Thank you so much Merit! Here is the meta tag.

The Thief

We only know about him because he held the unique and dishonorable distinction of being a thief, and one who was caught at that. He died in disgrace, poverty and agony. He was tortured, crucified and died.

Thieves often come under cover of darkness, in confusion, or perhaps on social media; places where they can easily hide and are rarely called out. And thieves- they can be so compelling. They are often masters of disguise, presenting themselves as one thing all the while working underhandedly to steal and destroy. Thieves are con artists- they are the masters at bait and switch. I would venture that many unwitting, well meaning people have handed over that which further damns the thief to their ultimate demise. Thieves are, by definition jealous people who are not content with their lot in life and perhaps even work to destroy that which they claim they now want or was taken from them.

The well known thief on the cross probably worked under cover of night, or in secrecy, or in a crowd, but died in broad daylight, exposed and disgraced. 

We’ve all done it. Shared that juicy tidbit, been outraged by accusations, shocked at what we’ve just heard. In fact, I would venture to say that a good thief- one has honed their craft- is subtle enough to tweak the facts just so, so that the we see a bit of truth in the claims, “Ah yes, I always knew he was demanding- I see how he’s a bully,”  But few – if any of us- actually go to the person who is the true victim of thief’s crime to seek truth. Reacting to a claim takes little from us. Acting as a Chrsitian takes everything.

But let’s be honest, we are all thieves. Each one of us. We’ve all claimed what wasn’t ours, been jealous and petty, said a little – or big lie- to justify our own sin. Projected onto others so that we are not discovered. We’ve all taken something precious and destroyed it. We’ve all defiled the purity and holiness of the Living God; stolen from others and bankrupt them; stolen from ourselves and defiled what and who are called to do and be. 

 We are all thieves, hanging on the cross- disgraced, found out, naked and exposed. 

Some of us proudly jut out our chins and die, sealing our fate. Others of us accept the free give of mercy and salvation and recognize that the man in the middle holds the power of life and death with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. His arms- stretched out on the cross- nailed there in humiliation – have the power of life and death, hell or resurrection.

We are all thieves. And we can all look to the  Man in the middle. It’s not too late- whether we are successful in our thieving or  exposed. Either way, the Living Christ is the truth holder and knows of our  disgrace, death, corruption,  jealousy, bitterness and hate. 

The one hanging there is the middle- HE is the Living Christ. He offers the free gift of salvation to all who believe. He has raised the dead to life- each one of us- dead in our transgressions, if you only look to Him and believe!  Alleluia!

5 Reasons to Trust God with Your Homescool

5 Reasons to Trust God with Your Homescool

Homeschool parents find themselves making hard decisions that have far-reaching consequences. Then there are all the “tiny decisions”: should I let him borrow the car to drive his friends? Should I have him take life skills or a foreign language? Is my child ready for (fill in the blank)?

How often do we wish someone else was the decision-maker who would make perfect and wise decisions all the time!

God has positioned us to need His help in our childrearing and homeschooling desperately. As parents, we raise our children to be independent, but our Heavenly Father raises us in the faith to be more and more dependent on Him as we grow in the Lord.

So, next time you feel helpless when confronted with a decision or challenge, realize that God is growing you in your faith to trust Him more and rely on Him more. His Word is such a precious part of this process. His Word is our daily source of wisdom and our faith-builder.

Promises

When you feel alone, and you wonder why on earth you ever had children, remember that God has given you His very great and precious promises for two reasons:

  1.     Live a godly life/Participate in His divine nature (goodness, joy, peace, love, etc.)
  2.     Escape the corruption of the world

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him, who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these, he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (I Peter 1:3-5 NASB).

We need to remind ourselves of the promises of God. When I feel like a failure, I remind myself that God has begun a good work in me and is carrying that work on until it’s complete (Philippians 1:6) and that if I abide in Him, He will produce good fruit in me (John 15).

I write the promises of God down and cards and post them on the bathroom mirror, inside kitchen cupboards, and tucked inside my purse. God’s promises aren’t just true for me—they are true for you, too.

When we feel scared, He will take care of us. (Psalm 91)

When we feel alone, He is with us. (Isaiah 43:2)

When we worry about our children, He promises to teach our children (Isaiah 54:13)

 

When we feel like we are not good enough, He reminds us that He lives in us and through us (Galatians 2:20)

When we blow it, He promises to forgive us and sanctify us (I John 1:9-10)

And when we lack wisdom.

Wisdom

When you can’t figure out whether you should let your daughter stay out past midnight, remember this promise:

 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5 NASB).

God provides wisdom when we ask. Often, we will find as we are reading the Scriptures, truth jumps out at us—the exact answer to the questions we are asking!

You see, we face challenging choices every day. So next time you need wisdom—STOP! And ask for it.

The Word of God also shows us what to do and say in the middle of challenging times.

Counsel

Pretend you are in a conversation with your son who is talking crazy, and you have a 4-minute lecture ready.

Suddenly this verse comes to mind: Now everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for a man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness of God (James 1:19 NASB). You just read it this morning.

Instead of lecturing, you take a deep breath and ask a question to draw out your son’s thoughts and feelings. While you know, he is still talking a lot of foolishness, and you begin to listen to his heart and uncover what is going on behind his wild ideas. What you learn surprises you as compassion replaces anger in your heart. Your son is struggling.

It is not easy to parent, and we need constant counsel from God’s Truth. That is one reason that reading God’s Word every day is a priority in my life!

Revelation

Pretend you feel inadequate and alone as a parent when you find yourself reading in Luke several days. You enjoy reading about Jesus, his teachings, his miracles, and his relationship with his disciples.

Suddenly, you realize that Jesus understands you. He traveled with a group of people who argued, complained, and just didn’t get it sometimes, even after Jesus explained things over and over again.

Reading the Bible reveals who Jesus is and how great His love for us is.   

Often when I am reading the Bible, I find myself saying, “Wow! I never saw that before!” That amazes me because I have read the Bible almost daily since 1979. Yet, it is always fresh and new. That is because the Bible is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword—it cuts through the muck to the deep places in my heart.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 NASB).

The Bible just doesn’t inform me, so I grow in knowledge; it also transforms me to become more like Jesus.

A Mirror

One day, I tried to fix a shirt, and I couldn’t get it to fall right. A quick look in the mirror revealed that I had buttoned my shirt incorrectly, completely missing one button that was hard to see. A bit of time in God’s Word can be like a mirror. It reveals where and what you need to adjust in your heart, life, schedule, and relationships.

I can’t just read Scripture and not do anything about it. I have to respond. I have to put feet to my faith. If it’s a promise, I have to believe it. If it’s a command, I have to obey it.

The Bible reminds us of who God is and who we are in Christ. I love looking into the law of liberty to learn that I am free from the power of sin, filled with His Spirit, and He is producing fruit in me (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control).

But prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does (James 1:22-25 NASB).  

 

When Things Are Hard

 

What if you are so tired of doing everything right and having everything go wrong? What if those who ignore God seem to prosper, and you seem to suffer and struggle?

Let me address this.

First of all, walking with God is a marathon, not a sprint. Maintain a bird’s-eye perspective of your life on earth and as it stretches out into eternity. Every light and momentary trial we go through achieves an eternal purpose that far outweighs every hardship we suffer.

Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:16-18 NASB).

Second, we live in a fallen world. Jesus promised that we would have trials in this life but reminded us that He has overcome the world. Cling to Him through trials.

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NASB).

Lastly, I would encourage you to read Psalm 37—the entire psalm—David addresses this very thing.

Do not fret because of evildoers,

Be not envious of wrongdoers.

For they will wither quickly like the grass

And fade like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord and do good;

Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord;

And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light

And your judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:1-7 NASB).

 

As we begin a new year, let’s cling to the promise of God, receive His counsel, learn more about who He is, and see who we are—by getting into His Word every day for His daily dose of wisdom.

Spending time in God’s Word each day—even just five minutes—will change you and keep changing you!

Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!

Warmly,

Meredith Curtis