Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:29 PM
How many times have you had your school aged child come to you asking, “Mom, what does this word mean?” How do you answer that question? You are now faced with a choice.
The easiest of course would be to simply give them the answer and send them on their way….but, what have they learned?
Or, you can tell them to go look it up in a dictionary. Now, what have they learned?
They have learned not only the meaning of the word in question, but also how to look it up for themselves.
They have learned how to use the Dictionary as well.
They have seen the word in print; seen how to properly spell it and perhaps even learned how to apply it.
Isn’t it just the same principle when it comes to God’s Word? We can tell people all the answers, but what have they learned? Some particles of truth, yes, but what else have they learned?
Have we taught them “how” to use a Bible?
Have we taught them “how” to look up the Scriptures for themselves? To see God’s Word in print? To see how the scripture can be applied to their life?
Or, have we denied them the blessing of seeking God’s truth through prayer and by the leading of the Holy Spirit as they study?
The choice is yours…..
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:26 PM
There she stands…with all the boldness that a fourteen month old can muster up! She is standing her ground and there is no sight of her budging one-way or the other… It’s amazing to me how one so small can be so firm on what she believes. Right now, she believes that those “nick-knacks” on Grammy’s shelf should be in her little hands…to examine and to play with.
Now I find it to be my task for the day to convince her that those precious “artifacts” are not to be played with, but instead, “can we just look”?
I admire her determination, however, and watching her causes me to wonder, do I take a stand like she does on anything in my life?
The Bible tells us in Daniel Chapter Three, about three young boys that would not be swayed from their belief and their commitment to God. They took a stand to the point of being thrown into a furnace that held certain death for them. They had a choice to make…bow down and worship the golden image and live, or stay faithful to the one true God, and face a gruesome death. For these three, there was no choice at all…. compromising their loyalty was not an option.
Now we know from reading the rest of the story that because of their stand, they were in fact thrown into the fiery furnace, but God….God in all His wisdom and majesty, delivered them…
So now as my thoughts turn back to MaKayla….my heart is filled with the challenge set before me to direct her determination into taking a stand for something positive…taking a stand for that one thing that has eternal value…”taking a stand for God”….
What are the issues in your life that you are taking a stand for? What values do they hold for you? Are they “Temporal” or “Eternal”? And does the stand you take glorify God?
Why not re-evaluate where you stand with God right now. It could mean the difference between life and death…
think about it….
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:21 PM
Every time I drive to town, I cross a railroad track….now keep in mind that most of the time I drive on the back roads of our rural community….less traffic that way, and more time to commune with God..
As a very young child, I can remember the lessons we were taught that at EVERY Rail Crossing we were to obey the sign….a BIG X that read: STOP; LOOK; LISTEN. Today most of our rail crossings now have gates that come down so you are protected.
However, today, as I crossed “carefully” over the rail crossing, I saw the familiar white cross and immediately realized what would happen if I “didn’t obey….. As I pondered this reality, God spoke clearly to me saying, “That’s what I expect from you.”
It became so clear to me…..all God wants from any of us is to “Stop” what we are doing; “Look” to Him; and to “Listen” to what He is saying.
Excited about this revelation (although not new, but refreshed in my heart), I call my sister…… I asked her, “What do you do when you come to a railroad crossing?” Her reply was, “Well, sometimes I slow down as I look and then I go on.”
WOW…..isn’t that just like our Christian walk?! So many times, we are on our way to somewhere or something and we only slow down at the “crossings”…..we might take a quick “look”, but then we go on without ever taking the time to “listen”.
This leads me to a question…not only for myself, but for you “today”….. Are you stopping long enough to look for God and how He is speaking to you? And if you are, do you take the time to “listen”?
As you go about this day….think about it…STOP what you are doing….LOOK” to God for your needs……”LISTEN” to what He is saying to YOU.
Now then, the rest is up to you…in what ways are you going to apply this truth to your life?
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:19 PM
Seems like that is the word for the day and perhaps for the new year....SIMPLIFY! My James and I were discussing this very thing last night and the fact that the "simple life" has become a thing of the past. I'm old enough to remember cow trails that were used for roadways; sitting on the front lawn, sipping iced tea and waving at some folks driving by the old farm house. Sometimes they would stop their car; leave it in the road, and come over and "sit a spell". Life was indeed simple back then....folks talked "face to face" and on on Facebook. Social Networking meant we would be having a Church Social come next fort night!!
I often think that our Amish friends have it right....theirs is a hard life, yet simple....
With the new year just a few days away, I am looking to new ways to make my life more, shall we say, "simple".... I can't speak for everyone, but hey, wouldn't it be nice to just stop by and "sit a spell" and enjoy some coffee/tea or Hot Chocolate?
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:17 PM
Our youngest daughter and her family live just behind us (on our farm) and in a mobile home. Last night, just as we were leaving Bible Study, a storm broke loose! As we arrived home, our daughter, her husband and two young daughters, were rushing into our house...."seeking shelter" as it were. Once everyone was settled inside, and seemingly safe, this thought came to me.....
This is so much the same way that we as Christians seek shelter in our "Father's" house (His arms, His Word, His love)......it's within His presence that we can find shelter from the "storms" that we face daily.......just in that same way, our children sought safety in our home... Kinda neat, isn't it?
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall
Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:13 PM
The phone rings….on the other end is a friend or relative sharing the great news about the newest member of their family. Almost immediately you begin to call everyone you know to share this great news with. Nothing can hold back the excitement you are feeling…
In the book of Mark, we are told of a man who is possessed by an unclean spirit. Here we have a man who basically did not “have a life”….existing among the “tombs” and not being able to be contained by any kind of restraints. He lived in total torment…crying and even cutting himself.
Enter Jesus….this possessed man sees Jesus and runs to Him and worships Him. At that point Jesus cast out the demons that have taken over this man’s life…
Then we read in Mark 5:19…(Jesus speaking) “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”
And the man went and told “immediately”.
How many miracles have we witnessed in our own lives? Salvation in itself is an amazing miracle. And what about Jesus? His resurrection was a miracle. Are we not a part of that? Of course we are, for without Christ’s resurrection, there would be no hope, and without hope there is no future for us to look forward to.
So I had to ask myself this question:
“How much time do I spend ‘sharing great news’ with my family, my friends, my neighbors, my co-workers, and even those I don’t know?”
And do I spend an equal amount of time sharing “The Great News” about Jesus?
What about you?
How much time do “you” spend telling others about our Lord?
© LBG Ministries 2001
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:08 PM
As I was cleaning up around the barn one day, I came across some old horseshoes. It had been several years since any of our horses required shoes, yet as I picked them up, I knew exactly what horse they came from. These were no ordinary shoes; no, these had been refined by fire.
I remember watching as the blacksmith started out with just an ordinary bar of iron. He would heat it in the forge until it was red hot. Taking it carefully with tongs, he would remove it and then placing it on the anvil he began to beat it with his hammer.
Shhh…can you hear it? “Clang, ding ding.....clang, ding ding… the iron bounced with each hit of the hammer….. Then back into the fire it would go, and once again to the anvil….
Eventually it was shaped just right, placed in cold water to make it set, and then to the horse’s hoof. Occasionally it would have to go back into the fire, and then to the anvil until it was just right.
I couldn’t help but think about how I was no different from that horseshoe. Starting out I was just “ordinary”….no shape to my life and no direction. As I look back I can see now the many times that God had to keep putting me back in the fire, then allowing me to be placed on the anvil of life. With each pounding of the hammer I learned how to trust God; how to depend on Him and to have faith in Him.
In what ways have you experienced the
Refiner's fire in your life?
Have you learned to depend on Him?
If not....why not?
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:05 PM
As we celebrate another holiday, many of us will have an empty place at our tables…..empty of a loved one, but not empty of our shared memories. For me, it is my mom and dad. They were both such a big part of my life; yet in their senior years, cancer took residence in each of their bodies…. Daddy left us first, and then just two short years later, mom was gone.
For a while I felt like the biggest part of my life was over; what would I do now? Who would/could I trust and love the way I did these two wonderful people? For a while I felt like I had been abandoned…..yet for all those years under their wings, I was not the same as I had been….
Isn’t that just how it was with Jesus? For three years He was the very center of at least twelve men’s lives. Day in and day out….they traveled together, they ate together, they talked, they learned, they prayed.
And then in one tragic day, it was all over. He was gone….life as they had known it was over. What were they to do now? Many of them returned to their former lives…..but they were different now.
I wonder, did they just hang around their fishing nets? Did they somehow feel like the meaning for their lives was now empty and with no direction? Did they just “hang out” with no real purpose?
AND THEN……and then, is was the first day of the week!!!
The unbelievable news that the tomb was EMPTY!!!!!!!! JESUS HAD RISEN!! HALLELUJAH!!!
Fast forward to “2002”……where are we now in our relationship with Jesus? Where am I? Where are you?
Are we taking full advantage of what Christ had done for us?
And lastly, can our friends and our families see that because of Calvary, we are “not the same anymore”?
Copyright © LBG Ministries 2002
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 03:01 PM
I Was There When It Happened
(And I Guess I Ought To Know)
Lyrics Written by Fern Jones
There are some people who say we cannot tell
Whether we are saved or whether all is well.
They say we only can hope and trust that it is so
But I was there when it happened and
I guess I ought to know.
Yes, I know that Jesus saved me,
the very moment He forgave me.
He took away my heavy burden and
He gave me peace within.
Satan cannot make me doubt it;
that's why I'm going to shout it:
For I was there when it happened and
I guess I ought to know.
These are the words to a song that was written in the 1950's by Fern Jones. What wonderful words that have so much meaning to them.
Have you ever been questioned about your salvation experience? Have you ever had anyone ask, “How do you know for sure”? I can only tell you that “yes, I do know for sure, because I was there when it happened!”
There are those who say that they don’t remember when they were saved, but they know that they are; then there are those who say that they have “always” been saved, and the responses continue on and on…..
But what about you? Has there been a time when you talked with God…when you asked Him to forgive your sin and to save you? Have you ever personally asked Jesus Christ to come into your life and did you let Him? Salvation is more than just a request, it’s an action.
May I urge you to evaluate your relationship with God right now? Is your salvation in your heart, or is it still just a thought that has never been followed through with?
When Jesus saves you, you will know for sure, because you’ll be able to say, “I ought to know, because I was there when it happened”…
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 09:31 AM
This is a battle that I fight on a day-to-day basis. I don't see it as being lazy, but rather that I just HATE housework.
However, this is what I have done, and continue to do to in order to win each battle, each day.
During my prayer time, I thank God for my home....for the fact that I actually do have a roof over my head and that I do not live in a cardboard house in an alley somewhere (as so many do now)....
As well, when I tackle each "chore", I sing (praise God that ONLY He hears me and that I'm far enough out in the country that neighbors can't hear the dogs howling.. *S*) And I worship and I thank God for each little task and I "clean" for HIM.
Sometimes I personally have to made to feel "guilty" before I'll do something (such as housework), and so someone who knows me so well once told me that I should be "proud" of the home that God has provided, therefore I should keep it clean for Him. OUCH! That hurt....
So, as a result of that I have come to God and said, "Lord, You know my faults and my shortcomings, so if this house that You have given to me is going to get clean and stay clean, then I NEED YOUR HELP!"....
Isn't this just like our spiritual lives? We ask God to come in and "clean house", then we clutter it up again.... its a day to day process.... we sin; ask for forgiveness and repent...but God is faithful and He DOES forgive us of ALL sin...
Today, as I face each task set before me, I’m going to remember “Who” I’m doing this for….how about you?
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.
Do all things without complaining and disputing….
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.