Friday, February 19, 2010

Letter to My Children On Rebellion

Good Morning Sons and Daughters,

Or whatever time of day it is that you are reading this. I imagine afternoon or evening.
Which reminds me. You all need to get into the habit of reading the bible every morning. At least one chapter. It would take all of 2-3 minutes on average; Sometimes one. And those very few minutes each day would impact your life dramatically if you were consistent.
I am amazed at how gracious God is with me. Psalm 106 reminded me through His patience with the children of Israel. It’s kind of a mini picture of the first five books of the Bible. Time and again God had been gracious with them, and yet they would come to a place where it seemed better to them to take another way. God would punish them, and they would return asking for mercy, and of course God gave it. Now don’t think that people didn’t die in the midst of all of this. They did. As a matter of fact, not a one of the children of Israel who started out the trip into to wilderness ever made it out. Their lives were vicious cycles of drifting from God into rebellion, experiencing His punishment, asking for mercy, receiving it; then wondering off into rebellion again, etc. ad nauseum.
Remember that scripture that says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of that way is death.” Yes, God is merciful. I am surprised that I am still alive. Not that I have ever wandered off into blatant adultery, drunkenness, thievery, or rebellion. But that at fifty years old I still have too many times that my flesh is weak. I hate the flesh. But I love the Lord. And I pray that He will purify my heart and my mind so that you kids see more of Jesus in me by the time I die. I don’t want my life to be a picture of Psalm 106, but a picture of Jesus.
So my exhortation to you my dear, dear children, is to avoid the vicious cycle of rebellion that the children of Israel experienced and so died in the wilderness. Does your life seem like a wilderness from God right now? He is willing to have mercy and restore all that sin has taken. Yes, since He is a loving heavenly Father, there will be times of chastisement in order that you may learn not to stray. But if you cry out to the Lord, in due time, He will answer and come in power and glory. I have seen this kids. The Lord has come upon me in power. He has done this as I have cried out to Him for you. And He has assured me that He is working. For that I am eternally grateful.
1. Do not forget all that God has done in the past.(v.13) Gave you a Christian home. Gave you parents that love you. Allowed you to hear the gospel. Spared your life thus far. Kept you healthy thus far. Girls, He has given you healthy children. Gave you responsible husbands.
2. Be careful what you ask for (v.15) Don’t just desire a fun-filled life. Ask for a joy-filled life. Ask for God’s best for you in all things. Ask for God Himself.
3. Don’t forget God. (v.21) He is always there. He sees all. He knows all. And He loves still.
4. Do not complain against the Lord. You can complain to the Lord all you want. Just don’t complain about the Lord. We can’t even see what is going to happen tomorrow, much less today. And He can. He has already planned what is going to happen tomorrow.
5. Do not yoke up to unbelievers. (v. 28) I know this verse is about Baal, but the general teaching of separation from unbelievers themselves is throughout scripture. Believe me, they didn’t just happen upon Baal. He was introduced by the heathen around them. Come out from among them and be separate from them.
Kids, these are not rules, but principles to live by. Ignore them at your peril.
I love you.


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