What Does God Really Want From Us?

I am sure that all of us want to please God. There are some people who actually think they do. They keep a running score of their good works and no matter how often you tell them that salvation is a matter of grace, they still think that their good works somehow cuts them some slack with God. There is no question but that we ought strive to do good works. A Christ-centered life ought be reflected through good moral deeds. But it must be understood that we do not do good works to be saved or to win some brownie points with God. We do good works because God lives in us and motivates our behavior.

Some people think tithing (giving 10% of one’s income) is what God wants. They boast that they have tithed all their life. And, sad to say, they do not even recognize that they’re really admitting that they haven’t grown very much spiritually. Tithing is where God wants us to start giving. It is never where He intended us to stop giving.

The problem of pleasing God has been an issue for spiritually minded people ever since we have existed. Men gave of their first fruits, their flocks, and their money. Some even went so far as to engage in the sadistic practice of offering their own children to please God.

What does it take to please God? This is the question a young man asked Jesus as He left the scene of a service one day. And Jesus’ reply was: “Love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart, soul, might and strength. . .”(Matthew 22:37). In other words, God won’t be pleased until He has 100% of you. God wants all of you; not a percentage. You can only be blessed and have peace and sweet rest as you yield Him your body and soul.

Be blessed!

A Father’s Approval

I recently participated in a conference for men sponsored by the US Department of Education. The focus of the conference was on discovering ways to involve men in the education of their children.  Many of the men expressed that they had never attended their child’s school, never assisted them with their homework, never attended a parent-teacher conference.

A number of reasons were offered to explain why they had not been involved. They didn’t finish school themselves and felt embarrassed that they couldn’t assist their child with their school work.  They had been imprisoned and were not permitted to come on school grounds.  They were behind in their child support and were afraid they might be arrested…  and so on.

In my statement to them, however, I suggested that men do not realize just how important they are in the lives of their children.  They don’t have to be able to assist their child with their homework.  They only need to insist that their child does it.  They don’t have to go to the school; it would be great if they did, but they can check their child’s report card.  They can congratulate their child on getting good grades, doing a great job at something, or just simply saying to them, “I love you and I’m proud of you.”

A little encouragement from a father goes a long way. It would be well and wonderful if all fathers had a close personal relationship with their children, but the reality is they don’t.  Many do, and we congratulate them, but the down side is that many don’t.

What you need to know Dad is that it takes so little to make such a big difference.

Just after Jesus was baptized, the Bible reports that God spoke and said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”  (St. Matthew 3:17).  A father’s approval means everything!  It makes a son feel more confident.  It makes a daughter feel good about herself.

Just your approval Dad fills a need that cannot be measured or quantified.  It’s not a lot, but it means everything!

Be blessed

Who Speaks For Your House?

In Joshua 24:15, there are recorded these familiar words, “As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.”
Somebody speaks for every household.  Somebody establishes the values of every household.  Somebody decides what will and will not be done in every household.  Somebody is the leader and the recognized authority in every household.
In the words above, Joshua is clear about who that person is in his household.  He says unequivocally, “as for me and my house. . .”  In these days when we see families failing all around us, it is so necessary that we have strong Christ-centered men and women leading the household.  Nowhere is leadership more important than in our households.
The values our children learn are first learned at home, and unfortunately, we don’t teach sound Christian values at home as once we did.
To be the leader of your household you must model out your faith and not just talk about it.  Joshua said, “as for me. . .” He makes sure that he is committed first before requiring a commitment of his household.  More than being told what to do, we need to be shown what to do.  A lesson is better caught than taught.
It is easier to get people to take you more seriously when they see you living what you’re requiring of them.
Live a godly lifestyle before your household and when you speak they will listen.
 
Be Blessed