It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Pouting Pains

Rebellion has many faces, and the big pout on my daughter’s face was definitely one of them. With three other children in our homeschool classroom, she didn’t like being the one who had to wait for help with her questions. Watching her body language, I realized there was a much bigger problem waiting to be dealt with than the one in her math lesson.

My daughter’s actions brought back memories of the beginnings of my own rebellious days. What had started as simple, little pouting episodes to get my own way had turned into all-out, get-in-your-face rebellion toward my parents as a teenager. Being the last of seven children, my parents were usually too busy to put out the flames of my sinful rebellion when they erupted. Because these seemingly small pouting sessions were left unchecked, they burned a hole in my character and my life. Many years of pain from getting my own way passed before my heart was humbled before a mighty God.

Have you bought into the world’s lie that you deserve what you want, when you want it? Dear one, don’t go down that path of destruction! Although there may be joy for the moment, pain and suffering will meet you at the end. “An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him” (Proverbs 17:11). Jesus loves you too much to let your pouting spoil things. Trust Him to meet every need you have, and you’ll never get burned again by the world’s empty promises. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:16-17).

Jesus, I submit my life to You again this day. Forgive me when I try to take control and fail to trust You. Help me fight off the fiery darts of the devil that tempt me to rebel against Your will. In Your name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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A New Perspective

Imagine going to a job each morning where you can set your own schedule. You arrive when you want, take breaks whenever you want, and leave for an extended lunch hour without anyone breathing down your neck. Answering your phone calls and emails is regulated to a minimum each day, and the work responsibilities and goals you have are varied. There is no dress code or security passes to wear around your neck, and no one cares if you eat at your desk or play your favorite radio station. Your boss is off-site, and you can manage your workload to best suit your needs. Your work is rewarding and exciting, and you usually see immediate results from your efforts. Wouldn’t we all love to have a job that fits this description? As a homeschooling parent, you do!

Many homeschooling parents get caught up in the fact that they never receive a paycheck like their working counterparts. However, if you look at the God-given task of teaching your children at home from a new perspective, you begin to see what a blessing the career choice of homeschooling is for you. So many drawbacks of the typical job do not relate to your world. You have the freedom to pursue your position in ways many parents who work outside the home never do.

Too many times in my years as a homeschooling mother, I failed to see the bigger picture of what God was doing in my life and the lives of my children. I needed to have my eyes opened like Elisha’s servant who saw the whole army of heaven around him (2 Kings 6:17). From God’s perspective, what you are doing as a homeschooling parent has long-lasting and eternal value.

As you homeschool today, picture yourself at the best job you could ever have. The grass is greener on this side of the fence, and your regular paycheck of hugs and kisses from your family is more rewarding than what any company can pay you. Enjoy the freedoms you have as a homeschooling parent and be the successful teacher God intended you to be! “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Jesus, what a wonderful opportunity You have given me! Not only do I get the blessings of being a parent, but You have also blessed me with an awesome career of being a teacher. Help me keep my eyes on You each day as I homeschool. In Your name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Will You Quit?

Once you have homeschooled for a few months, have you found it difficult to stay motivated? Is homeschooling not quite what you expected — too much work? Giving up is not the answer — giving in to the Lord is.

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” James 1:3-4

Homeschool parents don’t always realize they are attending classes each day just like their children. God’s assignments may not be on a computer or in a workbook, but they are just as real and challenging. The basic courses of Patience for Parents, Forgiveness Forever, Endurance 101, and Sacrificial Servanthood cause us to grow more Christlike in our actions. We study the Scriptures and look for answers to new questions we face each day. We pray at test time, hoping to pass. We pray for God to grade on a curve, or at least to allow a retake.

God knows what He is doing. Both you and your children are being schooled at home. Together you will learn all the lessons of life He has prepared for you. Hang in there — it’s always too soon to quit!

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (vs. 4).

Father, I don’t know if I have what it takes to keep homeschooling. Stretch me Lord! Help me to see those areas in my life that are slowing me down and causing me to stumble. Thank You for all You’ve done for me on the cross. Give me the strength and wisdom to keep going. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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To Die Might Seem Easier

Even though God allowed King David to live after committing adultery with Bathsheba, his son to be born, would die as a direct consequence of David’s sin against God.

As parents we can’t even begin to comprehend how difficult that would be to live with. Thoughts “that your child died BECAUSE OF YOU AND YOUR SELFISHNESS”.  Wow, to die would be the easier thing, BUT God didn’t leave us here to do the easy!  He left us here to accept the gospel, be the gospel and share the gospel, not marring HIS image in any way!

Are you doing the job HE gave you to do?

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If I Had Known

Looking back over your homeschooling experiences, what would you do differently? Enjoy these reflections gleaned from other homeschooling parents just like you:

  • If I had known that teaching my children would be so much fun, I would have started homeschooling sooner.
  • If I had known my children were going to grow as fast as older women said they would, I would have treasured our time together even more.
  • If I had known that my son was going to become an archeologist and dig in the dirt for a profession, I would have never worried about removing the stains when washing his clothes.
  • If I had known that all my children would go on to receive college degrees, I would have never second guessed my curriculum choices and teaching abilities.
  • If I had known how unimportant it was to keep a spotless house, I would have gone to bed on time instead of spending countless hours cleaning, organizing, and tidying up for the next day.
  • If I had known how living on one income would build a solid faith in God, I would have gladly lived with less without all the complaining.
  • If I could only experience the thrill of one job to last an entire lifetime, I would homeschool my children all over again.

Whatever lessons you’ve learned from homeschooling so far, you’re incredibly blessed to teach your children. Praise God for the wonderful opportunity to be both your child’s parent and teacher! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Pruning Pains

“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2).

As we walked through the garden one morning during our summer break from homeschooling, my daughter watched as I began to pinch off the tops of several tomato plants. With a shocked look on her face, she cried, “Mom, what are you doing? We’ve been trying to get these plants to grow for weeks, and now you’re destroying them!”

“No,” I gently responded. “These plants have grown tall enough. If I don’t cut them back now, they’ll only grow more vines instead of tomatoes. We need to break off the top, so the energy of the plant goes toward bearing fruit.”

“OK,” she replied hesitantly in disbelief, “but I sure hope you know what you’re doing.”

The process of pruning can also seem shocking in our spiritual lives. When God allows circumstances that outwardly appear to destroy our hopes and dreams, we may react like my young daughter in the garden. Not understanding the purpose behind the pain, we are tempted to believe that God doesn’t know what He is doing or He doesn’t love us. However, if we learn to come to the Lord in humility and total dependence during these trying times, He will carefully shape our character into the image of His Son. In the end, the fruit of righteousness that God desires in all His children will be produced from His careful and loving pruning.

Do you feel like your life is in the pruning process? If circumstances seem to be robbing you of joy and causing you to doubt God’s love, don’t let your pain cause you to run from the Lord. Instead, run into the arms of your loving Father and allow the Holy Spirit to comfort you as God continues to perfect the good work He has begun in you. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).

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Unanswerable Questions

Do your younger children drive you crazy with all their questions each day? With an insatiable desire to know “why,” they ask a barrage of unending questions that homeschooling parents are forced to answer as best they can. Some questions like “Why is the sky blue?” and “Where do babies come from?” might set us back for a few minutes as we think of the best way to answer. But other questions like, “Why did Grandpa die?” and “Why did God let my sister get cancer?” pose a much bigger challenge. Sometimes, questions are simply unanswerable and the “whys” of life’s problems have no answer keys for us to use.

Like little children, countless men and women in the Bible also asked questions when they struggled through the “whys” of life’s difficulties. Job’s life is one such example. After suffering horrific loss of belongings, family, and health, he sat down and asked God “why” in Job 31. God never gave Job an outright answer, but He did counteract Job’s question with a few questions of His own, like “Where were you when I created the world?” Confessing his ignorance in questioning a Holy God, Job reached the point of submissive humility and brokenness. “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not”(Job 42:3).

Are you looking for some answers to the “whys” in your life? Is the pain and suffering that you’re experiencing causing you to wonder, “Where is God, doesn’t He know what is happening to me?” Perhaps God is taking you to a new level of trusting in Him or He is trying to teach you a deeper truth. Either way, God has not left you. He sees your every tear and will deliver you in His time. Will you continue to hope in Him and wait for His answer? “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 43:5).

Taken from AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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What’s In Your Closet?

Something to ponder: If we think our past won’t creep up into our present lives and multiply, just set and watch. Just because we’ve covered our sin and not dealt with it, doesn’t mean it’s gone. Children WILL WEAR what’s in their parents closet!

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Rescuing Only Prolongs

Do not rescue your child from a cross that God has set up to bring them to the end of themselves.  If you do, they will NEVER experience the mighty hand of God and HIS deliverance, and will only prolong what the Lord is purposing to do!

Many times we hinder the Lord’s work, by getting in the way trying to help . . .  as if HE needs our help.  Open your clenched fists, giving your children to the Lord.  They’re better off in HIS hands anyway.

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