Thursday, June 27, 2013

We Are Not Bound By Chains

Women of the Bible - Image 7

"Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem.
    Sit in a place of honor.
Remove the chains of slavery from your neck,
    O captive daughter of Zion."
Isaiah 52:2 

No person, disease, circumstance, fear, or death can chain God's word. People and governments have put martyrs to death, and put people in prison because of their faith. Their deaths and imprisonments did not bind God's word. God's word is alive, written on the hearts of man, His creation. And His word has continued. From the beginning of time until today, it is alive.

The enemy seeks to keep us in chains. He knows our weaknesses. If it's food, he seeks to keep us a slave to our food addiction. If it's the internet and media, he seeks to keep us glued to our tv and computer. If it's an abusive person, he will try to keep us in close proximity to that person and confused for as long as possible. If it's our laziness, he will keep us lazy. If it's a wrong, humanistic way of thought that doesn't line up with God's word, he will keep us chained to that. If it's popularity and recognition we seek, he will keep us chained by constantly seeking that, instead of God.  He is out to keep us from living a life of freedom in Christ. Instead he wants us to live in any possible form of bondage. Any form of bondage will keep us from living our fullest life in Christ. 

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

What does this tell us? We are to be always on guard for our freedom in Christ. Always praying, seeking wisdom and intentionally aware of God's freedom. Praying for God to reveal ways in which we have erred and found ourselves chained. Chains aren't only physical. Chains can be on the mind and binding the heart. God will reveal those to us as we seek Him and remove those chains with the power of His word.  We need to be living in the freedom of unchained Biblical living. We have to seek out what God's pathway of life is. He tell us in Psalm 16:11: "You will show me the path way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." 

In 2 Timothy 2:9, Paul tells Timothy: "And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained."  Though Paul died, God's word lived on. Timothy carried on Paul's words, and then many more carried on Timothy's words. The word of God was not popular in Paul's day, and it isn't popular today. But it is freedom. It is our bread of life. "Yes, I am the bread of life!" John 6:48 

In order to stay discerning to eliminate these chains in our lives, we need to be in the word daily. It is the same as eating our food each day. This is what John was trying to tell us. The word is also our "bread of life!" The farther away we get from God's word, the more we are bound by the enemies invisible chains.

 "The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook." Proverbs 18:4

God's living word, the bread of life, the wellspring of life, will never be chained. It will flow throughout time. Therefore as believers, we are not to think we have to live in chains! Living in God's freedom shows us true joy, regardless of our circumstances. We don't have to choose to live in chains, in fear, because of our circumstances, or because of what has been done to us by another sinful human being. We can live in God's freedom, in Christ's freedom. Christ took our chains from us when he died on the cross. When he was "chained" with nails in his hands and feet. Your chains are already gone.  Let's live our lives in the fullness of this truth.

We are not slaves to this world. We are already set free. We are not slaves to the internet, media, our houses, our cars, or the latest and greatest of everything.  We are captives to Christ only. The life giver, wellspring of life, truth teller, mind illuminating, heart purifier, Christ.

" that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;" Philippians 1:13

Let us always remember the many around the world who are in real, physical chains (prison) because of their faith.  "Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also." Hebrews 13:3

Prayer: Lord, show me the chains I am bound by but that I am blind to. Remove my walls of blindness and illuminate your truth. Cast off all of my chains and show me your freedom. Help me to live with the freedom of Christ in my heart every day. Amen.

  Richard Wurmbrand is the author of "Tortured for Christ." He spent many years in communist Romania in prison. He was tortured numerous times.  But while He was in physical chains, he speaks of the freedom He still had in Christ. For those of us who are not in physical chains, it is a picture of just how much freedom we are to be living in.

"I have seen Christians in Communist prisons with fifty pounds of chains on their feet, tortured with red-hot iron pokers, in whose throats spoonfuls of salt had been forced, being kept afterward without water, starving, whipped, suffering from cold—and praying with fervor for the Com­­munists. This is humanly in­explicable! It is the love of Christ, which was poured out in our hearts." Tortured For Christ

"I have found truly joyful Christians only in the Bible, in the Underground Church, and in prison." Tortured For Christ

"Persecution has always produced a better Christian-a witnessing Christian, a soul-winning Christian. Communist persecution has backfired and produced serious, dedicated Christians such as are rarely seen in free lands. These people cannot understand how anyone can be a Christian and not want to win every soul they meet." Tortured For Christ

"In solitary confinement, we could not pray as before. We were unimaginably hungry; we had been drugged until we acted like idiots. We were as weak as skeletons. The Lord’s Prayer was much too long for us—we could not concentrate enough to say it. My only prayer repeated again and again was, 'Jesus, I love You.' And then, one glorious day I got the answer from Jesus: 'You love me? Now I will show you how I love you.' At once, I felt a flame in my heart, which burned like the coronal streamers of the sun. The disciples on the way to Emmaus said that their hearts burned when Jesus spoke with them. So it was with me. I knew the love of the One who gave His life on the cross for us all." Tortured For Christ

"If the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart loves Him, one can resist all tortures." Tortured For Christ


May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fix Our Eyes on Heaven, Not Earth

Women of the Bible - Image 3 

  "I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." Phillipians 3:14

May God help us to fix our eyes on heaven, not on the passing things of Earth. When our hearts, minds and eyes are only fixed on Earth, we will always be disappointed and dissatisfied. This life is not all there is!

We don't have to wonder what we are striving for or where to fix our eyes. Nothing is pointless when done for God. We can never know the impact of doing our momentary jobs on Earth well. So let us do them with our eyes fixed heavenward.

"Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net." Psalm 25:15

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
-Lilias Trotter

Angel Art - Image 6 

"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne." Hebrews 12:2

"But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute."
Psalm 148:8

Angel Graphics - Image 3 

"Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. "
John 11:41

"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God," Acts 7:55

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
Hebrews 11:13




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Be Steadfast Where You Are


"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 
1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)

Sometimes in life we might find ourselves in a season that is frustrating or challenging. It doesn't seem that it is serving the goals we had in mind. We start to want to move on. It's too tiring, it's too much, we're bored.  It may be a job, a relationship, a small task, any small or large commitment, or anything that is set before us in our life at the current time. We are searching for something more, something different. We think to ourselves, "this can't be it!" 

What if that circumstance is right where God has placed us? God requires us to be steadfast in the place He has put us until He tells us to move on. If we have followed the will of God to end up where we are at in the current moment, then how can we tell God He is wrong? Perhaps God has us where we are so that we grow. Maybe our discontent with where we are at is purposefully so that He can mold, shape, and grow us. If we move on before God's appointed time, His work may not be completed in us. When we are not steadfast, and move on before we are supposed to, we stop our own growth in God and we hastily cut short God's work.
 God tells us in Phillipians 1:6: " ...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

God has begun a good work in us and He wants to finish it! He will lead us through whatever circumstances to finish His work in us. He tells us in the above scripture to "be confident of this." He is reassuring us. We are to not lose our confidence in our circumstances. We are to not lose our confidence in our momentary unhappiness. And we are not to lose our confidence in being steadfast.

 The word steadfast means firmly fixed in place, not subject to change, firm in belief, determination or adherence. The Hebrew word for steadfast is "chessed" (steadfast kindness, love, reliability) and it means to reveal God's unfolding will.  In your steadfastness where you are, God is revealing His unfolding will for you. When we are steadfast, we are revealing a correct attitude towards God. We are showing our love and loyalty towards Him, just as He shows His love and loyalty to us.

God also tells us that He will "carry it on to completion...". So should we not stay where we are until God has completed His appointed work through us? There can be a lot in our own lack of wisdom we are not seeing. Our own blindness from the walls we cannot see through. We have to trust God as our long term "eyes." He sees the long term goal for us and others. We could be placed where we are because we are the only light shining for God there. God could be working in us to refine us, grow us in wisdom and grow us in our Godly responses to others that are difficult to deal with. He is growing us more like Him, and less like the world. He wants us to be steadfast, so that we reflect Him to others in difficulty. If we are placed in a difficult, trying circumstance (particularly in dealing with difficult people) and we act "just like the others" then we are not allowing God to grow us in our steadfastness and we are not allowing God to shine through us. Perhaps you are the one He has chosen to show Him to others where you are.

We don't have to fear that God is trying to keep us miserable! He tells us that He has good plans for us. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 

So in our trials, difficulties, the very thing that we want to move on from the most, let us trust God. For His plans are to prosper us and give us a future! Let us not cut that work short. Let us finish each and every last step of that work God has us doing to completion. Being steadfast. Showing His love. Until we are finished with His work. Until He calls us to move on. Then we leave confidently, knowing we finished what God set forth for us to do. The difficult circumstance God seems to have placed us in will lead to us learning more of God's character and growing in our walk with God.  Revealing more of Him to us and to others around us. We won't learn this if we do not learn to be steadfast. Then His work is finished and He promises that "ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Nothing is ever wasted when done in steadfastness to the Lord. The quiet things, the things we think are unseen, God's eyes see. And He requires that we are steadfast. God is steadfast for us. He has always been. Christ was steadfast for humankind when He went to the cross. He didn't cut His appointed work short. He carried it to completion. And look what we were given? Eternal life, a Savior. That is where being steadfast leads. To our growth in Christ and our eternal life. It leads to peace, and to the good plans God promises for us.

Prayer: Lord, though I cannot see the purpose of sticking where I am now, give me strength to finish this to completion. Give me steadfastness in my faith. Show me when it is time to move on from where I am, and when you are showing me the new plans you have for me. Help me to leave no step unfinished and calm my haste and discontent. Help me to trust your plans for me. Amen.

Learning to be steadfast is essential to growth in our walk with God. Below are some verses related to being steadfast.

"Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God." 1 Corinthians 15:58

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

"My heart, O God, is steadfast, I will sing and make music." Psalm 57:7

"They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." Isaiah 26:3

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:10

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth.   


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Be Always Learning


"A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel," Proverbs 1:5

"Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments." Psalm 119:73

“The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned." Isaiah 50:4

"But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:13 

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4

"The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." Philipians 4:9

"...though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered." 
Hebrews 5:8


The Soil of God's Love

God's love is like a healthy soil. If we firmly plant our roots in His love, we will flourish in His love. Our branches will not die and our roots will be deep and strong. If we plant ourselves in the world's soil, our branches will die and our roots will be shallow. The quality of the soil will not be rich. 

Paul says in Ephesians, "I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through His holy spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be full of the life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages." Amen.
Ephesians 3:16-21

It is not enough to only experience Jesus' love and accept it in our hearts. That is only the beginning, the root. There is so much more of our faith and growth in God to experience. The root has to grow into a fully grown and mature plant for it's "work" to be complete, but it still needs water to stay alive and thriving. Paul knows that in order to really dip our toes into the beginnings of how deep God's love is for us that we must constantly be in communion with God, listening and learning. This is the constant "watering" of our souls to stay alive in Christ.

When we plant our roots firmly in God's soil, he helps us to have mighty, inner strength. This type of strength can only come from God's grace. It is not strength that we can find on our own. Paul says that God has unlimited resources. It means he doesn't get exhausted or tired of helping us to become strong in Him. As we commit ourselves to growing the roots of our life in God's love, God gives us more understanding of His ways. We grow as we commit to growing in God. It's a commitment on our part. God then honors our commitment by providing the deep, rich soil we are to plant ourselves in. He is not obligated to, but gives it to us out of His grace.

When life gives death, sorrow, disease and difficulty, we draw from the rich soil we have planted ourselves in to provide us comfort. We then only begin to grasp how wide, how high, and how deep His love for us really is. If we don't make the choice to plant ourselves in God's soil, we don't have the richness of that to carry us through life's difficulties and choices. We need God's soil to thrive and grow strong. God's soil gives us a strength that the world does not know. The world gives us a temporary, shallow strength. This world will pass away and it cannot provide a rooted strength. It's strength is false and fleeting.

Paul says Christ's love is so great we can never understand it. None of us has fully grasped the depth of our sins and therefore it is hard to grasp the enormous love of God sending his son to die for us. This alone shows us that we cannot measure God's love. It is beyond our human understanding. We don't have to fully understand it to begin to plant our roots. We can trust in God's promises, because Paul says when we do "then you will be full of the life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare ask or hope."   What a tremendous promise.  When his mighty power works within us, He will accomplish not the bare minimum, but more than we could ever fathom.

Prayer: God, show me the beginnings of your love for me. Help me to plant my roots firmly in you so that my life is healthy, full of your life, and always growing. Amen.

"You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land." Psalm 80:9

...the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. Psalm 80:15

"The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures."

"Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 5:24

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth.   


Practical Ways to Slow Down! Rest in God, Part III

Bible Women - Image 2 

"It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep."  Psalm 127:2

We each have very different schedules, families, demands, and life responsibilities. Each of our families function differently. Here are some things to possibly examine in our schedules. Maybe some things can be changed or eliminated altogether. You may even consider taking a break from certain things for a short time.  When you are adjusted to your slower paced schedule add a few things back in and see how they suit your new life, or you may find they were time wasters.

Examine each opportunity you are presented in your life. Talk it over with wise council, (a good friend/husband/sister/etc) and most importantly pray! For each new activity presented examine the cost, time, stress involved and the phase of life you are in. Just because good things to do exist, doesn't mean it is our calling or our season of life to participate! Remember the first priorities that God has put in front of you, and examine everything in relation to those "first calls" in your life.

A few important questions to ask to avoid constant "anxious toil:"

-Will it enhance or take away from my family life? 
-Will it give me a necessary break to feel refreshed and better serve my family?
-Will it make my day too rushed?
-Will it overload my day so that I can't accomplish everything and feel stressed?
-Will it cause me to neglect my children?
-Will it cause me to not spend time listening to God?
-Will adding this into my schedule take away from my health because I will be frazzled?
-Am I doing it just because I am bored to waste time or is it truly enriching our lives?
-Do I still have a few days per week that have a lighter "busyness" load?
-If I have a free day am I glad to spend it with God or am I running from God and filling my time with anything and everything?
-Do I really need to "be busy" every weekend?

Things to possibly eliminate, change or alter in our schedules-

-TV time- Do we need to keep up with 10 shows? Are they edifying and enriching our lives? Consider cutting cable. You will be saving money and time. An added benefit is cutting down on the amount of advertising and "busy noise" in your home. You'll be surprised at how much peace and rest just this alone will add to your life.

-Do I/my children/husband/family need to be involved in all the classes we are in each week? Are we learning and growing as a family from them, are they worth the time? Or are they distracting and causing stress? Will our life really fall apart if we do not attend these activities?

-Do we really need a gym membership? Is the time spent there, or the time spent packing up the kids worth it? Could we hike, take walks around our neighborhood, bike or get equipment in our house/garage/do workout videos?

-Do the kids/myself really need to always be out of the house or do outside activities every day? Can the kids play at home/outside? Are we doing these things because we really need too out of a healthy need or an unhealthy desire to fill a hole that can be filled by God?

-Do we need to accept every invitation offered to us or are there some we can politely say no to?

-Do my/our activities leave enough time for my children to play? Do these activities leave a few days a week to just be at home with my children playing with them, teaching them, training them?

-Do I need so much media in my life? Do I need to sign up for each new pinterest, facebook, twitter, instagram site or is it eating away my time and making me feel anxious? 

-Can I simplify family meals? Is there a way to eat nutritiously and spend less time?

-Can I simplify my weekly shopping in any way?

-Am I being a wise steward of the time God has given me? Are my pursuits what He would have me pursue? 

-Do my children really "need" outside activities at this phase of their life?

-Do I have time to listen to God and grow in the things He is asking of me? Or do all these things on my calendar distract from that?

As you progress and start "peeling away" the layers of your schedule, you will find more ways to simplify and with time it becomes a skill that is strengthened. Keep taking small steps! Pray for God's guidance and He will show you what to keep on your plate and where He wants your time to be directed.

Don't be afraid of a life without busyness. It may be all we are used to, but if you feel God is directing you to this new life of rest in Him, He will give you something far greater than your busyness! Follow God's direction and let Him lead you. The alternative is to live a life of busyness, having wasted our time and never reaching God's plan for ourselves, our children and families. Maybe simply cutting our busyness allows us to work on ourselves and then pour into our families what they deserve and have been missing all this time.

May you rest in God's peace and only the rest He can give. The world will keep you blind behind the wall of distraction and busyness. God will surround you with His wall of peace, clarity and clear vision for your time and goals. He doesn't want you to live frazzled and anxious! He is not a God of anxiousness and busyness.

"If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:24

“Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, "Show it to Me."
Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, "What are you doing?”-J.C. Ryle

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mother's- Slow down and Rest in God (part II)

Women in the Bible - Image 3 

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed..." Proverbs 31:28

I find this painting very touching. The little baby is resting on his/her mother as if saying "you are my haven, mom." The older sister has her hand on her little brother's shoulder, a gesture that shows how much she cares for him. The mother is dropping off her offering in the box. She looks contented as if saying, "Lord, I never knew how much these children, your children God, would bring me closer to you." She looks content. She is probably tired and has not gotten enough sleep. She probably stayed up too late finishing chores. But she looks as if she has seen the face of God. She looks as if she has slowed down for her children. She doesn't look like a mom who has been driving her children here and there to activities all day. She looks like she has a rich and deep home life with them. Her children look contented. In her love, they see God's love. They have all they need.

God has convicted my heart lately. He wants me as a mother to have a rich home life with my children. He wants the roots of their hearts to be firmly planted in Him and in their first home, with me, where I instruct them in the ways of a wise life and of God. They can't have that if God doesn't dwell in me, and they certainly can't have that if I don't slow down. He has shown me he wants my roots to be firmly planted at home, with my family. My heart needs to dwell at home. You have probably heard the saying "the mother is the heart of the home." If we are never there, how can our heart dwell where it needs too? How can our heart be at home? Who will set the atmosphere of the home?

If I don't slow down to teach them of God's ways, how can I expect them to learn? Mothers, if we don't do it, who will? It isn't only the church's responsibility. We know society won't do it. It's our job, we are the one that God put right in front of these children. The more I grow in my mothering years, the more I see how God sent children to slow us down as mothers, to grow us, to sanctify us. Children don't know they are missing the best preschool the town has to offer, or the best gymnastics class, or the best dance class. Mothers, it is only us who think that. It is only us who put that pressure on ourselves. Perhaps the enemy is trying to distract us? Children just want and need you partnered with God. They need our time, our whole hearted effort and love for them. We can only do our best at mothering when we are giving ourselves to God.

Slow down. It's ok if you are home for a whole day, or even two, or three. My kids enjoy playing with the hose outside and filling up buckets. My daughter enjoys "watering" the leaves with her watering can. In fact nothing in our whole day seems to make her happier. My son is happy as a clam with his cars and trucks all day. They are happy when I take the time to play with them. It's in these moments that I can teach them a Bible verse. It's in these moments I can teach them a virtue of life. It's in the walks around our neighborhood collecting rocks that the lessons of God come in. It's in the everyday home life that the silence and stillness of wisdom can be taught. I couldn't do this if they were toted around in the car all day. I've had to learn to see beyond the world's wall of busyness and accomplishment driven society and adopt a renewed, holy spirit driven mindset on busyness.

I know it's hard. Real life distracts. There is laundry, dishes, bills to pay, people to keep in touch with, grocery lists to do and phone calls to make. I'm there with you. It's tiring, the days are long. They are even more tiring if we are going around to endless distracting activities! What God has shown me is to try amidst it all to keep my eternal vision. That my goal partnered with God is that my children will dwell in eternity and that they can see God's love for them in me. What a challenge. I doubt myself most days, can I meet this call God? The truth is, that we are the mothers to our children. No one else can meet those needs they have. God will equip us if we call on Him and follow Him to be the mother we need to be.

Amidst our weariness, amidst our tired souls, God is there. He'll give us the strength to meet these needs again each day. Mothers, dwell at home with your children in whatever way God provides you in your life. Slow down however you can. Slow down yourself, to grow and learn the ways of God. Then pass it on to your children. In real life there are classes that will be taken and social activities. We are made to be social creatures and a lot of that is healthy. It's important to have balance and we can pray to God for wisdom in this area. Most of the social health is first learned in the home. We don't always have to go outside to seek that. It's right where it is supposed to be, inside our homes, when we slow down.

This is an excellent verse that gives a picture of the world's addiction to busyness. Busyness is also a form of idolatry. It is put before time with God and time with our own families pouring into them.

"When will you stop running?
    When will you stop panting after other gods?
But you say, ‘Save your breath.
    I’m in love with these foreign gods,
    and I can’t stop loving them now!"

Jeremiah 2:25

Mothers and wives, our main call from God is to live a life of love and of a slower, less worldly pace, for our families. Let's not fall into the trap that "life is passing us by." It is only passing us by if we don't pay attention to what is right in front of us. The only lives that would pass us by if we don't slow down are our children's lives.

 “Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.” ~Ephesians 5:2 

Amidst the long days and the endless repetitive tasks, do it all for God. It is a fragrance to Him. He is smelling it in heaven. He is pleased with you. He is even pleased with the load of laundry you did, because you did it out of love for your family. Yes, HE SEES all you do.

This has encouraged me in the ways my husband and I are choosing to raise our children:

“A true Christian must not be a slave to what’s currently ‘in-fashion,’ if he wants to train his child for heaven. He must not be content to teach them and instruct them in certain ways, merely because it is customary, or to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them, or to let them form bad habits, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children’s souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called odd and strange. What if it is? The time is short—the customs of this world are passing away. He that has trained his children for heaven, rather than for the earth—for God, rather than for man—he is the parent that will be called wise in the end.” - J.C. Ryle 1860

This has also encouraged me, in how much the home environment has on the joy of our children:

O, Mother, whether you live in a palace or a hovel, if your chief care be to have God ever live in your heart, His light within you will shed such unearthly beauty on all things that you will make your little ones see a lovely palace in this world, in spite of a meager income and you life of hard labor. So keep that light ever full in your child's soul.  -True Womanhood

Blessings to you mothers. May God's light shine upon you.

In the next part of the "Rest in God" series, I'll talk about practical ways to structure our schedules to slow down.

Prayer: God, give me wisdom to know what you want me to be spending my time doing. Show me your light on the things that I need to eliminate and how my days should be spent. Show me how to live the rich life you want for me and help me to not be tempted by what the outside world has to offer if it is not what you want for me. Amen.

Hebrews 4: 9-11 “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.”

 1 Peter 3:4 “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

 John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Proverbs 19:23 ” The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”

 For "Rest in God (Part 1) click here:

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Many Names of God, Part II


God has many names that reflect the many facets of His character. Each name reveals a part of His holy nature and His love for His creation.  We can call out to God using His many names, and grow as we learn more about His character and that He really is everything we need.

Below are some names (facets of God's character) that He has shown me and been to me in my personal walk.

Healer-  God knows our infirmities. Physical, spiritual, emotional, mental and financial. He sees our suffering and He cares. He is our "great physician." Never stop praying for God's healing over your life and the lives of others. It may not come exactly as we think it should, but God hears our prayers. Even in the midst of our deepest sorrow He is there.  His great healing already came for mankind, to heal us of our sin. Jesus died on the cross so that we no longer have to bear the full weight of the "sickness" of our sin.  We are already healed and whole in Jesus.  

 "Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases" Psalm 103:3

"And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick." Matthew 14:14

 "Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed." 1 Peter 2:24

Comforter-  God comforts those who mourn and are suffering. He sees each tear we cry and He has compassion on us. As a loving Father, He doesn't like to see His children suffer. He doesn't promise us a life without suffering, His own son suffered and died for us. He does promise that He will be there for us always.

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

"You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again." Psalm 71:21

"Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them." Psalm 10:17

Restorer-  Whatever I have lost in my life at times, I have seen God restore and in even more abundance than before. He has restored everything I lost and made those things better than what I could have planned myself. When we follow and listen to God's word His plan for us is to restore us and make us whole in Him. Our old broken pieces are put back together again.

"The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts."  Isaiah 57:15

"Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!" Lamentations 5:21

“When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.
Daniel 4:36

  Our God is our Healer, Comforter and Restorer. Sometimes those things are hard to grasp in our lives, but God is all these things to us.  We can always hope in the Lord and trust that He sees our suffering. He wants to put us back together again. He has promised us His eternal life. In heaven we will be healed, comforted and restored eternally.

"Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:7

"And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
1 John 5:11

Prayer: "God, help me to see all the things you have been to me throughout my life. How you have walked beside me and been my sustenance. Show me more of your character as I grow in you and help me to never forget you in every area of my life. Amen."

What are some names (facets of God's character) that He has been to you in your life?

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth.

For "The Many Names of God, Part 1" click here:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rest in God (Part I)

"The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." Lamentations 3:25

Hurry is a pace of life

that is seldom conducive to godliness,

to relationships, 

to anything

that ultimately matters to us.

-Nancy Leigh Demoss

When we hurry and rush around in our daily lives, we miss what God has put right in front of us.  Let's enjoy what God has set before us to enjoy. Slowly eliminate commitments and God will show you what He is calling you to do at this time of your life. He will give you wisdom to keep what is necessary and to have time for Him. He gave you all the time you need to do what HE has put before you. We aren't called to rush through life doing the unnecessary. 

Some activities are distractions. Distraction from God and distraction from the abundant life He has for us. Even some things that seem to be good commitments. Just because the world offers it, doesn't mean we need to be doing it. Those activities may be distracting you from hearing God's voice and seeing what He really has set in front of you. Don't be afraid to say no to busyness, rushing and distraction and yes to God's rich life for you.

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding in life at things that don't really matter." -Francis Chan

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 

"One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”
~Elisabeth Elliot
Secure in the Everlasting Arms

Prayer: Lord, help me to see what you want me to be doing. May my time be governed by you and used wisely. Help me to know what your rest feels like and help me to live the life you have for me. Give me the strength to say no to the world and yes to you. Amen. 

What are some things you are learning or dropping from your schedule in your personal journey of less busyness?

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.” Psalm 127:1-2

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth.