Will we be denied the right to teach our children the greatest commandment?
If you were going to teach your children one commandment from all of scripture, what would you teach them? In Matthew 22:36-38, a Pharisee once asked Jesus the question, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus responds with these words, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Read More
“Sanctification, by which our hearts and lives are conformed to the law, is a grace of God communicated to us…” Walter Marshall, a great puritan preacher of the 1600’s, said these words in a book called The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification where he outlines the essential Biblical teaching regarding how we grow spiritually. Since my wife and I home educate our children and attend a family integrated church there is the possibility that we could rely on these wonderful things to carry us through the Christian walk; but as Walter Marshall said it is the grace of God that sanctifies us, not an external action, even if that external action is a good thing. Read More
Recently, I reflected back on the Christmas season and I was struck by one element that hadn’t occurred to me before. Usually my thinking goes to the incarnation and Jesus coming as the King of kings, but instead I began to ponder the family that Jesus was placed into. Mary was an ordinary girl in an ordinarily town who was betrothed to an ordinary man. What was so special about Mary and Joseph? The Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about either of them; of Mary it remarks that she “found favour with God” (Lk 1:30) and Joseph was referred to as a “just man” (Mt 1:19) when he graciously tried to end their betrothal quietly rather than subjecting Mary to public humiliation. The fact is, what Mary and Joseph did out of loving obedience to God, is that they had a baby, they had a home, they lived life in a normal first-century fashion.
Now this baby was the Lord Jesus Christ, God very God, and the majesty of what took place cannot be fully comprehended, but from Mary and Joseph’s day to day experience, they were parents. Mary kept busy with her duties while Joseph was working as a carpenter (or builder). They had other children to raise and at some point Joseph drops out of the picture (presumably he must have died), so Mary had to continue life alone.