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« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2006, 08:10:22 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 12, 2006
Topic: Discipline


No Negotiation

Someone once said, "It's a shame I didn't know all the questions back when I was young and knew all the answers." While said jokingly, this person still points out the truth that young people are often more confident than wise. They sometimes are sure they know better than their parents and can make some tragic mistakes.

For the young person's sake, it's important that parents maintain control. When it comes to discipline, there's no room for negotiation. Let's look at the way the Bible describes a mocker and his family.

What Does God Say?

"A wise child accepts a parent's discipline; a young mocker refuses to listen" (Proverbs 13:1, NLT).

"It is painful to be the parent of a fool; there is no joy for the father of a rebel" (Proverbs 17:21, NLT).

"Mockers don't love those who rebuke them, so they stay away from the wise" (Proverbs 15:12, NLT).

    * What is typical of a child who the Bible calls a "mocker" or a "scoffer"?
    * What do the parents of such a child experience?
    * What is the typical reaction of a mocker toward parental guidance?

My Thoughts

How are you dealing with the "rebel" (mocker/scoffer) in your home? What rules might you put in place to protect your rebel until he or she learns to listen to wisdom.

My Part

Covenant with your spouse and other adult friends and family to pray for the mocker in your home. Determine what is a fair discipline policy and stand firm.

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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2006, 01:36:27 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 13, 2006
Topic: Discipline


A Gentle Answer

Have you ever found yourself in a shouting matching with your child? Or worse yet, maybe you've been goaded into a response which you're ashamed of later? Yes? OK, then join the club. Every parent has probably experienced this.

The Bible, however, has some guidance that can help us minimize if not eliminate these experiences. Let's look at what it says.

What Does God Say?

"A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly" (Proverbs 15:1-2, NASB).

    * How would you describe a "gentle answer"?
    * What happens when we become angry with the person we're speaking to?
    * What kind of words come out of the mouth of an angry person?

My Thoughts

Looking back over the last few weeks, how would you describe those situations where you have needed to discipline or reprove your child? How has your reaction affected your child's acceptance of your words?

My Part

Anger is an understandable response to certain situations. Set up a rule this week in your house, however, that no discussion will be carried on when one or both parties are upset. Designate a place in your home where each person must go until tempers are under control and a reasoned conversation can take place.

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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2006, 01:37:54 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 14, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Bringing Peace Home

Do you wonder if peace will only come to your home when the children have grown up and moved on? Have you determined that there's no way you can find peace in the daily chaos?

Well, a peaceful home isn't a silent place filled with robotic perfection, but one where harmony and love outweigh the anger and discord. It's not a perfect place, but it can be filled with God's peace.

What Does God Say?

Proverbs 29:17 says "Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad" (NLT). When you exercise godly, loving discipline, it brings structure and peace instead of chaos and disruption. Setting the appropriate boundaries and establishing what's acceptable and expected benefits parents and children.

It's like a football game: when you know the rules and the playing field, each player can do his part effectively. What boundaries or expectations do you think would help bring peace to your home?

The best foundation for expectations and boundaries is the "fear of the LORD." Not that we're terrified of God, but we have respect for Him and an understanding of His word to us. Parents are to take the lead in teaching and modeling this.

Proverbs 1:7-9 says, "Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline. Listen, my child, to what your father teaches you. Don't neglect your mother's teaching. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and clothe you with honor" (NLT).

My Thoughts

Describe your household.

Then read through Psalm 128 and jot down the benefits of a home that fears the Lord.

Does this match your home? If so, how? If not, what's missing?

My Part

Maybe you're wondering where to begin. How about starting with prayer? Ask God to show you what you and your family need to make your home more peaceful. Then honestly evaluate your situation with a few questions like these:

    * Do I take time to find personal peace before God?
    * What am I doing to teach and model God's expectations to my spouse, my children?
    * What attitudes may need to be confronted between parents; between children; between child and parent?
    * Are there signs of greed, jealousy, worry or fear, anger, bitterness, etc.?
    * Does something in my schedule bring tension or discord to my family?
    * Is there something in our family schedule that disrupts or creates conflict?
    * Which of these factors can be changed? Adjusted?
    * How will you do make those changes?

Based on what you discover, set up a time to talk with your family. Together, create the first "baby steps" in a plan to deal with one or two of these issues. And ask God to honor your efforts with peace.

Additional Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:4-5

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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2006, 01:39:12 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 17, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Parameters

The Russian writer Dostoyevsky said, "If God does not exist, then everything is permitted." God is the starting point and the basis for right and wrong. He is the foundation for what is pure, good and healthy in life.

As parents, we want to teach our children what is good for them (godly) and what is bad for them (ungodly). What does the Bible say that will help us set good and healthy parameters for our children?

What Does God Say?

The Bible reminds us that not everything and every way is good for us or our children.

"There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death" (Proverbs 16:25, ESV ).

And the Bible is very clear that children being instructed by their parents is how God intends for them to learn the easy way about what will or will not be good for them.

"Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
and forsake not your mother's teaching" (Proverbs 1:8, ESV ).

My Thoughts

Here are three basic guidelines that parents need to believe and follow in order to teach their children what is right, good, healthy and godly.

    * We all need parameters.
    * Discipline establishes parameters.
    * Children need boundaries.

Write down two specific ways that you can use these guidelines in setting parameters for your children.

My Part

The bottom line in teaching children is not what kind of a child are you going to raise, but what kind of a parent will you be. Write out a prayer asking God to help you be the kind of parent that pleases Him and that your child needs you to be.

As you write, consider what kind of parent a child might be able to honor easily.

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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2006, 01:40:32 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 18, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Education that Lasts

We all want to find good schools for our children; schools that will prepare them for their career and schools that will keep them safe. But while the public and private school curriculum is largely out of our control, there is one "school" where we are in charge. That place is, of course, the home.

As much time as a child spends in the classroom, they spend at least as much, if not more at home. How should we teach our children then? What should we teach our children. Well, there is no better goal than to teach your children how to be mature, obedient servants of the Lord.

What Does God Say?

Read Deuteronomy 11:18. Before you can teach your children, you need to know the material. Moses gives some very practical advice on how to become familiar with God's Word.

    * What "words" are we to lay up?
    * What do you think Moses means by "Lay up these words" and "bind them as a sign"?
    * What's the significance of the "hand" and "between your eyes"?

In the next verse and many other places in Scripture, we see the importance of passing this knowledge on to our children. In Joshua, for example, the memorial that the people construct after they cross the Jordan was placed with the future generations in mind.

Read Deuteronomy 11:19-20.

    * Where is the child's education to take place?
    * What does this tell you about the importance of the message?

One of the neat things about God's commands is that they often come with a promise. God could say "obey me," and leave it at that. But while His commands are designed to bring Him glory, they are also designed to bring joy to those who follow them. Read the next verse (Deuteronomy 11:21) and then Proverbs 3:2,4.

    * What are the promises God gives in these verses?
    * Of what value is "favor and good success in the sight of God and man" (Proverbs 3:4, ESV)?

My Thoughts

In the Book of Judges, the author makes a point to say that the downward spiral of sin the nation experienced during those 350 years was a result of children growing up not knowing the Lord (Judges 2:10). Could the same be true today?

My Part

With your children write out Proverbs 3:1-6 on a piece of paper. Decorate and frame the verse, and then hang it near the door of the child's room. Encourage them to read it every time they walk by.

Additional Scripture: Proverbs 19:18, Jeremiah 29:11

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« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2006, 04:07:21 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 19, 2006
Topic: Discipline


Don't Wait

A mother was asked by her three children what she would like for her birthday. She answered, "Three well-behaved children." One of the children thought for a moment and then said, "Great! Then there would be six of us."

Well-behaved children don't come naturally. As any parent will testify, those "little bundles of joy" don't take kindly to discipline.

But the importance of discipline when it comes to children can't be minimized. Let's see what God's Word says about it.

What Does God Say?

"Discipline your children while there is hope. If you don't, you will ruin their lives" (Proverbs 19:18, NLT).

"Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it" (Proverbs 22:6, NLT).

    * What warning is found in Proverbs 19:18?
    * How do you think we can teach our children to choose the "right path"?
    * What promise do we find in Proverbs 22:6?

My Thoughts

The word "discipline" comes from a word meaning "to teach" (we get our word "disciple" or "one who learns" from the same word). What methods do you use to teach (discipline) your children the difference between right and wrong? Are there methods that you are not currently using that may be more effective? Talk with other Christians to get their ideas.

My Part

God's plan is for both parents to be involved in the teaching (disciplining) of the children in your home. Sit down with your spouse, and determine what needs to be taught most urgently to your children when it comes to behavior. Then plan and enact a discipline program that will best teach this behavior to your children.

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« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2006, 04:08:44 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 20, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Failure Isn't Fatal

Sydney Harris said, "A failure is not someone who has tried and failed; it is someone who has given up trying and resigned himself to failure; it is not a condition, but an attitude."

When raising children, every parent fails at some point. That's normal. But you can't allow yourself to develop the attitude that you're a failure as a parent.

If you feel you've failed in disciplining your children, God's Word can give you hope. The Bible tells us how to recover from failure. Let's take a look.

What Does God Say?

Revelation 2:4-5 says, "But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent" ( NASB).

Jesus spoke to the church at Ephesus through the apostle John and said, "You've done a lot of things right, but you've failed in one important area: You don't love me like you used to. When it comes to your first love, you've failed" (v. 4). Notice the three steps He gives this church in verse 5 to recover from their failure:

    * What is the first step a person needs to take in the process of recovering from failure? Why is this important?
    * The second step involves repentance. What does it mean to "repent"?
    * What is the third step in the road to recovery?

My Thoughts

As you look back at the way you've disciplined your children, was there a time when you felt you did a good job? What were you doing that was right? Where did things get off track? Are there errors that you need to repent of? Is there a need to ask forgiveness from God and/or your children?

My Part

Sit down with your spouse, and discuss what you have learned from both your successes and your failure in disciplining your children. Apply what you've learned to a new discipline plan. Instead of wallowing in a sense of failure, ask God to help you start anew.

Additional Scripture: Proverbs 19:18, Jeremiah 29:11

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« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2006, 09:12:49 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 21, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Without Discipline

"Spare the rod and spoil the child." We often think of a spoiled child as one who is unruly and self-centered. But the lack of discipline in a child does much greater damage.

While discipline must be done in love and with care, no discipline hurts a child so much as the lack of it. Let's see what the Bible has to say about a child who grows up without discipline.

What Does God Say?

"He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored" (Proverbs 13:18, NIV).

"Poverty and shame" do not refer to a lack of finances, but a lack of character and respect--a poverty of the soul. Such a life expresses itself in behavior that brings disgrace to family, friends and society.

Parents who love their children with a wise and healthy love will provide discipline so their children bring joy to their home and impact positively their culture and world.

One who refuses to accept discipline and live under authority will sooner or later self-destruct. Write out the lesson of the following Scriptures:

"Only a fool despises a parent's discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise" (Proverbs 15:5, NLT).

"If you reject criticism, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding" (Proverbs 15:32, NLT).

My Thoughts

We naturally love our children, but how much we love them and how healthy and wise is our love is reflected in the discipline we provide for them. Contrast the differences of a child who grows up with discipline and one who grows up without discipline. Write the different characteristics under each heading below.

    * Characteristics of no discipline
    * Characteristics of discipline

My Part

Susannah Wesley had 19 children. Each day she spent at least an hour praying for them. She also spent about an hour a week discussing spiritual matters with them. In addition Mrs. Wesley had six rules for raising children.

   1. Subdue self-will in a child and 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.

Of Wesley's six rules, write down in your own words the three that your children need the most.

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« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2006, 12:39:47 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 24, 2006
Topic: Relationships


Honor Your Parents

Most parents make a lot of sacrifices as they raise their children. But whether they've been good parents or bad parents, without their cooperation, you or I wouldn't be here. If they give us nothing else, they gave us the gift of life.

For that, if nothing more, the Bible says we are to treat them as special people. Let's look at how Scripture says we're to relate to our parents.

What Does God Say?

Deuteronomy 5:16 says, "'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you'" (NKJV).

    * What does it mean to "honor" your father and mother?
    * Why do you think that God commands this?
    * What two promises do we find associated with this command?

My Thoughts

Notice that these verses do not set up any standards for parents to meet before honor is shown them. Honor is due them whether they've been good parents or bad parents. If you are a grown adult living away from home, how might you honor your parents? If you are a young person still living at home, how could you show honor to your parents?

My Part

This coming week, take time to do something special for your parents. If possible, do it in person. Have them over for dinner (or take them out for dinner). See if there is a need that you might be able to meet in their lives. If you live far away from your parents, you might call or send flowers. Plan to pay them a visit in the near future.

Additional Scripture: Exodus 20:12, Matthew 15:4

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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2006, 12:42:18 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 25, 2006
Topic: Relationships


Honor and Care

Many of us will face a time when our parents need our care, and in ways we can't always understand or foresee. While the Bible may not spell out specific answers to questions about nursing care, medical issues or coping with their various needs, God does remind us of His loving care and our responsibilities within the family.

What Does God Say?

Exodus 20:12 lays the foundation. It says "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you" ( ESV).

Go ahead, read it again, or flip to Deuteronomy 5:16 or Ephesians 6:1-3 and see what it says. Scan the fine print--do you see an expiration date anywhere? Something that says you can disregard this command after you leave home or have children of your own? No matter how old you are or what your family is like, God still expects you to honor your parents throughout their lifetimes.

We are to treat them with respect simply because they are the parents God gave us. And if they're Christians, then we also give them the love and honor they're due as brothers and sisters in Christ. For example, 1 Timothy 5:1-2 tells us how to treat older men and older women, and if you read through verse 8 in that same chapter, you'll see that caring for a widowed mother (or father) is first the responsibility of her (or his) family.

My Thoughts

As you deal with situations or make choices with your parents or older family members, ask yourself two questions: Does it benefit them? And does this please God?

Matthew 25:34-40 reminds us of our responsibility to others around us, but look at it this time as a guide to caring for those within your family. Jot down a few things listed; then describe ways you might use these in caring for an elderly parent or family member.

Romans 12:10 encourages us to "Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor" ( ESV ). What can you do today to show honor to your parents?

My Part

This isn't going to be easy. Perhaps your parents weren't "good" to you growing up. Or they're difficult to deal with now. You're not sure they deserve your care or love today.

But honor and respect aren't based on what they deserve; they're based on God's instructions to us. Maybe this is a time for forgiveness; time to do for them what they couldn't do for you. Ask God for help each day. And consider memorizing Romans 12:9-13 to keep your focus on serving the Lord through your care of your parents.

Additional Scripture: Proverbs 23:22

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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2006, 12:43:55 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 26, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Parent Care

Are you part of the sandwich generation? This is the generation that has children at home young enough to need attention while at the same time has parents who are reaching that age when they, too, need special care. It can be a very stressful situation.

How are we to treat our parents who have special needs? Let's see what the Bible says.

What Does God Say?

Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 15:3-6: "And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.' But you say, 'You don't need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.' And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God" (NLT).

    * What do these verses tell you about taking care of your parents?
    * Under the Old Testament Law, what was the consequence for not treating your parents properly?
    * In what ways did the traditions of the Pharisees contradict God's commandments?

My Thoughts

Jim and Sarah have been planning a family vacation to Hawaii. Last week, Jim found out that his 79-year-old father will be having heart surgery at the same time as they planned to be gone. Jim and Sarah are faced with the issue of canceling their vacation (disappointing their kids and losing their $200 deposit) or going ahead while trusting that God will take care of Jim's dad. What would you do and why?

My Part

Sit down with your parents this week, and ask about their needs. If you don't live close enough to do this in person, arrange for a time to talk with them over the phone. Together with your parents, arrange for some practical ways in which their needs might be met.

Additional Scripture: Proverbs 23:22

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« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2006, 12:45:10 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 27, 2006
Topic: Relationships


Soft Answers

I saw a picture the other day of a small man on his knees praying, "Lord, please make sure my words are soft and sweet, for someday I may have to eat them."

Maybe you need that prayer as you deal with people. Whether it's a cranky parent, an unhappy child or even a careless cashier, it's a challenge to use gracious or "soft and sweet" words when we'd rather criticize or rip apart. Let's see what kind of help God offers.

What Does God Say?

Proverbs 15:1 says "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger" (NLT). This is not natural; we'd rather retaliate with anger or seek to respond in the same way we've been treated. It takes more effort to respond with grace and overcome our natural tendency to fight back.

Grace often means withholding anger, criticism or judgment; it means not saying all that could be said. It includes using good words and speaking the truth for the benefit of others. Colossians 4:6 reads "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person" ( ESV).

When we respond to others with gracious words, we are walking worthy of our calling, as Ephesians 4:2 describes "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love" ( ESV).

My Thoughts

Go back to Proverbs and flip through Proverbs 15:1,4,7,26,28, and Proverbs 16:21,23-24. Jot down the benefits or positives of good and gracious words.

    * Describe a time when your words were not "soft and sweet."
    * How do you think it would have turned out if you had used gracious words?
    * Have you seen the benefits of a gracious response in your own experience? A time when you used gracious words or when someone responded to you with grace?

My Part

You probably know someone who is hard to respond to with grace. Based on what you've read today, outline a few steps you can take to show a more gracious response the next time. Are there things to say? Or not say? What can you do now to be prepared?

Psalm 19:14 is a prayer you can use before you next meet this person:

"May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer" (NLT).

Additional Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 13.

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« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2006, 12:46:57 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: Apr 28, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Caring for Parents

If you're a parent, you know how important it is to correct and discipline your children. It's part of the job, right? You teach, train, correct and encourage your kids because that's what you're supposed to do--it's your responsibility.

But what about when your parents get older and become more dependant on you? What happens when you find yourself sandwiched between parenting your children and caring for your aging parents in a way you've never had to before?

What happens when your parents need you as much as your kids?

Let's look at what the Bible says.

What Does God Say?

"Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as though he were your own father" (1 Timothy 5:1, NLT).

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger" (Proverbs 15:1, NLT).

"'Honor your father and mother.' This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, 'you will live a long life, full of blessing'" (Ephesians 6:2, NLT).

    * What does honoring your parents look like now that you're an adult?
    * If your mom or dad needs a "word of correction" (maybe they're getting irritable or impatient with others, or they're dealing with health problems that make them cranky), how do you handle that?
    * What do "harsh words" look like?
    * Have you ever seen how speaking gently "turns away wrath"?

My Thoughts

As parents get older, they may become more dependent--and while that may add on extra responsibility for you, think about them: It's got to be frustrating for them to lose some of their independence and capabilities.

    * How can you make the aging process easier for your parents?
    * Why does how you talk to them matter so much?
    * How can you honor your mom or dad as they grapple with the reality of getting older, less independent, etc.?

My Part

Make a date with one or both of your parents this week and spend time encouraging them. Talk to them about how much you appreciate their influence in your life, what super grandparents they are--focus on the positive. Your positive attitude and encouraging words may rub off on them, and instead of thinking about what's wrong with aging, they may begin to take on a different perspective.

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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2006, 12:48:15 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 1, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Generation to Generation

It's been said that Christianity is always only one generation away from extinction. By that it's meant each generation needs to be introduced to Christ as their personal Savior. No matter how deeply committed to Jesus the previous generation might be, the next generation has to make its own commitment.

While the previous generation can't make a commitment for the next generation, older believers have the responsibility of sharing with the younger generation about God. And nothing is more encouraging than to hear about God's faithfulness.

Let's look at what the psalmist says.

What Does God Say?

"I will sing of the tender mercies of the LORD forever!
Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.
Your unfailing love will last forever.
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.

"The LORD said, 'I have made a solemn agreement with David, my chosen servant.
I have sworn this oath to him:
"I will establish your descendants as kings forever;
they will sit on your throne from now until eternity"'" (Psalm 89:1-4, NLT).

"O LORD God Almighty!
Where is there anyone as mighty as you, LORD?
Faithfulness is your very character" (Psalm 89:8; NLT).

    * Who will hear of God's faithfulness?
    * How did God show His faithfulness to David?
    * How does the psalmist describe God's character?

My Thoughts

In an unstable world, where anything can happen at almost any time, describe what the faithfulness of God means to you.

My Part

Make a list of the ways in which God has been faithful to you over the years. Turn each of the items on your list into a story which you can share with your children. Instead of telling your children a bedtime story from a book, share a story about God's faithfulness to you. Perhaps your children can draw pictures to go along with your story. If you don't have children, share your story with others whenever the opportunity arises.

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« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2006, 09:04:45 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 2, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Faithful God

Ever been in that place where unfaithfulness rocked your world? Maybe a friend was disloyal. Or a spouse strayed. Or a parent didn't follow through.

The reality is that people will fail you. As much as we want to believe we can count on them, even our closest friends and family members will eventually let us down.

But God is different. His faithfulness is consistent and unshakable. Even in the midst of disappointment, God remains near and unchanging and in control.
What Does God Say?

"I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself" (Psalm 89:1-2, NIV).

"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies" (Psalm 57:10, NIV).

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23, NIV).

    * If God's faithfulness "reaches to the skies," what does that tell you about Him?
    * How does knowing that God is faithful help you deal with the unfaithfulness of others?
    * What evidence have you seen of God's faithfulness in your life?
    * What "hope" can you hold on to knowing that God is faithful? What promises can you claim?

My Thoughts

Maybe you've been struggling with someone's betrayal. Or maybe you've been unfaithful yourself. God's faithfulness is something, then, that can help you get through the disappointment or difficulty associated with unfaithfulness.

    * Why do you think it's so difficult for people to be faithful--to their friends, to their spouses, or to their promises? What gets in the way of faithfulness?
    * If you've been let down by someone, how can your relationship with God see you through your disappointment? If you've let someone down, what can you learn from God about the importance of being faithful?
    * Sometimes you might not sense God's faithfulness in your life--you might feel like, "God I need You right now, but I don't see You working in my life." How can God's Word help you deal with what feels like God's absence?

My Part

Spend some time in God's Word this week reading verses that talk specifically about God's faithfulness. Write some of them out on 3x5 cards that you can post on your bathroom mirror, the fridge, a bulletin board, your computer--anywhere you'll see them regularly--that will remind you of God's undying faithfulness to you.

Additional Scripture: Psalm 117:2; Psalm 119:90; Isaiah 61:8; Lamentations 3:23

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