The Most Important Lessons Children Should Learn Before They’re Adults

1) That Children Would Fear the Lord

Colossians 2:2-4
“…that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments….”

Colossians 1:28
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with >all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”

Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

1 Corinthians 1:30-31
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Proverbs 22:4
“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Proverbs 15:33
“The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”

Proverbs 19:23
“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm”

Psalm 111:10
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”

Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 2:5
“then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Proverbs 14:27
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”

Proverbs 9:10
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

Psalm 103:17
“But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,”

 

2) That Children Would Love God and Others as They Love Themselves

Mark 12:30
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”

Matthew 22:37
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Luke 10:27
“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

1 John 4:7
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”

Deuteronomy 6:5
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Leviticus 19:18
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”

Matthew 19:19
“‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Matthew 22:37–39
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Mark 12:30–31
“‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Luke 10:27
“So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'”

Romans 13:9
“For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:14
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

James 2:8
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well …”

3) That Children Would “One Another” Others
Greet one another – Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14
Comfort one another – 1 Thessalonians 4:18
Forgive one another – Colossians 3:13
Build one another up – Romans 15:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Serve one another – Galatians. 5:13
Bear one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:2
Encourage one another – Hebrews 10:25
Meet with one another – Hebrews 10:25
Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving toward one another – Ephesians 4:32; Romans 12:10
Receive (welcome) one another as Christ received us – Romans 15:7
Care for one another – 1 Corinthians 12:25
Minister one to another – 1 Peter 4:10
Show hospitality to one another – 1 Peter 4:9
Pray for one another – James 5:16

 

And I pray we adults may learn these, too.

Top 10 Books to Read for 2014

I’ve made a list of books I want to read for 2014.

  1. Man in Christ: The Vital Elements of St. Paul’s Religion (Classic Reprint) by James S. Stewart
  2. Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study by Constantine R. Campbell
  3. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament by Christopher J. H. Wright
  4. The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist by Craig Groeschel
  5. Calvin’s Ladder: A Spiritual Theology of Ascent and Ascension by Julie Canlis
  6. The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God (New Studies in Biblical Theology) by G. K. Beale
  7. The Priesthood of Christ by John Owen
  8. The Doctrine of Jesus Christ by T.F. Torrance
  9. Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons by T.F. Torrance
  10. Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction by Michael F. Bird

God is Truth

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent” ~John 5:30-38.

“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established” ~Deuteronomy 19:15.

“On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness” ~Deuteronomy 17:6.

  • God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • God is Truth because He (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) testifies of the Truth
  • Because God is Who He is, He is not a single witness; He is One God
  • We, who are true Children of God, should be lovers of Truth because God is Truth for the Spirit of Truth indwells us
  • The law reflects Who God is

Rule Keeping in a City of Elder Brothers

I live in a very Elder Brother kind of city.

Sure, there are ever-growing pockets of Younger Brother elements here, though.

But for the moment, my focus is this Elder Brother element.

I am, of course, reflecting on the parable of the two sons in Luke 15.

Much of the focus people have on this passage is on the Younger Brother. Rightly so, mind you, but it’s not the whole of the focus we should have.

It should be obvious the Younger Brother was only after the Father’s stuff. He wasn’t interested in the Father himself (v.12). The Younger Brother threw off all of the Father’s rules in order to gain the Father’s stuff. But notice the Father was gracious, merciful, and loving to the Younger Brother, in that, the Father came out to meet the Younger Brother (v. 20). The Father loved the Younger Brother and entreated him to come.

What might be less obvious: the Elder Brother did the same thing only in the opposite way. The Elder Brother kept all of the Father’s rules in order that he might get his Father’s stuff (v. 29). However, the Father came out to the Elder Brother to entreat him to come (v. 28).

The Father is Good to His sons.

The point I want to bring out: Rule keeping does not necessarily equal true spirituality or true Christ-likeness.

Forcing others to keep rules for the sake of rule-keeping does not discipleship make.

Forcing others to keep rules does not heal those who are hurting. Forcing others to keep rules does not settle a trouble heart. It does not remove fear.

In fact, since rule-keeping is performance-based, fear of man will be heightened. It does not produce the fear of God.

The song, Start Over says,

“To the broken hearted that wished that they’d never been born, never been torn, never sinned, never disobeyed, I know you think there’s no hope, but that ain’t true, I know you feelin’ regret
(Like I) brought this all on myself
(Like I) messed it up big time, and this time I don’t deserve God’s help
(Thinking) how can God forgive me after knowin’ what I did (can He?)
After knowin’ that I hid from Him, and I stayed away and backslid
Jesus came for the sick (so true)
Jesus came for the weak (amen)
Jesus came to give good news and have set the captives free (amen)
Jesus came for the poor (amen)
Jesus came with the keys
Jesus came to remove the chains so the prisoners are released.

Rule keeping does not do this. It binds prisoners to what other people expect them to do. And when the rules are broken or not lived up to, shame and guilt rule.

Hurting people do not need rules. They need the Savior. They need Jesus.

What do I mean by all of this?

South Carolina, but more specifically, Greenville is supposedly the buckle of the Bible Belt. But Greenville has become a city of Elder Brothers.

Don’t get me wrong, there are loving, kind, generous, gracious, Christ-like people here who reach out to those in need.

These Christ-like individuals are the exception, not the rule.

As a result of this Christian bubble, or better stated, Moralist Bubble, aka Elder Brother Bubble, we have failed to transform our culture.

Case in point: South Carolina has been ranked number one in domestic violence, more specifically men killing women. In the nation. Again.

Not to mention the number of sex offenders.

“See, His love is deeper than the ocean floor
Run to His arms like an open door
God the Father sent the Son
So men can come and be free and ain’t gotta run no more
Come to me, all who are weary; with heavy burdens, I’ll give you rest
Separated you from the sin, as far as the east is from the west
Thrown in the sea of forgetfulness
What sin? What offense?
And when them waves come crashing in, I’ll calm the winds in your defense
So, whatever it is that you’ve done
He put that punishment on His Son
You’ll never come under His condemnation… Satan and his accusations
So, dry your eyes, lift up your head
Hallelujah! God is not dead!
Plus He gave us His peace, and He took our guilt on the cross instead
Took our place and now we embrace
A clean slate with the eyes of faith
We know unfailing love, unfailing love, it’s not too late, start over.”

We don’t need more rule keeping and putting people on probation which is unwaveringly inept and powerless to change lives. We need the cross.