Trust In The Lord

Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths”

 
      The same grace that saved us and brought us to Christ is the same grace that will keep us in our Christian walk.  There is not a single moment in our life that we can do without the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore, our trust should be with all our heart.
     Many people use religion as a convenient service.  They will make all the decisions and all the plans according to their own desires and wills.  Then when things go awry they run to God demanding that He clear up the problem and make everything right.  But God’s Word says, “lean not unto thine own understanding.”  Our first efforts of the day should be toward our Heavenly Father, “in all thy ways acknowledge Him.”  From our heart should first come thankfulness and praise, next repentance, then requests for others and ourselves can be made.
Lay before Him all those things that will be facing you this day: those tasks, decisions and problems that you know are ahead.  Then as the verse says, “in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.”  In other words “Thy will be done.” Matthew 26:39.
     There will never be a time in our lives when we won’t have a problem of some kind or another, and to each of us that problem is very important and should not be regarded lightly by others.  Often we ask the Lord for the the problem to be removed and when God wills that it remain we fall into despair, wishing to run away (thinking then that the problem will go away).  Yes, perhaps that problem will be gone, but only to be replaced by a new one.  You see, if we can’t trust the Lord right here, right now, in the situation of this day, how can we ever think we can trust Him tomorrow when the situation changes and new problems arise? God want us to look to Him for this problem this day.  Then our promise for trusting is “He shall direct thy path.”  I surrender all to Him.
 
Theme: The Better Way: Surrendering All to God is The Better Way
 
Read also: Taste and See
Posted in Guidance | 5 Comments

Thankful To God

I Thessalonians 5:18  “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
 
     The above Scripture verse is very convicting, because it reminds us to be thankful in “everything”, and that word covers all with no exceptions.  No matter what the circumstances are in our lives, we are to give thanks. How is that possible?  Well, since we know that God will always do what is right for us, our thanksgiving will flow from our trust in the Almighty God, and our hearts will be made willing.  Thus we will be encouraged and uplifted.
 
The following hymn was written by John Oatman Jr in 1897:
 
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
 
Refrain: 
Count your blessings name them one by one.
Count your blessings see what God hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessings see what God hath done.
 
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, 
And you will be singing as the days go by.
 
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings money cannot buy,
Your reward in heaven, not your home on high.
 
So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all.
Count your many blessings, angels will attend.
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
 
    Counting our blessings is indeed a very good thing, but our greatest joy and thankfulness should first be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for His great sacrifice on the cross.  Without Him we would have no hope.  How my heart is filled with praise and thanksgiving to God for sending His only begotten Son to die in my place, that I might have the forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life.
 
See also: Strength For Today 
 
 
Theme: The Better Way: Saying “Thank You” is Good: Having a Heart Full of Thankfulness to God is Better  
 
Posted in Encouragement, Thankfulness | 2 Comments

The Lord Is My Light

Micah 7:8b “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

     Our family has passed through Chattanooga, Tennessee several time while vacationing.  On one of those trips we visited a popular tourist spot called Ruby Falls.  By elevator, we were carried to the center of Lookout Mountain, where we walked along a well-worn path viewing the many cave sights.  It wasn’t long before in the distance we could hear the sound of falling water, which soon became louder and louder.  Then we entered a large dimly lit open area and the water sound was very near.  Suddenly spot lights were turned on and we could see the beautiful falls.  While we were enjoying the view, the guide offered to “show” us what darkness was like, and turned off the lights.  During those few moments my eyes desperately searched for a ray of light upon which to grasp, but there wasn’t any.  That’s the kind of darkness that can be “felt”, for the absence of all light makes the darkness have a feeling of entombment.
     The Egyptians experienced such a darkness during one of the ten plagues that God sent, “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.  And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all of the land of Egypt three days; They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days;”  Exodus 10:21-23a
     Many events in our lives can cause us to “sit in darkness.”  Perhaps you are plagued with sickness and pain in your body, or maybe your problem is a mental depression that overwhelms you.  Perhaps you are under the load of a serious financial burden or the death of a loved one.  Yes, the happenings in our lives that cause us to “sit in darkness” are too numerous to name, but there is one truth that we can cling to and that is “the Lord shall be a light unto me.”  During the plague of darkness in Egypt, the Bible says, “But all the Children of Israel had light in their dwelling.”  Exodus 10:23b.  There may be darkness all around us, but it cannot penetrate into the heart of a child of God, for “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”  I John 1:15b.  Therefore we can boldly say with the Psalmist, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
Theme: The Better Way: Light is Good: Having the Lord As My Light Is Better
Posted in Assurance | 6 Comments

Anchor of the Soul

Hebrews 6:19a  “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”

 
      The dictionary defines an anchor as “a heavy implement usually of iron or steel, with hooks or flukes to grip the bottom, attached to a cable and dropped from a ship or boat to hold it in place. To hold fast. To fix firmly. To secure.”  A boat out on the water must drop an anchor in order for it to remain in a fixed place, otherwise, the movement of the water, whether great or small, will cause the boat to move also.  Likewise, our souls also require an anchor.  What is your anchor today?  Is your soul anchored securely?  If the storms came and the winds blew fiercely would you be tossed to and fro so that your anchor came loose?  Let’s drop the anchor and see if we can find a secure place for our souls. 
     One place the anchor often grasps is the “Sands of Good Works.”  People are so sure that if they live a good life, if they do many good deeds, if they refrain from the major sins of this world and try their best, that God will surely give them credit toward heaven.  But like the shifting sands, these works come and go and are tainted with sin, and although the anchor may sink deep into the “Sands of Good Works ” at first, soon the sand shifts about, and the anchor is uncovered and they begin to drift because the only sure place for our anchor is not in self, but in our Hope, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    A second place where the anchor is caught is the “Seaweed of False Doctrine.”  Many say, because I believe “this and this” and because I know “that and that” about the Bible I am secure.  Like seaweed, they soon become a tangled mess, contradicting themselves because their beliefs are founded on man’s ideas and not on the Lord Jesus Christ.
      A third place where the anchor is caught is the “Decaying Wood of Self-Righteousness.”  An anchor can find it’s hold on the debris of an old sunken ship and for a while is caught and appears secure.  So, those that think they are good enough to go to heaven and that think they live above sin, will find security in their own selves.  Since we have no righteousness, since “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23),  since “there is none good, no not one.”  (Romans 3:19,) since “all our righteousness is as filthy rags.”  (Isaiah 64:6) this security in self rots and breaks up and turns loose.  Then the individual is afloat and adrift again.
     But, there is no need to waste time dropping our anchor here and there, only to find that it is not secure.  Go straight to the One Who does not shift as the sand.  Go straight to the One Who is grounded because He is the Truth.  Go straight to the One Who will not decay or grow old. Go straight to the Lord Jesus Christ, that Hope, which is both “sure and steadfast.”
 
Theme: The Better Way: Having The Anchor for the Soul (the Lord Jesus Christ) is the Better Way
 
Posted in Encouragement | 6 Comments

Wearisome Words

Malachi 2:17a  “Ye have wearied the Lord with your words.”

 
     Just a few short generations ago, a man’s word was often his bond.  Many times no formal papers had to be signed, no notary’s seal needed to be imprinted.  When a verbal agreement was made, often a handshake sealed the spoken word.  Honor, commitment and trust were the bond’s that held together a man’s word.
     Today, talk is cheap and carries very little weight.  How weary we are of the ramblings of politicians who promise this and promise that.  How often we are disappointed by people in the business world who tell us one thing, only later to find out that it’s not true.  How discouraged we become as we see people use great swelling words for material gain and watch crowds follow them.  How disgusted we become at the abundance of words pouring forth from vain humans concerning their personal lives on the news.  Weary?  Yes, we become weary because so much is said, so much is philosophized upon and so little is accomplished.  It’s obvious there is much to criticize of the world’s words, but let’s turn the question inward.
     Have I wearied the the Lord with my words?  Do I whine and complain away my days when my lips should be filled with thanksgiving?  Am I double-tongued like the Bible says in James 3:10 where “out of the mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing?”  Have I idled away my time criticizing someone’s faults when I should have been praying for them?  Have I spent hours discussing plans for solving a problem when I should have laid the problem at the Lord’s feet?  Have I chatted vainly about this world with the lost when I should have told them about the Lord Jesus Christ?  Have I spoken harshly when a kind word would have been soothing?  Have I spoken hastily when a carefully chosen word would have spared hurt feelings?  Have I sung the Lord’s praises on Sunday, only to disregard His commands on Monday?
     Sadly, I myself will have to answer “yes” to all these questions.  Yes, I certainly have wearied the Lord with my words.  Recognizing this right now, I humbly repent, asking the Lord for His Grace that I might not weary Him any longer, but that my words, instead, might bring much honor and glory to His Name.
Psalm 19:13 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my Strength, and my Redeemer.
Theme: The Better Way: Speaking Carefully is Good: Speaking for the Lord Jesus Christ is Better
 
Also read:  Fixed Eyes
Posted in Godly Living, Guidance, Guidance for Women | 5 Comments

Underneath Are The Everlasting Arms

Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy Refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms.”

 
I recently heard the following story and wanted to share it with you:

 
“There is no extremity beyond the power of God’s strength and comfort.

A workman was employed on a building project. One of those high-rise deals. It was necessary because of some deadlines and bad weather for them to work at night. While busy on the edge of the wall, he slipped, lost his balance, fell over the ledge, grabbed the edge of the wall with both hands and hung on desperately. He began to scream and cry and call for someone to rescue him. It was pitch black, riveting machines were going, metal hammers were beating and pounding, mechanical motors were running and nobody could hear a word. Gradually his arms grew numb as he hung suspended over the street below and his fingers began to slip and against every effort of his own will to hold on, at last he lost his hold and he fell……..about three inches to a scaffold that had been there all the time. The darkness prevented him from seeing it. And all through his anxiety he was completely safe.”

 “We are so often terrified by our predicaments while all the time there’s the scaffold of God’s care beneath us. Our ignorance doesn’t change the certainty but it does destroy the peace, doesn’t it? We need to remember that underneath are the Everlasting Arms and you don’t know that until your fingers slip and you drop.” (Pastor John MacArthur)

 
The Better Way: Completely Trusting In The God Of The Universe To Care For Us Is The Better Way
 
Read Also: Under His Wings

Posted in Assurance, Encouragement | 4 Comments

A Lesson On Humility

Luke 14:11  “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 
    One day, in my younger years, I was invited to attend a luncheon honoring a cousin of the family who was soon to be married.  Soon after arriving, the hostess directed us to step into the next room where we were asked to sit at the table which had a placard with our name on it.          Entering the room, I saw a large round table which I presumed was for the bride and her special guests.  Scattered throughout the rest of the room were square card tables, each seating four people.  Slowly I started easing my way around the small tables, looking for my name.  In a few moments there was a light tap on my shoulder.  As I turned around, the hostess was gesturing towards the large table.  I was told that my place was at the Bride’s Table.  I was surprised and, of course, felt honored.  (As a side note, please know that I was not purposely trying to be humble or anything like that.  As a relative by marriage, I just assumed I was not on the Bride’s list of close friends.)
     This was one of those incidences in my life that I will never forget. That day I learned a valuable lesson in humility.  What an embarrassment I would have felt if I had assumed I was to be seated at the Bride’s Table only to be told to sit at one of the smaller tables. Then, it wasn’t long after this incident that the relevancy of God’s Word became so real, and I was amazed as I read a parable in the Bible that almost parallels what happened to me:  
Luke 14:8-10  ” And Jesus began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher,’ then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table.”
     Oh, how wonderful it is to know that God’s Word is all we need for every question we have concerning our daily walk with Him.  Jesus was also trying to teach us a lesson about humility.  According to God’s Word, pride is considered one of the seven abominable sins (Proverbs 6:16-17); consequently, there are many verses instructing us to be humble.  Our greatest example, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ, for “He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  Philippians 2:8a 
 
The Better Way: To Act Humble is Good: To Have True Humility of the Heart is Better
 
Read also: Life-Giving Sound
Teach Children Bible Verses With Songs: http://www.thbmm.com/scripture-songs.html
     
Posted in Godly Living, Guidance, Guidance for Women | 5 Comments

Are You An Overcomer?

As Christian women, we have much to face to live a Christian life.  As wives, mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers, much is required of us  and we are often overwhelmed in our daily lives.

Every stage of our lives has its own peculiar trials and troubles, but let us not live in defeat.  Let us arm ourselves with the resources God provides. Let us purpose in our hearts to find our strength in the Lord.  People who win races don’t just decide to win, they do many things to prepare themselves.  They eat right, slowly practice every day to build up their strength and endurance, and set a goal, purposing in their minds to achieve it.

Likewise, patience and perseverance do not just happen.  They take diligent practice.  They take purposing in your heart.  So must we be if we are to be an overcomer.  See Hebrews 12:1b  let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.”

Here are some helpful suggestions :

First, don’t overload yourself with activities.  Find a balance.  If you need help, don’t turn it down.  Even ask for it. See I John 4:4  “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

Second, find something in Scripture and start dwelling on it each day. Memorize it and exercise your mind to dwell on God’s Word until it becomes part of your thinking.  Psalm 119:11  “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Third, purpose in your heart.  Follow the example of Ezra where it says in 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

Or how about Daniel in 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat.”

Or in Acts 11:23, Barnabas “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”

Fourth, Fret not because fretting causes stress which in turn uses up energy which is needed for strength.  Psalm 37:7a “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself.”

Fifth, Lay aside selfish desires. In James 4:3 we read this, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Sixth, Bring everything to the Lord. Mark 14:38 “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

Remember, these things are possible because Jesus prays for us, John 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”

God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, I Corinthians 10:13  “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Jesus was tempted and is able to be there for us when we are tempted. Hebrews 2:18 “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to aid them that are tempted.”

Theme: The Better Way: Our own strength cannot make us an overcomer, but the strength of the Lord can and will, as we diligently seek Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Assurance, Encouragement, Godly Living, Guidance for Women | 4 Comments

Samson’s Mother

Judges 13:3  “And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman….”

 
     I like studying the Godly women of Bible.  Each one has their own unique characteristics which give us patterns of life to learn from and wonderful examples to follow.  Here in Judges we have a woman whose name we do not ever know, but we can learn much from her.  She is called Manoah’s wife and Samson’s mother, and that is enough for her because she is a humble woman.  When the story begins she has no children and is said to be “barren.”  In Bible times and even for many women today, not being able to have children is a very difficult situation to accept, so we know she and her husband had a certain sadness about this.
     One day, an Angel of the Lord appeared unto her and told her all that would change……..she was going to have a son!  She was to obediently follow all the instructions given to her.  Quickly she ran to her husband to tell him the wonderful news.  When Manoah heard about the son they were to have, and how he was to be a Nazarite from the day he was born, he immediately had concerns about how to raise this boy and “entreated the Lord'” to “let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.”  
     The Lord listened to Manoah and the Angel of the Lord appeared a second time but again only to the woman.  But she cared for her husband and was aware of his desires and quickly ran to get him.  So the Angel of the Lord spoke with them both.  After this, a sacrifice was offered and the “Angel of Lord ascended in the flame of the offering.”  Manoah was so overtaken that he said “We will surely die, because we have seen God.”  Again, our unnamed woman, Manoah’s wife, showed patience and encouragement toward her husband as she gently said, ” If the Lord were pleased to kill us, He would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would He have showed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.”   In other words, if they were going to have a son, they would not die.                
     We can learn much from this humble, obedient, unnamed woman, who did not seek honor for herself, but honored her husband by being aware of his desires.  And by caring and showing gentleness and encouragement toward her husband, she gives us a wonderful example to follow.
 
Theme: The Better Way: Being a Wife is Good: Being a Humble, Caring, Gentle, Encouraging Wife is Better
 
Posted in Guidance for Wives, Women of the Bible | 1 Comment

Joy in Work

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works…

 
     Lord, let me meditate on that verse a few more minutes. As a wife and mother, I’ve been so busy with my everyday tasks:  housework, cooking, cleaning, washing, running errands, grocery shopping, taking children to the Dr and orthodontist, planning events, etc. besides the enormous task of watching and training my children and helping my husband. But God’s Word says that I am created for “good works.”  Are these “good works?”
     This a question each of us must answer for ourselves because in order to determine if these are “good works” the motive must be examined and the manner or spirit in which they are carried out must be observed.  
The Bible says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God..”  Matthew 6:33.  The activities of our daily lives are necessary and God has ordained them as a means of carrying on life, but our reasons for carrying out these activities should not be for self but for the Lord.  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  I Corinthians 10:31. A spirit of anxiety, stress and aggravation is not God’s Way.   The daily routine and sometimes dull chores of our lives are “good works” but they take on a new worth and meaning when we realize the Lord is pleased and that the job we’re doing is His Will.
      Secondly, we need to observe the manner or spirit in which these works are carried out. To find our answer, we can go straight to Galatians 5: 22-23,  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. “  Faithfulness with joy in carrying out our daily duties can bring us much peace and contentment.  
     This day let us ask the Lord for grace to live a life of good works as we cultivate a joyful attitude so that He might receive much honor and glory.
  
Theme:  The Better Way:  Work is Good, Joyful Work is Better.
 
Also read:  Living Victoriously
Also read : Joy In Purpose
Posted in Guidance, Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Wives, Guidance for Women | 5 Comments

God Says, “I Will Be With Thee”

Isaiah 43:1-2 “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

 
      At the present, our family lives near a city that was built on land that is below sea level.  Because of this fact, flooding has been a constant problem.  This city has installed pumps to pump off the water and over the years a levy has been built entirely around the city to try and protect it from flooding.  Do they still have flooding problem? Yes, because sometimes there is a deluge of rain and the pumps can only handle so many gallons of water per hour.  As for the security of the levy, people felt safe until a hurricane came through and caused a breech in one of the walls and many many homes were flooded.
     Yes, the floods come and the fires come, but the Lord God says, “thou art mine” and then continues on to say that we will have floods and we will have fires.  Is the Lord God speaking of literal floods and literal fire?  Well, yes, He could be because in the Bible in the book of Daniel, we read of three men that were thrown into the fiery furnace and not a hair of their heads were singed.  Daniel 3:19-27  Then in Exodus 14:21-31 we read how God brought the Children of Israel safely through the waters of the Red Sea.  But throughout history, God’s people have drowned, been burned at the stake or died in fires.  God is certainly able to protect us from physical harm according to His Will, but in this passage of Scripture He is also speaking of the “waters” of trials and tribulation.  As redeemed Christians, as children of God, we are not set on a pedestal above the world to live out our lives in problem-free bliss.  No, such a life would only cause us to be lifted up in pride, love this present world, and become dependent on ourselves: all things which God hates.
Consequently, God tells us that we will pass through many many troubles.  Neither will we wade around in ankle-deep problems only, but the trials may be so severe that we might think we are going to drown.  Again, God says we will walk “through the fire”—not around, over or under it, but right through the midst of the scorching painful heat.  For a brief moment our hearts sink and are faint, and we are gripped with fear to think that we have to face such things,——– but then the dearest of all promises stand out in large bold letters, “I WILL BE WITH THEE.”  Let’s say that again, “I WILL BE WITH THEE.”  ” The waters, they shall not overflow thee—neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
  God’s precious promise to us is two-fold:
First, He will be with us in the severest of trials. 
Second, These trials will not overtake us.  
And since our God is the Great I Am, the Almighty God, the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, The Alpha and Omega, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and our All in All, Who else would we want to trust?
      O Lord, Give me the grace to cling to Thy word and trust You completely.
 
Theme: The Better Way: Knowing the Lord God is With Us in Our Trials Is Good: Trusting the Lord God Completely in Our Trials is Better.
 
Read also:  Strength For Today
   
 
 
 

     

     
Posted in Assurance | 4 Comments

Training Children

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he won’t depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

 
What a wonderful promise in God’s Word!  It’s so very encouraging to know that the Lord will bless our efforts to train our children, even though at times you may shake your head and wearily wonder if it’s worth all the effort. As a mother of four grown children who all profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, I can assure you without a doubt that it’s worth every bit of energy it takes to train your children correctly.  And as I look back, I know it’s all by the Grace of God, because I see so many areas where I failed.
As I read the above verse, I had a desire to study the word “train” and the words “the way he should go” and was amazed and edified as these words were expanded, enhanced and their message became fuller.  Dwelling on their meanings can give us more awareness of the very great responsibility of training children. I will share with you the following material and ask you to pray for the Holy Spirit to glean the wisdom you need to train your children.
 
The dictionary has several excellent meanings of the word train:
BUCitL-4
1. Teach a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time; propagate wisdom.
2. Cause to be sharp, discerning or developed as a result of instruction or practice
3. Cause to grow in a particular direction
4. Instruct, teach, coach, tutor, educate, drill, ground, prepare, direct
5. Train physically and mentally
6. Keep under discipline
 
Then God’s Word says in Ephesians 6:4b “Rear them (tenderly) in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.”  (Amplified Bible)
Matthew Henry says in his commentary,” Train up a child according as he is capable with a gentle hand–little and often. Take care and pains. As soldiers- to observe the word of command.”
 
Concerning the words “the way he should go” there are several wonderful quotes:
Matthew Henry says “not in the way they would go, but should go.”
 
The Amplified Bible says “and in keeping with his individual gift or bent.”
 
Pastor/Teacher John MacArthur says: “There is only one right way, God’s way, the way of life.  Early training secures life-long habits. Parents must insist upon this way; teach God’s Word, enforcing it with loving discipline consistently throughout the child’s upbringing.”
 
A wonderful example of this training in the Bible was Timothy. He was taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood.  II Timothy 3:15
An example of the lack of training in the Bible would be David’s son Absalom, II Samuel chapters 13-18.
      As you can see, the process of training starts from birth and continues on until the child is grown.  It is not a one time event, but requires close careful instruction and discipline on an on-going basis. If you’ve ever wondered why your child can’t learn something after you’ve told them over and over again, just look at your own life.  How much do we fail in our obedience to God on a daily basis?  As God so patiently and lovingly deals with us, so must we show that same patience and forbearance with our children.
For more Biblical direction in the area of training, carefully study the following Scriptures:
Proverbs 13:24, Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy  6:6-8, Deuteronomy 11:18-21, Proverbs 19:18, Proverbs 22:15, Proverbs 23:13-14, Proverbs 29:15, 17, Proverbs 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:7
 
The Better Way: Raising Children In The Nurture And Admonition Of The Lord, Is The Only Right Way
 
Teach your children Bible verses through song:
 
Posted in Building Our Homes, Guidance for mothers, Raising Children | 5 Comments

Women In The Bible

Proverbs 11:16 “A gracious woman attains honor..”
 
The Better Way: Following The Examples Of The Godly Women In The Bible Is the Better Way
Posted in Godly Living, Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Wives, Guidance for Women, Women of the Bible | Leave a comment

Sarah’s Handmaid, Hagar

 I must leave” said Hagar in desperation to herself.  Expecting a child by her master Abraham, Hagar had wrongfully shown an open attitude of contempt toward her mistress, Sarah.  Thus the mistress-servant relationship has been broken and Hagar was treated so harshly by Sarah she felt compelled to “flee from her presence.” Genesis 16:6  Even though Hagar was an Egyptian, while living in the household of Abraham and Sarah, she had been introduced to the One True God.  Now fearful and alone, sitting beside “the spring on the way to Shur, “(Genesis 16:7) an Angel of the Lord came and spoke to her saying “Where have you come from and where are you going?” (Genesis 16:8)  Replying that she was running away from her mistress, the Angel instructed her to go back and humbly submit to Sarah’s control and authority with respect. 

Hagar was then given many promises concerning Ishmael, the son of Abraham, who was to be born to her.  The Lord had heard her and gave attention to her affliction.  Filled with wonder and thanksgiving, she called the Lord who spoke to her,  El-Roi “The God Who Sees Me.” Genesis 16:13. The well was given the name Beer-lahai-roi, The Living One Who Sees Me.  How encouraged we should be to claim this wonderful attribute of God also, and be able to say with Hagar that the Lord is “The God Who Sees Me.”
So Hagar returned to Abraham and Sarah and was obedient to God’s command, being in submission to Sarah again as a maidservant.  This obedience must have continued for 17 years since nothing is recorded in the Bible about Hagar until Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, is about 3 years old.  On the day of Isaac’s weaning, a great feast was made and it was during this feast that Hagar’s son, Ishmael, was mocking Isaac.  Because of this, Hagar and Ishmael were sent into the wilderness, but instead of finding the well as before, they became lost.  When their water was gone, and all looked hopeless to live, Hagar and Ishmael lifted up their voices and wept.  But since the Lord is “The God Who Sees Me” the Bible records in Genesis 21:17-20, that “God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter with you, Hagar?’  Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.  Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.  Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water—–and gave the lad a drink. God was with the lad, and he grew; and lived in the wilderness, and became an archer.”
 God spoke to Hagar, not once, but twice. As I read about Hagar, I saw how her humble obedience to God, became a great blessing to her. Obedience and humility, two great virtues that a woman of God should seek and strive to obtain.
 
The Better Way: Seeking God’s Will And Way First Before Our Own Desires Is Always The Better Way.
 
As a bonus—some interesting facts:
 
1. Genesis 24:62-67  The well, Beer-lahai-roi, is the place where Isaac first met Rebecca
2. Genesis 25:9  Isaac and Ishmael met together at Abraham’s death to bury him.
 
 
Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Women, Women of the Bible | 2 Comments

The Cross of Jesus Christ

 

Galatians 6:14 “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 
I saw one hanging on a tree in agony and blood
 He cast His languid eyes on me
As near His cross I stood.
Sure, never, till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke.
A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive:
This blood is for thy ransom paid.
I die that thou may’st live.”
copied

As we think about Jesus Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross, let’s meditate on the words as we listen to these beautiful hymns.

 

http://youtu.be/qr7_i8HJ-Jo

Beneath The Cross of Jesus

Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand;
The shadow of a mighty rock, within a weary land.
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.
 
Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess;
The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.
 
I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
words by Elizabeth Clephane 1868
music by Fredrick Maker 1881 
 
 
 
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
 
 
                                                  
                                   When I survey the wondrous cross,
                                                    On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

words by Isaac Watts 1707
music by Lowell Mason 1824

 

The Better Way: Glorying In The Cross Is The Only Way

Read also: Upheld By God’s Hand

Read also: God’s Promises, Under His Wings

 

 

Posted in Encouragement, Spiritual Dryness | 5 Comments

Living Victoriously

Colossians 3:1 “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.”

 
     When my mother was still living, I used to fly up to Washington State often to visit her.  On one of those flights, the weather was rainy and the clouds were overcast. As the plane took off we began to slowly ascend upward.  Through those gray clouds we traveled, not being able to see anything, until suddenly we burst forth to the beautiful blue sky and bright sunshine above.  Those clouds that were gray on the underside now billowed in a layered expanse of shining white on the topside.  What beauty !  Soon we flew over a mountainous area which we could not see, except off in the distance I observed the peaks of some larger mountains rising above the layer of clouds.  It was as if they were leaving the grayness below, reaching upward to soak in the glorious rays of the sun.  As I pondered those mountain peaks, my mind began to compare them to us as Christians.
     How often we stay under the clouds, where life looks gray and gloomy; where fog and mist make it difficult for us to see clearly; where self-centeredness is master and we see God through a “glass darkly.” I Corinthians 13:12.  But our Omnipotent Heavenly Father has not moved or changed.  He is still Lord and Master of the universe and heavens.  The rays of God’s goodness, lovingkindness and faithfulness are still shining; it’s just that we have failed to access them.  We need to reach upward through the clouds and mist, just like those mountain peaks and feel the warm rays of God’s love and the see the blue expanse of His majesty and power.  “But how?” you may ask. “I have no strength.”
     God has given us two specific avenues to reach Him.  First, His Word, the Bible.  Read it. Read it every day.  Long or short, many chapters, or just a few verses, but read it.  God’s Word is “living” (Hebrews 4:12) and that means we can always learn new truths as the Holy Spirit teaches us.  It is filled with instruction, encouragement, and hope to give us strength and guidance. “Seek those things which are above.” Colossians 3:2  Grasp some encouraging word and carry it about with you throughout the day.
     Next pray–always, everywhere and in everything. “Pray without ceasing,” ( I Thessalonians 5:17) not always doing the talking, but also quietly listening, so God can speak to you in your heart and mind.  Ask others to pray for you, too, especially when you feel extra weak or have a special need. “Pray one for another.” James 5:16
     My prayer is that as we read God’s Word daily, pray daily and strive to be more Christlike daily through obedience, that even though our feet are on the troubled ground, our hearts and minds can rise above the clouds and find the peace and joy and assurance that is always available in Jesus Christ. Then we can live a victorious Christian life.
 
Theme: The Better Way: Looking to Christ is Good: Reaching Upward to the Victory in Christ Jesus is Better 
 
Teach children Bible verses through song:
http://www.thomasslawson.com  Click on Scripture Songs
 
Read also: Pressing Forward
Posted in Encouragement | 8 Comments

The Self-Sacrificing Unnamed Mother

 

I Kings 3:27b “She is his mother.”

“Oh, my lord, give her the living child and by no means kill him,” cried the unnamed mother the moment King Solomon gave the command to bring his sword and divide the baby in half.  The great tender compassionate love she had for her child brought the anguished cry, for she would be more than willing to sacrifice raising her own child so that he might live.  The other mother revealed she had no love for the child and did not care what happened to him, as she, without feeling, assented to King Solomon’s command saying “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!”

In this account, from I Kings 3:16-28, showing Solomon’s great God-given wisdom, we have the story of two women, who lived in the same house and gave birth to baby boys within 3 days of each other.  The one, a careless mother, laid on her child as she slept and he died.  Realizing what happened, she got up in the night and exchanged the babies, taking the living baby back to her bed.  When morning came, the true mother of the living child realized the dead baby in her bed was not her own.  As they stood before King Solomon, both mothers vehemently claimed the living child was their own.  No witnesses were present, so how was the determination to be made?  Since the physical evidence was not obvious, King Solomon must seek out the heart of the matter.  And so the true, self-sacrificing heart of the real mother is revealed, and Solomon said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him.  She is his mother.”
As we read this story, we are reminded of the verse from God’s 
Word that says “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord 
looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7b. Also, Hebrews 4:13 says, “And 
there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and 
laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
Dear Heavenly Father, As we carefully examine our own hearts, help us to root out any selfish ways.  Through the many trials and weariness of motherhood, bless us with tender compassionate hearts, filled with Your love.  We ask for genuine, willing, self-sacrificing attitudes.  Refresh us daily, even hourly, with Thy Spirit, O Lord, that we might maintain a firm but gentle attitude as we teach and train our children, according to Your Word. We ask this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen
 
                Mary, The Mother of Jesus
                Samson’s Mother
                Sarah’s Handmaid, Hagar
Posted in Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Women, Women of the Bible | 1 Comment

A Strong Tower

Proverbs 18:10  “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”

 
      My dictionary describes the word tower as meaning: “a place or thing of security or defense; citadel; a fortress commanding a city; stronghold.”  Are you in need of a haven this day?  Do you need a place to hide from life’s problems, worries and frustrations?  Are you tempted seemingly “above that ye are able”  I Corinthians 10:13b and don’t know which way to turn? 
      Certainly we can find no strength within, for there is nothing but weakness within ourselves.  Our family and loved ones provide security but they, too, are overwhelmed with the day and are looking for a haven also.  Friends can offer fellowship at various times but their help is limited and unstable.
     But look ! ——off in the distance I can see a tall narrow structure——I believe it’s a tower.  It looks strong.   It looks like a place of security and safety.  I see some words on the Tower —“THE NAME OF THE LORD.”  Yes, this is where I need to go.  I will not walk, but run!  I am anxious and in great need.
     Here, at last, I am at the Tower.  I eagerly reach for the doorknob when I notice that over the door are the words.”The Righteous.”  Oh, this Tower is not for everyone for it says “The Righteous.”  The Bible says of us, “There is none righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10. But that does not stop me.  I quickly turn the knob, for I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is my Righteouness.  He has washed me, He has cleansed me, He has saved me by His sacrifice on the cross and my sins are covered under His blood, so I am righteous in Him.  Jesus is my Strong Tower, so I run to Him and am safe.  
 
Theme: The Better Way: Seeking Jesus Christ is Good:  Running to Jesus Christ as my Strong Tower is Better
 
Read also: Anchor of the Soul
Read also: Through the Flood
Read also: Strength For Today
Read also: Anchor of the Soul
Posted in Encouragement | 4 Comments

A Journey of God’s Faithfulness

Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the LORD.”

It was five years ago today, February 20, 2014 that my special Journey of God’s Faithfulness began. Being a rather healthy person, thoughts of any serious medical problems rarely entered my mind.

Then suddenly and without warning at the young age (what I consider young) of sixty-six, I had a brain bleed, a hemorrhagic stroke and I learned “How frail I am.” Psalm 39:4 It affected the right side of my body leaving me 90% helpless and numb, unlike some strokes which cause paralysis. Now starts the thanksgiving part. Unlike some strokes——-since all strokes are not the same and all strokes affect different parts of the body, I can thankfully say that my speech, swallowing and facial muscles were not affected. Psalm 63:3 “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”

During these past years I have felt God’s presence and peace carry me through therapies that taught me how to walk again, (God made our brains so they can learn a new path) a precious husband and family who stood faithfully by my side, lovingly caring for me, and a church family and friends who visited, provided food and prayed for us. Psalm 71:16 “ I will go in the strength of the Lord God.”

I have also seen God open doors for my husband and I to witness to others about Jesus Christ —-people that we would never have met otherwise. It’s such a joy to be used by the Lord. God’s plans are always good and right. Isaiah 58:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

And so on this special day, since God allowed me not only to live but restored me almost to my former health, I want to remember all His goodness, declare it to others and praise Him for all He has done and is doing in the lives of my husband and myself. Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
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