Fear of God Devotional: How Are We to Reform Our Lives?

How should we approach the subject of reformation today?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that there is a great need for reformation today. The greatest reform that we need is to go back to Scripture. We must look to see what Scripture says about everything. 

Families and individuals must go to the Scripture to see how God has prescribed that we live. How do we live in the church, home, and community? We must get back to the Scriptures and look only to the Scriptures with regard to how we will worship God and live our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct[a] your paths.”

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24 Hour Sale on “Journey Through the Bible

Check out our one-day, 24 Hour Sale of  “Journey Through the Bible!” for $11.95 apiece – 70% off (limit one per customer). 

But, there is a catch: to get a copy of our book at this special, discounted price, you must sign up on our website, to read through the Bible in 2018. We will then give you this book at a price that is good only for 24 hours.  

Help your family love the words of the Bible by reading it to them in 2018. Go to ncfic.org/jttb to get your copy of “Journey Through the Bible.”

To receive this deal, add Journey Through the Bible to your cart and use coupon code “read2018”

As we approach 2018, here is a helpful article:   Ten Tips for Reading the Bible as a Family in 2018 

The sale starts Wednesday (20th) at 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EST.

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Fear of God Devotional: How to Avoid Poorly Implementing Reformation in the Family

How can we poorly implement reformation in the family?

Gary Powers explains in this video that we can poorly implement reformation in our own family when we don’t think, pray, or study God’s Word before demanding change. 

As a father, we can just harshly demand that they act a certain way without explaining why. Leading by power is the lowest form of leadership. We must first model it in our own lives. We as fathers must look to the life of Christ and the patterns and precepts laid down in Scripture and teach others to do the same.

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NKJV) – “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

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Fear of God Devotional: A Father Repents to His Children for Harshness

How should a father talk to his children if he is guilty of harshness or anger towards them?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that there will undoubtedly be instances where a father sins against his children in some way. He needs to sit them down and tell them that he is sorry for what he did.

He must explain that there is no excuse for the way that he reacted. He must tell them that how he just treated them was sinful, even though the occasion might have demanded discipline. It is important to ask for their forgiveness and to seek reconciliation.

Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV) – “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

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Ten Tips for Reading the Bible as a Family in 2018

Let’s read the Bible together as families in 2018! I recently asked one of my grown daughters what was the most helpful thing we did in our family. She said, “Papa, it was those times we sat in the living room and read through the Bible.” For many years, our family read the Bible out loud together. We did it for about a decade. It gave our children a love for the Word of God, and it provided them with an understanding of the sweeping history of redemption from Genesis to Revelation. It showed them where they fit in the world.

Why do this?

David gives the most powerful argument in Psalm 19:7-11,

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.”

What is the value of a deep understanding of the Gospel?  What is the value of seeing the sweep of history?  What is the value of knowing the whole counsel of God?  What is the value of getting prepared to meet the trials and heartbreaks that are ahead? I believe that there is no better way to capture this value than to simply read the Bible as a family.

Here is my challenge: read the Bible with your whole family in 2018. Here are Ten Tips for Reading the Bible as a Family in 2018:

1. Resolve this issue right away: Can your children can handle it?

Can they? Yes! Don’t be intimidated by the fact that your children are young. They may not get everything out of everything, but they will get something out of everything. You will find that they will understand more than you anticipate. Remember that Timothy’s mother taught him the scriptures from the time he was a child, “from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Tim:315). Remember that God’s people have gathered for many hours to hear the reading of the Word of God (Nehemiah 8:1). Also, remember that most of the Bible is narrative – stories that children can love. Children are fully able to sit down and watch a video for an hour. Certainly, that is proof positive that they can sit and listen to reading for 20-40 minutes.

2. Prepare a heart of gladness

The entire Bible points to, “good tidings of great joy which will be for all the people.”

Parents who have a love for the words of scripture are the most powerful leverage points in children’s lives. The more you love the Word of God, the easier it will be for your children to hear you read it to them. It is contagious when you love the words and the stories of the Bible, believing that they are “pure,” “perfect” and “holy.” God promises that those who delight in the law of the Lord are richly rewarded, He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3).

3. Keep it simple

Don’t think you need to explain everything. When you are reading through the Bible in a year, there is no way you can carefully talk about and analyze everything in the chapters for each day. It’s simply too much material. When you are finished reading the chapter or the section, pick out one verse or one idea and talk about it. Be content with the big picture. I often asked questions like, “What was your favorite part?” or “What wonderful things did you see in His law?” (Ps 119:18).

4. Pick a consistent place and time of the day to read

Consistency is key. Why? Two reasons. First, we need orderliness to succeed, as the Psalmist said, So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12). Second, because everything in your life will wage war against whatever time you choose. The Devil will throw every trick in the book to get you to divert your family from reading the Bible, including your own family members. Select an unbreakable time. Sometimes we found it helpful to read the Old Testament in the morning and the New Testament in the evening to break it up. I highly recommend it. This helps you to declare His “lovingkindness in the morning,” and “His faithfulness by night” (Psalm 92:2).

5. Be a good tour guide

Take your family by the hand and walk them through the corridors of saving grace. Marvel in the people, the places, the eras and the personalities God included in the history of saving grace. These are the markers on the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:9). Point to the beauty as you read. Cultivate a spirit of awe toward the words and the stories. For practical help, check out the book, “Journey Through the Bible” which is a quick summary resource to help you understand the purpose of each book of the Bible. As you journey, stand in awe at the beauty, truthfulness and practicality that is displayed.

6. Have everyone read

One of the things we did in our family was to have each person read five verses going around the circle. If we had children who could only read a few words, we had them read one, two or more words. If they were too young to read, we would read a few words and ask them to repeat them. It was one of our methods for teaching them to read.

7. Sing about it

Sing a hymn that communicates the message of the book of the Bible you are reading. Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him Psalm 105:1-2. In “Journey Through the Bible,” there is a recommended hymn for each book of the Bible. Singing drives truth home and is a blessing to the soul.

8. Anticipate being slowed down by child discipline

From time to time, your reading may be slowed down by discipline problems. Children sometimes disobey or have bad attitudes. They may be mean to one another while you are reading. These things need to be dealt with on the spot. If possible, it is helpful if one parent leaves with the erring child to deal with problem, while the rest of the family continues reading. Don’t let this discourage you. It is a normal part of life. Sin patterns providentially come to the surface on the road to holiness. I believe that these things happen in order for parents to confront sin so that children are freed from their rebellion. “Consider it joy when you encounter various trials,” James 1:2.

9. Choose a method for reading the Bible in a year.

There are many methods to choose from. Choose one, and start January 1, 2018. Our family used John MacArthur’s schedule. It usually took us between 20 minutes to an hour to read each day, depending on the age of our children, and how much discussion (or discipline problems) we had.

10. Catch up when you fall behind

I predict you will sometimes fall behind. Our family did – many times each year.  Don’t say, “We might fall behind so we shouldn’t try.”  It is usually a mistake to neglect a great thing for possible failure. Yes, you will fall behind from time to time. Life happens! Our family used different methods at different times when we fell behind.  Here are four ways the Brown family bounced back when we fell behind the schedule:

First, spread it out

Let’s say you’re 16 chapters behind. Add one extra chapter for the next 16 days and you’ll be caught up in sixteen days.

Second, grind it out

Just grind it out and read those 16 make-up chapters over a day or two.  Take a couple of hours and read, read, read.  Just “Git ‘er done!”

Third, listen up

Catch up by listening to an audio bible while you are driving or working around the house.

Fourth, jump ahead

Simply jump ahead to the section allocated for the current day in the schedule. Chalk it up to, “It’s not a perfect world, we are not a perfect family and sometimes we fall behind”.  BUT, we are not giving up!”

So, here’s the big question

Are your children ready for the trials ahead?  Do they know the true Gospel?  Do they have a big vision of God? Do they have a Biblical vision of His love, truth and mercy?

Reading the whole counsel of God is the best training for the future.

Don’t let your children leave home without it.

Scott Brown is pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, NC and the President of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches. He has just released a new book called, “Journey Through the Bible,” which is a practical help for people who want to understand all the books of the Bible.

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Repentance a One-Time Event?

Should repentance be a one-time event in the life of a believer?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video that he has heard of some churches that teach that once you are saved, there is no need for repentance. You can keep on living however you want. This is a very unbiblical position. 

Repentance is absolutely necessary for salvation but also a critical component of daily walking with the Lord. Repentance helps us to understand how sinful we are and how great our need is for a Savior. 

1 John 1:8 (NKJV) – “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

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Limited-Time Offer! Christmas Super Sale

We are excited to announce our Christmas Super Sale, where we are offering between 70% and 30% off most of our resources site-wide! This deal ends on Saturday, December 31st.

We are offering 70% off ALL of our CDs/DVDs and 30% off ALL of our books plus FREE shipping on any order over $25, guaranteed to arrive before Christmas if you place your order by December 19th and choose Priority Shipping at checkout.

Our goal at the NCFIC is to provide biblically-faithful resources for as many people as possible. This year, we are offering our best discount yet. If you already have some of these resources, please pass the info along to someone who would benefit from them.

Our new book “Journey Through the Bible” is now available for $28.00!

“Journey Through the Bible” came about from our family worship times as we read the Bible together as a family. This book is a compilation of notes I collected as I studied these books on my own and as I preached through them over the years. This is a wonderful resource for the family and will provide a roadmap for a father to take his family through the Word of God.

Check out all our resources!

This deal ends on Sunday, December 31st or while supplies last. To receive your order before Christmas, you must order by December 19th and choose Priority Shipping at checkout.

Let us resolutely bind ourselves together to rebuild what has been broken down in church and family, and fulfill the prophesy Isaiah prophesied:

“Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” Isaiah 58:12

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Sorrow for Sin and Repentance the Same Thing?

What is the difference between sorrow for sin and repentance?

Michael Beasley explains in this video that there is a difference between mere sorrow and genuine repentance. Worldly sorrow still clings to sin even though there might be grief shown over sin. We can be sorry for what we have done but not truly repent.

Just because you feel sorrowful doesn’t mean that you are repentant over the sin that you have committed. In the book, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” John Bunyan talks about a man locked in an iron cage and how this man discusses his sin and the sorrow he had for his sin. But, this man remained in the cage because he was not genuinely repentant. Sorrow by itself does not mean that a person is repentant for their sin.

Luke 13:3 (NKJV) – “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Effect of Neglecting to Teach God’s Word

What is one effect of neglecting to teach God’s Word?

Ken Ham explains in this video that the reason that one of the contributing factors to racism and prejudice stems from the fact that individuals in churches have not been taught that we are all one race, as Scripture states very clearly. Without that proper understanding, we cannot develop a right worldview of who we are and how to approach issues such as racism and prejudice.

Repentance needs to happen. We need to stand back and repent that we have not taught God’s Word as we should have.

Galatians 3:28 (NKJV) – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: One of the Biggest Problems in the Church Today

What is one of the biggest problems that we have in our churches today?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that one of the biggest problems that we have in our churches and culture today is that many people claim that they are Christians but they never exhibit true fruits of salvation and they have never repented for their sins. They are not true Christians.

As a result, people are thinking that they are doing just fine while they walk in darkness and are enslaved to the devil. Accordingly, they experience no victory over sin and continue to show affection for sin. There is a divide in their lives, where so long as they go to church on Sunday, they can do whatever they please the rest of the week.

1 John 1:6 (NKJV) – “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What Pastors Must Not Forget to Preach in Their Sermons

What must pastors not forget to preach in their sermons?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that a pastor needs to preach the great contrast between God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. Preachers must point to the cross. At the cross, God sent His Son, Christ took the wrath of God and experienced God’s turning away.

Christ endured all of this because of His love towards us and His mercy towards us. At the cross, we begin to see our sinfulness and God’s righteousness. We see the love of God shown towards us.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV) – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The False Repentance of Jeroboam

What is an example of false repentance?

Paul Thompson explains in this video that we see instances of false repentance in Scripture. Jeroboam was king and God sent a man to call him out of the ungodly things that he has done.

The man of God comes and warns Jeroboam and Jeroboam immediately attempts to have him thrown out and he stretches out his harm. While he is pointing at the man of God, God strikes his arm. While Jeroboam cries out for God to restore his arm, it is clear that Jeroboam never did repent for his sin.

Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV) – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Distinction Between Wordly and Godly Sorrow

What is the distinction between worldly and godly sorrow?

Mike Davenport explains in this video that there is a significant difference between worldly and godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow is a sorrow that may lead to repentance, but it is primarily concerned with self and how others think of them. In other words, the focus is horizontal – the offender is concerned with our their sin impacts themselves or others but does not consider what God thinks of their sin. 

In contrast, godly sorrow is vertical-focused. It asks how we have offended God. We realize that our sin doesn’t just affect ourselves or others, but that when we sin, we also sin against God. 

Psalm 51:4 (NKJV) – “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak,[a] and blameless when You judge.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: When Does Repentance Occur in the Life of a Christian?

When and how does repentance occur in the life of a Christian?

Don Hart explains in this video that there is a point where saving knowledge and repentance occur in a Christian’s life. There are different ways that God can save us and bring us to a saving knowledge of Himself. For example, not all of us will have a conversion experience as Paul did on his way to Damascus.

After we are saved, there is a notable difference in our lives and we are a new creature. A repentant person turns away from sinful desires and patterns and turns toward Jesus Christ. There is a single time of repentance when a person comes to Christ. But, a regenerate person needs to continually repent throughout their entire life.

Acts 3:19 (NKJV) – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What is an Example of True Repentance?

What is an example of true repentance?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that he knew of a man who had sinned grievously. But instead of continuing to live in sin, this man confessed his heinous sin to him, his wife, and his children. 

He repented because he knew he had sinned against God and against others. He did not try to cover his sin or to make excuses for it. Repentance is a two-fold process: confessing it and forsaking it.

Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) – “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

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