Greater Than Kryponite

Through the crucifixion of Christ, we received the most powerful gift we can ever be given, the Holy Spirit, and now he lives in everyone that has accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Knowing this, we have the most powerful element of life within us all the time, even when we don’t feel his presence. The Holy Spirit is like kryptonite to Satan. To put this in perspective, kryptonite is a fictional mineral that deprived Superman of his powers. Our kryptonite, the Holy Spirit (not fictional) denies the evil one from destroying us. Our kryptonite, the Holy Spirit, takes away the evil one’s power over our lives. When we rely on Jesus and him alone (in a state of dependence), there’s no stopping us because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reside in us in his absence. We’ll be challenged and tested but remain victorious in the Lord. When we know we are in a struggle but hold fast to our faith; we are victors. Our challenges test our faith and produce perseverance, endurance, and patience, all things that equip us for the battles of life. If we have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, how can we fail? The power is ignited by our faith.

“We will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us, and we will be his witnesses.”  Acts 1:8 NIV

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:6 NIV

The Holy Spirits gives us the words to speak to our troubles and command them to move, to leave, to evaporate.

There is a God-given lesson in each of our life’s experiences. Faith shifts our perspective and you will see the beauty of the struggles and even losing a battle from time to time. The struggle is God preparing us to continue our journey more empowered through the testing of our faith and the lessons learned.

We are Christian Warriors and part of a strong army whose leader dwells within us. Our kryptonite (power) lives within us. It is the Holy Spirit, who is always glowing brightly within us, and through us for others to see. We are his powerful witnesses that have kryptonite within us. It is through the Trinity that we live. The Holy Spirit is one part of the Trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  • God is our Father.
  • Jesus, our Lord and Savior, sits with The Father and intercedes on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit lives in us to direct and maneuver us around the traps of the evil one.

Image from: Google Images
Scripture from: BibleGateway.com

Alienated from Man and God

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God did not create us to live in a bubble or vacuum, he created us to be part of the body of Christ and have fellowship with one another. He created us to interact with other human beings. He created Adam and realized that one being was not sufficient for growth, hence the creation of Eve. He created an immaculate relationship between himself and man. Their sin of not listening to God (conversations about the Does and Don’ts) led to the fall and their estrangement from the Garden of Eden. This is the moment man became alienated from God.

“I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s brothers.”
Psalm 69:8

In swept the 21st century and the advent of social media as a norm. Not all norms support personal or spiritual growth. As we become more addicted to life online, we begin to (only) find satisfaction in cursory relationships, human interaction becomes secondary. Verbal communication becomes infrequent unless we are in forced social settings such as school or work where interaction, teamwork, and meetings require you to hold a conversation. We are quickly becoming estranged from other people and going down the wormhole of alienation from everything, other people, family, and Christ. Once you are locked into your addiction, nothing else matters.

Verbal communication creates a dynamic environment where people practice the characteristics of Christ; kindness, honesty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, compassion, forgiveness, commitment, patience, gentleness, self-control, humility, loving and prayerful. Verbal communications create a form of harmony between neighbors. True reconciliation can only be accomplished when we acknowledge our sin and repent asking God’s forgiveness.

“ Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

When we move away from real human interaction and into the world of a limited number of characters and meme’s, we find that we create versions of ourselves that are often ruthless, arrogant, diabolical, self-obsessed, and dangerous. We create alternate self-images. Bullying becomes comfortable, there is no guilt in this setting, life, and death are reset and/or erased. At some point, we lose the ability to comfortably interact with people on a daily basis and begin to ease into an estranged and self-imposed isolation and alienation from others.

We find that the people on the other end of the smart chat, the game, and the community groups are pretending to be someone they aren’t. Their world becomes a fake world, much like fake news. It is created in Petri dishes, which leads to depression and often suicidal tendencies.

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The most deadly trait we lose is that of being prayerful. We neglect our relationship with our Lord and soon become estranged. Not because he does not want to communicate with us, but because we shut him out. We reject our relationship with him, it is not the reverse. We begin to live in a world of isolation.

Alienation is the mother that gives birth to other alienation’s: the alienation between God and man, man and God. (Ferguson)

Isolation opens us up to spiritual attack. Sin, depression, selfishness, anger, and hate become comforting.

“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
Romans 7:21

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Christians should never isolate themselves from other believers. The church is built on community. Through community, we establish corporate prayer. Through corporate prayer, we establish a relationship with other members of the community and God. Our world becomes more welcoming when we support one another and establish a norm we lost when society changed from small-town life to city life. We lost a sense of connectedness that some think is reignited in online social and gaming communities. The truth remains that they are alienated from the World, isolated from their family members and estranged from God.

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Thessalonians 5:14

Let us encourage the disheartened and lost to re-enter life and reconcile with our Lord, the guardian of our souls. ‘Alienation from God is not only real but dangerous-and the depth of the alienation is evidenced by the fact that we think we are in no danger at all.’ (Ferguson, Ligonier Ministries)

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Images from Google Images

Protection, Freedom, The Word

                              Protection

Our children need protection and freedom through the Word. 2017 is now behind us, and we are entering 2018 with plans for the year. Our children are continuing to grow, interact with others and explore the world around them. Children, tweens, and young adults are trying to figure out their lives and will do so with or without our help. Last September I began to Blog to help parents help their children through the Word of God. This year, I have reformatted the Blog to help parents become more familiar with the Word as a daily tool for living. Our children, of all ages, look to us for guidance and as role models. It is difficult for children to follow us if we are not practicing the Word. Practicing the Word and the phrase Practicing Christians can have two different meanings. We can be Practicing Christians meaning we can recite the Word, discuss the Word, and explain the Word to others. Practicing the Word means we live the Word in our daily lives. The best way to live the Word is to ask ourselves: ‘is this how Jesus would act, am I mirroring Him, am I obedient?’ If our children us practicing the Word, they will begin to follow suit. Our duty to our children is to demonstrate how to use the tools of protection,  teaching them to use the Word as their blanket of protection.

Last September I posted lessons on the Whole Armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18, and how it is important to put on the armor every day. The armor provides a layer of our children with a blanket of protection. So too does the 91st Psalms.

My current task is to write a lesson about Psalm 91 and the importance for our children and youth to become ensconced in the 91st  Psalms. The Whole Armor of God, Ephesians 6, and Psalms 91 cover our children and youth with a (spiritual) fireproof blanket.

Why is the blanket important you may ask? A blanket protects against the elements. This blanket protects against the elements of the evil one and is fire-retardant. It will keep the arrows and flames of the evil one from destroying our children and youth.

The 91st Psalms is one of my favorite books and chapters in the Bible. It has been my blanket of protection for many years and has covered me during a variety of trials and challenges. Chapter 91 was written to remind us that God is always faithful and covers us throughout our lives, regardless of circumstances, situations or conditions we may have experienced or will experience.

Psalms 91 is essential to learn because like the Whole Armor of God it protects our children from all onslaughts. If our children have a clear understanding of how God protects us and  they rely on his faithfulness, then life’s challenges are perceived differently and they will respond to life’s situations differently. Children live knowing their parents are close, will protect them, love them, teach them and correct them. It seems for many, God is much more distant than their parents. The bond between God and his children grows over time for many, and often it is not until adulthood that we enter into a close relationship with him. Just think how powerful our children will be in the Word and how intense the relationship they will have with God once they understand the scriptures and know how they apply to their daily living.  (Related Post – Children Model After Christ, October 26, 2017.)

Clip Art, Children holding hands

 

So, what should our children know about the 91st Psalm? First and foremost, the 91st Psalm is about faith and security.

For Parents: 

The 91st Psalm’s key lesson, according to Jack Hayford’s Bible Handbook, is “faith is a forward focus on God, His Word, and His promises. But faith also looks back at the blessings of God to gain strength, (Related Post – Learn To Thank God as Part of Prayer, November 13, 2017.) Faith allows us to flee confidently to God when in trouble and to abide in Him for protection.”

According to Warren Wiebsbe’s, Nelson’s Quick Reference, “God preserves those who abide in Him and love Him. These promises are not for people who run to the Lord only in times of danger but for those who dwell in His presence.” “ The abiding life produces the assuring life, the life without fear; which leads to the abounding life, the life of victory and peace. The safest place in the world is under the shadow of the Almighty.”

           Abiding Life ->Assuring Life ->Life without Fear ->     Abundant Life-> Life of Victory and Peace

For Children and Youth:            Diverse Children

  • God is our refuge and fortress, not susceptible to outside influence or disturbance
  • He is reliable and trustworthy
  • He keeps us safe
  • He protects us
  • He is faithful and loyal
  • He shields us from harm and danger

Meaning:

  • No sudden event, accident or disaster that causes damage or unfortunate consequences can destroy you.
  • His angels will safeguard you from undesirable events.
  • He will rescue you from harm’s way.
  • He keeps you from being lost or abandoned.
  • He comes when called.
  • He is steadfast and will be with you in time of need.
  • He will deliver you.
  • He offers unexpected ways of escape.
  • He rescues, saves, and sets us free.

Learning how to implement the 91st Psalms and Ephesians 6 assigns freedom to those who have the faith to believe in the Word of God.  

And we also thank god continually because, when you received the word of God, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13

FREEDOM

 

God Urges the ‘Why’ in Children

It seems children continuously ask ‘why’ and are always questioning life. Asking questions like, why should I do it, why shouldn’t I do that, why is the earth round, why is this the only way to solve the problem and on and on and on. Have you ever asked why them they always ask, why? I believe children were not born believing that there are limitations to what they can do. God gives children the ‘why.’ Gods inspiration is designed to ask for the impossible. I recently saw a poster which read, God’s Power Takes Us BEYOND our impossibilities.Picture of girl holding a sign that says why?

Imagine, ‘beyond’ our impossibilities. Ephesian 3:20 (NET) translate the scripture as, “Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think…” The NLT translation reads, Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Our children may not know the scripture, but they intrinsically are aware that we place limitations on our lives. They see the possibility, and we see the impossible. We limit their imagination by confining them to think within the realm of what we feel is reasonable.

This type of thinking worked in the world of 19th-century widgets, but in the 20th -century of virtual worlds, the ‘why’ has become all important. To usher in the brave new world educators have advanced a new national curriculum called the Common Core. The primary purpose of this strategy is to create an environment of questioning, postulating the ‘what if,’ and the ‘why’ of a thing. They want to capture the ‘why’ children pose every day and formulate learning around their adventurous minds.

God is the original adventurous thinker, he is the source; He created the world and introduced the ability to go beyond through the power and might of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. He is the one who is at work in our lives, He is the one who plants ideas in our minds, and He is the one who has given us the ability to ask, ‘why.’ God works beyond what we might ‘ask’ or ‘think’ about new possibilities. It is God who has this ability, not us. He will do ‘above’ what we ask or think. The principle is that God can do more for us than we can conceive. He offers us the ‘power’ to live beyond what we can imagine or believe. Raising our children to become Young Christian Warriors allows the to imagine and expend the impossible.

Boy pondering 'why'He gives us the power to live beyond our perceived limitations. The fact is children do not sublimate the worldview adults adopted. As a principal, I was the head of a school where hundreds of young people spent much of their day learning. I found looking out of their eyes was refreshing and cast an HTML brilliance on the world. Positing ‘why’ is not a sarcastic response but a query. God has given them the gift of questioning, and God himself goes beyond their questioning to formulate an answer and result.

We should not discourage our children, but instead, teach them the scriptures and let them know that the Holy Spirit, who lives in each of us, is speaking and acting through us. He is operating beyond our capacity to question and understand. He is making the impossible available, and through our relationship with him, will speak through them and make them the ‘apple of his eye.’

(Scriptures from the Holy Bible app)

Children – New Mercies Everyday

Well, it’s a new day. I wake up every morning thanking God for new mercies. Children need to know that God is not revengeful, He gives them new mercies every day despite the activities and thoughts of the day earlier. God’s compassion does not fail.  Great is His faithfulness to us. It is un-called for mercy. Daily mercies is another way God shows us that he cares and loves us despite our mistakes.

Lamentations 3:22, New Day, New Start

Children often think that what they did or said alienated them from God. The power of this scripture is the basis for understanding that God loves them and is a father of second chances. During this lesson, you can also share the knowledge about repentance.

Children Navigate Difficult Times

Looking back on your childhood did you ever wish your parents shared how God’s word helps navigate through life’s difficulties as a child, a tween, a teen, a young adult and today?

Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV says, You shall teach them (commandments) to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Did your parents share the commandments as practical steps to govern your life? The Bible is a overcomes guide. It teaches how to overcome difficulties, obstacles, hurt, bitterness and strife. We begin to encounter challenges during our childhood, and the way we respond to them begins to take form in our early years. If you teach your children the word, it will live in their heart.

Psalm 119:11 says – I have hidden your word in my heart.

Think, if Gods word is hidden in our hearts, how did it get there? We received them through study and application. When should we begin studying and applying the word as part of daily living? If we do not help our children hold the word in their hearts, when they are tested they will often find that they have no resources to navigate through the dangers of life. 

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