I Can Be An Example
January 21, 2023
Dear parents and fellow- soldiers in the Lord's army, I welcome you as we gather again around the Word to hear what the Lord would speak to us.
This morning, I was challenged by 1 Timothy 6:11-12,14 (NLT) which says, “Timothy, you are God's man... run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to eternal life which God has called you. Obey his command without wavering." Being a godly parent is not for the faint of heart. It means picking up your cross and following Christ, and picking up your sword and shield and stepping onto the battlefield! I wonder, what battles have you fought? What new things have you surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ since last time we met together? I wish we could sit down and chat and share our hearts together. I challenge you, take a minute and inventory to see, where are the areas of struggle, or areas of victory? Are you living as more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord? I would love to hear what God is doing in your heart and your home; the battles, the tears, the fears, the victories, the big wins and the little wins! I would love to have you reach out and allow us to pray and/or rejoice with you!
I would like to consistently remind you as we go, the keys to successful parenting that have already been shared. 1. Proverbs 9:10 (NIV), “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. (If you haven't already read the November 2022 article in the parenting column, please go back and read it. I think you would enjoy the challenge it presents.) 2. The subject for today is Proverbs 23:7 (NIV), “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” God taught me early on, after I surrendered my life to Jesus, Philippians 4:13 (NIV) which says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." He told me to make it my motto for life, and that the key is keeping my focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, and not on me, or my surroundings, or my weaknesses. When Jesus asks you to do something hard, or painful, immediately say yes Lord. It’s okay to say "I don't know how" but right along with it, say, "But ...I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” It is amazing how what you think in your heart changes your reality. I learned over many hard years that every time I said I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, I suddenly had the strength, the energy, and the wisdom to do it, because I was believing that God's word is true. I want to share a story that happened in our years of raising teenagers that weren't ours by birth.
I was eight months pregnant with our sixth biological child (thirteen total), and was homeschooling, and had the children working diligently around the table doing their school work. My husband had left to go to work for the day, leaving instructions for the sixteen year old young man who had just joined our family, to cut wood and fill the wood burner as soon as his school work was done. He was a strapping six foot tall teenager, with a size thirteen shoe and a whole lot of strength to put to good use. But, oh how he hated to be told what to do, and how he hated to do hard work! Mid-morning, I reminded him to head out to the wood burner and do his morning chores. He grumbled and complained but put his boots on and headed out the door. Checking out the window a short time later, I quickly realized that he had no intention of cutting wood. He sat on the stack of wood, watching the birds, the dog, and the pigs in the pen, so I went out to give him a word of encouragement to get the work done. His response was "Mom I can't! It's too hard! I don't want to! Why should I have to do that?!" and no amount of talking or cajoling could encourage him to get the job done. I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit saying, "Show him how!" So over my very pregnant belly I picked up the chainsaw, pulled the string, and fired it up. This was fun! I thought, maybe I will just stay out and cut enough to fill the wood burner while I am at it. However, by the time the second log was cut, I had a pleading begging sixteen years old at my elbow, saying, "Mom, give me the chainsaw! I can do it! Mom, this is wrong, you shouldn't be doing this!" I smiled and kept on working. All the while my very repentant sixteen year old begging me to give him the chainsaw and please go in the house to rest. "Mom, you are pregnant! Mom you shouldn't be doing that!" Suddenly, he was more than willing to do the work! What changed?! He saw an example of being willing to do hard things and realized that he could do it just as well!
My fleshly tendency, when Holy Spirit told me to do it, would have been to say I can't do that, I am pregnant and I don't want to do that! How stupid that a big tough kid won't do it! And to stand there and yell at him. But when the Holy Spirit said do it, I was willing to obey, He (Holy Spirit) did the rest of the convincing that needed done. When we are willing and obedient, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength! We need to believe it in our hearts, and God will give us strength beyond what we know or believe. It's become my favorite way to overcome fear or unbelief, by simply quoting Philippians 4:13. I challenge you to do the same and you will be amazed what God can do through you! Love and blessings to you, and may the Lord Jesus Christ fill you with power and love and a sound mind so you can joyfully walk out the calling that He has given you!