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Proverbs 17:6

June 19

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. 

In honor of Father’s Day, Pastor Matt Hagee shared a personal story regarding two influential men in his life.

Pastor Matt was only nine-years-old when his grandfather passed away, but he cherished all the family events with him. They shared a love of the outdoors, and they spent countless hours on the lake fishing and hunting.

While he did not know him well, in the years since his grandfather passed, Pastor Matt’s father, Pastor John Hagee, has filled in the blanks. His grandfather was a man who loved the Lord with all of his heart and who loved God’s Word. He gave six decades of his life to preaching and winning souls to Christ.

What Pastor Matt did not know is that his grandfather grew up in a legalistic denomination that created personal torment for him, that made it difficult to enjoy life. The rules were based on a person’s own strength and works — not grace — and there was no room for imperfection.

One day, Pastor John began to share how difficult it was to grow up as his son, how he often would not speak one word to his family for weeks at a time. Painful memories spilled out.

In the following silence, Pastor Matt prayed for the right words to respond. Finally, he said, “Well, Dad, I guess I should write Grandpa a thank-you letter.” Pastor John exclaimed, “What?”

Pastor Matt explained, “If the way he raised you and all of the hurt that you had to endure is what helped you become the dad you are to me, then I guess I should write a letter and thank Grandpa. He never watched you play a game, but you never missed one of my practices. He might not have told you he loved you, but there’s never been a day you haven’t hugged me and kissed me and told me how proud you are of me. You let me know pretty quick, I was a hero. And you were mine. So, I want to thank you for being such a fabulous father.”

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the Godly examples of good fathers that you have placed in my life. No matter the joys or pains of my childhood, help me be the best father I can be. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 20:1-21:29

New Testament 

Acts 12:24-13:15

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 137:1-9

Proverbs 17:16

 

 

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Mark 11:25

June 18

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Men, when you hear a Father’s Day message, two choices arise. Some men choose to look forward with hope and optimism to the fathers that they aspire to be. Others look back at the childhoods that they experienced, at the fathers that they had, and they are filled with regret or anger.

Not everyone had a great example, but that does not mean that you cannot be one. We have a Heavenly Father Who is an unsurpassed example of how to parent well. He loves lavishly (Ephesians 3:17-19). He will never abandon His children (Matthew 28:20). His Word is true; if He said it, He will do it (Numbers 23:19). He is patient (2 Peter 3:9).

If you did not have the father that you longed for, forgive him. For those of us in Christ Jesus, we are new creations. When we came to the cross, God forgave us. All of the old things passed away, and everything has become brand new (II Corinthians 5:17). We no longer carry the sins, the regrets, the guilt, the shame or condemnation from our past. You are free to become the man and the father that God has planned.

Decide to stop looking back. Teach your children that forgiveness is the key that unlocks doors and builds bridges. A grudge is too heavy a burden to bear. If forgiveness seems impossible, realize that you are not left on your own. Lean on the Lord Who will empower you through His Spirit and lead you out of the shadows of the past and into His glorious light. If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed (John 8:36).

Through the example of a Heavenly Father Who loves you deeply, and through the power of His might, you can become the father He intended you to be regardless of what your yesterday held. Choose to move forward. God has filled up your today with blessings. Tomorrow waits — filled with life, hope, and every good thing (Jeremiah 29:11)!

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me what a good, good father looks like. I confess that I lack the power and the wisdom to be all I should be. In my weakness, be strong. Teach me how to forgive the offenses of my past. Make me strong in the power of Your might. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 19:1-21

New Testament 

Acts 12:1-23

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 136:1-26

Proverbs 17:14-15

 

 

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Luke 11:21

June 17

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.

Fathers, are you strong men? Are you fully armed? Are you guarding your palaces? Men, you are the protectors of your palace. Are you fully armed?

Technology has made protection much more difficult. Guarding your family means exercising diligence. It means paying close attention. It requires your strong presence and your willingness to provide a sense of direction.

Some fathers shrug their shoulders and relinquish control to their children. They decide to allow the kids to choose for themselves. Guarding and guiding requires discipline…for yourself, as well as the children.

Love them. Laugh with them. Talk to them. Train them. Get acquainted with their friends. Listen to their music choices. Guard them. Guide them.

Are you strong? This fathering business is not for the faint of heart. In Ephesians 6, Paul admonishes us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (verse 10). That is good news for the father who feels overwhelmed. You do not stand alone. You parent in the power of His might. You have the strongest of Allies as you guard your palace.

Are you armed? Paul goes on to encourage us to put on the whole armor of God so we can stand against the wiles of Satan (Ephesians 6:11). That armor covers every part of our bodies — except our backs. We cannot turn our backs or we leave ourselves — and our families — exposed to the enemy. God puts two offensive weapons in our hands — the sword of the Spirit that is His holy Word and the fervent and effective prayer of the righteous man (Ephesians 6:17-18; James 5:16).

Suit up, dads! Make sure that you are well-defended and fully armed with the whole armor of God, with His Word, and with the power of prayer. Stand in the gap for your family. Protect your palaces!

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, help me to put on the whole armor of God so I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one that he aims at me and my family. Help me to cover them with prayer. Help me to be present and engaged. Alert me to trouble, and help me to be diligent to address it right away. Most of all, help me to remember that when I am weak, You are strong. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 18:1-46

New Testament 

Acts 11:1-30

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 135:1-21

Proverbs 17:12-13

 

 

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1 Peter 5:3

June 16

…nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

Fathers, God has entrusted you with your own “home team,” and He has called you to be an example to your family. He has provided some fundamentals that will help you succeed in this mission.

The very first — and most essential — fundamental is to read His Word, commit it to memory, and allow it to change the way that you think and act. An athlete cannot achieve well in his sport unless he is on the same page as his general manager. The Bible is the play book for the General Manager over all.

The second fundamental is to love. When the Pharisees pressed Jesus on which commandment was the greatest, He replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-39). Dads, love the Lord in such an out-loud way that your children will learn to love Him, too.

Make sure they see you reading the Word and applying it to your life. They need to hear your prayers, to see you give thanks when God answers. Take them with you to the house of the Lord; worship Him with all your heart so that they, too, will begin to hunger and thirst after righteousness. The first God they will ever know is the One to Whom you introduce them.

The third fundamental is to lead. As Christ is the head of His church, so the husband is the head of his wife, the leader of his family (Ephesians 5:23). Dads, the trait that best qualifies you to lead is your ability to follow. If you follow Christ, He qualifies and equips you to lead. Every great coach is coachable. He never stops being a student of the game.

Hebrews 12:2 directs us to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, to be our example. When He walked among us, He taught His disciples by speaking truth to them and by demonstrating how to live it out.

He did not just instruct them to pray. He showed them how to pray. He did not just send them out to minister. He demonstrated what ministry “to the least of these” looks like.

As you learn the play book, love out loud, and lead by example, the General Manager promises to be beside you every step of the way. He will train and teach, encourage and inspire. He values your commitment to the home team; He recognizes your importance to its success.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I need Your help to be the father that my children need. Teach me from Your Word. As I follow You, show me how to love them well and lead them directly to You. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 15:25-17:24

New Testament 

Acts 10:24-28

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 134:1-3

Proverbs 17:9-11

 

 

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Psalm 127:1

June 15

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Fathers, if you wish to build a great family, you must recognize the Source from which true greatness flows. Greatness is found in God alone.

Today’s verse reminds us that “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Dads, your true and full success can only be tapped into when God is the foundation of your lives. When God is the foundation of your home, your children will have a secure base. When God is the Anchor to Whom you cling, your marriage can overcome any stormy sea that batters it. The Lord must build your house.

Our verse also makes it clear that we will labor in this life. That truth is an important one for a father to model and to teach his children. Some people work very hard at hardly working. Fathers, instill a strong work ethic in your children.

When examining the stories of the greatest coaches and athletes who ever played the game — whether it be baseball, basketball, football, golf or tennis — one unifying factor leaps to the forefront. They were not extraordinarily gifted; they were extraordinarily diligent at practicing the fundamentals. They mastered the basics and executed them over and over again.

If you have the privilege of being called a dad, God has established some fatherly fundamentals that every man can master. There are not great dads or not-so-great dads. There are fathers who are diligent and those who need to be diligent. Read the “playbook” that God has provided in His Word. Then, faithfully practice the fundamentals that you find there. Execute them over and over until you can accomplish them with ease. Greatness is within reach.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I long to be a great dad, but I confess that I sometimes do not know where to begin. Instruct me from Your Word. Help me to find examples of great, Godly dads around me, and help me learn from them. Give me the strength to keep practicing and to persevere because my children are too important to give up. I will do the work. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 14:1-15:24

New Testament 

Acts 10:1-23

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 133:1-3

Proverbs 17:7-8

 

 

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Ephesians 6:4

June 14

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Fathers, your family should take top priority. Your children and grandchildren are your dynasty. They are the ones who demonstrate to the world that you are a leader that has thoroughly prepared them for life in a world that is not fair.

You must prepare your children for the opponents they will face. How you train them while they are yours is how well they will play in the future. You must train them to win, to live out the destiny that God has ordained for each child He has entrusted to your care.

One of the most important roles a father will serve is to train his family in the fundamentals that are required to succeed against the tremendous challenges they will one day face. Are they familiar with the “playbook” that God has given for instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16)? Are they listening for the Coach’s voice and following the plays He calls (Proverbs 3:5-6)? Do they know how to come alongside their teammates to rally them on to victory (Philippians 2:3-4)?

Fathers, the home teams are counting on you! They need your wisdom, encouragement, discipline, and example. You are building a team of warriors at home that will be world-changers when they run onto the field of life.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the children that You have entrusted to me. I count them as my heritage and my reward. Help me raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Help me to train them in righteousness so that they seek You and honor You all the days of their lives. No other job in my life is more important. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 12:20-13:34

New Testament 

Acts 9:26-46

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 132:1-18

Proverbs 17:6

 

 

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Exodus 32:26

June 13

…then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, ‘Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!’ And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.

The border of the cross, the border of salvation is absolute. Jesus is the Door, the only point of access to cross the border into freedom.

After we step through the Door, we need to close it behind us. Many of us want the door to swing both directions. We choose to live on one side and then the other – not one side OR the other. We cannot live on both sides of the border. Jesus said it this way: “He who is not with Me is against Me…” (Matthew 12:30).

What is truly worth pursuing on the other side of the cross? On the other side of the cross are guilt and shame. On the other side of the cross are sickness and disease. On this side of the cross, “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

On the other side of the cross are mountains that we cannot move and problems that we cannot solve. On this side of the cross, “whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23).

On the other side of the cross, we have no hope, no power, and no ability. On this side of the cross, we have the authority of His name, the power of His Word, and the redemption of His blood. He makes it so easy to choose. Come on over to the Lord’s side.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I am on Your side! Whatever falls around me, I want to be found standing next to You. Make me strong in the power of Your might. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 11:1-12:19

New Testament 

Acts 9:1-25

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 131:1-3

Proverbs 17:4-5

 

 

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John 10:9

June 12

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

By faith, we come to the border of the cross. We open the Door that is Christ Jesus, and we walk from death to life. When we step across that border to the other side…we shut the door!

We already know the blessings that await us! We already understand the quality of the life that we want is to be found on this side of the border. We already recognize the things that we want to leave behind. Some of us, though, want an open border so we can cross back over anytime that we desire.

We still struggle with the chains of our past. We may be bound by generations of sin, by circumstances and issues that create link after link that tighten around us. How easy it is to begin to doubt the power of God to redeem us. We want access to the freedom and the liberty found in the salvation of Jesus, but we begin to believe that it is up to us, that we must figure out a means to disentangle ourselves from the chains that hold us down.

There is more good news for us! The Word of God is alive, powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. It declares that we are not redeemed by any schemes or works that we might muster up; we are saved by grace through faith. And even that faith is a gift from God!

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, help me to shut the door on my old way of life. Break off the chains of my past. Set me free to live in the freedom that faith in You brings. Help me to remember that it is not up to me, that I can lean on You for power and peace. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 9:1-10:29

New Testament 

Acts 8:14-40

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 130:1-8

Proverbs 17:2-3

 

 

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2 Corinthians 5:17

June 11

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

For those of us who have come to the border of salvation, who have stepped over that border into new life with Christ, we must be willing to leave our old lives on the other side of that border.

Our verse for today tells us that, when we step across the border of salvation, all the old things that have hindered and kept us from abundant life in Christ pass away; they are dead to us now. Everything in our lives becomes new, filled with hope and promise.

Most of us have loved ones who are no longer living. We refer to them as having “passed away.” For those who were believers, we know where they are now, but they are no longer accessible to us. They no longer exist in an atmosphere with which we can connect. In the same way, our old lives have passed away. We should no longer access or connect to it.

Problems arise when we attempt to leave our old lives on life support so we can re-connect any time that we choose. That verse does not say, “Your old life is in ICU getting fluids!” It declares that old things have passed away, that ALL things have become new.

Many attempt to hold onto life on both sides of the border. When they come to the border of the cross, they desire salvation and the liberty that it offers, but they also want to retain access to life on the wrong side of the border that feeds their carnal desires.

The apostle Paul said it this way: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Jesus died for our sins once and for all. We, too, must step across the border into salvation once and for all.

No looking over our shoulders, no turning back — we “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). We are new creations!

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, help me to pick up my cross, deny myself, and follow You. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You — no turning back to my old way of life. Renew my mind, break bad habits, and lead me into Your will. Thank You for making me new in every way. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 8:1-66

New Testament 

Acts 7:51-8:13

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 129:1-8

Proverbs 17:1

 

 

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