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Fear of God Devotional: The Effect of a Father’s Repentance



What is the effect of a father who repents?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video that when a father decides that he has not acted in accordance with Scripture he turns to God’s Word. He sees it as all-sufficient and he begins to cast his vision for his children. 

He repents in front of his children. As the young children begin to grow up, there is correction made in love. This goes on day after day. Now, generations are impacted. The hearts and minds that he and his wife are given to steward are impacted. Life becomes sweet and tender and joyful. It becomes a beacon of light to others.

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) – “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

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Tools for How to Keep Your Children with you in Church

This is dedicated to the increase of joy in worship for the whole family.

When we started a family integrated church here in Wake Forest many ago, no one had any experience with keeping their children with them in the worship service. So, before we launched the church, we spent an entire month on Sunday evenings training the parents on how to function with their children with them…

My experience is that most parents need to be encouraged and reminded from time to time about how to effectively keep their children with them in church. Here are some of the things we’ve done in order to keep the fires burning and the families increasing their joy in the worship of God.

Here is an audio message, “How to Keep your Children with you in Church

A few years ago, my wife Deborah spoke to a group of women about this subject, “Teaching your children to Love the Meetings of the Church

Here is an audio message I delivered that touches on the subject but with a bigger picture in mind. It is called, “Family Life and the Church.”

Here are some written resources:

Why You Ought to Have Your Children With You in Church

What Can Children Get out of Church

How to Help Your Children Become Better Listeners

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The Ultimate Tragedy of Seeking Your Own Honor



When Jesus said, “how can you believe if you receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? ” (v44), he was referring to the greatest obstacle to belief in Jesus. It is not an intellectual argument or scientific data that keeps people from believing in and following Christ. It is simply our pride wants honor from man. This chapter is one of the pivotal places in the Bible which gives specific reasons to believe that Jesus is God and why people refuse to believe. There are three major headings under which we can understand John’s instruction:

I. He gives everlasting life, v24-30

II. He reveals five witnesses to the everlasting life which is in Christ, v39-40, 46-47

III. He reveals the real reason for unbelief, v40-44

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Fear of God Devotional: A Heart to Raise Godly Generations



How do we raise godly children in today’s culture?

Ken Ham explains in this video that he believes that we are on the precipice of catastrophic change. Two-thirds of young people have already left the church and those who are within the church are often very secularized.

Many parents have failed to raise their children in accordance with Scripture and now they’re looking at their children and grandchildren and wonder what happened when they see them walking in the way of the world. They need to get on their knees and repent. 

Many church leaders also need to repent because they haven’t taught the parents how to lead and teach their children. So many of them have compromised God’s Word and have not instructed and taught from Scripture. We all must have a heart to raise godly generations.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NKJV) – “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.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Effect of God’s Word on Our Lives



How will living in accordance with Scripture affect our lives?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that when we talk about reformation, we are talking about putting our lives back in alignment to Scripture. The Reformation was all about going back to the Bible. Looking to Scripture for guidance will affect all aspects of life. Following the commands of Scripture will change what people do and what people don’t do.

A truly changed life flows out of a regenerated heart. It is not just the changing of one’s external actions. Our desires drastically change after we are saved. The things we listen to, the people we are friends with … these all change once we are saved. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How to Determine if a Person is Truly Repentant



How do we know if a person is truly repentant? 

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that when someone has made a profession of faith for the first time, time will tell whether a person is truly regenerate and repentant. Sometimes, those who initially appear to be repentant are like the seeds that fell on the stony or thorny ground as mentioned in the parable in Matthew 13. 

It’s good to assume and hope for the best but repentance will manifest itself with the fruits of repentance. 

Matthew 13:7 (NKJV) – “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

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Is it Morally Wrong to Look at Pornography ? An Interview

The World View spoke to Pastor Scott Brown of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches about why this is the case.  He said that it's the same problem in many cultures.

The interview with Scott Brown starts at six minutes into the interview

Here is the text of the interview:

“For example, Edward Gibbons published a history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and he gave five reasons. And the first and really most fundamental factor was the breakdown of the family. You don't have parents teaching their children. You don't have this inculcation of the Word of God when you sit in the house, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

Brown said that the breakdown of the family creates lots of time for people to engage in satisfying sinful pleasures.

“When you do that you have lots of time to do lots of different things. Another element Gibbons identified is the craving for pleasure, focused on the body, sports becoming more and more important, more brutal, more exciting. It's the exaltation of the body and pride and things like that. And then he also talks about the decay of religion.” 

Pastor Brown said that the one common factor between all of those is the absence of God's Word.

“They all have to do with a famine of the Word of God. The lamp of the Word of God has gone out. The lamp of the Word of God has gone out.” 

Pastor Brown said there are some disturbing trends that have led to porn being a “morally acceptable” sin.

“You have some trends that really began with the sexual revolution in the 1960s. The Supreme Court said it was impossible to define character. You had a whole generation that exalted rebellion against their parents, and you had this family breakdown like we had never seen in America.”

Pastor Brown explained that fatherlessness has not been good for children growing up in a generation that doesn't condemn the sin of pornography.

“You have a third of American children growing up without their biological fathers. And, by the way, the father is not home, and the kids go home and get on the screen. They're not being deployed to meaningful things.”

Brown said that the solution is shepherding and pastors walking alongside their congregants.

“I think the greatest solution is the mobilization of parents to do what the Bible says they should do, and that is to teach their children, to care for their children, to shepherd their children. Shepherds walk with the sheep, and if the shepherds were walking with the sheep, the sheep wouldn't be thinking there's nothing morally wrong with pornography. And they're not, like some of these adults and children watching pornography into the wee hours of the night; no one is there shepherding them.”  

Pastor Brown said there has been a breakdown of shepherding not just in the family, but also the church.

“I really do believe it's rooted in the destruction of the family and the role of parents and also of the church. The church has become not even a secondary matter rather than the fellowship, the worship, the preaching of the church isn't very important, so there's a lot of time to do a lot of other things.”

Pastor Brown said that pornography is portraying the antithesis of true, godly love.

“It's terrifying for me to think of a whole generation that has grown up in a culture of pornography and what it will do to their marriages. Pornography is the polar opposite of love. 

“For example, the Bible makes it really clear that what makes a marriage work is a husband who loves his wife like Christ loved the church and He gives himself up for her and He nourishes her and He cherishes her. Pornography is taking.  Pornography is objectifying someone. Pornography is using someone. Pornography is inherently selfish.”

Pastor Brown shared the advice he gives to young men when they get married.

“I've done a number of weddings of young people over the years, and one of the things I try to tell the young men is, 'If you've ever seen anything in pornography, don't do it. Don't do it because it's nothing but selfishness.’ Don't replicate that in your bedroom. Go read Ephesians 5.”

Pastor Brown asked that the body of Christ would pray for more shepherding in the homes and more of God's Word.

“We should pray that parents would shepherd their children by walking beside them and taking them to green pastures and not letting them go to bad pastures and the brackish poisonous water. Homes need to be filled with the Word of God. It's the Word of God that's the great protector and it gives blessing to all those who heed it. Those two things are the most critical.”

Pastor Brown concluded by saying that the church of Jesus Christ should be crying out for a revival of biblical church practices of the preaching of the Word, the reading of God's Word, taking the Lord's Supper, and Christian fellowship.  

Ephesians 5:25-28 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.” 

This has been a World View Special Report. I’m Adam McManus.

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Fear of God Devotional: Why Do We Neglect Prayer Meetings?



What is a reason many people neglect prayer meetings? How do church leaders cultivate a renewed prayer life?

Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that prayer meetings have often deteriorated into gatherings of just a handful of people. One reason that so few people show up is because of the way they are led during the meeting. They are led by men who are not men who pray often.  

Another reason is few people show is because the men who lead the prayer times bring no leadership to the meeting whatsoever. They simply ask those gathered what they want to do.  It is vital that leaders of the church show up to a prayer meeting already prepared and encourage those gathered to pray for different areas — to pray for the persecuted church or to pray that the Kingdom of God will continue to spread.

1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV) – “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”

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Willingly Offered Themselves



This is the story of a city reborn. In order to perform its function in the plan of God, the city must be re-populated… and God gave His people a spirit of willingness to move, in order to accomplish His purposes. Oftentimes, people need to make dramatic changes in order to advance the kingdom of God. In this case, advancing the kingdom of God meant strengthening worship and economy in the city of Jerusalem. Have you willingly offered yourself for this?

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Fear of God Devotional: The Joy That Comes from Repentance



What is an example of the joy that comes from repentance?

John Snyder explains in this video that an early English reformer named John Bradford is one of the greatest examples of repentance. During his life, he was betrayed by one of his co-pastors. In prison, he met other famous early English reformers and they were put into one cell together. It was a sweet time for them. Bradford is mainly known for his work on the doctrine of repentance. 

One person noted that Bradford would enter into his prayer closet and weep to such a degree that you would think that he could never be happy again. Later, he would emerge so happy that people who met him later found it hard to believe that he could be sad. 

Psalm 51:12 (NKJV) – “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

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The Joy of Jerusalem Heard Far Off



As we arrive in Nehemiah chapter 12, much has happened among the exiles who returned from the Babylonian Captivity a hundred years before. Through the years, there have been hardships and heartbreaks along the way. There were threats and famine from the outside. There were pressures from the inside from faltering faith, selfishness, ceasing the restoration efforts and brothers mistreating brothers. However, much has been accomplished. The temple has been rebuilt, the sacrifices instituted, the wall built, the gates hung, the covenant signed, and the city repopulated. Now, a month after the wall was finished, it is dedicated, and “the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off” (v43).

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance in Marriage



What should a husband do when he has sinned against his wife?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that after their wedding day, a husband and wife will most likely have an argument. There may be unkind words or wicked attitudes spoken towards each other. Once a husband has sinned against his wife, he must repent of his sin towards her. 

A repentant heart does not always involve the shedding of tears. It can be as simple as a husband looking his wife in the eye and saying that he has sinned against her and ask her forgiveness. If the man genuinely understands the wickedness of what he has done, there will be a desire to never do it again.

Ephesians 5:25 (NKJV) – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”

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Turning Away from Pagan, Pt 1



In Nehemiah 13, we encounter the final scenes of reformation among those who returned from exile in Babylon over a hundred years before. After many dramatic reformations among the people through the years, we learn that Nehemiah traveled to back to Susa for some period of time. Finally, he returns to Jerusalem only to find that the people had allowed paganism to creep in. They turned back from their original devotion and covenants in some very specific areas. This time frame corresponds with the preaching of the last prophet of the Old Testament, Malachi. In this chapter, we learn of specific ways that we too might turn away from everything pagan. This is the first part of a three-part series on turning away from everything pagan.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Power of the Gospel



What is an example that demonstrates the power of the Gospel in the life of an unbeliever?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that he became a Christian at 20 years old. His wife had just become a Christian, perhaps weeks before. Someone had lent him a Bible. He had never opened one.  

One night, while he was sitting in his room, he decided to open up the Bible. He opened to the Sermon on the Mount. He remembers sitting there and being blown away. He remembers having a desire to know who Jesus was. He went through his entire room and tossed all of his cassette tapes in the trash.

He came back to his room and began devouring the Word of God. He went to church. He could not put down the Word of God. He also desired to share what he had learned with anyone who would listen to him. 

Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) – “ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Reformation Transforms a Family



How does reformation begin in the family?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that once God starts getting a hold of the father and the mother and they realize what Scripture states about family life, a family begins to be reformed. They realize that Scripture is to be their guide for all of life.

A father begins to lead his family in accordance with Scripture. A wife realizes how she is to submit to her husband. Children understand that they are to obey their parents. There is reformation in the life of the individual, within the marriage of the husband and wife, and in the home.  

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

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