Friday, May 29, 2015

With Strength In My Song

With Strength In My Song
Psalm 28:7 KJV
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 

What do you do when your strength is all gone and you feel like you just can’t keep going on? Have you looked for other things to comfort your soul and found that they are empty, meaningless and futile?  Has food or drink or any other idol stolen your heart from God? Where will you find the strength to carry on? 

Luther Bridges, a preacher of the Gospel was full of promises and dreams. He went to visit his wives’ family in Harrodsburg, Kentucky and left his wife and three young boys with her family while on a preaching trip.  In the middle of the night, a nearby neighbor, unable to sleep, went to his window and saw Luther’s in-law’s house engulfed in flames. The neighbor sounded the alarm, but the house was too far gone to help. The parents were able to escape, but Luther’s wife and three young boys perished in the fire.

When Luther arrived home his heart suffered overwhelming thoughts of suicide and depression. What do you do when all hope is gone and your strength is consumed by grief? Luther did find hope and strength in the Word of God and in the scripture that reads, “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search” (Psalm 77:6).

God gave strength in the night to Luther Bridges and several months later, he wrote the music and words to the song, “He Keeps Me Singing.” God’s ability to heal the heart of man after such great tragedy is amazing and inspiring.

Though times He lead through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.
Luther B. Bridges

Lord, thank You for Your song in the night and the strength to carry on.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Is It Spiritual Warfare?

Is It Spiritual Warfare?
Ephesians 6:10-18

I have asked myself many times, “Is this Spiritual Warfare?” If it is, “What do I do?” The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, tells Christian’s what to do during times of Spiritual warfare. Some people think that everything they encounter is the devil’s doing, but this is not so. Satan cannot be the cause of all things because human beings still have the old nature within to deal with. Satan has the reputation of being a murderer and a liar. He works openly in the wickedness of this world and secretly in the false religious systems. We cannot be ignorant of his wicked schemes or of his evil devices. We must endure hardness and fight as good soldiers because the Bible instructs every believer to do so (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

When a believer is saved he receives the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that defeated Satan on the cross. God’s power indwells every Christian making this power our resource of strength in times of spiritual uncertainty. We have the power of God available to us to resist Satan. We are not asked to bind, or cast out Satan, but to resist and not to give place to the devil (James 4:7; Ephesians 4:27). 

How do I resist or keep from giving place to Satan? 2 Corinthians 2:11 says, "Be not ignorant of his devices."  Satan’s devices target the believer’s mind. They bring false teachers with wrong doctrine into view to destroy and divide believers. His schemes are relentless and persistent, but Christian, God has provided us with protection through His Word. I Timothy 6:11 encourages us to “Flee youthful lusts," flee temptation, "and follow after righteousness." To resist the devil, flee temptations, and stand firm in the power of His might, is to be clothed in the Whole Armor of God spiritually, and mentally prepared for the battle of a life time. 

Lord, may I be prepared mentally and spiritually to fight the good fight until You come.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Is He Your Friend?

Is He Your Friend?
John 15:12-13 KJV
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection is known as–––a friend. I have had many acquaintances in my life time, but only a few genuine friends. If you have a true friend, you are considered most fortunate indeed. Loving a friend is the sacrificial giving of ones self for the benefit of that friend without thought of self in return.

Christians are called to exemplify sacrificial giving toward one another, even if that sacrifice involves the laying down of one’s own life, as Christ laid down His life for His friends. He, whom we call, Friend, measures the water of the world in the palm of His hand and sovereignly rules all creation (Isaiah 40:12). Spoke life and substance into existence and continues to sustain all that He has created (Isaiah 48:13). His title is beyond any title ever given and His love and friendship exceeds any friendship ever known to man. Oh, what a Friend We have in Jesus!  

Joseph Scriven, wrote the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” for his dear mother. He wanted this song to comfort her in a time of deep sorrow. Great tragedy touched the life of Joseph Scriven as well, when his lovely fiancee was pulled from the lake the day before their wedding in Dublin, Ireland. The second traumatic heart-ache occurred when his bride-to-be, Eliza Catherine Roche, contracted tuberculosis and died in 1860 before they could wed in America. 

Joseph found Jesus to be the Friend most needed when agonizing troubles find their way in ones life and overwhelming sorrows fill the soul. No greater friend could you possess than a Friend who is willing to lay down His life for you. 

Lord, thank You that You are a Friend of sinners and the lover of my soul.

Friday, May 8, 2015

An Exceptional Mother

An Exceptional Mother
Acts 12:1-12

Mary, the mother of John Mark, was known for being a distinguished Christian woman from the city of Jerusalem. There is no record of his father, but Mark is reported to be a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10). Mary’s house was known for being a popular place for Christians to gather and pray (Acts 12:12). After an angel freed the apostle Peter from Herod's prison, he went first to Mary’s house (Acts 12:6-12).

This is the only time the Bible mentions Mary, the mother of John Mark, but we can glean some inspiring insights from her life. She was a supporter of the early church and showed tremendous bravery in encouraging the work of God. Great persecution was sweeping through the church at this time and James, the brother of John, had already been martyred. Through all of this, Mary still welcomed the church into her home at great personal risk. Mary was a praying woman (mom) and raised a believing son who loved God’s work. Mark’s life reflects the faith-filled influence of his godly mother.

What does an “Exceptional women” look like in the church today? She supports the pastor and the leadership of the church, lifting them up in prayer. The exceptional woman encourages other women to stand strong for Christ and to share their faith even when others disagree. The exceptional woman is faithful in teaching and instructing her children in the things of God openly and at home. The exceptional women fights against the world’s philosophy that bombards the minds of her children. She strives to protect them from the uncertain days they live in. Children are being influenced to doubt the validity of God’s Word and to question the power Jesus has promised them in living out the abundant life. The exceptional woman is a mom that is mindful of her children’s needs and has a heart filled with unconditional love for each of them. 

Lord, my continual prayer is to strive to be an exceptional mother while reflecting the gospel of Christ.

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Heart of Bitterness

 A Heart of Bitterness
Ruth 1:19-20 
So they two went until they came to Beth–lehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Beth–lehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

As Naomi enters the city of Bethlehem, with Ruth by her side, the people of the city begin to move about asking, “Is this Naomi?” Ten years had gone by since Naomi lived there and they didn’t know the overwhelming effect that bitterness had produced in her heart. To those standing near she bitterly replied, “Don’t call me Naomi, which means, “pleasant,” but call me Mara, meaning, “bitter,” for the LORD has brought me home to Bethlehem absolutely empty.

Satan wanted Naomi to focus on the negative, those areas of weakness where unforgiveness, anger, feelings of bitterness lived and would breed discouragement. She couldn’t think clearly when she focused on the lies of Satan. His lies divided her mind and caused her to shift the blame to God and of course, to others. Naomi’s bitterness was an attitude of deep discontentment that poisoned her soul and destroyed her peace. A sour Christian is one of Satan's greatest trophies and why the Bible says, "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and there by many be defiled;” (Hebrews 12:15). If we continue to live in bitterness, this harmful condition will eventually be passed on to others causing immense negative effects. 

How do you deal with bitterness? Do you confess your bitterness to God, and seek His forgiveness and help? “Yes!” On the cross, Christ took upon Himself every sin you ever committed—including your bitterness. No matter it’s cause, commit your bitterness to God, and replace it with the fruit of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23). 

Lord, I realize that bitterness has infected my life, please forgive me and fill my heart with the precious fruit of God.