Ramzie Cate… 7 days old, already eating turkey legs.
God gives the people a glimpse of what He is about to give them and it’s the classic good news and bad news scenario. The good news is that that land is rich with abundant produce. The bad news is that the people who will need to be defeated are strong. Caleb trusted God, so he could only see God’s provision. The other spies didn’t trust God, so they could only see defeat.
Almost any challenge in life could be looked at through these lenses. Are we headed for defeat or is God giving us an opportunity for Him to do something good? We’re probably more likely to run away from a challenge if it appears huge, but God is always bigger than the challenge.
God knows the consequences of sin and pleads for us to obey his commands. He lets us know in advance that our choices will have lasting consequences for us and for our children. Sinful choices can be the beginning of destructive family patterns that often carry on generation after generation.
But God’s mercy far outweighs his judgment. Many more generations will be blessed if we choose to love and obey Him. In the face of temptation, remember that the way we live our lives establishes a lasting legacy, either in the form of blessings or punishments. What will we choose to give our children and the generations that follow?
When faced with temptation, consider the legacy that sin passes on to your children.
No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:8-10 MSG)
Trapped against the sea, the Israelites watched in terror as the Egyptians advanced in hot pursuit. Moses alone remained calm and encouraged the people not to be afraid. He challenged them to be still and allow the Lord to fight for them.
As we raise our children, we too will be faced with panic-inducing situations. If we do not have a solid foundation of faith, we may be overcome with fear and tempted to act rashly. Instead, God asks us to pause and seek his guidance. He reminds us the battle is His. Obviously this requires us to depend on God’s wisdom instead of our own. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to be still.
When faced with difficult parenting situations, seek God’s guidance before you act. And, let Him work.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13, 14 NIV)
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:23, 24 NIV)
We have all probably heard or read this verse of Scripture at one time or another. We CAN do anything we want — really? Sure we can, like eating a bag full of Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. We CAN… but it’s probably not what we SHOULD do.
Personally, it’s time to bring this Scripture to life — and focus more on verse 24 than ever before.
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
I’m going to do my best (read Im not perfect and will fail) to always seek the good of others over my own good. Sure, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. But with 2 kids, a 3rd child on the way, a wife that depends on me for physical, emotional, & spiritual love and support, I can’t afford to be selfish. It might feel good, but would only be hurting the ones I love the most.
I’ve come a long way from selfish in the last 5-7 years, but life is a marathon — not a sprint. So my goal moving forward is to put forth more effort, & consider even more the well-being of those around me. As inconvenient as it is sometimes, they need me worse than I do…
“We will begin a new series this week at Epic, “The New Normal” . What does normal mean? Is there such a thing as normal at all?? We can not wait to share with you how to create a new normal within your home. Come expecting God to speak to you! We promise you will leave challenged and inspired!!” — Bené Marsh
I want to second this. Because at one point in our marriage, Amy & I didn’t know what “normal” really was. We thought normal was fighting all the time, & not trusting each other. We thought being skeptical was “normal.” Tears were “normal” for us.
So now, seeing how much God can change a marriage/relationship/home life, I CHALLENGE you to come with an open heart, ready to listen and possibly…have your home life/relationship/marriage flipped upside down — for good, by the One who created it all.
See you tomorrow. 9am/10:30am/12pm/4pm/6pm.
Check out all the Baby Bottles full o’ coins!!! #EpicInterns (@kayleighhudson, @whitneychall, @sheltonkate, @haydenlane22) counting the endless supply of change!!
In the early days of the church, the Bible tells us that the apostle, Peter, had become such an influential, powerful man of God, that people would bring the sick on pallets and cots in the streets where he might pass by, hoping his shadow would fall over them and, hopefully, they would be healed. Such was the aura of greatness around that man.
What kind of shadow do you cast?
Our shadow goes with us wherever we go, never falling on us, but on someone else. We’re rarely aware of where it falls. We all influence someone—parents influence kids, coaches influence players, teachers influence students.
What kind of shadow do you cast? Is it for good, or for evil? To build up, or tear down? To encourage, or discourage? To help, or to hurt? Does it point people to God, or just to yourself?
As you think about the life that you live, think about the legacy you want to leave. What kind of shadow do you cast?
I love what Coach Lou Holtz, a former South Carolina football coach, has said about his team at the beginning of many seasons. He says they remind him of the Kamikaze pilot who flew fifty missions—involved, but not committed. He says a lot of players get involved, but time will tell if they’re really committed to the cause for the good of the team, and if they’re committed to helping the team be a success.
On a team, in the office or in the church, we have a lot of folks who are involved, but not enough are committed who will get the job done, no matter what it takes. How about you, when it comes to your life and your responsibilities? Are you just involved, or are you committed to do your best for the good of the team, the group, and all concerned? Most of all, are you committed to do your best for the glory of God, to please Him before anyone else? That’s always the key to ultimate success.
“This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives.” - 2 Cor. 8:5 (MSG)
Tomorrow is Jaxon’s 7th birthday, but today was such a gift for us all.
I got to join my Austin Football brothers for breakfast and a simple, but powerful message about Influence. Jaxon went with me because he hoped to meet his hero, Josh Walker.
He did. Good start to the day…
Later on, at Jaxon’s school - guess who shows up to talk to a few 1st grade classes about Responsibility… Josh Walker. Of course! So Jax calls me after school fired up!! And the day is only half over…
10:15pm - Jax comes home from the Austin football game, where he got to see an incredible overtime victory by his A-High boys who were down 20-0 at the half. He also got to see his hero fight through many tackles to score the winning touchdown, got a picture with him afterwards, & come to find out was even mentioned in the halftime speech by Coach, challenging the team to not let down the people that look up to them, like Jaxon!!
So, like I said, tomorrow is Jaxon’s birthday, and he asked for a couple tree frogs and a tank for his room. Somehow I don’t really believe that the frogs will outweigh the gifts that he got today.
He got to meet his hero, a big-time local athlete that turns out to be a great person overall and an incredible student. Someone that he can follow and look up to. That’s a gift for his mom and I as well as him.
So a major thank you to Josh Walker. You have given Jaxon a birthday gift that his mother and I never could have bought for him. I pray that your life is blessed beyond measure, because you have blessed my son.
So, to cap off the day with same thought I started with:
You never know who is watching, and you never know who you are influencing…
God made us to magnify his greatness, the way telescopes magnify stars. He created us to put his goodness and truth and beauty and wisdom and justice on display. The greatest display of God’s glory comes from deep delight in all that he is. This means that God gets the praise and we get the pleasure. God created us so that he is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
“…everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7 NIV)
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him— (NIV)
2 of our EPIC Interns, @SheltonKate & @WhitneyCHall working hard on some #CrazyStupidLove projects!!