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Archive for October 2015

Faith: Believing When I Don’t See It

“The objective to living is to pass on a heritage of faith to those you love and to be with them in eternity.” Dr. James Dobson

This quote by Dr. Dobson has become foundational for me as a father as well as my focus for ministry. I believe that the most important thing that we can do for the next generation is to leave a legacy of faith. A good example of leaving a legacy of faith is what Paul said to Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Timothy 1:5). Lois was a woman of great faith who passed that faith on to her daughter, Eunice, who in turn passed that faith on to her son, Timothy. Now that is a legacy of faith!

Two generations from now, will there be anybody spreading the faith in because of you? Did you pass on your trust in God to anyone else? Will a legacy of faith be left because of spiritual deposits you left in the lives of others?

Well, you can’t leave a legacy of faith until you know what faith is. What is faith? To get a clear idea of what faith is you have to go to and read Hebrews 11 which is God’s hall of fame for faith. The first thing we read is, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). So, faith is believing without seeing. Faith is believing when I don’t see it. Faith is visualizing the future. It is seeing things in advance. It is believing it before you see it. People often say, “seeing is believing”, but faith is the opposite. You have to believe first and then you will see.

This is the way it is for us who desire to leave a legacy of faith for the next generation. We will not be able to leave a legacy of faith and spend eternity with our children without first having faith. We have to believe first. When we do this, we will see the fruit of our faith in the next generation and the generation after that, and so on.

So, is your faith directed toward what you can see or what you can’t see? Is your faith focused on the here and now or is it future focused? Are you prepared to leave a legacy of faith?

If you enjoy these devotionals, please like, follow and share the Legacy of Faith Facebook page:
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“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Harris III

Harris the III master illusionist & story teller is coming to CCC on Nov 1, learn more on the church’s page: http://cccomaha.org/harris

Watch his Ted Talk: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYRfjzG-4vs (“Ridiculous” | BJ Harris III | TEDxOaksChristianSchool)

You Have an Ally

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Over the past few weeks I have been involved in conversations from concerned parents regarding a new Human Growth and Development curriculum for the Omaha Public Schools. Since I have not seen specifics on this curriculum, I cannot speak to the details about it. However, one of the concerns that is emerging is that our young elementary aged children are going to be introduced to sexually graphic and explicit material that their innocent eyes should not see and their innocent ears should not hear.

These conversations have highlighted the fact that we are in a battle against the world for the souls of our children. It is a battle that many parents are not equipped to fight, but the good news is that we are not in this battle alone. We have an Ally who is bigger than the influence of world. We have an Ally who goes before us in this battle and who will be with us in this battle. We have an Ally who will never leave or forsake us. Because we have this Ally, we should not be afraid or discouraged.

Having this Ally does not mean that we are to be passive. You see, it is parents who are first and foremost responsible for their children. It is not the public school system nor is it the church who will give an account for your children; it will be you as a parent. So now is the time for all of us to step up and fight for our children. It is time for us to engage our children and spend quality time with them. It is time for us to interrupt heaven and be in prayer for our children.

Parents, if you are not teaching and equipping your children, someone or something else will. So be involved in what is happening in their lives and don’t be a reason that they fall. When parenting gets hard, scary, or discouraging, remember you are not alone. You have an Ally who is with you wherever you go. Therefore, you can be strong and courageous throughout your journey as a parent.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Comparison Trap

I have a confession to make…I compare myself to other people. I compare myself as a father, as a husband, and unfortunately, as a man of God. What about you? Do you compare yourself to other people? As an employee do you compare your work and productivity to others? Do you compare yourself to others as a friend or a neighbor? What about as a student, are you comparing yourself to others? As a spouse or a parent, to whom do you compare yourself? Or, what about your walk with Jesus, are you comparing yourself to someone there?

Have you ever wondered why we compare ourselves to others? It’s not a healthy thing to do, and yet we do it. Is it because we are jealous that somebody has something we want? Are they better looking than me? Is their personality more engaging than mine? Do they make more money, have a bigger house, or drive a nicer car? For me, I find myself being envious of others because they appear to have a better relationship with Christ than I do or they have a church position that I wish I had. My envy causes me to compare myself to them and I think that I can do that better than they can. The truth is that I’m embarrassed by this and I don’t like this about myself.

Here’s the thing with comparison. When we compare, we compare the worst of ourselves to the best of another. When we compare, we fail to trust in our set of unique gifts and talents which can never be compared by others because they are unique to us. When we compare, we focus on the wrong person. Rather than focusing on who we can change (ourselves) we focus on others whom we can’t change. Finally, when we focus on others, it robs us of joy and it adds no value, meaning or fulfillment to our lives. Instead it distracts us from those things and it distracts us from the One who created us.

In the Bible, we are told about a man named Joshua. He would be the leader of God’s people and lead them into the Promised Land. However, Joshua was replacing Moses as leader of God’s people. This is the same Moses who had a face to face relationship with God (Exodus 33:11). This is the same Moses of whom it is written, “No prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt-to Pharaoh and to all his officials. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12). Do you think it would be difficult for Joshua to not be concerned about his ability to follow in the footsteps of such a great leader and compare himself to Moses? I wonder if he did. If he did, he had these powerful words from God to comfort him, “Moses my servant is dead” (Joshua 1:1). In other words, “Don’t compare yourself to him. I chose you. I put you where you are. I believe in you and I am with you.”

So, who in your life and what area of your life are you comparing yourself to others? Read those encouraging words from God to Joshua and let them be words of hope and joy to you and let them free you from comparing yourself to others.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Love Is/Love is Not/Love Is

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us what love is, “Love is patient and kind” (1 Cor. 13:4). Patience and kindness are the positive components of love and are good things to practice within our families, especially in our relationships with our children. But too often, we practice the negative side of love; what love is not.

Paul writes that “love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant”. These expressions of love are the opposite of selfless service to others. Our love for our families and our children should not be rude or overbearing. In a deeper and more personal way, our love for our families should never want its own way. Furthermore, love is not irritated or angered. The way we are called to love is by bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, and enduring all things. It’s this last component of love; love endures all things, that makes me pause and think. I pause because I see so many people who aren’t willing to endure. The first sign of difficulty or pain in their lives and they flee. Their marriages get hard and they convince themselves that the love isn’t there anymore so they quit their marriage. People have a falling out with a long time friend; pride, not love dictates the future of the friendship. Nothing gets resolved and the friendship becomes a sad memory. A child doesn’t behave the way the parent thinks he should. They fail to realize the child is different from them, but instead of accepting and loving the child for who he is, the parent distances themselves severing the relationship. Life doesn’t go the way you think it should. You lose a job, you lose your health, or you lose a loved one. For many, when this happens, they quit God. They don’t think about the ultimate love, the sacrificial love that He showed us (John 3:16). That, my friends, is the love we are called to have…sacrificial love that endures the hard times that we will go through in this life.

So, let me close with a question and a challenge.
Question: Are you a love is kind of person or are you love is not kind of person?
Challenge: Endure! Press into God when the difficulty arises. Only He will get you through.

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)