Modern Day Disciples

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Parental example is the primary standard by which young children measure acceptable behavior. One of the values we strive to transfer to our young people is our belief in God (see Transferring Values). However, sometimes we perceive our faith as weak and wonder what kind of example we are actually setting.

Here is PROOF that we are capable of great faith!

I used to think that folks who anchored their lives on God’s promises were somehow supernatural in themselves. That walking by faith – believing that God’s Word will come to pass – required great strength. When we read about how God moved a mountain in someone’s life, how they were healed, how a negative situation was transformed into a great victory, we sometimes think, “Wow, I will never have that kind of faith.”

But the other day I realized that although these events are wonderful, nothing takes more faith than driving in rush hour traffic. Think about it. Here you are, strapped to the interior of a machine filled with explosive fuel, with spark plugs firing under the hood, driving amid all the crazies of the world.

Careening by you at the speed of light, on the right, is a car filled with 16 year-old boys who are mesmerized by the beat from their CD and by the woman in the car to your left. As for the single beauty on your left, she is busy multitasking with her lipstick in the mirror, her pink cell phone, a mocha java latte, and the car of teenage boys. Forget about Grandpa talking to his dog, the windowless van weaving in and out of traffic, or the harried mother trying to stop the fighting in the back seat. Anyone in their right mind will admit that this exercise alone proves that the angels of the Lord are encamped round about us.

We read about how the disciples rowed out into the deep and met with high waves, and we think that their faith is unattainable. Yet, I believe that each day we more than measure up. Each time we slip behind the wheel and turn on the ignition, we exercise remarkable faith. We honestly believe that we will arrive safely at our destination even though, statistically speaking, it is not a logical conclusion.

Each day we believe as the disciples did, that we will get to the other side. We have faith – supernatural faith – faith that moves mountains, and we take it out for a spin every day. Knowing this, let us now go forth and do great things.

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed … nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Matthew, Chapter 17: Verse 20

~ The End ~

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A Magnetic Personality

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The other day I was at the grocery store, talking with a woman about her day. She shared that her 90-year-old mother-in-law had passed away and that they were busy making funeral plans. During the conversation she paused and stated adamantly that “Bad things come in threes! I just hope that this is the last of it!” Then she listed the two previous deaths in the last few weeks involving grandparents of people she worked with. When I tried to ease her away from this conviction, she just dug her heels in deeper. “No,” she said, “they come in threes!

People believe all sorts of things. Sometimes the belief is based on experience. Sometimes it is based on a wives’ tale. And sometimes it is based … on nothing. So let’s take a minute to examine the above belief.

First of all, the three deaths mentioned were of people who had run their race and finished their course. All were elderly and had come to the time when they slip out of their bodies and enter eternal life. It’s a natural course of events. Some day, when we are finished with our earthly assignments, we too will leave.

Secondly, if this “come in threes” principle is true, why is it not applied to good things as well as bad? Why don’t people believe that an unexpected financial windfall, a job promotion, and healing come in threes, too?

The truth is that setting one’s faith to believe for bad things to happen only attracts the negative event to that person. Fear, like a forceful magnet, can pull calamity toward a person. And the stalwart conviction that something bad is coming, can pull that negative event in.

But the opposite is also true. With faith in God’s promises, we can pull blessing toward us, as well. We can draw in God’s own life-giving power to make a difference or change a circumstance. This makes us ambassadors of blessing. Of mercy and peace.

What we believe about each of these forces – a belief system we inherited from our parents – is what we are transmitting to our children. Do we really want our children to believe that bad things come in multiples of three? Do we really want their little minds to be dominated by fear? Or do we want to impart into them the confidence that comes from faith in God?

As we begin this season of sunshine and play, let’s be watchful to guard against fear. Let us make sure that what we are telling our children is based on God’s wonderful promises. Then, with certainty and conviction, we will pull in to our realm a summer overflowing with all of God’s rich blessings.

(For more information about transferring values to young children, visit our Character Education section here.)