Show Them Who’s the Boss

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
(Romans 6:12-14, HCSB)

Show Them Who’s the Boss

As a father of two two-year-olds (no, that wasn’t a typo), I am frequently having the conversation about who is the boss in the house. It is amazing to me that someone so little can have such audacity to think that the world obviously revolves around him. As a parent, sometimes I feel that I say “no” much more than I say “yes.”

I will regularly look at my sons and say, “You’re not the boss. Daddy is the boss. You obey what Daddy says. This is not a democracy. You don’t even get a vote.” I’ll never forget that one day I was telling my oldest two-year-old, Obadiah, that he was not in charge and that I was the boss when he interrupted me and said, “No, Mommy’s the boss!”

He was on restrictions for the next week.

When someone or something tries to be in charge when they shouldn’t be, things get chaotic. In a home, it results in bad behaved children, in a spiritual walk, it results in bad behaved adults. Sin does not have the right to rule in our lives, yet it does rule when we obey sin’s desires. As Christians, sin has lost it’s authoritative power over us. It is gone. Yet we give sin the throne when we give up the fight and yield to sinful desires.

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Family Resemblance

1 Look at how great a love the Father has given us, that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him. 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.
(1 John 3:1-3, HCSB)

Family Resemblance

As a young boy, I would often hear from someone how one of my features resembled either my mother or my father. Some people could actually tell I was their child even if they had never met me. Now as a father, I always enjoy hearing from people who they think our boys look like. Sometimes I have left a room to have someone tell my wife, “I won’t tell your husband this cause I don’t want to offend him, but your children look just like you.” I always laugh at that. I’m not upset if my children look like their mother (I did choose to marry her, you know?).

It’s a fact of life: children share family resemblance with their parents. It might be the way they look, the way they talk, or they way they behave, but children often resemble their parents.

As children of God, we are called to do the same!

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Don’t Go in Debt on Black Friday

Thanksgiving is this week and what does that mean for America?  We are already focused on Christmas consumerism.  We are getting ready to honor the incarnation of God himself by going into debt up to our eyeballs.  Dangerous stampedes will happen all over our country on Friday to obtain gadgets before others do on the cusp of a day to celebrate gratefulness to what we already have.

Maybe there is a different way.

Before going shopping on Black Friday, I want to offer you a few tips:

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Nature vs. Nurture

 

1 Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2 Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces of the world. 4 But when the completion of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

(Galatians 4:1-7, HCSB)

Nature vs. Nurture

One of the most widespread fears of adoption is that parents are unsure of what “they are getting themselves into” with a child of unknown history.  Even if parents believe in the power of nurture, they may still have concern concerning the effect that nature had on the child.  Did the biological parents pass bad traits down to that child?  Have they experienced something that may make them difficult to raise?

But does a parent of a child really know what they “are getting” even with a biological child?  There are surprises at every turn.  The only parent who really knows what he is getting into is God.

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Courageous Writers’ Conference

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Last week, I had the privilege of brainstorming with the Sherwood Pictures Team and LifeWay leadership for the upcoming “Courageous Bible Study” based on the Courageous movie coming in September 2011.  I was humbled when they asked me to be a part of the writing process, and I am even more humbled after spending a week working on this material.

I can’t go into too many details concerning the film or the curriculum, but I can share some things with you so you can make this a matter of prayer:

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The Little Engine That Could God

[Yesterday, I preached on a message at North Greenville‘s Chapel I am loosely calling “The Little Engine That Could God.”  I wrote out the intro in manuscript form.  It was a message on the omnipotence of God.  I’ve been praying about writing a book on the attributes of God by looking at a negative image of God, then correcting it through the Scripture’s teachings.  Writing Freshman 15 for college students was very challenging but also very rewarding (you can learn more about the book here or order it on Amazon here).  Praying about it and would love you to pray with me about if I should go further.  Here is the intro:]

“I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.”

 

We all remember this iconic phrase from the children’s classic The Little Engine That Could.  This favorite tale recounts the story of a train hauling toys up the mountain to some needy children.  When the train is unable to make the steep trek, the toys try to chorale other passing trains to carry them up the mountain.  Either due to disinterest or inability, all the trains refuse the responsibility of carrying this load.  Eventually, a little blue engine comes by who is unsure if it is able to pull the load up the mountain.  Seeing the disappointment in the toys‘ eyes, the engine decides to give it a shot.  Repeating that famous phrase over and over again, the engine eventually musters up enough strength to help those out in need.

Many of us follow The Little Engine That Could God.

No one would readily admit to following that God, but we prove it by our actions.  When encountering difficult situations in our lives with what seems to be insurmountable odds, we look for the best and the brightest to come to our rescue.  We research and poll people concerning what they would do.  We seek direction from doctors, teachers, preachers, counselors, and every expert you can imagine.  Once we exhaust all of our human resources, have made meager attempts of our own, we address the King of kings and Lord of lords and utter one of the most tragic phrases resonating in our churches today, “All we have left to do now is pray.”

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