The best life is a God First life

Category: Children

Love of Sports, Love of God

A lot of people get very excited about sports. It’s a topic of numerous conversations. Seldom am I with a group of men where sports is not immediately part of the conversation or dominates it.

Many parents rightfully recognize the benefits of raising their children to grasp the positive principles of sports and start them playing very early in life. Lifelong friendships build as parents help each other with rides and mutually encourage their children and each other.

As a result, Money, Time, and Schedules are eagerly manipulated so that parents can be supportive of events, practice meets, or games by their presence, and the value of teamwork is fortified. Families unite in sports talk, laughs, jokes, etc., discuss sports greats, sportsmanship, teamwork, missed opportunities, and often spend countless hours watching professional sports together.

These bonding moments are excellent training and contribute to building solid friendships and good character in our young adults to help them navigate life.

Isn’t this precisely how we should prioritize, teach, and share Christ in our lives?

Shouldn’t our conversations and social media posts include glorifying and sharing the blessings of Christ and showing concern for others?

If we showed our love for God the way we show our love for sports, how would our lives change?

What would it look like if our interest in God took priority over our interest in sports?

  • Would we start our children attending bible classes early in life?
  • Would we prioritize our schedules to ensure committed involvement in Church activities?
  • Would we prioritize teaching our children the love of Christ?
  • Would we encourage their understanding and development of leadership skills?

Imagine how excellent this world would be if the same effort we put into sports were put into following and sharing the message of Christ?

We would excel at learning everything we could about our creator. Jesus would be prominent in daily conversations and taking His name in vain, absent.

Instead, we would seek to be as Christ-like as possible, making every effort to do God’s Will according to what God tells us in scripture and our time would be arranged so that we could be involved in as many good works as possible.

If the world were to embrace God the way many embrace sports, we would put our service to God above all else, and our children would take notice. Just as they will notice, if we make exceptions, making exceptions sends the message that we believe it’s ok to deprioritize God from Time to Time, and that’s never ok!

Sports may bring a lifetime of happy moments but should never take priority over God, where blessings go far beyond this lifetime and lead us to our eternal home, a glorious place without tears, pain, or woes.

God First!

  • Acts 20:32
  • Jude 1:25
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • 1 Corinthians 14:26
  • Philippians 3:21
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • Romans 1:12
  • Ephesians 4:15-16
  • John 3:16-17
  • John 17:3
  • Matthew 6:23-24
  • 1 Timothy 1:17
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6
  • Luke 15:7
  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • Matthew 25:46
  • Philippians 3:20-21
  • Revelation 21:9-12
  • Revelation 12:4

To God be the Glory!

Ever had someone take credit for your accomplishments? How did you or would you feel feel about it? Maybe it was a trivial matter, so you just let it go. I’ve done this too; it still rubbed me the wrong way, even if just a little. Now, let’s magnify the situation.

Suppose you developed a single cure for all cancers and shared it. Yet, instead of being appreciated, praised, and given credit for all your work, credit is taken or given elsewhere. Would you be upset?

I would probably do all I could to Let the world know; THIS IS MY DOING, AND I CAN PROVE IT. Stop giving credit elsewhere; I created this cure! I would assemble all my proof, witnesses’ testimonies, etc., and present them to the world as best I could. But, what if, rather than admit their deception, the unscrupulous attack the Truth with false information and lies to take or give credit elsewhere. How would you like this? How would you respond?

Unfortunately, This is how God is treated repeatedly.

Despite the fact that God’s proof is all around us. That Science, Math, and History truly support what we find in Scripture, and that God is the most logical explanation as the Creator of everything we know many actively work to give credit elsewhere. Sadly, the gullible then fall prey to praising the creations of God rather than God Himself. History shows people inherently desire to worship something; they want to put faith in something they deem greater than themselves. Worship and praise have been given to such things as the moon, the sun, stars, mountains, water, fire, animals. Numerous statues have been made and erected to worship, and numerous theories have been invented and taught.

Today, many give the credit that belongs to God to those touting disbelief under the disguise of science. Technical-sounding words are created and used to create hypothetical theories and then presented as sound science.

Think about it, Theories are taught to our most gullible, our children, and told it is science. Our children are taught to believe our creation was a fluke accident where nothing exploded into something rather than God Created All. That a spec of absolutely nothing too small for our eyes to see exploded into something that created planets in a perfect universal placement to provide life on Earth. Then, over billions of years developed into the perfectly designed world of nature and life, we live in today. That Animal and Human life were some natural phenomena and that our human ancestry is monkeys. If not from God, Where did our intelligence come from?

Were you taught this? Did you or do you currently lend “ANY” credence to these theories today? God gave us free will that we may choose to look at the evidence. God would not have given us so much proof if expected blind faith only.

EVERYTHING CREATED IS GOD’S DOING, AND HE PROVES ITTO GOD BE THE GLORY!

  • Genesis 1:1
  • Romans 1:20-25
  • Revelation 4:11
  • John 1:3
  • Colossians 1:16
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6
  • Nehemiah 9:6
  • Psalm 33:6
  • Genesis 1:1-37
  • Genesis 1:27
  • Psalm 19:1
  • Hebrews 11:1-3
  • John 1:1-3
  • Exodus 34:14
  • Deuteronomy 5:9
  • Exodus 20:1-26
  • Jeremiah 10:12
  • Isaiah 45:18
  • Romans 10:17
  • Proverbs 3:13
  • James 1:5
  • 1 Peter 3:15-16
  • Isaiah 1:18
  • John 20:31
  • 2 Timothy 2:15

God First!

Does God love some more than others?

As I contemplated this question, I believe the answer is that God loves the “response” of some more than others.

Like parents and children, one child might do as directed most of the time while the other doesn’t. It’s not that parents love the obedient child more than the other; however, they love the obedient child’s response more than the disobedient response. The obedient response shows a desire to please the parents by doing as told. (love)

In Scripture, we learn Jesus died for all the world and that God shows no partiality. Scripture also tells us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we find Jesus said; if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

David was considered a man after God’s heart; why? God tells us: “He will do my will” Saul, on the other hand, lost his kingdom for doing “his own” will, not God’s.

King David made many huge mistakes and was far from perfect, yet he constantly turned to and relied on God; David pursued righteousness. (doing God’s will mattered to David)

We all have the same choice!

Follow God’s will to the best of our ability by studying and following the commands and examples of Scripture or following our feelings, our ideas, or those of others.

When we choose to follow God according to His will, we spend our lives pursuing righteousness. In James chapter 5, we find the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. This should be one of our goals, to have our prayers accomplish much because our hearts are where King David’s was, pursuing righteousness.

God First!

John 3:16 tells us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

“So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Act 10:34-35

“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” Acts 13:22 ESV

But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” Samuel 13:14

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 NASB

Why Rules Daddy?

As loving parents, why do we create rules? Is it for the fun of it? No, we initiate rules to help keep our children safe while teaching them to discern what’s right and wrong, safe or dangerous. However, if we don’t hold our children accountable for their actions, are we truly showing them, love? Are we really demonstrating love if there is no consequence for disobedience? Love is much more than hugs, kisses, smiles, jokes, and fun times.

Since the beginning, God has shown love and exhibited what love truly is. In Scripture, we find many examples that although God’s Love includes all kinds of blessings and kindness, punishment and expectation are not mutually exclusive of that love.

Meeting expectations helps build confidence, and punishment helps us make better choices on our lifelong paths. Godly punishment is not done out of meanness but out of love. Righteous punishment helps us learn and understand that we are accountable for our choices and, thus, deserve their consequences, whether good or bad.

Our Heavenly Father gave us free will that we might follow His instructions found in God’s Word (The Bible). His Son (Jesus) became flesh and demonstrated that love to the point of extreme pain and anguish when He was sacrificed for us. Jesus is the only sacrifice that could give us eternal life in heaven if we follow Him.

We may be adults in this world, but we should remember we are God’s children as Christians. I recently heard the point made that God has no Grandchildren. We are all his children, and he wants the best for us, similar to how we want the best for our children.

Since God created mankind, He has blessed, punished, and sacrificed that we might live eternally with Him. Therefore, God gave us every word of the bible, The God-breathed absolute truth for our benefit. God is Love, His precepts show that love, and in my humble opinion, our gratitude should make us want to excel in adhering to God’s Will by truly doing our best to put God First!

  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • Hebrews 12:5-17
  • 1st John 4:16
  • John 14:6
  • Romans 8:12-17
  • Galatians 4:1-8‭‭
  • 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭
  • 2 Timothy 3:16

God First!

Children need interaction more than a distraction.

Our children are the future! So we need to invest in the next generation. Help them be better than us. The investment needed most is our time. Children need our time. We need to teach, lead, listen and pray with them. Children learn not only by our words but largely by our examples. They need to see Christ in us all the time.

In our high-tech world of conveniences and distractions, money is often thrown at children at a very early age instead of our time—money for electronic games and entertainment. Some electronics are marketed and purchased in the name of education. Unfortunately, many adults fall prey to using these electronic gadgets as child sitters. When this happens, what the child learns most, is “how to be alone,” – distracted from human interaction.

Children need us to invest our time. They need us to have listening ears. They need our attention and direction. Of course, we all enjoy games and entertainment, but our play needs to be balanced, not all-consuming.

Children need interaction more than a distraction. They need our personal efforts as much as possible, helping them learn how to study and the importance of balancing priorities. This hands-on effort helps our children realize they are loved.

Children need our time and discipline in love to learn to share it with the next generation and build a better tomorrow.

God First!

We NEED TO “ARM OUR CHILDREN!”

We need to arm our children; We need to arm them with the teachings of Jesus Christ that they may learn love, strength, honor, respect, compassion, humility, and thankfulness. As our children and we grow in the knowledge of God’s love, it creates a natural zeal to Love and serve our creator. To keep His commandments with all their Hearts, Soul, Mind, and Strength, and Love others as Christ loved us.

Arming our children with the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, is the best way to help them protect themselves. As parents, we strive to protect our children, teach them right from wrong, caution, and self-control, how to be strong yet humble so they can achieve success in life’s challenges. There is no better foundation to provide them than the foundation of God.

Loving God and having His Word in their hearts as their guide helps provide our children with the knowledge they need to make better choices throughout life. It helps them know where to turn to find answers and seek help from Scripture and through prayers. In addition, God’s Word helps them make the right choice when they encounter situations where bad choices may have lifelong, negative impacts.

Our children need to see the adults around them demonstrate how to love one another as Christ loved us in all our actions. They need to see us show respect for authority, respect for others, love, and compassion. Our children need to understand that actions have consequences; if we want good consequences, we need to input good actions.

  • 3 John 1:4
  • Ephesians 6:17
  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • Isaiah 54:13
  • Deuteronomy 6:7
  • Psalm 78:6
  • Romans 9:8
  • Matthew 22:37
  • John 13:34

God First!

Hurting God, Hurts us

In many ways, I am the prodigal son, not in how I treated my earthly father, but in how I treated my Heavenly Father. For a long time, I abused the grace and blessings our Heavenly Father gave me. I understood his love for me, but I attempted to take advantage of it. I treated God as if, His Will for me was unimportant. I wanted what I wanted, even though I knew it went against the will of God. I wonder how many others currently find themselves doing the same.

I decided to ignore the understanding I did have of God’s will for his children. Instead, I willfully ignored God and foolishly hoped for the best if something happened. I mistakenly banked on the thought that I could plead ignorance, that God would forgive my purposeful attempt at ignorance because I was a good person. God, however, is not a respecter of persons. Therefore, I am responsible and accountable equally with everyone else to learn, study and follow Christ according to God’s Will. In fact, even more so, as I was a baptized believer.

During these years, I stupidly gambled with the eternity of my soul. It was never meant to be a conscientious rejection of God; however, in retrospect, it’s clear my faith at that time was built on sand. I allowed myself to slowly get caught up in my misconceptions of the good life to the point that God was barely a thought.

I had turned my back on God and did not realize or even consider the depth of how my choices would trickle down into the lives of all those I love. I did not realize the importance of missed opportunities. Opportunities to be an example to those around me as a person who puts God First!

I realize now; I hurt God, rejection hurts, God knows what was best for me, God knows what’s best for all of us, so much so; Jesus gave his life for me, for all of us! My selfish choices had consequences; I had slowly rejected God’s sacrifice, God’s love. I eventually realized I was pursuing nonsense (Vanity), my own desires, and was costing me greatly.

By the time I realized how broken and lost I was, my fun-filled actions were riddled with regrets. It was then that I returned to my only real hope, and just like the father of the prodigal son, our Heavenly Father, was there with wide-open arms, willing to forgive, willing to forget how lost I had become. According to Scripture, I was dead, and now I’m alive, I was lost, but now, I have been found, and heaven rejoiced! Luke 15:7–10

I wonder how many other prodigal sons or daughters are out there ignoring our Heavenly Father as I once did; Jesus’s arms are always outstretched to embrace the repentant heart and offer eternal life for those who will change direction and follow Christ according to God’s will and keep his commandments. The God of all comfort wants us to repent, come home.

If you are one who, upon reflection, realizes you have drifted away, won’t you change direction and come home?

When we truly live according to God’s will, there’s nothing to regret.

  • Luke 15:11-32 (prodigal son)
  • John 3:16 (God so loved…)
  • Luke 15:32 (Lost but found)
  • 2nd Corinthians 1:3-5 (God of all comfort)
  • James 4:8 (Draw close to God and He will draw close to you)

God First!

Broken hearts and pain, for what?

Our hearts and the hearts of family and friends can be broken, torn apart with sadness and pain by the actions of one alcoholic drinker. One drinker behind the wheel can take a life. One drinker with loose lips can destroy relationships; one drinker, not exercising self-control, can start a fight that ends or lames a life.

To many, drinking is harmless and often associated with socializing, fun times, relaxation, romance, and parties (I used to think this way).

Sip by sip; one loses their ability to react swiftly in emergencies. Many who drink will Never admit they’ve been affected negatively. Instead, they tout, “It’s only one beer or one glass of wine.” They may exclaim, “I don’t get drunk,” or “I function fine on just one or two drinks,” etc. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because they’ve never faced a real emergency when drinking before. A situation where their best was required, and they didn’t have it. Where their reaction was slightly slower, their words not wise, and it led to devastating results. Heartache, pain, lives turned upside down results—unnecessary, avoidable turmoils.

It’s been a while back now since the van of a niece was hit by a drunk driver and flipped: her husband and one of her children with her. At the time, my niece went through much pain, the rest of her family seemingly OK. It’s scary to realize; We could’ve lost them all; they could’ve been horribly injured, maimed for life in some manner, all because of a social drinker. One person who thought they were in control, who drank just enough to impair their ability and cause an accident, An accident that now labels them “a drunk driver.”

I quit drinking alcohol several years ago because I came to this conclusion…

“If there are more reasons not to do something than to do it, then Why do it?”

Wayne R Johnson

There are many logical, biblical, and commonsense reasons not to drink. For me, I started asking myself, why do I need to drink alcohol? I found no good reason! I still have a good time; I still enjoy my friends; I can still be silly and do all of this without alcohol, plus, as a great big bonus, I get to remember more about the fun I had.

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,”

Philippians 1:27 ESV

God First!

The Joy of seeing our Children Lead

It is incredibly uplifting and heartwarming to see our children being led to lead and serve. Many youths from our congregation and others participate each year in a non-profit program called “Lads 2 leaders”(L2L). Recently, several of our youth attended this convention where they demonstrated the leadership skills they’ve been developing. 

They participated in Scripture reading, leading prayers, leading songs, giving talks on specific subjects. Reciting scripture from memory, Bible bowls, etc. 

We are blessed to have so many dedicated parents. Parents of very small children through high school seniors are very involved in the training and encouragement of their youth to work hard and prepare for their presentations.

The Covid situation created hardships and challenges to the L2L conventions the last two years making it nearly impossible for spectators to witness and encourage these young leaders but hopefully, this will improve in the near future.

It is an incredibly joyful experience to see and hear these children as they learn to lead, understand and grow through the study of God’s Word. To watch them take action to present and Share God’s word according to God’s Word.

If you would like to learn more or help support the efforts hear is the link to their home page. https://www.lads2leaders.com/

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