DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
1 Thessalonians : Chapter 5
16) Rejoice always, 17) pray continually, 18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19) Do not quench the Spirit. 20) Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21) but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22) reject every kind of evil. 23) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24) The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
Sammy Tippit: I want to welcome you to this session of talking about family life. You might notice we’ve changed the scenery a little bit here. Our son, Dave Tippit, and our daughter-in-law, Kelly Tippit, are not with us. It’s just Tex and me. That’s the way it is in life right now, isn’t it?
Tex Tippit: It is.
Sammy: But we’re here. Actually, part of our lives is traveling. We’ve traveled all over the world. We’ve gone to more than 80 countries together. What a blessing…
Tex: It has been an adventure.
Sammy: It has been an adventure. That’s right. As we’ve done that… We are now actually in Holland, in the Netherlands. I’ve been doing some ministry here, so we’re filming this session from the Netherlands. Welcome to Holland as we share together. We want to talk about our children as they grow. We’ve been talking about the parent-child relationship. One of the things we’ve had to deal with throughout our lives is kind of letting go of the dreams, letting go of our children. The goal of rearing children for Christ is not that they would always be under our wings but that they would grow to the place where they could go out, become effective for Christ, have their own ministry, their own lives, and live. But sometimes that can be hard. Maybe you can just share a little bit with us about what we had to face as our kids grew older and we had to come to that place of letting go of those dreams.
Tex: There were times… When they were young, we did have dreams for them. As they grew older, their dreams that God had put into their hearts came out. That’s difficult sometimes because sometimes they may go a different way than we think they should go.
Tex: Our son is 43 and our daughter is 39, so we’ve lived long enough to see some of the dreams come true. God didn’t orchestrate some of them.
Tex: So it has been good.
Sammy: It has been really interesting for us to try to understand what our dreams are and what God’s dreams are. As they grow older, they begin to have their own views of what God wants for their lives. What I’ve discovered is it’s often different from what we think. It’s better, in reality, than what we think. It’s a hard thing, I think, especially for Christian parents, to have their children… When they’re young, they’re totally dependent upon you, but the older they get, the more independent they become.
Tex: Which is what you want.
Sammy: Right. Right.
Tex: You want them to become whoever God has created them to be, not whoever we might want them to be.
Sammy: That’s right. Remember that Dave and I had a real issue with this.
Tex: Yes, senior year.
Sammy: It was probably more difficult for me than it was for you, but yeah. He was just graduating from high school, and he was dating the girl who is now his wife. We were struggling. He asked, “Dad, why don’t you like Kelly?” I asked, “What? What are you talking about?” I mean, he was just grumpy all the time. I asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
He asked, “Why don’t you like Kelly?” I said, “We love Kelly! I don’t understand.” Then he looked at me and said something. He said, “Dad, you have to let me go.” He felt that I just wasn’t going to let him go. You know, I had to give him back to God. We dedicated him to the Lord when they were really young, but there came a point when we had to really give them back to God. What does that mean for you? What has it meant for us throughout our kids’ lives to give them back to God?
Tex: Well, I think we have ideas in our minds of how we see they want to go, yet God may have a different idea (which he did). Yet at the same time, we have had promises God has given us for both our son and daughter over the years. “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” Sometimes what maybe I thought God ought to have called him to… It was a different situation.
Tex: Yet having walked with them through all of these years, we’ve seen that the Lord has been faithful to meet them where they are and then to let the gifts he has put in them… They can reach out to others. Our daughter, Renee, has a heart for the down-and-out, for the ones who go through or have gone through…
Sammy: They don’t have as much.
Tex: They’ve gone through life… She has such a heart for that. It’s neat to see how God has worked that in her heart and Dave’s too.
Sammy: Well, I think they got part of that from us because we worked with people who were poor, people who were persecuted, people who had problems. That has been a major part of our ministry, and they got some of that from us, but their expression of how to help them is different from maybe what our expression of how to help them is. So we’ve had to let go. One of the things I have to say is that both of them are living for Christ.
It’s not that they’re not living for the Lord. They’re living for the Lord. Now both of them got away from the Lord, and we want to talk about that in our next session coming up, but we’re not talking about letting them go just to do whatever they want to do. We’re talking about giving them back to God. I think that’s a spiritual attitude parents have to develop as their kids grow older. Also, one thing I think is that they’re going to make their own decisions.
Sammy: We can’t make the decisions for them.
Tex: There’s another thing I’ve thought about. I’m a word picture person. It’s like a garden of flowers. You have a garden, and you plant the seed and water it. You fertilize it. You feed it. The sun comes out sometimes, and then it rains sometimes. Then the opposite side of that, the negative side, is that not only is there a garden of flowers, but there are also insects that come in and can ravage that flower garden.
There are birds that come and pick the flowers. So there’s a choice there. They have a choice in their lives as flowers God has created to become the flowers God wants them to be and not to become what we want them to be. There’s always going to be something. The Enemy is going to try to destroy them.
Sammy: Yeah. Our part is to nourish them, to help them to grow, to come to that place.
Sammy: Hopefully they will be strong enough as they get older to stand in any storm that comes their way. That’s what we have to keep in mind. We’re trying to help them to become the people God wants them to be, not to become the people we want them to be. I know that in my own life… I mean, my mom’s dream for me was for me to be a lawyer, go into politics, be someone important, and make a lot of money. When Jesus came into my life…
Tex: You wanted to do that too before you came to Christ.
Sammy: Yeah, that’s where I was headed.
Sammy: But then when Jesus came into my life, everything changed. I wanted to follow him. I wanted to serve him. I wanted people to know him. One of the problems was the fact that my mom didn’t want to let go. It causes great tension, especially as they enter the adult period. That’s why we’ve been talking with Dave and Kelly. They have small children.
We’ve been talking about how to help those small children grow, but then there comes a time when those small children are no longer small children. They become their own people. I think this garden illustration you have is really good. How can we water that garden? What can we do to help them grow to where they make the right choices, they’re strong enough to make those right choices? Is there any one thing you would say we need to do? I know there are probably a million, but is there one thing you would say?
Tex: I would say it’s prayer and encouraging them even when they blow it. Even when I’ve blown it, when people have encouraged me, that has been an encouragement to my life. Prayer is my bottom line. I can pray for them, and I know God will do whatever he needs to do in their lives. We do. We have prayed for them several times a day every day over the years.
Tex: It’s important to be a listener. Sometimes we want to just point our fingers, but to be a listener is important also.
Sammy: Yeah. What we’re going to do is… I agree with you. Prayer is the bottom line. It’s sort of the water that is put into the soil around the seed that is planted. We’re putting that water in so it can grow up to be strong and its roots can go deep. We pray for them, and then when they come to that place where they make the choices of which way they’re going in life, they will make the right choices. It won’t be our choice. It won’t be our faith. It’ll be their faith, their choice. What we’re going to do in the next session is talk about how to pray for our children.
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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