V. Justice – 5.1 #trrts | trrts.com

 

STEP V. JUSTICE 

The final aspect of the Romans Road to Salvation is the result of salvation. Romans 5:1 has this wonderful message, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through Jesus Christ we can have a relationship of peace with God. Romans 8:1 teaches us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we will never be condemned for our sins.

Keywords: Justified, Faith, Peace, Relationship, In Christ, Separation

V Justice

 

 

 

lyrics

On the narrow path. Straight and narrow
I follow my compass. Guided by the arrow
Feeling all alone. Alone on this road
I’m on the road. The Romans roadTherefore, since we are justified
acquitted, declared righteous in His eyes
given a right standing with God through faith
Let’s grasp the fact that this love can’t be replaced

And we have the peace of reconciliation
to hold and to enjoy with God and no explanation
except through our Lord & Savior – Jesus Christ
The Messiah, The Anointed One, The Way, Truth, & Life

Praise God for this hero whom rescued us
set us free before we went back to dust
I can fathom love no longer lacking trust
in our Heavenly Father, whom we love so much

“Thank you Dad for sending your son
We couldn’t overcome debt, but he’s the one
Now we live victoriously, we have won
He set us free thanks to the justice done”

Therefore, there is now no condemnation
judged not guilty, of doing wrong in this nation
for we are those who are in Christ
who live and walk in everlasting life

No longer after the ways of the flesh
but after the ways of the spirit (so fresh)
so breathe this breath as we stay clean
and reflect what it means in John 3:18

So let us all believe and let us have faith
I pray we are elected to be blessed with grace
be the salt and light watch the darkness escape
and the flavorless have no favor or taste

“Thank you Dad for sending your son
We couldn’t overcome debt, but he’s the one
Now we live victoriously, we have won
He set us free thanks to the justice done”

In everything, we have won more than a victory
because of Christ who loves us so dearly
I am sure nothing can separate us from God’s love
no powers from below and no powers from above

Not angels or spirits, not life, not even death
not the past or the future, nor presents or debt
nothing in all creation can separate us
from God’s love in ou Lord, Christ Jesus

So throw up your V celebrate with me
step 5 of the romans road to victory
marching to salvation the rest is history
Throw up your V we’re victorious in He

Perago

lyrics

Finally, we have this precious promise of God from Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Would you like to follow the Romans Road to Salvation? If so, here is an example of a prayer you can pray to God. Saying this prayer is a way to declare to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation. The words themselves will not save you. Only faith in Jesus Christ can provide salvation!

“God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. With your help, I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

lyrics

The 1st step on the Romans Road to salvation
is Romans 3:23, hear my explanation“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
We have all sinned. We have all done things wrong
displeasing to God & no one is innocent
So lets 180 the script. It’s time to repent
a detailed picture of what sin looks like in our lives.
In Romans chapter 3 you will find it described

Romans 6:23, teaches us about the consequences of sin
The punishment that we have earned for our sins is Grim
Not just physical death, but eternal death kids
Keep traveling the Romans Road to salvation

“but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died for us! His love is the love we can trust

Jesus’ death paid for the price once and for all of our sins.
All this is proved through Jesus’ resurrection
This proves that God accepted Jesus’ death
as the payment for our sins. So take a deep breath

The fourth stop on the Romans Road 10:9 just see
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.” Because of Jesus’ death

on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him,
trusting His death as the payment for our sins
And we will be saved! Romans 10:13 says
“for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins
and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation,
the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone to savor
who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

The final aspect of the Romans Road to salvation
is found in romans 5:1; the results of salvation.
this wonderful message, “Therefore, since we have
been justified through faith, we have

peace with God through Jesus Christ. This is it
Through Our Lord we can have a relationship
of peace with God. Romans 8:1 teaches us,
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation that reaches us”

Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf,
we will never be condemned or take a sinful bath
Finally, we have this precious promise of God
from Romans 8:38-39, now we belong

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the present condition
nor the future, nor any powers, neither height
nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from what we lacked before
By the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Would you like to follow the Romans Road to salvation?
If so, here is a simple prayer you can pray to God.

Saying this prayer is a way to declare to God
that you are relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation.
The words themselves will not save you.
Only faith in Jesus Christ can provide saving truth!

“God, I know that I have sinned against you
and am deserving of punishment.\
But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve
so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven.

With your help, I place my trust in You for salvation.
Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness -
the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

credits

from TRRTS, released 2014
Lyrics & Music by Chris Treborn
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

IV. Call – 10.9 #trrts | trrts.com

A Day's Wage

 

 

STEP IV. CALL

The fourth step on the Romans Road to Salvation is Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins – and we will be saved! Romans 10:13 says it again, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Keywords: Call, Confess, Believe, Rescued, Saved. 

 

IV Call

 

 

 

lyrics

Now for Step four on this Romans tour
Romans 10:9 is rather Devine
in that if you confess you will be blessed
Jesus Christ as Lord & believe like before
That in your heart & that from the dark
God raised him from the dead, and
You will be saved because you have faith
In death on our behalf take this spiritual bath

All we have to do is believe in Him,
trusting His death as the payment for sin
& we will be saved! Thanks to Jesus for this day
You’ve died in our place now let’s talk about grace
How could you replace all of our disgrace
How could we take what you did to the grave
AnchorMEN, let’s share the good news thanks to you
You provided a way like the entrance to a gate

And now we will pray that we can find the way
Sharing the directions through all the intersections
With our neighbors and especially our fam
It’s time to be a man accept this sacrificial lamb
The great I am with him all is grand
So let’s take a stand & follow his plan
He will guide our steps he knows what’s next
So, before you relax just take a deep breathe

Because tonight
is the night
we begin this flight
and regain our sight
Call it the red eye
watch the son rise
We cannot deny
the reason for his life
Because tonight
is the night
we begin this flight
and regain our sight
Call it the red eye
watch the son rise
We cannot despise
the purpose of his demise

III. Gift – 5.8 #trrts | trrts.com

STEP III. GIFT

The third step on the Romans Road to Salvation picks up where Romans 6:23 left off, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus’ death paid for the price of our sins. Jesus’ resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins.

Keywords: Gift, Life, Love, Paid. 

 

III Gift

 

 

 

lyrics

Sin pays
off with death. But
God’s gift
is eternal life
Sin pays
off with death. But
God’s gift
is eternal life

Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life
given by Jesus Christ our Lord our lord our lord and savior
But God showed how much he loved us
by having Christ die for us
even though we were sinful
We are what Christ was sent for

You can receive a whole healed put together life
Right now with more and more abundant life
On the way. Don’t delay because today’s your day
So make way. Don’t say wait. So now let’s pray

If you work hard for sin your whole life
Your pension is death the opposite of life
Get the gift of real life delivered by our master Christ
He has paid the price thanks to his sacrifice

Now we’ve been set free & we’re God’s slaves
This will make you holy eternal life giving thanks
We’re helpless yes. No one is willing to die
For an honest person? No one will ask why

Something even greater than friendship is ours
Now that we are at peace with the living God
We will be saved by the life of his son
Although we lost it all. We have won!

Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life
given by Jesus Christ
our Lord our lord our lord and savior
But God showed how much he loved us
by having Christ die for us
even though we were sinful
We are what Christ was sent for

Though someone might be willing to die
For a truly good person. Go and ask why
Well God showed how much he loved us
By having his son die and be crushed

And even though we were sinful sinners
God has accepted & adopted us as winners
New beginners & humble beginnings that’s love
All because of his son sacrificed his life’s blood

We are also kept from God’s righteous anger
We were enemies and distant strangers
But through his son he has made peace with us
Now we have his friendship and his trust

Something even greater than friendship is ours
Now that we are at peace with the living God
We will be saved by the life of his son
Lost it all yet true victory has been won!

II. Death 6.23 #trrts | trrts.com

PearlessPairable

 

STEP II. DEATH 

The second step on the Romans Road to Salvation, Romans 6:23, teaches us about the consequences of sin –“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death! Keywords: Wage, Death, Eternal.

Keywords: Debt, Wages, Death, Eternal. 

 

II. Death

 

 

 

lyrics

You can be slaves of sin and die,
or you can be obedient slaves of God know why
and be acceptable to him.
You used to be slaves of sin.
But I thank God that with all your heart
you followed the example set forth
in the teaching you received.
Now you are set free
from sin and are slaves who please God.
I am using these everyday examples, all because
in some ways you are still weak.
You used to let the different parts of your body speak
& be slaves of your evil thoughts.
But now you must make every part of your body serve God,
so that you will belong completely to him.
When you were slaves of sin,
you didn’t have to please God.
But what good did you receive from the things you did?

All you have to show for them is your shame,
and they lead to death in the grave
Now you have been set free from sin,
and you are God’s slaves. This will make you holy again
and will lead you to eternal life.
Sin pays off with death that’s right
But God’s gift is eternal life
given by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Goodbye old self goodbye old friends
Goodbye old me goodbye old sins
We have been freed and born again
Our savior rescued us from our sin

Now we’re on the road to salvation
We’re on the road to salvation
Lets share the good news across the nation
The Romans road to salvation

I. Fallen – 3.23 #trrts | trrts.com

Ø Welcome

 

 

STEP I. FALLEN 

The first step on the Romans Road to Salvation is Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent. Romans 3:10-18 gives a detailed picture of what sin looks like in our lives.

Keywords: Sin, Fallen, Short, Standard. 

 

I. Fallen 3.23

 

 

lyrics

What’s the difference between the sinner and the saint?
we are all ruled by sin, just as it has been said.
The Scriptures tell us, “No one is acceptable to God!
Not one of them understands or even searches for God.
They have all turned away and are worthless.
There isn’t one person who does right. Are they all worth less?
Their words are like an open pit, and their tongues are good (wait)
only for telling lies like deadly fangs of a snake,
Spitting bitter curses. Till their hearses
These people quickly become violent. Wherever they go,
they leave ruin and destruction. As if they don’t know
They don’t even fear God.” God treats everyone alike.
He accepts people only because they have faith
in his son Jesus Christ.All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
This is our story yet we give our own glory
This is His story and he alone deserves glory
Singing empty praises, you’re not telling the whole storyGod shows how angry he is with all the wicked youth
sinful people do evil things to crush the truth.
They know all that can be known about God, I mean
Although God’s eternal power and character cannot be seen.
God has shown what these are like by all he has made.
These people don’t have an excuse for how they behave
They know Him, but they don’t honor or thank him from the heart
Their thoughts are useless, their minds are stupid and they’re left out in the dark.
They claim to be wise, but they are fools. They don’t worship God
Instead, they worship human looking idols… who are flawed
God let these people go their own way to do what they wanted to do,
their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies too
They gave up truth about God for a lie, and worshiped creation
instead of God, who will be praised forever and ever! Amen!

Perago #trrts | trrts.com

More than an outro, this is a reprise of the entire album, all 5 steps included. It is finished.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 2.04.18 PM

Finally, we have this precious promise of God from Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Would you like to follow the Romans Road to Salvation? If so, here is an example of a  prayer you can pray to God. Saying this prayer is a way to declare to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation. The words themselves will not save you. Only faith in Jesus Christ can provide salvation!
 

“God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. With your help, I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

A Day’s Wage #trrts | trrts.com

When approaching the 5 steps of TRRTS, I was trying to figure how to add to the performance and the story of these scripture heavy songs. I decided to use the parable about A Day’s Wage. I knew this applied to Salvation or the Kingdom of Heaven as Jesus puts it. Without doing into the doctrine of election or free will, I thought this would be a great story to share within the context of The Romans Road To Salvation.
Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 9.48.55 PM

Matthew 20:1-16English Standard Version (ESV)

Laborers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius[a] a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went.Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’[b] 16 Sothe last will be first, and the first last.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 20:2 denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer
  2. Matthew 20:15 Or is your eye bad because I am good?

PearLess PairAble #trrts | trrts.com

When approaching the 5 steps of TRRTS, I was trying to figure how to add to the performance of these scripture heavy songs. I decided to grab an old song of mine and remake it since it applies to the theme within TRRTS. This song (originally called When Adam Ate The Apple) is the perfect bridge between FALLEN and DEATH. If Romans contains the road to salvation within its text, then Genesis contains the fall of mankind and the origin of how death entered the world. This is why this pear-less pair-able makes sense to include within the them of The Romans Road To Salvation.

 

 

lyrics

When Adam ate the apple, that was the first day…
when he knew it was wrong to walk away.
He became ashamed because he disobeyed.
He wish he didn’t take a bite, and true he would’ve stayed.
He found out the truth, though it was strange.
He could have lived forever without any change.
When Adam ate the apple, that was the genesis.
The beginning of the end.
Now, it’s time to finish this!

 

Ø. Welcome – 1​.​16 #trrts | trrts.com

THE ROMANS ROAD TO SALVATION
lays out the plan of salvation through a series of Bible verses from the book of Romans. When arranged in order, these verses form an easy, systematic way of explaining the message of salvation & hope in Christ, Jesus.There are many different versions of The Romans Road
To Salvation with slight variations in Scriptures, but
the basic message and method is the same. Many people memorize and use The Romans Road To Salvation when sharing the Good News. This is what we plan to do. Share the Good News as AnchorMEN with our families and our local communities.

 

 

lyrics

(The) Romans road (to)
Sal-vation!*Welcome friends and family
To: The Romans Road to Salvation
Let me greet you with peace and grace
I hope this reaches you… (in your place not in your face)*

This is for your kids and the future generations
This is for our legacy and the lasting nations
When we are gone and our lives live on
No names will be remembered all except for one

Jesus, the notorious the glorious the story of us
don’t ignore us we are simply Christians
sent here on a mission
*To share this divine vision and pray you heed the wisdom
Don’t keep it to yourself please share it with friends as well as your children*
Don’t just read it & learn it you gotta walk it and talk it out
Gotta live it don’t keep it in your pocket gotta give it out
These free gifts are for everyone
These simple truths are for everyone
For all your daughters and all your sons
For all your peers for everyone!

Beyond the pain we will endure the rain
They think we’re insane we’ll our savior was slain
It’s not a game plus we prayed for change
So where’s the change you are the change
Lets be the change and change the game
We can make a change for a change in his name

I said Jesus. Our savior and our Christ.
The messiah. The author & finisher of life
He died for our sins. He sacrificed
Go check the facts You know that’s right
He died and rose again. Soon he will be back my friend
He will make you strong. Where you’re failin’ and lackin’

These free gifts are for everyone
These simple truths are for everyone
For all your daughters and all your sons
For all your peers for everyone!

No more slackin’ or relaxin’
it’s time to take action He’s coming back son

::

 

An Introduction to Romans #trrts | trrts.com

Thank you for taking the time to visit our site. We pray this resource can be a tool you can use to lead your flock down the road to righteousness no matter their age. As an AnchorMAN, I Chris Treborn wanted to share the good news of Jesus with my family, especially my young children.

At first this was a hip-hop project of a Gospel message & Rap lyrics. Although these lyrics are scripture heavy, the words are simple enough to memorize especially with the beat.

My plan slowly faded and God took control. It turned into a site and a resource. It turned into a leader’s guide to help people like you understand the scriptures found in the book of Romans, and some key words that helped define each step. I even researched illustrations for us to share with our kids to help them relate to the message here.

The more I share The Romans Road To Salvation, the bigger the vision becomes. I am currently finishing up the recording of the Soundtrack to this project, and I pray we can help launch a discussion with your family, a small group, a bible study, or even a sermon series. Only God knows the limit to what TRRTS can do for you and your flock, your family, your community.

With your help, we can do the great commission and go and make disciples. And not only that, but we can teach these simple truths that will help lay the foundation and provide a road map for their road to righteousness. Of course there is only One Way. Through Jesus Christ. So let’s unite in the Holy Spirit and go forth.

We have been called to be AnchorMEN. Men and spiritual leaders anchored into Christ as our solid rock. We are breaking the chains of disconnected generations and connecting to the cornerstone.

Let’s do what AnchorMEN do, and share the Good News.
In Jesus’ name! A-MEN!!!

Chris Treborn | AnchorMEN

Pastor Anthony Trask of Fellowship Church in Salem, Oregon shares valuable insight on the Book of Romans from the Apostle Paul’s perspective.

from TRRTS Sermon by Anthony Trask Music by Chris Treborn

Every day should be Father’s Day!

20140615-212929-77369668.jpg

Father’s Day: Be the Hero
by Jim Daly from The Good Dad

We talk about our moms as the center of the family. And in certain critical ways, they always will be.

But as fathers we have just as important a role to play in the lives of our boys and girls that goes beyond carrying the family’s mantle of leadership. We must get back to the father’s traditional roles of provision and protection. A picture comes to my mind – a big, old tree in the backyard, an oak that spreads its branches across the sky like open arms, an oak that kids filled with energy run to in the morning or sit beside for comfort in the afternoon. I think of that feeling of unshakeable security, that sense of always being there for you.

Just the other day I had a conversation with Troy, our youngest son. We planned to attend a play late that afternoon, a play he’d been looking forward to, but he wasn’t feeling well.

He had a bad head cold and sounded like he could use some chicken noodle soup and good rest.

“Are you sure you want to go?” I asked him.

“Oh, I do want to see it,” he said.

“Well, you want to sit next to me so I can put my arm around you?” I asked. “Would that make you feel better?”

His whole countenance brightened. “Yeah!” he said.

That’s a pretty special feeling as a father, knowing your hug is as good, or as healing, in a way, as a bowl of chicken noodle soup. And even though that sounds very nurturing and motherly, I see it more as that old oak tree, always there to provide and protect.

When I think of what it means to be a dad, I think of a jolly father who says, “Come, come and sit on my lap. My boy, what did you do today? Did you make a mistake today? How did that go? What did you learn from that?” That may sound funny, but that’s the dad figure to me, a reflection of how I see our heavenly Father. Someone who’s always there, almost always smiling, always glad to see you, always glad to share a belly laugh. That father can be stern, but always in a loving way – never harsh, never cutting, never biting. Even when his kids know they’ve blown it, they don’t feel scared to talk with him about it. He fosters a relationship where his children can tell him anything. Consequences may come, even punishment. But in the midst of all that, he would never speak to them out of condemnation. His children would feel comfortable and safe speaking to him, no matter what they had done.

Is that an easy relationship dynamic to master? Hardly. Every one of us, even the greatest of dads, falls short. But it’s an ideal we should strive for every day.

Fatherhood is about being engaged with your kids, talking with them, wrestling with them, holding them when they need to be held.

It’s wanting to be there for the first step and all the steps thereafter, not fleeing into the safety of a man cave or escaping to the security of work. Sure, career is important, but it’s a short, flighty thing compared to your relationship with your kids. You may go through five or ten jobs during your working life. The relationship you have with your children lasts a lifetime. Or it should, and it will, if you connect with them emotionally when they’re young.

Meeting the Challenge

Of course, being a “big tree” or a jolly, welcoming father doesn’t sound all that heroic. And maybe to some, it doesn’t even sound all that manly. Picking up a Ken doll and playing with your daughter and her Barbie Dreamhouse sounds, well, just about as unmanly as you can get. It’s not much like extinguishing a fire that very well might burn down the entire Grand Canyon.

But to me, the willingness to grab that Ken doll and play with your daughter for a while lies at the heart of true manhood.

Look in the Bible and you’ll find that love, the secret to fatherhood, often gets explicitly tied to the idea of sacrifice.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things – Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:7.

In Romans 12:1-2, he writes,

I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.

The Lord wills that we be good fathers to our children and good husbands to our wives. Is manliness just brute power and strength and might? Or does it say, “I’m going to lay down my life for you”? On the surface, sacrifice can feel weak and powerless, but it’s not. It’s powerful. Christ may have looked weak and powerless on the cross during his moment of ultimate sacrifice, and yet that sacrifice remains the most powerful act the universe has ever seen.

It’s another paradox.

We are at our strongest when we lay down our lives, even in small ways, for our wives and children – maybe especially in small ways.

It’s hard to do. We get into arguments because we don’t always do it well. But I guess that’s why it’s called a “sacrifice.” If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.

When you look at healthy families, you see one common characteristic – sacrificial men.

Men who take time out for their kids – even when they’d rather do something else. Men who talk with their kids – even when some part of them just wants to watch the football game. Men who deal patiently with their kids – even when they’ve got to mop up the spilled milk from the floor for the third time that week. When men do the right thing for their families and offer that life-giving sacrifice, it pays big dividends. The families that result from that kind of fatherly commitment enjoy robust health.

After a recent broadcast for Focus on the Family, Karen Ehman, author of Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith, told a powerful story to our producer that had to do with her husband, Todd. When their kids were younger, Todd worked as a youth pastor, which, as any youth pastor will tell you, is a full-time job, plus about thirty or fifty more hours. One day, just after he got home from rappelling with his junior high group and got ready to walk out the door to do another team outreach thing, Todd knelt in front of his daughter, who was about four at the time, and said, “Honey, I’m going to share Jesus with these teens, and I need your prayers.”

“Oh good, Daddy!” his daughter said, quite sincerely.

When are you going to stay home and share Jesus with me?

Todd left his ministry position, took a job at GM as a line assemblyman, and started getting home at five every day. He still does ministry, but he stayed home every night with his kids as they grew up. That’s courageous fathering. I know it convicted me.

I’m not saying everyone should follow Todd’s example. My own job sometimes requires travel and time away that I’d like to spend at home. It requires balance. But as fathers, we have to challenge ourselves to make sacrifices for our kids. We need to not only tell them that we love them but also show them that they’re among the most important people in the world to us. That might sometimes lead us to make radical choices. But being a dad is, or at least it should be, a pretty radical experience.

When my stepfather walked out of our family’s life forever, he told us he couldn’t deal with it. That, to me, is the antithesis of fatherhood. God calls us as men to deal with discomforting situations such as the ones fatherhood can put us in.

We’re called to sacrifice for our families. We’re called to be the men our wives and children need, and the heroes God wants us to be.

Your Turn

As a father, did you ever experience times when you felt like you couldn’t deal with a situation anymore? Times when you wanted to run away? How did you get over those times? Describe the most heroic thing you’ve ever done. How have you sacrificed for your family? Are there areas in your life where you feel you should sacrifice more?

It’s never too late to be a better father Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, is an expert in fatherhood—in part because his own ‘fathers’ failed him so badly. His biological dad was an alcoholic. His stepfather deserted him. His foster father accused Jim of trying to kill him. All were out of Jim’s life by the time he turned 13. Isn’t it odd—and reminiscent of the hand of God—that the director of the leading organization on family turned out to be a guy whose own background as a kid and son were pretty messed up? Or could it be that successful parenting is discovered not in the perfect, peaceful household but in the midst of battles and messy situations, where God must constantly be called to the scene? That is the mystery unraveled in this book. Using his own expertise, humor, and inexhaustible wealth of stories, Jim will show you that God can make you a good dad, a great dad, in spite of the way you’ve grown up and in spite of the mistakes you’ve made. Maybe even because of them. It’s not about becoming a perfect father. It’s about trying to become a better father, each and every day. It’s about building relationships with your children through love, grace, patience, and fun—and helping them grow into the men and women they’re meant to be.

Stepfamily Rewards #Blended

Luke 4:18 tells us that he was sent to proclaim good news to the poor, the prisoner, the blind, and the oppressed. Jesus came to turn spiritual outsiders into insiders. All of us—you and me—were outsiders until his grace found us and made us his sons and daughters. One response of embracing this good news is humble gratitude.

 

 

When gratitude takes root in stepfamily members it can result in insiders (biological family members) making the powerful choice to embrace outsiders (stepfamily members). For example, when stepparents and stepchildren emulate Christ and invite one another in, something powerful happens. The uncomfortable outsider finds belonging, jealous and hardened hearts soften, selfishness dissipates in the face of sacrifice and love, and God is made central in that home. This is a profound reward every blended family would relish. But there’s more.

 

 

Healthy stepfamilies can experience many rewards including some of the following:

 

 

 

 

  • High quality marriages. Couples can create mutually satisfying, intimate, God-honoring marriages within stepfamilies.

 

 

  • A new marital heritage to celebrate. For children of divorce a healthy marital relationship can counteract the negative and destructive patterns of marriage they witnessed in their parent’s divorce.

 

 

  • Healthier kids. A loving, well-functioning stepfamily over time can negate many of the detrimental psychological impacts of divorce on children.

 

 

  • Shared respect and care between stepparents and stepchildren. Children, once empty due to the abandonment of a parent, can bloom under the loving care of a stepparent.

 

 

  • Experienced love, extended grace. When stepfamily members extend love and grace to one another and “bring the outsider in” they are emulating God’s grace to them. In so doing, children are blessed, hurts are healed, and the family is redeemed to God’s glory.

 

 

 

 

This is good news!

 

The Lord’s Spirit

has come to me,

because he has chosen me

to tell the good news

to the poor.

The Lord has sent me

to announce freedom

for prisoners,

to give sight to the blind,

to free everyone

who suffers

Helping Kids Caught in the Middle #Blended

To understand the behavior of children in stepfamilies (including adult stepchildren), you must understand loyalty and the natural tug-of-war it creates.

 

 

Cameron’s mom has been asking him for a month whether he wants to spend the majority of his summer vacation at his dad’s house or with his mom and stepdad, but she can’t seem to get a definite answer out of him. He talks in circles about where he’d like to be but won’t give her an answer. She’s growing impatient with him.

 

 

Loyalty refers to our devotion and attachment to the people we love. It refers to where we choose to put our allegiances. In stepfamilies, people generally place their first loyalty with their biological family members. Cameron feels caught between his biological parents and wants to spend his summer vacation with both of them. But to choose one means he can’t be with the other; it also it means jeopardizing the feelings of one parent should he choose to be with the other. For Cameron, choosing is a no-win tug-of-war.

 

 

Feelings associated with the loyalty tug-of-war often include feeling protective or defensive of one parent while spending time with the other, guilty for enjoying a stepparent knowing their biological parent feels left out, or sorrowful when embracing a new family means letting go of a deceased parent.

 

 

If a spirit of fear, that is, believing that loving one person will hurt another, places children in the tug-of-war, a spirit of love will take them out of many of their loyalty battles. Fear in adults dishonors the attachments of children, love honors them. Fear strives to keep children emotionally near for personal benefit (often an act of aggression toward an ex-spouse); love confidently gives them permission to love others knowing that they have enough love to go around. Fear pulls harder on the tug-of-war rope while love releases it. This is how you help your children find relief from the tug-of-war.

 

 

Biological Parents:

 

 

 

 

  • Give your children permission to like, respect, and love the many different members of their stepfamily. A mom might say, “I’m so glad you enjoyed your time with your dad and stepmom this weekend. I think that’s great.”

 

 

  • Ex-spouses should act civil toward one another. Criticism of the other parent, court battles, sarcasm, and an uncooperative spirit implicitly asks children to choose which parent they prefer or agree with.

 

 

 

 

Stepparents & Grandparents:

 

 

 

 

  • Don’t try to “replace” biological parents (living or deceased). The more you try to force your way in, the more resistant children tend to become.

 

 

  • Grandparents: affirm the new couple and family. Showing partiality to the original family signals to grandchildren that they should remain loyal to the previous family and not open themselves to the stepfamily.

Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, and do your best to live at peace with everyone.

Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says,

 

“I am the one to take revenge

and pay them back.”

 

The Scriptures also say,

 

“If your enemies are hungry,

give them something to eat.

And if they are thirsty,

give them something

to drink.

This will be the same

as piling burning coals

on their heads.”

 

Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.

 

Step-by-Step Stepparenting #Blended

Stepparenting can be tough. Stepparents frequently report feeling confused about their role, displaced from their spouse when the stepchild is around, helpless to change the situation, and guilty because they know that God is expecting them to love their stepchildren, even though they sometimes don’t.

 

 

Finding an effective stepparent role is a challenge—you must persevere to find success. Here are some practical tips for the journey.

 

 

Relationship Building Tips for Stepparents

 

 

 

 

  • Play! Having fun is a great way to connect.

 

 

  • Track with them. Know what activities a child is engaged in and enter that world. Take them to practice, ask about an activity, and take interest in their interests.

 

 

  • Share your talents, skills, and hobbies.

 

 

  • Communicate your commitment. Let the child know you value and want a relationship with them.

 

 

  • Share the Lord and your walk. Shared spirituality can facilitate connection and a sense of family identity, but don’t be preachy. Instead share with humility your faith journey so they will experience you as a safe person.

 

 

  • The cardinal rule for stepparent-stepchild relationships is this: Let the children set the pace for their relationship with you. For example, if your stepchildren are open to physical affection from you, don’t leave them disappointed. If they remain aloof and cautious, respect their boundaries. As time brings you together, slowly increase your personal involvement and affections.

 

 

  • It’s important that stepparents not consider themselves failures if they do not form deep emotional bonds with every child. The length of time required to move into this role depends on multiple factors, most of which are beyond the stepparent’s control. Enjoy the relationship you have now and trust that investments made over time will increase affection and respect.

 

 

 

 

Do’s and Don’s for Stepparents

 

 

 

 

  • Early on biological parents must pass power to stepparents so that children understand that stepparents are not acting on their own authority

 

 

  • Parents and stepparents negotiate rulestogether behind closed doors and seek unity in leading the family. The biological parent then communicates the rules to the children with the stepparent’s support.

 

 

  • Stepfamilies, where both parents bring children to the stepfamily, still negotiate rules together, but each takes the lead role with their own children.

 

 

  • Over time as emotional bonds with stepchildren deepen, stepparents can become more authoritative and shows of affection can become more common.

 

 

  • Don&’t be harsh or punish in a way inconsistent with the biological parent. This tends to polarize parents and create marital discord.

 

 

  • Do focus on relationship building with each child. This is your long-term strength as a parent-figure.

Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.

 

Protecting Your Stepfamily Marriage #Blended

God’s design for the family begins with marriage laying the foundation for the home.  But stepfamilies are at a disadvantage when they begin because the couple isn’t the foundation. Because parent-child relationships predate the new marriage and are bonded by blood, history, and family identity, the marital relationship is often a secondary relationship in the home instead of the foundational one. Unless your marriage becomes primary, you will continue to experience distress and instability in your home.

 

 

The process of establishing the couple as the foundation relationship of the home can feel like a win-lose situation for biological parents and children. It’s not. It’s a matter of significance.  Not that a spouse matters more than children, but rather that the marriage matters more to the stability of the home, than do children.

 

 

Children will never suffer neglect because their biological parent makes a strong commitment to their spouse, the stepparent. Couples in biological families where the marriage preceded children naturally sit “in the front seat” with one another yet still make plenty of sacrifices on behalf of their children. Even still the couple maintains their first-love commitment to one another.

 

 

A similar balance is healthy in stepfamilies.

 

 

Tips:

 

 

 

 

  • Set a regular date night and keep it. Prioritizing time for one another helps children see the importance you place on your relationship.

 

 

  • Support your spouse’s parental role with your children. Back them up and insist that your children treat them with respect.

 

 

  • Biological parents: spend regular one-on-one time with your kids and remain involved in their activities. This reinforces that they haven”t “lost” you and paradoxically makes acceptance of your marriage easier. This is the both/and balance.

 

 

  • Stepparents should insist out loud that the biological parent spend time with their children. This communicates that you are not in competition with the kids.

 

 

  • When children show signs of stress or anxiety as you “move your spouse into the front seat of your heart”, be sympathetic, but don’t let guilt put distance in your marriage.

 

 

  • When children challenge the role of the stepparent, respond firmly and with compassion. “You’re just changing the rule because she wants you to,” is a common complaint. Acknowledge the child’s confusion and move forward. “You’re right. Things are different now that Linda and I parent together. And if I were you, I’d be upset about this, too. But this is the new rule and I’m in agreement with it, so please abide by it. Let’s go.”

One day, Sarah noticed Hagar’s son Ishmael playing,and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that Egyptian slave woman and her son! I don’t want him to inherit anything. It should all go to my son.”

Abraham was worried about Ishmael.

 

How to cook a step family #Blended

 

Whether you realize it or not, you have a set of assumptions about how to cook your stepfamily. By that, I mean your approach to how your stepfamily “ought” to come together.  Brenda was cooking her family with a blender.

 

 

“It happened again the other night,” she began. “My 14 year-old son, Braden, walked in the living room and started asking me to help him with his math homework when his stepfather, Tim, who is much better at math than me, was sitting right there. Braden never asks Tim for help with anything. It makes me so frustrated. I told him he had to ask Tim for help.”

 

 

Obviously Brenda’s goal is to help her son connect with his stepfather. Her method of cooking is to force them together, much like what a blender does to the various ingredients, by pushing Braden to ask Tim for help. There is nothing wrong with Brenda’s goal, but there is something misguided about using a blender to force the ingredients together.

 

 

This “blender” cooking method attempts to force people to love each other, rather than allowing them responsibility to apply Christ’s command to love one another—in a gradual manner that is tolerable for them.

 

 

That’s the problem with many common cooking styles used by adults in stepfamilies: they tend to create pressure which inadvertently builds walls between the various “ingredients.” Food processor parents chop up one another’s history when they demand that stepchildren call their stepparent “daddy” or “mommy.”Microwave parents avoid labels like “stepfamily’ because they don’t want to be any different than biological families while pressure cooker parents insist that family members celebrate the holiday in the exact same manner.

 

 

Smart stepfamilies understand that relationships take time and that the forcing action of “blending” creates resistance, not connection. As the video suggests, they cook with a crock-pot. For example, if we could rewind Brenda’s run-in with her son, a crock-pot mentality might have calmed her anxiety and reminded her that since right now her son feels most safe with her, she should respond to his dilemma.  Over time, that might change as Braden shares more of himself with Tim and their relationship matures.  Asking his stepfather for help at that time will more comfortably flow from their bond.  Until then, Brenda should be patient with her son, not push too hard, and keep reminding herself that they aren’t finished cooking yet.

But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you.

 

Children Are Definitely Part of the Package #Blended

 

Couples who marry and form a blended family are often surprised to discover that stepfamily living is far more complex than they anticipated. They soon learn that their expectations for how quickly the family will harmonize were unrealistic.

 

 

 

 

  • Love doesn’t happen instantly.

 

 

  • Being previously married doesn’t necessarily equip you to be married to someone new.

 

 

  • Experience as a parent doesn’t adequately prepare you to be a stepparent.

 

 

  • Children are sometimes slow to embrace a stepparent’s authority and the new family as a whole.

 

 

  • And falling in love as a couple doesn’t mean children want to be a family.

 

 

 

 

Yes, children are most definitely part of the package.

 

 

Becoming stepfamily smart is how you prevent the unforeseen aspects of blended family living from sabotaging your home. This involves learning all you can about stepfamily dynamics and connecting with others in your church for mutual support. The trick is to work smarter, not harder, and walk with God each step of the way.

 

 

Your home can be a place of warmth, love, and grace. This series will help get you there.

 

 

Based on The Smart Stepfamily by Ron L. Deal. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Get smart about your stepfamily. Visit FamilyLife Blended™ at FamilyLife.com/blended

God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together.

 

Blended Family: Becoming Stepfamily Smart #Blended #AnchorFAM

 

Devotionals for the week of June 1st – 6th

The Blended Family: Becoming Stepfamily Smart reading plan provides practical, realistic solutions to the unique issues that stepfamilies face. Integrating a stepfamily is rewarding and at times challenging; but the odds of your success increase dramatically when you see a picture of how a healthy blended family looks and acts. Each day starts with a video clip of stepfamily expert Ron Deal speaking and includes scripture and written content.

Please join us each night at 9pm for this informational guide to being a part of a blended family. Watch for the hashtag Blended, or subscribe via email. You can also stay up to date with our social media outlets;

FB.com/AnchorMEN116 + @SoulAnchorMusic

Controlling the tongue #WhoControlsYou

master-yourself

TALKING TO GOD

Thank God for His Word and for making you in His image. Take turns offering a prayer of praise for the many ways God has gifted you to communicate with each other.

DIVING IN

If possible, build a fire and enjoy the warmth together. If not, then simply recall a time when you enjoyed the warmth of a fire — whether during a special winter gathering or during a summer camping trip. Take turns describing your favorite fireside memories.

GOING DEEPER

The fireside memories that you cherish have one thing in common: control. Any fire that is out of control is far from a cherished memory because it is extremely dangerous. James, the brother of Jesus, teaches about the importance of watching your words. He writes, “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:5). If left uncontrolled, your words have the potential to cause great damage, just as a spark can ignite a terrible fire. You keep fire contained to protect your family from harm; in the same way, you can exercise self-control in your choice of words to avoid hurting others.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER

What do you think James meant when he said that the tongue makes “great boasts”? Give some examples. – How have you experienced the hurt that can come from a few “out of control” words? – How can you be careful in your communication so you don’t hurt others?

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. - Proverbs 21:23

Who is your master? #WhoControlsYou

master-yourself

TALKING TO GOD

Thank God for being the Lord of your life. Ask Him to show you any areas where you have not yet made Him Lord. Trust Him for help to exercise self-control in these areas.

DIVING IN

Play a game of charades, and try to guess the title of popular movies or cartoon series.

GOING DEEPER

It’s fun to do things you enjoy, like watch your favorite television show or play your favorite games. But it might not be so fun if those things had control over you. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, the apostle Paul says: “ ‘Everything is permissible for me’ — but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’ — but I will not be mastered by anything.” When something that you enjoy doing becomes something that you are driven to do, it may have control over you. This means that you’ve given up your ability to choose what is best. It’s important to only have one Master — God — and to make sure He comes first in everything you do.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? – Name a few characteristics of a “master.” How can you tell if something in your life is becoming a master over you? – Discuss some ways that you can develop more self-control.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money – Matthew 6:24 

Protecting what is precious in you #WhoControlsYou

master-yourself

TALKING TO GOD

Spend some time thanking God for the protection He provides.

DIVING IN

Play a game of capture the flag. Divide into two teams, with each team having its own “flag.” (You can use any item that can be easily carried.) After both teams have found a secure location to place their flag, the game begins. The object of the game is for family members to make their way into the opposing team’s territory, grab the flag and return to their own territory without being tagged. Each team will have to work both offensively and defensively.

GOING DEEPER

It’s important to have defenses in place to protect things that are precious to you. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” The Bible teaches that developing self-control is a way to protect yourself from things that could harm you. When you practice self-control, you’re building strong walls that will keep important things safe — things like your love for God and for others.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER

Can you describe what walls around a city used to look like? How is self-control like city walls? – What kinds of things do you find in cities that need to be protected? What kinds of things has God placed in you that need to be protected? – In what areas do you have a hard time practicing self-control? How can these areas be strengthened so you are better protected from harm?

When I think on my ways,

I turn my feet to your testimonies;

I hasten and do not delay

to keep your commandments.

 – Psalm 119:59-60

Moving in the right direction #WhoControlsYou

master-yourself

TALKING TO GOD

Take turns thanking God for your favorite animals and for the wonder of His creation.

DIVING IN

Think of an animal that you would like to ride. Encourage the younger children in your family to act out the animal of their choice, then take turns talking about which animal you would choose to ride and why.

GOING DEEPER

Many different kinds of animals can be ridden: horses, llamas, donkeys, elephants, camels and even ostriches. And while it may be fun to ride these animals, it would be difficult to actually get anywhere without some way to control them. For many animals, a bit and bridle are used to apply pressure that will point them in the right direction. The Bible uses a bit and bridle as an illustration. “Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:9). If you have trouble controlling yourself, you may feel the pressure of God’s discipline as He points you in the right direction. This discipline can come through parents or other authorities. However, when you choose to follow God’s Word and quickly obey Him, He’ll keep you on the right path.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER

If bits and bridles provide direction for animals, what kinds of things could be like “bits and bridles” for people? – List the many places and people from which you can get direction for your life. – How do you respond to God’s directions for your life (such as those found in the Bible)? Do you follow them easily? Why or why not?

A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls. – Proverbs 25:28

Sweetness for the soul #WhoControlsYou

master-yourself

TALKING TO GOD

While praying together, take turns thanking God for your favorite foods.

DIVING IN

Post a sheet of paper on the wall. Draw a simple platter on the paper and invite family members to draw their two favorite desserts on the platter. All of these desserts will combine to be one spectacular, yet imaginary, family dessert. Now ask your child to make up a name for this treat.

GOING DEEPER

It’s fun to imagine all your favorite desserts in the same place at the same time. And while this may be fun to imagine, it wouldn’t be healthy to actually eat all those goodies. Self-control keeps you from making poor eating choices; at the same time, it helps you learn to appreciate things that are better for you. Have you ever considered developing a taste for wisdom? Proverbs 24:13-14 says it like this: “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Just as eating your favorite desserts can be pleasant, so exercising wisdom in your choices can have a sweet influence on your life now and in the future.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER

How can wisdom be sweet to your soul in the same way desserts are sweet to your taste? – How can you find wisdom?

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. – James 3:17

God Created Land Animals #CreationOfNature

Play:

Play a game of 20 questions. Ask your child to think of a land animal. Other family members then ask yes-or-no questions in order to figure out what the animal is. (Does it live in Africa? Is it big?) The game ends with a correct guess or after 20 questions have been asked. Repeat so each family member gets a turn to choose an animal.

Talk:

God created all the animals on earth. Genesis 1:24-25 says God made livestock such as cows and chickens, creatures that move along the ground like snakes and lizards, and wild animals like zebras and lions. When God was done making the land animals, He saw that His creation was good. Of all the animals God created, which is your favorite?

Pray:

Thank God for all of the animals He created.

— Juliet K. Kennedy Copyrighted © 2013 by Focus on the Family.

 

The Sixth Day

24God said, “I command the earth to give life to all kinds of tame animals, wild animals, and reptiles.” And that’s what happened. 25God made every one of them. Then he looked at what he had done, and it was good.

God Created Fish and Birds #CreationOfNature

Play:

Challenge your children to name as many types of sea creatures as they can in 30 seconds. Then for round two, have them shout out every kind of bird they can think of in 30 seconds.

Talk:

God created the birds of the sky and the creatures of the sea (Genesis 1:20-23). God’s creativity is unmistakable! He has filled the water and the sky with all kinds of animals, from tiny goldfish to gigantic whales, from colorful toucans to soaring eagles. After creating this assortment of creatures, God saw that they were good and blessed them. How can we show God that we are thankful for the birds and fish He has created?

Pray:

Thank God for His creativity in forming all the different creatures that fill the earth’s sky and water.

— Courtney Black Copyrighted © 2013 by Focus on the Family.

 

The Fifth Day

20God said, “I command the ocean to be full of living creatures, and I command birds to fly above the earth.”21So God made the giant sea monsters and all the living creatures that swim in the ocean. He also made every kind of bird. God looked at what he had done, and it was good.22Then he gave the living creatures his blessing—he told the ocean creatures to increase and live everywhere in the ocean and the birds to increase everywhere on earth.23Evening came, then morning—that was the fifth day.

God Created Plants #CreationOfNature

Play:

In the car or on a walk, have your kids count how many trees you pass in one minute. Do it again, and see if you count more or less this time.

Talk:

Plants make oxygen for us to breathe, provide food for us to eat and add beauty to the world. Trees provide shade and lumber to build our homes. God created trees and many other kinds of plants in order to provide for our needs—and the needs of other living creatures (Genesis 1:11-13; 29-30). Name some of the ways you have used plants today.

Pray:

Thank God for creating the many different kinds of plants we use every day.

—Donna Brennan Copyrighted © 2013 by Focus on the Family.

 

11God said, “I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain.” And that’s what happened. 12The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 13Evening came, then morning—that was the third day.

29I have provided all kinds of fruit and grain for you to eat. 30And I have given the green plants as food for everything else that breathes, including animals, both wild and tame, and birds. And so it was.

God Created Sky, Water and Land #CreationOfNature

Play:

Describe a number of living things that God has created, and ask your child to tell you whether they belong in the sky, water or land.

Talk:

The sky, water and land are full of living things, but this was not always so. Before the earth was ready to support life, God had a lot of preparation to do. This included separating the sky, water and land and placing them in exactly in the right spots (Genesis 1:6-10). God wants us to enjoy and respect the beautiful world He has created. What are some ways that we can care for the earth?

Pray:

Thank God for creating the sky, water and land.

—Naomi Cassata Copyrighted © 2013 by Focus on the Family.

 

The Second Day

6 God said, “I command a dome to separate the water above it from the water below it.” And that’s what happened. God made the dome and named it “Sky.” Evening came, then morning—that was the second day.

The Third Day

God said, “I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground.” And that’s what happened. 10 God named the dry ground “Land,” and he named the water “Ocean.” God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good.

God Created Day and Night #CreationOfNature

Play:

Ask your kids to close their eyes really tight, putting their hands over their face. Count to 10, then point out how dark it is. Now, say, “Light” and ask your kids to open their eyes.

Talk about how bright the light is after the darkness!

Talk:

In the beginning, before God made our world, it was very, very dark—just like when you closed your eyes and covered your face. In Genesis 1:3-5, we read that God spoke into the darkness and said, “Let there be light,” and there was light! God called the darkness “night” and the light “day.” God spoke, and light was created.

What are some activities that would be difficult to do without light?

Pray:

Thank God for making the light and the day so we can play and learn; thank Him for the dark night so we can rest.

—Danika Cooley Copyrighted © 2013 by Focus on the Family.

 

The First Day

3 God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. 4God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness 5and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came, then morning—that was the first day.

#trrts | debts, gifts, + wages

ro58

DEBTS TO BE PAID

The Romans Road To Salvation teaches us about the consequences of sin –

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death!

 

Romans 6:23a

For the wages which sin pays is death.

 

Romans 5:12

Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned.

 

Our life is like the aglet of a shoelace. Our death is not even a period, it is just a comma. Therefore, the endless shoelace represents eternity. Life after Death, with or without God! Don’t let the world lie to you with their YOLO slogan and lifestyle. That is reckless behavior. You need to invest today and sew today what you want to benefit from and reap tomorrow.

Crossover, from death to life. What’s the hold up in accepting Christ? Let’s not be stopped dead in our tracks. Let’s continue down the path of righteousness. Let’s go along the Romans Road to Salvation and learn the steps we need to take.

 

FREE GIFTS GIVEN

Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus’ death paid for the price of our sins. Jesus’ resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins.

 

Romans 6:23b
but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Romans 5:8

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

 

What is the greatest gift you have ever received?

I bet it was a surprise or a gift you didn’t expect. What makes it even better is when you receive it even though you did nothing to deserve it. It was given just because. Out of the heart of the
giver. These gifts that are unconditional are given with nothing expected in return. Why lessen the value of a gift by expecting to return a gift?

This isn’t a gift exchange.

This is the greatest gift that you will never want to exchange. This is a present. Jesus has blessed us with his presence… and his presents. Not only that, but know that the best gifts are free!

Will you accept the gift?

 

A DAY’S WAGE

Matthew 20:1-16

New Living Translation (NLT)

 

Parable of the Vineyard Workers

20 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage[a] and sent them out to work.

“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

When did Jesus of Nazareth really die? #PassoverLamb #GoodFriday

We are approaching Passover as well as Good Friday, and after recently learning about Exodus and the first Passover, I have became extremely interested in the traditions and festivals that Jewish people celebrate as well as holidays Christians celebrate nowadays. As a Christian, I barely know when, and why this all began. After going through Exodus and listening to sermons, I have even searched online for some additional information. I find it extremely interesting that Jesus is referred to as our Passover Lamb by Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. How likely is it? And why don’t Jewish people realize this celebration and tradition all points to Jesus, the Messiah as our Passover Lamb. Even how God laid down the rules for the selection of the lamb in Exodus reveals He is implying and actually applying this to His son. Crazy, right?

 

So, before we celebrate Passover on the 14th day of Nisan for 7 days, and before we come across Good Friday, let us look and the clues and facts that lead us to find out when Jesus was crucified and punished for all of the sins of the world. Once, and for all!

 

The following is not my research, but that of Jimmy Akin. Please be a Berean when it comes to digesting spiritual information. See if it adds up for yourself. Be your own detective. Please let us know what your thoughts and feelings are on the subject. Please note: all hateful and inconsiderate comments will not be shared or posted. Thank you!

 

 

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We all know that this happened in Jerusalem in the first century.

That separates Jesus from mythical pagan deities, who were supposed to live in places or times that none could specify.

Just how specific can we be with the death of Jesus?

Can we determine the exact day?

We can.

And here’s how . . .

 

Clue #1: The High Priesthood of Caiaphas

The gospels indicate that Jesus was crucified at the instigation of the first century high priest named Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3-4John 11:49-53).

We know from other sources that he served as high priest from A.D. 18 to 36, so that puts Jesus’ death in that time frame.

But we can get more specific. Much more.

 

Clue #2: The Governorship of Pontius Pilate

All four gospels agree that Jesus was crucified on the orders of Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:24-26Mark 15:15Luke 23:24John 19:15-16).

We know from other sources when he served as governor of Judea–A.D. 26 to A.D. 36–so we can narrow down the range by several years.

But how are we going to get it down to a specific day and year?

 

Clue #3: After “the Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Caesar”

The Gospel of Luke tells us when the ministry of John the Baptist began:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar . . . the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness [Luke 3:1-2].

This picks out a specific year: A.D. 29.

Since all four gospels depict the ministry of Christ beginning after that of John the Baptist had begun (Matthew 3Mark 1Luke 3John 1), this means that we can shave a few more years off our range.

The death of Christ had to be in a range of seven years: between A.D. 29 and 36.

 

Clue #4: Crucified on a Friday

All four gospels agree that Jesus was crucified on a Friday (Matt. 27:62Mark 15:42Luke23:54;  John 19:42), just before a Sabbath, which was just before the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1Mark 16:2Luke 24:1John 20:1).

We know that it was a Friday because it is referred to as “the day of preparation”–that is, the day on which Jews made the preparations they needed for the Sabbath, since they could not do any work on that day. Thus thus cooked food in advance and made other necessary preparations.

The Jewish Encyclopedia states:

Friday, as the forerunner of Shabbat, is called “‘Ereb Shabbat” (The Eve of Sabbath). The term “‘ereb” admits of two meanings: “evening” and “admixture” (Ex. xii. 38); and “‘Ereb Shabbat” accordingly denotes the day on the evening of which Sabbath begins, or the day on which food is prepared for both the current and the following days, which latter is Sabbath.

The idea of preparation is expressed by the Greek name paraskeué, given by Josephus (“Ant.” xvi. 6, § 2) to that day (compare Mark xv. 42; Luke xxiii. 54; Matt. xxvii. 62; John xix. 42). In Yer. Pesaḥim iv. 1 the day is called “Yoma da-‘Arubta” (Day of Preparation) [Jewish Encyclopedia, s.v., "Calendar"].

That eliminates six of the days of the week, but there were still quite a few Fridays between A.D. 29 and 36.

Can we figure out which one?

 

Clue #5: A Friday at Passover

The gospels also agree that Jesus was crucified in conjunction with the annual feast of Passover (Matthew 26:2Mark 14:1Luke 22:1John 18:39).

Here we encounter a momentary complication, because Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe the Last Supper on Holy Thursday as a Passover meal (Matthew 26:19Mark 14:14Luke 22:15). That would suggest that Good Friday was the day after Passover.

However, when describing the morning of Good Friday, John indicates that the Jewish authorities had not yet eaten the Passover meal:

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium [i.e., Pilate's palace]. It was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover. So Pilate went out to them [John 18:28-29a].

That suggests that the Passover would have begun on sundown Friday.

There are a number of ways of resolving this. For example, some have suggested that Jesus and his disciples used a different calendar than the Jewish authorities, and we know that there were different calendars in use in first century Judaism.

It’s also possible that Jesus just advanced the date of the Passover celebration for him and his disciples. I mean, they were already convinced he was the Messiah and the Son of God. If he says, “We’re celebrating Passover today,” and it’s a day earlier than most people, they’d just go with that. (Note that he made other modifications to the ceremony, such as instituting the Eucharist in the midst of it.)

And there are other solutions.

However, regardless of what Jesus’ movement did, we can look to John’s statement about the Jesus’ captors as an indication of what the Jewish authorities or the mainstream Jewish practice was: They were celebrating a Passover beginning on what we would call Friday evening.

That lets us narrow down the range of possible dates to just a few. Here is a complete list of the days between A.D. 29 and 36 on whose evenings Passover began:

  • Monday, April 18, A.D. 29
  • Friday, April 7, A.D. 30
  • Tuesday, March 27, A.D. 31
  • Monday, April 14, A.D. 32
  • Friday, April 3, A.D. 33
  • Wednesday, March 24, A.D. 34
  • Tuesday, April 12, A.D. 35
  • Saturday, March 31, A.D. 36

As you can see, we have just two candidates left: Jesus was either crucified on April 7 of A.D. 30 or April 3 of A.D. 33.

Which was it?

The traditional date is that of A.D. 33. You will find quite a number of people today advocating the A.D. 30 date.

Do the gospels let us decide between the two?

 

Clue #6: John’s Three Passovers

The Gospel of John records three different Passovers during the ministry of Jesus:

  • Passover #1: This is recorded in John 2:13, near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
  • Passover #2: This is recorded in John 6:4, in the middle of Jesus’ ministry.
  • Passover #3: This is recorded in John 11:55 (and frequently mentioned afterwards), at the end of Jesus’ ministry.

That means that the ministry of Jesus had to span something over two years. A fuller treatment would reveal that it spanned about three and a half years, but even if we assume it began immediately before Passover #1, the addition of two more Passovers shows that it lasted more than two years at a bare minimum.

That means the A.D. 30 date is out.

There is not enough time between the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar–A.D. 29–and the next year’s Passover to accomodate a ministry of at least two years.

The numbers don’t add up.

As a result, the traditional date of Jesus’ death–Friday, April 3, A.D. 33–must be regarded as the correct one.

Can we be even more precise?

 

Clue #7: “The Ninth Hour”

Matthew, Mark, and Luke each record that Jesus died about “the ninth hour” (Matthew 27:45-50Mark 15:34-37Luke 23:44-46).

“The ninth hour” is what we, today, would refer to as 3:00 p.m.

This allows us to narrow down the time of Jesus’ death to a very specific point in history: around 3:00 p.m on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33.

Of course, there are a lot of detailed arguments that I haven’t taken space to deal with here. But this is the thrust of things.

This is when it happened. 

 

Anyone can be saved #BeThe3 #Anyone #trrts

This week’s point is: I’m on a mission to go people fishin’. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point! Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen 

All who call out to the Lord will be saved.

How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them?

LG

Save the lost #BeThe3 #Save

This week’s point is: I’m on a mission to go people fishin’. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point! Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen 

The Son of Man came to look for and to save people who are lost.

LG

Help each other #BeThe3 #Help

This week’s point is: I’m on a mission to go people fishin’. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point! Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen 

This is why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing.

LG

People fishing #BeThe3 #PeopleFishing

This week’s point is: I’m on a mission to go people fishin’. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point! Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen 

(Matthew 4.18-20, Mark 1.16-20, Luke 5.1-11)

18 While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. 19 Jesus said to them, “Follow me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” 20 Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.

LG

Forgive others #BeThe3 #Forgive

What conclusions have you drawn after this week’s study? Talk about what you’ve learned about this week’s point: Care, share, and just be there. How will you live differently because of what you’ve learned?

Rules for the New Life – Ephesians 4:32

Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.

LG

Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself #BeThe3 #LoveYourNeighbor

This week’s verse to remember is Luke 10:27. Take some extra time to read it, say it, and memorize it. Talk about how it connects to this week’s point: Care, share, and just be there. 

Luke 10:27

The man replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ They also say, ‘Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.’ ”

LG

Care, share, and just be there #BeThe3 #Neighbors

This week’s Bible story is a story Jesus told to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” This is often called the parable of the Good Samaritan because a man from Samaria is the person in the story that shows us how to be a good neighbor. Talk about how this story connects to this week’s point: Care, share, and just be there. 

The Good Samaritan – Luke 10

25 An expert in the Law of Moses stood up and asked Jesus a question to see what he would say. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to have eternal life?”

26 Jesus answered, “What is written in the Scriptures? How do you understand them?”

27 The man replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ They also say, ‘Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.’ ”

28 Jesus said, “You have given the right answer. If you do this, you will have eternal life.”

29 But the man wanted to show that he knew what he was talking about. So he asked Jesus, “Who are my neighbors?”

30 Jesus replied:

As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.

31 A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. 32 Later a temple helper came to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side.

33 A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him34and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, “Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return.”

36 Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?”

37 The expert in the Law of Moses answered, “The one who showed pity.”

Jesus said, “Go and do the same!”

LG

You have all the knowledge you need to teach each other #BeThe3 #Teach

 

ROMANS 15

14 My friends, I am sure that you are very good and that you have all the knowledge you need to teach each other.

LG

Accept each other #BeThe3 #Accepted

 

ROMANS 15

7 Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you.

LG

Keep on encouraging each other #BeThe3 #Encourage

 

HEBREWS 10

24 We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. 25 Some people have given up the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.

 

LG

You should do the same for each other #BeThe3 #DoTheSame

This week’s point is: Care, share, and just be there. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point!

 

JOHN 13:14

And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other.

LG

Anyone who doesn’t love others #BeThe3 #LoveOthers

What conclusions have you drawn after this week’s study? Talk about what you’ve learned about this week’s point: Sisters and brothers, let’s all love one another. How will you live differently because of what you’ve learned?

 

JOHN 4

8 God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. 9God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life.10Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. 11Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.

12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts.

LG

Friends, we must Love #BeThe3 #EachAnother

This week’s verse to remember is 1 John 4:7. Take some extra time to read it, say it, and memorize it. Talk about how it connects to this week’s point: Sisters and brothers, let’s all love one another.

 

JOHN 4

7 My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him.

LG

LET’S ALL LOVE ONE ANOTHER #BeThe3 #Love #OneAnother

This week’s Bible story isn’t really a story at all! It’s a song all about the “one anothers” found all through the New Testament. We are reading those verses throughout this reading plan. But today, spend some time talking about how those verses connect to this week’s point:

Sisters and brothers, let’s all love one another.

 

JOHN 13

34 But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35 If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.

1 PETER 1

22 You obeyed the truth, and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart.

1 PETER 3

8 Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble.

LG

Forbear one another in love #BeThe3 #Forbear #OneAnother

Ephesians 4

2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love

 

LG

Don’t Cause Problems for Others #BeThe3 #GuidedByLove

This week’s point is: Sisters and brothers, let’s all love one another. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point!

Romans 14

13 We must stop judging others. We must also make up our minds not to upset anyone’s faith.

LG

Your love for each keeps growing #BeThe3 #GrowLove

This week’s point is: Sisters and brothers, let’s all love one another. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point!

2 Thessalonians – When Christ Returns

3 My dear friends, we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time.

LG

Get along and live peacefully with each other #BeThe3 #LivePeacefully

This week’s point is: Sisters and brothers, let’s all love one another. Each day talk about how the scriptures you read and the videos you watch connect to this point!

2 Corinthians 13 

11 Goodbye, my friends. Do better and pay attention to what I have said. Try to get along and live peacefully with each other.

Now I pray that God, who gives love and peace, will be with you.

LG