28 Jun Parenting On Point #4 – Loving Mentally With All Your Mind
– Well howdy, Pastor Mark Driscoll here welcoming you to my first ever parenting series. More than 20 years in the pulpit, never taught him entire parenting series. Parenting on Point is a five-week series looking at what it means to love God and live in the love of God with all your heart, emotional life, soul, spiritual life, mind, mental life, strength and physical life, and help your neighbor do the same starting with your own family and the kids that are sleeping in the bunk beds down the hall. So thanks for joining me. Hope to be of service to you. So my wife Grace and I, we’ve been married 25 years. We’ve got five kids, and it started a long time ago. She bought me a Bible when I was 19, and then I became a Christian reading it in college. She actually bought it at 17. I got saved reading at 19. Took me a while, a little old bit of slow processor. And then at 21, we decided we’re gonna get married. So it was between our junior and senior year of college. And there’s three kinds of broke. There’s broke, there’s college broke, and there’s married college broke. So we were on the threshold of married college broke. And so it was the final summer before we got married and went back to school and I was looking for any job I could get. And I wanted to work double shifts, make as much money as I possibly could because I really wanted to marry my dream girl. And I ended up getting the most weird job as a dockhand for a boat company. They would take tourists out on these hydrofoil boats for the day, and then they’d come back at night and somebody needed dock the boats and clean the boats and gas up the boats. And I knew nothing about boats. I’d never been on a boat, but it paid good money. So I interviewed for the job. And lo and behold, I got the job as the guy working on the docks. So they pair me with this older guy who was in the Navy. And so he knew something about boats. And he said, “Well, when the boat comes in it’s crucial that we rightly dock the boat. Otherwise boats are prone to drift, right? Tides come in, waves go by, winds kick up, and then boats drift away.” I said, “Okay, well, explain this.” He said, “Well, when the boat comes in they’re going to throw you four lines and you have to securely attach every line to the cleat on the dock.” I said, “Okay, what happens if I don’t?” He said, “Well, actually the boat will drift away.” Said, “Even if you’ve got two or three, it’ll hold there for a while. But eventually under a bit of a storm, the boat’ll get untethered and drift away.” I said, “Does that ever happen?” He said, “Yeah, that’s how you got this job.” I was like, “Oh, really?” He’s like, “Yeah, the last guy only hooked up like three ropes. And we went in and had lunch and came back and there was no boat. And it had drifted off into the bay. And there goes this very expensive, large passenger boat.” He said, “So, whatever you do, remember you need to secure all four lines.” Similarly, a couple thousand years ago, they came to the Lord Jesus and they ask him, “What’s the most important part of the Bible?” And he said, “Love.” So it’s about relationship, the Lord your God. And then he gives us the four lines, heart, soul, mind, strength. Heart, emotional life. Soul, spiritual life. Mind, mental life. Strength, physical life. I would submit to you that God’s love is the dock. That’s the harbor. That’s where we can be safe. We are prone to drift away from God. And so with these four lines being secure, that keeps us docked in the love of God. And so we’ve dealt with the heart. We dealt with the soul. And today we’ll deal with the mind. And there is constantly a battle to sever that line between you and God so that you will start to drift away from your loving relationship with God. And the battle of the mind is one that every human being is born into. You and I are born into a world that was created by God but was attacked by his enemy. And we’re born into this world, and God wants us to think his thoughts after him and to love him with all of our mind. And Satan wants us to disbelieve the Word of God, and as a result to drift away from God. And so there’s a battle in the mind. And I would submit to you that this battle of the mind is crucial for this reason. You will experience life, but your mind will interpret those experiences. It’s not just what you experience. It’s how you interpret those experiences. This is why two people can go through the exact same experience, occurrence, and event, and they have absolutely antithetical opposing views. Was it good or bad? Did it help me or hurt me? Was that launching me into the next season of my life or burying me for the rest of my life? Was this a good thing or a bad thing? Is this something that God can use or does this prove that God does not exist, or if he does exist, he doesn’t care about me? It’s not just what you experience. It’s how you interpret in your mind what you experience in your life. Noting this, the apostle Paul says this to a church in Corinth. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, he says it this way, and I’ll summarize it. Any thought that you do not take captive will take you captive. Any thought that you do not take captive will take you captive. Here’s how Paul says it. “Though we walk in the flesh,” right, physical life, experiencing life, encountering people, enduring hardship, overcoming obstacles, “we are not waging war.” This language of war is important. Everyone is born into this world and this world is a battlefield. It is a war between God and Satan, between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. And ultimately there is a war that is waging. You need to know that mentally. When you and I are entering into this world we’re entering into a battlefield and we’re not just raising children. We’re raising children to send them off into spiritual war. And this language of war is spiritual war, and it is largely in the battlefield of the mind. “We do not wage war according to the flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not in the flesh, but have divine power to destroy stronghold.” He’s talking here about God’s people being offensive, not just defensive. “Furthermore, we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to Christ.” So here’s what he’s saying. There is God, there is Satan. They are not equal, but they are enemy and adversary. And that ultimately Satan has a plan. His plan is to get a stronghold in your life. In battle, for those that are of military background and are veterans, they will tell you that in any battle the tactic of the enemy is to find a stronghold, a secure position, establish a fort, a base of operations, a place from which we can have security. And then we can march forward in our war to destroy those that we are opposed to. You are a soldier. Your life is a battlefield. Your mind can be a stronghold. That’s what he’s saying. And let me say, when it comes to strongholds, this is where you are not thinking God’s thoughts. You’re thinking Satan’s thoughts. You’re not living in the truth. You’re living in a lie. And oftentimes Satan builds a stronghold in your mind through pain and suffering and hurt. Sometimes the people who open themselves up to thinking wrongly about God or themselves, that stronghold was made available to the enemy at the lowest point, the most painful point, the most difficult point. Let me say how Satan works. Satan and demons do not grow tired and they do not grow weary. They were originally created as angelic beings. It says of the angels that they worship God day and night, that angels don’t need a day off. They don’t get the flu. They don’t get sick. They don’t need surgery. They don’t get dehydrated. The fallen angels do not have the limitations that you and I do in the human body. What does this mean? They will wait until you are exhausted emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially. They’ll wait until you’re betrayed. They’ll wait until you’re abandoned. They’ll wait until you’re hurting. And now you’re vulnerable to be a captive in war. They will come and lie to you. They will discourage you. They will tell you things about God or yourself that are not actual and factual. And if you believe those things, now you’re giving your enemy a stronghold in your mind. This is where some of you will get to the point you will wonder if God exists. You wonder if God is good. You will wonder if God loves you. You will wonder if God is with you or for you. You will wonder if there is any future hope that God has for you. All of that is the beginning of a stronghold where the enemy is getting you to doubt God and to find safety and security in relationship to what he is telling you. Some of you are tormented by this. Your mind is constantly haunted and there’s something painful in your past that you’ve not healed from or people you’ve not forgiven. This is how the enemy, he gets a foothold that becomes a stronghold. It says in Ephesians 4, this isn’t in my notes. I think this is maybe just God reminding me of something. It says in Ephesians 4 that you need to forgive others. Otherwise you give the devil a foothold. If you don’t forgive someone, you live in bitterness, you live in hurt, you live in anger, you live in woundedness, you live in brokenness. Ephesians 4 says you give the devil a foothold. And Paul says eventually in your mind, that becomes a stronghold. Now all of a sudden you have opened yourself up to demonic torment and activity and you’re haunted. And now God’s truth becomes very unclear and your enemy draws very near. Say, well what is the answer to this? To take every thought captive to obey Christ. The language there in the original is literally to put a sword at the throat of. So the way it would work is two kings and kingdoms are in battle. You engage someone who’s hostile, an enemy force. You’d literally put a sword at their throat and you would walk them to your commanding general. You would say I captured them. Do you want to interrogate them? Do you want to interview them? What do you want to do with them, to the captain. The Bible says that this is a sword. The Bible says that it is a sword. It says in Ephesians that the Word of God is living and active. It’s a double-edged sword. It says the same thing in Hebrews, that the Word of God is a sword and it’s a sword for battle. It’s a sword for the battlefield of the mind and the war of your life. So as you get a temptation or a false teaching or an incorrect thought or something that is not congruent and consistent with God’s Word, what you do, you take that thought and you literally put the sword to its throat. Is this what the Bible says? Is this what God says? Is this what the truth is? Is this what reality is? And I’m bringing this thought to my commander-in-chief, the Lord Jesus. Jesus, is this what you say? Is this what you want? Is this what you command? Is this who you have made me to be? Is this lying? If so, I need to slit its throat to the lie, to the lie. Now, this is significant for this reason. Satan is always at work seeking to discourage you, seeking to destroy you, seeking you to dissuade you. And let me say this. If you believe what he says, you will harm yourself. You will destroy your joy. You will starve your soul. You will confuse your mind. You’ll torment your family. And some of you know exactly what this looks like. You’ve been hurt. You’ve been abandoned. You’ve been betrayed. You’ve been lied about. Someone has hurt you. You’re weak, you’re tired, you’re frustrated. The enemy comes and whispers in your ear. You should be angry. You should nurse that grudge. You should relive that hurt. You should seek vengeance. You should make them pay. If God loved you, he would not have let that happen to you. If there was a God, these things wouldn’t happen to anyone. You can’t trust anyone. You’re damaged goods. You’re never going to be okay. You need to just take care of yourself. You need to withdraw from God’s presence and God’s people. All demonic, all demonic. Stronghold. Now he’s winning the war. How do you win the war? Take every thought captive in obedience to Christ. And let me say this. It’s kind of like the teaching that Jesus gives. Jesus gives this teaching where he says, “If somebody has a demon and we get rid of the demon, if we don’t replace it with the Holy Spirit, what do we get?” Seven more demons, which is not a huge upgrade. You’re like, I got a Groupon. I traded one demon for seven. It was unbelievable. I just totally upgraded my demons. It’s not a real upgrade. It’s not a real benefit. It’s like that. If you are holding onto a lie, if you are holding onto that which is untrue and you get rid of it but you don’t replace it with the truth, that which is holy, right, pure, and good, all you get is seven more lies and problems. And some of you, this explains your life. You’re like, this is a negative idea. I’m going to get rid of that. Now I’ve got seven negative ideas. How do you take every thought captive in obedience to Christ? Answer: biblical meditation. Explain this to you. The Bible says I meditate on your word day and night. As Satan is attacking you day and night, meditating on God’s Word day and night is how you take every thought captive. You put the sword under the throat of your enemy and take all of his ideology to your commander-in-chief. The difference between biblical meditation and unbiblical meditation, unbiblical meditation, particularly in its Eastern form, is all about emptying your mind to become one with nothing. Somebody say what does that mean? No one knows. That’s just, right. No one knows, right. The point of biblical meditation is not to think nothing but to think God’s thoughts after him. The goal is not to empty yourself of all thoughts but to fill yourself with God’s Word, to let the mind be renewed. See, the Bible says do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And the renewing of the mind comes by the Word of God. And so by biblically meditating on the scriptures and hiding God’s Word in your heart and in your mind, what you are doing is you are removing those things that are untrue and unholy and unhelpful, and you’re replacing them with things that are true and holy and helpful. And so what this means is if I can make this very, very practical for you, read your Bible. Study your Bible. Satan is reading the Bible and Satan is studying the Bible. And if you don’t understand what God’s Word says, he will even use God’s Word to confuse you. This is why he comes to Adam and he misquotes God’s Word. Did God really say? I don’t know. He comes to the Lord Jesus. He misquotes God’s Word. Satan reads the Bible. You need to read the Bible. If this is a sword and it is a war, the question is do you know how to handle the weapon? Because your enemy is constantly doing drills. And by biblical meditation, you are preparing your mind for battle. And here’s what happens where we get in trouble. A temptation comes. Is it a sin to receive a temptation? Yes or no?
– [Congregation] No.
– No, because Jesus was tempted but he didn’t sin. So when a temptation comes it only becomes a sin when you meditate on it, an image, a temptation, a desire, a longing. You’re like, ah, that’s not good. It’s not a sin if you reject it with God’s Word. If you receive it and meditate on it, now you are feeding it. Now you are nurturing it. Now you are strengthening it. Now it’s becoming a stronghold. How about if you get a lie, something about God or you? You say no, that’s not true, that’s lie. You reject that by reminding yourself of God’s Word. But if you take that lie, that falsehood, and you meditate on it and you consider it and you ponder it and you welcome it and you nurture it and you feed it, then it becomes a stronghold. By replacing that temptation or lie with God’s Word, that’s how you do spiritual battle. So how do you do that? A pastor buddy of mine, he says very simply and I’ll quote him, “Feed your need.” Feed your need, meaning this. Whatever it is that you are being hit with, any place that you are likely to give a stronghold to, you need to study God’s Word in that area of your life. You may say I get totally tripped up where I think that God doesn’t forgive me and he condemns me and he’s punishing me and he doesn’t love me. Well then you need to feed your mind God’s Word and you need to bring the truth to bear on all the lies you hear, okay? If you’re thinking, when I pray, God doesn’t hear me, God doesn’t love me, then you need to open God’s Word and learn all you can about prayer. If you’re thinking to yourself that ultimately you’re not forgiven and though you love the Lord Jesus and you’ve repented of your sin, that you’re constantly living in danger and fear of the conscious eternal torments of hell because God might change his mind about you, you need to open God’s Word. You need to be renewed in your mind. You need to remind yourself of God’s truth. And then what that will do, that will defeat, disarm your enemy. That’s what biblical meditation is. So here’s what I’m telling you. Wherever you have a temptation for a stronghold, that’s where you need to do a biblical study. And you need to remind yourself of that. Write that down. When those lies come, when those temptations come, you pull out the sword. You take those thoughts captive in obedience to Christ. You put that sword to the neck of your enemy. You take those concepts to your commander-in-chief. And if Jesus says that’s a lie, that’s a lie. And if Jesus says that’s a temptation that leads to death, that’s a temptation that leads to death, and slit its throat and believe the truth. And the truth will set you what?
– [Congregation] Free.
– Free, on you go with the rest of your life. Out of the stronghold, onto the life that God intends for you. Some of you, I just, I’m heartbroken and concerned because you have tried to build a Christian life in a stronghold. This is like somebody in a cage at a POW camp trying to live a full, free life. The enemy has lied to you. He has tempted to you. He has accused you. He has crushed you and you’re living in a stronghold and asking God why am I not free? Why is there no hope for me? Why is there no future for me? Why do things not change? And God said, “It’s a battle for your mind. I’ve given you the sword. You’re going to need to fight.” You’re going to need to fight against those thoughts, those temptations, those regrets, those lies, those accusations. There are some battles that need to be waged in your mind and they’re moment by moment often in the place of your greatest pain. God is good and God’s Word is true and helpful. How does this impact and affect the raising of children? And it does. And it does. Four things that parents and children need to know. These are things that I want to share with you. Truth and lies, wisdom and folly, spirit and flesh, yes and no. Again, there’s God and his kingdom. There Satan in his opposition, right? God’s kingdom has truth, Satan lies. God has wisdom, Satan brings folly. God wants us to live by the Spirit. The enemy wants us to live by death. And ultimately God says yes and no, and Satan only says yes. Truth and lies. John 8:44, “He, Satan,” Jesus says, “was a murderer from the beginning, does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” We live in a culture that doesn’t even believe in truth and lies, just perspective. That’s lying getting a degree, okay. That’s lying getting a degree. God says, Jesus says there’s truth in lies. And what he says is this, that Satan’s native language is lying. How many of you are bilingual? Yeah, you know? In a spiritual sense, Satan is bilingual. But what’s his native language? His native language is lying. Some of you could speak English and Spanish. Some of you could speak English and Portuguese. You have one language that is your strong language. It’s your first language. It’s your native language. Satan’s native language is lying. He is phenomenally great at lying. All he does is lie. Why does lying matter? What’s the difference between truth and lies? Truth is that which corresponds with reality. It’s called the correspondence theory of truth if you want a little nerd footnote from your philosopher friend Mark, okay. It’s the correspondence theory of truth. Truth is that which corresponds with reality. So if I told you right now I’m six, four, slim with a long, lovely neck, you would say? Lies, all lies. Why? Because it doesn’t correspond with?
– [Congregation] Reality.
– I have an 18-inch neck and a Shrek-size head. And I can’t even get something off the top shelf. I’m not, you know, that’s just reality, right? Every morning I look in the mirror and I deal with reality, you know. It’s like… There is a God, that’s true, right? You are loved by that God, that’s true. God has spoken, that’s true. And when we know the truth, we live in reality. Here’s what Satan does. He knows that it’s not whether or not something is true. It’s whether or not you believe it that determines if it affects your life. Sometimes even well-intended Christians have misperceptions of God. I’ll never forget some years ago, you don’t know her. It’s a gal out of state that we love, friend of ours, newer Christian. She kept having miscarriages. She called me up. It was on vacation. She was very emotional, understandably so. She loved children. She’s a good mom. She said, “Pastor Mark,” very emotional. “I just have a question.” I said, “Okay, what’s that?” She said, “Why does God keep killing my babies?” Okay, is that truth or lie?
– That’s lie. But what happens if she believes that lie? God hates me and murders my babies. So when I’m suffering do I run to him? No. Imagine if somebody broke into your home, threatened you, shot your kid, and said, “Okay, now I’ll do your counseling.” No, I’m running from you, not to you. You’re the cause of my harm. You’re not the source of my healing. I said, “Where did you get this idea?” She said, “Well, I was listened to a Bible teacher and he said, ‘God is sovereign. And since God is sovereign, everything that happens is God’s will.'” Oh, is that true? Okay, first question. Is God sovereign?
– Is everything that happened exactly what God wants?
– [Congregation] No.
– No, there’s things called sin. It’s this huge category of things that we do that God did not want done. Genesis 6, God was grieved in his heart that he made man. He sends Jesus. Jesus looks at his city and starts crying because there’s a lot of things that are happening that is not what God wanted. It’s rebellion, it’s sin. I said, “Just because something happens, that doesn’t mean it’s what God wanted. There is sin and rebellion against God.” I said, “God is sovereign, and what that means is that he will work out all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. So I don’t understand everything that is happening, but here’s what I do know. God is good. His heart is a father’s heart, that he loves children and he’s the author of life and that you can go to him for healing and he can comfort you because he’s a father who also lost a son.” See, that’s the truth. Again, Satan works through lies, oftentimes about God and us, and sometimes one of the lies is that Satan isn’t even involved. So when something happens, we blame God. We think he is evil and we run from him in the moment that we should be running to him. You need to know that Satan is a liar. You need to raise your children to know the difference between truth and lies. Sometimes people, big and small, are a little gullible if an expert says it or it was on the Internet or on the news. One of the things we’ve all learned is you can’t believe everything you hear, read, or think. There’s truth in lies. And for the Christian, these categories are important because truth leads us toward God. Lies lead us into the stronghold. Second category, wisdom and folly. 1 Corinthians 3:19, the wisdom of this world is folly to God. What he’s saying is this. The majority is wrong. How many of you have noticed that, even on social media? See, there are older people here. Older people, raise your hands. If you’re over 40, you’re older people. You know what older people care about? Their capital, right, money. You know what younger, how many of you are younger? You younger? You know what you care about? Social capital, social capital, how many people like me on social media. If I say things, will they give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down? Will they applaud me and send hearts flying all over my page or are they gonna melt me to the ground, okay? The world and its wisdom, the Bible says, does not know God. The world is passing away. That’s what the Bible says. What that means is the majority is wrong. And if you care more about your social capital than a heart, a life, a mind that is devoted firstly to God, you will start to believe things that are foolish. You will start to do things that are foolish. And some things are not sinful, they’re just dumb. How do I know this? I have done dumb things. And sometimes we will believe things or behave in ways that are not necessarily sinful. They’re just foolish because that’s what everybody does. I’ll give you an example and I’ll hit it next week when we talk about loving God with all your strength. I was watching recently, there was like a 10-, 11-, 12-year-old kid, something like that. I don’t know what their age was. They were walking with their parents drinking a massive Monster Energy drink. Is that a sin? Can you find a thou shalt not Monster Energy verse? Can you find it? No, you can’t. But is that a good idea?
– [Congregation] No. No, they tell you what your child’s gonna be on the label, a monster, okay. They just tell you what your child is going to be. You know the difference between a 10-year-old on a Monster Energy drink and a 10-year-old that’s demon possessed? There’s no difference. There’s no difference. They behave exactly the same. And again, that’s not necessarily sinful, it’s foolishness. So even in the raising of children, sometimes kids are like it’s not a sin. It’s just a bad idea. How many of your kids have had a bad idea, right? It’s not a sin to eat your lawnmower. It’s just a bad idea. It’s just a bad idea. Truth and lies, wisdom and folly, spirit and flesh. The kingdom of God is ruled by the Spirit of God. The foolishness and rebellion of this world is something that the Bible refers to as the flesh. This is this rebellious, foolish, hard-hearted, stiff-necked disposition. Says this in Romans 8:5. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, right? It’s a battle of the mind where you’re like you know what? I think fleshly things. I think worldly things. I like worldly things. I do worldly things. I nurture worldly desires. But those who live according to the Spirit set their mind on the things of the Spirit. Jesus comes, he’s a baby. He’s a toddler. He’s a child. He’s preteen, he’s teen. He’s a young man. The Bible says that he grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with men and God, and that at every life stage and age he was perfect in maturity for that age and he never sinned. How did he do it? By the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was God, Jesus is God, but he lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. And then he dies for our sin, he rises as our Savior, and he gives us the same power that he lived his life by. What this means is Jesus’ life is not just one to admire. It’s one to experience. Now you can live by the power of the Holy Spirit. What that means is you can think God’s thoughts. You can obey God’s commands. You can follow in God’s ways and you could raise your child and/or your children to do the same. Now the difference between the flesh and the spirit is this. It’s you drawing nearer to the Lord or you running farther from the Lord. Some of you will blame everything on your personality. Some of you will blame it on your ethnic heritage, right? We’re Irish, so we have two emotions: drunk and asleep. Okay, those are our emotions, right. I could say that because I’m Irish, right. Some of you are Latino. You’re like, we’re very spirited people and sometimes we stab each other ’cause that’s just our culture, right. Like some of you are Italian. You’re like we scream and throw things ’cause we’re Italian. That’s what we do. So what we tend to do, we tend to excuse things by our culture or our personality. I’m an extrovert. That’s why I yell at you. But it’s not a sin, that’s just what extroverts do. We just yell at you. I took my personality type. I’m a J-E-R-K, so that’s just how I am. That’s my personality type. I’m a J-E-R-K, okay. So don’t judge me. That’s how God made me, you know, so. But okay, your personality, your disposition, your culture, your introvert, your extrovert, your whatever it is, there’s you in the Spirit, there’s you in the flesh. The flesh is the dark side. It’s the shadow side. It’s you on your bad day versus you on your God day when you’re in relationship with him. So I used to have this conversation with my kids. One of my kids was stubborn. I’ve no idea how this happened. We had a stubborn kid. I was like, where did this come from? How could this be? And then I realized it was my child. And so the child was stubborn like me. And I remember looking at my child one day. They were very, very stubborn. And the first thought was I need to get this child not to be stubborn, amen? And then I realized maybe that’s how God made this child. Is there a difference between the child that is stubborn in the flesh versus a child that is stubborn in the Spirit? Answer: yes. I don’t need the child not to be stubborn. I need them to be stubborn in the Spirit. Do you know what? A child that’s stubborn in the spirit’s pretty good. Don’t read your Bible. No, I’m stubborn. I’m reading it again. Yeah, okay. Hey, we’re all going to go drink and smoke weed and violate commandments and put stuff on YouTube and get our parents fired. No, no, I’m stubborn. I’m not doing that. Yay, okay, good, amen? Stubborn is not bad if it’s in the Spirit. Introvert/extrovert is not bad if it’s in the Spirit. Strong leader or compliant follower is not bad in the Spirit. So who you are needs to be governed by who God is. That’s what he’s talking about in the flesh and the Spirit. And then also yes and no. Okay, this comes from the children’s ministry workers. This actually, they’re like, “Pastor Mark, could you please tell them that they need to tell their children no? ‘Cause they never tell their children no. And then they drop them off and we tell them no and then it’s like Armageddon.” Okay, so we love your kids and right now they’re being told no. So let me tell you… How many of you, you grew up with a parent that was overbearing, domineering, they said no a lot, they weren’t very kind or generous, and you have a hard time saying no to your kid? Or you have a hard time saying no ’cause your kid looks like your spouse, right? Like I got one kid looks like Grace. I’m like really? Okay, they’re adorable, you know. So what happens if you can’t tell your kid no, sometimes what we say is I’ll think about it which means I would say no but I lack the courage, okay. Sometimes parents say we’ll see which means no, but I want you to hold out hope so that I can destroy it at a future date. Right, hold that balloon, Johnny, till I pop it, right, so. Okay, so just tell them no, okay. Do you know that God tells us no? He does. I was thinking about it. One of the, well, in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20, there are 10 commandments. Nine times in the King James Version, God says, “Thou shalt not.” You know what that is? That’s a no. That’s a no, right? Can I commit adultery? No. God, can I steal my neighbor’s stuff? No. Well can I lie if I do steal my neighbor’s? No. Can I get another God? No, he says no. I just gave you many of the Ten Commandments, okay. God says no. If you love your child, you’ll tell them?
– [Congregation] No.
– And, now all the mothers said that very quickly. The dads were a little slower to the draw, okay. Don’t set it up in the family where you do good cop, bad cop. Some of you, you do that. Let’s say you’re the dad. I’ll pick on the dads, right. The kid comes up. Can I? I don’t know, ask your mom. Which is the way of saying like hate them, you know? It’s not fair, amen? It’s not fair.
– Okay, my, okay. My wife’s in the front row. We’re going to have to fix that. All right, so scoot over. My wife needs to go to the back. We need, okay, so… You need to both as parents be able to say yes to some things and no to other things, and you need to agree on what your yes and no is, right? How many of you realized your kids are divide and conquer? They are, they will position you against one another while you’re warring. Then they walk away as the victor. It’s important that you know and your kids know God’s about the truth, Satan’s about the lies. God is about wisdom, Satan is about folly. God wants you to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Satan wants you to nurse the desires of the flesh. God wants you to understand that in love for you, sometimes he says no, and those are the times that Satan is still willing to say yes. And if you believe any of this, you create a foothold. It becomes a stronghold. It becomes a stranglehold and your mind is taken captive in war. So let’s talk a little bit about how to educate kids, so pivot a little bit for parents. We have a wonderful church family of gracious people, but if you really want to see Christians fight talk about how to educate a child. Just put an octagon up and see what the moms do. It’s amazing, okay. How many, okay, don’t raise your hand, but how many of you have very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very strong opinions about education and how a child should and should not be educated? Christians will, man, we will fight over this issue. And so we’re a new church. We’re a year old. Some of you have asked, new families, Pastor Mark, what is your official position on the education of children? Let me give it to you. My official position is that children should be educated. That’s my official position. That’s the what. The question is the how. The Bible has principles that are timeless and unchanging, and it allows us to have methods that are timely and changing, okay? So we want to hold to the principle, Ephesians 6:4, educate your children in the Lord. Method, leave a little flexibility. Leave a little flexibility. And so there are six basic ways and maybe I’ve missed one. I went to public school, so I probably did. But these are your six options. I’m tired, anything can be said at this point and it’s on Facebook, so pray for all of us. Okay, here we go. So homeschool, this is where mom, dad decide we, under the care of the family, can organize things in such a way to raise our children. And sometimes there’s a lot of technology that’s involved with this and a lot of options and there’s been a lot of progress and opportunities. Sometimes it’s Christian school. We’re going to put our kids in a Christian school. We’re going to pay for it. They’re going to have Bible teaching integrated with all of their subject matter. Sometimes it’s non-Christian private school. We’re going to pay for a private school that’s not necessarily Bible integrated, but it’s a good education or specialization for the child. Public school, sometimes it’s chosen. There’s more opportunities. They have sports teams, music programs, things that our kids would benefit from. Number five, here in Arizona, we have a lot of charter schools which I think is wonderful. The parents get to make the choice and charter schools will have different educational philosophies and methodologies, and you could pick whatever works for you. And number six, sometimes there’s a hybrid of options. You treat it like a salad bar. We’re going to do this online and do this at home and do this in a co-op and pay for this program and do running start or whatever the case might be, and that’s all great. Here’s the big idea. The parents should decide and you make the decision per child per year. We’re not going to fight about this as a church family. We haven’t and we won’t. Because you know what? Every child is different. Every family’s circumstances are different. And sometimes things change from year to year. So like homeschool could work great. But what if you’re a single parent and you got three, four, five kids and you got to go to work all day? That could be difficult to homeschool. One family that I knew, mom was super organized. She was an educator, did a tremendous job until she got cancer. Now she’s got to go to treatment, she’s sick, she’s in bed. So we have to give a little grace and flexibility here, right? Life is not like math. Life takes relationship, consideration, heartfelt conversation about what’s best for the whole family and what works for each child. Christian school, that works if you can afford it, amen? And let me say this. Not all the godly kids are at Christian school, okay. Sometimes the kids that got kicked out of public school got dropped into Christian school. They’re like, my kid is horrible. I’ll pay, help, right? That’s what they’re trying to do.
– And so, I mean, so just ’cause you put them in Christian school doesn’t mean you’re gonna get a Christian kid, right? Right? I mean, I’m throwing all the, agreed, right? Are we okay with this?
– I know one kid got kicked out of public school, put into Christian school, and became the drug dealer at the Christian school. Not a win, not a win. So Christian school can work if you can afford it. Sometimes there’s non-Christian private school. You say my kid’s really smart or they’ve got a learning disability or a special need or they need a STEM education. We’ll find something that is best for them but we’ll be involved training the child at home in the Bible. Sometimes public school. You know what? They’ve got a great DECA program, great business program. My kid’s going to play college sports and this provides them an opportunity to get their college scholarship. So I’m gonna put them in a big school or a music program, all kinds of reasons that that might be chosen. Charter school, I liked the philosophy. I liked the way they do things. It’s a little different, or a hybrid. Here’s my big concept and idea. The parents make the decision per child per year, and the most important teacher in the life of the child is the parent. Institutional parenting, non-relational parenting is not Christian parenting. I didn’t say it in the first. I’ll say it here ’cause I feel inclined to. The most important thing is to have a relationship with your child where you’re integrating the scriptures into all of life and walking with them in the context of a relationship. And honestly, I believe, and I have seen this, any of these options that you choose, if the parent is not relationally, emotionally, biblically engaged, the child suffers. If the parent is emotionally, relationally, biblically engaged, the child can flourish. Jesus says in Luke 6:40 when fully trained students are like their teachers, teachers will come and go. Mom, Dad, you’re the teacher that will remain for the course of their life. You’re the most important significant instructor in their life, that sometimes, especially in a place as wonderful as Scottsdale, Arizona, we can think if I just had the right institution to drop my child in, they would grow up to be godly. And the problem is that requires your investment and involvement. And sometimes , sometimes there are Christians working in all of these options, true or false?
– [Congregation] True.
– Sometimes God’s people are actively involved in all of these and they would all tell you the same thing. Parental involvement is what makes the difference. So let me say two things. Number one, when it comes to educating the child, no matter what, they need to understand the Word of God and they need to understand the world of God. That’s how you raise children that are wise, but not naive. And if you’re raised in a naive home, meaning you didn’t know. You didn’t know about drugs. You didn’t know about pornography. You didn’t know that people lied. You didn’t know that some people were not Christians. You didn’t know that if you date someone, it could end up breaking commandments. You didn’t know. Sometimes what happens is that Christian parents, they don’t want their children to be worldly. So they raise them in a way that they’re not wise. There’s a difference between knowing what’s going on in the world and being involved in what’s going on in the world. Your kids are like a ship. They’re going to be in the water and they’ll be fine unless the water gets in them. That’s them navigating life in this world. They’re gonna have to go to work. They’re gonna have to go to school. They’re gonna have to engage and interact with people that disagree with them and disagree with the Word of God. And they’ll be able to navigate that wisely and to cut a course through that. And it’s not a problem unless it gets into them. What happens with naive kids is they’re in trouble and they didn’t even see it coming, amen? You want to raise a child that is wise, meaning they know what’s going on in the world and they know what is said in the Word. So they understand the Word of God and they understand the world. So the Word and the world are both necessary. The example of this I would give you if you’re a parent is in the book of Daniel. If you want to read Daniel, it’s really helpful. Look at it through the lens of a parenting book. So Daniel grows up in Israel. Kind of everybody worships the same God. They speak the same language. They abide by the basic same laws. And then he is literally taken as a slave. He’s abducted and taken off to a place called Babylon, okay. Babylon is like Vegas. It’s just wheels off. Now he’s away from his family. Now he’s a young man. He has anonymity. This is like the Christian kid who gets thrown into university or takes their first job off in the big city. They don’t know anybody. They’re away from their church. They’re away from their family. They’re away from all social order. They get to hide, sneak, reinvent themselves. What does Daniel do? He obeys God. He walks in wisdom in Babylon. He understands the Word of God. He is not conformed to the pattern of the world. He is transformed by the renewing of his mind with the Word of God so that he can discern the will of God. If you want to know the will of God, you have to know the Word of God. Daniel knows the Word of God. He knows the will of God. So they come to him and they say, “How about you do this?” He’s like, “God says no.” “How about you believe this?” “No, that’s not true.” “How about if you live this lifestyle?” “That’s very foolish.” “How about if you participate like the rest of the young guys your age?” And he says, “You know what? That’s worldly, that’s not kingdom. That’s flesh, that’s not spirit.” And he’s not arrogant about it. He’s not self-righteous about it. But he is one who has a mind that is tethered and devoted to God. And he takes all of his temptation and all of his instruction and he tests it by the Word of God. And he ultimately takes certain thoughts captive, puts the sword of God’s Word to their throat. He says, “I don’t do that. I am one of God’s people. That’s not how we conduct ourselves.” And eventually they say, “Then we will kill you.” And he says, “Well, that’s not a problem because I know what happens after I die.” His mind is able to navigate the temptation and frustration in Babylon. What I see frequently is we want our kids to be holy. We don’t understand that naivete is not holiness. You can be naive and seemingly holy until you find yourself in grave danger. This is where kids go to college and they get their head blown off. This is where kids go into the workforce and they get their head blown off. This is where kids go into their first dating relationship and they get their head blown off because their parents didn’t tell them how to think. They only told them what to do. Let me say this to you parents. I’m way off my notes, but I hope it’s helpful. If you only tell your child what to do and you do not tell them how to think, you set them up for abusive relationships. I can think of a parade of young women who grew up in strongly heavy-handed, rule-based, non-relational homes where their parents just told them what to do or their dad told them what to do, didn’t tell them how to think, and next thing you know a boyfriend comes along and he’s happy to tell them what to do as well. And they think they’re doing a good job because they’re being obedient and doing what they’re told. True or false?
– [Congregation] True.
– True. The mind needs to be prepared for the battle. To live in this world you must know this word, okay? Let me hit final slide. 10 tips for teaching kids. It’s 47 minutes into the sermon. I’ve got 10 more points. I always go long. And I get paid by the minute, so it’s going to be a while. It’s going to be a while. It’s going to be a while. Number one, the Christian parent is a child’s most important teacher, okay? Mom and Dad, institutions can help. Organizations can help. Tutors can help. Teachers can help. Coaches can help. Nobody can replace you. Nobody can replace you. You’re the most significant teacher in the life of a child. Number two, everyone needs an age-appropriate Bible. When your kids are little we always like “The Jesus Storybook Bible”. See, when the kids are little they’re going to get a Bible that has a lot of pictures, right? When you get older, less pictures, more words, amen? I just encourage that. Like, I read the whole Bible today. No, you looked at seven pictures, okay. When they’re little, they get an age-appropriate Bible. A lot of pictures, a couple of words. As they get older, it’s less pictures, more words until you get to the point you’re like, where’s the pictures, okay, and it’s a lot of words. It’s an age-appropriate Bible for the kids, and everybody in the family should have one. And let me say this. You’re saying a lot to your child when you’re saying I’m not going to spend 200 bucks for a nice study Bible with your name on the front, but I’ll spend 200 bucks for a ball glove. I’ll spend 200 bucks for a drum kit. I’ll pay, I’ll spend 200 bucks for an acoustic guitar. I’ll spend 200 bucks for dance lessons. I’ll spend 200 bucks for select ball team, but 200 bucks for a Bible, that’s crazy. You need to invest, and when you make that investment you’re making a statement to your child. This has value. This has value. The first great Bible I got was from Grace. I was 17 and it was a leather bound Bible. It was very nice. I didn’t know they made them that nice, and I thought oh my gosh, a cow gave his life. This is significant. And it had my name on the front. And I thought apparently this is for me. And I started reading it, and God saved me reading that Bible. Prior to that I’d seen Bibles but I hadn’t seen a really nice one with my name on it. Once I saw a really nice one with my name on it I started reading it and God changed my life. Your kids need a Bible. Everybody in your family needs a good age-appropriate Bible. And as they get older you gotta have a good Bible for them. It’s amazing how many Christian kids even go off to college without a good study Bible, it’s fascinating. It’s like, go buy all your textbook. What about God’s Word? Eh, good luck. You’re going off to war and you left your sword at home. In addition, number three, the Bible is not the spiritual equivalent of the wooden spoon. Some parents use them. They’re like, you sin, read the Bible. Read the Bible. Read the Bible. Read the part about Judas and say your name, you know. It’s like really? How many of you, you grew up in a home where the Bible was like going to the dentist? And you’re like, oh, I gotta go meet with the Lord again? It just hurts, right? Let me let you in on a little secret. This is good, it’s good news. The Bible’s good news. So don’t make it into bad news, right? Don’t make it into bad news. The whole point of the Bible is about relationship with God, to come to Jesus, say what’s the big idea? He says love. Oh, love. Some of you didn’t even know that was the point of the Bible. Loving relationship with God, heart, soul, mind, and strength, loving relationship with neighbor. Here’s what you need to know. You’re not biblical unless you’re relational. Do you know that Satan knows the Bible and he doesn’t love the Lord? You can beat kids with the Bible so that they know the Bible but they don’t love the Lord, and that’s a satanic Bible study. A satanic, demonic Bible study is I learn the Bible and I don’t have a loving relationship with the Lord. Satan’s problem, demon’s problem is not that they don’t know the Word of God. It’s that they don’t love the God of the Word. It is information for relationship. It is informational for relational. If it doesn’t result in relational, it’s not biblical. Non-relational parenting treats the Bible as a wooden spoon. This is a law I use to spiritually beat the kid. And that doesn’t encourage loving relationship with God, parent, or neighbor, okay? I’ll let you know a little secret. This is a great book written by God to help you in every area of your life. And the reason it’s big, he has a lot to say. And all of it is for your good because God is good. And it’s a horrible thing when parents will use this in such a way that it drives children from the Lord rather than drawing children to the Lord, right? Remember the law of sowing and reaping? This is one of the great principles in the Bible. How many of you have tried to grow something, right? It’s hard in Arizona, by the way. We’ve killed a few gardens already. But the law of sowing and reaping is this. You throw the seed in the ground. And how long does it take to get a harvest? A while. If you yell at the dirt, does it expedite the process? Come on, sunflower! Come on, tomatoes! No, the dirt just moves at its pace, right? And you could think this is a waste of time. I put it in, I got nothing. It can be like that with your child. How many of you, you’ve told them the Bible stories, you’ve prayed with them, you brought them to church, you’ve raised them in the presence of the Lord, and you’re not seeing the harvest yet? Sometimes just takes more time. But God’s Word does not return empty or void, but it accomplishes exactly what it was scattered to do, to use that analogy of seed. How many of you, you’ve got little kids, you’re like I talk to them and it ain’t working? I read them the Bible and they hit me. And that wasn’t the point of the story, you know? You can get very frustrated with your kids. How many of you, you have older kids and it was the law of sowing and reaping? You did pray for them. You did read the scriptures with them. You did raise them in the presence of the Lord with the people of the Lord, and eventually the harvest came. You’re like, oh, some of that stuck. They’re finally getting it. It’s finally starting to show up in a fruitful life. You need to be patient and keep sowing. And what happens is some parents think well, I don’t take them to church, I don’t pray with them, I don’t sing with them, I don’t read the Word of God with them, and my kids are fine. That also is the law of sowing and reaping. You’re just not seeing yet the destruction and devastation, but it is coming. Look for the teachable moments it says in Deuteronomy 6, when they’re having breakfast, when you’re walking, when you’re doing the dishes, when you’re having dinner at night, when you’re doing chores, it’s integration. The worst thing you can do is say, okay, we’re going to do Bible time now. It’s always Bible time. It’s always, because things are happening and we interpret experiences in light of God’s Word. And this is teachable moments. Grace loves picking the kids up from school, driving them home because they’re a captive audience and she can ask them a lot of questions and integrate God’s Word. It’s integration. Recent, I mean, it was some years ago. I’ll give you an analogy, an illustration. Some years ago, I’m asking them like how are you doing? How are the da-da-da? Fine, talk, talk, talking. And then all of a sudden they’re like, “Uh, my friend at school’s parents are getting divorced.” Oh, I said, “Do you want to talk about that?” He’s like, “Yeah.” What do I tell him? “I didn’t know that. I didn’t know. I didn’t know that that’s what you heard at recess today.” So now there’s a teachable moment. I need to bring the Word of God to bear on this moment in the child’s life. Give you another example. I liked the pause button on the TV because it allows me to hold class with the kids, right. Class is in session. Let’s talk about this. So we’ll watch a movie, pause. Okay, let’s talk about this. Watch a commercial, pause. So sometimes the kids, they’ll be like, hit pause. Okay, we’ll talk about this. I remember when my boys were young, on TV came a commercial for a Jaguar, the car. My boys are like, “Oh! Look at that, Dad, it’s a Jaguar.” I was like, “Yes, it is.” And it was years ago, something like 321 a month. They’re like, “Dad, $300 a month, we could have a Jaguar!” And I said, “Okay, wait, pause. First of all, we don’t fit in there. So are you guys gonna be in the trunk? Or, you know, like how?” I said, “Okay, 321 a month, let’s say.” I said, “Okay, read the fine print.” So they go, “Okay, what is it? Well, it says you need a down payment of like $3,000.” “Okay, and it says how long you gotta make payments for?” “You’re gonna make payments for like five years.” Was like, “Okay, do the math. Five years, 321 a month, plus $3,000 down.” They’re, “We’re not doing that much math.” Go get a calculator and figure it.” Then they run the numbers. They’re like, “That’s amazing for a Jaguar! That’s a, Dad, can we, can we, we should get a Jaguar!” I said, “Okay, it says lease.” They’re like, “What does lease mean?” I said, “It’s the Greek word for ripped off. It means that you give the car back.” They’re like, “After you’ve pay that much money, you don’t even get the car?” “No, you don’t get the car.” They’re like, “That’s a rental car. Why don’t they call it a rental car?” “Because then people would know.” My kids were like, “It’s so dumb to have a lease. You give them the money, you don’t even get the car.” “That’s right.” Teachable moment. The borrower is slave to the lender. I go to buy him a bike. “We’re not leasing the bike, are we, Dad?” “No, we’re gonna buy it.” You’ve learned, Padawan, all right. Last couple, maybe. Number six, keep it practical like Proverbs. Mom and dad do a lot of teaching in Proverbs. If you want to look at educating a child, just read Proverbs. Short statements, practical. Friends, money, sex, family, work ethic, home maintenance. It’s all in there, practical. Sometimes we think Bible study, we’re thinking, you know, well, I need the children to under. You know what? It’s good to give them theology and doctrine but sometimes when they’re really little it’s like, let’s talk about how to be a good friend. Let’s learn how to pray for each other. Let’s learn how to pick a good friend. Let’s learn how to serve each other. Sometimes it can be very, very practical. You won’t regret repetition. How many of you have told your kids something and they didn’t remember it, right? How many of you? How many of you? Your parents, you were a teenager and your parents are like, I told you not to do that. You’re like, when? When you were two. You’re like, well I wasn’t, I was not paying attention. I did not know I was not supposed to smoke weed and steal your car, you know, I didn’t know. You should have repeated that. That would have been helpful if you repeated that. You said at once, it didn’t stick. God’s Word, you know what? The Bible would be a lot shorter if God said everything once. You notice that? You read it, you’re like, he already said this. That’s ’cause you’re not doing it, so he’s saying it again. And you’re like, why does he keep saying it? Because we don’t remember. God’s a father who says things repeatedly. We need to be parents who repeat some things. Set an example in Bible reading, prayer, worship, giving, and serving. This is why we have kids’ ministry, five months to fifth grade. We have a curriculum for you, it’s on the app, to build a relationship with the kids and let you know what they’re studying. But as soon as you believe they’re ready, it’s your decision, we welcome them here into the service. And it’s good for your kids to be with you. And do you know what? It’s good for them to see parents opening the Bible, parents learning the Word of God, parents raising their hands to submit and surrender and worship to God, parents to serve, parents to give, and it sets a natural example. And if I could just encourage the dads. Sometimes it’s mom who’s going to church taking the kids, trying to get them to read the Bible and pray. Statistically mom is the spiritual leader in the home and biblically the father should be the spiritual leader in the home. He should be taking the family to church. He should be opening the Word of God with the kids. He should be praying over the kids. He should be worshiping with the kids. And the family should be doing this as the example of the parent or parents is set and established. ‘Cause you know what? Otherwise what happens is sometimes in a home, if mom worships and reads the Bible and prays and dad doesn’t, the boys think well, real men don’t worship God and real men don’t pray and real men don’t read the Bible. And the girls think well, when I grow up I guess I need to marry a man like my dad who doesn’t pray or read the Bible or worship God. For those of you men that are here, let me honor you. Let me say that your kids see you open the Bible, that’s a lesson. They see you worship God, that’s a lesson. They see you give, they see you serve, they see you pray, they see you care, that sets the temperature and the trajectory of the family. Last two, feed their soul and body at dinnertime. When you sit down for dinner make it a sacred time. Jesus sat down with his disciples for meals. The Kingdom of God is going to be like a meal. We’re all going to sit down together. Dinnertime for us at the family house is sacred. We got a great table. We eat well. We’re really blessed. It’s a great place to be. And I always tell the kids turn off your phones, right? You don’t need to play Clash of Clans or buy, you know, retro Jordans right now. We’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s have a conversation. Let’s open. How can we pray? What are you guys learning? What was your sermon takeaway? What is God showing you? And sometimes the conversations are amazing and sometimes they’re not, amen. How many of you have tried, then you’re like, okay, we’re going to have a deep, no, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not. This didn’t go anywhere, you know. But what it is, it’s those sacred traditions. Some nights are a win, some nights are just what they are and that’s okay. But it’s an anchor time for the family to get together. How’s your heart? How’s your soul? How’s your mind? How’s your strength? And it’s a time together. Dinnertime is one of my favorite times. It’s one of my favorite times. And Sunday nights, we always talk about the sermon. What was your takeaway? And usually it’s, “Dad, you went too long.” I say, “I know, pray for me. It’s a struggle. But I felt I had good things to say.” So we talk about it. The last one, don’t bore your kids with the Bible, right? You know what? The Bible is true. So’s the phone book, okay. But the phone book’s not very fun, amen? How many kids are like, read me the phone book, I love the truth, right? The Bible is true. It’s also enjoyable, and there’s funny stuff in there. There’s drunk people camping. There’s all kinds of crazy stuff in there. I mean, you don’t even have to read very far and you’re already at the story I just told you that we’ll edit out for the simulcast. But nonetheless, there’s some funny stuff in the book. There’s crazy stuff in the book. And the boys weren’t very interested in the Bible till I was like, “Did you know there’s warriors and kings and people get stabbed?” “What? Read me the Old Testament.” They love the Old Testament. Read me more. They knew growing up all the stabbing verses in their heart. They knew all of them. And they weren’t very interested in Jesus till I go to Revelation. I was like, “He’s coming back on a white horse with a sword to slay the nations, woohoo!” Next thing you know, the kids get dressed up. So make Bible time, when they’re little, make it fun. Go to Goodwill, get props, let them dress up, act out the characters. When my kids were little, all the boys dressed up like soldiers, sword, sword, sword, sword, sword, lot of swords. Old Testament family, had to get them to the New Testament. We’ve gotten there. It’s been a good journey. The girls are dressed up like princesses, right? Oh, I want to, you know, I want to be royal Kingdom of God. We’d play out the stories and we’d read them. One of my sons, when he was little, he was the kid who liked to climb things. Do you have that kid? You’re like, I don’t believe in evolution. I think I got a kid who’s a monkey. He keeps climbing stuff, like. Just trying to get to the highest point in the house. And so we’re reading the story of Zacchaeus. He’s a little guy that climbs up a tree. My kid’s like , climbs up on the counter. I said, “What are you doing?” He’s like, “Bible story.” “Oh really, okay. You now found a biblical way to climb things without getting disciplined.” And so we would make it fun and they would act out the characters. And what always would happen, they always wanted to do David and Goliath. Guess who was Goliath? Me. “All right, Dad, you be Goliath.” Okay, okay. Sorry, I’m Goliath, aw. So I got murdered all the time. I got murdered. That really hurt. I’m too old for that. Literally I felt my back go. I’m gonna pray and go to the chiropractor. All right, here’s what we’re gonna do. I believe that the Bible should be enjoyable. It should be something that you don’t have to do, you get to do. You don’t have to read, you get to read. I believe it’s nourishment for the soul. I believe it’s healing for the mind. I believe it builds relationship with God. It builds relationship with others. It makes you emotionally healed. It delivers you from your stronghold. It renews your mind. It prepares your life course correction for battle. It helps you navigate a foolish, sinful, rebellious world, walking in relationship and obedience to God until you see Jesus face to face and you enter into the kingdom and you realize that a stronghold was no place to live. So we’re going to celebrate now. We’re gonna take communion and remember the broken body, shed blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. I’m going to bypass to Dustin, send the band up. We’re going to sing and celebrate, amen?
– [Congregation] Amen.
– And as we sing we’re breaking strongholds. We’re proclaiming against powers, principalities, and spirits. We’re declaring the truth of God’s Word in the midst of this world. We’re shouting to the heavenlies of who our God is and what he has done and why we love him and why we trust him. And as we sing we are renewing our minds and we’re renewing our hope for the life that God has for us. So Lord God, thank you for an opportunity to teach the Bible here at the Trinity Church. I love these people. I love you. I love your Word. I love what I get to do, and it’s a lot of fun. Thank you for the patience of people who drive a long way to hear me rant for a long time. And Lord God, I pray that they would love your Word. I pray that they would read your Word. I pray that they would enjoy your Word. I pray that they would be healed by your Word. I pray that they would be delivered from their strongholds by your Word and the renewing of our mind. Lord God, help us, Holy Spirit, to love the Lord our God with all our mind in Jesus’ name, amen.