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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Children And The Future

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Quoting Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

There is no greater statement of hope in the future, than the bringing forth of new life. Our below replacement fertility rate tells the story of people who either don’t believe in the future, or who are unwilling to sacrifice current consumption for the sake of the future. Well-educated, high-income professional couples postpone having children until they can afford a child. This is the richest country the world has ever known, in any terms we would care to measure. How can it be that the wealthiest members of the wealthiest society the world has ever known can’t “afford” to have children? The open secret is that we don’t want to spend the time, money and energy on kids, until we are reasonably sure we will be satisfied with the outcome.

Read more of this article at tothesource. . . .

The Conversion Of Your Children

William Scribner writes here about an expectation that many Christian parents neglect. This is the expectation that parents should encourage the conversion of their children at an early age. Scribner writes:

Although praying for our children is clearly a biblical duty it is too frequently neglected. Often this arises from a secret unbelief in regard to the likelihood, or possibility, of conversion and real religion in childhood and early youth. This has arrested and prevented prayer and effort for this great blessing.

The early conversion of all the children of the Church should be intensely desired and incessantly prayed for. Many who are converted only as adults suffer from evil habits developed in their youth. Not only would these be prevented, but habits which none but a true Christian prizes — habits such as daily and systematic prayer, determined fighting with sin in its various forms, generosity, watchfulness over self, and others of a similar kind — are usually formed strongest when young.

In addition, we should expect the conversion of the children of believers as much as, if not more than, others who attend the church and who are not yet believers. The same means of grace have been enjoyed and the exhortations and warnings of the gospel are as understandable to a child as to an adult.

The biblical evidence that it is God’s will that the children in the Church should be born again at an early age, is found in Matthew 19:14:

“Let the little children to come to Me.”

Often children are not converted because parents leave their work to others. valuable though Sunday school teachers are, no parent can be released from the obligation of striving by his own personal efforts to lead his children to Christ. We are commanded to bring our children up “in the fear and nurture of the Lord.” In the case of the children of believers, parental training should be the first and usual means of their salvation. The work to be done by parents includes:

1. Instructing them in the faith.

2. Setting them a holy example.

3. Restraining them.

4. Praying for them.

(Based on “An Appeal to Parents to Pray Continually for the Welfare and Salvation of their Children” by William Scribner)

A Few Thoughts From Larry Elder’s The Ten Things You Can’t Say In America

Cover of "The Ten Things You Can't Say in...

Cover of The Ten Things You Can't Say in America

Actually, I only point out five categories of unpopular or politically incorrect thoughts and facts that secular-progressives would have us ignore.

“Hate crime legislation forces us to place greater value on some victims because of race. By all means, we should prosecute bad conduct. But if I’m standing at an ATM machine and a Ku Klux Klansman hits me in the back of the head with a brick, the operative word is not “Klansman.” It is “brick.” — P.27

“Good motives aside, white condescension does more damage than good. White condescension says to a black child, “The rules used by other ethnic groups don’t apply to you. Forget about “work hard, get an education, posses good values. No, for you, we’ll alter the rules by lowering the standards and expecting less.'” Expect less, get less.” –P.68

“The Heritage Report further showed that children born outside of wedlock were more likely to engage in early sexual activity, and themselves have children out of wedlock. The report further stated, “Compared to children living with both biological parents in similar socioeconomic circumstances, children of never-married mothers exhibit 68 percent more antisocial behavior, 24 percent more headstrong behavior, 33 percent more hyperactive behavior, 78 percent more peer conflict, and 53 percent more dependency. Overall, children of never-married mothers have behavioral problems that scores nearly three times higher than [those of] children raised in comparable intact families.” — P.162

“People in Canada wait in lines for hip replacements. According to an orthopedic surgeon in Ontario, the wait for an office appointment is four to eight months, and another twelve months to twenty-two months for the surgery.” — P.183

“Thirty-One states in America allow citizens to carry concealed weapons, nearly all, first requiring both a permit and training. In all, thirty-one states, the murder rate declined. True, most categories of crime in America are declining, but the states that allow citizens the right to carry concealed weapons saw even bigger decreases in homicide.” — P.272

How Do You Develop Godly Character?

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of t...

Descent of the Holy Spirit

As I pointed out in my earlier article on “Success,” God is very concerned about your character development as a Christian.  James L. Christensen wrote, “The purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes.  It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life.”  I can think of nothing more important in the development of character than the exposure to and reading of God’s word in order to find God’s Will.

Proverbs 11:3 tells us that, “The integrity of the upright guides them. . . .” Character is the result of a moral compass that determines how we think and act.  Intentional concern for the condition of that compass is also an important quality of character.  The psalmist expresses this when he prays, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (139:23-24)

God is not impressed by our reputations.  He has unlimited insight into the real quality of our character.  Have you ever been disappointed in the process of getting to know someone only to find they have real issues with integrity?  Think how disappointed God must be in His children, who are saved by grace, when they fail to repent and call on the power of the Holy Spirit to help them deal with character issues.  Too few of us understand, as did Teddy Roosevelt, that – “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

If we choose to develop personal godly character traits and wish to leave behind us a generation of godly children, who grow into men and women with the character traits we most desire, then we must certainly teach these traits to our children by lesson and example.  The Bible instructs us, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)  If you want to teach godly character, it is important to have it around the home.

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