True faith in Christ and a changed heart will first be exhibited in the home through the relationships with the people who know us best. As a father of three, Ephesians 6:4 speaks loudest to me, Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in training and instruction of the Lord. As parents we sometimes turn into mini dictators trying to control every aspect of our children’s lives. But here Paul tells us to raise our children through Christ’s instructions. What is good for our lives is also good for our kids. If they do not live through the instruction of the perfect teacher, then we are a poor alternative.
So many of us (myself especially) are too quick to give our opinions without completely thinking about the impact our words have on others. Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:29, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. If our words do not impact others in a positive way, we should rethink what we have to say. While there is a time to correct and instruct, we should still take great care in what we say and how we say it.
We are supposed to live in communion with one another, but there are times it feels like there is more separation than anything else. This is not just believer/non-believer relationships, it exists within the body of Christ’s church as well. In Ephesians 4:25 Paul reminds the Ephesian church to get past the areas of false teaching and disagreement and remember we are all part of the same community. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Nothing bothers me more than Christian believers arguing with one another. We need to stop majoring on the minors and find where God truly wants us to focus our attention and efforts for His kingdom.
In Psalm 144:4 David reminds us, Man is like a breath; his days are like fleeting shadow. This is very similar to James 4:14 where it says, “…You are a midst that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” God never promised us eternal life here on earth; He promised it with Him in eternity. But God did place us here on earth for a purpose. Let us not waste our time on inferior endeavors that have little to no impact in the light of eternity. Let us live our life with purpose, constantly seeking God’s will for our lives.
On average, a person opens their mouth over 700 times per day to speak. In Psalm 141:3 David wisely asked God to guard his mouth from speaking evil, Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Jesus was the perfect example of keeping silent when He was being persecuted before He was crucified. We would all be wise to ask God to guard our mouths to speak wisely and in a way that would honor Him.
Today’s Psalm was written by the wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon. And true to form, his words of wisdom speak volumes in Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen guard in vain. Accomplishments in this life mean nothing unless they come from the Lord and are done for His glory. With few exceptions, most of our accomplishments will be forgotten within a few generations of our passing. Wouldn’t it be better to accomplish things that have meaning for eternity?
When we have repented and turned our way from evil, wisdom should tell us to walk away from temptation that can lead us back into sin. Psalm 125:3 says, The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. Once we have entered into righteousness, let us be smart enough to stay away from the triggers reminding us of our sin and the things that could lead us back into sin. We should be diligent to ask God for his protection from temptation and the strength to stay away. Let us fill out time, hearts, and desire with the things that please God and have an impact on the eternal.
When we acknowledge God as our true source of wisdom we become truly wise. Without God, our foundation is shaky and are likely to make mistakes and foolish choices. Psalm 111:10 says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise. “Fear” in this passage means reverence or respect for God’s authority. Too often people think they can gain wisdom from life experiences and academics alone. But without God’s wisdom in our lives, we skip an important step and fail to take advantage of the true source of all wisdom.
Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday; she turns 20 today. I will be 50 this year and my mom turned 87 a couple months backs. Where does the time go? While 20 seems like the just the beginning, time seems to accelerate the older we get. Psalm 90:10 says, The length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Let us not waste our time here on earth. The span of our life is not guaranteed, so we should make the most of the time we have to impact lives for eternity. We are God’s hands and feet if we truly commit to be used by him. Let us not reach the end of your time here on earth and look back with regret.
Psalm 72 was written by Solomon as a prayer to God to help his son prepare as the heir of the king’s thrown. In Psalm 72:1 Solomon begins with, Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. This verse is not just applicable to a royal leader, but to all of us. May God give us all the righteous needed to be used by Him for justice in His perfect plan. This is especially true for our leaders. Let us never forget to pray for the righteous of our leaders.