hearts and flee with them from these snares and thorns, not send our children off in their direction. This issue with Obama will come and go without much incident I am sure, however, it has proved to be a festering sore in the Christian camp that is set to burst its creamy off-white nastiness all over the world and when it does it will not be a pretty sight. But what is festering is many parents is guilt over how to deal with this issue by not dealing with it. “Send my child to school and look irresponsible before God for putting them in possible harms way” or ” if I don’t send little Oscar to school tomorrow my friends will laugh and call me too religious or a fear mung-er”. No matter what the excuses are the decision for each of our families rest with us parents. Send them off to school and pray is one way you can do it. Send them school after you have thoroughly told them how not to listen to the speech is another way. Both ways keep the parent from having to explain their decision. Another response is to keep their child home in protest and use that is an opportunity to teach those around you why little Oscar did not attend…it gives both the child and the parent the opportunity to present a godly way of life that is not compromising in any way from the Word of God. For the parent it even an opportunity to share the true gospel of Jesus Christ as most lost people will not understand what this is all about.

Understand, this is not all about politics, but as our first item of business we are to spare the children from the jaws of satan at every opportunity and respond to the challenges from God’s Word not against it. This is not over sheltering them, but taking God at His word and removing them from danger. Some of them need sheltering, but are exposed to every gross ungodliness imaginable and it is called freedom and faith.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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70,000 Christians displaced in India!

Posted by Scott on December 3, 2008

India – More than 70,000 Christians displaced in Orissa

UPDATE: The Voice of the Martyrs contacts working to assist believers affected by attacks in Orissa state report that more than 70,000 Christians have been displaced and forced to live in refugee camps.

“At the Peyton Sahi relief camp which houses 35 families and 130 distraught tribals, Chabila Naik, a man who ran an orphanage for 50 children in Sarangada spent three days in the forest after their houses and churches were razed [with fire]. He has not been reunited with the children,” VOM sources said.

Stories coming from persecuted believers in Orissa are heartbreaking. Christians spent days hiding in the forest following the attacks that erupted on August 24, after the murder of a prominent Hindu leader by Maoist extremists. “One family which did not want to be named said they had to leave their elderly mother in the jungles while the others walked through rain and darkness for 60 hours to get out of Kandhmal,” VOM sources added.

“We had no choice; I could either save my wife and two kids, or stay with her and ask for death for all of us. But, I am sure God has saved her, though I have no idea where she is,” the man told VOM sources with tears in his eyes.

VOM is assisting displaced believers in Orissa and other areas in India where persecution has spread. Pray for believers who face these intense hardships and have in some cases lost contact with family members. Ask God to protect them and provide for their needs. Pray their testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Him.

News provided by Voice of the Martyrs.

To contribute to the cause and others Living Stones Ministry is seeking to raise $1,000 in the month of December to be used for purchases of nearly 100 Action Packs that are to be filled with blankets, clothing, towels, and other new or slightly used items.  100% of the gifts that come in will go for causes in India, Packistan, China, and Indonesia.  You can send your gifts to LIVING STONES MINISTRY, C/O SCOTT & DANA BAILEY @ PO BOX 213, PROSPER, TEXAS 75078.  Upon receipt of your gifts we will send you a prayer brochure with a free book or DVD offer inside from Voice of the Martyrs.  Thanks for your consideration and gifts.  If you cannot give financially, that fine, because we need prayer warriors for these regions as well.  May the Lord bless your giving and/or prayers.

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Holiness A Way of Life…For the Authentic Believer!

Posted by Scott on September 16, 2008

A couple of mornings in my quiet time I was reading and studying through the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11:1-40 and continuing on into chapter 12 as well.  Something interesting was shining through each verse and my awareness of God’s strong calling for us men to return to a holiness the world has not seen or heard of for centuries…these men of old lived by a faith in someone that was unknown in that day and time and unseen…the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  These early faithful fathers considered a strange life to be worth more than all the wealth in the world.  Many were willing to sacrifice everything they had in order to follow the commands of God.  We must ask ourselves if we are willing to give up our wealth, our job, our golf game, our constant trips away from the family, our social life, and so on in order to be obedient to call of God on our lives.  Not many are willing, but some are.

All these people spoken of here were living out their faith in God and the coming Messiah at the time of their death.  They did not waiver in their faith.  They desired to be holy and not compromise their holiness for anything less than their very best for God.  Each one of them considered themselves to be strangers or aliens while on earth.  They had not conformed to the world’s way of living…they stayed the course.  These men and women understood their role as being made after the image of God. 

Any of us that are today striving to live our lives in holiness, set apart for the service and work of God our Father must ask ourselves if we are really walking in faith daily?  We live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth in the way of safety, security, freedom to worship as we please and where we please and even the ease of life.  However, conformity to the world is even easier here.  It is much easier to live as everyone else does.  It is much easier just to go along with what everyone else is doing.  Send the kids to public school that teach them to be everything but a holy Christian, so you don’t have to answer those questions that homeschool parents get asked.  Put the kids in every sport and activity known to man so they don’t have be pressured by their peers at school or church..just conform to the world’s way of life and it will be much easier.  Remember, only have two children…if you have a boy and a girl you now have the “perfect” family…I mean you must know better than God how man kids you can handle…us guys we surely know what is best for our families, God just pushes us out here and kind of lets us go in all directions and hopes we end up where He planned.  Play golf every weekend because your buddies do and they might laugh at you for being a “family man” if you did not join them.  Guys, it is much easier to just conform to the ways of our society than it is to live a holy life…we must admit this to ourselves.  Now, guys you you know all that sounds absurd, but that is how many Christians live and wonder why they have no impact for Christ.  Let’s stop and think about the early Christian’s and what they went through for the cause of Christ.  Stop and think about your life and whether it is pleasing to our heavenly Father who has told us to be “holy”.

“…others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned[a]; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…”  Hebrews 11:35-37

These early Christians were our examples of how an authentic Christian should live.  The difference Christ has made in our lives should be obvious to those around us.  It could lead to beatings, ridicule, imprisonment, torture, etc., but in our society today most likely just very opinionated people lashing out is what will happen.  How may of us are willing to live in holiness with a threat hanging over our heads, because of our faith.  The Scriptures tell us that “the world was not worthy of these.”  Can this be said of you and me?  Are we living such a life that we are willing to take the jeers from others including other so called believers?  Are we willing to be an alien in this world to the point of being taken to court over it or even imprisoned for the Christ sake?  These are serious questions we all must ask ourselves.

Holiness was worth going through some of the most horrible torture the world could think of to many of the early Christians.  Moses regarded disgrace for the sake of the coming Messiah of greater value than all the treasure in all of Egypt.  Rahab was willing to risk her and her families life to assist the godly men of God.  Enoch was rewarded for being the one who pleased God and was taken away to heaven without experiencing death…holiness was evident in his obedience to God’s word.  He understood that it was impossible to please God without being obedient to Him.  Noah built the ark in holy fear of God who commanded him to build it.  Each of these people and many more were considered holy before a perfectly holy God.  They understood the risk, but also believed in the reward…God Himself!

To be disciplined by God is to be loved by God.  He must sanctify us before He uses us and He is disciplining us to experience in His holiness.  These hardships and disciplines are brought upon us to produce a holy righteousness and a peace that surpasses the masses understanding.  In this quest for holiness, God intends on training us so that we can share in His holiness.  He intends the bride of Christ (the Elect, the Sheep, the Chose ones) to be holy when He returns.

In conclusion, this life is worth living only if it is lived out for God and Him alone.  Everything we do in this life should be for the glory and honor of our most holy God.  Our holiness is important to God in pointing the way for others to an authentic faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  We must ask ourselves a question each and everyday…what am doing today that is showing my holiness before our almighty God?

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”   -Hebrews 12:14

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

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The Centrality of the Family-Protestants, Baptist, Emergents Listen up!

Posted by Scott on August 13, 2008

I ask that you listen to a message by Voddie Baucham back in 2006.  This is still a timely message and worth listening to at least 5 times so that you have every part of it.

Message

 

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John Piper: 20 Reasons I Don’t Take Shots At Fundamentalists!

Posted by Scott on June 3, 2008

1. They are humble and respectful and courteous and even funny (the ones I’ve met).

2. They believe in truth.

3. They believe that truth really matters.

4. They believe that the Bible is true, all of it.

5. They know that the Bible calls for some kind of separation from the world.

6. They have backbone and are not prone to compromise principle.

7. They put obedience to Jesus above the approval of man (even though they fall short, like others).

8. They believe in hell and are loving enough to warn people about it.

9. They believe in heaven and sing about how good it will be to go there.

10. Their “social action” is helping the person next door (like Jesus), which doesn’t usually get written up in the newspaper.

11. They tend to raise law-abiding, chaste children, in spite of the fact that Barna says evangelical kids in general don’t have any better track record than non-Christians.

12. They resist trendiness.

13. They don’t think too much is gained by sounding hip.

14. They may not be hip, but they don’t go so far as to drive buggies or insist on typewriters.

15. They still sing hymns.

16. They are not breathless about being accepted in the scholarly guild.

17. They give some contemporary plausibility to New Testament claim that the church is the “pillar and bulwark of the truth.”

18. They are good for the rest of evangelicals because of all this.

19. My dad was one.

20. Everybody to my left thinks I am one. And there are a lot of people to my left.

By John Piper

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Hell…is it a real place?

Posted by Scott on March 7, 2008

I got up early this morning looking for a nice positive word from the Lord.  As has been my daily readings for weeks now I was reading this morning from Psalm 8…great passage, but nothing really jumped out at me.  For whatever reason, the Holy Spirit lead me over to read quoting Jesus in Matthew 8:11-12, 13:38,42,50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30 and Luke 13:28.  This was not the topic I was necessarily looking for, but was drawn in by it as the reality of Hell is still so evident.  God’s word has never changed nor has the relevancy of what He is saying. 

As I read this it reinvigorated the call to teach the word of God with a heart for the lost.  Now, get one thing very clear…we do not draw people to Christ nor do we save anyone.  The call of each Christian is to teach, preach and live out the word of God daily…the regeneration of the soul and saving grace of God is the work of the Holy Spirit not ours nor is it the work of the lost themselves…we must deliver the message and step aside.  We must be ready in season and out of season to teach not only the positive upbeat messages of the scripture, but the messages that teach the realities of a sinful life apart from God and the consequence of rejecting His Son, Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  The reality of dying without Christ is eternity in Hell!  I cannot put it any simpler than this…Hell is a real place prepared for the wicked sinful unrepentant people of this world.  In the remainder of this post I will strive to describe from my studies what this place is like.  This is not to scare anyone into a decision…that is not my purpose.  It is to shake to life the Christian that is asleep in his or her relationship with Christ that is hiding their life in Christ and not sharing it with the world around them.  Wake up all you saints and share your faith and allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to do His perfect work in those souls set apart before the foundations of the world were set in place.

“And the children of the kingdom shall be cast

into utter darkness:  there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

-Matthew 8:12 (Geneva)

For the Jews, they must enter the narrow gates of heaven just like any Gentile does.  They cannot get into heaven based on what they are called…referencing Matthew 8:11 as the “sons of the kingdom”.  Unless they be born again they will not enter the kingdom of heaven but perish in the dark burning fire that is all consuming, but never consumes the soul away from the torment.  Folks, there is only one way into heaven to be with our heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ…it is directly through Christ.  Jesus stated that “no one comes to the Father except by Him…”  The fact that our parents or grandparents were Christians will not enroll us into the book of life.  We each must stand on our own to account for our acceptance or rejection of the Savior without any regard for those aroud us.  We will not be able to say to God that our mother or father was a Christian, so that makes us a Christian….it does not.  We will not be able to tell God that we were baptized with water as an infant and enter into heaven, that is not the way to heaven.  The only way is by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  Throughout the rest of your life the Lordship will become more and more real as you show the fruits of your salvation in the good deeds or works presented throughout the remainder of your life.  We will not be able to present good deeds as the reason for our entrance into heaven either…it is only by the surrendering of ones life to Christ.

“The Son of man shall send forth His angels and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire.  There shall be wailing andgnashing of teeth.”

-Matthew 13:41-42 (Geneva)

I must tell you that I do not like delivering such a narrow message, but this is the biblical truth of the matter.  In my obedience to Christ I cannot deliver a message that would say otherwise.  Jesus mentions “weeping and gnashing of teeth” at least 5 times in Matthew alone.  Consequences of sin is death…consequences of living out your life in that sin without turning away from it and accepting Jesus Christ is eternal damnation in Hell.  Why else would Jesus mention this in so many sections of the scriptures. 

I want to paint a very real picture for you as I have discovered from God’s word and the help of many great theologians of the past and their commentaries.  In Hell there is no light, only absolute utter darkness.  This is at the extremity of darkness.  It is always said the darkest moment of each day is right before the sun comes up or dawn…think of that darkness except that light or dawn will never come…never!  This is an eternity knowing that Christ is just beyond this darkness that He was once the dawn of each persons day with great hope, but now you will NEVER be able to see this light again or have the hope of seeing this light…ever!  You will never experience a dawn again for all eternity.  Folks, this is the highest degree of darkness that will ever exist and that which none of us know or can fathom.  In this darkness there is absolutely no hope..no hope of light or even a mixture of some light not even a glimmer of light…ever!  In this darkness your eyes will not adjust in order to bring about some shadow of light…those in this place will never see again in this darkness….eternally alive with full site, but not the ability to see in that darkness, not blindness, but the inability to adjust ones sight at all.  This will create in the damned soul a panic that cannot be relieved…ever!  You will never be able to take a deep breath to calm your panic in order to allow time to adjust your eyes for it will be without success…there will be no adjustments to see in this darkness.  Darkness that is forever dark without any breech of light…ever!  Think about forever for a moment…can you visualize an end to forever?  I don’t think so…I sure can’t.  Forever is as far as your mind can go and then it still keeps going without end.

“..But he will answer, I don’t know you or where did you come from.  Then you will say, We ate and drank wtih you and you taught in our streets.  But Jesus will reply, I don’t know you or where did you come from.  Away from me, all you evil doers!  There will be weeping there, adn gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.”

-Luke 13:25-28(NIV)

You might be thinking as I was that this darkness is unbearable, however, this is the least worse portion of this place called Hell.  Hell is a place of horrific grief with a flood of tears that results in no purpose or sympathy or salvation or hope.  Grief stricken tears that will never end in joy or happiness.  This grief will have the wailing cry of a hopeless state of being.  Hopelessness with endless tears.  This is a place without sympathy and hope.  The anguish will prey eternally upon the lost soul in Hell…forever!  The emptiness this anguish and grief brings will only get deeper for all eternity, without end. 

You will read in several locations in the New Testament such as Matthew 8:12, 13:42 and Luke 13:28 about the “gnashing of teeth”.  This description alone would be enough for me.  Think about gnashing of teeth….people grinding and snapping their teeth at one another forever.  The indignation before those other lost souls as they gnash their teeth for spite and vexation.  All this as the result of the fury of the Lord Almighty.  For those in Hell, their memory will torment them forever as they remember the happiness of their past even though God was not a part of their life.  They will exist with an eternal memory of the opportunity to accept Christ, but the hardness of their heart would not give in.  Now, all they have is this memory in the darkest darkness with grieving and wailing beyond comprehension and no opportunity ever again to accept Christ.  They will never experience a happy moment ever again….never! 

As the reality goes on, Hell is a furnace of fire that will never burn up.  As the scripture describes in Jesus words that the fire is for the “tares” in the field that exist among the wheat.  Think about people setting around you in church that look like everyone else or may even appear to be believers, but may be the very soul that will keep the fires of this furnace burning hotter.  The fire of Hell is kindled by the wrath of God with the lives of these lost souls.  This fire is all consuming, but never consumes those within the flames.  This is a dark, tearful, grieving, hot place to spend eternity.  Within these flames are those in comfortless sorrow and incurable indignation at God, themselves, and those around them.  People in Hell will not be able to comfort one another….they will not have the ability to do this as there is no comfort for themselves.  This is a horrific never ending torment within the fires of Hell.  Many of the hypocrites of the past, present and future will enter the never ending torments of Hell.  Hypocrites are those that live in a daily routine of sinfulness all the while telling others not to do what they know they are doing is wrong…all in the name of Christ.  They do this without really having Christ in their hearts only on their lips.

One final aspect of Hell I will describe here as I wipe tears from my own eyes to think of the number of people that will spend eternity in this aweful place.  This is another degree of the torment which is the one final moment with those that accepted Christ and His salvation seeing the joy of those called into the sheep fold and see their happiness of the fact that their greatest hopes in Christ are fulfilled, but then suddenly have God turn to you and cast you into eternal darkness in Hell, because you failed to accept that last great hope in Jesus Christ and the final words of God to you is that He never knew you…never!  Do NOT believe the lies that our God cannot do this as He the one who created us all and He will cast those into Hell that are not of His chosen (elect) people, those hypocrites, those wicked vile people who tortured His remnant, the devil and his followers.  This is not to scare someone into heaven, but is a real part of God’s word that is not preached or taught anymore from the pulpits…because it might “offend” someone.  Hell is a real place!

This is not an easy message to write about…nor is one that I really wish to deliver, but at the obedience of the prompting of the Holy Spirit I cannot wish it away.  Many in the church today will tell you that Hell is not a literal place and that the God of the bible would never send anyone to a place like this.  All I can tell you is you had better be absolutely sure they are right before going through life living on that message.  The scriptures are pretty clear to the degree of the wrath of God for those that reject His Son and the work He did on the cross.  God is love…He also has wrath for the sinfulness that exist on this earth.  God hates sin and only Jesus can wash this sin in our lives away for good.  Although this message seems depressing and sorrowful, the great message that survives it all is to accept a life in Jesus Christ…those who belong to Jesus will not see this dark eternity without hope.  Jesus has made it clear throughout His life on earth as to the realities that await those who reject Him…do not be one of those! 

*This is in no way an extensive look at this subject, but to be a quick read, a jolting read to get those of us in Christ back to the reality of sin (not bad choices) and for those without Christ to understand what is at stake if they remain in their sinful life style.  May the Lord use each of us that know Him to reach the many that are lost in need of a savior.  May the Lord use Jesus’ very words from Matthew to Luke to prick the hearts of the lost and bring those lost souls into His kingdom family by His saving grace.  Remember, the Holy Spirit does the regenerating work not His followers.  We are mere servants and messengers of the faith…go and spread the true gospel.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen”.

-Matthew 22:14(NIV)

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

Enjoy Ravi Zacharia on the reality of Hell!

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