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Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • A Grandmothers Gift

    Posted on May 7, 2012 by Family Christian

    “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Timothy 1:5

     

    Every God-fearing grandmother can give the gift of faith to her grandchildren. It is a gift that keeps giving to those in the path of its influence. Like the ripple affect of a rock released onto the surface of calm water, so faith deposited in tender hearts swells touching other souls. A grandmother’s position garners trust for the purpose of giving Christ’s love. Her unique role is a righteous responsibility that reaps faith’s fruit in her child’s children.

    So, wise are we, as grandparents, to keep growing in grace and wisdom. Our seasoned season of life does not guarantee that we qualify as wise mentors, hence we keep learning, so we have fresh experiences of God’s faithfulness. Once we receive from our heavenly Father, grandmothers and grandfathers have the most to give. Our daily walk with Jesus gives us grace to give to others. Thus, we make time for grandchildren.

    “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1

    Holy Scripture is a gift your granddaughter or grandson will never forget. But, first make sure they catch you in your time with Christ, sharing with them stories from Scripture. God’s word reads with new meaning in new seasons, so as they grow older see to it they have a fresh motivation to mediate on God’s word. Give them the gift of wisdom: the smell of a new leather bound Bible is the aroma of a life bound to belief in the Lord.

    Perhaps you entrust to each adolescent grandchild one of your Bibles as a memento of your love for your Master, Jesus. Keepsakes for Christ create a hunger for holiness to those who honor you. Grandparenting is your crowning opportunity to crown Christ as King of your life and legacy. Therefore, intentionally pray for ways to walk with your grandchildren in fun and faith. Your gift of love and laughter attracts them to Jesus!

    “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15

    Prayer: Lord, how can I influence my grandchildren with fun and faith?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 5:33; Joshua 14:9; Isaiah 2:5; Zechariah 3:7

    Post/Tweet this today: Scripture reads with new meaning in new seasons. #Scripture #seasons


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Lips of Children

    Posted on May 6, 2012 by Family Christian

    From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2

     

    The lips of children lift up the greatness of God in praise and adoration. They do not know any better than to believe God and take Him at His word. They are trusting and pure in their devotion. It is the children that embraced the coronation of Christ in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. They shouted “Hosanna in the highest,” while the proud religious leaders were indignant (Matthew 21:15). Humility praises Jesus, but pride is silent. Humility invites Jesus, but pride is threatened by Jesus. Humility wants to sit in His lap, but pride rejects His love and affection. Children remind us of the God we have forgotten. We’ve gotten so sophisticated with our Savior that we miss Him. We used to cry out to Him in gratitude over His overwhelming grandeur, but somewhere along the way we have taken Him for granted. Children remind us of God’s greatness. This is their lot.

    Children live in a constant state of dependency. They depend on their parents for food, clothing, and shelter. Children look to their parents to teach them about God and religion. Hobbies, like enjoying the great outdoors, playing sports, or cultivating an interest in the arts become a committed interest of children with their parents’ prodding encouragement. Parents are a plethora of resources for their children. Boys and girls depend on Mom and Dad for direction regarding what they do well and how they can best excel. Parents are warehouses of wisdom for their offspring. Children who are compliant in learning from and depending on their parents are successful. They may, unknowingly, be building a solid foundation for living.

    Our relationship with God is no different. We are His children in desperate need of His direction. We may spurn His discipline at times, but we come back because we know He is what we need. We need His wisdom. We need His forgiveness. We need His comfort, love, and hope. We need his perspective to be able to work effectively with people. We need His security found only in Christ. We need His courage in crisis. We need His grace in the middle of criticism. We need His humility to defeat pride. Christians who succeed the most are totally and utterly dependent on Christ. Otherwise, our pride drives us to self-sufficiency and shallow or patronizing praises of God. His greatness decreases as ours increases. Therefore, re-crown Him King daily. By faith, we step away from the throne of our life and humbly bow at His feet, as He sits enthroned and worthy of all praise.

    Children are the conscience of adults. They remind us of our dependency on Jesus. We are but a grain of sand on the seashore of humanity. Jesus is Lord of all, and we serve and worship Him alone. The lips of children naturally lift up the glory of God. We do so supernaturally by the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot keep quiet because of His lavish love and abundant grace which He pours forth on the faithful. It’s in our childlike faith that God reveals Himself, but He hides the very same from the wise of the world (Luke 10:21). You are a child of God. Therefore, praise and adore His majestic name.

    Taken from Reading #5 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: Humility praises Jesus, but pride is silent. #humility #praise


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Poured Out

    Posted on May 5, 2012 by Family Christian

    “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled.
    I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.”
    1 Samuel 1:15

     

    Sometimes your soul pours out in passionate prayer. The hurt is so deep, the loss so great, and the burden so heavy, that your soul exceeds earnest prayer. Your emotions increase in intensity to the point that your prayers become speechless. Somewhere between the bottom of your soul and the tip of your tongue the words evaporate. Sometimes your extra heavy heart feels constricted and emits groans that only the Holy Spirit can discern.

    “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). It’s not only okay to go there, it’s necessary. This level of soul-searching prayer is what brings peace to one painted with pain. After your soul has been delivered onto God’s platter of prayer, you are able to rest in His peaceful presence. It is during this non-trivial travail in prayer that your soul finds solace.
       
    As in childbirth, your pain progresses until it is released by God’s act of grace and gravity. Your burden is birthed and becomes a blessing. Your hurt has been gestating for months, even years, so release it from your hurting soul. It has lodged itself deep within and, over time, has whittled away your joy. You have become hard to live with and you struggle to love yourself. Latch onto your Lord and don’t let go, for He is there for you.

    He is listening even when you don’t speak or your communication is nothing but moans. Continue to seek the face of your heavenly Father, for He is there as a present hope. But hope deferred will keep your soul sick (Proverbs 13:12). It may seem silly to pour out your soul to the One you cannot see, yet faith serves as the eyes that gaze upon your heavenly Father. Soul care is His passion, for what you pour out in grief and resentment, He replaces with comfort and forgiveness.
       
    Once you pour out your soul to your Lord, you can leave it with Him and move forward in the power and peace of the Holy Spirit. Fill your now emptied soul with your Savior, and  let Christ cover you with confidence, serenity, and security. If you leave your soul empty of the eternal, Satan will fill you with the lingering lies of guilt and worry (Jesus explains this principle in Luke 11:24-26).

    A poured-out soul gives the Lord more to work with. His love will lift you higher and higher to heights of affection that make angels envious. What is poured out, He fills; what is broken, He mends; what is hungry, He feeds; what is thirsty, He quenches; what is hurt, He nurses. Allow Jesus to be the keeper of your soul. His nurture and care are unparalleled. A soul made whole generates gratitude and generosity.

    A soul poured out flushes out faithlessness and fear, allowing it to be filled with faithfulness and trust. People in denial may think you are strange or weak pouring out your soul to God. However, you know better, because this is the avenue to intimacy. When you pour out your soul to the Lord, He fills you up with Himself. A life full of Jesus is the best place to live. You can trust Him with this level of transparency. Don’t doubt; just pour out.

    Taken from May 5th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: A soul made whole generates gratitude and generosity. #soul #wholeness


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Detest Dissension

    Posted on May 4, 2012 by Family Christian

    “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: … a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16; 19

     

    The Lord loathes liars and those who stir up dissension because they are masters at sowing seeds of doubt, deception, and discord. Dissenters think the worst of others and pose prideful questions like, “Is he or she really fit for the job?’ “Do they deal with honest intentions?” or “Can this person really be trusted?” A person who stirs up dissension projects their own insecure feelings on the person they are seeking to discredit or even destroy.

    Like Saul, their own anger, hurt, and jealousy drive them to delusionary conclusions. It is sad to see them suffer under their own mental anguish, absent of trust in the Lord. Their perspective becomes man-centered, while faith in Christ is jettisoned as irrelevant. Those who stir up dissension need to be dealt with directly and with a heart of compassion.

    “The hot-tempered stir up dissension, but those who are patient calm a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18, TNIV

    Therefore, confront in love the one who orchestrates doubt and division among the team. Question their facts and ask them to refrain from gossip and divisive behavior. Lastly, look into your own heart, making sure you are not guilty of lies and deceit. Do not become like your accuser and discredit your integrity. We see shortcomings in others because we struggle with the same familiar sins.

    It is cause for humility, as we seek the Lord’s strength and forgiveness. By God’s grace turn mischief into maturity, discord into concord, contentiousness into community, and pride into peace. Use your influence to lead yourself and your team to a higher standard of conduct sanctioned by your Lord Jesus. Conflict with the contentious is meant to grow your character. Hate what the Lord hates, while loving offenders through the process.

    “When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7

    Who do I need to confront in love about their divisive behavior?

    Related Readings: I Samuel 26:1-25; Proverbs 22:10; 26:20; James 3:14-16; 3 John 1:9-10

    Post/Tweet this today: Conflict with the contentious is meant to grow your character. #conflict #character


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Parental Prayers

    Posted on May 3, 2012 by Family Christian

    “I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

     

    A parent’s prayers for their child produce the best results: both in the short-term and the long-term. Smart prayers include their salvation, future spouse, and a sensitive heart to the Spirit’s leading. Faith-focused prayers penetrate pride, dissolve selfishness, and give wisdom. Satan flees in the face of just prayers. Spiritual battles rage for the family’s soul and wise are the parents who engage in a prayer offensive.

    Indeed, when we pray with our spouse our own hearts are strangely warmed to God, our children, and to each other. There is a mutually compounding benefit when you make prayer an investment priority for your progeny. A child who knows they are prayed for by their mom and dad is confident they are cared about. We build our son or daughter’s self-esteem when we petition heaven on their behalf. Prayer produces confidence.

    “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” Acts 14:23

    How would your heavenly Father have you pray for your children? Perhaps you begin by praying with and for them at meal times and when you tuck them in at night. Obligatory and rote prayers lack spiritual intensity—they even tempt the Lord—but your fervent and righteous prayers rock the worlds of their recipients. Pray boldly for your child to live boldly within a culture of unbelief. Pray they will stand alone when others forsake the faith.

    Have you given your child over to the Lord in a simple and trusting prayer? You cannot control your child, but you can entrust them to Christ who is all controlling. You must not seek to manipulate your son or daughter, but ask the Holy Spirit to lead them away from temptation and into His path of peace and wisdom. Pray for godly mentors to come into their lives and reinforce what you have taught and modeled for years. Be hopeful and persevere, as your parental prayers offer wisdom and revelation of God!

    “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesians 1:16-17

    Prayer: Lord, what prayers can I direct to you on behalf of my child?

    Related Readings: Genesis 25:21; 1 Chronicles 5:20; Colossians 4:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:2

    Post/Tweet this today: Pray boldly for your child to live boldly within a culture of unbelief. #prayer #child


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Best Parental Gift

    Posted on May 2, 2012 by Family Christian

    “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

     

    Outside of a personal faith in Christ, the best gift a parent can give their child is a healthy marriage. This secure and stable environment gives little ones a large amount of peace. A husband and wife who learn to love and respect one another create a culture of calm in their family. Why would a child want to wander from a home where acceptance is assured? A marriage marked by service to each other motivates children to do the same.

    We have to remind ourselves as a father and a mother that we were first a husband and a wife. Neglect of our marriage responsibilities puts additional pressure on our roles as a dad and mom. Productive parenting flows from a maturing marriage. So, effective parents wisely ask, “How am I investing in my marriage?” “Is it time to get away, before we drift away?” Parents who collaborate with Christ and one other win their child’s heart.

    “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:3

    Has your affection for your child replaced your affection for your spouse? Yes, love for a child is different, but it is not meant to compete with your number one companion. Perhaps you pray regularly as a couple for your children to grow in Christ-like character and then pray the same for your relationship. Prayer promotes peace and creates patience. A joy filled marriage spills over happiness into your home, children, and friendships.

    Furthermore, your home becomes a haven of hope and trust when you model dependence on the Lord. Your child depends on you to depend on God. When you look to Christ, as a husband and wife, you see truth and grace. The Holy Spirit will lead both of you to do the right things under His leadership. And, the Lord helps you become who you need to be for each other and for your child. So, surrender your marriage to Jesus and watch Him bond you to your spouse and give you wisdom as a parent.

    “As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5

    Prayer: Lord, how can our marriage grow into a great gift to our child?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 1:8; Matthew 19:10; 1 Corinthians 7:28; Philippians 4:8-9

    Post/Tweet this today: Your child depends on you to depend on God. #parenting #God


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Parenting Without Exasperation

    Posted on May 1, 2012 by Family Christian

    “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

     

    It can be exasperating to parent with calm consistency and effectiveness. However, one thing is true: training and instructing a child in the Lord extinguishes exasperation. Godly guidelines give a gullible heart security and a sense of loving protection. A little one’s innocence tarnishes into guilty pleasures when discipline is withheld or ignored. Thus, a wise parent defines clear standards so their expectations bring joy not sadness. 

    We need boundaries in our behavior as parents so we model humility and wisdom for our children. Indeed, we contribute to a tranquil home culture when we practice, “Do as I say and follow what I do.” Parenting with grace and truth flows from our character and conduct. We confess our angry reaction and ask forgiveness from our son or daughter. We keep our commitments, tell the truth, listen well, love liberally, and obey God.

    “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:12

    What does it look like to train and instruct your child in the Lord? It begins with teaching the tension of fearing and loving the Lord simultaneously. One motivates behavior out of respect—the other out of affection. The fear of the Lord reminds us of the consequences of sin, while loving God invites intimacy. The first is the beginning of wisdom and the latter initiates a relationship. Indeed, our view of God becomes our pattern for parenting.

    The way you relate to your heavenly Father is how you expect your children to relate to you. Thus: no talking back, no disrespect, disobedience, or dishonesty. You reward a compliant attitude, hard work, instant obedience, and a humble heart. Exasperation exists in a leadership vacuum, but when you step up to serve your family, faith flourishes. Loving accountability causes some angst in the beginning, but reaps peace in the end.

    “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7

    Prayer: Lord, what area of my life needs consistency, so that I can parent better?

    Related Readings: Genesis 18:19; Proverbs 22:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Hebrews 13:7

    Post/Tweet this today: Our view of God becomes our pattern for parenting. #parenting #God


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

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