Sundays are not a time to play church. We show up on Sunday to get corrected, encouraged, and equipped for the week ahead.
We aren’t people who just live out their faith for an hour on Sundays. No, we are people who live out our faith every single day of the week.
We see everyday life as an opportunity for ministry. We take the kingdom of God into business, school, government, and media. As people, we are heavily involved in the world’s system, but we do not act like the world. We are an open display of God’s righteousness, power, and love.
Speaking of taking the kingdom of God into media, a video I posted a few weeks ago is still going strong. It is my most popular video yet with over 300 comments.
Most of you have probably seen it already, but I’m linking it HERE for you now because it’s something we all need to be aware of.
I’ve now had several people send me direct messages to tell me how to be a better pastor. Interestingly, they also explain how they hate the church and don’t believe in Jesus or the Bible.
So my response to them has been, “Let me get this straight. You don’t believe in the Bible and yet you think you can coach me on biblical matters? Do you realize how ridiculous this is?”
Then they respond by cussing me out, complete with the flip-off emoji. Of course, this is combined with them explaining how much they love everyone, even those they disagree with.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been cussed out more in the last week than I have my entire life. But you know what? I don’t care. When God gives you a message to share, no one can stop you.
I live for an audience of one. I’ll be obedient to God regardless of how many people don’t like it. I’m not here to please people. I’m here to please God. I will do what He leads me to do.
I encourage you to do the same. God is looking for those who refuse to be people pleasers and instead dedicate their lives to pleasing God. If that’s you, say amen. If it’s not, say “oh me”.
A Word to Parents
I want to start off the message today by sharing something with parents who have school-aged kids.
You are probably aware of this, but your kids are under attack. This generation of kids faces an unbearable amount of temptation and evil every day.
This is not like when you grew up. Yes, things were going on then too. But it was in the shadows and culturally unacceptable. Now it is out in the open and promoted as acceptable behavior.
Your kids not only have to resist evil, but they have to resist when teachers and others leaders in their life try to brainwash them into believing that sinful behavior is okay.
Yes, they get to hear me speak the truth every Sunday. And if they are in youth group, they get to hear it on Wednesdays too. But that’s not enough. They need to hear the truth from you.
Parents, I wouldn’t be saying this if the Lord didn’t lead me to say it. If it were up to me, I’d probably just stay quiet about this because it will probably make you mad.
But I bring this correction to you with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are not teaching your children the Word of God at least once daily, you are not as good of a parent as you think.
The following statement has always been true. But it is more crucial now than ever:
The most important responsibility you have as a parent is to teach your children how to live for God.
It’s more important than their education. It’s more important than their social life. If you don’t train them to be children of God, the world will train them to be children of the devil.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV – Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Here’s how most people interpret this today:
“Take your child to be entertained at church most Sundays, and when they are old, they will keep going to church.”
I know a lot of Christian parents who took their kids to church every Sunday and now have adult children who live like the world. Why? It’s because they outsourced training their child to live for God to one hour on Sunday mornings.
Taking your kid to church is essential. Well, maybe not if your primary motivation is for them to be entrained for an hour so you can get a break. That’s a discussion for another time.
But it’s not the church’s responsibility to train your child in the way they should go. It’s your responsibility. God has assigned parents to teach their children how to live for Jesus.
What does the scripture really mean?
Here’s what this scripture is saying:
Parents who daily teach their kids to live for God will end up with adult children who live for God.
When was the last time you allowed your kid to miss school? How about sports practice?
When was the last time you allowed them to miss family Bible study? Oh wait, did that even make the daily schedule?
Y’all. We are so distracted by the things of this world. We will prioritize everything over the things of God.
Sports on Sunday? We better go to that instead of the church because we want people to know we’re committed… to sports. In other words, it’s more important to please people than God.
Plus, Pastor Kade is really nice. He won’t make me feel bad about it. But the coach will make me feel bad if I prioritize church over the game.
Have I made anyone mad yet? I’m here on an assignment to wake you up today. And getting mad might be part of the process.
Where are your priorities?
You got to admit, it’s ridiculous how much we prioritize the things of this world over the things of God. And we have plenty of excuses as to why we do this. But the reality is, we’re worshiping idols.
We are no better than the Israelites when they made a golden calf and worshiped it instead of God. Yet at the same time, they were bringing peace offerings to the Lord.
So there they were, worshiping a golden calf at night and waking up the following day to make animal sacrifices to the Lord.
Did you know that God doesn’t play this game? He’s either number one, or He’s not. You shall have nothing before God.
And you better thank God for His grace and mercy. Because if it weren’t there, you’d be a goner already.
The time has come to put God first
But the time has come to destroy the golden calf and put almighty God back in the number one spot. We must return to living our lives where He gets priority, and everything else is secondary.
It would be better for your kid to miss something at school than to miss time with you in the Word of God.
It would be better for you to put boundaries around your work schedule and make your boss mad than to miss family dinners where you talk about the things of God.
And yes, it’s better for them to miss a game than to miss church. I’m not saying this because your attendance makes me feel better. I’m saying this because I want your kids to prioritize God when they are adults.
Parents, it’s time to establish daily rhythms where you continually teach your kids how to live for God. If you don’t, there’s no telling what will happen when they are old.
But if you train them daily on how they should go, you have a promise! When they are old, they will not depart from it.
A Word to the Church
Now, I will give the parents a break and speak to everyone else in the room. Today is a day of correction. I didn’t come here to make enemies. But I did come to be obedient to the Lord.
The Lord is very displeased with how we think and act toward children. Children are a blessing from the Lord. Yet we have adopted the world’s mindset and turned God’s blessing into a nuisance.
You may say this isn’t true. But your actions say otherwise. When I mention children’s ministry, here’s what 90% of you say: “Oh, I love kids. I’ll serve anywhere but children’s ministry.”
Then we all laugh it off, “Hahaha, I understand.” And while we are having a good laugh, the Lord’s heart breaks.
In America, we are trained to be selfish. If it takes effort and sacrifice, we want nothing to do with it. And as the church, we are acting just like the world.
We may not go so far as to abort our babies. But most Christians do something just as harmful when they stay silent about the evil of abortion while the other side is so loudly promoting it.
It’s not that we want babies to be aborted. It’s that we don’t care enough about children to endure the persecution that comes as a result of standing up and speaking out.
After all, if it takes sacrifice, we want nothing to do with it.
As a church family, every single one of us should look for opportunities to mentor and love these kids. You should fight over who gets to be in kids’ ministry this week.
At what point do we stop acting like the world and become who God wants us to be? When will we get over ourselves and start living to serve others, as Jesus did?
When will we reject what the world has taught us about kids being a nuisance and instead clothe ourselves with patience and love and embrace the sacrifice it takes to mentor children?
I hope today is the day. I hope our kid’s ministry leader is overwhelmed with the fifty new volunteers she gets.
For the record, I didn’t preach this message because she asked for more volunteers. I preach this message because the Lord led me to preach this message.
You know what that means? He loves us. Because the Lord corrects those He loves. And there is a great blessing around the corner if we make the changes He puts before us today.
You know, I hope you are a little disgusted by the ugliness that was hiding inside you. Because it’s not until you notice it that you can get it out.
Kids make you see all your selfishness
Before I had kids, I thought I was an unselfish person. I was serving here as the worship leader and business manager without pay. I was going to all the outreach events. And I was nice to people at Walmart.
Then, seven years ago, Beth and I had our first kid. How quickly I found out how selfish I was. Suddenly, I couldn’t do what I wanted when I wanted.
Before, I could go serve others on my terms and then come home and have “me time”. (By the way, that’s just a cover term for selfishness.) But now, “me time” was “care for an infant” time.
I’d like to say that I handled the transition well. But I didn’t. Selfishness dies hard. But as followers of Christ, we must be on mission to destroy selfishness whenever it is revealed.
Eventually, I got over myself and developed a better attitude about my “me time” becoming much less than before.
More kids, more self-reflection
I thought I was good, that I had destroyed selfishness once and for all. Then we had our second kid. And honestly, going from one to two kids was more challenging than going from zero to one.
Most of my selfish tendencies made a comeback between when our first was a newborn and our second was born. I found myself dealing with all the same stuff.
But as the scripture says, when you allow evil to come back into your life, it comes back stronger than before. Boy, was that true for me. I found myself facing an even taller mountain of selfishness.
One day, as a sleep-deprived dad with a newborn, I laid down to take a nap. Almost as soon as I laid down, Adalynn started crying.
What did I do? What all loving parents do. I sat there and cried with her while thinking, “I just want to be able to take a nap when I want to!”
The Lord used this moment to show me how ridiculous I was. It was like an out-of-body experience where I watched this grown man cry because he needed a nap.
That day, I was disgusted with my selfishness and immaturity and decided to grow up. Then a few months later, it was time to grow up some more.
Left to wallow
In the middle of the night, I woke up to Adalynn crying. She didn’t seem too distressed, and I needed my sleep. So I ignored her and went back to sleep.
The next morning, I went into the kitchen and noticed a terrible smell. Beth and I looked everywhere for the cause. We took out the trash, cleaned the floor, and the smell was still there.
A few minutes later, Adalynn woke up, and I went to get her. As soon as I opened the door, BAM! I found the source of the smell.
Sometime in the night, not only did she puke all over her bed, but she also blew out of her diaper. I unzipped her sleeper and found dried poop all over her body.
At this point, my heart broke into a thousand pieces. She needed my help in the night, but I was so consumed with “my” sleep that she had to suffer in her filth the rest of the night.
Once again, the disgusting plague of selfishness reared its ugly head. This time, I was weeping in repentance and begging God to cleanse me of this filth.
And you know what? He did. Sleep used to be a god in my life. I wouldn’t let anything get in the way of my sleep. After all, the doctors say you have to get at least eight hours.
It’s a good thing God helped me sacrifice that idol because now, with five small kids, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. They take turns waking me up in the middle of the night.
So, I want to ask. Did you have an encounter with selfishness today? I know, it’s ugly. But it needs to be dealt with. Now is the time to be cleansed.
I John 1:9 NLT – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Two sins were exposed today. One is parents who aren’t truly training their children in the way they should go. The second is allowing the selfishness that prevents us from serving and loving children.
Exposing sin is not what forgives sin. Confessing sin is what forgives sin. And not only that, it cleanses us from unrighteousness.