“Be Fruitful…”

be fruitful and multiply

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is the opportunity to share some personal things going on in my life and Lord willing this week we will welcome our fourth child into the world.  We didn’t always have this attitude towards children.  Before salvation it was more of an obligation than a desire.  As a Believer I’m to have my mind changed and renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2) and as I look back now I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

I really enjoy the quizzical looks that I receive sometimes and it’s actually quite humorous for people to think that four kids is a huge family.  By today’s standards it’s almost double the average but by no means is it a big family.  I will be 48 years old in less than 2 months and Jen will be almost….  Well let’s just say she’s north of 40.

Someone told me when I announced Jen was pregnant with Lydia, “I hope you’re not going to have 12 more kids…”  I’m not sure that’s possible but if that is what God chose for us I would be all for it.  As I thought about writing this I had to consider why would I desire to have has many kids as God would provide?  This is surely foolishness to the world.

Recently I was picking up my daughter Grace from a dance class and I heard a woman going on and on about a family that has so many kids and they don’t use birth control.  That was so completely foreign to her thinking.  After all doesn’t God use these sorts of modern inventions to assist us in controlling the chaos?  For this woman absolutely “yes”…  For the unbelieving world the message of the cross (all God’s Word) is ridiculous.  She went on to say, “but at least the children are well behaved…” and “oh she home-schools them also…”  I wanted to walk over and ask the lady for their phone number.  Sounds like someone I need to meet.

So what’s the big deal about all of this?

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

This is so full of the truth of God and so incredibly rich how could I begin to scratch the depth of what it all means?  God created all the animals and pronounced it “good”, but God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

Man is the image bearer of God and with that the responsibility to glorify God in everything.  God also gave man an eternal soul.  God did not breathe life into the animals only into man.

Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Notice that it was God that blessed the marriage relationship and it was for the filling of the earth.  After sin entered the world everything about this has been distorted and debased.  As with the woman I heard at Grace’s dance class, she should not be filling the earth and it is better for her to limit the children in her home.

Believers should understand the purpose of raising children is all about the glory of God.  When I raise my children according to Biblical standards and I trust God’s promise from Exodus 20:6 that He will show mercy to those who love Him and keep His commandments, I then have an opportunity to subdue and take dominion over the earth.

Does this mean I conquer politically or wage war?  No, this means we execute what the Lord Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 28:18-19.  We go out into the world teaching those to observe everything Christ has commanded, and that He Himself has given us this authority.  When God blesses us with more children we have more opportunity to bless Him back by faithfulness to His Word and His commands.

We must believe that children are a blessing, and we must believe that these blessings are actually arrows in our hands (Psalm 127:4).  We must trust and believe God’s Word that His command to be fruitful and multiply extend over all of time, not just when the earth was first being populated and certainly not what a culture dictates.  If we are to truly have impact, we will look different from the world and they will wonder why.  They will make fun of us, they will revile us but some might be saved because we are faithful and trusting in God.

If God has blessed you with many children, few children, or no children at all, be faithful to Him in all circumstances.  If you don’t understand His plan, simply trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I’ll leave with these two questions.

Are you willing to have your mind changed by God’s Word?

Do you desire to be obedient to God’s Word?

 

Kevin

…Pants on fire

exaggeration

Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Would anyone agree that telling lies is a good thing?  Nobody wants to be called a “liar”.  Those are fighting words for most people.  I would assert even atheists think telling the truth, for the most part, is a good thing.  Although why they think this I don’t know because without God’s command there is no basis for truth telling.

God’s Word tells us repeatedly to tell the truth, and in fact it’s such a serious matter that it’s one of the seven things that are an abomination to God.

Proverbs 6:16-17 These six thing the LORD hates, yes seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue…

Ephesians 4:29-31 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth… Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Paul tells us that it is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:10).  There is no doubt God hates lying.

Does anyone disagree?

I’m here to tell you today that we need to reform in this area of truth telling.  I know most of you are probably thinking, “I don’t lie”, at least not on purpose.  I think there is a very insidious way in which Satan deceives us into lying and allows us to wrap ourselves in our own righteous.  It’s called exaggeration.  It’s a subtle but evil form of speaking to your neighbor.

Here’s an example from my own life.

I return from a hard week of work and say, “Oh I’m so tired I put in 40 hours of work in 3 days”.  In reality I did work hard and I am tired but the exaggeration comes in the form of the “stretch” of how many hours I actually worked.  I might have been awake and actually doing something for 40 hours over the course of those 3 days but I wasn’t working the entire time.

In the business I work we get up early.  I may actually have worked 38 hours but there is always the pull to exaggerate, even slightly, to the amount of time or the amount of effort that was exerted.

Why?

I want to seriously ask myself this question, why would I do that?  If I’m telling someone about my long work days do they really care whether it was 40 hours or 38 hours; of course not, but in my mind that sounds more dramatic.  I have the tendency to think of myself a higher opinion.  “Boy I really did something this weekend!”  “Aren’t I special?”

I’m a legend in my own mind…

Don’t we all do this?  Tell the truth…  You know you do this and so do I.

I have a good friend that is an extraordinarily hard working guy.  I don’t distrust him when it comes to his work ethic or his ability to tell me the truth.  Yet he’s an exaggerator.  He has some liberty with the amount of emails sent in a day or the time he arises each morning and goes to bed each night to accomplish his tasks.  Again, I don’t distrust his work ethic but why the embellishment?

I know he’s busy, I know he works hard.  But did he really send out 100 emails today or was it more like 60?  I’m easily impressed so whether it was 40, 60 or 800 in a day I’m going to think he’s pretty special at his job.  He has my respect without the exaggeration.

God thought this was important enough to include this in the top 10 of Christianity (Exodus 20:1-17).  This word “false” holds a very deep meaning.

sheh’-ker

From H8266; an untruth; by implication a sham (often adverbially): – without a cause, deceit (-ful), false (-hood, -ly), feignedly, liar, + lie, lying, vain (thing), wrongfully.

Notice how it says adverbially.  I really like this because it shows us how we use “verbal exclamations” to spin our lies in the form of exaggerations and all along it’s meant to deceive.  And then it goes on to tell us “without a cause”, there’s no reason for it.  Please let that sink in for a moment.  You have no reason to stretch that truth.  It does not profit you.  Ultimately it harms your credibility.

This article is meant to reform the minds and hearts of Bible believing Christians.  I don’t expect it will have any effect on the unregenerate but if God wills it might show someone their sin.  If you are a chronic liar you need to repent and turn from this abominable sin.  If you are just an exaggerator you need to repent and turn from this abominable sin.

Although I’d like to develop some other thoughts, that might have to be another day, but some common expressions Believers should not utilize are verbal exclamations such “I swear to God” or “I swear”, see Matthew 5:33-36.  You should never have to “convince” someone you are a truth teller.

We should also eliminate words like “honestly”, or “to be honest with you”…  This would indicate at other times you are dishonest.  As we begin to consider the meaning of our words and how important the words we use, we can become better communicators and better ambassadors for Christ.

Ephesians 4:14-15 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ…

This is the ultimate goal, to no longer be children, we need to put aside the elementary principles of Christianity and “grow up”; for the glory of the One that deserves obedience and truth telling.

Kevin