One Step Is Enough

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One Step is Enough. One step begins your journey with the Lord. When God challenges us to take a step in uncharted territory remember, all great things are accomplished one step at a time. God commands us to be strong and courageous. The saying, ‘the third time is a charm’ must have come from the Bible. God knows we are a timid people. He told Joshua 3x’s to cross the Jordan and he would be with him like he was with Moses. Is there anything God has commanded you to do and you remain timid and unsure? Remember one step in the commanded direction will lead you to your finish line.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬

“That assurance-which we may all have if we cling to Jesus, in whom God comes to be 0391271B-7143-4099-8C4A-65896EF6C43Cwith every believing soul-is the only basis on which the command to Joshua, thrice repeated, can wisely or securely be rested. It is mockery to say to a man conscious of weakness, and knowing that there are evils which must surely come, and evils which may possibly come, against which he is powerless, ‘Don’t be afraid’ CAF1F4E5-2A86-4F89-8DD3-CE01E47AFEBAunless you can

show him good reason why he need not be. And there is only one reason which can still reasonable dread in a human heart that has to front ‘all the ills that flesh is heir to,’ and sees behind them all the grim form of death. He ought to be afraid, unless-unless what? Unless he has heard and taken into his inmost soul the Voice that said to Joshua, ‘I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee: be strong and of a good courage,’ or, still more sweet and peace-bringing, the Voice that said to the frightened crew of the fishing-boat in the storm and the darkness,’ It is I; be not afraid.’ If we know that Christ is with us, it is wise to be strong and courageous; if we are meeting the tempest alone, the best thing we can do is to fear, for the fear may drive us to seek for His help, and He ever stretches out His hand to him who is afraid, as he ought to be, when he feels the cold water rising above his knees, and by his very fear is driven to faith, and cries, ‘Lord, save; I perish!’”* 

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As I mentioned in the last Post, Caught in the Thought, our focus for the upcoming days, maybe weeks is, ‘dependence upon the Lord’. We can do nothing without the Lord. Our full submission to the Word is the only way we will become active Christians, Christian Warrior’s if you will. It is the only way we can develop radical faith and take the first step as commanded. As we walk with Jesus just as Moses, Joshua, Peter, and others did, we will become confident and strong because we will rest in knowing he is always with us.

Billy Graham was one such man, he was walking down a dusty road to work when Jesus called him. Will you follow the Lord? Add your name to the list.

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Scripture-Bible.com
* The New Leaders Commission. Joshua 1:1-1:11. McLaren’s Expositions. www.biblehub.com

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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 Expect God’s Blessings and Favor

Jesus with children of the World

As a former principal, I found that our children did not expect God’s blessings and favor in their lives. They were victims of self-talk. Early on in life, they became what their self-talk said they were. They were defined by what others told them they were. It was during this time that I discovered and tested my theory. When children reported to my office, I would ask them why they were acting the way they did. Most would start verbalizing the negative self-talk. I would hold several meetings with them to change their negative self-talk into positive self-talk. I’d use the Fruit of the Spirit as the essence of who they are. Over time the children would begin to see themselves differently, and their self-talk would change, which led to a change in behavior.

Diverse Children

When I spoke with the children doing well scholastically  and socially, about their self-narrative, I found their parents reinforced a positive self-narrative from birth. To be clear, not all of the students were Christians, so their self-talk may have differed a bit, but none-the-less, it created a positive self-talk narrative for the children. Their self-talk would say, I am smart, I am strong, I am kind, I am honest, I am trustworthy, I make good grades, I am friendly and so on.

Since the world helps define us, we must counter it by instilling the Word of God in our children’s lives. Our self-talk defines our expectations; our children should expect God’s blessings and favor.

Jesus said, bring the little children to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to them as much as you (adults). (Mark 10:14 NIV) We self-talk as many as 30,000 times a day. Self-talk is a type of meditation. Joshua 1:8 says, keep the words of the Bible on your lips, meditate on it day and night.It is important that we learn to fill ourselves with the right thoughts of blessings and favor and meditate on what the Word says about us. The thoughts that work for the good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). Right thoughts are the messages we tell ourselves every day. Our children should tell themselves that they are children of God and are important and valuable to him. Their self-talk should reiterate the Fruit of the Spirit (see September posts), stating that they are good, kind, loving, strong, honest, trustworthy, patient, gentle, have self-control, are at peace, joyful, smart, thoughtful, have integrity, and are successful, If we do not edify our children, the world will reinforce self-talk that focuses on worrying thoughts, putting themselves down, saying they are stupid, clumsy, ugly, dumb, unloved, not worthy, less than, second best, and worthless.

Christ in the midst of people

Self-talk helps build our self-esteem, something so many children do not have in these times of bullying, alienation, and doubt. Negative self-talk can lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence and perhaps depression.  Positive self-talk of blessings and favor is a form of encouragement. Biblically, we can say that positive self-talk is from the Lord, and negative self-talk is from the evil one, who is here to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). What we hear about ourselves from others is what we internalize and therefore what we create as our self-talk narrative.

Internal conversations can go on forever. Negative self-talk is very destructive and can derail a person from their God-given purpose in life. It is during the early years of life that the self-narrative begins. We can create our children’s self-narrative defined by God or allow the evil one to define our children’s self-narrative and allow him to destroy who they are in Christ.

“from infancy, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim 3:14-15)

Expecting Gods blessings and favor are gifts that we acquire through an understanding of the word and how God defines who we are in Christ. As we read the scriptures to our children and teach them how to apply the word to their daily lives they begin to self-talk using the words God uses to describe them. When someone tells our children they are stupid, ignorant or dumb, their self-talk will say, I am of sound mind. When someone tells them they are babies because they are afraid to steal the candy in the store, their self-talk will say, I am honest and trustworthy. When someone says you are slow, they will say, I am patient. When they say you are worthless, their self-talk will say, I am thoughtful, I am confident, I have self-control.

We self-talk at least 30,000 times a day, what do you want your children’s self-talk to say? Our children should have a Godly self-narrative to lead them through life. They should expect blessings and favor.art work of children