Archive for June, 2010

This came from the back of a church bulletin and is worthy of our time to meditate and reflect.  How to be a five star dad by Paul J. Twist:
It has been said, “The only things you can take with you to heaven are your children.”  “Father’s Day is a good day for dad’s to examine their hearts and priorities, asking questions such as; 1. Am I the spiritual leader God wants me to be in my family? 2. Do I spend more time earning money than I need to provide for my family? 3. Do I value the friendship of others more than time spent with my own family?  Often, mothers are thought of as the ones who have the greatest influence in training their children.  But a few years ago, a study revealed a startling fact regarding Church attendance.  When both parents attended Church, the study showed that 80% of the children also attended Church when they were on their own.  When the mother attended with the children, but the father did not, only 30% of the children attended on their own.  Yet, when the father attended Church with their children, without the mother, 70% of the children continued to attend Church when on their own, almost as high a figure as when both parents attended with them!  A family does need a strong, faithful mother who takes time to pray for her children, and train them in the ways of the Lord.  But the father needs to be the leader, and set the example by his own faithful Church attendance if his children are to follow Christ when they are older.  They are more likely to do as you do than to do as you say and the result of your Godly example will follow you into Eternity.” Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” So now what are you going to do with this thought?  God ordained the family unit and designated the father as the spiritual leader.  We can see in our own Nation how the world views a fathers role in the family.  But our thinking should not be as the world thinks but as God thinks!  O fathers and mother, the ruin of your children or their salvation, will, under God, very much depend on you. -Spurgeon For you fathers out their, let me ask a question; do you pray with your children? I said with them not for them. Do you lead them in prayer? Why not? Wake up and swallow your Pride if you do not lead your children in prayer or to Church!  I pray you so live, that when you stand over your child’s dead body, you may never hear a voice coming up from that clay, “Father, your negligence was my destruction.  Mother, your prayerlessness was the instrument of my damnation. Fathers remember the survey that was just shared? Do you want your pride and slackness to be the destroyer of your children?  Not to mention the destruction of your own soul! A mother is important for the children, but the father is the leader of both! God ordained the family unit. Can we undo what God has done? Only to our destruction as a family and then a Nation. Blessings to you fathers. Pr 20:7 “ The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”

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Many things are happening today that should cause Christians to pause and take note. The Church for instance. Just stop and ponder a moment about the changes that has come over the past 20 years. As I share a few thoughts and make a few observations, please pray concerning what you are reading. First thing I would like to do is define the word contemporary. 1. existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time. 2. of about the same age or date. 3. of the present time; modern: a lecture on the contemporary novel. For the task at hand, modern, will fit best for this devotion. It is obvious that modern Churches have some pros and cons. First the positives. Contemporary praise and worship songs can be very uplifting and Christ honoring. They seem to have a more upbeat tone than some of the traditional hymns which can stir some emotion into the worship. This is not to say that emotionalism is all good but does seem to honor Christ when He Commanded us to Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Modern Churches with modern worship services can be very Glorifying to Christ and can lead many to Christ as Savior.
Secondly the negatives. Contemporary praise and worship can become idiolatry just as traditional. If the worshiper is getting a high and is focused on the entertainment value, then to much emotion can certainly lead the worshiper to commit idiolatry by getting a boost of adrenaline instead of focusing on Glorifying God with their all!
Now lets look at Preaching the Word of God. Worship is important and preaching is part of that worship. The problem comes when Preaching contemporary messages. So many Churches have abandoned Rock solid Bible Preaching for some hybrid modern seeker friendly social club! Not offending anyone or making people feel comfortable seems to be the standard. I recently read an article about this very subject and would like to share. The title speaks volumes: Most Christians Cannot Explain their Faith, Says Apologist. Here is the article.
The faith of most Christians, even that of many pastors, will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, according to renowned apologist Josh McDowell.
This is a concern because pastors’ inability to present biblical truth comprehensibly and relevantly has led to children from Christian families leaving the church, research has shown.
In the United States, the age at which nearly all such children leave church has decreased to 18 years.
Not even the children of many successful ministers are spared.
McDowell made his comments at a recent networking dinner among various men’s ministries organized recently by Men-in-Covenant. MiC is the men’s ministry of Covenant Evangelical Free Church.

He recalled speaking with the pastor of one of the largest U.S. churches, a man known for his expository preaching. Confiding in him, the pastor said their church was losing its youth right after high school graduation.
In his 50 years of ministry, McDowell has asked several thousand pastors and leaders how they could be certain Jesus Christ said “I am the truth” and not one of many truths or a truth.
“Not one person has ever given me an intelligent, biblically-based answer,” said the author of The New Evidence that Demands A Verdict.

During the past six years, he asked hundreds of Christians and leaders why they see themselves as Christians. Again no one gave him an “intelligent” answer. In the past 17 years, he has asked over 4,000 pastors, leaders and parents why they believe the Bible is true. A mere six “came close to giving an intelligent answer,” McDowell noted.
“If anything is based upon truth, it’s the Christian faith,” he said. “Christians who do not know why they have faith or believe have a very difficult time expressing themselves to others.
“The saddest thing is people come to me and say, ‘What’s the answer?’”
“I say, ‘There’s no answer… There are hundreds of answers.’”

Most Christians, even some pastors, don’t even know one. On the other hand, the apologist said he could give 50 reasons for his belief that the Bible is true. Ninety-five percent of Christians gave disappointing responses when asked why they believe Jesus is the Son of God.
Asked why the Bible is true and historically reliable, Christians replied that it was what they had been taught by their church or parents.

A common response that most Christians gave to both questions was that it is “what I believe.” McDowell responded: “That’s voodoo thinking. Where did we ever get that crazy idea that something is true just because we believe it?
“If that is true, then there will never be heresy. Everybody would be right.”
On one occasion, 13 youth pastors at a large convention were unable to reasonably answer the apologist’s question.

Finally one young person stood up, walked toward him and told him he knew the answer. The young man promptly held up his Bible and said, “Because I believe it.”
And to McDowell’s dismay, all the youth pastors applauded him.
McDowell said, “Young man, do you know the difference between you, me and the majority of Christians in the world?
“To you, it is true because you believe it. For me, I believe it because it is true.” Another response the apologist received was: Because I have faith.
He commented, “Where did we ever get the crazy idea that faith makes something true? That’s idiotic. That’s so unbiblical you can call it heresy.
“God doesn’t use faith to create truth. He uses truth through the Holy Spirit to create faith.”
Christians, the apologist stressed, are called to explain their faith when asked. They are set free by the faith in the truth, he expressed, referring to John 8:32.

Yet others say Christianity is true because Jesus changed their lives.
Even this will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, McDowell argued.
“Lies change lives; cults change lives,” he said.
To make such an appeal is “not the essence of Christianity,” the author emphasized.
McDowell said: “We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, we owe it to our neighbors, we owe it to the lost, to tell them not just what we believe but why do we believe it.”

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