A Scriptural Perspective on Raising Up Godly Children

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Apostle Paul had Children born into a Christian home in mind specifically when he wrote the following admonition in Eph. 6:1:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1).

Notice the phrase: “parents in the Lord”.

Paul’s admonition is limited to the Christian home. We will do a better work in parenting our children when we are in the Lord!

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2, 3)

A long life well spent here on earth depends on the value…esteem…worth we place on our earthly parents and the honor we extend to them among other things!

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)

The best way to raise up children is to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. This type of training and instruction is only found in the Bible- God’s Word!

Notice …Paul did not say that we should raise our children around our custom or family traditions and values.

If we are not careful…we will emphasis academics, culture, family values and traditions to our children above raising them up in the instruction and training of the Lord… raising them according to the teachings of God’s Word! Enough is said here! (Ephesians 6:4)

Copyright 2003-2009 Abounding Love Christian Centre:: All Rights Reserved

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The Temptation of Jesus- Mathew Chapter 4

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The Holy-Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness… but not to be tempted by the devil!

He led Him into the wilderness on a forty days fast to prepare Him for ministry… Afterwards the devil tempted Him!

Again the temptations of Jesus recorded in Matthew 4 did not take place in the wilderness ALONE!

Jesus was tempted in the wilderness in vs. 3-4.

He was tempted in the holy city (Jerusalem) on a pinnacle of the temple in vs. 5-7.

He was tempted in an exceeding high mountain in Vs 8-10.

In vs. 11 …the devil left Jesus for a season!

Jesus experienced temptation at different times during the course of His earthly ministry.

As you study the New Testament with an open mind especially the Gospels…you could track His temptations.

Temptation will occur at any location in this world.

Religious tradition limits the temptation of Jesus to the wilderness.

The Word of God does not support this assumption.

The Lord Jesus was tempted in every respect as any man here on earth can be tempted.

Copyright 2003-2009 Abounding Love Christian Centre:: All Rights Reserved

PREPARE YOURSELF

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Excellent ministries do not just happen. As you locate your calling , you must make preparation to succeed. God has not planned for anybody to fail in ministry. We have to apply ourselves to the calling of God on our lives. Preparation time is never lost time when we diligently study and meditate on the Word of God.

2 Tim. 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Joshua 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Spiritual Preparation
Excellence in ministry comes through diligent work especially in the area of personal spiritual development.
You must locate your calling and gifts through prayer and fellowship with the Word  and Spirit of God.
By constantly waiting on God your calling and gifts will develop.
Study the Word of God to find out your redemptive rights and privileges as God’ s child. Feed on the Word day and night through reading and listening to the Bible on cassette tapes etc.
By doing these often, your faith will become strong and you will become aware of God’s mighty power in  and through you.
Long seasons of prayer are always necessary to operate in the power of God.
I advocate that you pray mostly in tongues if you have been baptized in the Holy-Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
This will help you to forge spiritual stamina.

Jude 1:20
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

Daniel developed intimacy with God through prayer. He is our example.
He developed an excellent spirit because of this and this distinguished him among the governors and satraps of King Nebuchadnezzar.
God promoted this young Hebrew in a foreign land.
Although he found himself in a hard place and the odds turned against him, he rose to the top because of the excellent spirit he had cultivated within him through prayer

Daniel 6:3
Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Make the Word of God and prayer the foundation of your ministry.
Give time in preparing yourself on a daily basis through prayer and studying the Word of God.
When you do this you will discover that every time you step up to minister you will have something to say that will build and bless the people of God around you.

Natural Preparation

From a natural standpoint there are several things you can and should do to be effective in ministry.
For instance if God has called you into the mission field, making strides towards the mastery of the language of the people you are called to serve in ministry is always time well spent.
Learning a language is time consuming and the ideal situation is to be able to devote yourself completely to language study before you assume ministerial duties on the field. In some cases however, you might need to devote time to seek out information about the immigration requirement of the nation God has called you to take His word
.As you become familiar with those requirements you can prepare yourself to ensure that you meet the requirements necessary for you to get a visa to travel to that nation of your calling.
I believe you need to walk softly before God and trust Him to give you the wisdom and lead you through the door that is open before you.
God will let you walk through an open door he has appointed for you to take.
Many factors could close certain doors of nations before you but do not allow that to discourage you.
I have learned from experience that there are several open doors  however, that God knows about that can lead you to the destination of your calling.
Just trust God to help you discover that ” particular door”  that is open before you that you might need to take.
When you discover the door go through it with dignity because God will back you up.
You will then be on your way to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. Glory to God!
Another natural preparation is to develop a budget.
A budget is a goal setting device that helps us maintain control over our spending by setting limits and priorities.
To prepare a budget you have to have an accurate estimate of your anticipated expenses.
You can draw an annual budget for instance. Your expenses should be catalogued in categories like housing, food, clothing, utilities, transportation, postage, office supplies, personal expenses for the year.
Add up all these expenses and divide by twelve and you will have a good idea of how much support you need monthly and annualy.
If you are called to pastor a church for instance, you will oversee the natural side of running the church like buying property or equipment etc.
You could delegate these responsibilities to others in the flock that are knowledgeable in those areas but ensure that you maintain oversight.
A word of advice here. Please do not be so engrossed in the natural preparation of ministry to the extent that you lose the anointing to preach and teach the Bible. The need for balance here cannot be over-emphasized.  Glory to God!

LOCATE YOUR CALLING

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Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called
(1 Corinthians 7:24)

Many problems arise in the body of Christ from the zeal of ambitious Christians who seek ministries and positions God have not called them to occupy.
Paul the apostle refers to the Church collectively as the body of Christ and individual believers as members of one another.
When any part of the human body is “out of joint”, this causes pain that effects the well-being of the whole body.
This is true as far as our placement in the body of Christ is concerned. An effective ministry that is out of place in the body of Christ will cause pain to the rest of the body of Christ.

You can never excel in ministry when you are in the wrong office. Excellence in ministry is tied to God’s calling upon our lives.
We must function where we have an anointing because God blesses us when we are in His perfect will.
As a principle you will excel in the ministry of your calling as you faithfully prepare yourself. Seek God to find out your calling. He will show you.
You must seek Him by developing an intimate fellowship with Him through His Word and Prayer.
Your spirit will be built up in the process. You will become aware of the call of God in your own spirit.
You will have the conviction of it in your own heart and a divine compulsion to fulfill it. As you set your heart to obey God, He will equip you with the gifts of the Holy-Spirit that go along with the office He has called you. It will take quite sometime though but He will set you in that office and you will be a blessing because you have the divine enablement to function in your calling.

Many times people fail in ministry because they function in the wrong office. This is dangerous. The calling of God is holy.
In the Old Testament if someone besides the High-priest intruded into the Holy of Holies, he fell dead instantly because he had intruded into the wrong office.
Failure to remain in the calling or location
God has chosen for us is rebellion and rebellion leads to deception and deception leads directly to the snares of the devil.

I have seen some who are not called to pastor attempt to do so without the call of God along that line.
Frankly speaking pastoring is not the thing to do if you are not called into it because you could do damage to yourself and your family as well as the flock of God.

Take time to wait and see what God wants you to be.
Allow God to make you the minister He wants you to be.
Bear in mind that it takes time for people to become equipped to do what God have called them to accomplish.
Those called must not only be equipped spiritually, they must also mature naturally and mentally.
Stepping out at the proper time is very important. You must ask yourself some basic diagnostic questions when seeking to determine God’s call upon your life.
The following questions may be very helpful to you in making that determination:

Am I certain that God has spoken to me to begin this ministry?
Could I be happy doing anything else?
Am I really prepared to take this huge ministerial step?
Can I stick with this call for a long haul, maybe the next 50 years?

A negative answer to any of these questions should set off a warning signal in your heart for once you have started; there really is no turning back.

Obedience to the call is more important

The methods by which men are called into ministry are unimportant. However obedience to the call is important. God could call some people in extraordinary ways. It is possible that you could locate your calling through a vision if God chooses to give you one.
But I counsel you not to seek God to show you a vision. If it is in His will for you to know your calling through a vision He will definitely give you one without you asking Him for it.
Your calling can be confirmed by God through prophecy also.
As a general rule however, prophecy should only confirm the call of God. Saul and Barnabas had their calling confirmed by prophecy in Acts 13:1-2 :

Acts 13:1-2
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. [2] As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

The Anointing vs. Strong desire

when a person is called into ministry, an anointing just comes upon him or her to stand in that office. An anointing evidences a divine call to ministry.
A strong desire could in some cases evidence a divine call to ministry also. I believe God will put in your heart a desire to serve Him in the office of your calling.
The key factor we must keep in mind though is to take the time and wait on God and He will make you the minister he wants you to become.
He will give you the strategies also to fulfill His plan for your life when you ask Him through prayer.

Write down the Vision

It is of utmost importance for you to write down the vision and strategies God gives you concerning your calling.
A well defined vision is necessary to keep you on track because without it your work will seem aimless and you will have a difficult time judging whether you are reaching your goals and accomplishing the vision.

Habakkuk 2:2-3
And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
[3] For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

God told Habakkuk to do three things about his vision. Habakkuk was instructed to write, run and read.
Writing the vision down helps to establish it in your heart. Ask yourself about the direction and strategy that you are following to accomplish your vision. How are you going to accomplish the vision? How are you going to preach the gospel? Is it through crusades, seminars, radio and TV or by establishing a Bible School? As you find out the methods begin to fulfill your calling. Glory to God!

Copyright 2003-2009 Abounding Love Christian Centre:: All Rights Reserved