Browsing Tag

David

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #33: Proverbs 14:9–The Seriousness of Sin

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:      

My Favorite Proverbs: Recognizing the Seriousness of Sin (Prov. 14:9)

Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor.

Today’s proverb asserts a cold reality:  People who mock at sin are fools. 

Three verses after this one we get a glimpse of one reason this is true: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  For a man to follow his own way when God calls that way sin, is death.

Sin is no laughing matter.  All Christians feels a morality shift that has grown in our country for the last few decades and is now phenomenal in scope.  While there is much good in society and we’re thankful for our country, we just can’t believe that God-blessed-America has come to where she is home to rampant and blatant disrespect for God and His word. Jesus knew sin was serious:

“Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”

“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (Matt. 18:7-9).

To mock sin is to mock God who decides and declares what is sinful.  Sin is against God.

No one successfully mocks God, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7).  We may live our lives mocking various ones and their laws—the laws of our parents, of school teachers, of employers, of the police;  but God’s law won’t be mocked.

Are you a Christian? Let the words of today’s proverb resonate in your heart and then consider three more verses on the subject of sin:  

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8).

“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2).

“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

Would you like to study what the Bible has to say about having your sins washed away?  Write me and we’ll talk.

Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

Tonight, let’s wrap up our lessons about David and Bathsheba with a quiz game. We suggest a treasure map with questions and a real buried treasure if you have young children, a yard and a good place to bury. (This week, I buried [barely] a little doll and a couple of tiny stuffed animals, sealed in a zippy bag for my grandchildren out in our yard and you would have thought they had uncovered the Hope diamond with that little shovel!) In this game, as they successfully answer questions, they get new locations toward the treasure, until they reach the spot marked by the X. (Example, first if they get a correct answer, take the first taped arrow off the map. Underneath that arrow the map might say “Go outside the front door.”) Keep asking questions, alternating children for answers, and removing arrows off the map for instructions…”Go to the end of the sidewalk,” etc….Make sure you have at least ten arrows before you get to the X, where you have buried the treasure. Alternately, of course, you can play all sorts of other games with the questions. (A general rule for almost any game is that you have to answer before getting your turn or a point or a bullet for your Nerf war. =))

  1. Where was David when he first saw Bathsheba?
  2. What was Bathsheba doing when David first saw her?
  3. What was Bathsheba’s husband’s name?
  4. What did David take that did not belong to him?
  5. Who was David’s army captain?
  6. Who did not go home to his wife?
  7. Who was killed in the battle?
  8. Who was the prophet who came to David?
  9. What happened to the baby in the story?
  10. What was stolen in the story that Nathan told David?

Questions for the teeny people:

Who was the king?

Did the king always obey God?

Who blesses us when we do right?

What is true success?

What does it mean to steal something?

Is God pleased with stealing?

In what book do we read about David?

Who gave us the Bible?

Are people who disobey God really happy people?

What is God’s ideal for marriage?

 

Pray with your children.

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #31: Proverbs 13:24–Children and Discipline

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:      

My Favorite Proverbs: Children and discipline (Prov. 13:24)

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

Children come from God. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalms 127:3).  God sees each child while he or she rests and grows in the comfort of the womb, and He is the One who adds an eternal soul (Heb. 12:9).  It’s always been an instinctive thing for parents to want to give good things to their children. For that reason parents make a good illustration of how God cares for and blesses His children:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:11).

Good parents correct their children, but that discipline is a challenge for parents who were reared without consistent correction.  They have to learn how to discipline from someone else. May I encourage young parents to seek out those who have successfully raised Christian children and to learn from them by asking questions and seeking counsel.  You don’t want your children to be deprived of loving discipline just because you did not have a great example of it in your parents. The Hebrews writer simply assumes that parents will practice discipline:

“Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:9-11). 

And, here’s a follow-up thought to the fact that God corrects His children:  “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Prov. 3:11-12).

Today’s proverb not only endorses corporal punishment–spanking–but strongly endorses this form of discipline. The word “rod”, according to Strong’s, can be used to describe a stick anywhere from a staff you used to steady your walk, down to a pencil-like instrument you’d use for writing.  Any who read into this an abusive form of discipline are ignoring other parts of Scripture (Eph. 6:4).

Additional thoughts about this “corporal punishment proverb”:

It implies that we are involved enough in the lives of our children that we know when spanking is warranted.  

Parents who daily take their children to others for childcare must come to grips with this passage and similar ones.  Can someone obey this passage for me or in my stead?  Will that someone have the same sense of fairness and diligence about timing and severity of a spanking?

Parents who have more than one child know that children are different and require special attention to know the whens and whats of discipline. 

Quality time isn’t just in the pleasant things like playing games together or going to get a milkshake, but also in unplanned moments when discipline and correction are needed.  

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

As we conclude the series on David and Bathsheba, let’s spend a couple of nights on godly sorrow and the wonderful forgiveness that God gives through His mercy. Tonight’s passage is Psalms 51. Read it aloud to your children. It’s short and even very young children should be learning to sit still during the reading of the Word.

  1. For young children, teach them that David was very sorry for all the wrong things he had done and that God forgave him. Teach them what forgiveness is. For young children it’s “forgetting that someone did wrong and acting like it never happened.” Let them act out several scenarios in which misbehavior happens and then walk them though what repentance and saying “I’m sorry” looks like: Examples of this role-play: a) Have a child say to a sibling “I do not even like you and I don’t want to play with you.”…Then talk about being sorry and have them apologize and have the sibling appropriately forgive. b) Have a child take a treat from the pantry without permission, get caught, come to “repentance”, apologize and be forgiven by parents. Emphasize here that sometimes there’s punishment (or consequences) even though there’s forgiveness. In the case of the stolen treat, for instance, there might be a week without those treats from the pantry. Just because there’s a punishment does not mean there is not forgiveness. Parents who love punish and forgive because they want their children to grow up to be good and happy people! (If you have teeny people, just practice saying I’m sorry and giving hugs, telling them Jesus wants us to always say “I’m sorry” when we do wrong.
  2. Remind young children of how Joseph forgave the brothers who had mistreated him. Tell them that Joseph was a happy person because he could forgive his brothers. We cannot be happy if we are not “forgivers.”
  3. Read Matthew 6:15 to your children and discuss the ramifications of being unforgiving.
  4. Have older kids choose a verse from Psalm 51 that shows David’s very deep regret for the things that he’s done in the horrible Bathsheba time of his life. Have them discuss with you how this shows that, even though there’s forgiveness, there’s pain caused by sin.
  5. Have older children also look at 1 Kings 15:5 to see how God looked at David’s life, as a whole. Discuss this with them. Tell them to make it a goal to not have a time in their lives that will stand out as a time of sin and shame like this time in David’s life. Make sure they understand that regret over sin is bigger, when it is haunting a person, than it seemed it would be before the sin. Challenge them to think about how much bigger the regret in Psalm 51 was, than what David was counting on in 2 Samuel 11.  He was thinking of immediate “happiness” and sexual fulfillment in 2 Samuel, but his “instant happiness” carried sorrow and regret for a long time.
  6. If your family knows “Create in Me, O God, A Clean Heart” from Psalm 51, sing it now and pray with your children. (You can find the song in many places online, of course, by googling. Alternately, you might sing “Love Lifted Me.”)

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #30: Proverbs 13:20–Choosing Good Companions

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:                                                            

My Favorite Proverbs: Choosing good companions (Prov. 13:20).

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.”

No one is perfect in this old world, but there’s a big difference between one who fears God and one who does not.  Psalm 14:1 unflinchingly calls some people fools: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God.’”  

In the history of mankind, perhaps the greatest example of making bad companion choices involves the Israelites moving into the land of Canaan.  They were commanded by God in plain terms to drive the Canaanites out of that land.  This expression of God’s anger came with this caution: “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.”

What God told them to do, they did not do:

“But the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem; so the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day” (Jud. 1:21).

“Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; so the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them” (Jud. 1:27).

“Nor did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob” (Jud. 1:31).

Here was the sad consequence of disobedience:

“I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’” (Jud. 2:1-3).

“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel” (Jud. 2:10).

This is the reason parents of teens are concerned when their teens are running with kids who drink, or use drugs, or play video games which contain immoral material or have become sexually active. It is also a critical reason why marrying someone who isn’t a Christian is eternally dangerous.  It is predictable that we will be somehow influenced and drawn away from our commitment to Christ.  Where do you suppose Lot’s daughters learned the atrocities they committed with their father?  From their Dad? No (2 Pet. 2:8). Apparently, they were influenced by their vile friends in Sodom. 

Today, think about not only the friends you now have, but also what kind of friend you are. There are two kinds of friends; friends around whom it is easy to be good, and friends around whom it is easy to be bad.  

Pray for wisdom as you work to be the right influence on all your friends.

Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

Tonight’s family Bible time comes from 2 Samuel 12:15-23, the sad conclusion fo the David and Bathsheba union. Read these verses and relate them to your children, emphasizing that David fasted and prayed for the baby for seven days, until he died. Also relate that the servants were afraid to tell David that the baby was dead, because he was so distraught about the impending death. They were surprised when he got up, cleaned up and began eating upon learning that the baby was dead. Talk about why he did this. (He was fasting and praying in case God would change His mind, but when he knew that the death prophecy was fulfilled, David knew he had to get up and live his life so that he could go to heaven and see his son.)

  1. Review once more the three super-powers of God that make Him sovereign.
  2. In view of these three things, did God know for sure the baby would die even before the baby became sick? Was he with the baby when he died? Was He also with David when the baby died? Was He also with Bathsheba at the time of the baby’s death? Was he there with the servants who discovered that the baby was dead? Was he also on His throne in heaven? Did God have the power to make the baby well, if that had been His will?
  3. What was the first thing David did after cleaning himself up? How important is it for us to keep on worshipping God faithfully, even when we have hard days or when we have failed in some area of our lives? For small children, talk to them about how much we are missing worshiping with the rest of our congregations during the COVID days and how very much we want to gather together to worship again. “Do you miss your Bible class and your teacher?” Ask them to help you sing some of the songs they sing in Bible class. Have them call their teacher and tell her that they miss getting to come and worship with her. Have older children write a letter to one of the elders (or leaders, in cases where there are no elders) and tell him that they are missing the assemblies and that they appreciate the elders’ work to try to bring us back together for worship.
  4. Pray with your children and pray that very soon the Christians will get to come together for worship again.

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #29: Proverbs 13:7–True Success

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

 

My Favorite Proverbs: Seeking True Success (Prov. 13:7).

“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.”

Don’t put much thought into it, but jot down your definition of “rich.”

There’s a well-known and powerful politician in the news being interviewed as she opens her refrigerator in her mansion’s kitchen to show a large supply of her favorite ice creams. Later it was noted that the two refrigerators behind her were commercial models and cost $2,400 each. Because of who she is, her refrigerators were noteworthy and made the news. Is she rich?

Most Decembers the Colleys will watch Ebenezer Scrooge complain to his nephew about requests to help the poor. In the story he had vastly more money than anyone around him. Was he rich?  To quote the poet,  he was “knee deep in a river of blessing, dying of thirst.”

In our congregation in Huntsville, Alabama we have many young families with children.  Blessed with jobs and homes and food to eat, they sit in the evenings before bed and teach their children the things of God from Scripture.  Are these people rich?

We also have widows who spend a portion of each day thinking of days long gone—days used in the living of youth with their husbands and children, making a life and loving one another and loving God.  Those children call and come see them today and often bring their own children to see their widowed grandmothers. Are they rich?

We have individual Christians who have no (or almost no) family to call their own except for their church family, the family of God.  Are these people rich?

Jesus has blessed us abundantly in many ways, and here’s a great example:  He taught us, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk. 12:15).  Read it over and over, ingest it and believe it.  Defining rich in terms of money is a fools game.  It isn’t a sin to have wealth but riches cannot be seen as synonymous with happiness as we make our way through life.  That philosophy will eventually crush us, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:10).  True riches are found in friends and family and especially in the security of our salvation.  Happiness is belonging and being anchored in the church for which Jesus died.  Being in that group of believers means you’re loved and have a place to extend love.

Now, are you rich?  If you’re in Christ, no matter what else is true, you truly are rich, and before you is an eternity in the greatest place you’ve never seen (2 Cor. 4:17-18ff).  Today, Christian, be happy.  Give yourself permission to acknowledge your true riches and thank God for them.  And if you’d like to learn more about becoming a Christian, I’ll be happy to show you how.

My Favorite Proverbs, Thursday: Seeking true success (Prov. 13:7).

“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;

And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.”

Don’t put much thought into it, but jot down your definition of “rich.”

There’s a well-known and powerful politician in the news being interviewed as she opens her refrigerator in her mansion’s kitchen to show a large supply of her favorite ice creams. Later it was noted that the two refrigerators behind her were commercial models and cost $2,400 each. Because of who she is, her refrigerators were noteworthy and made the news. Is she rich?

Most Decembers the Colleys will watch Ebenezer Scrooge complain to his nephew about requests to help the poor. In the story he had vastly more money than anyone around him. Was he rich?  To quote the poet,  he was “knee deep in a river of blessing, dying of thirst.”

In our congregation in Huntsville, Alabama we have many young families with children.  Blessed with jobs and homes and food to eat, they sit in the evenings before bed and teach their children the things of God from Scripture.  Are these people rich?

We also have widows who spend a portion of each day thinking of days long gone—days used in the living of youth with their husbands and children, making a life and loving one another and loving God.  Those children call and come see them today and often bring their own children to see their widowed grandmothers. Are they rich?

We have individual Christians who have no (or almost no) family to call their own except for their church family, the family of God.  Are these people rich?

Jesus has blessed us abundantly in many ways, and here’s a great example:  He taught us, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk. 12:15).  Read it over and over, ingest it and believe it.  Defining rich in terms of money is a fools game.  It isn’t a sin to have wealth but riches cannot be seen as synonymous with happiness as we make our way through life.  That philosophy will eventually crush us, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:10).  True riches are found in friends and family and especially in the security of our salvation.  Happiness is belonging and being anchored in the church for which Jesus died.  Being in that group of believers means you’re loved and have a place to extend love.

Now, are you rich?  If you’re in Christ, no matter what else is true, you truly are rich, and before you is an eternity in the greatest place you’ve never seen (2 Cor. 4:17-18ff).  Today, Christian, be happy.  Give yourself permission to acknowledge your true riches and thank God for them.  And if you’d like to learn more about becoming a Christian, I’ll be happy to show you how.

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

  1. Review the three characteristics of God (the super-powers that we introduced during Bible Time a couple of nights ago–omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence). Then quickly review the events of 2 Samuel 11.
  2. Then, by way of review, have two children (or one child and one parent) act out the scene when Nathan visited David. Have the very conversation that the two men had. Coach your David to become irate upon hearing about the man who took the lamb. Have Nathan say “Thou art the man,” and David respond with “I have sinned before God.”   Have Nathan  pronounce that God is going to let David live, but that the baby will die. Have your David be very sad and cry at that news as the “curtain falls”.
  3. Take a little bit of time tonight thinking about the phrase “I have sinned.” Remind your kids that it’s really hard sometimes to say those three words, even as adults. Remind them how easy it is to make excuses and pretend that we are not doing wrong, when we really are. Remind them that even Adam, in the garden of Eden ate the fruit and then made excuses when God came to Him. “The woman that you gave me…she gave it to me”(Genesis 3:12). Remind them that Aaron did not say “I have sinned.” When the golden calf was discovered by Moses, Aaron said, “I just threw the jewelry in the fire and out came this calf” (Exodus 32:24). Tell your children when people do wrong it is very important to just say “I have sinned,  and I am sorry and I am going to obey God.”
  4. Tell your children that Nathan left David’s house and David went in and found that the child was very ill. David slept on the ground all night and pleaded with God that the child would not die.  Tell your kids…”You know, that’s what I would do if you were very sick. I would pray and pray and pray that God would make you better. I would plead with God.” Ask your children “Does God hear his children when we plead?”  Then add “But does God always give us everything we want?” Do your best to make sure your children know that, while we may not get what we want, we DO, as His children, always get what is best.  Our Father knows what is best.  David’s baby is going to die, just as God has said. We’ll talk about that tomorrow night.
  5. Pray with your children.

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #28: Proverbs 12:22–Telling the Truth

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

“Telling the truth” (Prov. 12:22).

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”

We hate lying because we love the Lord, and He hates lying.  Spend a moment imagining how life would be if Jesus wasn’t trustworthy and you’ll quickly love His honesty. When you and I go to judgment we won’t hear Him say, “I know what the New Testament says about the church (1 Tim. 3;15), about worship (Jn. 4:24), about marriage (Matt. 19:9), about treatment of others (Matt. 5:44-45), but I’ve changed my mind about those things and you’ll be judged by new and different principles.” What if Jesus wasn’t trustworthy?  That’s a terrifying “what-if”.

Lies take many different forms, from cheating on taxes to an outright spoken falsehood, to a habit of exaggerating stories we tell in order to make them more interesting.  What all lies have in common is this: willful deception.  

Jesus insists that we tell the truth. He appeals to us, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32).  With His own lips He rebuked people who lied, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (Jn. 8:44).  Rebellion against God to live a wicked life is the product of choosing to believe the devil’s lie:“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Rom. 1:25). These are strong words of condemnation for those who are lured by the father of lies.

When we believe and follow the father of deceit, we become deceivers.  Notice the company of sin kept by those who lie from Revelation 21:8: But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Almost all, if not all, of the sins that are listed here actually require deceit in their very commission. Lying is foundational in the devil’s work. Honesty is foundational to the character of our God.

Have you lied?  Seek His loving forgiveness and resolve to never lie again. 

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8-10).

 Today, think seriously about the value of truth in your Christianity; how you rely on God’s honesty (which we take for granted), and how we must link ourselves with Him by being honest in all our dealings and words.

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

  1. Tonight’s Bible time comes from 2 Samuel 12:1-13. This is a great story, especially for younger children because they will become engrossed in the story that Nathan told David.
  2. Explain that God sent Nathan to David and that God told him what to say. Then tell the story about the pet lamb. Be sure to emphasize the part about how the man loved his lamb just like a child. Have younger children explain how they would feel if someone very rich came and took a pet rabbit or chicken or lamb and served that pet to a guest for lunch!
  3. Make sure your children understand David’s reaction when he heard the story. Before he knew it was a story about his own sin, he was very angry at how the rich man treated the man who had the pet lamb. Do we sometimes think sin is pretty bad when other people do it, but not so bad when we do it ourselves? David did not even think about how he, himself, in taking Bathsheba, was like the rich man who took the lamb. He said the man who took the lamb should die and that four of the rich man’s sheep should be given to the man from who the lamb was taken. He was angry at that rich man!
  4. Talk about the statement “You are the man.” David had just said that whoever took that lamb should die. Talk to your kids about how David really said “I am worthy of death.” But he said it BEFORE he knew that he was talking about himself.
  5. Now, in explaining the punishment, it is sufficient for younger children to know that God said the baby that was born to David and Bathsheba would die. How very sad this whole sinful chapter in David’s life was turning out! For older children have them look at the specific punishments listed. a. The sword will never depart from your house. Have your teens read about the violent deaths of Amnon (13:28-29), Absalom (18:14-15), and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:24-25). All these are sons of David.b. I will raise up evil in your own household. There was a lot of this evil “raised up.” Think about the rape of Tamar by Amnon in chapter 13. Think about the murder of Amnon by Absalom in chapter 15. Have them read about the rebellion of Absalom in chapter 15:1-12. Truly, David never had any serenity in his family after this Bathsheba point in his life.       c. Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. Have your teens read from 1 Samuel 16:21,22 about how Absalom, David’s own son, lay with the concubines on the roof of David’s palace.
  6. This one is for teens, too. When God pronounces a punishment, it is both just and it is certain. From 1 Samuel 16, what is the name of the man who advised Absalom to lie with David’s concubines? Whose father is this man per 2 Samuel 23:34?  And whose daddy is this man from 2 Samuel 11:3? Is the man who advised Absalom to shame David actually Bathsheba’s grandfather? If so, do you think he had a personal interest in shaming David? (Teens will love tracing this out.) Notice also that Nathan said that this shaming would happen in front of all of Israel. See if your teens can find where that was fulfilled in chapter 16.
  7. Now, for all your children, go back to last night’s three characteristics of God. See if they can name them. Then see if they can tell you, from tonight’s story events, an example of at least two of these characteristics. (Even pre-schoolers  should be able to tell you that God knew about David’s secret sins…that God knows everything!
  8. If you have small children, sing “My God Is so Big.”
    My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,
    There’s nothing my God can not do (Clap, Clap)
    My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,
    There’s nothing my God can not do (Clap, Clap)
    The mountains are his, the valleys are his,
    The stars are his, handy work too.
    My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,
    There’s nothing my God can not do, For you!

    https://lyricstranslate.com

  9. Pray with your children. Tell them that, tomorrow night, we will talk more about how David felt when Nathan finished talking to him.
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #27: Proverbs 12:16–Control your Temper

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

My Favorite Proverbs: Control your temper. 

“A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame” (Prov. 12:16).

Humans are unique from one another in what tempts them to sin.  What tempts one man may hold no appeal at all to another man. It behooves us to always remember, when degrading someone because of what tempts them, that we all live in the same world…a world in which all are tempted by the same Devil.  I may not understand the temptation another person fights, but I can surely sympathize with it.

Remember what James said about temptation and how we’re all different:  “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).  

For some, the number one temptation is that of losing their tempers and saying or doing things that damage, even permanently. It would be a mistake to underestimate the challenge some have controlling their tempers.  Sometimes growing up with outbursts of temper leaves a permanent impression that a child will never escape. James goes on to describe a life lived going from one problem to the next because of this sin:  “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6). 

Today’s proverb says that a “fools wrath is known at once,” which means he makes a habit of speaking his mind without ever pausing to think about the consequence.  It’s so easy in a moment of frustration to use large and crushing words such as, “You always….”,  or “You never…”,   I hate everything about you,” or “My life would be so much happier if I didn’t have to be around you.”

I heard of a husband saying to his wife, “I always speak my mind. It may not be pleasant, but you always know where you stand with me. If I’m mad, I’m like a shotgun. There’s a big blast, but then I’m over it.”  His wife responded, “You may be over it, but it always leaves this big hole in my chest.”

Do you live with someone whose greatest temptation to sin involves temper—someone who lives life from one problem to the next because of words ill-spoken? Is that someone you? Scripture anticipated this problem and offers us insight. Today, take some time to meditate on our proverb about temper.  Be sure to add the ones below, and then spend time in prayer for strength to control yourself when you are stressed and angry.

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction (Prov. 13:3).

He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly (Prov. 14:29).

A soft answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). 

Bible Time With Glenn and Cindy

The text for our Bible time tonight is 2 Samuel 11:26-27.

When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

The deed was done. Lust had turned to adultery. Deceit and murder followed and now there’s no going back. No setting it right. As this passage, in so many words states, David and Bathsheba moved on. Bathsheba mourned and then married the adulterous partner and moved into the palace with David, awaiting the birth of their baby. But the last phrase of this chapter is the most important commentary on the events that precede it:

The thing that David had done displeased the Lord. 

That’s the phrase for our study tonight.

  1. After reviewing the story up to this point by asking your children questions, emphasize to them that this last phrase of chapter 11 is pivotal. Whatever thing we may do, in this life, cannot be a good thing if it is a thing that displeases the Lord.  Think with them about how this is illustrated in this chapter of David’s life.

a. Have your children recall if they have ever moved into a new house. Remind them, if so, how busy and exciting that time is–when they see everything new and all the boxes have to be unpacked. Bathsheba is moving into a beautiful new house–the palace! Do you think it is a fun and exciting time for her? Make your children understand that when we displease the Lord, it ruins everything. Of course, Bathsheba’s life was not really happy right now.

b. Bathsheba and David had a new baby, too. If you have more than one child, remind them of the excitement of the time when a new baby is born. There is a new baby in the palace. But David and Bathsheba know, in their hearts, that everything about their lives is wrong right now. David has stolen Uriah’s wife and then made sure Uriah was killed. None of the things, that might ordinarily be wonderful and fun, are fun when God’s people do things that we know are wrong. The palace is not a very happy place right now. People in the palace have guilty consciences.

c. David thinks his big sins are secrets. But Who knows about his sin? Who always know whether we are doing right or wrong?

d. It’s important to remember three things tonight about God. See if you can remember these three things and tomorrow night, we’re going ask you to name these three things again.

  • First, God knows everything. There is nothing that God does not know. (Think of a number between 1 and 100 and ask your kids to tell you what number. Emphasize to them that God knows. He know everything.) Read to them Psalm 139:4.
  • Second, God is everywhere at all times. It is impossible for us to hide from God. (Do one round of hide and seek. Emphasize to them that, while you did not know where they were, God did.) Read to them Jeremiah 23:24.
  • Third, God can do anything He wants to do. He has all power. Ask your children to tell you something from the Bible that shows God’s amazing power. They might tell you about the plagues in Egypt or the fire from heaven at the altar of Baal or about Jesus walking on the water (Alternately, you can ask them to tell you something about creation that shows the infinite power of God.) Read to them Matthew 19:26.

(For teens, you can give the names of these attributes: omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. With all children talk about these three characteristics of God and ask them, at each juncture, if any man can do what God can do. For younger children explain that these are real true-to-life super-powers; that God really can do all of these things. That’s how he knew every detail about what David had done.)

2. Tell your kids that, tomorrow night, you will find out how God is going to let David know that he knows about all of his sins and that he is not pleased. God was there when David called for Bathsheba, because he is everywhere at all times. God knew what was in the envelope that Uriah took to Joab; because God knows everything. God can punish David anyway He wishes because God has all power.

 

Quote together God’s ideal for marriage: One man and one woman for life.

Quote together the Kidsing rule: Do the right thing.

Quote together the definition of true success: Living your life and going to heaven.

Pray with your children.

Lastly, ask them to tell you, one more time, the three things we are remembering about God.

(You may shorten to: knows everything, is everywhere, has all power.)