Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Raising a Man in a Boy's World

When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem in 605 BC, one of the young men who was taken back to Babylon was Daniel. The captives were soon fully indoctrinated into Babylonian culture and religion. In America today, our public schools are not so different. Every day our children are saturated with secular humanism. In school they are stripped of their spiritual heritage. Though only a teenager, Daniel became one of the finest examples of godly manhood. Through the example of his life, we can gain helpful leverage to counteract today's societal pull and grow strong men of the faith.

Help your son decide his convictions before he faces the choices.

When Daniel was faced with eating from the king's table, he "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself" (Daniel 1:8). The choice required courage, but it was not difficult, because it was a choice he had already made.

Where Is God When Life Hurts? - Richard Innes

"God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.'"1

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "How do I know when God is talking to me? I am so confused and I need so much help. My life is so hard and bad each day. I pray for guidance and wisdom and I don't know if God hears me, or if he still loves me. I don't feel that anyone loves me anymore."

Dear Jane (name changed), actually, God is continually broadcasting his love, power and blessings to all of us. The problem lies with our reception. It's the cloud layers of our unresolved personal issues that block our feeling God's love and being aware of his presence. These same issues stop us from feeling loved by others. In other words, it's negative feelings that get in the way—any one or more of a number of feelings of super-charged, repressed negative emotions such as unresolved hurt, grief, anger, resentment, jealousy, and/or a lack of forgiveness, plus fear of what God might want us to do or not do, or even guilt if we are living a life that we know is out of harmony with God's will.

First, to overcome, we can know what God is saying by reading and studying his Word, the Bible. All the directions we need for wholesome living are there, we just need to read and study the Bible so we know what God's Word says, accept it by faith regardless of our feelings, and live in harmony with his directives. Furthermore, as long as our life is committed to God and we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have Christ's promise that he will never—not ever—leave us or forsake us.2Again, we need to believe this in spite of what we may or may not feel.


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