Recently The State of Theology survey was published by Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research. Ligonier says the every-two-years survey is designed to “… take the theological temperature of the United States to help Christians better understand today’s culture and equip the church with better insights for discipleship.” The title may sound academic, but the report is essential, sober reading for every believer. For all its discouraging news, it is full of insights that have the potential, by God’s grace, to awaken American believers to the need for theological clarity.
What characterizes good Bible teaching for children? Number one on the list is obvious: teaching that acquaints children with the whole counsel of God through the faithful proclamation of the Scriptures, with the aim of making children wise for salvation in Christ. But over my years of teaching, I also have become more and more aware of a second item on the list: good Bible teaching needs to be undergirded and permeated — soaked — with earnest prayer.
Christian dads, everything we do should be marked with intentionality—even how we take dominion over our schedules.
Using data analysis, our smartphones and smartwatches can monitor all kinds of details of our lives: our health, our money, our media consumption, and more. My phone often informs me about my schedule. “You have a full day tomorrow that starts early,” it says.
TimeSpent is an app that goes further. Inspired by the late Peter Drucker, who coached leaders to “know thy time,” it helps users complete the exercise Drucker recommended of keeping a log of their time in order to determine what they are doing over the course of 24-hour time periods.
What would such a tool show about your life? What would it indicate about your work, your exercise, or your leisure time? More importantly, what would it indicate about your life as a Christian dad?
How are you praying for the next generation?
Over the past several months we are concentrating our prayers on the larger purposes of God for our children, our grandchildren, the children in our church, and the children we have the opportunity to teach--the kind of prayers that we are confident align with the will of God and can be assured of His answers. For example, right now, the church where I serve needs about 90 more workers to volunteer in the next two weeks. Certainly we should not hesitate to ask God for those 90 workers, but we want to concentrate our prayers on larger purposes for which those workers are needed. The challenge for us has been to “seek first” these larger purposes for our children and trust God that all the other things (like the 90 workers) will be provided.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done (Psalm 78:4).
At two years old, David is finding his singing voice. From the backseat he warbles about “The Wheels of the Bus,” and in the bathtub he chirps out “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.” But yesterday I found him on our bed, thumbing through Daddy’s Bible, singing “Jesus Loves Me.” We got out the ESV Bible my parents gave David when he was born and sat on the bed, looking at the pictures and singing the songs he had learned about God. One of those songs was Praise Him, Praise Him, All Ye Little Children:
Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children, God is love, God is love; Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children, God is love, God is love.
What is greatness in God’s sight? Too often I wish for my children, (and even for myself), greatness that is praised in the world’s eyes: high grades, academic accolades, advanced degrees, leadership positions, world-shaping achievements, visible fame, etc. This has been a temptation in every age.
As a conclusion to his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told a story that, for generations, has been famous among Sunday school children and, for decades, has captured the desire of our hearts for the next generations:
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27).
As a parent and teacher I find these words from Jesus especially sobering,
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me… (Matthew 15:8-9) And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:26-27)
After an unusually long, cold winter, it's finally summer! But churches are already thinking ahead to the fall. What will they teach the students next year; the current curriculum or something new? There are many varied reasons for choosing one curricula over another. Here are 12 reasons why you should consider teaching the Truth78 curricula: