Browsing Tag

Lying

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 #16: PROVERBS 6:19–A False Witness who Speaks Lies

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: A False Witness who Speaks Lies (Proverbs 6:19)

Proverbs 6:16-19

These six things the Lord hates, 

Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil,

A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren.

Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard so badly he could taste it.  I’ve stood and preached at the Jezreel valley where Naboth once cultivated this piece of ground, and today it is a beautiful, albeit empty, valley. The evidence of Naboth’s work has disappeared with the passing years, Ahab’s palace is reduced to a memory, and the people who then lived have been in their graves for centuries.  But there was a day when things like a vineyard which adjoined his palace meant a great deal to King Ahab.  His wicked wife Jezebel employed a couple of men who would lie for money, and that’s what they did. Their false testimony cost Naboth his life (1 Kings 21).  God hated what was done on that day because He loved truth and justice.

Few of us will sit in a court of law in which our testimony will be heard, but we all often produce judgments of people. You can hear a sermon about Jesus’ teaching on judging on our website and learn more about this common form of false testimony: https://westhuntsville.org/sermons/ f

For today, consider God’s teaching of commitment to justice, and let the inescapable fact of His universal truthfulness thrill your heart. 

“He loves righteousness and justice;

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psa. 33:5)

 

“For the Lord loves justice,

And does not forsake His saints;

They are preserved forever,

But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off” (Psa. 37:28).

 

“To do righteousness and justice

Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Prov. 21:3).

 

“These are the things you shall do:

Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;

Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace” (Zech. 8:16).

One day God moved aside to allow the injustice of evil men time enough to deliver His Son to be crucified (Rom. 8:32), and, as Isaiah wrote of Jesus, “In His humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth” (Acts 8:33).

Story Time from Glenn and Cindy:  Genesis 50

1. At the close of Genesis 49 Scripture describes Jacob’s death in these words: “He drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.”

The same was said about the death of his grandfather Abraham (Gen. 25:8); that he was gathered to his people. Discuss with your children that Jacob’s body wasn’t taken back to Canaan, where his fleshly relatives were buried, at this time. That wasn’t the meaning of these words.  This rather has reference to our spiritual family.  “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:14-15).  The most important people in my life are those who are Christians and they are my family in the best sense. We are family. 

Have your children think of the things they love to do with their family at West Huntsville or your congregation; things that they can’t wait to be able to do again. Sing this song with your younger children, to the tune of “Mary had a Little Lamb” 

Family is in the Lord

In the Lord

In the Lord

Family is in the Lord

The people that I love. 

 

I can’t wait to be with them

Be with them

Be with them

I can’t wait to be with them

The people that I love. 

2.  As chapter fifty begins, Jacob’s funeral is described. Read verse 1-3.  Explain mourning, and embalming, and funerals in an age-appropriate way with your children. If they have never attended a funeral, this discussion, once again,  could be good preparation.  Answer their questions in a gentle and thoughtful way. Death will probably steal some people they love and create painful days to come in their young lives. Remind them that the only important question when someone dies is “Did he/she obey God?”

3.  Impress your children with the truth that some sins have a lingering effect in your mind. Joseph had shown great kindness and forgiveness to his brothers, and yet, after their Dad died, the Bible says this:  

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.”

So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph:I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.’Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him” (Gen. 50:15-17).

Discuss the concept of a guilty conscience, and how that some sins create more strain against the conscience than others. Have older children talk about sins that might really hurt the conscience later on. Have they experienced this? Why is this true? 

Then talk about forgiveness through Christ.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1: 7-9). Explain to older children that the cleansing in 1John 1:7 is a continual action; that, if we are Christians, the blood keeps on cleansing us. Use the example of a thermostat which detects a need to work in your house and how it automatically “kicks in” when needed. That’s how the blood is, only infinitely more accurate and powerful.  It activates whenever we sin, if we are doing our best to walk in His light. 

Tomorrow night we will finish up the narrative of the life of Joseph with a quiz game. We will see which family member knows the most about Joseph. 

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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #12: Proverbs 6:17–A Lying Tongue

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:  Seven Things God Hates: A Lying Tongue (Prov. 6:16-19)

When you were a child and consciously tried lying for the first time, you had no idea you had taken a small, childish part of something of this magnitude in this world.  Satan invented it (Jn. 8:44) and has enjoyed practicing lying since he smiled assuringly and said to Eve, “You shall not surely die.” She believed him and introduced sin into the world.

Lying is bad because truth is good.  Christ is the epitome of truth; so much so that Scripture says He is the truth (Jn. 14:6).  Use your imagination and you’ll be shocked with how frightening things would become if God wasn’t opposed to lying. The Bible would not be dependable. You couldn’t be sure if Jesus died on the cross to offer redemption to mankind or not.  You wouldn’t be confident that the church was the sphere of the saved (Col. 1:13).  Did God really create this world in six days (Gen. 1-2)?  These are ridiculous things to question, of course, but they illustrate just how critical it is that our God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2).  I love Him for His love of truth because it gives me security.  I want to emulate Him in this love.  

 The same is true in my marriage.  I love my wife because she always tells the truth.  As our children grew, we were persistent in stopping lying quickly before it could become a devastating habit.  We talked of the truth and valued truth. The same value is absolutely necessary in my work, my medical treatments, my friendships, and my banking.  Any of these things can be corrupted by lying.  The Psalmist wrote, “You shall destroy those who speak falsehood.”  This is obviously a serious subject.

I’m thankful the Gospel is described in Scripture as “the truth”.  Meditate on that today as you reaffirm your love for truth in all aspects of your life:

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever”  (1 Pet. 1:22-23).  

 

 

                                                                     

 

Story Time from Glenn and Cindy:  Genesis 46

1. Just before Jacob went to Egypt to live in Goshen God reassured him about this major decision:  “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there” (Gen. 46:3).

God didn’t give Jacob details about how he would protect him and why he shouldn’t fear.  He simply said, “I am God….”  Sometimes your Mom or Dad will tell you to do something and you respond, “Why?”.  The answer is, “Because I’m your father,” or, “I’m your mother.”   What does it mean when they say that?  What did it mean when God said this to Jacob?

“Be still, and know that I am God”  (Psa. 46:10). Sing this verse now if your children know the tune (or make up your own tune. “Twinkle, twinkle little star works pretty well.)

2.  Speak to your children about the genealogy presented here (vs. 8-27).  Explain that this will help us with historical facts as the nation grows great in number,  but also teach them that such genealogies give us a perspective about ourselves—that while we are important to God, we are one small part of a big picture.  For all these people, who lived their lives and are now gone,  one thing ultimately mattered:  whether or not they were faithful to the God of Jacob.  Make a brief genealogy of your family beginning with your children’s great-grandparents and coming down to them. Show them pictures, if you have them, and put those photos in a line.    Teach them that they belong to this family and that they are important. Teach them that all that matters is whether or not they obey God and teach their children to obey him.

3.  Joseph taught his brothers how to speak in Egypt about to their occupation.  It was better to Egyptians to hear them say, “We work with livestock” than to say “We are shepherds.”   Use this lesson to teach your children about being polite and the kinds of things that endear them to other people instead of being offensive.  Give them examples. You may even want to let them tell you which sounds better:

It is better to say “No, thank-you,” than to say “I really don’t like squash.”

It is better to say “Excuse me,” than to say “You are in my way.”

It is better to say, “Please be quiet for a moment.” than to say “Shut up.”

It is better to say, ” Great dinner. May I be excused,” than to say “I’m done. I don’t want any more.”

It is better to say, “May I see that?” than to say ” Give me that.”

It is better to say, “That was fun. Now let’s do…” than to say “I’m tired of doing this.”

4. Talk with your children about the moment when Joseph hugged his father for the first time in many years. Talk about how hard it is for parents and children to be separated. If there has been a time when your children have been away from you, talk about how happy it was to come back together. Talk to them about how our Father, God, does not want to be separated from us and that only when we choose sin do we ever have to be separated from God. Talk about how happy it is for God when people who have left Him repent and come back to Him. Do your children know anyone who has recently done that?

5.  Pray with your children. Ask God to help us remember that He is God.

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance…

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons from Philippians 4:8 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. Blessings!

From Glenn:

As the virus separates our West Huntsville family from the assemblies for worship, prayer and study, we need to stay near our Lord.  That involves thinking on the right things day and night (Psalm 1:2).

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil. 4:8-9).

This week, every day, I will post thoughts in the order that the apostle Paul listed them in this important “finally” verse of Philippians.

Monday — Whatever is true…

I love truth in all aspects of my life, even in things that hurt, because the alternative to truth is a lie.  Lies destroy lives. In John 8, Jesus told Jewish leaders that their spiritual father was the devil, because they imitated his lying.  The trials of Jesus were filled with lies (Mt. 26) and, when He was resurrected from the dead,  wicked men paid money to the tomb guards to entice them to lie.  

Loving something implies hating.  If I really love something or someone, I hate things which will do them harm; disease, violence, crime.  Similarly,  a man who doesn’t hate lying doesn’t really love truth.  Ask yourself, “Do I really hate lying?”

According to Proverbs, friends who lie to you actually hate you.  “A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin” (Prov. 26:28).

Marriage cannot survive without truth. Every lie that is told does damage to the foundation of love and, thus, before long, the home will irreparably collapse because it has no foundation on which to stand.  Never lie to your spouse.  Never lie to your parents or children.

What distinguishes the church from men’s religions is adherence to the word of God. The true church is one which is described by Paul as the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).  I love the church of Christ for this reason.  I need to know God’s will in order to please Him.

Want God’s peace? Want to live a life that’s praiseworthy?  Think on truth; Value it. Love truth in all areas of your life.  Today meditate on the importance of truth in your life.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;

The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,

Yea, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them Your servant is warned,

And in keeping them there is great reward.

(Psalm 19:7-11)

Additionally, I’d like to challenge those of you who have children to use this time to build family closeness in the Lord.  For that reason, I’m also suggesting that all our  WH families be on the same nightly “story time” character: Joseph. He, like us, faced times that must have felt surreal.  

Monday — Tell your children the account of Joseph being sold by his brothers from Genesis 37. Be sure and emphasize these details:  

1.  Reuben, the oldest brother, tried to be a good leader and understood that doing the right thing meant speaking up when the crowd was going the wrong way (vs. 21-22).  Through our lives we must do the same. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

2.  When Judah had the idea to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites, and explained the awful plan to his brothers, the Bible says they “listened.”  What are some things you should teach your children that they must never listen to? Talk about these with your kids.

3.  Lying often accompanies sin: adultery,  stealing, disrespecting parents’ authority, etc.. . How did the sin of selling Joseph involve lying to Jacob (Jn. 8:44)?

4.  Joseph couldn’t see it right then, but God was watching over and protecting him even in this hard, frightening time.  He will be with us too (Heb. 13:5-6).

Close with this little song, if you have very young children (to the tune of the chorus of “Blessed be the Name”):

I must tell the truth.

I must tell the truth.

I must never, ever tell a lie.

I must tell the truth.

I must tell the truth.

I must never, ever tell a lie. 

Then pray together. Include a prayer that He will help you to always be truthful with each other and to walk in the truth of His Word.