God Has No Grandchildren

Grandparents
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God has no grandchildren. He only has children. As much as we would love it, there is no automatic transfer of God’s truth to others. Everyone must make his or her own spiritual journey.

Moses knew this truth. The mighty leader of one of history’s greatest journeys spent his last words encouraging the Israelites to pass on God’s truth to their children.

To get the full impact of his words recorded in Deuteronomy 6:1-9, understand where the Israelites were. After wandering for 40 years, they stood on the banks of the Jordan River . . . at the very edge of the Promised Land.

Their children and grandchildren would grow up in the new territory before them.

At the beginning of this new life for God’s people, Moses gave a number of directives. I want to highlight one in particular for us:

Focus on Worship

man
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The conflict between the urgent and the important is inescapable. How easy to get the two confused! It is common for us to think that by staying busy and working hard we’re dealing with the important things.

But that is not necessarily the case. Those things most urgent rarely represent things that are most important. And therein lies the reason so many people today feel such a lack of satisfaction after working so hard and for so many hours each day.

Not only is that frustration true in the world in which we live, it is all-the-more true in the church. When we substitute the urgent for the important in the church of Jesus Christ, we emphasize . . .

Remember Your Roots

Roots
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How refreshing it is to come across individuals who realize they have their parents to thank for so much of what they have in life. Marian Anderson was one of those individuals.

She had a magnificent contralto voice that gave her worldwide acclaim.

On one occasion, a reporter asked her to name the greatest moment in her life. Those in the room hearing the question wondered what she would say.

There were so many great moments, like the night Arturo Toscanini said publicly,

Discerning God’s Best

Choices
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How do you make a choice when all your choices are good? How do you tell the difference between what’s good and God’s best? I’m not talking about making a decision between a morally right path and a morally wrong path.

We know the way we should go in that case. Rather, I’m referring to those times when we must decide between two equally good alternatives. Which do we choose? Which way is God leading? Which way is best?

Initially, it helps me to determine priorities by asking pointed questions like:

The Secret of Stability

Decisions
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You may be facing what could be an unsolvable problem. You alone know what it is. If so, let me encourage you this week. Often the situations with no human answers form the basis upon which God does some of His best work—even in the lives of His messengers.

This is illustrated beautifully in the life of Job.

I know, I know . . . we’ve all preached on Job. Personally, as pastors, we tend to flip the page when his name comes up. We’re too familiar with his story.

The account of his misery has become common and—may I say it?—boring. I mean, what else does this sad, suffering saint have to teach us?

Two Searching Questions

Change Direction
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Let me ask you two pointed questions—from one pastor to another. First: What makes you afraid of taking a risk? Walking with the Lord is a risky path, and everything within us, when we lean on our own understanding, screams . . .

Just keep it like it is. Just leave it alone. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But sometimes things need to be rearranged even though they aren’t broken.

Sometimes we need a major change of direction, not necessarily because we are going in an evil direction—it’s just not the direction God wants for us.

Now, here’s my second question:

The Narrow Way

Narrow Path
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Christ’s claim to be the only way to God is a hard pill to swallow for many people. Even in some Christian circles, people choke on His words.

Is Jesus the only way to heaven? Will a loving God really confine someone to eternal punishment for rejecting Christ?

It’s a current debate . . . but it’s not a new one. The issues have been argued for centuries. In fact, Jesus Himself was asked a similar question:

God’s Decreed Will

Peace
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God is at the helm of His creation. Not fate, not chance, not some impersonal force of nature but the Lord alone is in full command of your life.

He is the sovereign ruler of the universe, and His decrees govern what happens in His world.

God’s decrees are:

Unidentified Inner Promptings

Inner Promptings
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Do you ever have those unidentified inner promptings? (Don’t worry; Swindoll hasn’t lost his marbles—at least, not yet!) I’m talking about when the Spirit of God urges your spirit in a very specific direction.

The book of Jude offers a wonderful example of the powerful prompting of the Holy Spirit:

Willing to Do God’s Will? Really?

Doing God's Will
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We pastors are great at telling people the will of God for their lives. But what about following God’s will in our own lives? Truth be told, it’s a lot easier to preach it to others than to put it into practice for ourselves.

The apostle Paul’s words come to mind:

[If you] know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? (Romans 2:18–23)

Paul’s words were directed to Jews who knew (and believed) the Word of God. By principle, that’s us as well.

Let me ask you a penetrating question: are you willing to do God’s will? Really?