27 Apr

Choices

Back in the 1960’s Pastor A. W. Tozier wrote a book entitled “The Pursuit of God.” Pastor Tozier established what was to be a lifelong practice of waiting on God. He had a growing hunger after God. Among other points he made was the thought that “When we worship is our emphasis on God or man?”

Exodus 33:13 “…show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight….”

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

Our whole future will be conditioned by the choices we make! We can know we are headed in the right direction if our Christian lives are characterized by trust and by obedience and by humility!

27 Apr

Come Away, My Beloved

In Song of Solomon chapter 2 we see a beautiful picture of the Savior’s love for us

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. (Song of Solomon 2: 10)

In Psalm 119:71, the Psalmist understands that sometimes God takes drastic measures to get our attention.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. (Psalm 119:71)

We read in Ephesians 1:4 that God chose us to spend eternity with Him before He even created the world!

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (Ephesians 1:4 )

So my friends let’s not be selfish with our relationship with God. As we go through our present situation, let’s determine to come away with my Beloved.

24 Apr

In Everything Give Thanks?

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬

Almost every Christian at some point in their life will have trouble with this verse. It will be when life gives you a sucker-punch. When the world throws you that curve ball no one saw coming. It’ll be when you hear yourself say, “I don’t know how I can thank God for this…”

So what do we do?

We set ourselves to look at the situation until we find things for which to thank God. We search for those little glimpses of His mercy, protection, and lovingkindness hidden in the circumstances. Then as an act of faith and an exercise in obedience we recite these things back to God in prayer over and over again. As we choose to be consistent and walk in an atmosphere of gratitude, something miraculous happens. We enter into a state of peace, His Peace, even in the middle of our hardship – and find this was His will for us all along.

22 Apr

Trust Me and Don’t Be Afraid

Trust Me, and don’t be afraid. Many things feel out of control. Your routines have been disrupted. You tend to feel more secure when your life is predictable. Let Me lead you to the rock that is higher than you and your circumstances. Take refuge in the shelter of My wings, where you are absolutely secure.

When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities. Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new. I lead you on from glory, making you fit for My Kingdom. Say yes to the ways I work in your life. Trust Me, and don’t be afraid.

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2

20 Apr

The Mystery of Godliness

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

What a magnificent description of the person of our Lord Jesus Christ! To those of us who love and serve Him, it is a description beyond which all opinions to the contrary fail. He is the mystery of godliness – the God-Man, fully God and fully man.

• Manifest in the flesh – Took on a body of flesh to pay the price of our sin.

• Justified in the Spirit – Vindicated by the Holy Spirit to be the Son of God with power.

• Seen of angels – Witnessed by angels in the unfolding drama of redemption.

• Preached unto the Gentiles – Demonstrated His love and concern for both Jew and Gentile.

• Believed on in the world – Received by men as the one and only means of salvation.

• Received up into glory – Ascended back to the glories of heaven, but is coming again.

Great is the mystery of godliness!

18 Apr

God is Still in Control

In these trying times, we are reminded of the blessings that The Lord has bestowed upon us in this wonderful nation that we have. Oh how much we take for granted!

Now that we have been restricted from going the many places that we like to go and from doing the things that we want to do, we have been forced to ponder the fact that these freedoms can and may be taken from us. What about worship? Did you ever think we would or could be told that we are not allowed to gather together and worship God?

Thankfully, we know these restrictions are only temporary and that God is still in control. He has certainly given all of us some things to think about. Maybe we should stop and consider anew the many blessings that God has given us and be thankful.

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord ; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

16 Apr

Am I Ready?

As I see everything happening in the world today with the Coronavirus, namely how it has changed our lives completely in every sense of the word, I find myself asking the question, “Am I ready?”  When I ask that question, your mind probably went to 100 different things you could be prepared for, under the present circumstances.  Your mind probably went to mostly material things such as wondering if you have enough food, money, toilet paper for a respiratory infection :), ammunition for the fall-out, etc.  However, that is not really what I had in mind.  My purpose in asking the question, “Am I ready?”, is a spiritual one.

Proverbs 27:1  “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”  

Am I ready for what these changes mean in my life by freeing up my time to focus on spiritual things and other things which have true value in life.  A few weeks ago, everyone was going to ball games, shopping, planning vacations for spring break, going to concerts, walking in the parks, going downtown, going to the movie theater, and living life as usual.  Seemingly overnight, all of that came to a grinding halt, as well as many people’s finances along with the stock market and jobs.  We are all now faced with how to spend all of this slow time we probably have never had in our entire lives.  I have found this is a good time to ask, “Am I ready to deal with facing time I have never had, to think in ways I never have, about things I have never thought about?”

We can think on such things as, we now have the time we never had to study the Bible and think about God, Heaven, others, and how we can point them in the direction of looking to God to supply our needs instead of our 401k or the government.  Looking to God to provide our literal daily needs is not something we think about in America, but apparently that changed overnight for most.  Sadly those who have not bowed their heart to Jesus Christ in acknowledging what He did on the cross to be sufficient to pay for their sins and give them salvation can’t look to Him in this way.  As a Christian, I can because He is my Heavenly Father, and I need to use this time to tell those who have not asked Jesus to save them from their sin, that He will do that and supply their earthly needs if asked.

Philippians 4:19  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Also, I have been thinking about whether or not I am ready to live a simple life of spending time with people on a more basic, simple level without all the excess glamor that comes when everything is “normal”.  Enjoying just going for a walk with my wife, sitting on the porch, cooking and eating at home, visiting with friends and neighbors, trying to help those in need are all things that are not at the top of the list when we are under the pressures of the “normal” life.  In relationships, when all you have to offer is less things, whether it be a fancy meal, or a great time going out, or showing off your fancy house and talking about how well you are doing financially, and instead you offer more of yourself, in that you listen to the other person and show you really care, then you start to have an understanding of what truly has value in life.  These times can make you a quality person on the inside with depth, instead of being shallow and superficial when times are good.

I have also been asking myself if I am ready to realistically look inside and find out if I worship the gods of everything that I listed in the first paragraph that came to a grinding halt and throw in some Jesus on Sunday, or am I glad to have those things gone so I can really worship God and Him alone without distraction.

James 4:13-15  “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

Lastly, I have been thinking on whether or not, if this is the end, am I ready to stand before God and give account of my life?  These are all things we need to ask ourselves and make sure, “we are ready.”

14 Apr

Practical Christian Motherhood in a Coronavirus World

Four weeks ago if you had told me I would soon be forced back into homeschooling my children, be hunting through empty store shelves for necessities and trying to find creative ways to both keep us home and also sane, I wouldn’t have believed you. Our world has drastically changed in these four weeks and as a mother of three, my little world has changed right along with it. I’ll be the first to also admit that I’m struggling. Struggling with change, struggling with my plans shifting, struggling with grasping hope amid all the darkness. But I’m thankful God does not leave me alone in these times where I start to doubt. He has a gentle way of showing me through my own weakness just how much I need Him and His Word right now… and always. He has been drawing me back to His Word over and over, and, just like I teach my kids, verses I memorized long ago keep popping back in my head and heart just when I need them the most.

As a Christian (mother) during these ever-changing times, I need to…

1. Be Strong

Little eyes and ears are watching and listening and waiting to see how I respond so they know how they should respond. What a privilege and responsibility and reason to stay strong and grounded in the Lord. Circumstances change, He will not. As my children grow, the Coronavirus will (hopefully) be a small blip on their overall memory. How I handle change and stress? That stays with them. Do I seek to instill peace and hope within their hearts? Those strongholds will last a lifetime.

…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬)‬‬

2. Be Real

I am not the only one dealing with change, uncertainty, stress, desperation, feeling overwhelmed. God has set up long ago a human support system for each of us. Maybe it’s your family, maybe it’s your church, maybe it’s just one special friend who knows your heart. By being real with each other and finding support, it’s amazing how the Lord can use us in each other’s lives to give us hope and encouragement. Open up to a friend and ask them to do the same. If I am not willing to let someone know my struggles and allow them to be God’s channel of blessing to me, I’m both depending on my own strength and also robbing someone else of ministry they were designed for! Pray for one another. It’s not just a trite saying, it’s Biblical!

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:2‬)

3. Be Adaptable

Ultimately, I will never be fully secure until I’m fully trusting in a sovereign, all-powerful God. He allows change. He also allows us to choose how we handle change— either in our own power, which surely leads to disappointment and frustration, or in ever-leaning on His truth and presence in our lives. Choosing to trust is not easy— and it’s not a one-time decision. Every day I need to choose to trust and then be willing to adapt to whatever He brings into my life. If it were easy we wouldn’t be given a verse like this to cling to!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5‬)

4. Be Kind

This is a big, crucial one for me. It’s so easy to wallow in my own discontent and bring others down with me. My spouse, my children, my friends. Negativity is easy right now. But being kind because we love those God loves and have peace amid turmoil? That’s what the world needs to see. And if you’re like me, your world may just be your three darling, angelic children who push every button there is to push right now! How I treat them and how they see me treating others is huge in their eyes.

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:6)

As mothers (and Christians), let’s purpose in our hearts that this time of “stay at home” can be one that nurtures our families, lifts up those around us and ultimately, brings the unsaved to the Gospel. God has a plan in all this. He is still good and kind and strong. We now need to live in a way that he will receive glory in our lives, despite any circumstance we face.

13 Apr

Ignorance is No Excuse!

I Thessalonians 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

“Ignorance is no excuse!”  Have you ever heard that before?  The Lord wanted to make sure that you know this truth.  Every one or all Christians should know how to possess or acquire for himself his vessel (his body) to live a life of holiness appropriate for the price of which it was paid.  Every Christian is bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ – a very high price.  Every Christian is to live worthy of that price.

But where does it say that this is the will of the Lord that I should know this?  Look at the preceding verse For this is the will of God … Remember ignorance is no excuse.

11 Apr

We Are Adopted

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father… And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together… And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:15, 17, 23)

A marvelous doctrine in Scripture is adoption. To fully appreciate its significance, it is important to understand what it is not. When someone tells us that he or she was adopted, we know exactly what that means. Often a husband and wife discover that they cannot have a child. An option for them is adoption. They work through an adoption agency to take a child which is not their own and bring that child into their family. Through the legal process, that child becomes theirs and takes the family name.

Adoption in Scripture is not the same as described for the human family. We do not become a child of God through adoption. We become His child through the new birth. We must be born again in the manner of Nicodemus to enter God’s family. At that moment, our RELATIONSHIP with God changes.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

What then is spiritual adoption? The word translated adoption means placing as an adult son and involves the believer’s inheritance. Following a lost person’s becoming a child of God through the new birth, he is instantly adopted by God, thereby placing him in the position of an adult son. At that moment, the believer is invested with his inheritance of spiritual blessings by becoming an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. However, the full realization of his inheritance must wait until he receives his glorified body. As an adult son, he is in a position spiritually to inherit all the glories of heaven. He is rich because of his POSITION in God’s family.

What a precious thought that you and I as believers are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ in all the glory and riches that await us in heaven and for all eternity.

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