NIGHT LIGHT FOR PARENTS

 

Killing Time

The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. Psalm 11:5

One of the most disturbing trends in today’s society is the increasing incidence of kids killing kids. It is frightening to realize that school shootings such as the one at Colorado’s Columbine High School, where two classmates murdered a teacher and twelve of their peers, have become almost commonplace. Our culture—through television, movies, the Internet, and video games—teaches our kids to get even with or kill those who get in their way.

It’s the same method that the Nazis employed before and during World War II. Recruits were required to perform disturbing tasks systematically until they were no longer shocked or revolted by them. They were desensitized to violence—as are children who observe repeated acts of brutality in the media. That’s why the American Medical Association and other child development authorities recently stated what most of us have understood for a long time: “[The] effects [of violence] in the media are measurable and long lasting. Moreover, prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence in real life.”

Scripture describes our heavenly Father’s feelings on this matter in the strongest terms: “Those who love violence his soul hates” (Psalm 11:5). Don’t wait another day to shield your family from violent images. The stakes are not only your kids’ emotional well-being, but their relationship with God Himself.

Before you say good night…

Have your kids been desensitized to violence by the media?

What can you do to protect them from negative media influences?

Lord, we must raise our children in a fallen and violent world. Sensitize our hearts and alert us to the darkness that deepens by the day. Show us what You would have us do. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nazi methods from “Courageous Choices,” Focus on the Family, 24 May 2001; quote from “Media Tied to Violence among Kids,” Associated Press, 26 July 2000, as quoted in Bringing Up Boys copyright © 2001 by James Dobson, Inc. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

NIGHT LIGHT FOR COUPLES

Error Or Opportunity?

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

Many years ago, at what was then Standard Oil Company, an executive’s mistake cost the firm more than two million dollars. On the day the news leaked, the firm’s employees feared the wrath of the powerful head of the company—John D. Rockefeller—and found various ways to avoid him. One partner, however, kept his previously scheduled appointment. When he walked into the president’s office, he saw Rockefeller writing on a pad of paper.

“Oh, it’s you, Bedford,” Rockefeller said calmly. “I suppose you’ve heard about our loss?” The partner said that he had. “I’ve been thinking it over,” Rockefeller said, “and before I ask the man to discuss the matter, I’ve been making some notes.” Across the top of the page was written, “Points in favor of Mr. ________.” There followed a long list of the man’s virtues, including a description of how the executive had helped the firm make the right decision on three separate occasions. Since the earnings from these decisions had added up to many times the cost of the recent error, Rockefeller told Bedford that he had decided to seize the opportunity to encourage the executive instead of censure him.

The next time your spouse fails you, you could cut him or her down in a torrent of angry words… or you could see a golden opportunity to encourage.

Just between us…

  • When was I most encouraging to you during a crisis?
  • Is there a particular Scripture verse you cling to during tough times?

Lord, we so often underestimate how much influence our words can have. We ask for wisdom to speak encouragement—especially when criticism might be expected. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Illustration from More of… The Best of Bits and Pieces, ed. Rob Gilbert (Fairfield, N.J.: The Economics Press, 1997). Reprinted in Stories for a Man’s Heart, comp. Al and Alice Gray (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1999).

DEVOTIONAL

 
DAILY IN CHRIST DEVOTIONAL.jpg
 

October 12

 

The Christian’s Magna Charta

 

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might

 

The Christian’s Magna Charta of protection from Satan and his evil power is Ephesians 6:10-18. The first thing you should see in this passage about receiving God’s protection is that our role is not passive. God requires us to be active participants in the spiritual defense that He has provided for us. Notice how often we are commanded to take an active role (emphasis added):

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might . Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm (verses 10-13).

 

 

 

You may be wondering, “If my position in Christ is secure and my protection is found in Him, why do I have to get actively involved? Can’t I just rest in Him and let Him protect me?” That’s like a soldier saying, “Our country is a major military power. We have the most advanced tanks, planes, missiles and ships in the world. Why should I bother with wearing a helmet, standing guard or learning how to shoot a gun? It’s much more comfortable to stay in camp while the tanks and planes fight the war.” When the enemy troops infiltrate, guess who will be one of the first soldiers to get picked off!

 

God, our “commanding officer,” has provided everything we need to secure victory over the evil forces of darkness. But He says, “I’ve prepared a winning strategy and designed effective weapons. But if you don’t do your part by staying on active duty, you’re likely to become a casualty.” You can’t expect God to protect you from demonic influences if you don’t take an active part in His prepared strategy.

 

Prayer: Lord, I choose to be strong in You today and actively stand in the strength of Your might.

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CROSSWALK DEVOTIONAL

 
 
Child-Like Trust in the Lord 
by Shawn McEvoy

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Psalm 131:1-2, NAS

This song, like many of the Psalms, was written by David – the man who would be Israel’s greatest king. Is David who comes to mind when you think of someone “not involved in great matters” (kingdom conflicts, maybe)? Or unbothered by “things too difficult” (slaying a giant, anyone)? No, to me, this doesn’t really sound like David. Doesn’t really sound like me most of the time either.

Let’s take a quick look at three things that stand out about this little Psalm:

1) Attitude. David’s “heart” – his inner being, his spirit, is not proud… of things he’s done, of where he’s been and where he’s going… but neither is he beating himself up. He is just… content.

2) Appetite. David’s “eyes” – his senses – are not haughty. He’s not seeking to please them. He doesn’t have the look of arrogance. He knows Whose he is, and that his needs are met not of himself. He is not restless to feed like an infant, he is not stalking around asking to eat out of boredom like my 2-year-old.

3) Aptitude. David places the responsibility for this peaceful state upon himself. Not circumstances, not achievements, not even on God. “Surely I have quieted my soul,” he says.

Taken all together, this shows us what trust looks like, and helps us understand why trusting God brings such soothing peace. Jesus said we must have faith like children to come to Him. Apparently, trust is also best exemplified in little ones.

David’s “talk” is of not being proud; his “walk” then backs it up by what he “involves” (or doesn’t involve) himself in. This doesn’t mean God hasn’t given him – or you – important stuff to get done, just that David has “declared himself free from excessive ambition” (Ryrie study notes).

 

 

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