Kids Talk About God

 

                                    By Carey Kinsolving And Friends

Does Being Honorable Like Jabez Influence God In Answering Your Prayers?

 

“Well, I think God answers prayers all the same. Just because you’re an honorable person doesn’t mean you’re better than people who are not honorable,” says Nick, 9.

Nick has fired the first volley in one of the most hotly debated questions ever asked in this column. Before we hear from the other side, let’s hear from Nick’s defense team.

“God loves everybody the same. God answers prayers from the heart, not from how honorable you are,” says John, 9. “God would not be unfair like that,” adds Weston, 10, suggesting that God’s very integrity is at stake if he doesn’t answer everyone’s prayers.

Rachel, 9, sums up Nick’s side by saying, “God will answer your prayers, no matter what kind of person you are.”

Nick’s team presents a powerful case, but like so many arguments, they sound good until you hear the other side.

“I don’t think God would bless someone who wouldn’t be honorable to him,” says Joseph, 9. “The Bible tells us that by living an honorable life here on Earth and following God’s works and words, we store up many treasures in heaven.”

Joseph, do you mean there’s more than just going to heaven? Are you saying there will be distinctions in heaven? Would God do that? You bet!

Could it be like sitting in box seats with all the amenities at the seventh game of the World Series versus the bleachers? Everyone is happy to be at the big game, but what a difference box seats make! It’s hot dogs in the bleachers versus grilled salmon in the skybox. And, it’s not just for one game. It’s forever.

Heaven is a kingdom, not a democracy. Some will arrive in style with heavenly rewards, and others … well, they’ll just be glad to be there.

“If you are honorable to God, then he knows that you trust him,” says Joanna, 11. “God will be able to trust you, too, when you honor him.”

Bravo, Joanna! If you honor God, you will be an honorable person. Our attitude toward God determines how we treat other people. Our attitude toward God also determines whether he trusts us. Why would God give more territory or greater responsibility to someone he doesn’t trust?

You see, God’s love and justice don’t compete against each other. Yes, God loves everyone, and he proved it by sending his son to die on the cross for our sins. But just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean God is obligated to grant all your requests. God is merciful to deny prayer requests from impure motives.

Are parents unjust when they deny their children’s requests? Would any child survive if every whim were granted?

Abraham was known as the “friend of God.” Jesus told his disciples that they were no longer servants, but friends. It’s a privilege to walk in the light of God’s glory and to honor him by walking in paths of righteousness.

“God commands us in his word to be filled with the Holy Spirit,” says Dianna, 10. “God promises that he will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness if we confess and repent of our sins.”

Think about this: There’s no honor in living a self-centered life. It’s so common and boring. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means being controlled by God’s indwelling presence. God wants to bring us into a larger place. It’s a kingdom where honor, righteousness and love reign supreme in his son.

Memorize this truth: “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12).

Ask this question: Will you live a small self-centered life or a big life that honors God?

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Kids Talk About God is designed for families to study the Bible together. Research shows that parents who study the Bible with their children give their character, faith and spiritual life a powerful boost. To receive Kids Talk About God three times a week in a free, email subscription, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/email. 
 
COPYRIGHT 2021 CAREY KINSOLVING 

Prayer Group

Red Isn’t Always the Red I See
By - Dr. James L. Snyder

It is not that I am colorblind; I just am color indifferent. Red and blue and yellow are all the same to me.

In remodeling my office at the parsonage my wife asked, “What color would you like the walls to be painted?”

That sounds like a good question to ask but it's not any question to ask if you know me.

"I don't care about the color. Whatever you think is best is okay with me."

"It's your office," she said, "what color would you like the walls to be painted?" With that, she looked at me with a very gregarious smile, which is infectious to me.

Knowing that she wouldn’t stop until she got an answer from me I said, “Paint the walls purple.”

Looking at me for a moment, she finally said, "Okay, I’ll paint it white."

I'm beginning to learn how to solve problems in our house.

It finally came down on me the other day. We were doing our final shopping for Christmas, and I still had a couple of gifts to purchase, and she had a shopping cart full of gifts to buy.

We were just about done when I remembered a present I wanted to get, and I had completely forgotten about it. So I asked my wife, who was the chauffeur at the time, if she could stop at a store so that I could go in and get my final Christmas gift.

She parked in the parking lot, and as I got out, I said, "I won't be long."

I do know the car my wife has is red. That's about as far as I can go with that. So, when I left the shopping store, I was looking for a red car.

It seemed like an effortless thing to do, but as I looked up and down the parking lot, there must've been thousands of red cars. Not quite, but it seemed that way. From my perspective, they all looked alike. I could not remember what kind of car my wife had, only that it was red. The fact that I remembered it was red was something.

I went to the first red car, there was nobody there and the doors were locked, so I went to several others. I could not find the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I was almost tempted to phone in a missing person's alert; perhaps the police could find her better than me.

Then I heard a horn blow, and I looked down the row, and there was a hand out the window waving at me. So, there she was in plain view.

When I got to the car, she was laughing hysterically, and said, "I gotcha."

I had to admit that she did get me this time. Even if I could've remembered what kind of car it was, it was not where I had expected it. I don't think I will ever live this one down.

As we were driving home, she was sitting on the driver side smiling while I was sitting on the passenger side thinking. A verse of Scripture came to my mind. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them” (Proverbs 20:12).

What I have learned in my lifetime is that hearing and seeing are crucial elements in every relationship.

(Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.)