Friday night I had a date scheduled with Kristen. We arrived at La Suprema (her choice) and placed our orders. Then two people walk in that I know and join us. We had some normal conversation before I hit them with the “who has authority” theological question. It was such a joy to discuss the topic but really any theological topic will get my mind joyfully spinning.
The next morning I got an email response from the wife who told me to throw the book I had read away and forget it. This was no real response to the point about authority which amused me. Throwing the book away does not make the question go away. I responded with more points that I was not able to share at dinner. Discussions are so much fun!
During dinner I was quite proud of Kristen. She joined right in the discussion and even knew my points and counterpoints. I had talked to the kids two night prior about this issue during family worship. We talked about all the same points and she had paid attention and was able to use the arguments properly. It just filled me with so much joy. I have a special project I am working on for Kristen so this memory was one saved for this project. I have to be vague in case she reads this.
This probably means I should reschedule my date.
The first line of authority is the parent.
Let your children be partakers of true Christian training; let them learn of how great avail humility is with God how much the spirit of pure affection can prevail with Him how excellent and great His fear is, and how it saves all those who walk in it with a pure mind. For He is a Searcher of the thoughts and desires [of the heart]: His breath is in us; and when He pleases, He will take it away. –Clement I
Let your children be partakers of true Christian training. Ship them off to other people who know better than you. The government or the church are both good examples – just pick your poison.
Where do I get my authority to raise my children? Or even more specific, where do I get the authority to lead my children with regards to my faith in Christ? God gives us roles as fathers and men to lead our families. We are to seek Him with a pure mind and then lead our kids to Him. The mere fact that He blessed me with children is my authority.
I really want to break off the main topic here and just give thanks to God for the children He gave me. I am beyond blessed with the two He has given me. There really are no words that would sufficiently describe them in my life. Glory to God in the highest.
Last night the kids and I read Jeremiah 3. Before we started I told them to listen for the gospel in this chapter.
After we finished I asked them what they would do if one of their friends was mean to them. And then mean the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Both of them asked why would you keep being friends with someone like that. So I asked them what God thinks about us when we sin against Him each day.
The Lord refers to His people as prostitutes in Jeremiah 3. They were whores just like we are. Yet, the Lord continues to give them His loyal love. He continues to give them grace. Oh wretched man that I am. Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God.
I finished Jeremiah and then started right back again. This time with the kids! Good times.
“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you.
Before you were born I set you apart.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
I chose you. I set you apart. I appointed you. Hopefully we won’t get confused as to who is doing all this work.
I struggle with pride as you all know. Thursday I sat down with the kids and talked. I shared so much with them, specifically about how these thoughts were not godly. I just do not know what to do with them. Kristen piped up and said pray. I nodded in half hearted agreement while continuing to rant. Friday morning I get up and ask God “What am I doing?” before I sat down with His Word. Jeremiah 33:3 was the first verse that hit me – ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.’ Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. Many thoughts went through my head – not all of them in line with a mind conformed to a godly way of thinking. Then I moved to the Psalms. The first words I read in Psalm 25:1 – O LORD, I come before you in prayer.
I am not sure God could have given me clearer signs but I was rebellious, prideful. I finally closed my eyes and all I could say was “Lord, heal your people, heal me.” over and over.
One night during family worship we were in Hosea 5 and we discussed the following verses.
I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I myself will tear them to pieces,
then I will carry them off, and no one will be able to rescue them!
Then I will return again to my lair
until they have suffered their punishment.
Then they will seek me;
in their distress they will earnestly seek me.
You know I like to ask questions so the first one was: who is the one causing the suffering? God. Who is the only one who can rescue them? God. They will seek God after they have suffered. Does this mean that only those who suffer will seek God? No, of course not but is it possible that those who suffer are more likely to seek God earnestly?
My initial inclination is to say that yes those who suffer do seek God and seek Him earnestly more so than those who do not suffer. If you are not in pain then what do you need God for really? Yes, I know you need Him for your very life but these people are typically happy and self-sufficient. It is not a good place to think you are in control when you are not. I know because I was there and sometimes go back there.
In their distress…
Yes I am going to blame the summer season on not posting. While there were many times of devotion and discussion over the summer, the kids and I did not make any progress on our in-depth study of Hosea. I guess that’s what I’m going to call it since we spent several weeks on just the first two chapters. So last night we began again on chapter three.
Hosea 3:2 – So I paid fifteen shekels of silver and about seven bushels of barley to purchase her.
After reading the five verses in chapter 3, I asked a lot of leading questions like I always do. I think the first question was “What is the theme of the Bible?” and Kristen’s response was “Jesus?”. I said yes let’s expound on that. Blaine said “He died on the cross for our sins.” Now we are getting somewhere.
Jesus redeems the elect. He pays the price for our sins so we can be made right with the holy God. There is nothing we have done to deserve this or earn this redemption. In the same way we see Hosea redeeming – purchasing – his wife even though she did not deserve it either.
I am not always wise enough to be able to preach the gospel message from every section of scripture but sometimes God just lays it out there. Always thankful for His redemption.
The first time I remember studying Hosea, this verse was a big discussion point.
However, in the future I will allure her;
I will lead her back into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And every time I have read this book since then, this verse has always popped out at me. God is alluring His wife. This is not like man. When we are treated poorly, we want to do anything but allure them back to us. Why would we want to put up with someone like that? But God’s love is different than our love. God’s grace and mercy overflow. It is beyond comprehension.
Last night the kids and I talked about Matthew 10:22 and 2 Timothy 3:12. At some point I told them I was a fanatic. They proceeded to sing this…
During family worship tonight I told the kids a few things. One of them was that I wish I didn’t hold back as much as I do. It might have been more accurate to say I want to be bolder. As I think about it, I’m not really sure what I meant.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. –Romans 1:16
I guess I want to live a life of unhindered faith in Jesus. I am not really sure what I mean by this or more specifically what I would change about my life. I just know that I do not want to be ashamed of the gospel because it is God’s power for salvation.