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Feb
21

The Importance of Family Bible Study

We finished reading Revelation 22 this morning, which means we have read, studied, and discussed every verse in the entire Bible as a family. This whole project has taken us something like 5-6 years to complete. We often include Bible maps, commentaries, supplementary videos, church history, word studies, and even music (playing Handel’s Messiah for example when we read passages that are set to music). Our ideal is to get through an entire chapter per day, but this rarely happens because I encourage my children to ask questions as we go. It isn’t uncommon for us to spend the entire 30-45 minutes on a half dozen verses. I discuss our approach to “Bible Time” in my book, Full-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship, in a chapter entitled, “How I Taught My Children to Sit Still and Be Quiet.” I also discuss the importance of teaching through the entire Bible on a cycle of at least every seven years (three times before your children leave home — as outlined in Deuteronomy 31), in my chapter, “The Seven-Year Teaching Method.” I can’t possibly say strongly enough how important I believe it is for fathers to lead their families in daily family worship time. I know this is intimidating for many men because their fathers have not led them in teaching the Scriptures, so they have little to no example from which to draw. But we have to start somewhere. For single mothers, or wives who have unsaved husbands, or husbands who, for whatever reason, are unable or unwilling to lead family worship, you need to serve as the sanctifying spouse in that situation and lead the children in family worship time yourself. It isn’t the job of the church to teach and disciple your children in the Scripture (although they certainly can assist and supplement!). It is the responsibility of the parents. Please take your calling seriously. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC.   Photo credit: Foter / CC...
Feb
19

“Do You Have a Right to be Angry?” (Life Lessons from Jonah – The Sovereignty of God)

This message was preached in Monroe, GA, just a few days before the release of my new book, Questions God Asks. This sermon deals with the questions we ask God: Why is there evil and suffering in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why doesn’t God instantly punish those who do evil? The uniqueness of this message, however, is that it turns the tables and puts us on the hot seat. God has some questions of His own, and they are directed toward us. “Do You Have a Right to be Angry?” Let’s explore lessons we can learn, from the Questions God Asks of Jonah (and us). Special thanks to Captain Bret Smith of http://thedigitaltutor.com/, who is creating study questions with this and many other messages for his homeschooling video curriculum. Check it out! He has a number of my videos in his curriculum! Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family...
Feb
17

Ministry and Scandal

In recent months there have been a couple of national ministries that have been shaken (or completely destroyed) through allegations of moral and/or financial scandal. These situations are the not the first of their kind, nor are they the last. At the moment, I know of a couple of others who are a hair’s breadth away from hitting the national headlines. I have, along with many others, been giving much thought and prayer to what we are to learn from these situations. I certainly do not have all of the answers, but I want to share a few observations that I hope will be instructive. 1. Ministries are Not God’s Eternal Plan. The big picture, the meta-narrative, if you will, is not about little “kingdoms.” It never has been, and it never will be. It is about THE KINGDOM of God. The Eternal Kingdom will never pass away (see Daniel 4:3). Ministries or movements or revivals or awakenings are not the big picture. God uses them, in a temporary way, to establish his eternal purposes, but they are temporary, and are never intended to last forever. Even local churches are not THE KINGDOM. Local expressions of the Universal Church may come and go. God will always have His remnant, who will do His will on the earth, but it may not always be in a particular geographical place at any given point in history. For that matter, even nations are not promised longevity. The churches in the Jesus Letters in Revelation 2 and 3 are all gone today. But the Kingdom rolls on. 2. Feeding “The Machine” The reason I emphasize the first point is that this is often forgotten by ministry leaders. I don’t know why, but once an organization is formed, and a mission stated, nearly everyone involved (particularly the leader(s)) becomes obsessed with feeding the machine.  There is financial overhead, deadlines, staff to pay, and the ever-present, relentless need (the reason the ministry was founded in the first place) that is always screaming. Granted, there are some organizations that are frauds from the beginning. They were founded with the intent of “fleecing the flock” by unsavory characters who are greedy for selfish gain. That is not what I’m referring to here. I’m speaking of legitimate needs that were, at least initially, met by God-fearing people who sought to do good in Jesus’ name. The financial demands on these organizations is sometimes fierce. I received a letter...

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© Israel Wayne.