Sunday, September 21, 2008

Week in Review

“Why are you feeding the dead?” (Part 3)
March 25, 2007
Preached in Wisconsin by Jewel D. Williams

2. What does the things of the flesh look like? What does the things of the Spirit look like? In other words, what does it look like when you are functioning from the flesh or from the Spirit? Lets look at few practical applications that the Lord took me to.

Fleshly giving states:
I’ll give to you as long as I get something back.
I’ll give as long as others see what I am doing, so I can get praise.
I’ll give something, but not my best.

Spiritual giving states:
I will give my best.
I will give without expecting to receive in return.
I will give from the desires of my heart for God and not to please me.

What about control?
Well there is no fleshly control. The flesh says, I can do everything I want no matter who it hurts or how it makes others feels, as long as it makes me feel good, it’s all good.

Spiritual control states:
I will take control over fleshly desires.
I will release control of myself into God’s hand.
I will not pursue anything that will hinder my walk with God or others. One more practical application is Love.

Fleshly loves states:
I love you as long as I get something in return.
I love you as long as you give to me
If I don’t get something, I’ll stop loving you.
Love is only useful when it is beneficial to me.
I love you as long as you appeal to me, but if something else comes along better, I won’t love you anymore.
That is fleshly love!!

Love through the Spirit states:
Because I love you I will be patient, longsuffering, I will love you unconditionally, I will love you with a godly love, because God loved us when we were his enemies, so I will love you even when you refuse to be at peace with me. I will love you and place your needs even above my own comfort. What I desire for myself will not be above what is best for you, because my actions are motivated by love.

Now let me make a footnote here. Spiritual love is not sappy love. It is a thought out choice and action. It is also a firm love. Meaning that there are times when godly love says, I love you enough to try to warn you of your sins, but if you refuse to turn I will love you enough to allow you to deal with the full consequences of those actions. See God loves us and continually calls us back to a right relationship with him, but if we refuse and sin, he is just to forgive us, but he does not remove the consequences of those actions. I believe it is because he is allowing us to understand more fully why we should not be disobedient. When for instant our children do something wrong, we can love them and try to correct them, and we should forgive them, but we should not remove the consequences because they teach them a lesson that you are responsible for what you do. You reap what you sow.

Speaking of love let me dwell here for a moment. Do you know we Christians are breaking God’s heart? First let me address the married people. In the beginning there were two things that God made that were perfect. Marriage was one, we know this because God made Eve and took her to Adam. He also made work. We know this because he told Adam to name the animals and put him over the care of the land. When sin entered, that which God made perfect was marred. Adam and Eve before the fall were able to be one. They were a physical example of the unity of the Trinity. God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons with distinct characteristics and purposes, yet they are one in the Godhead. They are one in spirit (there are not three God’s but one God) and they are one in purpose. Marriage was to be the same. Adam and Eve were able to be one with each other and one with God. They walked through the garden with God and were not ashamed to be naked in front of each other or God. In other words they were completely open and transparent with each other and with God. They were one in purpose, to please God and follow his commands. They were one in spirit, because they were connected to each other through their worship of God and they were one in personhood, they were walking together and not in two different directions. Sin changed that.

When sin entered, marriage became one of the areas where Satan hits the most. He knows the purpose God created marriage for, that it was for a good thing, and he tries to destroy it because if he can destroy the marriage, he can destroy the family and the purpose God has ordained for it. Sin makes marriage burdensome for some and for others it seems it is impossible to obtain the goal of a good marriage, so they quit (divorce). It is the same thing with work sin marred it. We now think of work not as something God created for us to bring him honor and provide for our physical needs, but for our own self-promotion and self-expression. We rarely think of work as something God gave us to honor him. And we have become obsessed with our own status that we allow work to become our god’s instead of the true God. We allow our pursuit of work to move God out of the way and to move our families out of their places of importance. This again is how Satan tries to destroy the family. In the garden, fellowship with God was first, then fellowship with each other, then work. Sin has changed all things around. Work is first, maybe family and sometimes, God not at all.

Week in Review


Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, - Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Someone asked me what are the things that I do to try and help my children with discipline. I have used this method starting with my oldest child that is now 18. I have adopted the method to fit with the age of the child. In a world where we are always looking to try and find things that can help us, I hope this helps you in setting up a standard (or reinforcing one).

You can purchase a large poster board and depending on the number of children you have, you can separate them into two sides and put a child on each side. At the top of each side I have place either the child’s picture or something that was important to them, and allowed them to know what side was theirs. I also allow them to color the boards, as they would like. You can either separate the board by adding lines to make places for the days of the week. The latest one I use, I simply place the stickers next to each other and when we come to the end of the month we place a marker mark behind the stickers for the last month and we start all over again. You can also, for the sake of separation, put the count of the total stickers behind the last sticker.

This is how the system works. At the beginning of the day each child starts off with a certain number of stickers (I did something slightly different with my oldest child. Instead of the stickers we simply used marker tallies). This is a guide I used for my children.

Things you gain/lose points for: You can get a total of 6 stickers a day.

You will be given only one warning before you lose a sticker. If you keep all your stickers, you may be able to win “extra” stickers for doing extra work when asked.

Chores – You must keep your room clean / you must pick up your school stuff / you must pick up all your toys and items around the house

Behavior – You must not scream /you must not fight with your sisters / you must not whine / no talking back to parents or each other / no name calling / no lying

Bed time rules – You must brush your teeth / take a bath or wash up / lotion up / and get in bed without being told

Morning rules – You must get up when told / you must eat what you are given / no whining about breakfast food / you must wash up and brush you teach on time / you must get all of your things ready without being told

Bible study rules – You must memorize you weekly scripture verse
Attitude – you must have a “right” attitude / you must not talk back to your parents or ignore them when they are giving instructions / you must remember God wants you to have a cheerful spirit

Rewards – at the end of each month, you will be able to receive rewards based on what your parents decide. Some of the coming rewards you can earn are: Sesame Street Live – Super Grover – May / Weekend getaway – Kids Fun-tastic weekend – April) also we will pick “Family weekend events” when you have kept at least 50% of your tickets.

This was one of the old systems we used. How can we expect the children to know what is expected of them unless we write it down and make it plan. So each child is given a list of what they are expected to do. They can put it up on their doors so they can see it each day (when they wake in the morning and when they go to sleep at night). If the children were warned about the behavior and they did not correct it, they lost a sticker. At first each child did not want to comply. However, when they realized the things they could lose, they did not want to lose a sticker. I found that the one that was helped the most from this system was me. Why? It kept me focused on what the rules were and I stopped being a “yeller”. I hated being a yeller. You know always yelling for everything your children did wrong. This was mainly because I was frustrated and could not gain the control. When I began using this system I gained the control and I found peace again in my house.

I hope this gives you an idea what would work for your family and your children. When my oldest daughter became a teenager, we had a signed contract. Her dealt with her phone, homework, curfew and house work. If your child isn’t big on rewards, find what they like. Sports and outings, then make that the reward. Time with you, make that the reward. Whatever will help you set up a standard is worth the time and investment.