En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

A New Year & A New Desire!

Posted by Scott on January 1, 2010

Originally posted Friday, January 1, 2010 at www.EnGhedi.com

A new year has begun. It snuck in last night in the darkness with innocence and striving to be better than the last one. Thinking over the past year’s struggles and lessons served as confirmation that man’s free will cannot remove us from sinning. Only God can direct our results to make the right choices. When we find ourselves in sin, it is a reflection of our human inability to make the right choices. We cannot “will” ourselves not to sin only God over time changes the inner the desires of the Believer’s heart towards holiness & us making the right choices. I am afraid this comes through painful growing wilderness journeys.

Refer to Romans 7:15-20 Paul struggled with the desire to do what was right yet ended up in sin. I can jump right in the middle of that one…it plagues me daily. Example Paul used: the 10Th commandment (by the way commandments are not suggestions). Thou shall not covet…Paul’s desire was not to covet, yet he ended up coveting anyway. Paul found that just based on his own will-power or free-will not to covet would not keep him from coveting…when he desired (in Christ) not to covet & allowed the Spirit of God to rule in his life’s desires, this is when he did not sin by coveting. Paul discovered our desires do drive our choices, but it is the God given desires which make for right choices, not the other way around.

Contemplating over the desires of the heart we need to ask ourselves “is the good I want to do really because it is something the Holy Spirit is prompting me to do, or is it for self-righteous reasons?” Make sure the reasons for our desires are pure and godly in order to find ourselves making the right choices. Over the year to come we can improve on making right choices, but it will require a daily diet of God’s Word & drinking a constant solution of prayer, but the main ingredient in our daily meal is the “will of God” being powerfully active in our lives. As our desires direct our choices, we need to make sure the results reflect a true godly desire to do what is right laced with holiness and God glorifying aroma.

All Rights Reserved to Scott Bailey, Dads Devoted, & En Ghedi sites!

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Posting on a new site!

Posted by Scott on December 9, 2009

Christmas Greetings-

I wanted to share with everyone who subscribes to this blog I will be posting on my new site effective today 12-9-2009. You can go to www.EnGhedi.com and subscribe for RSS feed and direct email notifications there. The new En Ghedi site is colorful and hopefully useful. I have added some of my favorite mentor’s site’s I have gleened so much from in my journey to know God in a much deeper way. I think you will enjoy the new look, the new content, and ease of use. In the future I will post book reviews on both sites, articles I think are important to be on both sites as well, but the main site will be www.EnGhedi.com .

Over the coming months I will be moving many of the post from this site over to the new site, so you may encounter a repeat message.

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas and most blessed New Year.

Pressing on, Scott

www.EnGhedi.com

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Lost in the Woods

Posted by Scott on November 30, 2009

Lost in the woods: An adventure of two old cowboys searching for lost calves!

It was the spring time of the year when Harold and I were working cattle for days without much sleep. Our job was to move over four hundred head of cows, calves, and bulls from one section of pasture to another which happened to be on the other side of the canyon. The distance between these two pastures was over thirty miles. Harold and I along with about fifteen other hired hands could move these “beeves” about 15 miles a day.  It could be dusty, wet, and sometimes sleepless, most of the time a thankless job. This particular morning it was briskly cold. A sharp chill would cut right through my jacket which seemed to pierce my skin going directly into my bones. At times the chill seemed to get into my blood stream and would make me shiver from my head to my toes. I shouted to Harold, “I can’t get warmed up this morning. I wish that north wind would calm down.” I spotted in the camp hot tar black coffee on the fire and I thought to myself, “That will warm me up for the long day ahead”. You see, a cowboy almost has coffee running through his veins rather than blood. We live off of coffee in order to stay awake, alert, and when it is cold, it provides warmth for our soul.

The pastures we were working were in the valley down below the Sunhill Mountain range in southwestern Colorado. You could travel through hot ninety degree days in the valleys and enter thirty degree nights in the mountain area. Great area to run cattle, but the weather could change on you within minutes it seemed. Mr. Garret owned this cattle ranch called “Running Bar Ranch” and the ranch has been in his family for three generations. So, we all took great pride in tending to Mr. Garret’s cattle.

It was Harold and I’s job to see to it that every single cow, calf, and bull made it safely to the next pasture. We did not leave one calf behind if it was at all possible. Leaving a calf behind to die was like losing money and Mr. Garret frowned on that, plus he would dock our pay one days wages if he found out we had not tried to retrieve a lost calf. From time to time a calf would stray off into the woods at the foot of the mountain range. When that happened we would go into the woods after them. However, the calves would do this when no one was watching and we would find a cow not wanting to go with the herd. She would stand at the edge of the herd bawling towards the woods. That was our indicator a calf was in the thickets of the woods. Sometimes the momma cows would bed them down in the woods and other times the calves would simply wonder off in curiosity. Either way, our job was to go in after them.

I remember one balmy late spring afternoon just after the morning chill had finally given into the sunny warmth. We were driving our beeves north to far end of the pasture. We noticed about five momma cows refusing to follow in with the rest of the herd. They kept running towards the thickets to our west bawling loudly, but no calves could be seen or heard. I looked at Harold and motioned for him head towards the thicket after the calves and I would be there shortly.

I road my big fifteen hand brown horse on up towards the front to let one of the hired hands know where Harold and I would be and to keep moving the herd forward and we would catch up with them later that evening. So, I caught up with Harold and we moved slowly and methodically into the thicket. The trees and vines were so thick at times we had to get off our horses and go further on foot. Harold hollered out to me, “Where in the world could those five calves be?” I looked at him and just shrugged my shoulders in bewilderment myself. I had no clue. What some of these momma cows will do is take their babies off into the woods and bed them down together. But usually one momma cow would stay with them like a baby-sitter. However, this time it seemed all the calves were alone.

My thoughts immediately started thinking about how wolves or mountain lions possibly could have gotten some or all of the calves. No matter though, Harold and I would not stop until we had found all of the calves safe and sound or what was left of them as proof of their whereabouts.

It started getting late as the sun was just barely peeking over the mountain peak and we had been hunting for these calves for hours. It was starting to get cold again and a small thunder shower had formed just above us over the mountain range. Fortunately, we had packed our rain slicks for such an occasion. As the rain pelted our heads and soaked our boots, Harold heard a faint bawl of a young calf. We hurried in the direction of the cry over large rocks and around enormous boulders. There just on the other side of a jagged boulder he found two of the calves hung up in some of the thickest vines and trees we had encountered. Since we found them, what would we do with them? It was no easy trip up into the mountain range to start with. Harold or I could take these two calves back, but what about the other three. About that time two of our riders from the herd came clapity-clopping up next to us. “Do you guys need any help finding the calves?” one of the hands yelled. “Yes, you can take these two calves back to their mommas with the herd while Harold and I look for the other three calves.” One of the hands yelled back, “We figured with it getting so late and we had not seen you guys yet, you probably needed help.” So, they put the calves across their saddles right in front of them and off on their horses they went.

As Harold and I climbed higher and higher into the mountain area the thicket was extremely dense. The darkness seemed to fall like dark chocolate running down the sides of an ice cream cone. It was thick and heavy darkness. I pulled out an old flashlight I had stuck in my saddle bag hoping it would still work. It has been at least 6 months since I last used it. Sure enough, the flashlight worked, when all of the sudden, Harold let out an “eek” loudly. I yelled over to him to find out what was the matter. When from high above us on rock cliff was the biggest mountain lion I had seen in decades. The sound from this mountain lion would make your skin crawl. The big cat was positioned to jump on top of Harold. I grabbed the 30-30 Winchester from my saddle holster took aim and fired. I nicked the cat right on his behind. The cat took off up the trail above the rock cliff out of sight. I hurried over to Harold to make sure he was alright and of course he was.

About the time we were starting to head up and around the rock cliff, I heard something off in the distance. A faint but steady bawl from a young calf. Apparently, Harold and I had gone too far up in the mountains not realizing where the calves might be. So, back down the trail we went and found the other three calves safe and sound. Harold grabbed one calf and stretched it across his lap while I took the other two smaller calves and stretched them across my lap on the saddle. Off towards the herd we went.

As we traveled down the mountain side we came across a good trail that lead us right out of the thicket in the valley below. The herd was bedded down for the night about twenty minutes ahead, so we should be able to get back in time for supper. I looked over to Harold and said, “You know Harold, you and I out searching for these five calves tonight through the thicket, the vines, the boulders, the jagged rocks, and all reminds me of how Jesus seeks us out to save us for eternity”. I quoted Jesus from Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus’ mission all summed up in a few words. We came out into the mountain range to seek and to save that which was lost. The result was we found those calves and saved them from danger. Jesus does the same for his own people. “You see Harold; these calves were not looking for us. They may have known they were not in the right place, but did not know who to be looking for”, I spoke plainly to Harold. “People are the same way you know”. People don’t seek after to God. In their lost sinful state of being, they have not a clue they need Jesus”, I confidently exclaimed.

I pondered further about the subject for the next fifteen to twenty minutes until we got back to camp. Finally, arriving at the camp we put the calves back with their momma’s. All the bawling stopped as the calves and momma cows we joined together again. Thinking back over a Sunday-School lesson I heard about a son running off on his own lost to the world. The father speaking to the son’s brother quoting from Luke 15:32 says, “It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.” About that time one of the other hired hands came wondering up to me and asked what I was thinking about. So, I simply told about how Christ had come to seek and to save the lost of this world. How Jesus talked about in Luke 15:4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” I told the hand Jesus would come after the one lost no matter what. I then turned to him and asked him simply, “Have you put your complete trust in Jesus Christ as your only Lord and Savior?” He just wrinkled his face in an expression of “I don’t know”. We left it at that. But the day’s affairs had made me think more about Jesus seeking out His lost people and how He would go through the thicket, across the rocks and boulders engaging Mountain Lions and all in order to save His own.

by scott bailey (c) 2009

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Fit To Be Used by Ray C. Stedman

Posted by Scott on November 24, 2009

by Ray C. Stedman

2 Timothy 2:20-26

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).

Those with pure hearts are not sinless saints; they are not holier-than-thous who have never done anything wrong. They are not the kind of people who look down their noses at everyone else who gets into trouble. No, the word pure would be better translated “cleansed,” past tense–those with a cleansed heart, those who have already known what it is to be where you are. They do not put you down; they encourage you. They say, “I know how you feel. I’ve been there too, but God picked me up. I know what it means to lay hold of His great, forgiving love.” So one of the necessities of being used of God is that you keep company with those who are aiming in the same direction.

I had an occasion to spend a day at Vacaville Penitentiary. I had not been there before. It was a most remarkable experience to see Christian friends working in the prison as salt within a corrupt society. It was a rainy day, and no one was out in the yard. Everyone was in the halls, so it was like going into a high school that had just been let out for lunch. Among the inmates of that overcrowded prison, a Christian group is maintaining a testimony that is keeping that prison away from violence, acting as salt to preserve it in the midst of a very explosive situation.

In the chapel I sat next to a man who had been a murderer–a murderer several times. He had been one of the roughest, fiercest convicts in the prison system. He had stabbed several people while he was in prison, and he was a member of the gang that tried to rule the prison, a vicious loner who would not hesitate to take a human life. Yet God had reached him. Now he is the most gentle-spirited, gracious fellow, a teacher of the other prisoners, instructing them in the truth of God.

I met with others who had been rapists, murderers, and child abusers, men whose lives were changed, who were now listening to and rejoicing in the Scriptures. I asked the leader of the group what it was that most disappointed him in his work. Without hesitating he said, “it is those who are so dramatically changed here but who lose all they have gained when they get out”. I asked why that happened. “Because they go back to the same old crowd,” he said. We are not made to live alone. We are made to live with others; we need the support of others. Those who surround themselves with a non-Christian view of life and non-Christian friends are almost certain to go back at last into that way of thinking and living. So if we want to be used of God, the apostle urges us to seek the companionship of those of like mind.

Lord, grant me the strength to say no to the things I must and yes to the things that I should, that You may find me usable in Your hand, a vessel fit for the Master’s use.

For the complete message by the late Ray C. Stedman go to Ray Stedman.

Scott Bailey 2009

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Seven Losses When A Christian Lives In Sin!

Posted by Scott on November 11, 2009

As a Believer, we are forced to face certain facts about sin. Whenever we sin we lose something within us which was intended to draw us back to our Lord.

Psalm 51:1-2

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

Loss #1: LIGHT

1 John 1:6

“If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.”

God is light. Not one pixel of darkness resides in Him or around Him.  Fellowship with Him is a deep, loving, communion with our heavenly Father. If we claim this kind of fellowship but are living in sin, we are liars, not being truthful. So, the first thing we lose in our sinfulness is Light.

Loss #2: JOY

1 John 1:3-4

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”

Having fellowship with our Father and our Savior makes our joy complete. However, we lose this joy when we decide to live in a sinful life style, relationship or any combination of sinfulness. We lose our light and our joy!

Reference John 15:11 & Galatians 5:22

A portion of living by the Spirit of God is Joy. In Psalm 51:12 we find a crying out for this joy to be restored…the joy of his salvation. To choice to live in sin comes at a high price by trading rebellion against God for His light and abundant joy.

Loss #3: RIGHTEOUSNESS

1 John 3:4-10

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness…No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him….He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

This is reaching the dangerous category. Because to claim to be a Believer yet make a conscious decision to live in sin makes us  unrighteous. Sin is wrong and is unrighteous behavior. Those who are authentic Christians cannot remain in that sin for long. The guilt of destroying a relationship with our Savior is too deep to allow us to remain in it. The Scripture’s go so far as to tell us the one who does not do what is right is not a child of God. That is pretty point-blank and bold. So, we must be careful in our decisions…sin is hazardous and causes us great loss.

Loss #4: LOVE

1 John 2:5-6

“But if anyone obeys His Word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him. Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”

Sin is disobedience to the Word of God. Simple enough, but we have a loss of the love of God when we are living in sin. Not saying God does not love us, but that kind of love He has for us, we no longer have for others or even give back to Him. This boils over into a lack of God’s kind of love for others around us. We cannot walk as Jesus did, because the love of the Father is not in us. When the decision to sin is made, whether subtle or slowly, enters the heart of a claiming Believer, and a person remains in that sinfulness day after day without repentance, we have traded this abiding love of our Lord for the lustfulness of sin. This trade-off is not good for any of us. The depths of sin only dig us into a hole that swallows us up, eeks out every hint of light and causes us to feel dirty, filthy, and completely lost to the world of darkness. You do not want to get this far.

Loss #5: FELLOWSHIP

1 John 1:3

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.”

We touched on fellowship before. It is lost in our sinfulness. Living in sin has nothing in common with the righteous. Living in sin has nothing to profit us and pulls us away from the table of fellowship with other Believers. The one living in sin has no light, no joy, no righteousness, no godly love, and now has lost their fellowship with others. Another high price to pay for consciously being disobedient to God.

On the flip side of this, unholy living places us at the table of an unholy fellowship. Those a person in sin will fellowship with are evil, ungodly to the core and feed each a bowl of lies that will make your stomach turn. Ungodliness attracts to worst of people in your life. Your waywardness will take you down a road which God is not on and render you helpless apart from a miraculous merciful act on God’s part. A sinful life style has only as their hope God’s grace, a merciful action on God’s part, and ultimate true salvation. That is a great hope, but it is the only hope for those choosing to live separated from God.

Loss #6: CONFIDENCE

1 John 3:19-22

“This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything. If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.”

Sin is an indictment on our confidence. We will not enter His presence in honorable prayer because our hearts filled with sin condemns us before Him. A proud heart full of ourselves speaking in the presence of a holy God does not go together. We cannot hide our sinful condition because God knows everything.

Also, besides the loss of confidence, it causes us to lose the ability to obey and receive what we come to Him for because of the wall of sin we have built between us and God. Sin is a loosely built wall that tightens up with age if not confessed quickly and repented from immediately.

Loss #7: HEALTH & POSSIBLE PHYSICAL LIFE

1 Cor 11:30

Partaking of the communion services with a sinful heart brings about contrition before a holy and mighty God. If a Christian continues to live in their sin, know ing it is wrong, but refusing to do anything about in total rebellion and disobedience to God, their health can began to fail sometimes even to the point of death. The most dangerous activity we can encounter as Believers is to enter a sinful lifestyle in the face of Almighty God and think we can manipulate God the way we do our friends and family. God detest this and so do other Believers who recognize you are living in sin.

I have seen sinfulness poke its ugly head above the ground in so many ways. Wives and moms leaving their families because they do not want to be in that relationship anymore and live in sin with another woman’s husband. I have seen it rare up with two people shacking up together before getting married, denying the sinfulness of their ways and pushing forward to matrimony which end in a disputed divorce. It shows up in great ugliness as men and women turn to the gay lifestyle and excuse it away. On and on I could go.  Bottom line is this, for a Believer to call themselves a Christian and live as though they are not in blasphemous at the core. You are lying to God and man about your faith. If a person continues in this life style of sin for the rest of their life or jumping for one to another without a moment of repentance and returning to a strong faith in Jesus Christ, I would contend they are not a Believer to start with.

Sin is a destructor of people both Believers and non-Believers alike. However, it is more tragic for the Believer who knows better.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Itching Ears and Liars Tongues!

Posted by Scott on November 4, 2009

The time will come (is here now) when people will not put up with sound doctrine & teaching. They will surround themselves with teachers & preachers who scratch their itching ears by telling them what they want to hear. They will not listen to the truth, but will embrace myths, philosophies of men, & other non-Christian religions.

“Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to from hearing. They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by His spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was so angry with them.” – Zech 7:11-12

God’s Word found in the Christian Bible are breathed out by God Himself & merely penned by writers of His choosing. This Word is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training people in righteousness. Why do we need this? So we may be completely ready, fully equipped for every good work God calls us to do.
Our charge, especially if in the ministry:
-Preach the Word, preach it when people want to hear it & receive it & preach it when they stick their fingers in their ears & want nothing to do with it.
-With great patience & careful handling of the Scriptures, correct, rebuke, & encourage the fellow Believer’s.
-Keep a steady head & attitude at all times….
-Endure suffering & hardships, because they will come.
-Evangelize always…share the gospel wherever you can.
-Stay with the ministry you are in until your life is over…no retirement from the ministry.

Parents, you can take this charge into your households & apply it to your family. The husband is to be the Priest of his home & handle the Word of God carefully & graciously towards his family. You want to make a difference in your kids lives? Teach them the Word of God daily. Take the opportunity during each day to teach a lesson from everyday situations in life. God gives us parents so many opportunities yet we fail to see them. Look for them everyday.

Correct the kids ills from the Word of God. This is our main authority anyway. They need to understand how important God’s Word is in our lives & how important it is to their lives.

Encourage the kids from God’s Word. Find ways to encourage them. We have the tendacy to say “NO” & correct them so them many times each day they hardly ever hear a positive word from our mouths. So, when one of our kids is feeling depressed or out of it, encourage them from the Word of God…it is full of encouragement.

Train them to be holy & righteous. Teach them little white lies are not alright. Take a paperclip from school or work is not alright if not done with the “ok” of the teachers or bosses. Teach them it is not “ok” to cheat on anything. However, teach them to seek out God’s holiness, His purposes, His ways, His instructions, His wisdom, His knowledge…teach them to go to the Word of God, first! Train them to do what is good at all times, to do what is right in every situation even if it hurts them.

 

-scott bailey (c) 2009

 

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Holiness…new concept to many, but older than the Scriptures!

Posted by Scott on September 12, 2009

In todays selfish climate even in the evangelical movement of the day “holiness” is a new thought to many. Holiness seems not to enter into the thought process of masses of those calling themselves “evangelical”.

I started reading back through a book I read through a few years ago to touch base with someone who was passionate about the subject as I am. JC Ryle, born in 1816, died in 1900. He had a life long ministry to the young and old of the day in and around England. However, Ryle could see a movement, mostly coming from America, that greatly disturbed him. This movement was taking away the holiness found in our sanctification. The mantra was just believe and you are justified, which is the requirement to trust in Christ, however, they were taking this further to even say that sanctification was merely to believe and the sanctification was given to us. This is the rub between the two and holiness was then as it is today being pushed out of Believers lives and thus people could see no real change between those calling themselves Believers and those than admittedly denied Christ.

Quickly and briefly:

1) Justification is only to trust in Christ, believe

2) sanctification must be to guard, pray and fight against sin in our lives on a daily basis.

From Ryle:

“There is an amazing ignorance of Scripture among many and a consequent want of established, solid religion.”

Willowcreek church in Chicago experienced this recently as they admittedly have been wrong for twenty years in their “seeker” focus without establishing among the congregants solid biblical growth…in other words, those true Believers were starving to death for real biblical meat from the pulpit of the church.

Ryle says further after quoting Eph 4:14:

“There is an Athenian love of novelty abroad, and a morbid distaste for anything old and regular and in the beaten path of our forefathers.”

Again, I can show you contempt after contempt from so many young, Scripturally ignorant pastors today that viciously preach against the old, established religion of the day. This is not completely unfounded of course, but overall it causes their listeners to distaste all, when really the focus should be on the few unholy older established religions that are NOT true to the Word of God, but are pretenders to the faith.

Ryle continues:

“Thousands will crowd to hear a new voice and new doctrine, without considering for a moment whether what they hear is true. There is an incessant craving after any teaching with sensational, exciting, and rousing to the feelings. These are an unhealthy appetite for a sort of spasmodic and hysterical Christianity. The religious life of many is little better than spiritual dram-drinking, and the “meek and quiet spirit” which Peter commends is clean forgotten (1 Peter 3:4). Crowds and crying and hot rooms and high-flown singing and an incessant rousing of the emotions, are the only things which many care for. Inability to distinguish differences in doctrine is spreading far and wide, and so long as the preacher is “clever” and “earnest”, hundreds seem to think it must be all right, and call you dreadfully “narrow and uncharitable” if you hint that he is unsound!”

Sounds like much of what we see today going on the “Seeker-sensitive” & “Emergent” movements.

Ryle starts out the book:

“Sin is the transgression of the law.” -1 John 3:4

Ryle “…to attain right views about Christian holiness must begin by examining the vast and solemn subject of sin. He must dig down very low if he would build high.”

I compare this depth as we must build a faithfully true theology as we build a faithfully holy life. Unless we get our mind right on sin, we will do little good in building a Christian life. Think of a 100 story building. Do they just set it on top of the ground? Absolutely not if they intend the building to last and not sink into the ground. The first activity is to go down deep into the earth to set up the foundation and then they start building above the ground. The same is true of the Christian life…dig into the Word of God deeply, developing the truths of God’s Word in doctrine and theology. Then a holy life can be built. Remember, the holy life is not built over night or with a little prayer. The holy life is built over our lifetime by being on guard against the adversaries lies and distortions that cause sin, by spending great moments of time in prayer with our heavenly Father, and fighting against sin at every turn which is the mortification of sin…the murder of sin in our lives daily is required.

One final note from Ryle on what thoughts and actions about sin can cause:

“Dim or indistinct views of sin are the origin of most of the errors, heresies, and false doctrines of the present day. If a man does not realize the dangerous nature of his soul’s disease, you cannot wonder if he is content with false or imperfect remedies.”

The danger the church faces today and the problems the identity of the church has today from centuries of not viewing sin as serious is our witness has diminished to the point people do not take Christians serious anymore. The dim view of sin in the Believer’s life has been tampered with to the point that many cannot even recognize their sin as being sin anymore. I can assure you that sin is still prevalent today as it was 200 years ago….even more so. The internet has brought far more filth and sinful opportunity into peoples homes and lives than one would have ever thought. So, the need to be on guard, pray and fight sin is all the more necessary.

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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Book Review: “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

Posted by Scott on August 31, 2009

    This is a great little devotional book for every day of the year.  The devotional is written by long time missionary, Sarah Young and published by long time publishers, Thomas Nelson Publishing.   Jesus Calling is geared for both men and women with quick and short paragraphs that would be most desirable for someone on the run that needs to take five minutes to stop and reflect on God and reflect on Him speaking to them in that very moment.

Each daily devotional is done from the point of view that God is talking to them that very moment.  The fact is, He is talking to each of us Believers all the time if we would stop and listen.  This little devotional book brings that out in a unique way.  At the bottom of each page are great verses of Scripture to deepen the experience of that days devotional. 

Each days writings are from Sarah’s personal encounter with Jesus day by day as she recorded in her prayer journals.  Sarah would write down what she sensed the Lord telling her in her prayer time daily.  I believe Sarah does a fantastic job helping the reader to understand that Jesus is ever present with us and we can enjoy His peace on a daily basis.  This is not a deep book understandably at first glance, but it helps to get each of our minds and hearts turned back towards Him each day and learn to listen for His voice out of the hundreds of voices yelling around us taking us into a deeper walk with Christ.  Jesus does speak to us today through His Scripture and through daily time listening to Him.  This book is a great way to get back to or continue on in each Believer’s personal quiet time.  Our spiritual health depends on it.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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