Sunday Morning 9-16-12

Posted by Sherry


Defining Discipleship 
Luke 14:25-35 
CBC 9/16/2012
actual responses from comment cards given to the staff members at Bridger Wilderness Area:
* Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill. 
*Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests. 
*Please pave the trails…Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them. 
*The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals. 
*A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call… 
*Escalators would help on steep uphill sections. 
*A MacDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead. 
*Too many rocks in the mountains.
Citation: Mike Neifert, Light and Life (February 1997), p. 27 
  • PROBLEM:Visitors didn’t understand “wilderness area”
    • expected something convenient & comfortable
    • many don’t understand term: “Christian”
    • some claim to be Christian but don’t comprehend “discipleship”
  • POSERS:
    • go to church
    • profess to know Christ
    • read Bible
    • pray
    • give offering
  • Jesus confronts this problem”
TEXT:25 Now huge crowds were going along with [Jesus], and He turned and said to them,
26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [[a]in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple.
27 Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.
28 For which of you, wishing to build a [b]farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him,
30 Saying, This man began to build and was not able ([c]worth enough) to finish.
31 Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks the terms of peace.
33 So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, [d]say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.
34 Salt is good [an excellent thing], but if salt has lost its strength and has become saltless (insipid, flat), how shall its saltness be restored?
35 It is fit neither for the land nor for the manure heap; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him listen and consider and comprehend by hearing!
UNDERSTAND THE TERMS
  • Disciple - true follower of Jesus Christ
  • Christian - true believer in Jesus Christ
    • they mean same thing (my spouse or my wife...same thing)
    • if U don’t fit Jesus’ def. of disciple...UR not a Christian...
    • disciple - 269 times in NT
    • Christian - 3 times in NT
Acts 11:26 ...and in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
  • Insert word Christian for disciple in following verse
  • 27 Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple [Christian].
    • are U persevering for the cause of Christ?
    • are U carrying ur cross for the cause of Christ?
    • are U following after Christ on a daily basis?
    • are U sure ur a Christian?
  • Crowd -  v25 ...huge crowds following Jesus...
    • not antagonistic towards Christ
    • not the uninterested in His life or message
    • positive attitude toward Jesus
    • they obviously mistook the positive attitude and interest for true discipleship (like many today)
    • they were CASUAL followers, not COMMITTED followers
      • along for the ride
      • unwilling to give up everything in their lives that conflicted with following Jesus in a committed way
      • want Jesus to solve their problems (money, relational, health...), but unwilling to obey Jesus completely
      • R U a part of that “...huge crowd...?”
TRUE DISCIPLE COMMITTED TO JESUS ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE v26-27
  • Jesus comes first...before:
    • loved ones...(oh but Sunday is “family day”)
    • self-interest...
    • possessions...
    • careers...
    • hobbies...
    • goals in life...
    • even our very lives...
    • committed to Christ before anything else in life
      • first priority
      • more loyal to Jesus than any other
  • Metaphor - “carry ur cross”
    • criminal forced to carry own cross
    • everyone knew anyone carrying a cross was saying goodbye to everything and everybody...no coming back
    • following Jesus saying goodbye to old self, nature & ways
  • Illustration - “building a tower”
    • consider the cost of building the tower
    • Jesus not looking for one-sided commitment...
      • He does all the giving & blessing
      • We do all the receiving & living it up
      • that’s half-hearted commitment to expect blessing w/out any work on our part
      • There’s only one way to follow Jesus...100%
LARGE CROWDS
  • so many are only interested in LARGE CROWDS
    • Large crowds didn’t impress Jesus
    • committed people impress Jesus, not crowds
    • Church today -
      • is it about the crowd?
      • OR is it about the commitment?
      • recent poll showed little difference between the way the unbelieving world behaves & professed Christians behave
        • divorce
        • buy lottery tickets
        • listen to & watch vulgar media...
        • rainy Sunday...shows who’s committed & NOT!
v33 THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
  • give up EVERYTHING...
    • not everything BUT...
    • refers to an attitude of mind & heart in which “things” (job, hobby, prized possession, free time, money, goals & dreams), don’t have priority over obeying Jesus in our lives
    • doesn’t mean Jesus is going to take all that away from us
      • means it can’t hold 1st place in our life
v34 SALT
  • represents a person’t commitment to Jesus
    • commitment complete means salt is GOOD
    • Christians’ life will have positive & useful purpose
    • same way salt was positive & useful
  • salt wasn’t pure in Jesus’ day like it is in ours
    • the only way salt can lose saltiness is DILUTION
      • mix in sand, dirt, etc., “gritty french fries”
      • wasn’t fit for soil or manure pile...USELESS
  • Jesus describing Christians w/out total commitment...graphic lol
    • may have appearance of being a disciple
    • can’t be used in kingdom work as a Christian should
    • commit to one day a week, but not 7
    • commit to one service a week, but not any more
    • commit to honoring marriage vows but not in their finances
    • half truth is still a lie 
    • & half committed is still manure pile territory
Conclusion: Leadership magazine once ran a cartoon that showed a church building with a billboard in front that said: “The LITE CHURCH: 24% fewer commitments, home of the 7.5% tithe, 15 minute sermons, 45 minute worship service; we have only 8 commandments—your choice. We use just 3 spiritual laws and have an 800 year millennium. Everything you’ve wanted in a church … and less!” 

COPchurch:Biological Rollercoaster

Posted by Sherry


Sunday Evening 9-9-12

Posted by Sherry


Discipleship: Taking up a Cross and a Shovel
Luke 6:46-6:49 
CBC 9/9/2012 SN

READ: Luke 6:46-49 Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?
47 For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like:
48 He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or [a]founded on a rock.
49 But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.
- in verse 46 - Jesus ASKS A CONDEMNING QUESTION
- in verse 47 - Jesus CALLS FOR DECISIVE ACTION
- in verse 48 - Jesus GIVES A DRAMATIC ILLUSTRATION
1. JESUS ASKS A CONDEMNING QUESTION
  • Is Jesus LORD of our lives?
    • or is TRADITION & PREFERENCE the Lord of our lives?
    • Jesus sees our action as we exhibit being “HEARERS of the Word but not DOERS of the Word.”
    • Living for Jesus will have a RADICAL IMPACT on our lives
  • Why do you call Jesus Lord and not practice what He asked us to do?
    • don’t forget these verses...
    • “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
    • Don’t get trapped doing the SIDE ISSUES 
2. JESUS CALLS FOR DECISIVE ACTION v47
a) “COMES TO ME”
b) “HEARS MY SAYINGS”
c) “DOES THEM”
3. JESUS GIVES A DRAMATIC ILLUSTRATION v47-49
* Solid Foundation for Discipleship @ CBC

Sunday Morning 9-9-12

Posted by Sherry


Basic Training for Disciples
Luke 17:1-10
CBC 9/9/2012 SM
  • Ever heard of “basic training”?
    • Military, Law Enforcement, procedure
    • applies to basically any profession or career where the necessary skills do not come to us naturally
    • Purpose: 
      • make us sharper
      • get us in shape (physically, mentally & in this case spiritually)
      • build our confidence
      • incorporate the team work mind-set in our brain
      • God has a purpose for our individual lives: become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ
      • doesn’t come w/out opposition: accusers
  • It’s impossible to be a Lone Ranger Christian, but Christ’s design
    • We are responsible for one another
TEXT gives us 4 important keys for becoming a stronger disciple
17:1 And [Jesus] said to His disciples, Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come!
2 It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [[a]lowly in rank or influence].
3 [b]Pay attention and always be on your guard [looking out for one another]. If your brother sins (misses the mark), solemnly tell him so and reprove him, and if he repents (feels sorry for having sinned), forgive him.
4 And even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled).
5 The apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith (that trust and confidence that spring from our belief in God).
6 And the Lord answered, If you had faith (trust and confidence in God) even [so small] like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots, and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.
7 Will any man of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and take your place at the table?
8 Will he not instead tell him, Get my supper ready and gird yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you yourself shall eat and drink?
9 Is he grateful and does he praise the servant because he did what he was ordered to do?
10 Even so on your part, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, We are unworthy servants [possessing no merit, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have [merely] done what was our duty to do.
1st KEY: DON’T CAUSE ONE OF GOD’S CHILDREN TO SIN!
  • Things that tempt us to sin are a reality
    • Bad news when a Christian is the source of that temptation
    • Graphic Ill: short rope around neck of tempter tied to huge boulder & dropped in the deepest part of the ocean
    • God seems to be serious about that
    • In an age of child abusers, pedophiles & internet stalkers...God has something waiting for that group. (If ur N that group, REPENT & get out now!)
  • Different kinds of sin we are not to lead people into:
    • anger
    • pride
    • bitterness
    • gossip
    • unforgiveness
    • worry
    • prejudice...etc.
  • Who do you think the source of most learned sin in children is?......PARENTS
    • Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
    • back to the short rope/big rock territory
  • Tempting someone to sin is putting a stumbling block in front of them
    • Ro 14:13 Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.
    • a great football team doesn’t block & tackle it’s own players
2nd KEY: MAINTAIN GOOD RELATIONSHIPS BY FORGIVING OTHERS!
  • C.S. Lewis wrote, “We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it.”
    • Jesus’ illustration is that forgiveness is a repeated process
    • Has Jesus forgiven us of just 7 sins and stopped...hardly
    • As Christ-like Christians we follow His example
    • How do we know the difference between:
      • someone hurting our feelings &
      • someone sinning against us?
    • Answer: Sin is a transgression of the Law of God
    • Repentance is more than saying, “I’m sorry”...
      • it is a turning away from the transgression & righting the wrong
      • Matt 6:14-15 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [a]reckless and willful sins, [b]leaving them, letting them go, and [c]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
      • 15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [d]reckless and willful sins, [e]leaving them, letting them go, and [f]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.
      • Forgiveness is not a FEELING, it’s a CHOICE
      • Forgiveness means CANCEL THE DEBT
      • Choose not to think about it any more
      • The devil is the one who keeps bringing up our sin (accuser) not God
      • ILL: Jr./sling shot/duck/woodpile/sister/Grandma...waiting to see how long you would let ur sister make a fool out of you (devil does that...)
3rd KEY: STRATEGY - EMPLOY THE SECRET WEAPON OF FAITH
  • Increase our Faith!
    • it’s not an “increase” of faith that we need b/c a tiny amount will move mountains
    • it’s an “activation” of our faith
    • why did Jesus use the Ill: of a “mustard seed” instead of a “rock” to illustrate getting something done?
      • b/c a mustard seed is ALIVE & a rock is not
WHAT: Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
HOW TO GET IT: Ro 10:17 So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).
HOW TO KNOW U HAVE IT: James 2:17 So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
  • We cannot be a disciple of Jesus without exercising faith
4th KEY: DUTY - JUST DOING MY JOB SIR v7-10
  • does the military give soldiers medals for doing their job? NO
    • medals are for going “above & beyond” the call of duty
  • Christians shouldn’t expect “medals” [special recognition, pats on the back,...] for Christian service...it’s our job
    • some people crave special attention for doing their job (Not Christ-like)
    • some people get down in the dumps when nobody says, “Good Job”...don’t expect it
    • some people let their self esteem suffer when no one seems to notice their work...God sees it, reward comes later
    • get more work done if stop looking for attention & recognition
  • Ps 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.
    • our “delight” should be in doing God’s will, not the applause of man
CONCL:
Alexander the Great was a brave and brilliant general. Once, one of his officers appeared before him to stand for charges brought against him for insubordination and behavior bordering on cowardice. Alexander the Great asked the officer, “What is your name?” The officer replied, “Sir, my name is the same as yours. My name is Alexander. The general stared at the officer and shouted, “Alexander? Then either change your name, or change your behavior!”
     As Christians, we cannot be called disciples of Jesus unless we are willing to follow His orders.
     We must change our name or change our behavior!


Sunday Morning 9-12-12

Posted by Sherry


Another Labor Day Weekend Sermon
1 Thessalonians 4:11 and 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
CBC 9/2/2012 SM
1 Thes. 4:11 Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before.

2 Thes. 3:10-12 
10 While we were with you, we used to tell you, “Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat.”
11 We say this because we hear that there are some people among you who live lazy lives and who do nothing except meddle in other people's business. 12 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we command these people and warn them to lead orderly lives and work to earn their own living.
This is the Labor Day Weekend.
  • Labor Day is a strange holiday. 
    • call is “Labor Day
    • actually do little as possible
    • most working people have day off
    • nobody has wished me “Happy Labor Day”
    • didn’t get any Labor Day Cards
    • didn’t decorate the house w/ a Labor Day tree or decorations
    • didn’t give or receive any Labor Day Gifts
    • florists & greeting card manufacturers haven’t found a way to capitalize...
  • Different things for Different People:
    • Bad weekend for Church - everybody wants to travel...
    • factory or office worker may be a day off
    • law enforcement extra traffic & alcohol abuse
    • farmers & ranchers another day to feed cattle & work the fields
    • preachers - opportunity to preach about “work”
    • personally I like the sermon illustrations as well as the Bible content
ILL: (TRUE STORY) The U.S.S. Astoria was the first U.S. cruiser ship to engage the Japanese during the Battle of Savo Island in World War II. It was a night action fought August 8th and 9th in 1942. Although the Astoria scored two hits on the Imperial flagship Chokai, she was badly damaged and sank shortly after noon on August 9th. About 2:00 that morning, a young Midwesterner, Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples, was swept overboard by the blast when the Astoria’s number one eight-inch gun turret exploded. Wounded in both legs by shrapnel and in semi-shock, Staples was kept afloat by a narrow life belt that he managed to activate with a simple trigger mechanism. 
More of that true story a little later!
Point #1
God has always honored and provided work.
Genesis 2:2 
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 
  • God is a worker Himself and appreciates rest.
    • created us in His image & gave us work to do 
Genesis 2:15 
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 
  • Even from the beginning, God gave men work to do.
    • When Jesus came to earth, God honored work: 
1. His birth was first told to working shepherds
Luke 2:8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
2. Jesus learned a trade as a carpenter.
Mark 6:3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" 
3. Jesus chose working men as His disciples.
  • Peter, Andrew, James & John were fishermen.
    • Matthew who was a tax collector.
    • The Bible doesn’t tell us what Philip, Batholomew, Thomas, Thaddeus, James, Thomas & Judas did for a living...safe to say they had jobs
    • Jesus called them from their job to become “fishers of men”
Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:7 
And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.
  • What was Jesus saying to them?
    • He didn’t want them going out begging from house to house.
    • Jesus expected His disciples to earn their keep!
    • So why do so many people think of work as something bad?
    • Because sin caused work to be unpleasant.
Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ’You shall not eat of it’: "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground,
  • Adam enjoyed tending the Garden of Eden 
    • until sin changed things.
    • We think work is a necessary evil. 
    • If we don’t have to work, we choose not to do it!
    • Some people do as little as possible.
    • The idea seems to be to get more money for doing less work!
    • This leads to the idea of someone else doing the work for you.
    • Some people choose to be employers.
    • They hire other people as employees to do the work.
    • In America, "labor" and "management" are adversaries. 
    • Labor wants the most money for the least work. 
    • Management wants the most work for the least money.
    • This creates an adversarial relationship.
  • How many of you had chores to do when you were a kid?
    • Have you noticed that kids today won’t do chores?
    • They expect Mom and Dad to give them money!
    • We are raising a generation that doesn’t want to work.
    • They expect things to be given to them for doing nothing!
ILL: (TRUE STORY) At around 6:00 that same morning, Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer and returned to the Astoria, whose captain was attempting to save the cruiser by beaching her. The effort failed, and Staples, still wearing the same life belt, found himself back in the water. 
More of that story later!
Point #2. The American work system is not the Christian way.
Ephesians 6:5-9 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. 
  • Do those verses describe most work places?
    • Slavery has been abolished, 
    • but many workers think they are treated like slaves!
    • Many employers have attitudes like a master.
    • They treat their employees like slaves.
    • God cares about how we conduct our business 
    • and how we treat others.
  • We will all face judgment, both employers and employees.
    • The Christian cannot separate his business from his spiritual life. 
    • He has no right to act like the heathen Monday through Friday.
    • The Christian does not live for self alone.
    • Money is an opportunity to help others. 
Ephes. 4:28 says:
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 
  • If we all did like some of the Christians in Thessalonica...
    • And refused to earn any money...
    • Then we could not give to the church.
    • The church could not pay its bills.
    • The church could not help needy people!
ILL: (TRUE STORY) Close to 12 Noon, Navy seaman Staples was picked up again, this time by the U.S.S. President Jackson. He was one of 500 survivors of the battle who were evacuated to Noumea. Safely on board the ship, for the first time, Staples closely examined the life belt that had served him so well. It had been manufactured by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, and it bore a registration number.
We’ll get to the climax of that story in just a moment!
Point #3
The Christian does the best we can for others 
Colossians 3:22-24 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 
  • Christian employees should do more than expected 
    • because they work for the Lord.
    • Christian employers do the best, not the least they can for their employees
    • because they also have a master.
  • Here’s a question for you:
    • Suppose a Christian has a $150 job to be done 
    • and two men are willing to do it.
    • One man will do the job for $150 and one for $100.
    • Which person should the Christian hire?
    • Well, the Christian employer is free to hire either man.
    • However, he should still pay $150. 
    • That’s what the job is worth, 
    • so that’s what the man is worth.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them... 
  • If an employee can get by with shoddy work 
    • he has no right to do so. 
    • He works for the Lord.
    • Christians know people are more important than property.
    • The Bible tells us repeatedly to love one another.
    • People are so important; it is vital we treat them right.
Colossians 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
* So there are rewards for doing a good job!
ILL: (TRUE STORY) Given home leave, Navy seaman Staples told his story and asked his mother, who worked for Firestone, about the purpose of the number on the belt. She replied that the company insisted on personal responsibility for the war effort, and that the number was unique and assigned to only one inspector. Staples remembered everything about the lifebelt, and quoted the number. It was his mother’s personal code and affixed to every item she was responsible for approving. Do you suppose Mrs. Staples was glad that she had performed well on the job?
CONCL:  
  • It pays both in this life and the life to come to do our very best!
    • How we carry our Christian principles into our work is important.
    • Our work performance becomes a Christian ministry. 
    • This gives work new meaning and dignity.
    • We can’t claim to be Christians 
    • if our Christianity is only a one-day a week affair. 
    • God does care what you do Monday through Friday 
    • whether you are an employee or employer. 
    • There is great encouragement in knowing this.
    • This is the Labor Day Weekend!
    • Let’s be thankful for the health to do our work!
    • Let’s be thankful for our jobs!
    • Let’s do our work to the best of our abilities!

Sunday Night 8-26-12

Posted by Sherry


Seizing Our Window of Opportunity 
Ephesians 6:1-4 
CBC 8/26/2012 SN (20 minute series)
TEXT: Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right.
2 Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother—this is the first commandment with a promise—(A)
3 That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.
4 Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
ILL: A church newsletter included this essay by Danny Dutton, age 8. His third grade Sunday School teacher had asked her students to explain God. "One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes these to put in the place of the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things here on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that up to the moms and dads. I think it works out pretty good. "God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, cause some people, like preachers and things, pray other times besides bedtime, and Grandpa and Grandma Dutton pray every time they eat (except for snacks). God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV on account of this. Cause God hears everything, not only prayers, there must be a terrible lot of noise going on in his ears unless he has thought of a way to turn it off. I think we should all be a little quieter. God sees everything and hears everything and keeps everything and is everywhere. Which keeps him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time asking for things that aren’t very important or go over your parents’ heads and ask for something they said you couldn’t have." 
Love Them: How do we demonstrate our love for our children?
Affirmation: Communicate acceptance and appreciation for who they are and what they do. Look for the good. Phil. 4.8, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Hebrews 3.13 Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Physical Touch: Mark 9.36-37 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
Acts of Service: Mark 10.45 “(Jesus) did not come to be served but to serve.” 
Receiving Gifts: Acts 20.35 “more blessed to give than …”
Time: Eph 5.16 “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
The best thing to spend on your children is your time.
Lead Them: What boundaries need to be established?
Our children could all tell you that the sole purpose of their middle name is to let them know that they are outside one of our boundaries.
Dr. James Dobson reports the findings of an interesting study done on school children. A group of educators decided to remove the chain-link fences from around the school playgrounds. They believed the fences promoted feelings of confinement and restraint. The curious thing they noticed, however, that as soon as the fences were removed, the children huddled in the center of the playground to play. Conclusion: Children need boundaries.
In the late 70’s Public school teachers polled.
1. Talking 
2. Chewing Gum 
3. Making Noise
4. Running In The Halls 
5. Getting Out Of Place In Line 
6. Wearing Improper Clothing 
7. Not Putting Paper In The Waste Basket 
Early nineties
1. Drug Abuse 
2. Alcohol Abuse 
3. Pregnancy 
4. Suicide 
5. Rape 
6. Assault
7. Arson 
Omega-Letter, June, 1991 
Now mass murder is a major problem in our public schools.

What boundaries need to be established?
Four “D”s
Disobedience = Discipline
Disrespect = Discipline
Dishonesty = Discipline
Doing Harm = Discipline 

Discipline = loss of privileges, possessions, or in the worst cases spanking (by parent).
Does God discipline us as His children? 
Hebrews 12.6-11
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

When God disciplines us we lose privileges. 
The privileges of every believer are the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 
These are mentioned in Galatians 5:22 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). 
When we are outside of God’s boundaries our love level goes down, our peace level goes down, etcetera. 
If we do not respond to the loss of those privileges, the discipline increases.
It is our responsibility to shape the conscience of our children.
 ILL: A Sunday School teacher asked her class, "Can anyone tell me what conscience is?" A little boy replied, "It’s the thing that makes me tell Mom my sins before my sister does." 
Teach Them: How do we train our children for good and for God?
I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day, 
And as my fingers pressed it still, 
It moved and yielded to my will. 
I came again when days were past – 
The bit of clay was hard at last; 
The form I gave it, it still bore, 
But I could change that form no more. 
I took a piece of living clay 
And gently formed it day by day, And molded with my power and art A young child’s soft and yielding heart. 
I came again when years were gone – 
It was a man I looked upon; 
He still that early impress wore, 
And I could change him nevermore. --Author unknown 
HAVE A PLAN
View everything as a teachable moment
Deuteronomy 6.6-9
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Set spiritual goals for your children
1. My children will never go to bed without learning something about God and praying with a parent.
2. My children will attend church and age appropriate Bible classes as long as they live in our home.
3. My children will understand what it means to be fully devoted to Jesus by observing their parents.
4. I will influence my children to follow Jesus.
Susannah Wesley spent one hour each day praying for her 17 children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour every week to discuss spiritual matters with him or her. No wonder two of her sons, Charles and John, were used of God to bring blessing to all of England and much of America. Here are a few rules she followed in training her children: 
1. Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together
with God to save his soul. 
2. Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak.
3. Give him nothing he cries for and only what is good 
for him if he asks for it politely. 
4. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is freely confessed, 
but never allow a rebellious, sinful act to go unnoticed. 
5. Commend and reward good behavior. 
6. Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child. 
ILL: British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once had a discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction, but should be free to choose their own religious faith when they reached maturity. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden. "Do you call this a garden?" the visitor exclaimed. "There are nothing but weeds here!" "Well, you see," Coleridge replied, "I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself." Obviously, Coleridge’s guest believed any religion would do just fine. Millions of people today would agree with him. Sadly, the product of such thinking is spiritual "weeds." 
Get on their level
ILL: After hearing his Dad preach on "Justification, "Sanctification," and all the other "ations", a minister’s son felt suitably prepared when his Sunday School teacher asked if anybody knew what PROCRASTINATION" meant. "I’m not exactly sure what it means," he said, "but I know our church believes in it!" 
That is exactly what God did for us. Jesus.