Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Fear covering

My last post was on Satan coming in under the cover of doubt to hinder you in your service of the Lord. But it can hinder every part of your life. Doubt, left unchecked opens the door for other terrorist activities such as fear.

First you are attacked by doubt: Should I really do this? Can I do this? What made me think that God wanted me to do this? While you are in that weakened state, fear comes in and the mind stops thinking rationally.

God has known this from the beginning and this is why you will see him in His word, encourage us not to be afraid. It was the first words spoken by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias the priest the day he came to tell him that his prayers for a child had been answered.

Fear not. Two simple words that are so very hard to obey. Yet Gabriel  repeated those words to everyone that God sent him to speak with concerning the birth of Christ and the events that were to precede it.

Today God tells us the same. Fear not. Maybe not through the visible presence of an angel, but through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who was sent to strengthen us and teach us of the Father.

Mary and Joseph were human beings just like you and I. They had no supernatural holy power of themselves that made it any easier for them to choose to obey the command to fear not. Yet they chose to take that first step of faith and trust God to be God.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will be able to trust the Holy Spirit and choose to "Fear not", to allow God to do wonderful things in your life. Mary and Joseph did. It is a conscious choice that must be made on a daily basis by everyone of us. 

May you have a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Under Cover of Doubt

You hear much about terrorist today. Everyone is uneasy, not sure what the future might hold. As Christians we are used to terrorist activity. Satan has used these tactics for a long long time. He comes in under many disguises. One of the most successful is the cover or disguise of doubt.

This one can be your greatest enemy because once inside, it will open the door for other enemies to come into your mind. That is your battlefield as one author so aptly put it. But doubt can only enter and grow if you allow it. It will make insinuations that there is nothing you can do about the situation. That you are helpless to the circumstances that surround you. Do not believe it. The Christian is never helpless unless he fails to call on the power of his heavenly Father. But Satan will try to make you think that you are.

How do you break free of this undercover terrorist? By using the weapons that God has given to you. The sword of truth, the Holy Bible, will cut away the disguise of Satan and will leave him open to the eye of faith.
Shine the light of God's word and the reasoning of a mind trained in the ways of God and Satan will not be so quick as to confront you head on with doubt. A word of caution here: he will not leave you entirely, but his power to harm will be greatly reduced once you see him for what he is.

Remember that the price of freedom from doubt is being always on the watch for it, and never allow it to take a hold in your mind. The scripture says for us not to 'give place' to the devil. Don't give him a place to work in your life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Undercover Enemy

I have been thinking more the past few months about terrorist, I am sure it is because of the extensive coverage that the national news media has been giving them lately. Although our Lord has commanded us not to fear man or what man can do to us, I admit that it is a little scary at times what could possibly happen in our country.
But I am reminded that I am not to dwell on what might happen any more than I am to dwell on what might have been. My Lord tells me to live today in the light of His word and to cast all my cares on Him. That is what I am learning to do -- day by day.

Since the spiritual and the physical are so intertwined in the Christians' life, the threat of physical terrorist, made me think of the spiritual terrorist that we fight on a daily basis. It is Satan and his demons that are constantly coming in under cover to kill and to steal. But just as the Lord tells me not to fear man, he tells me to trust Him with this battle as well. He helps me to identify some of the covers that Satan uses. In the next few blog post I thought I would share some of the things that I have been shown through the guidance of the Spirit and the Word. Identifying these will help us as mothers and wives to be able to teach our children the way to counteract spiritual terrorist in our homes, and in each of their lives.

This is so important in the perilous times that we live in. Our children need to know what the Bible says. Church is not just a building that we go to on Sunday--we are the living church. the body of Christ. We must teach them how to defend themselves. To do that we must know how ourselves. Join me on my next post for
The Cover of Doubt

God Bless

Monday, November 8, 2010

And ye shall know that I am the Lord

I’ve been sick with a cold for the past two days. Yesterday was the worst. I got out of bed only as long as it took to take a Thera-flu and get back to bed. Later in the day I started feeling somewhat better and decided to read. I chose the book of Ezekiel; I liked the sound of his name at the moment.

God comes to Ezekiel and chooses him to prophesy to the nation, about what is to come.

God makes it plain so there is no mistake as to why all this will be happening.
Rebellion; not only among the people, but among the priest and elders of the synagogues is why sickness, hunger, wars, and pestilence are slowly eroding away at the country. The end of all this was to be enslavement.

Rebellion: Not only were some of the priests and elders taking the matters of God into their own hands. Making decisions themselves without consulting God and waiting on his answers, but the people “in the chambers of his imagery” (meaning in their own minds) were saying
The Lord seeth us not: the Lord hath forsaken the earth. EZ. 8:12
In other words, God doesn’t care, I am left to myself to do what I feel is right.
They were in a sense, passing the buck; putting the blame for any sin they might commit onto God.

The word of God teaches that mankind making decisions solely on his/her own generally makes a mess of things. The consequences of those decisions that do not include God will result, in the long run, to troubles. Sometimes seen immediately, sometimes years later, but always seen.

God tells Ezekiel in essence that the people have chosen to go their own way; therefore he will let them deal with the problems they have created for themselves.
“and ye shall know that I am the Lord” This phrase follows each time God tells the consequences of their rebellion. BUT, he gives a promise. He makes a way, a provision for those who truly look to him and follow His commands.

In chapter 9 he calls the man from beside the altar, dressed in white linen carrying the ink horn. This man he commands to go through the people and place a mark on the foreheads of those who ‘cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst’. Those who are grieved for the sins that have been committed are set apart. This is the remnant from chapter 6 verse 8.

The man clothed in white linen is the man in the book of Revelation. He will write your name in the Lamb’s book of life as well.
Many of our leaders are telling us that there is no God. ("God does not see") They have taken things into their own hands are running our nation the way they think it should go. God has left us to the consequences of our sin.
BUT God gives you a promise:
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14
This promise is to each person;therefore the conditions must be met individually by each person who is grieved with the abominations that are happening around them, just as in Ezekiel's day.

Are you tired of rebelling; of trying to do things your way? Are you grieved for your nation? God has written an entire book to let you know how to travel through this world safely. Humble yourself.Read the Bible. Pray, and seek his face, talk to the Creator of the universe. Turn from your wicked ways and  trust Him to guide you in His way. If each of us does, then he will heal our land.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.
 Proverbs 6:23

Not too many people can see in the dark. Although some can see pretty well, I have seen others who couldn’t see anything in the dark. But one thing is certain: trying to do something without the proper light always makes the job harder to do; there are more chances of making mistakes.

The more light you have when doing a job, the easier it is to get the job done. When your light is limited it is much harder to tell, even after you have finished the job, whether or not it is done correctly.

King Solomon is letting you know in this verse that God’s truth acts like a light on your path of life. With that Light, the light of God’s word, you will be able to stay on the right path. There is less chance of falling, or going the wrong way.

Not to say that you will never make another mistake. There is the human factor to remember here as well. Meditating or thinking intently on the path and the word are called for as well as staying in the light.

Thinking will make walking that path a lot easier; the same as thinking about what you are doing when you are working in a lighted area will make the job go faster and smoother.

God supplies the Light and leads you in the right path; man/woman must supply the thoughtfulness to travel it well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The source of married strength

For those of you who are married or thinking of marriage, this is for you. the Bible gives a lot of scripture dealing with relationships between friends, enemies and married couples. If you have never did a study on these, it is never too early to start or too late for that matter.

My husband and I have been married for many years. We are an example of the proverbial 'opposites attract' theory. I was thinking about this the other day and I realized something that I had suspicioned before but never actually admitted to myself. He makes me stop and think. I am the type who comes up with plans for all sorts of things. Usually unless he is around to make me stop and think about exactly how I am going to to make this scheme happen I'll get about halfway and realize that I need to go back and re-think this thing.

He doesn't laugh at my schemes, or treat them with sarcasm, he takes them unconditionally. He doesn't immediately agree or disagree, but he never knocks the wind out of my sails. He just begins to listen, knodding his head occasionally. He's the thinker of the couple. He is the type of person who can take something apart, no matter how complicated and figure out what's wrong with it. Then given the right tools can fix and assemble it. It is a gift. One that I admittedly do not have.

 I am the risk taker, he is the steadying hand that makes the risk work. The two of us make one good person. Have you ever heard someone say that refering to their marriage? If you have, then you can know that this is what God intended marriage to be.  Genesis 2:24 says that a man and his wife shall be one flesh.

But let me take that one step further and say that those 'two as one' can never be truely complete unless each one separately has become one with Christ. When each of these 'two as one' have the mind of Christ, then they are truely complete. They are one mind as well as one flesh as the Bible describes. I think of this when I read the verses in Ecclesiates 9 through 12. But here I will quote just the 12th verse.
"And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken"

A two-fold cord is stronger than  one cord alone, but when you intertwine the third cord, then you have true strength. Have you the cord of Christ in your marriage?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Clean Heart

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10

This verse is my husbands' favorite. The verse is  part of a conversation King David had with God after Nathan the prophet pointed out David's sin with Bathsheba. You can find the entire story in  2 Samuel chapter 11 and 12. There in chapter 12 of 2 Samuel is something that to me, is a mystery, but is common to all people:  It wasn't that King David did not know that the adulterous affair with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband were sins--he knew it. The mystery to me is that somehow or other he had been able to justify what he had done in his own mind--that is until God sent Nathan to confront him with the truth in a way that he could not deny. At that time,Holy Spirit conviction struck David's heart, it was broken. There was no more justifcation for his sin. No more was he able to "make it right in his own mind." David went straight to God.

Just what was David confessing here? We know of the adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah, but there was something else here. Back up to Psalm 51:4. David admits:
"Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:"
He was confessing that he had also sinned against a holy, sovereign God. The One who had created him and by that very act of creation had the right to rule in his life.
The sin of justifying his sinful actions at the expense of God's sovereign right to rule in his life weighed David's heart down. He had once again put himself over God. This was why he begged God to create in him a clean  heart. He did not want this heart that always put itself above God; but he understood that only God could change it. Only God could scrub it clean of all unrighteousness and make it clean again.

You and I have the same problem King David had. We need cleansing from our sin. I'm not saying we need to be saved again. David knew, and we can know as well, that salvation is a one time transaction and it last forever. It is those sins after salvation that we commit and then try to justify: the ones that break our fellowship with a holy God, and steal our joy.The human part of us says,
"It's not that bad, others have done worse" or "I'll be extra good tomarrow":  I could leave a line blank and you could fill it in with your excuses for justifying your sin. You know what they are.
But just as David learned here, we must learn that justifying sin IS a sin! 

So what can we do? We must talk to God daily, and with a godly sorrow. What is godly sorrow? When we as David (2 Samuel 12:13), realize we have sinned against God. 
We repent of that sin, ask him,as The Creator, to take our dirty heart and create us a new, clean one. That is godly sorrow. You can also find an explaination and example in 2 Corinthians 7. 
When we come in this manner, God as a loving father, in his grace and understanding is willing to create us a clean heart.

Jesus died so that you could come for that cleansing; so that you could have that clean heart and the joy of God's salvation that comes with it daily. Don't throw away such a wonderful gift: the opportunity to live everyday with a clean heart and restored fellowship with your heavenly Father. This is one of the many blessings being a child of the true and living God offers everyone who comes to the God of the Bible. No other god, or system of belief in the past or future can promise you that: but not only does the God of the Bible promise it, He delivers it! To Him be the glory. Amen

Monday, September 13, 2010

Who to Follow?

God has a plan for all our lives; the Psalmist David said God knew us before we were formed in the womb. You may say, “But that was King David, he did great and mighty things for God!" Yes, he did, but in Isaiah you hear the same thing. In the book of Job, you hear the same thing. Elsewhere in the scripture you read that God is no respecter of persons. That means that he looks at one of us the same as he looks at all of us.

We Christians are His children: He doesn't play favorites. He wants us to trust Him completely with where his plan will take us. He wants us to trust Him to guide our steps

"For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our
Guide even unto death." Ps. 48:14

If you look up the word 'guide' in the dictionary you will find that it means 'one who shows the way' or 'one who goes before'. Again and again in scripture you can read that God goes before his people. He moves on our behalf. David in Psalm 71 says that even before he was born he relied on God. He depended on Him for safety and care. God never failed him. He tells of times when he (David) failed God, but God never failed him. This is how it is for all Christians. We may and do, fail God: but He is always there for us.

There is a catch, or condition--if you can call it that: God cannot lead someone who will not follow. We must be willing to follow where God leads. Paul tells us that if we are willing, that is all that is required.

"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not." 2 Corinthians 8:12

In this verse God lets us know that a willing mind is all He requires of us. He is great enough to supply all the rest. In order for you to follow, you must be able to recognize the guide. There will be times when Satan will try to put someone in your path for you to follow that is going to lead you the wrong way. You must be able to distinguish who is real and who is a deceiver. Also there are times in your life when you will want to take over the job and lead in a way that you feel is right for you. That can and will be costly for you and possibly lead others away as well. You must resist Satan and yourself and surrender to follow God in complete trust. This means spending time in God's Word getting to know Him personally and the methods He uses to lead.

In my youth I struggled with where I fit into God's plan. I listened and I watched other women. I wasted lots of time and energy as I tried to follow someone else. About the time I thought I had found my place, and I 'had this business of doing God's business down’, someone would tell me I was wrong--and have the scripture to prove it! I have learned after much frustration, that the problem was not them: it was me. I was trying to follow the wrong guide. I have learned since then to look to God’s Word first and learn how He leads.

Jesus tells each of us to "take my yoke upon you and learn of me." He has promised that if we search with all our hearts: meaning if we are truly sincere in our desire to learn of him, that he will teach us and guide us.

Many years have passed since that day God showed me that when I follow him, everything else falls away and the path is clear. Notice I said that the path is clear, not easy, to follow. There are some places along the way that to be honest,I have not wanted to follow, the path did not look safe, it looked like it led into trouble for me, but after I took that first step in faith, I found that I wasn’t on that path alone and God was closer in those places than at any other time.I just had to keep that conversation with him going to manuver the details of the rough spots.

Christ did not walk an easy path. Down through the ages, you can read of many Christians who saw God’s way clearly one step at a time, yet it was not an easy path: but the rewards of being surrendered to follow Christ are so great, words can’t describe them here. One of the greatest is peace. A deep sticking with you peace that no matter where that path leads, I am going to come through, and I am going to be OK.

I can stand today and point you not to me but to God: because God's plan for your life may not, and probably is not, the same as His plan for me. The basics of the Bible apply to all Christians. We are all to study His Word, we are all to come together to worship Him in Spirit and truth, we are all to obey His commands to raise our children in His Word, and we are all to reach out to a lost and dying world with the gospel of the saving power of Jesus Christ. Since each of our lives, personalities and the places we live and serve Him in are different, so are the paths He leads us in.

He is the true Guide, learn how He leads, and never stop following Him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


“For I have learned that whatsoever state I am in, to therewith be content.” Phil. 4:11

What is contentment? The dictionary says it means to be satisfied. Does that mean that we aren’t to try to better our life, or the circumstances that we live in? If our health is bad, or we are in danger of having bad health, are we to be satisfied with that?
The more I study in God’s word during my devotions, the more I realize the answer is no!

The fire department came up with a saying that helps children to remember what to do if for some reason their clothing catches on fire. And we used to teach it all the time to the young kids in school.

If your clothes are on fire: STOP DROP and ROLL

I came up with one for myself when I find myself in a situation that I don’t understand or don’t know how to handle.
Whatever circumstances I find myself in: STOP THINK AND LISTEN
Contentment is not just blindly accepting everything that comes at you.

For example:
If I go to the doctor and he tells me that I am looking at being a diabetic in the next few years if my health continues the way it is going, God doesn’t expect me to sit back and say:
It’s God’s will; I’ll just have to learn to live with it.
I need to:
STOP: I can trust that God has a plan for me that includes what is best for me.
The Bible itself tells me that God doesn’t want me to suffer.
THINK: Nothing happens to me that doesn’t go through His hand first.
I am not diabetic yet. There are changes I can make in my eating habits and in the way I exercise that will slow down that sickness, and sometimes even stop it from happening altogether.
LISTEN: To the guiding of the Holy Spirit as I pray and look for answers in my Bible daily AND listen to those who are experts in teaching how to balance blood sugars in the diet. Then start doing the things that I know to do.

When I listen to my doctor and learn how to change my eating habits and begin exercising daily, that helps my body to change the way that it processes those sugars and just might keep me from having to face that problem.

But if after I have done everything that I can do, I still develop diabetes, then I can be satisfied that this is God’s plan for me at this time. I will be content with where he has put me, whether I understand the reason or not. I am still in his hand. He has a reason for this to happen and he will work it for my good and his glory. There may be another diabetic who will look at my life, the way I care for my condition and learn to care for theirs. I do not and cannot even begin to comprehend the mind of God. This is where faith and trust come in.

The main point is that everything works together for my good, whether it be my physical, emotional, or spiritual good- and for the glory of God. Learning God’s plan for my life, and you can do that through study of His word; then doing all that I can to be the best that I can be for Him is one of the keys to living a life that is content in God.

What is contentment for a Christian? To be satisfied that God has sovereign control over all things, and that nothing comes to me that hasn’t been approved by Him as being something that will be good for me in some way. When I look at my life through the lens of faith, I can know a deep ‘sticking with me’ sense of contentment that non-Christians can never understand.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Rules the World

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14

This title is actually the title to a very old poem. There are four verses to the poem. Each verse is a lesson to the responsibility and power given a mother but I will use only the second one here.

“Infancy’s the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother’s first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow—
Grow on for the good or evil ,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.”

Have you heard the popular term that a child’s mind is like a sponge? This is what the author, William R. Wallace, is saying when he writes that infancy is a tender fountain. Then he explains to the mother that along with her beauty in the eyes of the child, she also has an awesome power. She is the first person to mold those thoughts (streamlets) in that child’s mind. From the time that the baby cries in the cradle and is picked up, the mother lets him know, “If I cry, then she will hold me and maybe I will get food.” Or the mother may speak to the baby and the child learns, “although I do not see or feel anyone, I am not alone” and is comforted. That is the good influence.

Then there is the other. The baby learns that if he cries he will be smacked or ignored. Then the mother teaches him fear, rebellion and loneliness.

How does ignoring or just smacking a child teach them that? Think about it a minute. If the child is crying there is a reason in the beginning. Whether they are hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable for what ever reason-wet, tired of lying in one position, feel alone. Those are all reasons a baby may cry outside of more serious problems.

If you ignore them, and you are out of sight, then they really think they are alone. They are lying there crying (I need help, my back itches) then all of a sudden –“Will you shut up!” They think: “What was that for? Maybe she’s coming.” Then when you don’t show up they start back calling you the only way they know how at the time. A shout and a whack from you on a regular basis will teach them that you are one that is to be feared sometimes. As they grow, rebellion begins to show it’s head as the cycle continues: I need, I fuss, she yells, I become persistant, she whacks me and does what I want. Then mom is fed up with me and tells me to go on and now I am alone, until I fuss again.

Good or evil, those first training sessions stay with a child all their life. That is what the author states in the fourth verse when he says that a woman has a divine mission to keep the young heart open to the breath of God. Because, the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.

Did you know you have that much power as a mother? Why do you think that Satan is working so hard to destroy the role of a mother in the home? He is not stupid. He knows the God-given power you have to train your children for the Lord. Training covers every part of a child’s life: not just to show him the promise of blessing from God, but the duties and the very real dangers that will come with his walk with God.

Using the Word, train him in how he is to travel through this life. Daily, as God tells you in Deuteronomy 6, fix in their mind until it becomes a part of their personality, the way that God wants them to live for him. Then lead them by example to practice it, so that they become skillful in God’s ways. Praying always for wisdom. When you do this, then you have obeyed your calling as a godly mother.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Looking Back

I just came home tonight from attending my 41st high school reunion. My goodness how the years have flown by! I had the opportunity to get reacquainted tonight with friends, some I had not seen since high school. Some live locally, some live miles away. Our paths have taken us down many different avenues. But as different as we all are now, we still have that common bond of schooldays that kept us talking for hours. We talked about the past, when we were all alot younger and hadn't learned what life was about, to the present sharing what and who our lives are centered on now.

God's family is sort of like that. No matter the different backgrounds we have, we all have that common bond of salvation. Of being adopted into the family of God. Because of that we can fellowship together. Sometimes speaking of the past and how God took us out of so many wrong lifestyles, of the present and our learning to live as one of his children, to the future, what a glorious future, when he comes to take us home to be with him forever. Now that is a reunion I am definitely looking forward to--how about you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Study of Forgiveness (final)

As I was breaking Hebrews 12: 15 apart, I noticed that Paul said “trouble you”. That root of bitterness will first and foremost trouble ME. Satan wants to trouble my soul with bitterness. Why? Satan is a smart enemy. He knows God and he knows me.

Satan knows that God is a jealous God who will not share His throne in my heart:

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me…” (Exodus 20:3-5).

Satan knows:

• My human weaknesses.

• that it is my nature to feel sorry for myself and when I do I take out every unforgiven hurt that others have committed against me look at them and think about them.

• unforgiveness left in my heart will soon gain strength and grow a root of bitterness that if not stopped will soon “root out” every other emotion and weave a wall between my heavenly Father and me.

I went to the book of Matthew and listened to the conversation between Jesus and Peter:
Then came Peter to him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Matt. 18: 21
Peter asked the Lord, “should I forgive someone for the same sin seven times?” I imagine Peter thought as I would have, that he was being very forgiving! You can imagine his surprise when Jesus told him not until seven times, but until seventy times seven. (Verse 22) That’s 480 times- For the same sin?! That’s an awful lot.

Why would Jesus say that? Jesus explained to Peter, to me, and to you in the verses that followed. (Remember the rule? “When you see the word ‘therefore’ always look back to see what it’s ‘there for’. “) Let’s look at the story Jesus tells us starting in verse 23:

In this earthly kingdom, it is time for the King to look over his finances. In studying the account book, he finds a person that owes him an enormous amount of money and hasn’t even begun to pay it back. In order to get back his investment, he orders the man, and everything he has to be sold, including his family.

When this person hears what is about to happen to him and his family, and that he will lose everything, he begs the King to give him time and he will come up with the money and will pay him.

After listening to the man’s plea for himself and his family, and his pledge to pay the debt, the King has pity on him. Not only does he tell the guards to turn the man loose, but he erases the man’s debt completely.

Can you imagine how this man must have felt, the weight that came off his shoulders when the King told him that he and his family were safe? They could keep their house, they could keep their car. (Using modern day transportation) They could now live debt-free, not having to worry about having too much month at the end of the money. He was on top of the world. He could do as he pleased with what he had. -- He had risen above the average servant; he was a man that owed no one.

Riding on this high he goes out and sees a man that owes him money, not much, but still he hasn’t paid it. He grabs the man up and starts demanding that he give him his money immediately. Well this poor guy doesn’t have any money on him. He pleads with him to be patient and he will get him the money. But he shows no mercy, he goes to the lawyers and has the man thrown in prison until the money is paid.

Meanwhile, some of the neighbors have seen everything that happened, and they think their neighbor has treated this man terrible. Soon word gets back to the King of what has been done. The King listened then called the person back in. Listen to what the King has to say:

“O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?”
Matt. 18:32-33

In other words: What are you thinking? You owed me far more than this man owed you, and when you asked me to give you time to pay, I showed you kindness and completely forgave all your debt. I took it as my loss so that you could be free of it. Don’t you think that you should have learned from this when you dealt with your fellow servant? Don’t you think that you should have had mercy on him the way that I showed mercy to you? Verse 34 tells the consequences of the lack of forgiveness on the servant’s part.

Then in verse 35 Jesus compares the story of the servant and the King to our relationship to God. Look closely at that relationship. Put yourself in the place of the first servant who owed a debt he could not pay. I did. I owed God a debt of sin; I had sinned against him from birth. At first I could not help it. I was born with a sinful nature. But as I grew older He began to show me that I could be different. When I came before Him, and He took the book and showed me just how large my debt had become and declared my payment, I pleaded with him for mercy and He was touched with compassion and took the loss Himself. He freed me forever of my debt that day. It was wonderful! He in His compassion saved me from my sin debt.

After you have thought about that, put the person that needs forgiveness from you in the place of the fellowservant who has a small debt that he has not paid. When others do me wrong, when they hurt me, I take everything into my hands and I deal with them the way that I think it should be. Jesus is telling me --and you that when others take something from us, whether it is material goods, or something as precious as joy and trust, that we should stop and think--remember when we took God’s sovereignty, his right to rule and reign in our life from Him. He showed mercy and forgave us. We are to go and do likewise.

Learn a lesson from not only the Old Testament story of Ahithophel, but also the New Testament parable of Jesus and forgive quickly so that the relationship with your King will not be broken, but will grow even stronger. The Apostle Paul built on Jesus’ teachings of forgiveness in his letter to the Ephesians.

"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:26, 27

These two verses are actually one complete thought. The colon (the two dots) are there to pretty much say, “Pay attention, I am going to give you a little more information so you can have a better understanding of what I am trying to get across.”

Paul is saying “I know you will get angry, that’s a natural emotion, BUT get it cleared up quickly.” Don’t hold onto that anger, don’t give the devil a place to get into your head and your relationships and start trouble.”

I found in 2 Corinthians that he is reminding this church of Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness. He knows that God wants his church to be strong, without spot or blemish and it cannot reach that goal unless it practices forgiveness. Verse 11 in 2 Corinthians chapter 2 ends a discussion on forgiving a brother in the church:

“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

How we forgive others, who have sinned or wronged or hurt us without a reason-- or even for a reason, not only has a direct relationship to how God forgives us, but it can affect our spiritual, physical and emotional health.
Think about that for a moment. How forgiving are you? Would you want to be forgiven by God the same as you forgive others who have hurt you?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lessons in Forgiveness Five

Here is the next in our series of lessons on forgiveness I hope that this study is helping you who read it as much as it is helping me for doing it. God Bless

By reading the story of Ahithophel and studying the scripture that goes with it I learned much about how my relationship with the Lord affects every part of my life: at work, within the church, and at home.
Because Ahithophel was not willing to forgive David and let God handle the judgement of the sin, he opened up the door for Satan to plant bitterness. Bitterness is what the writer of the book of Hebrews warns me against. I went back and looked up the verse to read:

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;   Hebrews 12:15

It is by the grace of God that I can do all things, so I am to always be on the lookout, watching my actions, my thoughts, my ways. Why? To prevent bitterness from coming into my life and taking the throne of my heart from the Lord.
It is from this verse I learned that it will not always be easy to spot bitterness in the beginning.  It is a root and roots remain hidden under something else.
  1.  It's something that may take time for me to spot unless I am constantly(diligently) looking for it. It's something that others may never see until it's in full flower. Sort of like the couple who are always so great together in public until one day you read of their divorce in the paper.
  2. If you compare it to a plant, as Paul did, bitterness grows best in dirt. The dirt of unforgiveness, lashing out at the person who has hurt you, whether it is directly to them, or spreading poison among others as Ahithophel did when he went to the camp of Absalom.
  3. It grows swiftly. Paul says "spring up" It doesn't take long for something to spring up. Weeds in a flower garden spring up over night, but the root for that weed was there before you saw the weed. It is the same with bitterness. By the time others see the effects of bitterness, you have been feeding it and thinking of it for awhile.
  4. It grows stronger as time goes by. The longer you refuse to forgive someone, the harder it will be to do. The hurt you feel, although a constant source of pain for you, will become calloused over as it grows, adding layer upon layer.
Think about the story for a minute. What caused Ahithophel's bitterness?When I looked at it from man's standpoint, I said immediately: King David was the cause, look what he did!
But if you look closer and think of it the way God sees it, and the way I came to understand it as I studied, you will soon see that it wasn't David's sin of adultery and murder,but Ahithophel's sin of unforgiveness that was the cause of his problem.

Am I reading too much into this? I don't think so and here is why. Ahithophel was not the only man who had been wronged and could have taken revenge. There was Eliam, Bathsheba's father. What was Eliams's reaction to what David had done? He chose to obey God and forgave the King. No big to do, no calling attention to himself, Eliam, Bathsheba's father simply chose to obey God's law of forgiveness. he chose to leave David in God's hands, to let God deal with it in his way and time. How do I know this? Eliam continued in the service of the King. He continued to be faithful and defend his King as a soldier. He did not join with the army of Absalom against David. Unlike Ahithophel, Eliam left no place for Satan to work in his life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lessons in Forgiveness Part Four

In my study of forgiveness, I have gone from Old Testament to New Testament and back again, looking for examples and answers to the questions that have been playing in my mind.

I learned that I can’t hide from being hurt. Hurts find a way of reaching even the most protected areas of my life. I do have options on how to handle those hurts though.
I went back to the example of Ahithophel and King David. Why, because both options are found in this story of David and Bathsheba.

What caused Ahithophels’ spiral downhill that ended with his taking his own life? If you read the story, you might at first say the same thing I did: David’s sin caused it.
You would be right, IF you are looking at it the way the natural unsaved man looks at it. The natural man looks for someone else to blame. And that is the way Ahithophel looked at it too. He took the first option that came to mind.
“If David had not had the affair with Bathsheba and had her husband killed, then I would not feel this anger! It’s David’s fault!”
He felt that David must pay for what he had done, and he was going to make sure that he did.

In other words Ahithophel became judge jury and executioner. He was not satisfied with allowing God to work. He was not willing to allow God to be God. He decided God moved too slow.
He did not want David forgiven, he wanted him dead. And he wanted it now! Not only that but he wanted the satisfaction of being the one to carry out the deed.

Because he was not willing to forgive David himself and let God deal with him, he opened up the door for Satan to plant bitterness. Bitterness is what the writer of the book of Hebrews warns me against.I went back and looked it up to read:

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Hebrews 12:15

It is by the grace of God that I can do all things, so I am to always be on the lookout, watching my actions, my thoughts, my ways to prevent bitterness from coming into my life and taking the throne of my heart from the Lord.
From this verse I also learned that it will not always be easy to spot bitterness in the beginning because it is a root and roots are hidden under something else.

1. It’s something that may take time for me to spot unless I am constantly (diligently) looking for it. It’s something that others may never see until it’s in full flower. Sort of like the couple who are always so great together in public until one day you read of their divorce in the paper.

2. If you compare it to a plant, as Paul did, bitterness grows the best in dirt. The dirt of unforgiveness, lashing out at the person that hurt you, whether it is directly to them, or spreading poison among others as Ahithophel did when he went to the camp of Absalom.

3. It grows swiftly. Paul says “spring up”. It doesn’t take long for something to spring up. Weeds in a flower garden spring up over night, but the root for that weed was there before you saw the weed. It is the same with bitterness. By the time others see the effects of bitterness, you have been feeding it and thinking of it for awhile.

4. It grows stronger as time goes by. The longer you refuse to forgive someone, the harder it will be to do. The hurt you feel, although a constant source of pain for you, will become calloused over as it grows. Adding layer upon layer.

But if you look at it the way God looks at it, and the way I came to understand it as I studied, you will soon see that it wasn’t David's sin of adultery and murder, but Ahithophels sin of unforgiveness that was the cause of Ahithophels problem.

Am I reading too much into this? I don’t think so and here is why. Ahithophel was not the only man that had been wronged and could have taken revenge. There was Eliam, his son, Bathsheba’s father. What was his reaction to what David had done? He chose to obey God and forgive the King. He chose to leave David in God’s hands. How do I know this? Eliam continued in the service of the King as a soldier. He did not join with the army of Absalom against David. Unlike Ahithophel, Eliam left no place for Satan to work.
If you go back to the verse in Hebrew above and read carefully you notice that Paul said "trouble you", that root of bitterness will first and formost trouble YOU. Satan is wanting to trouble your soul with bitterness.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Forgiveness Teaching Part 3

In Hebrews 12:15 of the New Testament, the Lord through Paul tells me to be careful, and watch myself.

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"

God knew that if I refused to forgive others when they hurt me or those I loved, that unforgiveness would harden within me, and wind up hurting me and others around me.

As I studied the teaching of forgiveness, I ran across some sermon notes that I had taken years ago. This preacher had used the story of King David and Ahithophel (A hith' a fel) to show the effect bitterness can have on me and those around me. It seems that Ahithophel was a court advisor and friend of King David. The King turned to him for advice when he had to make difficult decisions concerning the kingdom and its people. And David was wise to do so. Read what 2 Samuel 16:23 says about the man:

"And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counseled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God."

He was able to study a situation and decide the best course of action to be taken. But something happened between King David and Ahithophel that caused the man to despise the King> He used to work alongside David for the good of the kingdom. Why had he turned traitor and begun advising Absalom. David's son, who was trying to take over as King? If you chase down the references to whom Ahithophel was, and who his son was, you'll find the answer. Ahithophwel was Bathsheba's grandfather!

When King David fell into adultery and then ordered Uriah killed to try to cover his sin, he hurt more than just the man whose wife he took. The ripple effect of sin did it's work throughout the palace. David throughout his life had a heart that was tender to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That's why God loved him so much. When God sent Nathan the prophet to confront the King with his sin, David immediately went to God and confessed, then pleaded for forgiveness. Scripture shows that though there would be consequences he would have to face for that sin, God forgave him--but Ahithophel on the other hand did not.

The story of Ahithophel was not a pretty one. This man fell from having the position of honor in the King's palace, having God-given wisdom in performing his job, to betraying this country and plotting murder. The spirial down was a steep and fast one for him.
How does this apply to me? What do I do when someone hurts me? What if the hurt seems to be on purpose? How do I handle it? I made me stop and think.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


This is the second part of a series of post that will be on forgiveness and how important, not just important, but vital it is for all Christians to have a clear understanding of the teaching. I am hoping that it helps you as much as it has helped me.

Forgiveness Part 2
I understood why my spiritual eyes had to be opened and forgiveness for my sins was so important.

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18

I needed desperately to be brought out of the darkness that Satan had me in. Without the light of understanding I was constantly going the wrong way, stumbling, getting up and starting again; only to start in the wrong direction once more. I realized the wisdom of the Scripture:

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18

Step by step through the study of His Word, God is doing what He said He would do. He is leading me in the paths of righteousness. Giving me the light I need for the path I am on at this time.

I have wondered and questioned God many times why I am not able to see all that I feel that I should see. He answered that question by reminding me that when the children of Israel were crossing the wilderness, the pillar of fire at night (in the darkness) did not light up the entire desert, only the part they the part of the desert they were traveling on at the time.

As I grow in His Word, I begin to see things that I have not seen before, even though I had read and even memorized many of the verses. One of those scriptures is the familiar passage of what has been called: The Lord’s prayer”.

It is found in Matthew 6 and again in Luke 11. In verse 12 of Matthew 6 Jesus himself tells me to ask God to forgive my debts (sin), as I forgive my debtors (those who sin against me). Jesus is saying that I am to ask God to treat me in the same way when I sin against Him, that I treat those who do me wrong, or sin against me.

If you read the same passage in Luke 11, it is translated that I am asking God to forgive me of my sin for (because) I have forgiven everyone who is indebted to me (that means whether they said they were sorry or not!)

Because Luke wrote it in the present tense, using the verb ‘is’ instead of ‘has’, Luke is quoting Jesus as saying, "And forgive us our sins; (why?) for we also forgive everyone that is sinning against us.” The ‘why’ in italics is mine.

That was an eye opener! Why is my forgiving those who hurt me that important to God? Because after I become a child of His, the forgiveness I receive from Him depends to a degree on my actions toward others.

I have two disciples, writing about the same experience. Both disciples are testifying that Jesus gave them this prayer for a pattern so that when they pray they will be asking correctly so that their prayers will be answered. But as I studied, I found that this was not the only reason Jesus told them to pray this way. There is another very important reason that God commands us to forgive as He has forgiven us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My relationship with the Lord begins with His forgiveness for my sins; He forgave me of my sins before I ever committed the act of sin. His forgiveness was there during the kiss of betrayal Judas gave, during the trial with Pilate, during the public flogging and the ridicule and disgrace; during His heartbreak when one of His closest friends denied even knowing Him.

During the agony of the crucifixion Jesus forgave that lie I told my teacher in fourth grade. He forgave the rebellion I felt against my parents when I was a two year old and again when I was a teen. Jesus forgave me when I used others to get something I wanted, without thinking of how it would make them feel. Jesus forgave me of laziness, of self-centeredness and the list is far too long to continue.

Those were all symptoms, and He forgave each one. He also forgave me of the cause of all these symptoms which was putting me first before Him. He forgave me of placing myself above The God of all creation: even my own creation in my mother’s womb.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

When my spiritual eyes were opened and I realized I had committed the sin of molding myself into my god, and asked Him (Jesus) to forgive me; He then applied the forgiveness He had came and died for so long ago personally to my life. He took me under his wing and began to teach me a better way: His way.

“The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou are come to trust.” Ruth 2:12

When I am slow to learn, or just stubborn and refuse; He corrects me and patiently waits for me to understand and ask forgiveness. He always in His grace is there to apply forgiveness when I am willing to change the wrong behavior.

He began to instruct or teach me to “go and do likewise”. The more I study Jesus, and how He lived, the more important forgiveness stands forward in my relationship with Him: And my relationship with Him is the most important relationship I have.

Because He tells me to learn of Him, (take my yoke upon you) and I obey, I cannot help but know that He has placed a condition on my forgiveness.

His only condition was that I must turn away from my sin of self-worship and ask forgiveness. That was the day He saved my soul. Praise God! I am no longer an orphan without a permanent home. When He applied His forgiveness that day, He gave me a position in His family and a place in His home.

He forgave my sin, and He forgot it: He will never bring my sins, which I committed before my spiritual eyes were open, before me or Him anymore. The burden I carried for so long is forever gone. In the light of eternity, they are remembered no more, but I may still have to deal with the consequences of those forgiven sins.

David knew there were consequences for sin, even forgiven sin. Understanding this he said, after he came to God and repented,

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”
Psalm 51: 3

Verse 4 of the same chapter lets me know that David knew when all is said and done, all sin is against a holy God.

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:”
Psalm 51:4a

He acknowledged his sin and repented for it. David also told God that he realized He (God) would be justified with whatever correction He would hand down, and he (David) didn’t want God to find him trying to hide anything from an all knowing God. As you will read in the second part of verse four.

“”that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” Psalm 51:4b

David knew that God wanted to hear the truth from his own lips, although God already knew what David had done. Then in the verses that followed David pleads for mercy to be given along with the justice or the consequences he knew would come as a result of his sin.

The situation David is talking about here in Psalm 51 was something that David had brought upon himself. But there are times when people commit sins against me. Do the rules change? Jesus says, “No”. You can find His thoughts on this in Matthew chapter 18.

The rules are the same. God is no respecter of persons.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who to Follow?!

God has a plan for all our lives; the Psalmist David said God knew us before we were formed in the womb. You may say,"But that was King David, he did great and mighty things for God!" Yes, he did, but in Isaiah you hear the same thing. In the book of Job, you hear the same thing. Elsewhere in the scripture you read that God is no respecter of persons. That means that he looks at one of us the same as he looks at all of us.

We Christians are His children: He doesn't play favorites. He wants us to trust Him completely with where his plan will take us. He wants us to trust Him to guide our steps.

"For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our Guide even unto death." Ps. 48:14

If you look up the word 'guide' in the dictionary you will find that it means 'one who shows the way' or 'one who goes before'. Again and again in scripture you can read that God goes before his people. He moves on our behalf. David in Psalm 71 says that  even before he was born he relied on God. He depended on Him for safety and care. God never failed him. He tells of times when he (David) failed God, but God never failed him. this is how it is for all Christians. We may and do, fail God: but He is always there for us.

There is a catch, or condition--if you can call it that: God cannot lead someone who will not follow. We must be willing to follow where God leads. Paul tells us that if we are willing, that is all that is required.

 "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath,  and not according to that he hath not."  2 Corinthians 8:12

In this verse God lets us know that a willing mind is all He requires of us. He is great enough to supply all the rest. In order for you to follow, you must be able to recognise the guide. You must be able to distinguish who is real and who is a deceiver. This means spending time in God's Word getting to know Him personally and the methods He uses to lead.

In my youth I struggled with where I fit into God's plan. I listened and I watched other women. I wasted lots of time and energy as I tried to follow someone else. About the time I thought I had found my place, and I 'had this business of doing God's business down',someone would tell me I was wrong--and have the scripture to prove it! I have learned after much flustration, that the problem was not them, it was me. I was trying to follow the wrong guide. I have learned since then to look to God first and learn how He leads.

Jesus tells us all to "take my yoke upon you and learn of me" Many years have passed since that day God showed me that when I follow him, everything else falls away and the path is clear. I can stand today and point you not to me but to God: because God's plan for your life may not , and probably is not the same, as His plan for me. He is the true Guide, learn how He leads, and never stop following Him.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Holiness: Your Top Priority

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” I Peter 1:15

   References: ICR. 6:19-20; John 14; GN. 24; I.CR.7:23; I PT.1:13-18

Not too many Christians think of themselves as holy. Yet in I Peter 1:15, God commands you that you are to be holy. Why? Because God is Holy and you ,as his child, are to identify or be like him. Remember back when you were a kid and recess came? Everyone would gather in a circle and two would be chosen as team captains, then the captains would start choosing who they wanted to play on their team. As each one was chosen, he would move to line up alongside of his captain: he was identifying with his captain and other teammates. This is what God expects you to do when he chooses you.

This is a daily challenge not just for you, but for every one of God’s children.

In the New Testament the book of 1st Corinthians, Paul was explaining to the new believers in Corinth how the church was to live. This is for the church today to know as well. Things had changed from the Old Testament time when the people were under the law. Under the law, animal sacrifices were to be brought to the temple where God’s Spirit met with a priest. The priest took the animals and offered them to God as a sacrifice for the peoples’ sins. Now that is no longer required Paul says. There is a better way.

Look at what Paul asks in I Ch. 6:19:

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” I CR. 6: 19

Paul tells you that the Holy Spirit is now inside of the believer. What caused this change? When you asked Jesus to forgive your sin and save you; you became part of the family of God. You accepted the final price or sacrifice which Jesus, your High Priest, made for you which was His death on the cross.

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I CR. 6:20

As a young child reaches for something that they do not need, you that are parents or caretakers of children will try to replace that with something that the child does need and can safely handle. The Holy Spirit works within you to offer you the good things the Father has for you. Those experiences God has in store for you will be good for you in contrast to those desires that you have that may hurt you.

Jesus paid for your soul by his death on the cross. In Romans chapter 12, Paul says it is only reasonable that you be a living sacrifice now that you belong to God. What he means is that you should sacrifice everyday your desires, and replace them with what God desires to give you. As you do this your thoughts will start to come more and more in line with Gods’ thoughts and you will become holy, more like Christ.

“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Rm. 12:1

Today, the temple of God is not a building, it is your body. You are a part of the living church. God, in the person of the Holy Spirit lives in you. Just before He ascended into Heaven to take his place at the right hand of the Father as your High Priest, Jesus told his disciples just who the Holy Spirit is and why he would be living within the believer. The Apostle John recorded it in the gospel of John chapter 14.

In John 14: 16-17:

“I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

In verse 19 of that same chapter in John, Christ reaffirms His love for all believers when He says he will not leave us comfortless. He isn’t going to leave you as an orphan. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is living within you, as close as he can get.

That Comforter, sent to live in you will teach you all things, and bring to your memory when you need them the things that you have already learned from Him. (John 14:26) He is there to protect and guide you. How? It is through knowing, believing, and applying the truth of the Bible, surrender your will (desires) for His. God expects you, as his child to learn of His ways.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29

How can you do that? There is only one way and that’s through the example of Jesus. Jesus came to earth, he was tempted and tried in all the same areas as you and I are everyday, but he did not sin. What was the secret? What was the key? It is no secret. Jesus lived daily to do the will of the Father.

To be able to do that he had to study the Word of God. He was familiar with every part of the Word of God. He memorized parts of the Old Testament so that he might be able to use it to resist the devil in time of temptation. In the book of 1st John, the apostle tells you plainly that if you say that Jesus lives within your heart then you should act like Him.

“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.(talking about Jesus here)
1 John 2: 6

Then Jesus himself, in the gospel of John tells you:

“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”
John 13:16

He was speaking about your attitude toward one another in that verse.
When you choose to become God’s child, you come under the protection of the Almighty. He tells you that no weapon against you will prosper. You have the privilege of being called the sons of God, and a home reserved in Heaven for you, but you also have the responsibility to obey the command to come and line up beside Him and your other brothers so all people will be able to identify which side you are on.

 “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:15)

He knows you can’t do this on your own, but God is merciful and loving. That is why He has sent the Holy Spirit to give you 24 hour access to His strength. He is there, living in you to comfort, strengthen, teach and guide you. As you learn more and more of God’s way and surrender your desires for His, you will become more and more like Jesus: The Holy One. You can win: over your selfish wants and Satan’s pressure. You have His promise. Paul says:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phillipians 4:13

When you listen and surrender your desires and your ways to His desire and His way, you are becoming a person that is holy, and therefore acceptable for God to use.

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Informed Choice

Did you know there is a difference between your own selfish desires and being tempted by Satan? You were born with a nature that just naturally wants to do what “feels good”. For example: Satan doesn’t have to tempt you to lie in bed in the mornings when you should be up getting ready to go to work. We are all naturally lazy.

It is human nature to want to do the things that you enjoy-- just as it is human nature to not want to do those things that you don’t like to do. This rule of man’s nature applies to everyone: men, women and children.
It is when you make a conscious effort to change that old nature that Satan begins to have problems with you. It’s when you make a commitment to God as a Christian that you are willing for Him to work in your life to point out changes that are needed to make you holy like His Son that Satan takes notice of you and views you as a threat to his plan.

What is Satan’s ‘plan’? In Isaiah 14 you are told his plan. You are told his name:Lucifer. This was his name before he became the ‘evil one’ or Satan. His plan is the same as it always has been from the time he decided to stage a rebellion in Heaven and take over the throne of God.

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14

This chapter also tells you that Satan or Lucifer weakens the nations. How does he weaken the nations? He does this by weakening the people and rulers living in those nations. When a person is weakened, either through selfishness or other sins, it keeps you from achieving the plan that God has for you. Oh yes, God has a plan for you as well. As the sovereign Creator of all the earth and everything that is in it, God’s plan was that man would be someone whom He could fellowship with: have conversation, spend time with and enjoy. That is still His plan. Unlike Satan’s plan which is to kill steal and destroy everyone and all that he can while he can; God’s plan is for your good and His glory.

The choice is yours. The path is not always easy, but when you choose God’s way, you have the promise of His protection. God is trustworthy. He always keeps His promises.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Steps to Trust

In our day to day lives, sometimes it seems as though every thing that we are taught to believe about the God of heaven, His goodness, His care for us, and His love for us is challenged. The circumstances, the things happening around us and to us are too overpowering.

Still God tells us to trust Him. Easier said than done. There has to be a starting point to trust. It is a concious choice that must be made by every individual .Trusting is not easy. There are times when we choose to put our trust in a person, and we are disappointed. With many people, they give up on trusting anyone because one person disappointed or misused their trust. God will not disappoint. You can trust God to always love you unconditionally. Even if you choose to ignore him, his love for you is there.

You can trust God to provide for you. You have air to breath, without it you could not live. He sends the rain, He orders the seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. He provides the resources for you to be able to live. All of these things the Lord provides to everyone because of His love for all mankind. Because He is the Creator, the One who created all things and all people and created them to live forever, God also has provided for your eternal home. He would like for you to choose to live with Him for eternity in the place that He built for you.
When you choose to trust Him as your Saviour, the Lord is faithful to provide food, clothing, and shelter for you. He cares for all people, but those who trust him as their personal Lord and Saviour He cares for as his own children.
Once part of His family,you will learn that He can be trusted to meet every need in your life.
if you choose to ignore God then He will still provide the air, the seasons, the resources you need to make a living, because He still loves His creation no matter how the creation treats Him. But you will have a life that is missing the greater fulfillment that it could have. When you die from this earth you will still live eternally, but not in the place God built for you with Him. You will live in a place that he had to create later for those who chose not to be with Him.

This place was originally created for an angel named Satan who chose not to live with God. Since Satan did not have the power of God, and would never be able to do the things that God could do, he wanted God to give him His home, His place as God, and His rights as the Creator of all things. Satan talked other angels into coming together with him to fight against God in His home. God had no choice but to make them leave His home. So He created them a place that they one day would have to live in. Separate from God and His home. Since only God is good, there is no good thing in Satan's home. Since God is light, there is no light in Satan's home. Since Satan chooses to ruin the lives of the people God created and loves, God has no choice but to punish him when the time comes. This place that has been created for Satan and his angels is where he will be punished for all eternity.

These are the only two places for the eternal souls of people to live once they leave this earth. The choice is up to each individual today. Where would you rather live? If you want God to care for you as one of His children and then take you to His home once you leave this earth, then ask Him. He is listening.

God Bless,

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Gift of Trust

Have you ever met a person who is suspicious of the motives of everyone? No matter what is said, or done, they are always looking for ulterior motives. -"The reason behind the reason that someone is doing something for them". It is a terrible way to have to live. I have known a few people in my life that are like that. They are never happy. They are haunted by the idea that somewhere they will be ambushed to 'pay back' that kindness that was done to them. Or that they are being 'set up' somehow. These people are the ones who wind up with physical illnesses like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, problems with the digestive system. All having to do with 'stress'. And stress is just the result of worry.

Now I do admit that in today's world you do have to watch those around you,  not everyone is your friend or wanting to be your friend. But, there is a point when watchfulness turns to constant worry, and that is where the Christian falls into sin. Jesus said for us to cast all our cares(worries) on him, why? because he is the one who is caring for us. He wants us to take all our worries and suspicions to him so that he can first of all, give us direction on whether or not those suspicions  and worries are real, and then if we will turn loose of them, he will show us how to handle them. If the problem isn't something we can handle ourselves, then he steps in and does it for us. Whether it is to give us knowledge and strength to do it ourselves, or find another way to remove the problem or worry, Christ is always there to care for us. If as a Christian , you could just grasp that one truth of scripture your life would change dramatically.

You can trust the Lord! Even when you have no one else to go to: Jesus is there for you. Remember today to take that problem first to Jesus. don't let Satan blind you to where your help comes from.
"Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil."Proverbs 3:5,6,7

Have a blessed(not stressed) day,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Highways and By ways

Traveling back and forth to a ministry opportunity one summer the Lord showed me some things about my spiritual journey through this life. The commute I made was about 100 miles round trip to a little church out in the country. I had my directions and was constantly checking to make sure I was staying on the right road. As I became used to the way, I stop using the directions feeling confident that I could find my own way.

One morning I was listening to the radio, thinking about other things, when I realized that nothing seemed familiar. Had I made a wrong turn? Was I going the wrong way? You can imagine my relief when just ahead I saw a familiar landmark. Getting my bearings on where I was, I calmed down immediately and arrived safely to my destination.

I find many times I do the same thing in my spiritual journey. The Bible says that I as a Christian, am not a part of this world. I’m just sojourning (traveling) through it. Although the comparison isn’t used much any more, the Bible has been compared to a roadmap that can keep me headed in the right direction in life.

There are times when I take my mind off where I am going that I get confused, and just as in my driving-- my spiritual life has a panic attack! I can’t see anything that seems familiar to me! It’s then that God will send a piece of a scripture verse to me, or the verse of a song, that I have heard, or a brother in Christ to encourage me. My spiritual nerves calm down and I know that I am headed right.

Traveling that summer I began to think about the roadmap comparison more and more. There is one area that has a series of 4-way stops that you come upon suddenly after driving for miles without even a house to break the monotony. The highway department has gone in at one crossing and set up warnings. You will see the warnings painted in large letters that even glow in the dark. As I came up on the huge “STOP AHEAD” lettering stretched all the way across my lane I wondered how many times God had painted those same letters for me in my life and in my day dreaming way I went straight through them and into some major spiritual wreck! If I would only heed his warnings and listen to his assurances, how much better my life would be.

One afternoon coming home, I was praying for our church and the pastor that would be chosen to lead it, when I realized I had driven past my road. I had to find a bridge that I could turn around on and go back to my road. I had wasted my time and my gas by not paying attention.

In that incident the Lord showed me that as a Christian, I can be guilty of the same thing spiritually. I can get so involved with the ‘ministry’ that I can totally miss an opportunity to “minister”. That person I pass going into church who always sits alone or the girl at lunch that looks so tired, and sad as I take out my Christian book to read. How many times have I wasted my time and my energy being busy in the ministry, and yet missed the opportunity to minister?

Lord help me to be aware of those around me everyday as I travel this road for you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Season 4: Winter

As we continue our study in Ecclesiastes chapter three, the final season is winter. During the final days of fall, the brilliant colors have gone and the leaves now have fallen away. The season of bearing abundant fruit is ended.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;” 
  Ecclesiastes 3:1,2

As the seasons change, the ‘sap’ or the life-blood of the plant begins to drop down lower and lower coming to rest during the winter in the plants’ root system. The top part of the plant, the part that can be seen, is left exposed for the necessary inspection and pruning of the branches. The old and dying growth is taken out by the farmer, to make room for the new growth in the spring. Meanwhile down in the root system of the plant the sap is stored, safely adding to and keeping the roots of the plant firmly secure.

It is during this first winter that the plant will either live or die; it all depends on the root system it has developed during those first three seasons of its life. So plants that have not developed the proper root system that is needed for the sap to do its’ work will die. Then as the farmer walks his field he will pull up the dead plant and toss it to the side to make room for another live one.

I have seen some plants that were planted on good ground: dug around, fertilized and watered that still never made it through the winter. And then there are others that I would think could not possibly live, that cling stubbornly to the rocks and come back year after year. What makes the difference? The answer can only be found within the plant itself.

It is the same with life. The wintertime of life or old age, is when all pretense has fallen away and the true character of the person is revealed for all to see. It is during this time of life that you can look back into your past and see your successes and your failures. To all that pass by, there may not seem to be that much activity going on. The body and the mind are working slower now; just as with the plant you read about earlier; the ‘sap’ or energy for life has been re-routed. The primary concern is maintaining the foundation, and keeping it secure.

To a Christian the main concern should be to make sure that the faith given to you holds firmly to the promise of the ‘farmer’ or ‘The Lord of the Harvest” who has told you he will return for you. Meanwhile you go about the business of continuing to study His Word, reaching out to others when possible. Time grows short.

Some Christians in this stage of life will only be able to cling to Jesus, the rock of their salvation; remaining steadfast until He comes for them: like the example of the tree stubbornly clinging to the rocks. Other Christians will be able to reach out and gain new understandings as they have more time to meditate on His Word.

To the Christian who has lived her seasons wisely in this life; knowing that this earth is only the journey and heaven is the destination you can be comforted and encouraged during this time.

There are facts that each Christian can be sure of.
The first fact is not one that any of us like to be reminded of: You can be sure that you will die from this earth, but only God knows the when.
You can be sure it will be at the time He has set and not before.
You can be sure you will die in peace, being able to say with the songwriter of old, “it is well with my soul”.
And finally, you can be sure you will die in victory! As the apostle Paul said “to die is gain”(Phillipians 1:21)

That is why he encourages you not to be sorrowful as others who have no hope. (1 Thess. 4:13) You may be sown in corruption, but you will be raised in incorruption. You may be placed in the ground in death but just as the seed in the ground is very much alive and being prepared for its’ entrance into this world: your Spirit is still very much active and alive, waiting for when Christ, the Lord of the Harvest will raise you again on the resurrection morning for your entrance into Heaven to begin your new life in your new body with Him.

God Bless,


Monday, March 8, 2010

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Season 3 - the Fall of our Lives

To me Fall is a beautiful time of year. Living here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountians the colors this time of year can be spectacular.  I say can be: because the color of the leaves in fall depend on many of the conditions of the summer.Those conditions affect not only the colors of the leaves, but the fruit that comes from those trees and bushes as well.

 If there has been too little or too much rain, the colors are not as brilliant and the fruits can be few or not have good flavor or texture. Too much heat can bring problems to the fruit the tree bears and even affect the  condition of the tree. So you could say that the experiences and bounty of the fall depend greatly on what happens during the summer.

And so it is with the fall of your life. You hardly notice that you may be getting a little slower in your steps, there is so much still to do. You look around and your children are making their own decisions and starting into their own careers, their own schooling or their own families. This is the time when you will begin to see some of the fruits of your labor- for good or bad.

There are many verses in the Bible that teach of the sowing and reaping process, or for those not familiar with farming terms, God tells us that it is a fact of nature that if you plant corn,you can expect corn to come up. If you plant onions, you can be sure you won't be gathering roses from them,and that the amount of effort a person puts into their farming- how well you watch over and care for your crops- will determine what the outcome or the harvest will be.
"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully." Galatians 6:7
 Although throughout the summer of your life you may have planted, or made decisions, about some things and you had an immediate harvest, or result;  the fall of life will be where the major harvest time begins for you.
This is the time when you will be able to see if you wisely put enough time and effort into the things that matter in life, or wasted that time on those things that do not.

 If you continue reading that passage in Galations on harvest time, you will see that God follows it with a warning in verse eight:
"Be not decieved; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

It is in the next verse that He explains just what it is that he is talking about so there is no mistake. He tells you that if you live your life, thinking solely of yourself and how it will benefit you:  living  "in the moment" as I heard it called by a teenage unwed mother, then you will reap the harvest of your thoughtlessness. And ,as with this teenage girl, it always will affect more than just you. It will affect those around you as well. Her decision 'of the moment' affects a mother whose dreams for her daughter are drastically changed forever, there are the relationships of friends and family that change.The girl herself will change forever: whether she decides to have the baby and take on the responsibility of caring for it; or whether she decides to listen to the modern day teachings of abortion that promises to free her from the cares of responsibility, but fail to tell her of the high cost of guilt and loss that come with it.
Even if she decides to keep the child and raise it herself in love, she has a child that does not have the stablizing effect of a father in the home. Everyone loses something. It is the law of the harvest when you sow sparingly without thinking of the outcome.

Then later in verse 10 Jesus gives you a promise. In this promise He is speaking from the wisdom of experience. He is telling you that He knows life is not easy. He knows that making good sound decisions is hard at times and you may just want to run and hide from the responsibilities of the "summer". That is why verse 10 is so important:
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

Did you catch that?  'In due season'  God is saying: Yes, I know all this work is hard, and there are times you will not feel like going on. I have been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. (to put it in modern vernacular)
When I was in the garden of Gethsemane I was so tired! My strength was gone, I knew I had the hardest part ahead of me, and I needed help. I could not do it on my on, I turned to my heavenly Father for help and He gave me the strength to finish the work. I could have walked away right there, I could have said: "this is too hard", but I looked down the road to the harvest time and saw my reward. I saw you, and God gave me strength to continue. He'll do the same for you.
 Ask for help to continue to have the strength to work that field you have chosen, and God who is the "Lord of the harvest"(Matt. 9:38) will answer you.
The fall season of your life will be a more secure time if you remember the laws of harvest; and include the One who knows best as your councellor and guide.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Season 2 The Summer of our Lives

Those beautiful warm and sunny days when the sun is out longer than any other time of the year! Spring with its planting and growing times and rain has wound down. You can begin to see the tiny promise of fruit coming on the trees just behind those spring flowers. The sunshine tends to make you forget the cloudy times the rains came in spring and if you aren't careful you can be lulled into thinking that the good times of summer will last forever.

And so it is with our 'summertime' of life. Whether you are a young Christian teen facing the reality of the adult world of responsibility, or maybe you've never been given the advantage of growing up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; either way that first step into adulthood can be a real pleasure and a shock!
It’s like the first heat wave of summer. You've been looking forward to it for so long, and then when it finally gets here--the heat feels good, until the sunburn comes.

The excitement of knowing that you can go your own way, that magical age of ‘21’ myth, and then the shock as you find that your way really does hold consequences that you don’t always want to face.
But you are here, there is no going back to spring, or childhood, the summer of adulthood must be faced. Do you jump headlong into it or do you look for and listen to someone wiser to be your guide? Proverbs chapters three and four are devoted to counseling a young person as they step into this new area of life. It is a chapter that needs to be read again and again as you face the decisions that will come.The summer of your life is a time of choices and decisions, both of which will now be up to you.

Do you choose to continue your education, or do you go straight into the workforce? Do you plan to marry that sweetheart and start a family, or do you choose to remain single and go after a career dream? Verses 5 and 6 of proverbs chapter three are wise counsel for any age. “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.”

Go to the Lord first and lay the choices in front of Him. Remember that He has made you for a purpose, and He knows you better than you do yourself.

He will never counsel you to attend a college or start a job that is going to put you in the middle of something that will stop you from doing what he made you for.

If you choose a family He will never counsel you to put others ahead of the needs of your family, even if it is ministry related.

If you choose a career He will never counsel you to pursue it to the point that it comes ahead of your time with Him.

Many times as young people reach this age, they break ties to their childhood and go to others, many times those of their own age for advice as to how to do things. When you read the Word of God, you will see that almost every time a person goes to 'friends' for advice, they get into trouble, unless that advice from  the friend starts with asking the Lord first. This is why Solomon asks the question:

“And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” Proverbs 5:20

Since many of these words are not used today in the sense Solomon is speaking here, I decided to use the dictionary to find the meaning of the verse.

Did you know that the definition of the word ravish in this verse means "to be grabbed hold of and carried off" ?

The word embrace here means to receive gladly or eagerly, to accept willingly,
and finally the word bosom as Solomon uses it here means the center of feelings or emotions.

Since the word woman can mean either a man or woman in this case let’s look at what
Solomon is saying in modern language.He is asking the question:

“Why will you, my son, go to a stranger and willingly allow them to carry you away from truth with their ideas and emotions.”

He is warning you to stick with the Lord and His teachings. They are never out of date, and they will help you through every decision that you will be faced with. Always put your choices before the Lord in prayer and ask Him which his plan is for you, search His word for His thoughts on how He wants you to live your life.

He gives very specific instructions for education, for marriage and families, and for careers. That is why it is so important for you to know what the Bible says.

Remember: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7

There is so much more he wants to teach and give you after you have met and accepted him. And He will teach you step by step if you will submit to listen and study and follow Him.

God Bless,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Season1 'Spring'

When I think of the word seasons, my mind automatically pulls up memories of spring flowers, or summer picnics, brightly colored leaves from the fall or intricate feathery branches of tall hardwoods left bare of their leaves by the first frosty breath of winter. That is one definition for the word.

In God's Word I find another definition. It is far more personal. It applies not just to my life, but to everyone who has ever lived. Every person's life has season's or specific times that they go through.
The science of how people learn, or 'childhood development' has proved this through research: but it wasn't anything new.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived understood this many years ago, and through the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes he explained it to us. In these next few post, I want to explore the four seasons the Bible speaks of. The first of these seasons I named 'spring' just as the first of the yearly seasons.
Because the yearly season of spring is when most everything is new and just starting to grow, it is also a vurnerable time. Young plants can be easily stunted or deformed by too hot or too cold temperatures,lack of proper food and water. It is the same with the spring season of a person's life as well. Solomon speaks of this in his book of proverbs.

A proverb is a wise saying that sums up a truth in a sentence or two. The following is a well know proverb that has taken a lot of grief in this century:

"Foolishness is bound (or tied) in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."   Proverbs 22:15   

Solomon is letting parents know that during the "season" of childhood it is normal for a child to  be: a) selfish, b) willful, c) unthinking or in a word- "foolish".  Then in the very next sentence he teaches the parent how to change that behaviour- " the rod of correction shall drive it far from him(her)."

Most of the time when you hear this verse quoted, it is used to justify spanking a child. Spanking has it's place in the correction of a child, but that is when other possibilities to correct have been exausted.
The key word in this verse is "correction." Correction is the companion of teaching. Think about yourself for a moment. In school, learning a new concept, or on the job, learning a new procedure that will be necessary for you to do your work. When you don't understand, when you don't "get it the first time" they don't beat you do they?
No, the teacher or trainer shows you the mistake you made, and goes over the procedure with you again, giving you the opportunity to correct your mistake. Once you understand, once you can do this on your own, then it is required of you. If it isn't done once you learn it, then you will be held accountable for it.
Some children, just as their adult counterparts will know and understand the rules but will choose to rebel against them. This is when stronger measures should be taken.
When he speaks of 'driving' foolishness away from a child, he is letting you know that training  will be a constant job. If you have ever tried to drive any type of foolish animal like ducks or chickens then you know that it can be very hard. They want to go everywhere but where you are trying to put them, even if what you are doing is the best thing for them. They must be taught what is right and acceptable.

It is the same with children. I know I will be going against the popular teaching of the day but  the truth is children are not born knowing to do good. They must be taught. Thus Solomon in another of his proverbs tells parents to:
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
 Proverbs 22:6
At the same time there is also to be balance in training a child just as there is to be balance in nature. Too much of any one thing is not good. Work and study should be balanced with fun and relaxation.

Childhood is a "season of preparation" for becoming an adult.

In my next blog we will explore the next "season of our lives".

God Bless you,