Friday, October 18, 2019

Waiting Patiently

Waiting Patiently
Psalm 37:7a KJV
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him:
Psalm 40:1a
I waited patiently for the Lord;

I dislike waiting! Do you? Have you waited impatiently to hear from someone you love and it seems like decades have passed before they call? Have you waited in the doctor’s office, or at the hospital for a doctor’s report to be given and fear begins to creep into your mind? Waiting, waiting, waiting, and yet, God’s Word instructs us to wait and as Christians, we need to learn to wait in faith for God to move on our behalf.

The word patient or patience is derived from the Latin word, “patientia” from “patior,” to suffer,  to endure. Our Lord not only tells us to wait, but to patiently wait on Him. The definition of the word, patience is: “willingness to put up with waiting, pain, troubles, or hurts; calm endurance without complaining or losing self-control.” This explanation of the word, patience is what God wants for us, while we wait for His will in our lives. Willingness to wait and suffer if need be, without losing self-control, is most definitely the working of the Spirit of God. 

Patiently waiting on God, honors Him and gives Him time to work in our lives His way. This act truly is the highest expression of faith and will bring to the soul, rest. Quietly waiting on the Lord, allows us to know Him, and His depth of love. We would truly never know what it means in II Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee” if our pain would quickly flee. Let us arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ as we wait patiently, and by faith, equip ourselves in prayer.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, Wait.”

(Unknown Author)

Lord, I know You have heard my cry, I will wait patiently for You.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Love of Christ

The Love of Christ
To separate means to disconnect, detach, breakup, split, parting (of the ways), estrangement, rift, rupture, breach, divide. Paul declares Christ’s love for us by posing this question; Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? The fear of separation from God is impossible to those who are Christ’s. If we are truly born again by the Spirit of God, we can know and experience the boundless, unwavering love of Christ.  What security this brings to the believer. There is no need to ever fear the past, the present, or the future––– we are secure and protected, in the love of Christ.

God assures us that the hard things in life are working for our good and not against us. He encourages us that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. God allows the trials of life to come so that He may use them in our lives for His glory. He will never desert us, for He is closest to us when we go through the most difficult times of our life. We, my friend, are victorious in Christ. We need not fear what may come into our lives because–––He gives the victory with no conditions attached.

Believers can experience defeat, discouragement, or depression at times. Our God is concerned with the trials we face and what could cause us to give way to frustration or despair. All our suffering will one day be gone and we will be with Christ in glory. The best is yet to come for us and we are to anticipate His coming! What hope we have in Him who will one day take us home to heaven. This should cause our hearts to rejoice, knowing; victory is ours through Christ, who loved us enough, to die in our place. We are His beloved and nothing can separate us from His deep affectionate love.

Lord, thank You for Your sacrificial love shown on the cross of Calvary.

Friday, October 4, 2019

How Do I Parent An Angry Child?

How Do I Parent An Angry Child?
Not every household has an angry child to deal with. If you are someone that does, here are some steps that you can take to help you during this difficult time. The purpose for writing this blog is not to beat you over the head with all the things you have done wrong, but to encourage you with the actions you’re already taking that are good and right. Every parent needs to hear that they are doing some positive things to help their child overcome the acts of aggression and anger that are so destructive.  Having a practical and favorable course of action in mind is extremely helpful to you. When your child decides to have a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store or anywhere else, you can begin to practice what you have learned.

Helpful Hints in Parenting an Angry Child in Public

Work through behavior issues at home before going out (This is what will happen if you show a problem in public).

Prepare them in knowing what is acceptable behavior in public

Know your child and be aware of what may cause issues

Give instructions again before entering a public place

Do not give in to their crying - Do not ignore them - Leave immediately if possible

Make sure you have an age-appropriate plan of discipline in mind 

Be consistent in training and reminding them of what is acceptable

Children need boundaries and guidelines administered wherever they are. The home is an excellent place to begin teaching and training a child for a public setting. Being constant with discipline is extremely important when instructing your child. For them to know what is not acceptable behavior today should be the same for tomorrow. Make sure you are not disciplining a child for accidents but for disobedience after they have learned the difference. We don’t have to teach our children how to disobey, lie, steal, or get angry. They are doing what is natural to them. We, as parents, have to teach them not to lie, steal, disobey, etc., and also help them through times of anger.

Lord, give us the wisdom to train our children.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Does Prayer Increase My Faith?

Does Prayer Increase My Faith?
Matthew 6:5-8 
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

You may ask, “Why pray? What purpose does God have in mind when urging me to pray? What is God accomplishing in me through prayer?” These are certainly challenges to think about regarding your prayer life. Prayer strengthens your daily walk and increases your faith to live for Christ.

Prayer is a great privilege that God has given to you through the death of His Son on the cross.  When the veil of the temple was rent in two, everyone at that moment had full access to God as a believer (Matthew 27:51). The curtain, then blocking the entrance to the Most Holy of Holies, was open to you and you are now free to enter into the presence of a Holy God. Coming boldly to the throne of God is a great honor and because of Jesus’ extreme sacrifice, we have liberty and freedom to come before Him. What an immense and unsurpassable price, He paid for you that you might have the privilege of coming to Him freely in prayer.

Prayer is not a quick list of wants and desires set before you, but it is the humbling of oneself before an Almighty God. It is recognizing His unspeakable gift of grace and compassionate mercy given. Picture the throne room of God in Isaiah 6, “high and lifted up.” Imagine yourself before the throne of God hearing these words, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.”  Would not your faith increase?

As you confess your sin before God and remember His attributes, give Him praise for His priceless redemption. Be mindful of His awe-inspiring strength, and mighty power to conquer sin and death. When you bow the knee in worship and prayer, inevitably, your faith will increase and endure. 

Lord, gratitude fills my heart for the great privilege of prayer.

Friday, September 20, 2019

"I Know Not What Awaits Me"

“I Know Not What Awaits Me”
James 4:14

News Headlines ~ Chicago Tribune ~ December 30, 1876  
Gospel Singer and Songwriter Burns to Death in Tragic Train Wreck

The railroad train, on which Mr. and Mrs. P. P. Bliss rode to their death, left Buffalo, New York, on Friday, December 29, 1876. When approaching Ashtabula, Ohio, the bridge gave way, and the train, with 160 passengers plunged into the ravine. 

It was the worst winter night of the year and as the train was creeping across the bridge, something snapped. There was confusion with the cracking of wooden beams, and then the crash of the train, into freezing water. Cries of the injured and suffering could be heard from the train below. Men, women, and children, with limbs, bruised and broken, and some pinched between heavy timbers, begged with their last breath for help.

Five minutes, after the train fell, a fire broke out. Mr. Bliss succeeded in escaping from the wreckage and soon realized his dear wife was pinned under the ironwork of the seats. Returning to the car, he bravely remained at her side attempting to release her maimed body. Other men went back after their wives and children and found them suffocating and roasting in the flames. In less than ten minutes after the catastrophe, every car in the wreck was on fire. The bodies of Mr. and Mrs. P. P, Bliss were never recovered, but his trunk reached Chicago safely.

When the trunk was opened, they found a song that had been written by Mary G. Brainard; P. P. Bliss added the chorus and composed the music: "I know not what awaits me. God kindly veils my eyes…"  The last verse of the song read: “So on I go, not knowing, I would not if I might; I'd rather walk in the dark with God Than go alone in the light; I'd rather walk by faith with him Than go alone by sight.”

God alone knows the future. Whatever may await you, when you trust Christ as your “Redeemer,” victory is given over sin and death and hell. 

Lord, I will sing of You, my Redeemer.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Abide in Me

Abide in Me
John 15: 1-6

A few tips to interpret Scripture accurately. Be careful not to take word pictures, illustrations, or parables to literal when reading them. Understand to whom the writer is directing his message and why is it relevant to them. And remember to use all Scripture to interpret Scripture context correctly. 

Do you feel like you have failed in producing fruit in your Christian life and have no idea how long, or how much fruit you are to be producing? Maybe, you’ve become a fruit inspector for God and look at other’s fruit comparing it to your effectiveness? A fruit inspector is another name for a self-righteous person or to put it in Biblical terms, a Pharisee. John 15 was written to be an encouragement and not a discouragement to the believer, and especially to the remaining disciples. 

We need to look at what the Apostle John is “not” saying in this portion of the Word of God. He does not imply that if you stop bearing fruit, you lose your salvation or if you don’t bear enough fruit, you will be cut off and burned. Jesus is making the passage clear in John 15:5 by saying: “… apart from me you can do nothing.” The Lord is not addressing laziness or immoral Christians in John 15, but directing His thoughts towards those who might be tempted to turn away from Him and trust in something or someone else. The issue here is about one’s faith in the True Vine not in how much fruit someone needs to produce. 

We can’t make this Scripture about our effort to produce fruit. The fruit of the Spirit comes from the Spirit of God which dwells in the believer. Jesus produces the fruit in us when we, by faith, trust and abide in Him. The definition for the word, abide means to completely rest, rely upon, and wholeheartedly remain in Christ depending on nothing else. Our obedience then becomes the fruit and evidence of our love displayed towards Him.

Lord, I abide in You alone.

Friday, September 6, 2019

How Do We Strengthen Our Home?

How Do We Strengthen Our Homes?

Matthew 18:21-22 

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

What can we do to strengthen our homes?  Does the Bible have an answer for us? Keep in mind what God calls us to do, He enables and equips us to achieve. What is most important in our families that causes relationships to be sustained for the long haul? The answer, FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is an act of love that is undeserved and unearned. It affirms to the offender that there is no longer any anger, hatred, or a desire for vengeance necessary. The guilt has been removed and the blame is gone. This is the exact compassion that God demonstrates towards sinners. He grants to us a promise of unconditional love through His precious Gospel. Our reproach and humiliation have been removed and God’s attitude towards those who have put their faith in Him is His unfathomable favor. This is what makes a lasting relationship when there are no resentments or unresolved grievances we harbor.

In Colossians 3:13, Paul says, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

Unforgiveness imprisons and keeps people chained to their past. As long as they are unwilling to forgive offenders and their offenses, they are shackled to them, keeping their pain alive like an open sore. Christ is our model of forgiveness and has pardoned all our sins––the most important truth in Scripture (Colossians 2:13). He has canceled out our sin debt against a holy God and redeemed us (fulfilled the necessary payment for sin) with His blood (Colossians 1:14). How can we, who have been forgiven so much, not forgive someone? To make our homes strong, we need to release others through a heart of forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32).

Lord, build my home.  Amen!