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8-17-2015 Where Is Father?

Last year, 4 out of 10 children in the U.S.A. were born to unwed mothers, 2/3 of whom are under the age of 30. Of the 12 million single-parent families, 80% are headed by mothers. Of children under 18, 1 in 4 (about 17.4 million) are raised without a father, and 45% live below the poverty level. “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21 NKJV). Every male who sires a child, but isn’t around to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV), will give account on the Day of Judgment! “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). But what if they don’t know who their parents are? “The LORD has been very angry with your fathers” (Zechariah 1:2 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#father, #male, #mother, #single-parent

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(#191) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:24-Robbing “The Greatest Generation”

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 28:24: “Whoever robs his father or his mother, And says, ‘It is no transgression,’ The same is companion to a destroyer.”

Respect for parents keeps civilization alive. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12) is repeated in the Law of Jesus Christ: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth’” (Ephesians 6:1-3). It is this endearing quality in humanity that is the backbone of an enduring society. In addition to our fathers passing along to us “life,” they should have “corrected us,” and we should have “paid them respect” (Hebrews 12:9). But the commandment honors both father “and mother!” A mother’s womb is a person’s first safe house where God develops it (Psalm 139:13-16), and while unborn, the baby has not done “any good or evil” (Romans 9:11). The “fruit of the womb” is our inheritance from God (Psalm 127:3), and only godless, vicious people would “have no pity on the fruit of the womb” (Isaiah 13:17-18).

It’s too bad in our society, often it is honoring one or the other parent, or neither at all! Whether we break into their houses and rob their possessions, or stealing our time away from them, or letting greedy government take their earnings, when      and how do we honor our parents? Because they have lived through deprivation and destruction, they have been termed “the greatest generation.” But do they deserve our dereliction of duty to “honor” them? Not just that generation, but each generation that includes our parents deserves our “honor” and “respect.”

The Israelite Nation rejected God’s Son (John 1:11-12), and their destruction also included what they had done at home: “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death” (Mark 13:12). What have we done to either protect or rob our parents? No child should dishonor its parent(s) and pass it off by saying “it is no transgression”—because it is! No society can last that disrespects its parents!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #father, #honor, #mother, #parents, #proverbs, #respect, #unborn, #wisdom, #womb

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(#97) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:20-Home-grown Heartbreak

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:20: “A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.”

“A wise son” has learned God’s Wisdom and nothing is more satisfying than for a father to see that in his son! “A foolish man” has rejected God’s Wisdom and nothing hurts a mother more than to see her son “despise” (lightly regard, disregard, disdain) her! Too often the son who is overindulged and overprotected by his mother is neither prepared to love and appreciate her, or any other woman, for that matter! Before marrying any man, a woman should know, firsthand, his attitude toward his own mother! Reverse the proverb for the father and it reads: “A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him” (Proverbs 17:25). Both parents share in the “grief” and “bitterness” when their “son” is “foolish.” There is no joy, and only anguish, when parents see their son a “fool.” Another proverb shows how it could be even worse: “A foolish son is the ruin of his father, And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping” (Proverbs 19:13). The situation becomes intolerable for both the father and the son if the woman engages in “a continual dripping” (nagging, blaming, berating) for that condition! Each soul has made free choices and is responsible for his, or her, own. “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). No son can justify his disrespect of his parents, disregard for others’ safety, or disgraceful conduct by what his parents did, or didn’t do, if he is trying to “be his own man!” Yet another proverb shows that the son who pushes away from his parents has nothing of which to be proud: “He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach” (Proverbs 19:26). Still another proverb shows what parents can anticipate when home values work: “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice” (Proverbs 23:24-25).

“Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth” (Proverbs 29:3). Jesus used such a “foolish son” who “wasted his possessions with prodigal living” to show how the father (like the Father in Heaven!) waited in hopes that his son would repent and return of his own humbled choice, which happened (Luke 15:11-24)! Many treasures and family fortunes have been squandered in wasteful sins which helped no one in a beneficial way. God has waited for foolish sons to come to Him, for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  Isn’t it about time you returned to God? “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #bitterness, #delight, #family, #father, #foolish-son, #glad, #grief, #mother, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #prodigal, #proverbs, #rejoice, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom, #wise-son

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #11

(#11) A Father’s Wisdom: Get Wisdom! 4:1-9

Verses 1-2: To “hear” a father’s “instruction” places a responsibility upon the father to give “good doctrine,” hopefully, because father knows better. Directing children’s’ attention “to know understanding” gives them a quest for knowledge, which should not be “forsaken.”

Verses 3-4: A father would certainly want to rightly teach his son, especially when he is “the only one” held as special in his mother’s eye. The father is responsible for setting his son on the right track by giving him information that, obeyed, causes him to “live.”

Verses 5-9: Get after “Wisdom” and “understanding,” these are the primary goal to be obtained. DO NOT forget by turning away, for we have short-term memories and must follow through our knowing Wisdom with action based upon that knowledge. The same application is made to “faith” in James 1:22-25. DO NOT forsake “her” to receive her blessing. Stated positively, “love her” in a close relationship. Wisdom is the “principal,” or primary achievement in life, all else pales into nothingness. While getting wisdom, get “understanding,” also, for lessons without application are useless. “Exalt her” is an admonition to keep her in her proper place. Wisdom should be the leading reason and predominant cause of all we do. Promotions and “honor” will accrue to those who “embrace her” because a wise person is of great value to every society. This was how Joseph was chosen by Pharaoh (Genesis 41:33-41); a city was delivered (Ecclesiastes 9:13-16); and Jesus was found (Matthew 2:1-18). A life governed by Wisdom will be honored by “a crown of glory.” In New Testament terms we read: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8) Clearly, a life lived in obedience to Jesus Christ is a wise life which will receive “the crown of life” and “of righteousness.”

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #father, #instruction, #obedience, #wisdom

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God and “The Pope” Agree!

          According to the “Living faith” section C of The Huntsville Times, Friday, June 14, 2013, the article on Religion & Church News carried an item titled, “NO, I did not want to be Pope.” It was an interview from McClatchy-Tribune that quoted the 3-month-in-office “Pope” of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis, as saying: “’No, I didn’t want to be pope. A person who wants to be pope does not love himself,’ the pontiff added, in a trademark show of humility.’”  Based upon his comments, God would agree that:

1. Since “Pope” is a Latin term for “father,” and since Jesus Christ forbade anyone using the term “father” as a term for a spiritual leader (Matthew 23:9), then God would agree that Francis should not be “pope!”

2. Francis “didn’t want to be pope,” a position which is supposed to be the head of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Apostle Paul claimed that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:9-11). Since God’s “mighty power” raised Jesus from the dead and “put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23), then God placed Jesus Christ over His church, not a “pope!” Thus, God would agree that He didn’t want Francis to be “pope” over the church!”

3. Francis said, “A person who wants to be pope does not love himself.” God’s Word has said that, after “the falling away,” “and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), but whose followers would be “among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10), then Francis must not “love himself” for taking the position of apostasy that God condemns! God would agree that any man who takes such a position “does not love himself” or the truth, either!

4. Contrary to the article cited above, there is no “trademark show of humility” in anyone who opposes God, sits in God’s temple, or claims to forgive sins which only God can do (Matthew 9:1-8)! Jesus Christ condemned public displays of the Pharisees, which are remarkably like that of a “pope:” “all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues” (Matthew 23:5-6). No “pope” has ever manifested a “trademark show of humility,” while claiming to be equal with God! The real head of the church of Christ, “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). No “pope” has ever humbled himself to die on a cross for the church of Christ! God would agree that there is no “trademark show of humility” in this, or any other “pope.”

It’s too bad the “pope” refuses to tell his followers what Jesus said would give salvation in Mark 16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Will this “pope” agree with God?

#church-of-christ, #father, #god, #humble, #hypocrisy, #jesus-christ, #pharisees, #pope, #roman-catholic-church, #salvation, #show-of-humility, #teaching

Daddy, Father, & God

I never cease to be amazed at how children learn and put concepts together (sometimes incorrectly).

Our third son, Abram, is about to turn 3 years old. A couple mornings ago he came up to me at breakfast and called me “God.” I’ve been called the devil before (seriously), but this was new. I quickly corrected my son and tried to figure out where this thought had originated. He resisted my correction initially (which is typical for him) and called me “God” again a couple more times. Finally, I figured out the root of the misconception (I think).

We often begin our meal prayers to God with “Father.” Abram recently learned that I am his “father.” I can’t remember the context but recently I had told him I was his father and he retorted (as only a 2-year-old can) with: “You’re not the father, you’re the daddy!” Perhaps he finally figured out that I am the father–which, to his way of thinking, meant I must also be “God,” too!

I think he’s got it straight now, but only time will tell! 🙂

P.S. Recalling this event reminded me of Abram’s first prayer before a meal (probably around his 2nd birthday): “Father. Food. Amen.” It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

#daddy, #father, #god

"I Will Talk to my Father"

I use “Father” when I address the Lord. A friend who works with Hospice, and whose husband is a denominational preacher, told me on one occasion that she prays, “Good morning, Daddy.” I imagine you won’t be able to forget it either.

#father