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Teach Your Children to Tell the Truth

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Commandment IX:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Exodus 20:16

The ninth commandment concerns our own and our neighbour's good name. This forbids speaking falsely on any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising or designing to deceive our neighbour. Speaking unjustly against our neighbour, to hurt his reputation. Bearing false witness against him, or in common conversation slandering, backbiting, and tale-bearing; making what is done amiss, worse than it is, and in any way endeavouring to raise our reputation upon the ruin of our neighbour's. How much this command is every day broken among persons of all ranks!

Matthew Henry

What does this commandment teach us?

First:
We must hold fast to veracity: the habitual observance of truth.

Second:
To love our neighbor, there is nothing more important than telling the truth.

Third:
Deception is opposed to truth and always does damage to others.

Consider and Ponder: Words have power. We must carefully choose our words for good, especially when those words concern our family, co-workers, fellow citizens and all those we interact with each day.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29 KJV

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21 ESV

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Teach Your Children to Respect Property

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Commandment VIII:
You shall not steal.
Exodus 20:15

The eighth commandment is the law of love as it respects the property of others,” says Matthew Henry. "What are we not to steal? We are not to steal by which every man has lawful dominion of."*

What does this commandment teach us?

First:
We are not to steal a human being.

Second:
We are not to steal someone’s property.

Third:
We are not to steal those things which are a right of humanity. That would include someone’s reputation, trust, dignity or intellectual property.

Consider and Ponder: The eighth commandment teaches us justice to our neighbor, in all those things given to one by God for his dominion and use.

*See also The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org.

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Teach Your Children to Love Their Neighbor

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Commandment VII:
You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:14

The seventh commandment expresses the honor we are to give to the purity of our neighbor. William Ames writes, “Chastity is a virtue, whereby the purity of his person is preserved in respect to those things which pertain to generation.”* While Matthew Henry states, “We should be as much afraid of that which defiles the body, as of that which destroys it.”

What does this commandment teach us?

First:
Purity is a virtue and is expressed in both inward and outward actions.

Second:
Purity honors and protects the family as the basic unit of society.

Third:
Purity is a protection to the generations to honor family.

Consider and Ponder: To honor the seventh commandment is important to society as a whole. It gives respect to those things which preserve family and keeps us from things which undermine family.

*See The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org.

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The Meaning of Humanity

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Commandment VI:
You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:13

Humanity, n. The peculiar nature of man, by which he is distinguished from other beings. Thus Christ, by his incarnation, was invested with humanity.—Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

William Ames, theologian of the American Republic, explains the sixth commandment as defining humanity—the respect for life:

That which respects his life is humanity, and is commanded in the sixth commandment. For seeing that man’s life is properly provided for here, or as Scripture phrases it in Gen. 9: 5-6 the soul of man and the blood of man; all that duty which is handled here is rightly set forth under the name of humanity.*

What does this commandment teach us?

First:
Humanity as a virtue is accomplished by supplying helpful things and hindering hurtful things.

Second:
It is our spiritual duty to further the edification of our neighbor.

Third:
Our neighbor’s life itself is to be defended, furthered and cherished.

Consider and Ponder: To honor the sixth commandment our duty includes meekness, patience, longsufferning and pardoning of wrong.

*See The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org.

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An Independent People are Wholly Dependent upon God

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.
Psalm 119:45

The Pennsylvania State House was hot, humid, and charged with emotion in June and July of 1776, when representatives for the thirteen colonies came together for a second time to redress their grievances with Great Britain, their mother country, now considered an oppressive government.

The Second Continental Congress reached a climax on July 2, when the representatives of the colonies voted in one accord to sever their ties with Britain. Two days later, the Declaration of Independence, officially called the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America, was ratified, and would be signed later that summer.

In making their Declaration, the signers had taken a radical step. They had pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor and risked conviction for treason in order to gain liberty for themselves and posterity.

July 4, 1776 is a date more important than most of us realize. On that day, a nation was born, whose citizens have enjoyed a greater degree of civil liberty than any other previous nation in history, since the nation of Israel in the Old Testament.

Samuel Adams, called the Father of the Revolution, after signing The Unanimous Declaration on August 2nd said that

We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient, and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.

How to Celebrate Independence Day with Your Family

Following are suggested ways to celebrate the Fourth of July according to its original intent and in a God-honoring way. Consider rotating some of these activities each year so your celebration is fresh:

  • Fly your flag.
  • Sing patriotic songs such as The Star Spangled Banner, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and God Bless America. Sing all of the verses and discuss the meaning.
  • Discuss the meaning of liberty using Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.
  • Define and discuss the concepts of internal and external liberty.
  • Read the history of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Read the entire Declaration and discuss important phrases such as “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”; “endowed by their Creator”; “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”; “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world”; “and with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”
  • Read and discuss the sacrifices that were made by the signers.
  • Talk about strategies for the preservation of our liberties—especially religious liberty.
  • Pray this prayer by George Washington for our nation:
Almighty God, who has given us this good heritage, we humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought out of many kindreds and tongues. Endow with the spirit of wisdom those who in Thy name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be peace and justice at home, and that through obedience to thy Law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail. Amen

This Discerning Moment was adapted from Celebrate Our Christian Holidays Like You Were There by Dr. Max Lyons, Director of Teaching Services at FACE. You can purchase this book at FACEBookstore.net.

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Teach your Children Generational Blessing

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Commandment V:
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12

"The laws of the SECOND table, that is, the last six of the ten commandments, state our duty to ourselves and to one another, and explain the great commandment, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Mathew Henry

The first commandment of the second table of the Ten Commandments sets the foundation stone for the remaining five. The promise connected to the keeping of Commandment V underscores its importance as a promised blessing to us. If you honor your parents, you will be blessed “in the land” generationally. This is the foundation stone of society — the family — and honoring parents ensures the solidity of that foundation. It is essential to the moral code of political and economic society.

As William Ames puts it, “Honor is an acknowledgment of that dignity or excellence in another, with a due testifying of it"—in both inward and outward observance.*

What does this commandment teach us?

First:
Honoring parents is good for us long term.

Second:
Honoring parents makes us morally accountable to authority and teaches us that there is blessing in obedience.

Third:
Honoring parents strengthens communities and ultimately all of society.

Consider and Ponder: As parents, teachers, grandparents and all those privileged to work with children, we must teach our children this commandment as essential to all the others. This is God’s way of blessing families and nations.

*See The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org.

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Teach your Children Generational Blessing

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Commandment V:
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12

"The laws of the SECOND table, that is, the last six of the ten commandments, state our duty to ourselves and to one another, and explain the great commandment, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Mathew Henry

The first commandment of the second table of the Ten Commandments sets the foundation stone for the remaining five. The promise connected to the keeping of Commandment V underscores its importance as a promised blessing to us. If you honor your parents, you will be blessed “in the land” generationally. This is the foundation stone of society — the family — and honoring parents ensures the solidity of that foundation. It is essential to the moral code of political and economic society.

What does this commandment teach us?

As William Ames puts it, “Honor is an acknowledgment of that dignity or excellence in another, with a due testifying of it"—in both inward and outward observance.

First:
Honoring parents is good for us long term.

Second:
Honoring parents makes us morally accountable to authority and teaches us that there is blessing in obedience.

Third:
Honoring parents strengthens communities and ultimately all of society.

Consider and Ponder: As parents, teachers, grandparents and all those privileged to work with children, we must teach our children this commandment as essential to all the others. This is God’s way of blessing families and nations.

*See The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org.

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Teach Your Children to Care for Their Souls

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Commandment IV:
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Exodus 20:8

Honoring the Sabbath is not only a time of rest but it is a day “sanctified at the time in the mind and purpose of God.”* This was not something given to us to be useful but necessary. God himself took a day of rest. In this fourth commandment we are recognizing God in our lives and that there is a greater purpose and significance to our lives.

"One day in seven is to be kept holy. Six days are allotted to worldly business, but not so as to neglect the service of God, and the care of our souls… “ (Mathew Henry)
  • a day of rest from worldly labour
  • for the health and happiness of mankind
  • the time for taking care of the soul

What does this commandment teach us?

First:
This commandment elevates the human above a beast of burden by insisting on a day of rest.

Second:
It is a reminder that we are meant to be free.

Third:
Honor the Sabbath as it brings you faith in God.

Consider and Ponder: Teach your children the proper care of the soul is important to God. He knows we need time to focus solely on Him to strengthen our faith, our families and our souls.

*See The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org.

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Teach Your Children to Care for Their Souls

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Commandment IV:
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Exodus 20:8

Honoring the Sabbath is not only a time of rest but it is a day “sanctified at the time in the mind and purpose of God.”* This was not something given to us to be useful but necessary. God himself took a day of rest. In this fourth commandment we are recognizing God in our lives and that there is a greater purpose and significance to our lives.

"One day in seven is to be kept holy. Six days are allotted to worldly business, but not so as to neglect the service of God, and the care of our souls… “ (Mathew Henry)
  • a day of rest from worldly labour
  • for the health and happiness of mankind
  • the time for taking care of the soul

What does this commandment teach us?

First:
This commandment elevates the human above a beast of burden by insisting on a day of rest.

Second:
It is a reminder that we are meant to be free.

Third:
Honor the Sabbath as it brings you faith in God.

Consider and Ponder: Teach your children the proper care of the soul is important to God. He knows we need time to focus solely on Him to strengthen our faith, our families and our souls.

*See The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org.

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Teach Your Children to Sing with a Fixed Heart!

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Commandment III:
Do not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. For the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 ESV

God’s name is I AM, which is “understood to be all those things that God has made known to us, or how He reveals himself to us”. When we misuse His name, we are profaning God—we are making what is HOLY, unholy. The Puritan William Ames teaches us that this commandment is instructive in “the manner of Divine Worship”. Therefore, worship of God requires both inward and outward reverence and devotion.

How can we obey this commandment?

First:
Honor all things that pertain to God. Particularly His Name as well as His Worship.

Second:
“By the ‘Name of God’, it is understood to be all these things whereby God is made known to us, or reveals Himself.” This includes personal devotion, instituted worship and the place of His Word in our lives.

Third:
Reverence to God avoids a careless attitude towards God in speech or action. Don’t be slothful, neglectful, dull or forgetful in attending to worship, both in the heart (inward) and actions (outward).

Consider and Ponder: As parents, teachers, grandparents and all those privileged to work with children, we must teach them what this commandment instructs concerning worship. This is God’s way to ensure that our children can “sing with a fixed heart,” a heart anchored in Him.

Excerpted from The Marrow of Sacred Divinity by William Ames, translated by William H. Gross, OntheWing.org, Book 2, Chapter 14 “Of the Manner of Divine Worship”.

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