NIGHT LIGHT FOR PARENTS

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Lion Attack

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

Proverbs 16:27, tlb

There’s no doubt that our culture’s assault on innocence is being engineered by Satan. The apostle Peter says that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). If you have a strong-willed teen under your roof, he or she could very well be Satan’s next target.

When a lion approaches a buffalo herd with the intent to kill, he typically avoids the healthiest members of the herd; rather, he spends his time scouting for a sick, injured, or elderly member to attack. Your strong-willed teen is like a vulnerable buffalo in some ways. Those who suffer from low self-esteem are more likely to fall under the influence of peers than their more confident siblings. Like the lion, the devil may very well single out your vulnerable son or daughter to attack with weapons such as drugs, alcohol, or sexual temptation.

To hold back the enemy, we suggest that you keep your strong-willed teen involved in healthy activities. Though constant busyness and overstimulation are equally harmful to any child, large quantities of unstructured time can be devastating for the naturally rebellious teen. Get him or her involved in the best church youth program you can find, and encourage participation in athletics, music, part-time work, and other activities. Scripture warns that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” That can certainly apply to your strong-willed son or daughter.

Approach your kids’ adolescent years as a wonderful and exciting time to be enjoyed, but also recognize that it poses many risks and challenges to their spiritual and physical health. Do whatever you can during this brief period to get them through the minefield of evil through which they must walk. There is greater safety in the early twenties, when judgment and confidence will develop in your kids. Until then, invest yourselves in their welfare, and above all—stay on your knees!

– Shirley M Dobson

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

Pearls of Grace – October 14

October 14

Memorial Songs

Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations…”

Deuteronomy 32:7

Moses, God’s servant, was about to die when he penned a song for God’s people. It was a song that God said they were to take to heart for by it they would prolong their days in the land of Canaan. When we think of Moses, we think of a lot of things; leader, miracle worker, Hebrew, baby in a basket, courageous, one who stuttered, and murderer; but not a songwriter! Yet Moses was a songwriter, God’s songwriter. The song that God had Moses write was no ordinary song. This song was a powerful reminder of Who God was and all that He had done and to walk with Him and to remember Him in all their ways. It was a warning to them not to turn away nor forsake Him because He was their life. Is it any wonder that he wrote these words in his song; “remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations”?

What did God want to teach His beloved people? One word; remember, remember Me and all that I’ve done for you. We are inclined to forget the good when the bad comes along and during the good times we are susceptible to forget God and our hearts are easy prey to wandering. This was a remembrance song for God’s people and they were to sing it continually so their hearts would not forget the goodness of their God in Heaven. God knew that once they were in the land of plenty, in time their hearts would forget about Him and eventually turn away from following after Him. So, in His love for His children, He wrote a song, a song to be engraved upon the chambers of their heart; a love song to the God of their Fathers; a song that would keep them holy unto Him; But, would they sing this song of praise; this song of remembrance?

God wants us to remember all the wonders He’s done in our lives, all the times He has been there for us, those times when everyone else turned away and forsook us and He never did. The times He provided for us just in time, gave us a good doctor’s report when we feared the worst, gave us healthy children, a job, a meal on the table every night, a car to drive, a roof over our heads, the kindness of a stranger when we so desperately needed it, the love of a friend who prayed for us during a crisis hour, the support of a church or loved one, the time when He saved us from hell and put us on the road to Heaven. The time when our heart was breaking from a loss we had suffered and He wiped our tears away and wrapped His loving arms of mercy around us bringing comfort to our hearts. The time when he spared us from a tragic accident, the time He freely forgave us when we blew it, or whispered to our heart; “everything is going to be okay”, or opened up a door that only He could open, and the list could go on and on. Every one of us have a memorial song!

Just as it was to the people of Israel, our memorial song will be life to us and it will prolong our days in the land. When’s the last time you sang your memorial song? Have you ever sung your memorial song precious one? Have you ever taken the time to sit down and write it out? This memorial song was to be taught to the children so they too would know what God had done! How will our children learn to write their memorial song if we never teach them ours? For the generation, yet to be created, may you raise your song of remembrance unto the God of our forefathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Teach your children to sing beloved and long after you are gone it will heard in the city streets.

DEVOTIONAL

ONE YEAR DEVOTIONAL FOR MEN

“If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways, the LORD will establish you as his holy people as he solemnly promised to do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.” — Deuteronomy 28:9-10

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” That is the strong conviction of many men: “If you want anything you’ve got to earn it!” It would appear that the Lord was saying this to his people, that the best way to get what they wanted was to be good, and then God would reward them. After all, he did say, “You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:2). This way of looking at things falls neatly into line with the all-too-common perception that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” the perception that God’s blessing has to be earned. But that is not the meaning of this Scripture.

All Scripture must be read in context and in harmony with other Scriptures. The context of all the Mosaic legislation was the covenant. The covenant was a divine initiative by which God freely offered to undeserving people blessings they could never merit and most certainly never earn. He did this out of pure love and sovereign grace. Israel was required to respond to God’s “amazing grace” in humble trust and then out of gratitude to live a life of loving obedience. Grace would lead to faith demonstrated in obedience.

The same principle applies to us today and is clearly spelled out in the New Testament. Paul told the Ephesians, “God saved you by his special favor when you believed… Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done… He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph. 2:8-10). Obedience, both for the ancient Israelites and for us, is not the means whereby we merit blessing. It is the evidence that we are grateful for blessings received.

Obedience motivated by gratitude is warm, ungrudging, wholehearted. Obedience born of necessity is often reluctant, truculent, and calculating. Sadly, even the recipients of grace can slip into the attitude of those who are strangers to such mercy. They then become candidates for discipline and censure. But the goal is always that they rediscover the undeserved benefits of grace and the unlimited blessings of obedience.

There is no joy for God, or us, in an attitude that says, “I’ll do it if I must,” or “I’ll do this if you will do that.” But there is joy in saying, “I’ll do this, Lord, because you have done so much for me. I’m grateful, and I know this brings you delight. Thank you. I love you.” Many men find obedience a drag, but godly men find doing what God asks a delight.

For further study: Deuteronomy 28:1-24

 

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.