1 First Commandment With Promise
"Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." Ephesians 6:2 & 3
As children of God, we are commanded to honor our fathers and mothers. In May and June, we have special days set aside just for this purpose. I am thankful for Godly parents who trained me up in the way I should go. As a parent I also have the responsibility of bringing up my own children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4) Let's take a couple weeks to think about Biblical parents and the examples they have given us. Let your parents know you love them... not only on their special days, but all throughout the year.
2 Grandmother Lois And Mother Eunice
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” II Timothy 1:5 & 6
Preacher David Owen used this scripture as his text on Mother’s Day. It was an inspiration to me to use some of his thoughts as we look at the faith of a mother and grandmother. Their faith was real, described as “unfeigned faith”. Secondly, their faith was remembered. After I am gone, people may not remember how clean I kept my house, or what kind of clothes I wore, but I pray that they will remember my faith. And just as important, their faith was reproductive. They shared their faith with Timothy. Take a look at your faith today. Is your faith real? Have you been saved by the blood of Jesus? Don’t place your faith in church membership, or the good deeds that you may do. Jesus told Nicodemus, “…Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7) Will your faith be remembered? Are you faithful to God? “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (I Corinthians 4:2) And finally, are you sharing your faith with those around you?
3 Enoch And Methuselah
“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years… And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:21, 22 & 24
Verse 27 tells us Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. He was the oldest man who ever lived. I’ve seen interviews with people over 100 years old and the question people always ask is, “What did you do to live to be so old?” I can imagine old Methuselah answered the people, “Well, my father showed me how to walk with God, ‘he had this testimony, that he pleased God’.” (Hebrews 11:5) Remember our theme verses in Ephesians 6:2 & 3? “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Methuselah lived longer than anyone else and I believe he followed the steps of his father. Micah 6:8 tells us what God requires of us. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Are you walking with God? You never know who will follow in your footsteps.
4 Ruth And Naomi
“And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me… but Ruth clave unto her. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for wither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” Ruth 1:8, 14-16
Mothers in law have been given a bad name with all the jokes about them. But there can be a wonderful relationship between in laws. Naomi had given Ruth love and had shared her God with Ruth so that Ruth did not want to leave Naomi and go back to her own people after the death of her husband. Many today have extended families, not only in laws, but stepmothers and stepfathers, and step and half brothers and sisters. It is wonderful that God’s love can span these relationships and bring families together. You may have come out of one family to become part of another family. You may have even been separated from family because of death. Trust God and pray that He will bring your people together in God’s love. As the story of Ruth continues, Ruth went to work to help Naomi. And in God’s providence, Ruth had a kinsman redeemer and had a son whom she named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David. Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David.
5 Of A Child
“And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.” Mark 9:20-22
Here we have a sad story of a father and his son, who is filled with a spirit that is destroying the child. The father took the boy to the disciples and they could not cast out the spirit. So he took him to Jesus and said, “…have compassion on us, and help us.” He felt pain for his child. He prayed for compassion for both of them. And Jesus in His mercy rebuked the spirit “And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.” (Mark 9:26 & 27) I have children and I know what it is like to hurt for them. My heart aches with their sorrows. My soul cries out for their pain. Jesus had compassion on them. You may not have an unclean spirit causing you harm, but you may have other things in your life which could destroy you. When your parents seem overly concerned, realize that it is because they feel your pain. When they ask you questions that you don’t want to hear, know that it is because they care. Sometimes your friends, or support groups cannot cast out that element that is causing you harm. But you can always take it to the Lord in prayer. Ask Jesus to help you.
6 David And Solomon
“And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.” II Chronicles 1:11 & 12
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. God gave him his wisdom. Do you remember who the parents of Solomon were? King David was his father. Chapters 11 & 12 of II Samuel tell us the story. David had an affair with Bathsheba and had her husband, Uriah, killed in battle to cover it up. “And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.” (II Samuel 11:27) The child was very sick and David fasted and prayed but the child died. II Samuel 12:24 tells us, “And David comforted Bathsheba his wife,… and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.” There are some today who blame the sins of their parents for all of their problems. If anyone could have done that, it would have been Solomon. But the wonderful truth is, David repented and the Lord forgave him and blessed him with a wise son. We cannot blame all of our problems on the mistakes of our parents. I know that we are shaped and molded by our parents, but God creates each one of us as individuals. And He loves us. Do you want to be wise? Pray for wisdom and understand that God loves you. Look to the future. Don’t waste your life dwelling over sins of the past. Move forward with God.
7 Esther, For Such A Time As This
“And he brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.” Esther 2:7
My son was telling me last night about a friend of his who just returned from a trip to Romania. He had pictures of little children who lived in the streets. He was told that people may have seven children, but only keep three or four and the others live in rags, in the streets. He saw one small boy who lived between two dumpsters. Stories like this break my heart. There are many in America who don’t have parents, but most still have a place to sleep and food to eat. It is a shame that our pets live in more luxury than children do in poor areas of the world. God has truly blessed this country. We should be thankful to Him everyday. Esther’s parents were dead. She had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity of Babylon. (Esther 2:6) She may have lost her parents during that time. She may have questioned why God had let her life take that direction. My favorite verse in the entire book is Esther 4:14, “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” You may be going through really tough times. You may have lost your parents. But who knows whether you have come to a certain place “for such a time as this”. Just the fact that you are reading this shows that you are much better off than many around the world. Pray for the children. Look around you and see if God can use you in “such a time as this”.
8 Hannah, A Praying Mother
“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but will give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life…” I Samuel 1:10 & 11
Hannah’s husband had two wives. Peninnah had sons and daughters and she provoked Hannah. Hannah wanted a child and prayed so earnestly and in such bitterness that Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk. An interesting thing about this story is in I Samuel 1:5, “…but the LORD had shut up her womb.” God had kept Hannah from having children. Continuing with our story… Eli told Hannah that God would answer her prayer, and she “…called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.” (I Samuel 1:20) When Samuel was still a small child, she took him to the temple and told Eli, “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD…” (I Samuel 1:27 & 28 and 2:1) I don’t know why God made Hannah barren, but I do know that it was all according to His plan. Eli’s own sons were wicked, but we read of Samuel, “And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.” (I Samuel 2:26) Maybe you feel like the Lord is withholding something from you that you really want. Don’t give up hope. Keep praying. God may indeed give you what you desire the most when His timing is right. He may want to prove you and get you to the place that you will give “all” back to Him. When you do, He will reward you. I Samuel 2:21 tells us that Hannah went on to have three more sons and two daughters. Hannah was a praying mother. She also kept her vows to God and God rewarded her faithfulness.
9 Moses And His Parents
“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”
You can read this story in chapter 2 of Exodus. If you have ever been around babies much at all, you can understand how hard it would be to hide a baby. But the parents of Moses had faith and hid him as long as they could. “And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.” (Exodus 2:3 & 4) In God’s almighty plan, who should find the baby, but the daughter of Pharaoh? Miriam, Moses’ sister, went to her and said, “Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages…” God not only saved the life of the child, but Jochebed was able to take care of her son, and be paid for it! She trained him well during those early years, because when he was older, he refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, but went back to his afflicted people and eventually God used him to lead His people out of bondage. It is so important to start training children at an early age. If you have the opportunity to work with small children, around your family, or at church, or wherever God has put you, take advantage of that and help train them in God’s way. It is never too early to teach children about our Lord. You may think they are too young to understand, but I believe God can take even a simple song such as, “Jesus Loves Me” and speak to hearts in mighty ways.
10 As For Me And My House
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which you fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
We have a small plaque that someone gave us many years ago that contains part of this scripture, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” We were both raised in Christian homes and that was a natural and spiritual choice for us. When we became parents, it became even more important to us to bring up our children in a Christian home. I know that some are saved in later years and may not have known the blessings of being raised in a Christian home. But it is not too late to start now. You are given the same choice. Start in your own life, “choose you this day whom ye will serve”. Have you decided to serve the Lord? You can begin today to put Christ first in all you do. Sure, we give Him service at church, but we can also live for Him at school or work and especially in our homes. If you are looking for a lifetime companion, follow God’s Word found in II Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” If you are young parents, be an example to your children of Christian service. As we grow older, we must stay determined to serve the Lord. Our children need Christian peers, parents, and grandparents. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23 & 24)
11 Walked In The Way Of His Father
“And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father… Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” I Kings 15:3 & 5
These verses speak of Abijam. Let’s follow the kingly order. David was a good king and his son, Solomon, was a wise king. But Solomon’s son was Rehoboam and we read of him in II Chronicles 12:14, “And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.” His son was Abijam, of the verses above who “walked in all the sins of his father.” His son was Asa. “And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:” (II Chronicles 14:2) His son was Jehoshaphat, “And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments…” (II Chronicles 17:3 & 4) His son was Jehoram, “Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword,… And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD. Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.” (II Chronicles 21:4, 6 & 7) I gave all these examples to make one point. You have a choice about following God. These were all kings. Some were good, some were evil. But each one made his own choice. When we stand before God in the judgment, we cannot say, “My father was a Christian, so I guess I am ok.” Nor can we say, “My parents were really bad and that’s why I never followed you.” We each have to stand before God with an answer. Make the choice to do right.
“And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment…” Genesis 18:17-19
As Abraham sat in his tent door, three men came to visit. Abraham was glad to have visitors and was a very good host. He had a servant bring water to wash their feet and made place for them to rest under the tree. He had Sarah to make them cakes of bread and his servant prepared a young calf for them to eat. The Lord then told Abraham that he would have a son, even though they were both very old. Now the time has come for the men to continue on to Sodom. When Abraham finds out the purpose of their journey, he asked if the Lord would destroy Sodom if there were fifty righteous in the city. The Lord agrees not to destroy the city for fifty righteous, and Abraham must have doubted that there were fifty righteous, because he reduced the number to forty-five, then forty, then thirty, then twenty, and finally ten. And the Lord said that He would not destroy the city for even ten righteous people. There were at least ten in Lot’s family. Genesis 19:12 mentions sons, and verse 14 speaks of his sons in law and his daughters, which would have been at least six, “But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” He could not convince them that God’s judgment was about to fall on the city. Those six plus his wife and two daughters at home and himself, would have made at least ten. (And it is possible that he had even more children.) Only Lot and his two unmarried daughters escaped judgment. I like verse 19, where the Lord said regarding Abraham, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment…” I pray that those around me can say they know me, that I will command my children to keep the way of the Lord. I don’t have wealth or riches to leave my children, but if I can leave them truth and righteousness, that will last through eternity. Do those around you know that you keep the way of the Lord? There is nothing greater that you could leave behind.
13 Behold Thy Mother! Behold Thy Son!
“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:26 & 27
Jesus was suffering and near death on the cross and He was still concerned for His mother. He wanted to make sure she was taken care of. Our parents spend most of their lifetimes taking care of us. When they reach the age that they can’t take care of themselves any longer, we need to take care of them. I know that many of our elderly have health problems and must get continual care. But we need to make sure their needs are met to the best of our ability. We need to love them and pray for them. Take care of your parents when they can no longer take care of you.
14 Israel (Jacob) Loved Joseph
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” Genesis 37:3 & 4
Jacob, or Israel, had twelve sons. Of all his sons, he loved Joseph the most. He made him a coat of many colors and all of Joseph’s brothers could tell that they were not loved as much as Joseph. This made Joseph’s brothers hate him. They hated him so much that they sold him into slavery. Jacob should have known that it would be a problem to show favoritism to his son. His parents had been the same way. Genesis 25:28 tells us “And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.” This had caused problems for him and now he had followed in their footsteps. Children can tell when their parents love one child better. It must be hard for couples who have children from more than one marriage to show love equally to all. If you are part of an extended family, pray that God will give you love for your family members. You may be jealous of stepbrothers and sisters, or half brothers and sisters, but try to love them. Joseph did not do anything wrong to cause his brothers to hate him. He suffered many years before he was able to see his brothers again. Joseph told them after their father died, “…ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not; I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” (Genesis 50:20 & 21) Joseph survived. He showed love to them even though they had been mean to him. Love your family, and when it is hard to show love to some of them, pray that God will give you more love for them.
15 Mary Kept All These Things
“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
When my children were just babies, I always like to rock them in the dark, with just the lights of the Christmas tree glowing. There was such peace that filled my soul. I used to think of how Mary must have felt, to hold her baby in her arms. We told our children the Christmas story when they were young, and we also told them stories about them at younger ages. For Mary, those were one and the same. The Christmas story was the story of God’s Son, which she held in her arms. We enjoy guests during the holidays. Mary’s guests were shepherds who had come from watching their sheep. We enjoy songs at Christmas, and I believe the angels sang as they praised God. We spend time preparing for Christmas. Mary had been looking toward this day ever since Gabriel had appeared to her. “Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” I know it is not the Christmas season, but we need to take time to ponder the things of God in our hearts. Just as Christ came the first time, He is coming again. Are you prepared for His second coming? Proverbs 4:26 tells us to “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” We can think about the things of the past, as Mary pondered all that had happened in her life. But we should also ponder the path we take each day. Look where you’re going.
16 Jesus Loves The Little Children
“And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:15 & 16
These parents took their children to Jesus. When my children were just infants, I would spend most of the church services in the nursery. It was hard to keep from questioning why I carried them, just to spend time in the nursery. But I went because I wanted my children to grow up in church. I wanted them to know that their place on Sunday and Wednesday evenings was the house of God. I wanted them to know God’s house, and God’s people. I want them to know God. As they grow older and become young adults they will each have to make their own decisions about serving God. I pray that each one of them will continue to serve the Lord and continue to go to the house of God at the appointed times. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself in the church nursery. Look around you and see if you can be a help to the young mothers at your church. Be a friend to the small children, Jesus is.
17 Memorial Day
“And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.” Joshua 4:5-7
The children of Israel set up a memorial of stones to be a sign to future generations of the power and protection and guidance of God. Today is Memorial Day and we also have stones set up for a memorial to remember all those that gave their lives fighting for the freedom we have and enjoy in America. Teach your children about the cost of freedom. Take time today, to thank God for those men and women who sacrificed their lives. Pray for the families of those who lost friends and loved ones in war. And continue to pray daily for those still fighting our battles. My uncle, Larry, is still in Iraq and I asked him if he wanted to say something special to the readers about Memorial Day. Please take time to read his words and pray for him and those with him. Memorial Day
18 Not A Prophet's Son
“Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.” Amos 7:14 & 15
God called Amos from following the flock to be a prophet for him. Amos made it clear that he was not a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but God called him to give a message to Israel. Many times God will call a young man to be a preacher when his father is a preacher. But there are also times when a young man may have another job or profession, and there may not be anyone in his family that is a preacher, yet God calls him to deliver His message. You don’t have to be what your parents are. God can use you. You also don’t have to be a preacher or prophet to give out the gospel message. We need to be witnesses for Christ. We need to spread the message of salvation. Amos left his job to follow God’s calling. God may not want you to leave your job to follow Him. He may just want you to spread the message while you are on your job. God gave Amos great boldness. We need to pray for boldness to stand up for Christ.
19 The Prayer Of Jabez
“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, and that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” I Chronicles 4:9 & 10
(I have not read the book, “The Prayer of Jabez”, by Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson, so I am not here to discuss that book. I only want to use the scripture we find here and apply some thought to our daily lives.) The meaning of the name, Jabez, is “causing pain.” How sad that this mother named her son as a constant reminder to her and everyone else of the pain he had caused. Her choice in the name for her son had probably caused him pain during his life. I think this because of the way he ended his prayer… “that it may not grieve me!” I think his name had caused him a lifetime of grief. He finally went to God and asked God to bless him and God answered his prayer. Do you feel like you have had more than your share of grief? Maybe you have caused your parents pain, just as Jabez had caused pain to his mother. What can you do to overcome? Take it to the Lord in prayer. The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:2-4) Learn to pray. Don’t just pray for God to bless you and enlarge your borders. The most common thread between these two prayers are the words, “keep me from evil”, and “deliver us from evil.” God can and does bless us in mighty ways from day to day. Trust Him for your daily bread and He will supply your need. He can help you overcome the pain and grief.
20 The Parents Of Jesus
“And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:51 & 52
You may think you have a hard time with your parents. What if you were perfect? Jesus was perfect. He was God in man on earth. God had given Him two earthly parents to bring Him up. Mary and Joseph and Jesus had gone to Jerusalem to the feast of the Passover. On the way back home, they realized they had left Jesus and found Him after three days. Mary said, “Son, why hast thou dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.” (Luke 2:48-50) Mary and Joseph did not understand Jesus. There are times when your parents don’t understand you. The big difference in our situations and this situation is that Jesus was perfect and sinless. Yes, we all feel at times like our parents don’t understand us. But do you know what? We read in our text that Jesus “was subject unto them.” He did what they told Him. He obeyed them and followed them. The next time you feel like your parents just don’t understand you, remember that Christ’s parents did not understand Him and He was perfect and He still listened to them.
21 Noah's Family Was Saved
“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation… And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.” Genesis 7:1 & 7
When I got married, everyone wanted to know when we would have children. We had a son, and people rejoiced. We had another son, and people rejoiced. After two more sons and a daughter people wanted to know when we would stop having children. I used to tell those who asked that my children were the only thing I could take to heaven with me. We can work for wealth or fame, but we can’t take any of that with us when God calls us home. Noah’s family went on the ark with him. Hebrews 11:7 tells us, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” I also want us to look at II Peter 2:4 & 5, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” Noah built the ark and preached righteousness. He worked hard, but he could not convince anyone of the world to enter in with them. In Genesis 7:4 God told Noah that it would begin to rain in seven days, and it would rain forty days and forty nights. I’m sure Noah went about pleading and begging people to get on board. Noah and his sons and their wives took their food and supplies, and the animals as God had commanded. Another day slipped away. Still no one would listen. “And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.” (Genesis 7:10) God stood true to His Word. The day of judgment came and the rains fell. Noah and his family were the only people saved. Jesus said, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39) We have the promise that Christ is coming back. Are you ready? Is your family ready? Noah made sure his family was ready. He was a righteous person who preached righteousness. Tell your family, tell your friends, “Christ is coming back.”
22 Our Heavenly Father
“For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
How can I speak of Fathers and Mothers in the Bible without mentioning our heavenly Father? And when I think of God as my Father, I always think of this portion of scripture in Matthew 6:8, “…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” If you stop to think that God, our Father, gave His only begotten Son to die for our salvation, then you realize that there is nothing more important than that. Our verse above tells us “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” God wants to bless us. Our Lord also said in Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or is he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Our heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:34)
23 Teaching By Example
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
We have been talking of Fathers and Mothers in the Bible and looking at the examples they have given us. I would also like to take some time to talk about examples that my parents have given me. There are many things in the Bible that we are to teach diligently to our children. I am thankful for the Biblical principles my parents taught me through the years. When my sister and I were very young my Mother taught a Sunday school class and every Saturday night she would put the flannel graph pictures on the table and teach her lesson to us. I enjoyed those stories, but she taught me even more through her Christian example. My Mom and Dad taught me Bible stories at home, and Bible principles in their daily walk with God.
24 Teaching The Ten Commandments
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.” Exodus 24:12
God gave Moses the tables of stone, and the law, and the commandments to teach to the children of Israel. They, in turn, were to teach them diligently to their children. We read in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 that they were to talk of them sitting in the house, walking by the way, in the evening going to bed, and waking up in the mornings. They were to bind them as signs on their hands and foreheads, and write them on the posts of the house and on their gates. The Ten Commandments are the basis for our laws, and it is so sad that there are leaders in our country who are against having the Ten Commandments posted. I am glad that my parents taught me the Ten Commandments. And I don’t mean that they had me memorize each one in order, but that they lived by them and walked in integrity. I know that we are now under grace, but it would do us all good to read them on occasion and be reminded of God’s law. You can find these in entirety in Exodus 20:1-17.
1.Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2.Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… 3.Thou shalt not take the name o the LORD thy God in vain… 4.Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy… 5.Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 6.Thou shalt not kill. 7.Thou shalt not commit adultery. 8.Thou shalt not steal. 9.Thou shalt not bear false witness… 10.Thou shalt not covet…
I am thankful for parents who taught me these basic principles.
25 The Greatest Commandment
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
My parents not only taught me the principles of The Ten Commandments, but they also taught me these greatest commandments through their daily lives. People could tell that my parents loved God. They worshipped and served Him, and they lived for Him. They also showed love to our neighbors. Our yard was a favorite place for the children in the neighborhood. We spent many summer days in and under the trees and on the swing sets. I can remember my Dad talking to the neighbors as he worked out in the yard or changed a flat tire. I remember on some occasions when Mom talked with friends out at the clothesline. Dad and Mom had a love for our church neighbors, too. They didn’t gossip and talk about them. And they were quick to offer a helping hand to anyone who needed help. Jesus said in Matthew 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Do those around you know that you are a Christian by the love you have for God and for your neighbors? I try to put God first. I try to show love to our church members and my coworkers, but I am sad to say that I don’t even know all my neighbors. I have the scriptures, and I have had a Christian example, so I have no excuse. I must work on showing love to my neighbors.
26 Friends And Neighbors
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
Talking about loving our neighbors yesterday, made me think about friends. When I was growing up, I thought my Dad knew everyone. He would get out of the car and talk with the gas station attendant. He played on a softball team and seemed to know everyone at the games. He was a deacon at church and we often played in the churchyard while he talked with people at church. He waved at everyone we passed along the road. He never met a stranger. As I grew older I realized that he didn’t really know everyone. He was just friendly to everyone he met and most were friendly right back to him. Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan. A man fell among thieves and a priest and a Levite passed by on the other side of the road, but the Samaritan took him up and took care of him. Jesus then asked which of the three, was neighbor to the man. “And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:37) Do you want to have friends? Then, be a friend. Show love and mercy to those around you. And remember “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”… our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
27 Don't Be Wasteful
“And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.” Matthew 14:20
Jesus fed 5000 men, plus the women, and the children with two little fishes and five loaves of bread. This was a great miracle. It is interesting to note that they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. They had more in the end than they had in the beginning. In the 15th chapter of Matthew we read that Jesus fed 4000 men, plus women and children and took up seven baskets full in the end. They all ate and were filled, and they didn’t waste any. My parents taught us not to waste food. If we put something on our plate, we had to eat it. If we poured a glass of milk, we had to drink it. It bothers me today to go to a restaurant and see so much food thrown away. And it does not embarrass me to ask for a box or bag to take leftovers home. We should not eat more than we need, but we also should not be wasteful. And that goes for more than just food. My Mom would make dresses for my sisters and I when we were small and she would buy a large piece of material and cut all the way to the edges to cut out the pieces for each of us a dress. She didn’t waste any of the material. Many of our Grandmothers also made quilts to use pieces of cloth. We should not waste anything. We turn off the water when we aren’t using it. We should also turn off lights and televisions that we aren’t using. God has blessed us and given us so much. We should be thankful and appreciative and take care of what we have.
28 Pay Our Tithes
“And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” Luke 20:25
This verse is pretty simple. Just as we have to pay taxes, we should pay our tithes to the Lord. My parents taught me at an early age to pay tithes. When we worked and made a little money in the summertime, we gave a dime for every dollar to our church. Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Have you proved God and claimed this promise? It’s time to give unto God the things that are God’s. The Lord has always been faithful to supply our need. He has truly opened the windows of heaven and poured out His blessings on us.
29 Work While It Is Day
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4
My parents tried to teach me not to procrastinate. Don’t put off things that need to be done today. I admit that there are times when I don’t feel like doing chores around the house and I sometimes put them off. But we should do the important things while we still can. Jesus healed the blind man on the Sabbath. This angered the Pharisees. But Christ knew the work He came to do, and He completed it faithfully. If the Holy Spirit nudges us to invite someone to church, or witness to a friend, we should do it then. Night is coming, “when no man can work.” Examine your life. What work has God asked you to do? I really like the verse in Esther which says, “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) Who knows if God has sent you for a certain work or purpose “for such a time as this”? I believe God puts us in the right place at the right time and we must do the work He has sent us to do.
30 The House Of The Lord
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1
My parents taught me at a very young age, that I should be in church on the Lord’s Day. Some of my earliest church memories are of walking through the graveyard beside the church. Older children told us that if we stepped on the sunken graves, we would fall through the earth into the caskets below. I was young enough that even though I did not really believe them, I was still very careful where I stepped. I can remember Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, and Christmas plays. I remember singing and learning Bible verses. Church has been a happy part of my life. I agree with David, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
31 Men Ought Always To Pray
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” Luke 18:1
After my Dad died so many people told me that they loved to hear my Dad pray. He took I Timothy 2:1 & 2 literally and those acquainted with him knew that about him. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable lilfe in all godliness and honesty.” He spent much time in prayer for our leaders and for others. But he didn’t just pray at church where everyone could hear him. I often saw him on his knees pouring his heart out to God. He taught me to pray. I Thessalonians 5:17 is a very short verse that would be a great verse to memorize… “Pray without ceasing.” This goes right along with Luke 18:1, “…men ought always to pray…” Have you spent time in prayer with your Lord today?
32 Times Of Trouble
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1 & 2
Many years ago, Mom told me that these were her favorite verses. She knew where to go in times of trouble. I heard her mother quote Job 5:7 for many, many years. “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” We can be sure that we will have trouble. Where can we turn for help in times of trouble? Our help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. And if He has the power to create the worlds, doesn’t He have the power to help us in times of need?
33 Teach The Young Women
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4 & 5
The older women are instructed to teach the younger women. There are so many things my mother taught me by example… how to dress modestly, how to love my husband and how to love my children. There are other things that she taught through instruction… how to cook and sew and be a keeper at home. We may not think about it, but we can all be teachers. We may not sit down with someone and give them step-by-step instructions on how to perform a task, but we are all teachers by example. People are watching you. Young brothers and sisters may watch and follow your example. Friends may be influenced by decisions you make daily. Be careful in all that you do. Be a good teacher.
34 The Lord God Planted A Garden
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food…” Genesis 2:8 & 9
My parents taught me the joy of having a garden. I know that a garden is hard work, with the planting, and hoeing, and the gathering. There is also the work in cooking, or canning, or freezing the food once it is picked. But nothing tastes better than fresh vegetables from the garden. I spent many summer days out in the hot sun working in our garden. But I would not trade anything for those memories. I do not have the equipment or time to take care of a garden now. But those were special times in my younger days and I am grateful for them. It was so special to watch God’s creation grow and be able to taste of the fruit of your hands.
35 Give Thanks Unto The Lord
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:1
This verse has three different phrases that my parents taught me. First of all, they taught me to give thanks to the Lord. Thanksgiving was a special time. We had a big Thanksgiving feast and spent the day with family. The next phrase in the verse tells us, “for he is good.” I learned the blessing as a very young child… “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.” I learned that God is good. Things may not always go the way I expect them to. We may have sickness or pain, but the truth remains, God is good. And last in this verse, we read, “because his mercy endureth for ever.” We serve a merciful God. It is through His mercy He saved us. It is through His mercy He keeps us and daily provides our needs and protection. There are many examples in the New Testament where people in need cried out, “Have mercy on me” and Jesus heard their prayer and healed them. But we can also read in Luke 16 where the rich man died and prayed for mercy but it was too late. Don’t wait until it is too late to pray for mercy.
36 Teaching Our Children
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother;” Proverbs 1:8
We have spent time learning about fathers and mothers in the Bible and the examples they have given us. I have talked of things my own parents taught me as I was growing up. I want to use this verse to speak to my children. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother;” I have tried to bring up my sons and daughter in the way of the Lord. When I asked them to tell me what I had taught them, the first answer was, “You taught me not to jump on the bed.” And that may very well be the first thing he remembers being taught. Teaching begins at birth, when I showed them that I would care for them and provide their needs. I taught them about safety, with the example of not jumping on the bed, or playing in a busy street. I tried to teach them the importance of prayer, and learning the scriptures. I hope and pray that they will follow the Lord and continue to give their lives to God. Most recently I have tried to teach them that what they do in love for the glory of God is all that matters. I Corinthians 13 has been called the love chapter of the Bible. It begins, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3) Without the love of God, we are nothing. If they forget everything else that I have tried to teach them through the years, I hope that they will remember this and do all that they do in love for God’s glory.