Thursday, March 3, 2016

Why A Mother's Obedience Matters





“I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.” Psalm 119:30

No one obeys God perfectly. We make the choice to obey even though we are imperfect, flowing out of a heart that desires to obey because we love God. This is why we have Jesus perfect sacrifice.  Often obedience to God is seen as optional because Jesus somehow negated the need for obedience because we have his forgiveness. This is not so! Our obedience to God can affect our children and our children’s children---it can change the generations of our family. A mother’s obedience matters! “But he said, Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28

Obedience is good for us. God is a loving father; He has laid out His plans for us and wants us to obey so that we can be in a right relationship with Him. Obedience brings peace to our hearts. We are no longer following our own faulty way but God’s way. We want our children to obey us because we have their best interest at heart. God is a perfect father and has our best interest at heart. “This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!” Jeremiah 7:23

God needs mothers who are willing to obey Him, no matter the cost. It will cost us our very life. We have to lay it down, and pick up the cross. We will walk imperfectly, but with a heart that longs to obey. We can follow after God no matter what our station in life! Somehow as mother’s we often fall prey to the enemy's lies that we must wait for a greater calling to come in order to start obeying. Mothering and having the heart of a mother is seen as nothing great today. And yet it is the very means God uses to grow us up and remove the muck surrounding our hearts. “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21

It is so important as mother’s to study God’s word. In order to lead our children to Him we must know and be guided by His truth and wisdom. More than ever in today’s world God needs mother’s willing to focus on growing (with God’s help) the children He has given us. This looks mostly like everyday life. It is the laundry and the Dr appointments and the daily grind of life, but interwoven are talks, stories, songs, Bible verses and conversation. It is not hours and hours of sermons to our children, but a daily “sermon” that is lived out and built week by week, month by month and year by year. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

The small steps of obedience and faithfulness matter. Our small steps may influence our children to live a life of obedience to God, which may influence our grandchildren. When we obey God, who has the greatest plans for us, we can achieve our full potential. Just remember this may not look like achieving the world’s idea of potential! The smallest step of obedience, washing clothes or wiping tears or trying our best another day through the exhaustion, trials and ups and downs of life are the small steps God desires. Those steps just don’t always look large enough to us. They don’t smell like progress to our noses that are used to the grand smells of success.

This obedience to God doesn’t come with the world’s bells and whistles. There were no large crowds in a stadium cheering for Jesus when he died on the cross. Humans just don’t naturally cheer for self sacrifice, we are not even inclined to it. Obedience will even be painful at times, yet a depth of peace that this world cannot know, the hidden joy of the heart obeying God, and a lasting eternal fruit will begin to blossom in even the hardest heart.  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

We cannot see with our eyes through the mundane how God will grow us into the woman He has plans for, yet in our small offerings of faithfulness He sanctifies us and matures us, and purifies us in the fire of wisdom and truth.

God needs “grown up” mothers willing to be wise enough to simply rely on Him with a childlike faith, like the holy women of old.  Miriam, Ruth, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Mary, all faithful, trusting and obedient to God’s call. Simply following the ways of God and not deeming it a worthy cause to entangle themselves with the complications and trends of the culture. They simply walked with God and obeyed and left the outcome to Him. We need to model ourselves after God’s examples of women, throw away our petty childishness and be willing to walk as mature, wise women.

Sometimes there is fear in taking the first steps of obedience, as if God won’t notice or will let us down, that He will forget us and our obedience will remain unseen to Him. But even the sparrows are known to God, and he has numbered the hairs on our heads. “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

The world today needs an army of faithful mothers. Willing to do the work in the nitty gritty of life, mature into HIs women, mothers willing to be watchful over their children, protect their purity and innocence and send forth into the world a Godly generation. He needs women willing to throw away the world’s lies, not be taken with the thrill of it’s distractions and focus on obeying God and His call.

The world needs uncompromising mothers. Mothers who are willing to take a stand against evil and protect their children from it. Mothers who don’t let their children participate in things just because “everyone else is doing it” or their children are complaining to them that they are “unfair.” Mothers willing to correct their children and keep them from harm and prevent them from following the world’s ways. Mothers who are willing to stand strong in the old paths, being visionaries with God. Mothers who know that the fruit of their labors may not be seen now but as the years of uncompromising faithfulness pass the vine will be fruitful.

“I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.” Psalm 119:30

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:13-14

"As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children."
- 1 Thessalonians 2:7

The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the love of a Mother.
-St. Therese of Lisieux












Thursday, December 3, 2015

On Holy Housework and Homemaking (or why homemaking matters...)



"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 3:23




Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and wonder if the daily chores and daily routine are leading anywhere? Another meal cooked...another sink of dishes....more laundry….bills to pay….groceries to put away and a pantry to organize....changing out the children’s clothes for the new season, storing away and shopping for new clothes....bath time and messes...the baby nursing every few hours at night. It’s not glamourous. It’s fatiguing to the bones. But the Holy Spirit reminds me---these are signs of lives being built. Lives cannot be built and supported without the basics of daily stepping stones, the small bricks laying the foundation.   “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10

These daily chores are the small beginnings. They are offerings to God. He needs workers for His harvest, he needs mothers determined to pursue His holiness. He needs holy mothers, mothers set apart unto Him. He needs homemakers to willingly work for Him. He is our employer! "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:3

Jesus goes to prepare a place for us, a heavenly home. He cares about us and preparing this heavenly home for us so much that He died for this. He died to himself and served. We die to ourselves in our homemaking, our desires are laid at His feet...Lord make something of me….wash my heart clean and pure as I wash these dishes. Watch over this home as I clean it, praying as we work for those we love. We need to make a home as unto the Lord, a place He dwells, as He waits to call us to our heavenly home where he HAS prepared a home for us. In our quiet homemaking He cares for us, He hears our prayers, He sanctifies us and grows us into holiness. “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

In a world that seems increasingly evil, where a quiet life is out of style and where worries abound, homemakers are one of societies warriors. A Godly home is a weapon of force against the enemy. This is why he seeks to tear down homes and children and the family as God intended. A God fearing family has a strong foundation and the children who are discipled and cared for are righteous warriors for God in a wicked world. God needs parents willing to do the hard work, to lay themselves down, so the next generation has shining lights who have not lost their salt. This world needs great people who are discerning, who are able to stand against evil, who value purity and living biblically. People who value the path of righteousness, the narrow way so much they are willing to devote their lives to this way of life...to Christ.

Homemaking, the work society deems trivial, it is a weapon of good for the kingdom of God. We are building homes upon the rock, homes that will last until we reach our eternal home. When homes are broken down and everyone is scattered to their own activities, their own tv’s and computers and there are no mother’s and father’s hearts abiding at home, children have little foundation….the world and it’s values become their foundation. They have little discipling, training, they have no true witnesses for Christ.

Homemaking is a witness, a purifier of hearts, a witness for Christ to our dear loved ones and to the world, a force to be reckoned with, a force for great good in these trying times. Mother’s fight on the homefront with their homemaking, love, prayers, quiet heart, and dishwashing. They fight with their lives, devotion to family, prayers and their own growth in Christ and pursuit of Christian maturity. Christ was a living example to His disciples and they believed and devoted their very lives to Him. Mother’s need to be a living, albeit imperfect example, leading their children to Christ. Just as the disciples remembered His living example, our children will remember ours. A life, a legacy is built from the cleaning, cooking, baths, fusses, dishes, laundry, the footprints, dirt and projects.

Jesus lived the daily walk with His disciples and with those He healed and served. He knew weariness, he knew toil, he knew pain. He understands. Homemaking and all it entails is set apart work for God. It is a good work. Homemaking serves our Savior and helps to build up the kingdom of God.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galations 6:9

“No occupation in this world is more trying to soul and body than the care of young children. What patience and wisdom, skill and unlimited love it calls for. God gave the work to mothers and furnished them for it, and they cannot shirk it and be guiltless.” Isabella Macdonald Alden

“I believe that a godly home is a foretaste of heaven. Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.” Jani Ortlund

I'm only a housewife, I'm afraid." How often do we hear this shocking admission. I'm afraid when I hear it I feel very angry indeed. Only a housewife: only a practitioner of one of the two most noble professions (the other one is that of a farmer); only the mistress of a huge battery of high and varied skills and custodian of civilization itself. Only a typist, perhaps! Only a company director, or a nuclear physicist; only a barrister; only the President! When a woman says she is a housewife she should say it with the utmost pride, for there is nothing higher on this planet to which she could aspire.”
― John Seymour "Forgotten Household Crafts"

Friday, November 13, 2015

Whom Do We REALLY Serve?







“...destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” ~Joshua 24:23

…”but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

~Joshua 24:15




Joshua, (Moses’ Successor) was leading the new generation of Israelite's to the Promised Land. They, and their ancestors, wandered and faltered, following their own way, following God, then back to their idols again. For 40 years they’d followed this rocky path. They’d seen the red sea parted and God free them from what could have been a lifetime of slavery. Yet they are still wandering, lost, always turning to the god’s of the culture. These gods seem “easy” to worship, easy to incorporate into daily life, and easily accessible. They don’t require that the Israelite's face God and their own sin, and that they serve God alone. The false gods of the culture don’t care if they profess to serve them but the rest of the time serve themselves. They don’t require that they are the only god worshiped. They don’t care if the heart holds many allegiances and is divided. So many times we are like the Israelite's, wandering around and around after we have accepted Christ! We have the free, abundant living water gushing from the rock, and we live as if we are parched and our hearts barren.  “And so the Lord says, "These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” Isaiah 29:13 (NLT)


Often we are like the Israelite's. Wandering around and around with divided hearts. We serve God with zeal one day, and the next day we serve the idols of our heart. Our lips state we are a Christian, but hearts are far away, absorbed in ourselves and in the latest and greatest served to us on the culture’s shiny platter. Prejudices, anger, materialism, entertainment, distraction, these can all be ‘idols’ we serve. Do we really serve the Lord and live His way or are we all talk? The proof is in our way of life. Maybe we don’t even know what serving God with our whole hearts looks like, or how it translates from the heart into a lifestyle of surrender. In our culture, serving God while serving the gods or our society often seem to go hand in hand. It is portrayed as normal that one who serves God also looks like the society around us. Have we “banished from our presence” the idols of our ancestors to truly purify our lives for God?


“So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone.” Joshua 24:14


We have to put away forever our idols, and determine that our hearts will serve the Lord alone. We can spend forty years worshiping other gods like the Israelite's did, or make a study of God’s ways. When we take a stand for God, like Joshua did, our families will not look like the culture, and we will be not “fit in.” The cost of fitting in is worshiping false idols, and sacrificing our hearts and lives to a false way. We say with our lips that we want to live in the Promised Land, but we still live as if we are running away back to Egypt.


One of the most popular verses heard in America is “...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Most people take this to mean that if they just say they are a Christian that they are serving the Lord wholeheartedly. What we often don’t hear are the scriptures before this verse.  Joshua says “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


Behind closed doors, in our hearts and minds, by our actions, by what we spend money on--- we are serving the culture. We are glued to tv “news”, digesting the entertainment thrown at us, running around living a lifestyle of empty busyness, glued to screens, addicted to shopping and pursuing empty dreams. We want accolades and promotions and more money and bonuses, because then culture will define us by our accomplishments. To society we will be successful. Addicted to the false joys of an entertainment focused life, to screens, and to the rush they provide us with--- we are living a lifestyle and it speaks to what we believe. Popularity and fitting into the mainstream, is the god of the heart. Our lifestyle witnesses that we can say we love God and be like everyone else.


When we live for God’s ways, worshiping Him alone, He guides us. We have to be determined to change our lifestyle, one step at a time, as God guides us, and surround ourselves with those God has taught, and be taught by them.  They will stand out because they are no longer stuck in Egypt. They are walking free as new creations in Christ.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17


How often do we focus on the fact that we are now NEW? The old self before Christ is gone, the bondage, the lies the enemy made us believe, the draw of the culture should be washed far, far away from our heart. We are free to walk in step with Him, abide in Him, and live as He asks us to live! His finished work on the cross, His rising from the dead, the Holy Spirit---these are His gifts to us to live in freedom, the freedom His blood bought for us.


His freedom is TRUTH. The lies of the enemy are bondage. Are we living as if we are still the old creature but professing Christ at the same time? If so we must pray for a new understanding of the work Christ did for us and ask God to teach us to learn to rest in His truth. Our old life was crucified with Christ. When we rest in the richness of this truth, our hearts cleansed and new, we throw the old filth out of our lives and can truly say “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


Prayer: “Lord, heal my heart and renew it. Show me what to throw out of my life and how to walk in your ways, without fear of what the world thinks. Show me how to abide in you, be taught by you, and serve you alone. Reveal the idols of my heart and dethrone them so that I rest only at your feet. Amen.”

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galations 2:20


“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19


“...seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:9-10


“Men know not the gold which lies in the mine of Christ Jesus, or surely they would dig in it night and day. They have not yet discovered the pearl of great price, or they would have sold their all to buy the field wherein it lies.” ~Charles Spurgeon


“Sanctification is the outcome and inseparable consequence of regeneration. He who is born again and made a new creature receives a new nature and a new principle and always lives a new life.” ~JC Ryle

“The true Christian is called to be a soldier and must behave as such from the day of his conversion to the day of his death. He is not meant to live a life of religious ease, indolence and security. He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and doze along the way to heaven, like one traveling in an easy carriage.” ~JC Ryle



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Temporary Fun or Everlasting Joy




“You make known to me the path of life;
  in your presence there is fullness of joy;
   at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

God created fun, happiness, leisure, joy and things that lift the human heart. In His goodness and mercy to us He created joys we experience on earth. He is a refuge and resting place for us, He places dreams in the human heart, laughter and joys. Ultimately though, pursuing the kingdom of God doesn’t mean that we only pursue ‘fun’ and make a sacred cow of it. Fun and entertainment are an idol in most of American society. Most people work hard to make a living, and with their leisure time pursue only fun. This is hedonism-when pleasure, fun and self-indulgence are seen as the chief goal of life. To many people, hedonism is like a religion, they follow pleasure as if it’s a lord and master.

The entertainment industry makes billions of dollars a year because of our addictions to being entertained. Sometimes pursuing fun can become a temporary high like shopping---being thrilled with the new purchases but bored in a day or two and moving on to the next ‘spree.’ Concerts, movies, shopping, and endless activities designed to entertain us have numbed our spirits to what God wants us to pursue. They have dumbed us down to God’s true joy and life giving spirit. God’s joy is everlasting--- fun is temporary and the pursuit of pleasure will never be satisfied by the pursuit of the entertainment this world offers. It is not mandatory for believers to participate in the modern day roman colosseum entertainment.

Finding fullness of joy in God makes the heart satisfied. When we are content and resting in God, we don’t pursue the world’s so called satisfying entertainments with the same enthusiasm. Walking God’s path of life we can see behind the masquerade of entertainment, excitement and materialism. Pursuing pleasure and our own ‘happiness’ can truly blind us to the depth of riches God has for us to possess if we will only seek Him first.

God’s people are not meant to pursue all of the pleasures those who do not know God make a life of endlessly chasing. God’s word speaks of the older women  being ‘sober minded’ and full of ‘good works.’ We are told by God to “glory in the Lord.” We find joy in God, doing the work of our hands He has placed before us, pursuing Him and glorifying Him. He gives us good gifts from above to enjoy, but they come from joy in God and seeking first His kingdom. They are not an idol above God, but a gift from Him to be thankful for.

Prayer: “Lord, show me how to pursue you and not entertainment to numb myself. Show me how to find my rest and pleasure in you. Reveal to me the fullness of joy in your presence that I may come to know you more. Amen.”

“Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.” ~Psalm 97:11

But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

“If this sense of need and a feeling of dependence are at the root of natural religion, it is not hard to see why the great god Entertainment is so ardently worshiped by so many. For there are millions who cannot live without amusement; life without some form of entertainment for them is simply intolerable; they look forward to the blessed relief afforded by professional entertainers and other forms of psychological narcotics as a dope addict looks to his daily shot of heroin. Without them they could not summon courage to face existence.

No one with common human feeling will object to the simple pleasures of life, nor to such harmless forms of entertainment as may help to relax the nerves and refresh the mind exhausted by toil. Such things, if used with discretion, may be a blessing along the way. That is one thing, however, the all-out devotion to entertainment as a major activity for which and by which men live is definitely something else again.

The abuse of a harmless thing is the essence of sin. The growth of the amusement phase of human life to such fantastic proportions is a portent, a threat to the souls of modern men. It has been built into a multimillion dollar racket with greater power over human minds and human character than any other educational influence on earth.

And the ominous thing is that its power is almost exclusively evil, rotting the inner life, crowding out the long eternal thoughts which would fill the souls of men, if they were but worthy to entertain them. The whole thing has grown into a veritable religion which holds its devotees with a strange fascination; and a religion, incidentally, against which it is now dangerous to speak. For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was—a device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability.” ~A. W. Tozer “The Great God Entertainment”







Thursday, July 9, 2015

Service or Status?





“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:10-12


Many stay at home moms, in order to justify how hard they work, still seek the same promotions or status that they would if they were working outside the home. They just seek them in a different way. Remodeling, bigger houses, big jewelry, nicer clothes, taking the kids to every class and sport, and making a sort of corporate job out of their role. This is almost like mothering while seeking the world’s admiration. This is mothering for ‘status.’   It’s possible to be a mother ‘of the world’ whose eyes are still fixed on the same things they would be if we worked outside the home. Lack of proper biblical teaching by many churches leads many believers to not understand the depth of service for Christ there is in mothering. We end up parenting with little variation from those who are non believers. Many Christian mothers have lost their saltiness.  Christian mothers must show that there is great peace, fulfillment and eternal value in raising children for God. We are His hands and feet on earth, we minister to ‘the least of these’ every day. Even the most mundane and repetitive task done for our little ones is done for Christ.


“And the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40


As we mother for Christ, we are in service to Him. We are washing the feet of God’s children,  discipling, training, cleaning up endless messes, disciplining and comforting tantrums and tiredness, not seeking status as a mother, but seeking Christ and how to show Him to our children. When a once restless heart is abiding in Him, we aren’t fixed on the busyness, or fixed on status and the acceptance of society. Jesus wasn’t and has never been accepted by society, and we as mothers who serve Christ every day will not be accepted by society either. We know our ‘status’ is in heaven as we seek to serve God on earth every day. Our hearts are at peace and rest because we do not have to chase after endless things and activities that will burn us out, we can follow after God’s way and ask Him to lead us. Jesus says “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10   The enemy would like to steal, kill and destroy a mother’s role in her children’s lives, and a mother’s spirit. A mother needs the fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit every day to walk with patience, love and a steadfast spirit through the challenges of constant mothering. Through Jesus, our role of mother can be filled with His abundant life.


Most professions require some form of structured study and even when there is a degree or certification earned, there is continued training and study. The Bible and many books by seasoned Christian mothers who have lived out the Christian life in their homes, can help us study the purpose and role of mothering for God’s kingdom for a lifetime. Being a keeper at home, then growing into an older woman whose behavior “becometh holiness, and is a teacher of good things…” (Titus 2:3) As we walk with God, He will help us to fulfill our lifelong vocation as a mother and then a grandmother. This life of service is a great work for God, not seeking status, but serving the one who gave His life for us.


“So no one can be my disciple without giving up everything for me.” Luke 14:33


“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” Isaiah 58:18


“And so train the young women to love their husbands and children…” Titus 2:4


“God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offense into everlasting forgiveness.” - Henry Ward Beecher


“Let me once more press upon you the necessity and importance of using every single means in your power, if you would train children for heaven.” -JC Ryle





Thursday, July 2, 2015

They Began Making Excuses




“Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations.  When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.” Luke 14:16-18


We are invited to the greatest banquet---Jesus’ offer to follow Him and have eternal life. All the pressing needs of this life---seemingly important things to us at the time, take precedence over Jesus. We can only put off His invitation for so long. Some put it off for a lifetime and it is too late. Following Jesus is for a lifetime. Accepting Jesus as ‘Lord’ means we are submitting our very life, our self will, our hearts to Him as King.

Life is busy and eventful, and full of pressing things that demand our attention. Yet, when we commit to God’s invitation, to following Him, we will put Him first and stop our excuses. We can learn to gain wisdom, live simply and follow the guidance of God.

There are a lot of blogs devoted to order and simplicity, giving advice so  that we can live better lives, yet we need God at the top of the list in order to find His order and simplicity for us.

We are to seek FIRST His kingdom---not order, simplicity, tasks, or pressing, urgent needs of life, and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33) It we are stuck in the rat race of the American way of life, this will take a reordering of our lives to find, but God will help us and guide us each step of the way. As we seek first His kingdom those principles began to guide our decisions and we find ourselves living every day more and more for the ultimate end of God’s feast. We don’t want to ‘miss out’ on the invitation and find it is too late.

“Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’  Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’
“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’  After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’  So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.  For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’” Luke 14:19-24

Has Jesus invited us, and we have denied him, because we began to make excuses and have never stopped?
After this teaching in Luke, Jesus talks about the cost of being a disciple of His. He says “don’t begin until you count the cost.” (Luke 14:28) The cost may be loss of wealth in this life, being popular or admired, and simply not living for material things and earthly gain---living for our ‘excuses.’ Many count the cost and conclude it is too high, others begin the road and turn back again, others never fully realize what it is to live with Jesus guiding everything first in their lives.
Jesus has a perfect and unimaginable banquet waiting for us. The lie the enemy puts in front of us is that everything we have to do, every luxury to live for on earth is worth more than Jesus. So we sacrifice our eternal life for the temporary and fleeting pleasures that pass away. We reject God; and view the temporary things in front of us as more important, we place an urgency on the things right before our eyes instead of placing our eyes on Jesus.
Jesus calls to us “repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still calls to our hearts, He waits for us to accept His invitation. We still reject Him with hard hearts, making excuses and go our own way. There is only so long we can continue making excuses for not following God’s way. We should make excuses to the world---”I can’t follow your way because it means I will sacrifice living for God’s kingdom.”

Prayer: “Lord, it’s easy to see the pressing needs and wants of this life as permanent and I often live for those and not for you. Show me how to let go of my excuses, to live for you and fix my eyes on what is eternal. Help me to keep my heart focused on the eternal life you have prepared for me. Amen.”

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,  not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“Too many sit at the banquet table of the gospel of Jesus Christ and merely nibble at the feast placed before them. They go through the motions - attending their meetings perhaps, glancing at scriptures, repeating familiar prayers - but their hearts are far away.” -Joseph B. Wirthlin