5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 27
Matthew 26
Esther 3
Acts 26

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me too, my father!’”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭27:34‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

There was a special significance in regard to the Old Testament blessings. The father would say words over his oldest son that looked to a bright and promising future. Also, as the blessing was bestowed, the father was passing on the authority and resources to rule the family after the patriarch died.

Well, things are different now. Firstborns don’t (at least they shouldn’t) get favoritism. Hopefully, the parent’s “Last Will & Testament” is fair and equitable for all of the children.

But, the ability to say powerful words over our children is something that we can still do. I wish that more parents realized just how powerful their words of blessing and affirmation are to their children.

Sure, there are times when we celebrate them for simply being them. But, our words of affirmation are much more potent when we specifically identify one of their exceptional character qualities or highlight one of their achievements … and applaud it with our words.

I have struggled in so many areas of parenting with my boys. I have had to tell them, “I’m sorry,” more times than I care to admit. But it has been my desire to never have them question how proud I am of them. I have tried to dish out lavish doses of blessing as I verbally celebrated who they are, what they have done, and how I believe that God is going to use them wonderfully. It is my hope that my boys have swallowed my words and that it has made them better equipped to handle the sometimes harsh aspects of life that will try to knock them down.

Parents, bless your kids! Bless them each day! Bless them specifically for who they are and what they’ve done. And realize that yesterday’s blessing isn’t good enough for today – so bless them again. And let their smiles and eventual achievements be the reward you receive for being their encourager-in-chief.

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Lord Jesus, Your Word has a bunch of encouragement for me. Even as I read Ephesians 1-2, I see so many wonderful things that You say about me. I know how much I desire (and need!) words of affirmation. So please help me to bless my children, to build them up so that they can be of even greater use to You in Your service. Amen.

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Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

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“Letters from Hell”

Matt Ellis (final)In spite of the fact that Jesus talked often about Hell, it rarely comes up in current Christian sermons and conversations. In fact, it seems that unbelievers are the only ones who talk about Hell … when they use it as a curse word.

In this fictional story, the author seeks to unpack a biblical view of what Hell is like. With 34 letters sent back and forth from a man on earth and another man in Hell, the author uses the letters from the man in Hell to describe, in very specific ways, what it’s like there.

A secondary objective of this book is to expose and attack sinful, nominal Christianity. Someone who claims to be a Christian, and yet is not taking his pursuit of holiness seriously, will either be offended or will experience godly conviction and make the necessary adjustments in his life.

To purchase this book on Amazon, click here. (You can download it for free on Monday, January 27.)