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He’ll Get You Back on Track

He’ll Get You Back on Track

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths” (Psalm 25:4, NKJV) TODAY’S WORD Like most cars today, I have a navigation system. I can program it to take me to a certain location. All along the way, the announcer will give me instructions, “Turn left in a quarter of a mile. Take this freeway three miles. Exit in one mile.” But sometimes I don’t follow the directions. I may miss a turn, stop to get gas or go another way. The announcer doesn’t come on and start yelling at me and say, “What in the world are you doing? I told you to turn left! You ruined my plan.” No, the moment I get off course that GPS system immediately starts recalculating another plan. Within a few seconds, it will give me new directions. It’s the same way with God. When you have a heart to please Him, you may miss an exit, you may make a wrong turn, but God has already recalculated another route. He’s still going to get you to where you’re supposed to be. He loves you with an everlasting love, and when you seek Him with your whole heart, no matter where you are in life, He’ll get you back on track! A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father God, show me Your path, teach me Your ways. My heart’s deepest desire is to know You and to be known by You. You are my King, and I humbly submit my ways to You. Thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness in my life in Jesus’ name....

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God’s Grace

God’s Grace

Click below to watch the video! God’s Grace Teaching Moment: God’s Grace Is Enough Video: Joel Osteen assures you that God’s grace will always be there when any difficulty comes your way....

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What Will Prayer Do

What Will Prayer Do

WHAT WILL PRAYER DO: Bar the gates of Hell Matt18:18 Open The Windows Of Heaven 2Chron7:14 Shut The Mouth Of Gainsayers Acts13:6-12 Loose the Chains of Sin James 5:17-20 Bind The forces of Evil Eph:6:11-18 Supply Our EVERY Need John14:14 Open Doors Of Opportunity Rev 3:7,8

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2 Corinthians 1:3-11

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 King James Version (KJV)   3Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. 8For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 11Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our...

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The Same Spirit at Work

The Same Spirit at Work

The Same Spirit at Work “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18 NIV)A time long ago and in a land far away, I found myself frustrated one day with a co-worker. Actually, frustrated is a mild word because, as my sweet southern aunts might say, I perceived this co-worker as contrary.Just to be clear: I’m no choirboy, either. In a Cold War sense, there were fights and quarrels between us, both wanting something, but neither one of us able to get it. Jesus’ brother, James, says this sort of conflict is evidence of ungodly desires (James 4:1–2). I realized that at the core of my frustration was our inability to get along, even though “the Holy Spirit, whom God has placed within us, jealously longs for us to be faithful” (James 4:5 NLT). This is what God whispered into my ear: “The same Spirit at work in you is the same Spirit at work in him.” Did you catch that? The same Spirit at work in you is the same Spirit at work in him. Is there another believer with whom you have trouble getting along? Remember, the same Spirit at work in you is the same Spirit at work in him or her. This year, what will you do to try and bring peace between you and this...

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2012: Focus on What God Can Do Through You

2012: Focus on What God Can Do Through You

2012: Focus on What God Can Do Through You “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity …” (Hebrews 6:1a NIV) Although God does the heavy lifting in our transformation to Christ-likeness, we still bear the responsibility to keep discipline part of discipleship. Therefore, we no longer run aimlessly; we have the sizeable objective of becoming just like Jesus. And so, as the Apostle Paul describes it, we beat our bodies into submission as we press on toward our objective (1 Corinthians 9:26–27). But, as we’re beating discipline into our thoughts and behavior, we too often slip into beating ourselves up over the inability to do the things we ought to do (Romans 7:16–25). Here’s the thing: Becoming like Jesus is difficult enough without this “Try harder!” mentality we force upon ourselves. It sucks us into a cycle of “I must do better,” “I ought to pray more,” and “I should be spiritually more mature by now.” We’re left feeling defeated, and that pushes us further into our cycle of trying harder to measure up to God’s standards. But can you see that this keeps us focused on ourselves and on the things we can’t do? God wants us focused on the things he can do through us. He wants us to know that, having begun a good work in us, he “will carry it on to completion” until we see Jesus face-to-face (Philippians 1:6 NIV). Paul, ever the exhorter, says we’re to push toward the ideal, but these standards were never meant as imperative “ought-to” statements demanding immediate perfection from us. Perhaps more than any one of us, Paul understands our desperate need for God’s grace. Our objective is to make every effort to mature into believers who think and act just like Jesus. We may slip, we may fail horribly, but we press on to take hold of the abundant life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Philippians 3:12)....

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Abandon Your Old Wineskins Before 2012

Abandon Your Old Wineskins Before 2012

Abandon Your Old Wineskins Before 2012 “No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (Mark 2:22 NIV) Near my house is a gas station/convenience store that just underwent a makeover, changing their utilitarian look into a warm and inviting neighborhood haven, something like a coffee bar with gas pumps. When I walked into the place, however, it appeared the employees missed the makeover memo. The kid behind the counter wore a new uniform that matched the new look, but he still wore the same sullen expression from before, perhaps a little bored and a bit put out that an actual customer had walked in to disturb him. It made me think about how we try to put new wine into old wineskins. Jesus says we’re doomed to failure because “the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined” (Mark 2:22 NIV). For you to become the person God wants you to be in 2012, you will have to abandon the old wineskins in your life so that God can pour himself into the wineskin of your new life-in-Christ. This may mean, for instance, that we cannot try to pour the new wine of “honesty at work” into an old wineskin of “cutting corners.” Otherwise, “both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined.” This year, you will have to change in order to be the person God wants you to be. Are you ready to make the changes? Do you feel the excitement of knowing God is right there with you, not just helping you change, but leading you in the...

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Seek Out the Lost

Seek Out the Lost

“Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.” (Romans 12:16 CEV) In The Message paraphrase, 2 Corinthians 5:20b is rendered: “Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” That’s the message we’re to take to the world, yet often we limit our influence by seeking and maintaining friendships exclusively among other believers. Jesus, on the other hand, sought out the lost, deliberately becoming friends with those who needed a friend in God. The Bible says that when the Pharisees saw Jesus keeping company with the community’s great unwashed, “they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. ‘What kind of example is this from your teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?’ Jesus, overhearing, shot back, ‘Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: “I’m after mercy, not religion.” I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders’” (Matthew 9:10-13 MSG). Jesus knew who he was, according to God’s design; Jesus knew whose he was, according to God’s truth; and Jesus knew his purpose for being here on Earth. All this allowed him to relax and ignore what others thought or said about him. It meant Jesus wasn’t worried when others accused him of being a friend of sinners (Luke 19:7) because he was doing exactly what the Father sent him to do: persuade men and women to make peace with God (2 Corinthians 5:20). Likewise, we’re to represent Jesus, speaking on his behalf to those still on the “outside.” Yet some of us are so isolated and disconnected from unbelievers that we rarely have any meaningful conversations with them. The tendency is that the longer we’re believers, the more insulated we become from unbelievers and perhaps the more uncomfortable we become with them. The result: We no longer have friends who are non-believers. Jesus’ actions suggest that our witness to a non-believer starts with friendship: We earn the right to share the Gospel through relationship. The old cliché is a cliché because it’s true: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Those who have yet to become friends with God are just like you and me, looking for deep, true, supportive friendships, sometimes especially during the Christmas season. The Apostle Paul encourages us to find common ground with non-believers: “I do this to get the Gospel to them and also for the blessing I myself receive when I see them come to Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23 LB). Finding common ground is an act of friendship; it guides us to look for the positive instead of...

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Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart “For who has known or understood the mind(the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct [Him] and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ, the Messiah, and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.” (1 Corinthians 2:16) Isn’t it exciting to realize that you can hold the thoughts and feelings and purposes of God’s very own heart in your heart? Isn’t it thrilling to know the Creator of heaven and earth wants to be one spirit with you and transmit His thoughts to your mind? First Corinthians 6:17 says that when you were joined to the Lord you became one spirit with Him. He came into union with you so that He can talk to you heart to heart. God wants you in this harmony with Him so that His thoughts can become your actions. He wants you to walk so closely with Him that you never lack power to overcome the evil of this world. He wants you to be so in tune with His Spirit that you are able to feel His heart of compassion toward those around you who are hurting or bowed down with sickness and pain. He wants to be one with you, so He can reach out through your hands and fulfill His purposes in the earth. Make a fresh commitment today to walk in union with your God. Give your attention to His Spirit in your inner man. Determine to yield to His voice and not to the voices of the world or the flesh! Allow the mind of Christ to flow through you! Scripture Study:  1 Corinthians...

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Strength Made Perfect

Strength Made Perfect

Strength Made Perfect   “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)     When you run into an impossible situation, a situation you simply don’t have the strength or the ability to handle, are you often tempted to simply give up and accept defeat? Don’t! Instead shout, “Glory!” because the Word says God’s strength is about to be made perfect in you.   The word translated “strength” in this scripture is dunamis. It means “God’s miracle-working power.” Just think about that. When your human strength ends, God has promised that His miraculous power will bring you through!   If you’ll look in Acts 14, you can see that promise in action. The apostle Paul was stoned by a group of Jews, taken out of the city and left for dead. Paul’s human strength had ended. He was absolutely powerless.   But the disciples gathered around him and prayed, and the Lord raised him up and he went on his way. In other words, when Paul didn’t have enough human strength to overcome, God’s miracle-working power was sufficient for him. It enabled him to be an overcomer in spite of his weakness!   So, if you are facing a crisis today. If you’re sick and medicine has failed you. If your finances are out of control. If your family is falling apart. If bad habits have you hopelessly bound. If you’ve done absolutely all you know to do and you still haven’t gotten results. Then rejoice! For when human strength ends, the power of God excels! Only believe! God’s grace is sufficient for...

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Rapture

Rapture

Matthew 24:36-44 (King James Version) 36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man...

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Keep Hope Alive

Keep Hope Alive

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be one of the great men or women of faith in the Bible? What if you were the one who God used to part the Red Sea? What if you were the one God used to bring down the walls of Jericho? What if you were the one God used to save a nation of people? I’m sure we all want to be people of great faith. But do you know where faith starts? Do you know what faith responds to? In Hebrews 11 it says that faith “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.” And then it says in Romans 10:17 that faith comes to us by the Word of God. When we look at these two verses, we see that the Word of God brings faith to the things we hope for. It’s like hope is the target of faith. You have to first have hope, and then faith responds to it. That’s why it is so important to keep hope alive. In Hebrews 6, the Bible says that hope is what anchors our soul firm and secure. Hope keeps our mind, will and emotions in check. Hope keeps us steady when the storms of life come against us. Just like an anchor goes deep into the water to secure a ship, our hope needs to be deep in God to give us security! When we put our hope in God, we will never be disappointed! Just like Abraham, the great father of our faith who “hoped against all hope,” we can keep on hoping in Him no matter what kind of storms rage against us. Today, I encourage you to get your hopes up! Lift your eyes to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. When you fix your eyes on Him, it’s like throwing out that anchor of hope. It will keep you steady! Keep hope alive and keep feeding your faith the Word of God. Together, they will open the door for the mighty things God wants to do in your...

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Pray for Others

Pray for Others

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.” Philippians 1:4 (NIV) The quickest way to change a relationship from bad to good is to start thanking God for people you are having difficulty getting along with. Praying for them will do two things — change your attitude and change them. Positive praying is much more powerful than positive thinking. People may resist our help, spurn our appeals, and reject our suggestions, but they are powerless against our prayers. What do you pray? The more specific you are in prayer, the more specific the answer will be. In Philippians 1:9-11, Paul spells out exactly what he’s praying for people. “And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” (NIV) These verses give you four things you can pray for people today – “Abound in love …” Pray that they will grow in love. “Discern what is best …” Pray that they make wise choices. “Be pure and blameless …” Pray that they will do the right thing. “Filled with the fruit of righteousness …” Pray that they will live for God’s...

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Prayers Have an Impact

Prayers Have an Impact

“God hears us whenever we ask Him and we know also that He gives us what we ask from Him.” 1 John 5:15 (GNT) Do you ever wonder if prayer really works? You’re praying about something and Satan whispers to you, “This is a waste of time. Forget it! Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing? God is not listening. Don’t waste your time.” Prayer works because God is in control. The basis of all miracles is God’s sovereignty. Why does He do one and not another? Because God is in control. We have to trust His wisdom and His goodness. Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.” (LB) Prayer can do whatever God can do. His resources are available to you. Twenty times in the New Testament it says, “Ask.” It’s encouraging to know that things that are out of my control are not out of God’s. I may not be able to change a situation, but I can pray and God can change...

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Stay Focused with Your Family Priorities

Stay Focused with Your Family Priorities

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV) Running the race with perseverance means we stay focused on our priorities. We don’t let other things step in and hinder us from the priority of deepening our relationship with Jesus. We don’t let other things entangle us, tying us up so that we no longer place priority on our families or our health. Consider this — One day the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water and Peter yelled out that he wanted to walk on the water too (Matthew 14:22-31). Jesus told him to come and so Peter, with all his focus on Jesus, stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. But then, the Bible tells us, Peter got distracted by the waves and the wind — just like you and I can get distracted by all the good and bad things we come across everyday. And, once Peter’s eyes were no longer fixed on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” he began to sink into the water. We cannot walk on water while trying to focus on whatever we want — sometimes Jesus, sometimes the wind and waves; sometimes God’s priorities for our lives, sometimes trivial pursuits; sometimes the purpose God created us for; sometimes “the sin that so easily entangles.” What do you need to do to maintain the priorities in your faith, your life, your marriage, your family, and your health throughout this Decade of...

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News Flash: God Controls Time, Calendars Express Shock

News Flash: God Controls Time, Calendars Express Shock

And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (TEV) It will come as a surprise to our calendars, smartphones, and alarm clocks, but God controls time. The best our tools can do is measure the time passing. God created time and he uses it to direct and guide us into setting priorities. When tend to think in terms of today or next week, but God wants us to get our eyes on eternity. That is why Pastor Rick is teaching us to look ten years forward – to the end of this Decade of Destiny. Where does God want us to be then? What should be our priorities if we want to get to where God wants us to go? Why do we need to plan so far ahead? Our time will come to an end. It is a temporary tool God uses to bring us into forever. What if you only have ten years to live? How would you set your priorities differently? What stops you from setting them like that now? Whey do we need to plan so far ahead? Time moves faster than we think. I’m sure you can relate, but when my oldest son was 9, I thought, “Wow, we’re already half-way through to 18. Where does the time go.” And then, in what seemed like a moment, my son became 16. What will you do with the remaining time that God gives you with your children? What should your priorities be? Remember this — • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Time cannot diminish Christ’s love for you or his power to work within your life. He is there in the past; he is here in the now; and he is there in your future. With Jesus at work, it is never too late to begin again. • A thousand years are like the blink of an eye to God (Psalm 90:4). God is working to bring you into eternity, not just to get you through the end of next week. Praise God for his grace and for a love so strong that he wants you to spend an eternity with...

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God is Never Too Busy to Talk

God is Never Too Busy to Talk

Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. Galatians 4:7 (MSG) Here are three encouraging facts to remember about God: God is never too busy – “The Lord is near to all who call on him.” (Psalm 145:18 NIV) He’s never too busy to talk to you. He’s always near. He never says, “Some other time.” God loves to meet your needs — He’s not annoyed by your request. “If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11 NIV) God is sympathetic to your hurts — “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT) When you hurt, God hurts. When you grieve, God grieves. He is there. And He cares. That is the Good...

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God’s Delay May Be a Test of Your Patience

God’s Delay May Be a Test of Your Patience

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay.’” Hebrews 10:36-37 (NIV) If you’re discouraged because of God’s delay in answering your prayers, understand the delay is NOT a denial. Just because the answer hasn’t come – YET – that doesn’t mean God isn’t going to answer or that he’s forgotten you or that he doesn’t care about you. It simply means “not yet!” Part of becoming spiritually mature is learning the difference between “no” and “not yet,” between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37 NIV) God’s delay may be a test of your patience. Anybody can be patient once. And, most people can be patient twice. And, a lot of us can be patient three times. So God tests our patience over and over and over. Why? So he can see how patient you are? No! He does it so you can see how patient you are. So you’ll know what’s inside you, and you’ll be able to know your level of commitment. God tests you so that you can know he is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed. If you’re discouraged, turn it around by remembering God teaches you patience during delay. Ask him to transform your discouragement into...

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Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: God Protects

Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: God Protects

“… but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13 NIV) There is no doubt that this world is becoming increasing unsafe for our children. It is less safe for my grandkids than it was for my kids. And it was less safe for my kids than it was for me when I was growing up. And it was less safe for me than it was for my parents when they were growing up. Remember when you could go outside and play without parental supervision? Ride your bike to the park by yourself? There are all kinds of problems, sins … wackos, and weirdos out there. And there are all kinds of ways that evil can get to your child in your own home through the Internet, television, and things on their phones like sexting. So how do you protect your children from evil? Well, unfortunately, you can’t always control everything that happens to your kids because they’re not in your sight all the time, and they won’t be. But the things that are out of your control are not out of God’s control. So pray! That’s why prayer is so important. You need to pray for your children every day. You need to pray with them before they go to prom and you need to pray with them before the first day of school. You need to pray, “deliver us from evil,” because God’s answer to our fear is his power. He can...

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Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NIV)   Study any psychological test and they’ll tell you the most insecure place for a kid to be is at the center of his or her family – controlling all the strings, getting their way in everything. Kids instinctively know they do not belong in the center of the family; it creates great insecurity in their lives. Where kids find stability and security is in having boundaries. This is true from the moment they are born. We take little babies and wrap them up tightly. It’s called swaddling and being tightly bound gives the baby a feeling of security. When you set boundaries with your children, they may push back, but they will also feel secure when those boundaries stand firm. They learn that you really do care about them. It’s when children don’t have those boundaries, and feel they can get away with anything, that they begin to question their parents’ love. In the same way children need to know God’s purpose for their life is part of God’s larger plan. This creates boundaries of identity for them. It let’s them know that life is not all about them. And in understanding God’s plan, they are able to find the answers to the basic questions of life: who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Where did I come from? Does my life have meaning? What is my purpose and how should I live it out? Why is this happening to me? When you teach a child, “thy kingdom come, they will be done” you are teaching them that God has a master plan for history, but he also has a specific plan for their...

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