Songs of Thanksgiving

The Bible has several special Songs of Thanksgiving (along with the many in Psalms.)  May your spirits will be uplifted as you share and identify with Moses, Hannah, David, and Mary as they give praise to our Great God.

 
Moses’ Song of Thanksgiving takes place just after the Children of Israel cross the Red Sea safely on dry ground and the Egyptians who followed them are drowned:  Exodus 15:1-21  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+15%3A1-21&version=ESV
 
 
Hannah’s sang her Song of Thanksgiving after she carried Samuel to the temple to fulfill her vow (I Samuel 1:11) to dedicate her son to the Lord. I Samuel 2:1-10:  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+2%3A1-10&version=ESV
 
David sang a Song of Thanksgiving after he was delivered from the hand of his enemies and from Saul:  ll Samuel  22:2-51
 
Mary sang a Song of Thanksgiving after she was told she would become the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ: Luke 1:46-55
 
The Better Way: A Heart Full Of Thanksgiving In All Circumstances Is The Only Way
 
Read also: Thankful To God

Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for Women, Thankfulness | 6 Comments

Take Heed During This Christmas Season

Luke 12:15 “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

This Christmas season as we focus on Jesus Christ and His amazing gift of laying aside His glory and coming to this earth in human form (the Incarnation) in order to die on the cross to pay our sin debt and rose from the dead that we might have the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life, let us “take heed.”

Take heed that our love of giving to others (which is not necessarily a bad thing) does not consume us and cause us to overspend and put ourselves into debt.

Take heed that we do not indulge our children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren with all their desires which once fulfilled do not truly satisfy anyway.  Ephesians 2:3 “fulfilling the desire of the flesh.”

Take heed that we realize that the self-indulgent desire for money, only results in discontentment which is sin.

Take heed that the treasure of our heart is not with material things.  Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34

Take heed that the sparkles and shiny lights do not make us discontent with what we have.  Hebrews 13:5 “Be content with such things as ye have.”

Take heed to remember that covetousness is idolatry.  I John 5:21 “keep yourselves from idols.”  Colossians 3:5 “covetousness, which is idolatry.”

Take heed that when Christmas is over, our focus should still be on Christ and “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10

The Better Way: Let Us Be Very Careful That We Take Heed Where The Desires of Our Hearts Lay

Posted in Christmas, Encouragement, Guidance | 6 Comments

Thankful Praise 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.

 Chorus: 

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.

Chorus

 

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.

Chorus

 

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.

Chorus

 

    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 Assurance, Encouragement, Thankfulness | Tagged | 2 Comments

A Thankful Heart

Colossians 2:7b  “In everything give thanks.”
   

     Today, I want to share with you a story that has proved to be an encouragement to me.  It is one of those stories, that once I heard it, I have never forgotten it, and I have applied its teaching often in my own life.

      Once there was a certain Christian man who had a spirit of depression come over him.  This feeling disturbed him very much and he struggled to overcome it.  First he gave himself to serious Bible study, reading many words of comfort and hope in the Scriptures, seeking to find relief from the dark cloud that hung over him.  These did bring some help, but he still felt a certain burden.
 Next he tried committing himself to fervent prayer and that, too, gave him some hope, but still the downcast feeling remained.  As the man pondered what to do he went about his daily work, continuing to seek the Lord for help.  It wasn’t long until one day he walked into a store to shop.  Finding the items he needed, he walked to the counter to pay for his purchases.  On the wall behind the checkout counter was a large sign with the words “TRY THANKSGIVING” on it.  He was startled as he stared at the sign and pondered this thought to himself.  Yes, I’ll “TRY THANKSGIVING,” he said to himself.  
Soon he was lifting up his heart in gratitude to God.  As he did, thoughts of himself and his problems and his burden soon faded into the background AND the dark cloud that hung over him gradually floated away and disappeared into thin air.
     God’s Word has many encouraging verses, exhorting us to be thankful:
 Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise, be thankful unto Him and bless His name.”
 
Psalm 92:1a  “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.”
Psalm 119:62a  “At midnight, I will rise to give thanks unto Thee.”
 
     What are some things you have to be thankful for?  This will vary for all of us, but taking just a few moments for reflection, many many thoughts will come to our minds.  Let us be thankful together !
 
Psalm 68:10  “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits.”
I Corinthians 15;57  “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
II Corinthians 9:15  “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.”
 
I Chronicles 16: 34  “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”
 
See also: “Thankful To God”  
 
Theme: The Better Way: Bible Reading and Prayer are Good: Bible Reading and Prayer with Thanksgiving are Better
Posted in Encouragement, Thankfulness | 7 Comments

A Biblical Marriage

 Song of Solomon 8:7 “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”
Mark 10:9 “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man separate.”

 
      My husband and I celebrated 52 years of marriage last November.  As I sit and reflect over the past 52 years, I am amazed and so filled with thanksgiving at God’s gracious orchestration of our lives: He brought us together and He has kept us together, and I give Him all the praise, honor and glory.
     How are strong lasting marriages full of love built?  God’s Word sets forth Biblical principles for a marriage.  First we will look at some of the instructions for a husband and then some of the instructions for a wife.
 
Husbands:
1. Adam’s great love for Eve shows forth in his expression,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Genesis 2:23
2. Then God says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
3. Solomon expresses his love and encouragement when he says, “Live joyfully with the wife whom you love.” Ecclesiastes. 9:9
4. Paul exhorts the Ephesian husbands when he says, “For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ also is head of the church.  Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.” Ephesians 5:23,25
5. Paul again instructs the Ephesians, ” Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.” Ephesians 5:28
6. This time Paul is writing to the married men in Colosse, “Husbands love your wives and do not be embittered against them.” Colossians 3:19
7. Peter, one of the twelve apostles, who was also married, gives some serious instructions: “You husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman, and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”  I Peter 3:7
 
Wives: 
1. In Genesis, God made Eve “a helper suitable for” Adam.
 Genesis 2:20.
2. Also in Genesis 2:23, Adam said “She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”.
3. The Psalmist says,  “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house.” Psalm 128:3
3. Solomon gives encouragement to wives, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” Proverbs 12:4
4. Again Solomon describes a wife to be desired, “A prudent wife is from the Lord.” Proverbs 19:14
5. Solomon tells us about an excellent wife, “The heart of her husband trusts in her.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12
6. Paul also has instructions for wives, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:23
6. Again, Paul writes, “The wife must see to it that she reverence (respects) her husband.”  Ephesians 5:33.
7. Paul writes to Titus with these words, wives are to “love their husbands.” Titus 2:4

8.  I Peter 3:4-6  Let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

As we read these instructions from God’s Word, it’s so encouraging to think about God’s wonderful plan for a marriage.

     First, He placed Jesus Christ as the Head of Man

     Second, He placed man as the head of the woman.

    Then he placed the man and woman as head of the children. “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.”  Colossians 3:20
   
      Along with these instructions, remember to always be ready to say “I’m sorry.” Psalm 38:18 “I will be sorry for my sin.”  And always be ready to “forgive.” “Just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (forgive) Colossians 3:13. Then lastly “Forget.”  Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”  If God removes and forgives our sins, and He does, then who are we to remember them.  The peace that comes with all this is immeasurable .
 
Theme: The Better Way: Marriage is Good: A Biblical Marriage is Better
 
Read also: The Unnamed Woman
 
     
Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for Husbands, Guidance for Wives, Marriage | 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 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

God’s Positive Answers

     God is sufficient for all our needs. Today I want to share with you a handy little chart of God’s Positive Answers that you can print out to keep in your Bible, your billfold or hang on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror, or perhaps make a bookmark out of it for yourself or make several bookmarks to share with others.  
 
 
You say:  It’s impossible
God says: All things are possible…
Luke 18:27
 
You say: I’m too tired
God says: I will give you rest
Matthew 11:28-30
 
You say: Nobody really loves me
God says: I love you
John 3:16 and John 3:34
 
You say: I can’t go on
God says: My grace is sufficient
II Corinthians 12:9 and Psalm 91:15
 
You say: I can’t figure things out
God says: I will direct your steps
Proverbs 3:5-6
 
You say: I can’t do it
God says: You can do all things…
Philippians 4:13
 
You say: I”m not able
God says: I am able
Ii Corinthians 9:8
 
You say: It’s not worth it
God says: It will be worth it
Romans 8:28
 
You say: I can’t forgive myself
God says: I forgive you
I John 1:9 and Romans 8:1
 
You say: I can’t manage
God says: I will supply all your needs
Philippians 4:19
 
You say: I’m afraid
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
II Timothy 1:7
 
You say: I’m always worried and frustrated
God says: Cast all your cares on Me
I Peter 5:7
 
You say: I feel all alone
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
Hebrews 13:5
 
You say: I’m not smart enough
God says: I will give you wisdom
I Corinthians 1:30
 
The Better Way: Listening To What God Says In His Word Instead Of Our Own Thoughts Is Always The Better Way
 
Read also: Pressing Forward
 
Posted in Encouragement | 2 Comments

Victory In Battle

Genesis 3:19a “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”

I Timothy 6:12a “Fight the good fight of faith.”

 
Today I’m using two Scripture verses to encompass one thought, which is summed up in the following saying:
“Without labor no man can come to rest;
Without battle no man can come to victory,
And the greater the battle, the greater the victory.”
  (copied)
 
God always intended for man to work.  Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”   Tend means to look after, watch over and care for.  But after Adam sinned, God drove him out of the Garden and said he would now toil with sweat in order to eat.  Toil means hard continuous work, exhausting labor, exertion and travail.  Since then our work has not been as pleasant as before.  Yes, labor is necessary and good and as the poem states it brings rest.  You have worked hard all day and accomplished much.  Your body is weary and cries out for a place to lie down.  Oh, what a blessing to stretch out on a soft comfortable bed and close your eyes and sleep.  God’s word confirms this in Ecclesiastes 5:12a where it says, “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much.”
Now let’s look at the second half of the poem and compare it to our second Scripture verse.  Timothy tells each Christian, each born-again, blood-washed saint to “fight the good fight of faith.”  Once we’re saved, life’s battles are just beginning.  It is then that the world, the flesh and the devil are our staunch enemies.  The main difference between the battles of life before we are saved and the battles of life after we are saved is that we now have the “armour of God” ) to put on. (Ephesians 6:11) We are not floundering around helpless on our own, facing failure on every hand; now we have the “girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:14-17.
Oh, yes, the battles are great and the battles are fierce, but with each one comes stronger faith, more knowledge of the Scriptures, more boldness, more trust and more breaking of our sinful nature.  If the battles were not great, we would have little regard for them and learn little.  But since our battles against sin, the flesh, and the devil are great, what a great and glorious victory we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Theme: The Better Way: With Jesus Christ Our Labor Brings Rest And Our Battles Bring Victory
 
Read also: Living Victoriously  
Read also: Through the Flood
Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for Women | 3 Comments

A Woman of Virtue

Ruth 3:11  “For all the city of my people know that thou art a virtuous woman.”

 
     This devotion is in honor of a faithful servant of the Lord, my mother-in-law, my other mother, (for she was truly a mother to me), who passed away in December of 2010, from this earthly realm to be in the presence of her Lord after 94 years.  “To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” II Corinthians 5:8.  She had so many wonderful godly qualities that I would like to share some of them with you, so that her example can be a pattern for our lives to follow.
 
1. She was never ashamed to speak freely and boldly about her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  In fact, God used my mother-in-law in a very influential way in my coming to Christ.
2. She was very faithful to study her Bible and pray and set that example for all of us. She loved the King James Version of the Bible, so all the quotes in this devotion are from that version. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” II Timothy 2:15. 
3. She was a great teacher–not a school teacher–but a teacher of her family and other women.  “She openeth her mouth with wisdom.”  Proverbs 31:26
4.She was a hard worker, industrious, and always busy.
“She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31;27
5.She was kind and considerate, and always thinking of others.  “In her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26
6. She had a big heart, always helping others and loved to give.  “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”  Proverbs 31:20
7. She was thrifty and prudent, and wisely cared for her household.  “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”  Proverbs 31:13
8.  She was a wonderful cook and shared her gift of hospitality with many preachers who ate at her table.  She was aware of the favorite dishes of each child and always tried to prepare what they liked.  She “giveth meat to her household.”  Proverbs 31:15
9. She was fun.  Our family lived across the road from Mamaw and Papa for 10 years and we shared many happy times together.  “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” Proverbs 15:13.
10. She endured trials and hardships, always trusting in the Lord. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” II Timothy 2:3
11. She loved music and loved to sing and taught her children to love music also. Even in her 90’s she was a witness for the Lord through singing.  “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” Psalm 104:35
12. She loved to tell stories from her childhood and while we were enjoying the story, we usually learned an important lesson about life.
13. She was a woman of high moral character.  She was steadfast and solid in what she believed.  She knew right from wrong and was going to do what was right.  “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
14. She was always looking for the Lord’s return.  “I’m looking for my Lord.”  “Unto them that look for Him shall He appear.” Hebrews 9:28
 
      I learned so much from my dear mother-in-law about how to be a mother-in-law and grandmother by watching how she treated me and our children and for that I will always be grateful.   I will also always be grateful for the Christian heritage she passed on to my husband, then he passed it on to our children and they are passing it on to their children.  It gives us a sense of belonging to something bigger than our own little world, and a desire to live up to this heritage with dignity as we honor and glorify God.
 
The Better Way: Let Us Learn and Follow After Those Mother’s Who Have Faithfully Gone Before Us
 
                  Hannah, Full of Grace
                  Eve: The First Mother
                  The Obedient Unnamed Mother
 
Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Women | 8 Comments

“Wherever He Leads I’ll Go”

“Take up thy cross and follow Me,” I heard my Master say;

I gave My life to ransom thee, Surrender your all today.”
Wherever He leads I’ll go, Wherever He leads I’ll go,
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I’ll go.

He drew me closer to His side, I sought His will to know,
And in that will I now abide, Wherever He leads I’ll go.
Wherever He leads I’ll go, Wherever He leads I’ll go,
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I’ll go.

It may be thru’ the shadows dim, Or o’er the stormy sea,
I take my cross and follow Him, Wherever He leadeth me.
Wherever He leads I’ll go, Wherever He leads I’ll go,
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I’ll go.

My heart, my life, my all I bring To Christ who loves me so;
he is my Master, Lord, and King, Wherever He leads I’ll go.
Wherever He leads I’ll go, Wherever He leads I’ll go,
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I’ll go.

 
by B.B. McKinney
 
 

 

 In January of 1936, the Christian songwriter B.B. McKinney was leading the music at the Alabama Sunday School Convention which was held that year in Clanton. The featured speaker was Rev. R.S. Jones, McKinney’s friend of many years who, because of ill health, had recently returned from missionary service in Brazil.
The two men were visiting over dinner one evening when Mr. Jones revealed to Dr. McKinney that his physicians were not going to allow him to return to South America. When asked about his future plans the missionary said, “I don’t know, but wherever He leads I’ll go.”
The words stuck in Dr. McKinney’s mind. Before the convention’s evening session, he had written both the words and music of this song. At the close of Rev. Jones’ message, Dr. McKinney related this story and sang “Wherever He leads I’ll go” to the congregation”
The Better Way: Following Jesus Christ Is The Only Way To True Peace and Joy And Fulfillment
Read also: Trust In The Lord
Read also: Surrendering Our Will
 

 

Posted in Encouragement, Godly Living | 3 Comments

“Open Thy Mouth Wide”

“Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10b

As I watched these newly hatched baby birds, I smiled and thought of the verse quoted above.  That verse has always been such an encouragement to me in my prayer life, because I knew I could bring many many prayer requests to the Lord and He would graciously hear and answer each one according to His Will.  ” For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:9
But something else happened as I began studying and referencing this verse.  I found that opening my mouth wide did not only mean “asking,” but also meant “giving.”  Giving what?  Let’s see what God’s Word says:
Psalm 107: 1 “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness.”
Psalm 107:22b Tell of His works with joyful singing.”
Psalm 108:1b “Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good.”
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord.”
Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Psalm 44:8 “In God we have boasted all day long.”
Psalm 34:9 “O fear the Lord, you His saints, For to those who fear Him there is no want.”
It’s obvious that first and foremost, with our mouths wide open we should be praising, thanking, delighting, tasting, blessing, boasting (in God), fearing (with reverence and awe), joyfully singing, and telling others about our Mighty God.  For when we do these things, our hearts are uplifted and our wills are conformed to the will of our Sovereign God and Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is then that we are made humble and submissive and our spirit gently yields to God’s answer to our prayers and our mouths are filled as His Word says!
 
The Better Way: Glorifying God With All Our Hearts Should Be Our First Desire
 
Read Also:  When You Pray
Posted in Encouragement, Godly Living, Prayer, Thankfulness | 8 Comments

Freedom In Jesus Christ

     As we celebrate our country’s freedom, let us rejoice even more in the freedom we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
John 8: 32 “And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”
 
II Corinthians 3:17  “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
 
John 8:36  “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
 
Romans 6:18 “Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness.”
 
Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
 
    We are not free to live in sin but to live in holiness and righteousness according to God’s Word. 
 
     If you do not know this type of freedom, then come to Jesus Christ today in repentance and faith.  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”  Acts 16:31
 
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

 The Peace, Joy, Victory And Freedom In Jesus Christ Is Much More Precious And Has Eternal Consequences

 We are not free to live in sin but to live in holiness and righteousness according to God’s Word. 

 

 

 
Read Also:  Living Victoriously
Read also:  Rising Up Again
 
Posted in Encouragement, Godly Living, Spiritual Dryness | 1 Comment

Bible Encouragement For Fathers

Proverbs 23:24 “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.”
 

 

What does God’s Word have to say to father’s?  The following verses give some clear concise instruction:

To Teach

Deuteronomy 6:7

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 4:9

 

“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

Isaiah 38:19

A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.

                                                          To Train

Proverbs 22:6

 

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

To Provide

2 Corinthians 12:14

 

Children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

1 Timothy 5:8

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

To Nurture and Love

Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

To Discipline and Control

1 Timothy 3:4

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.

 Proverbs 29:17

 Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.

Examples of Godly Fathers:

Job prays for his children Job 1:5

When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Joshua’s commitment, Joshua 24:15

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Abraham’s faithfulness, Genesis 18:19

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. 

David’s charge to Solomon, 1 Kings 2:1-3

 

As David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying,  “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man.  Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies,according to what is written in the Law of Moses.”

Zacharias Godly example, Luke 1:6

They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.

 If your heart’s desire is to be a good father, to follow God’s plan and will for raising your children, then don’t be discouraged over your failures.  Children know when you are sincere; they know if you love them or not; they know if your motives are selfish or not, and they overlook and rise above it all.
 Remember: I Corinthians 16:13-14
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
 
The Better Way: Following God’s Instructions for Raising Children Is The Better Way
 
Teach your children Bible verses through song:
 

Read also: Training Children

Read AlsoA Biblical Marriage 

 

 

 



Posted in Building Our Homes, Godly Living, Raising Children | 1 Comment

A Letter To A Father From His Son

For This I Am Proud of You 

 
The Lord Jesus said we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
This I have seen with my childhood family on our knees around an old footrest.
This I have seen as I rode to work with you in your pickup truck many summer mornings
This I have been blessed to see in numerous Bible studies since Katrina.
You have held dear this greatest of commandments in too many ways to mention here.
Daddy, I am proud of you for this.
 
The Lord Jesus said we are to love others.
This I have seen in your friendliness and honest desires to connect with all people.
This I have seen in your sincere strivings to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.”
This I have been blessed to see my entire life in your empathy for the elderly.
Your have held dear this second greatest commandment in so many other ways.
Daddy, I am proud of you for this.
 
A Psalm asks, “Who can find a faithful man?”
This I have seen my whole life in your commitment to God, Country and Family.
This I have been blessed to see in your persistent actions as well as heard in your consistent words.
This I have seen in you as a dependable and reliable construction worker (has to be a rare find),
     your constant & unfailing dedication to family and your steady & unswerving desire to do right.
For this your faithfulness, reliability, and trustworthiness, I am proud of you.
Daddy, you are that faithful man.
 
A Proverb encourages a man to walk in integrity.
This I have seen in the method you taught us to accurately weigh a bushel of purple hull peas.
This I have seen (and I believe the example very fitting) in your careful and meticulous craftsmanship.
This I have seen more clearly than most because integrity in little things is not usually seen by the world.
For this your integrity, sincerity and uprightness of heart, I am proud of you.
Daddy, I am sure the Lord will say, “Well done.”
 
The Lord requires much of those who are given much.
I have received so much in the example of a true father, that my only option is to beg for mercy.
Because of unpleasant experiences, many people cannot associate God’s love with a father’s love.
I have never had this problem.
This fantastic mixture of consistent firmness and immense compassion, I have seen in you.
For this, I am proud of you.
 
With all love and respect, Carlos Jr to my dad, Carlos Sr


Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for Fathers, Raising Children | 1 Comment

Godliness With Contentment

Haggai 1:6-7  “Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink, ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.”

 
     Amazing, isn’t it, how relevant these words are for us today?  Yet think how many years ago they were written.  Just look around at people today, they are striving, striving, striving and yet they want more, more, more.  The more they have, the more they want.  There never is a time when they are satisfied or content.  Our materialistic age even has many many Christians caught up in its web.  God’s Word tells us in I Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”  Also, Hebrews 13:5a gives us the following instructions, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have.”
   Now read the devotional Scripture verse for today again.  We can learn another lesson from it: a lesson that is portrayed so vividly and in such figurative language.  Here we picture a man eagerly putting a large handful of coins into a bag.  He has worked hard throughout the week for those coins.  Much effort, time and sweat has been expended for his gain.  He continues saving each week for a while; carefully putting the coins in the bag.  One day he sits down to count his coins.  His heart is merry and he happily envisions the great sum he must now have accumulated.  But alas, when the bag is opened, there are but a few coins!  What has happened to all his work and effort?  Why are there not more coins?  Surely he put more in the bag?  Carefully he examines the bag hoping that somehow he will discover his coins.  But to his utter disappointment he finds holes!  Holes!  The coins have slipped through the holes in the bottom of the bag and are gone.
     Hard work is necessary and commanded by God’s Word, (“if any would not work, neither should he eat,”  II Thessalonians 3:10) but such is the outcome of our efforts when we put too much value on the coins themselves.  How many of us have the paycheck spent even before we get it?  How many of us spend more than we make?  The harder we work, the more quickly the money disappears and it’s like a vicious cycle that never ends. We can earn much but it will never be enough if we are not content and satisfied with what the Lord provides.  God will supply the coins needed, at the time we need them.  Like the manna—-it was on the ground each morning.  Kept manna spoiled— likewise, coveted earthly things spoil and do not bring contentment.  God will give enough for our daily need as we trust Him.  And when we wait on the Lord, and ask Him to bless our work; when we are careful and content with what the Lord gives us; He’ll make a little go a long way. God will supply our need ! 
 
The Better Way: Trusting In The Lord With Contentment Is the Best Way
 
Read also: Joy in Work
Read also:  Joy In Purpose
Posted in Encouragement, Godly Living, Guidance, Guidance for Women | 3 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

Two Faithful Women

Exodus 1:17 “But the midwives feared God.”

 
A few years ago I embarked on a two year journey to read through the Bible again. Traveling from Genesis into Exodus, two names  suddenly appeared on the printed page—two names recorded no where else in the Bible, two obscure names, two names of women.  How important are these two women who have their names written in God’s Word?
Further study reveals Shiphrah and Puah were midwives, women who assisted in the birth of the babies of the Hebrew women. Most likely they were older women and the representatives of their profession.  During their time in Egypt, the Children of Israel grew greatly in number and strength and Pharaoh felt threatened and became fearful.   In an attempt to curtail their growth he ordered the midwives to kill all Hebrew boys at birth.  Instead of being the ones who were looked up to for their skill and were trusted to take great care in seeing that the lives of these babies were preserved, they were suddenly thrusted into the position of being executioners, deceitful and untrustworthy.  These two women who “feared God,” refused to obey such a law. They reverenced God and obeyed Him rather than man. Exodus 1:17. “They obviously understood that children were a gift from God and that murder was wrong.” (John MacArthur) Like the apostles in Acts 5:29 who said, “We must obey God rather than men,” these midwives had the courage to stand alone and do what was right. 
Shiphrah and Puah were ordinary women who devoutly did their humble job, and yet they were used of God to preserve and save a nation that the King of Egypt desired to suppress.  Do you have a desire to serve God?  Whatever role God has given you to perform in this life, do it faithfully and obediently with love and care and God will bless.  In fact, as we read on in the story, we see where it says that God looked favorably on the midwives.  Exodus 1:20 says, “Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives,” and verse 21 says, “Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them.”  God built them up into families, blessed their children, and prospered them in what they did.  
What a wonderful example these two midwives are to us to be obedient.  God’s Word tells us in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”  Again God’s Word says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:17  Enjoy your work, finding pleasure in it as you honor God and are used for His purpose. 
 
The Better Way: Working Is Good: Working And Honoring Jesus Christ In All You Do Is The Better Way
 
 

 

Posted in Godly Living, Guidance for Women, Women of the Bible | 2 Comments

Hannah, Full of Grace

I Samuel 1:2 “The name of one was Hannah.”  

 As we study the women of the Bible, we are drawn to I Samuel, and a woman named Hannah, who exemplifies many attributes of a wife and mother that we should try to follow and a woman who was greatly used by God.
We first find, that she was in a situation that we know nothing about and a position that I would never want to be in—-she was one of two wives of a man named Elkanah.  Involved in this circumstance we learn she had an advantage—-her husband loved her best, and a disadvantage—-she had no children, “for the Lord had closed her womb.” I Samuel 1:5.   But as we travel through the story, we see that the Lord, in His wisdom, was working out His great and marvelous plan to raise up a great prophet, and was using this humble woman to bring about His purpose.  You see, Hannah was “greatly distressed and wept bitterly”, I Samuel 1:10, because she had no children and to make matters worse her “rival would provoke her bitterly to irritate her.” I Samuel 1:6
But Hannah did what all of us should always do in our distress—she prayed and sought the Lord.  Brought to her lowest point in life, she made a vow no loving mother could make under normal circumstances. ” O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…” I Sam 1:11.  This is exactly according to God’s plan: for Hannah to be brought to such agony of soul that she might make such a extraordinary vow in order to raise up the prophet Samuel to lead the people of Israel.
After Samuel was born, Hannah was a dedicated mother, diligently teaching him about the Lord, nurturing and implanting in him the Scriptures, during those first three years of his life until he was weaned. Oh how she must have savored every moment with her beloved son. Then fulfilling her vow, she carried him to the temple and “dedicated him to the Lord.”  I Samuel 1:28.  But instead of weeping and crying over leaving Samuel, she sang a song of thanksgiving, I Samuel 2:1-10 rejoicing and exalting the Lord, giving God all the glory . I know you will enjoy reading these verses for yourself.  Later, Hannah was rewarded by the Lord for her faithfulness in carrying out her vow, for God graciously gave her five more children.
As a wife, Hannah exemplifies trustworthiness, for her husband safely trusted in her and honored the vow she had made, saying “Do what seems best to you…..only may the Lord confirm His word.” I Samuel 1:23.   Let us prayerfully and carefully desire to follow Hannah’s example, that we too, may be used of the Lord for His honor and glory.
 
The Better Way: Being A Humble, Prayerful, Dedicated, Thankful, Faithful, Trustworthy Wife and Mother is the Better Way
 
                    Eve: The First Mother
Teach your children Scripture songs through this link: http://www.thbmm.com/scripture-songs.html
Posted in Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Wives, Raising Children, Women of the Bible | 7 Comments

Life-Giving Sound

I Corinthians 14:7-8  “And even things without life giving sound whether pipe or harp except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?  For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

 
     Music is a great part of our lives.  There are many many different types of music and an endless variety of combinations of sounds.  I don’t think that anyone could ever say that there are no new songs to be written, for there will always be a new combination of notes and instruments that can be composed into a song.  One reason for this fact is that each instrument has its own distinct sound.  Some time in the past I attended an orchestra performance and became keenly aware of how important each individual instrument was to the combined sound.  Even though there were many violins to create fullness, perhaps there was only one flute, or one piccolo, or one harp or oboe.  But when it came time for that one instrument to play, no other instrument could have taken it’s place.  Why?  Because that instrument had a distinct sound that was needed at that moment that no other instrument could make.
     In our Bible verse for today, Paul is pointing out that even an instrument that is “without life” gives out a distinct sound: that if a trumpet (which has no life) did not sound forth its own unique tone no one would know when to go forth to the battle.  Now compare this to us who are not dead; who have life, who live and breathe.  What kind of sound do we make?  What kind of witness are we for the Lord?  A pastor we once knew said, “When you witness do not give an uncertain sound—-give a certain (true) sound by word and action.”  Our words concerning the Lord Jesus Christ are to be distinct— not vague, clear— not hazy, positive— not uncertain; or “how shall it be known what is piped or harped?”   How shall others know what we believe or perhaps even IF we believe if we are not certain ourselves?  
     First of all, let us be certain that we do know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Then once we are His child, we need to richly fill our hearts and lives with the Word of God so that the sound of our witness and of our lives will be so distinct that as the trumpet sends forth the battle cry, so our words and actions will sound forth the love of God to a lost and dying world.
 
Theme: The Better Way: Speaking About God is Good, Sounding Forth the Love of God is Better
 
See also:  Pressing Forward
     
Posted in Encouragement, Godly Living, Guidance, Spiritual Dryness | 2 Comments