En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘david’

REVIEW: The Greatest Stories Bible of the Bible

Posted by Scott on January 25, 2010

I recently reviewed for Thomas Nelson Publishers “The Greatest Stories of the Bible”.

It was a magnificent book. The design makes you think of something printed one hundred years ago. Then the pages themselves have the old feel to them. Once you open the book and start reading you will be kept glued to the pages as you read each of the two hundred and fifty of the most cherished stories of the Bible.

Some of the classic stories included are Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, Jonah and the Big fish, Samson and Delilah, Paul meeting Jesus, Jesus teaching the disciples, and Paul and Silas in captivity. These are only a few representative of the stories included in this one volume book.

One of the great features of the book is it is easy to navigate through the story-book type format used. If you would like a story to read to the younger kids at night, you can pull this book out and quickly find a wonderful story. The stories are short, but straight to the point. Use the stories to lead the family into a much deeper devotional time as it peeks everyone’s interest.

One of my favorite stories was at Moses calling in the wilderness when he meets up with God at the burning bush. Before Moses could approach the bush the Angel of the Lord told Moses, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand in holy ground.” I love that. Further in the story we have God telling Moses, “I AM WHO I AM!”  All throughout the book we find these fantastic biblical accounts of God’s great actions towards His people.

I think this book is a great addition to anyones family library. We have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

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The Desires of Our Heart!

Posted by Scott on April 30, 2008

In my morning studies it was wonderful to come across this passage of scripture again.  I have read this passage many times before, but this morning the meditation on this passage was fruitful in my life.

Psalm 1:2-3  “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”

Delighting ourselves in the Lord requires daily meditation upon the word of God.  Think of the requirement for our physical health by eatting numerous times per day.  The mediatation of God’s word is the same way.  We need to feast upon God’s word in order to sustain a healthy and growing spiritual life. 

This is like the tree mentioned in the passage.  We are like this tree to God.  A tree planted by a stream of water grows slowly but surely over time.  It has a fresh supply of water daily that never runs dry.  As the tree grows slowly as we grow slowly it will yield its fruit in its season.  We too will yield fruit that glorifies God in its proper season as well.  This tree’s leaves never wither due to lack of nurishment or water.  As we are planted near God always, He is our constant source of nurishment and fresh water. 

The scriptures have only one true authentic meaning or translation, yet it yields numerous applications for our lives.  As we study on God’s word daily and come across the same passage from time to time, we will find a different application many times within the same verse of scripture.  The depth to the well of God never ends.  The well on top looks the same as always, but the water drawn from it is just as rich as the first water ever drawn…God’s word is the same, rich with every reading.  God knows exactly what we need in application of His word at each moment of our life. 

Other scriptures to meditate on about “Delighting in Him” are:  Joshua 1:8  Meditate on God’s word constantly and be careful to obey what you read as it applies.  1 Timothy 4:15 Be very diligent in meditating on the word of God.  Be sure to give yourself completely to the Word of God and be careful to obey what you have read as it applies.  Isaiah 58:13-14 Keep one day holy as the Sabbath to honor Him, Glorify Him, and worship Him.  In this we will delight in Him even more.  Psalm 63:5-6 The evening is an especially good time to meditate on His word taking us into the night.  God calls evening the first day in Genesis 1:5.  What we meditate on in the evening that takes us into our rest at night effects how we start our next morning.  Pslam 119:23 Do not be bothered by those around you who may redicule or slander you.  Just keep meditating on God’s word.  Look to the Bible for counsel.  Meditate on the decrees and statutes.  Psalm 119:99-100 Wisdom comes from meditating on the word of God.  This produces a better understanding of this life and the life to come.  You wil find yourself witha better understanding than your teachers and counselors and elders.  Continue to be odedient to His word and the understanding you now have.  1 Samuel 13:14 We find God calling David “a man after His own heart”.  Why?  David meditated on the word of God, he would wake up in the middle of the night to meditate on the word of God and was always thinking upon the ways of God and His awesomeness in his life.  Psalm 37:4 We are to make the Lord the delight of our life.  In this way He will give us the desires of our heart because we now have the desires He wants in our heart.  Through meditating on the word of God constantly we will understand what it is God intends for us to desire.  God transforms us through His word.  If we do not spend much time in the scriptures how can we expect to know what it is God desires for us? 

Truth to apply:

1. Meditation on the word of God transforms our thoughts to God’s thoughts and desires. 

2. Begin our day in the evenings as our last thoughts being on God’s word.  This will influence the dreams and rest we have at night to assist in the start of a brand new morning.

3. Psalm 1:2-3 He tells us that we will prosper in all that we do if we constantly meditate and read His word.  Why is this?  Because the word of God is a light to our path.  He guides us by His word.  This leads us away from evil counselors and unfruitful activities.  It is important to our faithfulness to meditate on His word daily.  “Prosper” in the Hebrew is tsalach or tsaleach meaning to “push forward” or “come mightily”…it is also to be “profitable” to make “profitable”.  God intends to supply us and use us for His purposes.  For some that could mean financial wealth to be used to further His kingdom and for others it could mean a wealth of knowledge and wisdom beyond our years that can be used to further His kingdom.  Prosperity comes in different shapes and sizes.  I do not think it means many cars and houses, but the wealth is to be given out as God directs and may be needed to further ministries that struggle to keep going or supply families with needed resources during difficult times in their lives.  We are simply to stay in His word constantly in order to know the direction we are to take and how to use that which He prospers us with.

4. Meditation can assist in helping us go to sleep easier.  However, at times it may dislodge impure thoughts in our minds that results in a bad dream.  This is simply purifying our minds and hearts for the fresh new morning ahead.  Refer to John 15:3..the word provided by Christ cleans us and restores our hearts for His greater use on a daily basis.

2 Timothy 3:16-17  “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Continue in the reading and meditating of God’s word regardless of the direction of this world.  Only His word has sustaining power that leads us into eternity.

Scott Bailey 2008

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I Enjoy the Psalm’s!

Posted by Scott on April 18, 2008

I thoroughly enjoy reading in the Psalm’s.  It is my habit to study and read in Psalm each morning.  Along with my studies I try to go to the Hebrew meanings of many of the words used within the text.  What I learn by studying this way is what the writer was thinking and trying to say to us….what God was conveying through these writers thousands of years ago.  I want to be as close to the mind of the writer of the text as I can be.  It does not matter what any verse says to me or what I “think” a verse is saying.  What matters is what the original writer intended each verse of scripture to mean.  Any opinions of mine is really not worthy of printing or using my breath on.

In studying Psalm 36 David is delivering an oracle concerning the sinful wickedness of the day he was living.  An oracle is a “divine speech or comment”…it comes from God through the heart and mind of the writer.  During this time people were living willfully in sin without any thought towards their own sinfulness.  These people thought they were very cute, so to speak, flattering themselves and could not see their own sin.

After a brief scolding of the wickedness, David tells us about God’s love.  This love spoken about in verse 5 is a loyal, covenant, faithful love that each of us as believers can count on without fail.  The Lord loves each of His people with this kind of love.  Then he ask God to preserve both man and beast.  You know God’s wrath could have fallen heavy upon this land and these people…wiping out each living person and all living creatures, but He did not.

Then David goes into a short, but very indepth look at just who our God is.  “How priceless is Your love”.  This is excellent, merciful love…no greater love than the love of our God.  Can you see why David was constantly speaking of the awesomeness of His God, our God?  Although David was living in such a wicked land among very wicked people, he could still see and experience a great God. 

Do you ever find yourself looking for a place of refuge, a place to rest upon something or someone mighty and huge?  Our God is such a place we can take refuge in. Both the heavenly celestial beings on high, the angels,  to God’s chosen people here on earth we can find refuge in the shadow of His wings.  He will cover us, protect us, allow us to rest under His wings.

“They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from Your river of delights.”  

What an awesome God we have that we can delight or be satisfied in Him.  He has overflowing abundance to the point we can find our fullness feasting at God’s table.  This is a prophetic promise of God.  Can you imagine drinking or drawing from the river of God’s great pleasure, His delight?  God desires that we delight in Him.  “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him…”  by John Piper.  It is in the times that are most difficult in our lives that we must find our delight in God…not just when times are good.  Most of life on this earth will be difficult, so to live out this life victoriously our satisfaction must be found in nothing less than our Lord. 

“For with You is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” 

Ah, the depth of the well or fountain of God is never ending…this living water will never stop flowing to His people.  The satisfaction it brings, the purity found in this “living” water, life itself is found here.  If you want to “awaken to your life’s purpose”, then look no further than our awesome God, “Elohim” the all powerful, supreme God and “Adonai” the sovereign, divine master Lord.  David experienced God in such a tremendous way.  For as he looked upon the light of God which is the brightness of God’s face he experienced and enjoyed the true happiness of God. 

I can imgane David not even taking a breath during this brief glorification of God.  As David pondered on these thoughts about God how could one really even take a breath…our God is breath taking!  Then after a huge sigh, David ask God to continue His love to the believers and His righteousness to those believers upright hearts.  In the end of all this wickedness he describes God tells us through David that these people who live in wickedness will not stand for they have fallen, thrown down and cannot get up.  Why can they not get up?  Because God has crushed them under His feet.  Why do worship any other person or being?  Why do think so little about our God.  The Lord “Adonai” sovereignly guides us, has a plan for our life that will not be altered by any of our actions.  He will work His perfect plan to the end.

In Christ,

Scott

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Breaking the Silence of the Morning!

Posted by Scott on March 24, 2008

Have you ever gone through a period of time not knowing what to pray?  Deep from within yourself your body groans and aches for an answer from the Lord or even to come up with words to express your heart to God, but those words just do not come about!  I think almost everyone that is honest about their spiritual lives experience this at different times in their lives.  This very morning was such a morning for me.  As I woke up early in the darkness of the morning still looking for God to answer several prayers yet today I just did not feel I knew what to pray, ask for, or even meditate on.  In the way the Lord usually takes my inner hurts and springs forth life in me, He showed me a chapter in Psalm that continues to sustain me through some of the darkest hours, loneliest days, and still of nights.  The following passage was such a joy and direct answer to prayer I wanted to share it with you. You can certainly read it in whatever version you wish, I included two versions as I usually study from several different versions in order to fully take it all in…I don’t like to miss anything from God’s word.  May you enjoy it and may it take your breath away if you have been looking for direction, answers, words, and for our Lord to break His silence in your life.  May the God of this very hour be honored by the reading and sharing of His holy word!

  

Psalm 20 (The Message)

A David Psalm

 1-4 God answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
   Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
   Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
   Exclaim over your offerings,
   Celebrate your sacrifices,
   Give you what your heart desires,
   Accomplish your plans.
 5 When you win, we plan to raise the roof
      and lead the parade with our banners.
   May all your wishes come true!

 6 That clinches it—help’s coming,
      an answer’s on the way,
      everything’s going to work out.

 7-8 See those people polishing their chariots,
      and those others grooming their horses?
      But we’re making garlands for God our God.
   The chariots will rust,
      those horses pull up lame—
      and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

 9 Make the king a winner, God;
      the day we call, give us your answer.

Psalm 20 (NIV)

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
       may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
       and grant you support from Zion.

 3 May he remember all your sacrifices
       and accept your burnt offerings.
      
Selah

 4 May he give you the desire of your heart
       and make all your plans succeed.

 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
       and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
       May the LORD grant all your requests.

 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
       he answers him from his holy heaven
       with the saving power of his right hand.

 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
       but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

 8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
       but we rise up and stand firm.

 9 O LORD, save the king!
       Answer [a] us when we call!

May this chapter of scripture be a blessing to all who read and meditate on it.  God’s never ending blessings upon us today!

“Heavenly Father, we humbly pray that You will teach us to draw upon Your well of spiritual water, to know that every demand made upon us as husbands, dads, and men is a direct demand made upon You as well, and Lord, we know that as these demands pile upon us You are ready to live Your life through each of us in all situations and at last to magnify Your grace.  AMEN!”

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

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Praying through Difficult Times…Psalm 5!

Posted by Scott on March 5, 2008

Guys, if you are like me praying can be difficult to do sometimes.  I mean, just to set down with enough time to effectively pray from our heart and mind.  Many times just finding the words to say can be difficult as we are down or depressed.  As easy as many preachers and teachers will tell you praying is, it is not that easy sometimes.  Throughout the past several years I have found it fruitful to spend a great deal of time studying and meditating on the Psalms.  This is especially true after studying about the life of David so intensely over the years.  Before David was on the throne, he spent numerous years fighting his enemies, running from them, stressed out over his situation, in trouble, in constant song and prayer, but all the while growing in His faithfulness to God.

Praying for our families, job situations, friends, our health, the health of others, and even our enemies can be a task if we desire to pray effectively.  This morning, a pattern became clear to me in my plight to pray effectively and purely before my God.  This is not true of every single time we are to pray, but I can imagine most dads, husbands, or men in general are much like me and are dealing with such a load on their shoulders that the simple opportunity to pray seems like one more piece of luggage upon their back.  The chore of prayer I speak of has nothing to do with our love for God, just our state of being…I still love my Lord more today than I ever have in my entire life and cherish what I am learning from Him.  If this is you, listen closer.

As David prayed throughout Psalms it started many times with a deep groaning, agony or a plea for God to hear his cry (prayer).  “O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God…” Have you ever sat down to pray really not knowing what to say, but just from the bottom of your gut this growl or hurtful groan came up?  This is the depth agony that I am speaking of here…that deep groan which was many times holding back tears and shaking as it came forth.  You and I may think we said absolutely nothing, but God heard it loud clear.  He understands exactly what we are going through.  He knows exactly what we said even though we do not know what we said.  Understand He put His only Son here on earth, to be watched over by a very young couple, in a world He knew would be hostile towards His Son, a couple that was not sure why this came about on them, and eventually this world or society would e so hostile it would kill Him.  So, do not think that God does not understand what we go through as a dad, because He really understands sacrificially. 

There has been numerous mornings that I have gotten out of bed at 5 am in the morning from a restless night of sleep as something was bothering me or (I hate to admit it but) something was worrying me.  As a dad of 10 children I can fill that weight of responsibility all too well jump on my back early every morning.  However, I have learned to take this load with me to the place I pray, meditate and study in God’s word each morning so that I can unload it there on my Lord.  He wants it, so I try to leave it with Him.  Guys, I am as human as anyone else and must admit that I am not 100% successful in leaving my sorrows, my load, my cares at the cross each day.  I find myself tying a string to it and dragging along with me although I was suppose to leave it with the Lord.  This is just a part of life that we must continually battle and fight through. 

As I continued to observe David’s prayer here in chapter 5 after he groaned and pleaded with God in his struggle David simply states  “Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly.”  This is exactly as we should do.  Once we have spilled our guts to God and unloaded that pile of junk that was clinging to our backs, we need to be confident in our God to go about our day knowing in the back of our minds that God will answer our prayers in His time.  What joy, peace and rest we can obtain if we can practice our faith this way. 

Other quick observances in Psalm 5 that are tremendous to me starts with the fact that God hates sin as it states “He cannot tolerate the slightest sin”.  So, we need to deal with that first and foremost each day.  Now, for those of us who are repentant of our sins daily we can trust in His unfailing love…always, trust Him to be our guide…always, trust He will show us which way to go…always, trust He is our refuge…always, trust He is our protector…always, trust that God is our shield…always, and trust that the Lord blesses the godly…always!

So, as you go about your day today remember you can trust in the “always” of God and those deep groanings you have had lately in your prayers or even as you are just going about your day really do speak volumes with God.  He is listening and God is looking in the hearts of men all over for those willing to groan before Him and then listen expectantly for His answer.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

 

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-Fierce Warriors in the Hands of God!

Posted by Scott on January 5, 2008

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth”
–Psalm 127:4

You may be thinking right now that I am crazy for using Spartan Warrior within Christianity, but read the entire piece before passing judgment.  Spartan Warriors were fierce fighters.  They would fight to the death for their family, king, and kingdom.  They were ruthless and unconventional in their process and training.  However, my research on Spartan Warriors turned up better qualities for these fighters that many of us as Christian men need to pay attention to. These warriors were trained from the very young age of 7 to be fierce in battle.  The meaning of Spartan is to be “totally devoted to one cause, self-deprived or stripped down to nothing, but the bare essentials, undoubting and courageous”.  They were trained to give their lives without hesitation.  These warriors did not think anything about danger and always expected to win or die trying to win.  These were dreaded men in battle. 

 Gentlemen, I am here to inform you that if you did not know this before now, we are in the battle of our lives and the lives of our families…time to wake-up!  I am afraid that unless we as Christian fathers do not began to train our young men to be like these Spartan Warriors, the future looks very dim.  We need to be training up our boys to be fierce when in battle and this battle takes place daily.  Young men that will not back down from authority that makes rulings in direct conflict with the scriptures.  We need young men that do not mind being ridiculed when they stand up for the under-dog or under-privileged or as they share the gospel to a neighbor or friend.  In some cases this may mean taking up arms to defend our nation and our families from the enemies abroad or even within our midst.  On a daily basis, we need to equip these young fighters with the Truth of God’s Holy Word above all else… God’s Holy Word is not found in the Koran! 

Within the pages of the Bible are many fierce warriors who fought bravely like King David as one example.  The Lord helped him fight with full control of himself and bravely.  David fought mightily with the hand of God on his life…”And David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.”  2 Samuel 5:10 (NAS)  He as a warrior for the Kingdom of God and Spartan Warriors in ancient Greece were courageous and self-sacrificing.  The crusade I am speaking of today is for the minds and hearts of our young people.  Many Christians have already given up this crusade long ago and have decided to just blend in with the rest of the world in order to have peace.  They may go to church and bible study, but nothing  is different in their lives or the lives of their kids.  We have bought into the society belief that we can be immersed in the life style of the world and still maintain an effective evangelical witness. 

 Titus 2:12(NIV) says, “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”  In John 15:9(NIV)  it states, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”   

Just hoping our kids will turn out alright is not the answer.  Our adversary, Satan, would like nothing else than for parents to take this approach.  Of course by the grace of God some do turn out alright and frankly that is how we all turn out alright. However, these kids are placed in our hands for a short time for training and preparation for the future and we do not want to let them down if at all possible.  The battle for the heart and mind of our children today include homosexuality, pornography, drunkenness, illegal drug usage, over eating, moral relativism, unfaithfulness, theft, lying, and so on.  This corruptness is being taught in nearly every public forum and institution in America as being “right”.  Our children are being taught that there is no sin and there is no right or wrong.  Their cry is that we all need to be more tolerant of each other.  They are taught that Adam can marry Robert and Eve can marry Laura and it is “ok”.  The truth is that homosexuality is sin and it is not “ok”.  This sin is as forgivable as over eating, as is drunkenness and so on. Glory to God that they are forgivable, but I do not want this deviant trash taught to my children and grandchildren as being “ok”.  Pornography is down played as just a natural thing that men and women desire and it is “ok”.  Christian men are not immune to this.  Men it is not “ok” even in the privacy of your own home.  What we put in our minds has a direct impact on what comes out of our life each day.  Much of the violence against women today stems from pornography.  If this kind of trash goes into the mind then I can guarantee you that vile trash will come out in some form of your life.  Drunkenness is very accepted these days as well, although it is nothing new to the ages.  Drunkenness is mind altering and you will do and say things that will not honor God in any way and will bring shame upon your family. 

Psalm 23:33 says about too much wine, “Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will utter perverse things.” 

God has always spoken out against drunkenness in His Word.  I said here, “drunkenness”, not a glass of wine at dinner…I just wanted to clarify that.  A trendy activity nowadays is to go to church on Sunday and raise your hands and sing in what is perceived to be praising and worshipping God.  Then the rest of the week live as you wish and on the weekend get stumbling drunk with your buddies and come to church on Sunday to be holy again.  Is this truly grace in action?  What a mockery to the glory of Jesus Christ!  Does this show a deep love for our Savior?  Does raising our hands to the “bouncy” music in the churches today that stirs up the emotions really make us spiritual and holy?  I am not attacking praise worship music entirely, but in observing the true impact of this movement that has forgotten the testimony of the hymns of old, I have witnessed people actually growing more vile in their lives rather than a closeness to the Lord as the music stirs up emotions rather than a deep seeded devotion to worshipping Christ in the music and message of the pastor. 

Men, take a hard look into your heart….is that burning desire to know Jesus and love Jesus really there?  What is your reason for going to church or reading your Bible?  Another hot trend within the world today is embracing the Muslim or Hindu or Buddhism religion as another way to heaven…that we should be tolerant.  We are told that there are many ways to God. 

 Matthew 7:13-14 speaks of those broad roads and narrow gates, “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” 

We are taught to believe they should have equal access to the minds of our children, our culture, and we should move over for their ways and embrace their teachings.  I will make this statement as clear as I can, men, NO ONE has the right to access the mind and heart of my children other than God Himself.  God gave those children to me and my wife to love, nurture, train and protect.  The liberal left does not have the right to them, the Communist left wingers do not have a right to them, the Muslims, Hindu’s, or Buddhist do not have rights to them, the homosexuals do not have rights to them or the legalist within the church today do not have the rights to them, or any other kind of evil that permeates this dark world we live in today.  If I sound a bit combative in this, I am combative.  This is no powder puff football game we are in, people. 

So, I am declaring today that we must start raising our sons ,as the Spartan Warriors of the 21st century, that will carry on these truths that are in God’s Word and do it unashamedly.  We need a crusade where young men will give their lives so that our future generations can survive without having to bow to the vile images that are so prevalent in our culture today or be subject to the horrific views and taunting by the homosexual leftist agenda.  A desire must exist for young men to train themselves to be satisfied with only the bare essentials as Spartan Warriors were disciplined to be and not raised under pampered lives like so many of the Christian and worldly kids of today.  These young men need training to buffet their bodies and keep their actions under control regarding women, children, money, alcohol, politics, and the things of this world.  Our world is groaning for young men who have a deep seeded desire to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

   Can we train up young men that will carry as their motto, “Give me Christ and Christ alone”?  We long for young men who are willing to die for the cause of Christ.  This does not come naturally…it comes as we battle forward immersing ourselves in God’s word and let Him develop in our hearts and minds a “biblical world view”.  God is sovereign!  He has never moved or changed His mind.  He is not surprised by the darkness that envelops the world we live in today.  He created this universe and every living or non-living being in it.  He is not bashful about war, battle, death or even love.  So, our challenge today as fathers of sons is to bring up a new generation of young men that will fit the image of God, like a warrior for truth, justice and become a loving family man.  Steve Farrar put it very plainly with this quote from his book, “Standing Tall”:

“Gentlemen, we are raising our kids in this sewer of moral relativism.

If your kids buy into this philosophy, it will ruin their lives.

Here’s the deal, guys.  Our kids won’t know anything unless they see it in our lives.  Our kids won’t know that there are moral absolutes unless they absolutely see those truths lived out in our lives.”

-Steve Farrar, “Standing Tall” 1994

 

This is what I am talking about.  The training is about walking and talking God’s truth daily.  It does not mean we are perfect, but that we are able to show our weaknesses as well as our strengths.  We need to show our kids that God creates strength from our weaknesses.  There is a loud voice trying to wake up our countries Christian fathers.  I am afraid though we have ear plugs in or are ignoring this loud call.

“The Christian world is in a deep sleep. 

Nothing but a loud voice can waken them out of it.”

-George Whitefield, 1739

 

Guys, I cannot tell you what to do or how to raise your kids.  I cannot make you do anything you are not entirely willing to do from your heart.  This is not a legalistic set of rules or point of view even though it is my opinion.  I abhor legalism in all of its form when it comes to the scriptures and the life God would have each of us live.  However, I am simply challenging you to rethink how you are training your children, especially the boys and how you are living as an example for them today.  Is it with sacrifice or from a life of pure luxury?  At the age of 7, are you training warriors to do battle for their future wives, children, countrymen, and ancestry or just over educated athletes in hopes of landing that multi-million dollar contract so they can buy more boats, larger houses, more jewelry and filthier women?  What is their view of supporting the ministries that abound in their area today?  Do they have a worldly view or a biblical world view?  Can you see a servant’s heart or a future adult that will be demanding and hard to live with?  Think about what is important in this life that enhances your eternal life and the eternal life of others.  Out of your actions and training which of those give glory to the Lord?  Does baseball, football, basketball, the finest schools, dances, an exotic vacation, or other activities like these have an eternal purpose?  They could have, but just think for a moment how it is coming across to the kids.  Does giving them every single toy they ask for prepare them for the battles ahead in life?  Does saying yes to their every plea really give them a proper outlook on the future?  Does taking their side in every argument truly help them in preparation for debating the liberal left wing of this world?  Do they see you react to a problem with prayer and digging into your Bible or do they observe you speaking harshly of that person or problem and vow your revenge? 

Men, I am not bringing this message from an attitude of having all the answers or that I always do it right, because that would be a bold face lie.  I battle the same sins and problems you do.  I battle the same pride and ego that every man fights.  But the truth is what it is, guys.  I cannot speak totally from example, but simply from God’s truth.  We need fighters, warriors, kids that grow up knowing the Bible and believing that the Bible is completely true as the inspired word of God and fall in love with their Lord Jesus Christ.  Our world can stand young men that will be devoted to their wives, children, and country and see them as a blessing upon their lives rather than a curse. 

 Today, I encourage you to pray sincerely about all that you have read here.  Reach down deep into the pit of your heart to find that which God placed in your heart years ago.  Lift up your family, co-workers, in-laws, and enemies in prayer.  Dress down spiritually and put it all on the table, guys.  Leave it with the Lord…all of it…the hurt, the pain, the tears, the stress, the financial problems, sexual problems, weaknesses, family problems…all of it.  Leave nothing behind to carry on with you.  Then take a long deep breath and set there for a while in silence to listen to hear if God will speak to you.  It may take Him days, weeks, months or years to speak, but He will speak to you.  See if He speaks, not audibly, but spiritually, through His word, through His people, and through the circumstances.  It is better to not move a muscle until you hear God speak then to do anything that would be in direct disobedience to His calling upon your life. 

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”    Philippians 4:8-9 (NAS)

 

Guys think on a few questions this very day:

-Would the Lord have you change anything about your life, the treatment of your wife and children and then the training of your children?

-What change can you make today that would be positively noticeable to your family when you got home from work that would inspire them to want to follow you and serve the Lord more? 

What changes would bring glory to Christ today?

-Do you have a servant’s heart like Christ or is pride and ego in the way?

-Why do you go to church, bible studies, and other “religious” functions?

-What kind of men do you hang around with everyday?

-Most importantly, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are you just playing church or religion because it is the cultural thing to do? 

This is serious guys…your life and the lives of our children and grand-children depend on the decisions we make today….tomorrow may be too late.

Scott Bailey 2007 ©  

*Disclaimer:  In no way am I against sports, athletes, vacations, or money.  Joe Lewis, the late great boxer, once said that “no, money isn’t everything, but it sure ranks right up there with air…try to live without for a day.”  Each of us have a God given purpose in life and is according to what God’s desire for our lives are and we should be obedient to Him in that purpose if we want to live a successful life.  That could mean a pro baseball career for example or using your income to provide for families in need that live around you.  So, please reread this with an open heart and mind and look at it from God’s side as to what He might be seeing in us right now.  He wants us to be completely devoted to Him in all things and my heart felt belief is that we have missed this as dads on nearly all accounts…I am as convicted of this in my heart as anyone else. 

May God bless you as you go out each day to provide for your family and as you work hard to make that much needed time to spend with your wife and children.

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-From A Dad: Psalm 119:97-104 Statement!

Posted by Scott on December 5, 2007

“God is the creator of us all.  He created in us the love for His commands.  The Lord keeps this on our minds constantly.  God is the commander of the wise and the constant guide for the weak.  God is the giver of great insight and wisdom.  The Lord has set His trails before us and He keeps us on that path by His holy plan.  Our heavenly Father is the One that gives His holy word the sweetness and richness that each of us enjoy.  By God’s word we have been given the ability to discern falsehoods and evil when they appear before me.”

We serve a magnificent God that has not only created us, but He created in us a love for his commands.  Everyday we must travel down trails of this life.  Some people travel down roads that are rough and bumpy while others it seems is made of pure gold.  With sweet and rich words that appear to be dripping with sweetness like honey our very lives are transformed in a vessel that God can use for His glory and honor.  Finally, to ensure that we will be able to stay away from the evil side of life God has instilled with us alarms called discernment.  Keep reading and searching, the Lord wants to know everything about each one of us even though He already know us.

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-From A Dad: Psalm 119:89-96 Statement

Posted by Scott on December 5, 2007

“God is forever, firm, faithful, enduring, creator of all, sovereign, all knowing, all being, everywhere, sustainer, commander and chief, my hero, rescuer, my deliverer, and the Word!”

These are the words to be found within this passage of scripture that describes some of what my God is.  These do not make a dent in the words to describe Him, but at the least the words from David are good start.  In my daily study of god’s word I have found that focusing on many of the meaty words is important to knowing who God really is…I like to call it “being a word hound”. 

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-From A Dad: Broken…but Not Finished!

Posted by Scott on November 9, 2007

Why is it that we resist being broken?  I think it is the pain, the affliction, the unknown, the stretching, the worry, the ruin, the humbleness, the running and the pulling that it takes to break us down…this is what keeps us from desiring brokenness.  This all makes sense doesn’t it?  Who in their right mind would invite death and pain and destruction into their lives on purpose?   Does God intend on doing this purposefully?  Absolutely yes!  For different reasons and for different time periods those God uses most he will hurt most deeply.

As I have contemplated Dana and I’s last 10 years we have been through which has included a tremendous amount of brokenness.  God has lead us into all kinds of situations and He has lead us out of them as well.  We have experienced pain, stretching, deep hurt, ruined lives, the very hand of a providential God molding our vessels into something that He can use.  The pain and hurt that yields  the most results for a gracious God does not come through light weight trials. 

Moses was a successful leader throughout all Egypt from a young age to about 40 years of age.  He had been trained by some of the finest minds in all the world at that time.  Moses had access to the highest authorities in the land.  He could run and play through that palace whenever it pleased him.  Then at a time of his choosing he was going to free the Israelites, however, the key words are “his choosing”.  In order for God to accomplish all He wanted for the Israelites and the leader He wanted to use for the task, He had to scrap every single last bit of selfish, arrogant, confident, man made success, and ambitious blood from within his body.  When Moses was about 80 years of age he had been a sheep herder in the desert for 40 years.  Moses was depleted as a man.  Moses most likely felt that God would never use him again for anything.  At this time, Moses was barely  a shell of the man he was at 40.  The best university Moses had attended was on the potters wheel of life.  For Moses, he was extremely humbled, no arrogance, no confidence in himself at all, worldly success was no longer a thought within his mind and heart, and the only ambition was to make through another day alive.  Now, after 40 years God had designed, molded, shaped, beat, and created a man He could use for His greater glory.  This would be the shell of a man that He would fill with Himself to free the Israelites from slavery.  Did Moses go through a two week training period and then was thrust into the lime-light?  I don’t think so…it took around 40 years to get Moses to the point God wanted Him.

King David is another human specimen that God stripped down, molded, beat, and reshaped for His glory.  As our culture today might think, when David was pronounced “King” a huge party should have taken place…parade him through town.  Be sure to send him on a book signing tour.  He should have been commended for such great achievement.  However, the streets were not lined people shouting his name as King.  This new king could not even live in a palace or the Kings tent.  For 10 years David was running for his life.  He planted himself in the land of En Gedi where God lead a team of undesirables to be David’s mighty men, his warriors.  In En Gedi, David found rest and peace for the long haul.  During that 10 years David was prodded, shaken, stripped down, and molded into “a man after God’s own heart”.  It was a time of God’s chosing that David became the King he was intended to be.   Kings are made by God and put on their thrones.

None of us that want to be used by God will get to that point without the narrow, dark tunnel of pain seemingly enveloping our lives.  Darkness tries to block us from God, but each time dark must yield to the light of our loving Lord Jesus.  As Steve Farrar has experienced it, “For the broken the Lord is very near and saves those in distress.”  Only someone that has been through a deep hurt, deep pain, deep trials, deep worries can express such profound wisdom in a time of great turmoil in others lives.  We must always remember what this life is about.  The very root of our very existence.  What the true success of our lives really is.  It is to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ with all that we are and all that we have.  It is not about us in the least.  We are mere vessels to be broken and spilled out.   If we think for one moment that any one thing within this lifetime is about us, we have missed the mark entirely. 

Brokenness is the best thing that can happen to all of us.  To be probed to the depths of our being and scooped out.  To be snapped in half when we think everything is going so great.  To have a child born with a disease that will require a lifetime of care.  To lose a spouse in the prime of our lives.  To lose our business, savings, house, cars, and identity will prove to be an emptying experience.  At the end of the day we have nothing left of ourselves.  As a person once said that “we do not know how much we need God until God is all we have.”  Can we know who God really is if we are enjoying nothing but the best of life now on this earth?  Sure, each of us can convince ourselves we can, but when you dive deep into God’s word and look back on your life, what is there that sustains us?  What is there that has glorified God?  What have we experienced that will draw people unto Himself?   What kind of education have we really locked into our minds and hearts?  Do we really seek out the joy fo the Lord in order to make it our strength?

Looking back at Dana and I’s past 10 years I have some regrets on decisions made, but the Lord lead me all the way to that point and did not condemn me.  One thing we have both learned is that no matter how broken we are before our awesome God, He is not finished with us, but actually He is just getting us started.  The deep love of a God that chose (adopted/elected) me from before the foundations of the world and took the time to break me down to the core of my being, I could not and would not trade for all the money and success this world can offer.  A relationship that has been drawn out by Him…patiently waited upon by Him…new mercy each morning for us, demands my life, my soul and my all.

David said, “It was good for me that I was afflicted.”

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-From A Dad: Devoted to Christ!

Posted by Scott on November 5, 2007

Years ago a reformation started in the church.  For those of us that hold to the fact that the bible is the inspired infallible word of God, that God is sovereign over all things, and we must take God seriously see the reformation as a great blessing.  This may not be the view of others, but it happens to be my belief.

In my growing devotion to Christ I have found the reading of the messages by many of the great theologians of the past refreshing and challenging.  Especially in light of the fact that many of today’s churches receive no such theology or doctrine from their pulpits.  I have enjoyed getting to know B.B. Warfield, Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, Thomas Bouston, Thomas Watson, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Hugh Binning, Martin Luther, A.W. Tozer, Warren Weirsbe, John Calvin, and Ray Stedman.  I have also enjoyed setting under the education and ministry of Dr. Charles Swindoll and Dr. Steve Farrar.  That enjoyment has not stopped there, but has expanded to several other men that are keeping the torch of the true church alive such as R.C. Sproul, John Piper, John MacArthur, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, and John Stott.   These men have had a huge impact on my self-education (God directed) in the scriptures. 

Never have I experienced in the course my Christian life a love and devotion for Christ as I do now.  I am experiencing the hymns of old like I have never before.  Many of these hymns make sense to me now after digging deeply into God’s word and I can recognize the theology that is written there for our singing praise to God.   This may be one of the many issues that Christians and church goers that have fallen into the emerging church movement so ardently.  The scriptures and the love of the scriptures is where you development the interest in the things of God.  The hymns are dripping rich with the theology of God to the point that truly amazing worship can take place each time they are presented when the words are read and understood.  I understand it is difficult to know the meaning of these hymns if you cannot understand their meaning.  The challenge is to get involved in the study of God’s word to help you grasp the rich theology and doctrine that is presented as inspiration by God in these hymns. 

Many of the old hymns are personal testimonies that are presented to us in song.  One such hymn is by Martin Rinkart written in the 1600’s:

“Now thank we all our God,

with heart and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things hath done,

in Whom this world rejoices;

Who from our mother’s arms

hath blessed us on our way

with countless gifts of love,

and still is ours today.”

Martin Rinkart had lived out a rough period in his life when in the end this particular trial the Lord inspired within him this hymn.  Much of the hymn writers experiences are of suffering.  Amazingly they all have nothing but praise for our God.  His mercies new each morning and His grace abounds forever more.  Many of the hymns are a far cry from the prosperity and good feeling worship services seen today.  Christians will experience suffering if they are living for the Lord.  Charles Spurgeon gave a wonderful little bit of advice for each day:

“Wash your face every morning in a bath of praise.”  -C.H. Spurgeon

Each day we are breathing here on this earth is worthy of praise.  Yes, I know heaven would be far better, but God has an appointed time for each us in regard to death, so for now we are to enjoy living here to be to the praise of God’s glory.

Another great hymn written in our historical past was by William Cowper:

“God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.

You fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace,

Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work is vain;

God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.”

-William Cowper 1774

You understand that God in His providential power pulls us into each crisis we find ourselves in.  The order of the day is to follow Him into the canyon and as He lead you in He will certainly lead you out.  As Psalm 34:19 tells us that “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the Lord delivers them out of them all.”  We can prepare our hearts that afflictions are coming, but can also set our hearts on the fact that God made a promise her to deliver us from them all.  The deliverance may not be as we would have chosen, but it will work directly into the plan God has for us.  

In my devotion to Christ I take it very seriously.  After years of playing the part of a Christian…playing at church I found my Lord patiently preparing me for a love of Him that I never knew could be found.  “He is the first and the last and we are gathered up between, as in great arms of eternal loving-kindness” by Amy Carmichael.  This devotion has increased over time and with the daily help of my wife and kids who challenge me to grow and grow deeply.  As our ministry to husbands and wives grow this devotion to Christ grows as well. 

Would you like to be devoted beyond your current level?  I challenge you to go beyond the norm in your relationship to Christ Jesus.  This does not come easy or over night.  Reading the bible daily, meditating on it, and prayer are the major keys to this growing devotion.  Challenge anyone that preaches a different message other than what the bible tells us.  Read about the past theologians, their messages, and be encouraged…these guys have gone on before us and have traveled down the same paths we are now experiencing.  God’s sovereign will is already ahead of us and He knows what this heart really needs. 

Challenge yourself to study more heart-felt, pray God’s word, listen to God’s word, sing the hymns prayerfully, read the hymns, study the testimony of the hymns, read and study the great theologians of the past, and be obedient to the calling no matter where that takes you.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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