Archive - November, 2013

The Importance of Biblical Convictions

The following are some good words from Dr. Paul Tripp:

I am afraid that many of us are so busy making decisions for our children in order to keep them safe that we do not teach them to develop their own set of internalized biblical convictions. It is one thing for a teenager to do what is right under a watchful eye or under the threat of punishment. It is quite another thing to see the independent, unpressured, heartfelt exercise of personal conviction. As we are preparing our teenage children to go out into this darkened, fallen world and live a godly life, it is mandatory that we make the development of internalized convictions one of our primary goals.

Dr. Tripp then outlines six characteristics of biblical conviction:

  1. A biblical conviction is always based on a study of, submission to, and application of Scripture.
  2. A biblical conviction is always predetermined.
  3. A biblical conviction will not change with the circumstances.
  4. Biblical convictions are inflexible.
  5. True biblical conviction is bold.
  6. True biblical conviction is always lived out.

(Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, copyright© 2001, pages 128, 132-133)

Teaching Students to Ask the Right Question

Here is a good reminder from Pastor John MacArthur:

A biblical perspective of truth also necessarily entails the recognition that ultimate truth is an objective reality. Truth exists outside of us and remains the same regardless of how we may perceive it. Truth by definition is as fixed and constant as God is immutable. That is because real truth…is the unchanged and unchanging expression of who God is; it is not our own personal arbitrary interpretation of reality.

Amazingly, Christians in our generation need to be reminded of these things. Truth is never determined by looking at God’s Word and asking, “What does this mean to me?” Whenever I hear someone talk like that, I’m inclined to ask, “What did the Bible mean before you existed? What does God mean by what He says?” Those are the proper questions to be asking…The task of the interpreter is to discern that meaning. And proper interpretation must precede application.

(The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception, copyright © 2007, pages xx-xxi)

Video Resource for Young Adults

I am always on the lookout for good resources to use in teaching teens and young adults—resources that will not only grab their attention but also “ignite” spiritual discussions in our homes and classrooms. Here is the description of one such video resource from the team at Igniter Media:

Follow—Throughout the course of his public ministry, Jesus knew both the adoration and desertion of the crowds. Today, just as 2,000 years ago, the gospel asks a question that demands an answer: Will we follow? This video powerfully illustrates this truth through the dynamic lens of a 21st-century social network.

Creative Ideas for Prayer Times with Children

Prayer

In our intergenerational resource, the Lord, Teach Us To Pray Family Devotional Guide, author Sally Michael gives some excellent suggestions for varying your mode of prayer with children in order to keep them engaged. Most of these suggestions can be used in both the home and classroom:

  • Pray “sentence prayers”—each person prays a sentence or two and prays at various times.
  • Pray topically—pray about a certain topic; then mention another concern for prayer; pray through several requests.
  • Place prayer requests on slips of paper and draw to determine who will pray for each request.
  • Gather around a person, lay hands on him and pray for him.
  • Pray in pairs.
  • Take a prayer walk—stop at critical spots to pray.
  • Pray over requests in missionary letters.
  • Pray with a map.
  • Pass out pictures of friends and family—each person can pray for the person pictured.
  • Write out your prayers.
  • Suggest a “prayer starter;” others finish (e.g., “Lord you are so good because…you send rain on the good and bad alike…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…”).
  • Go outside and pray with your eyes open.

Photo Credit

Keeping God the Main Thing in Our Children’s Behavior

Everyday Talk

Does this type of situation sound at all familiar? (Parent to child): “Now look at what you’ve done! Because you didn’t do what I told you to do, and were goofing off instead, we’re going to be late for church! I’m teaching Sunday school today. Now I’ll have to walk in late. Do you know how that makes me feel?”

As a parent, I’ve been there and done that more times than I can count. I’ve put myself—my feelings, my convenience, my reputation before others—at the center of my child’s disobedience. So when I came across these words from John Younts, I was very convicted and very helped:

Parents, when you give in to anger, resentment or self-pity at your child’s bad behavior, you make yourself the center of the problem. You are loving yourself first and most. You must love your kids enough to show them the danger of their behavior. They need to see that their first problem is with God, and secondarily with you…You must be more concerned for them than for yourself, and you must be concerned most of all for God. By modeling patience, love, self-control—all the fruits of the Spirit—you teach your children how extraordinary God is.

(Everyday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children, copyright ©2004, page 64)

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