Browsing Tag

Riches

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #42: Proverbs 15:16-17–Treasure with Trouble

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:

Favorite Proverbs: Proverb 15:16-17…

“Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.”

This has to be one of our top ten.  If you are recently married, you’d better get this truth into your home before the kids come along and you find yourselves in a dark place.  It has to be instilled consistently and early:  A godly, Christ-centered home where we love one another will always be vastly better than a house with wealth accompanied by trouble, hatred and disobedience to God.  

Think right now about your career. What are you trying to accomplish with that employment? What is the greater meaning of this work? Is work the most important thing in your life?  Does that job support your family or does your family support the job?

Does harmony and contentment thrive in your home because Jesus lives there and is the center of all you do?  Finish this statement: When harmony breaks down in my home it is usually caused by ________________. In many cases you will find that, behind whatever you wrote in the blank, is an emphasis on something material rather than a priority on pleasing God.  

I try to pour this principle into the hearts of people in pre-marriage counseling.  The value and size of a house doesn’t reveal the amount of happiness dwelling inside.  Happiness can thrive in a shack as well as a mansion.  Never assume that where there is wealth there is joy, because they often don’t live in the same place.

Our Lord said “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Contentment is in prioritizing His kingdom and your place in it. 

In your meditation times today, add this important proverb.  Sometime during the day, read it to your family, explain it, and let your children know this is the driving thesis of your home.

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy:

Matthew 5:31ff (continued)

Jesus said “I was in prison and you came unto me.”

  1. Read Matthew 26:47-56 to your children and find out what the disciples did when Jesus was actually arrested–when he became an innocent prisoner. They became so afraid that they reacted in a way that we don’t ever want to imitate. How does Jesus tell us, as His disciples, in our Matthew 25 text that we can be with Jesus when He is in prison?
  2. Of course, most of us today in the United States cannot visit a prison during a pandemic, since there are restrictions against such. In fact, it is difficult to gain permission to enter at any time. But we can certainly, right now, support the prison ministers we know who have given/give lots of hours and  experience physical and emotional stress as they visit and teach the gospel in prisons. Tonight, have your children write letters of thanks and encouragement to a prison minister that you know. If you do not know one, let me recommend a faithful one for your children to write. Have your younger children draw pictures. This will encourage our brother who has devoted years to a prison work here in Huntsville.

Mr. George Coffell

c/o West Huntsville church of Christ

1519 Old Monrovia Road NW

Huntsville, AL 35806

If you have the Hannah’s Hundred CD, sing the Matthew 25 song once more along with the Matthew 5:16 song. Pray with your children. Remember to pray for the prisoners in our land; that the gospel may be taught to those who are in need of salvation and who may listen to the Word.

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 #11: Proverbs 6:17–A Proud Look

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 proud look (Prov. 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.

What is “a proud look”?  Since I was young I’ve wondered if this had to do with the way I look to others (Do others see me as prideful?)  or the way I look at others.(Do I actually look down my nose at people?) Either way, the lesson is the same: a proud look is a violation of this law: “But he who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (2 Cor. 10:17).  

Self-respect is not wrong.  That’s evident from another familiar proverb:“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov. 22:1).  I should care what people think of me and do my best to reflect Christ. I should strive for excellence; to be the best I can be. Therefore I care about how I look, how I speak, and what attitudes I display at any given moment.  Yet, when a man begins to admire himself independently of his Creator, he is in danger, and one common sign of this heart-sin is a proud look.  It separates a man from the people around him and makes him somewhat unapproachable—at least to some.  He may not realize it, but, in his self-pride, he has implied that he fails to acknowledge his constant need for mercy from His God.  

Perhaps the clearest statement on this danger came from the Apostle Paul:

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3).

For today, let us be especially aware of our “look.”

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble…Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:6,10).

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you

but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God”  (Mic. 6:8).

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14)

“When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2).

 

Story Time from Glenn and Cindy: Concluding Genesis 45

1.  There were still five years of famine ahead (45:11).  Joseph said to his astonished brothers, “You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have” (45:10).  At that moment, Joseph came back into their lives as a savior, supplying all they needed: forgiveness, food, and a secure place to live.  They had treated him so badly, yet he cared for them.  Review Romans 12:20-21. These lessons are so very important and relevant to children: 

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Have your children repeat “Overcome evil with good.” Have them prepare a card to send to someone who has not always been kind to them. Tell this child your family is missing him/her during the quarantine. Stress that you are overcoming evil (unkindness or selfishness) with good. 

2.  Read Genesis 45:17-23.  Pharaoh gave Joseph’s brothers more riches than they could imagine: the best of all the land of Egypt. They could hardly believe their eyes!

Compare this picture with how we will feel entering heaven one day:

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son (Rev. 21:1-7).

Talk to your children about how you can hardly wait for all of your family to be together in heaven. Talk to them about how lots of people in our world are sick right now. Talk about specific people they love who are sick right now. Talk to them about the reason for the present quarantine. Explain that none of these sicknesses will ever “happen” in heaven.

3.  When Joseph’s aged father, Jacob, saw his sons at the front of their house with all these riches, and heard them explain that Joseph was both alive and powerful, “his heart stood still,” meaning he was speechless with the shock of it all. When he was finally able to accept that it was true, verse 28 says, “Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive.  I will go see him before I die.”

Of all the many riches laid before Jacob, the greatest was that Joseph was alive and he could see him and hug him and talk with him.  What are your greatest riches? What means the most of all to you?  

In connection to this, teach your children that the answer to the question, “What is true success?” is, “living your life and going to heaven.” Repeat this till your children know it.

4. Explain to your children what an “enemy” is. You can talk to them about enemies on Star Wars or in stories like The Three Little Pigs or you can identify the Riddler or the Joker from old Batman episodes. You could talk to them about the wicked stepmother in Snow White or Cinderella. Ask them if we ever have enemies. Explain to them that we do not want to have enemies, but, when we do, we will always show them kindness and pray for them as Jesus taught us in Luke 6:28. Read this verse with your children. Pray with your children. Be sure to pray for enemies tonight.