Friday, October 28, 2016

Dwelling in Fear?

                    Dwelling in Fear?

                                        Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 

In light of Isaiah 41:10, Israel did not need to fear God’s judgment upon them but rather to trust in their God. For the LORD is trustworthy and His promises to restore the nation of Israel once again are true.

“My righteous right hand” refers to what is just and right and a place of honor and authority. God’s hand is faithful, one can rely on it and know that there’s security in times of trouble. Living life in fear is a hard place to be. The feelings of fear are intense whether they are real or assumed to be true. Both types of fear will have an affect on a person’s emotional, physical, and/or spiritual well being.

Fear triggers the release of adrenaline in the body which propels us to action. We’re faced with making a choice to stand up and fight, freeze, or to run away. Though some fear is good and needed especially when a bear is loose in your neighborhood and you’re instructed to stay inside until the animal is caught. Or, like an old recording of past emotions playing in your mind and wreaking all kinds of havoc. That kind of fear captures the imagination caused by a lack of faith (Mark 4:40) and is not from God (II Timothy 1:7). 

Psalm 56:3,11 says, "
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." This is an awesome testimony that the psalmist gives revealing the power in trusting God. The way to overcome fear is to put your total and complete trust in Him, even in the most difficult situations. In the darkest time of his life, Job wrote, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him . . .” (Job 13:15).

Lord, I will trust in You.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What Does It Mean to Blaspheme?

   What Does It Mean to Blaspheme?

Definition: According to Black's Law Dictionary, blasphemy is “the written or oral reproach of God, His name, attributes, or religion.”

To blaspheme was a serious offense or crime according to the law God gave to Moses. The Israelite people were to worship God, obey Him and revere His Holy name (Leviticus 24:10-16). The name of God was not just a convenient label for mankind to use, but a symbolic representation of His divine character.

Jesus spoke of a type of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which was committed by the religious leaders of His day. The situation, the Pharisees were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ miracles, but they attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the presence of a demon (Mark 3:22-30). This was deliberate, insulting and a scornful rejection of the Holy Spirit of God. Blasphemy of this sort was unforgivable (Matthew 12:22–32).

The Pharisees, living in a unique time of history, had the Law and the Prophets, and the Holy Spirit of God to stir their hearts. They experienced the Son of God Himself before them and they watched with their own eyes the miracles He performed. There had never been anything like this in the history of the world and never has been since that time where such divine light had been granted to men. Even though they knew the truth, they denied the validity of Christ and He declared their willful defiance to be unpardonable. This blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would be their final rejection and they would be guilty of an eternal sin never to be forgiven.

We can blaspheme the Holy Spirit today, but not in the same way. Jesus Christ is not on the earth but is in Heaven and seated at the right hand of God. No one can witness Jesus (in His flesh) performing miracles and attribute that power to Satan instead of the Holy Spirit. The unpardonable sin today is to live and die in unbelief.

Lord, forgive me for any reproach I have brought upon Your name.

Friday, October 14, 2016

In the Pit

                            In the Pit
                                       Psalm 40:1-3

Being in the pit is a place we have all been and even as God’s children will experience for some unknown period of time. Pits happen and they happen to everyone. There is no escaping the pit which approaches all of us. They come in all different shapes and sizes sometimes startling us with shocking news or at times, a rude awakening. I know, I am a survivor of multiple pits.

My pit began as a young girl being abused and feeling the guilt that never subsides. The pit of alcoholism dominating my home and then undergoing the imprisonment of a sibling. The heartache of young love mistreated, spousal assault and devastating divorce. Somehow the pits became more challenging with each difficult and perplexing situation, but still they came.

It didn’t matter whether I was a Christian or not. The pit was
incomprehensible and demanding my attention. Ministry has it’s own pits for sure but, trying to help others figure out their complex troubles while managing your own pit is exhausting. When the love of your life is diagnosed with cancer and you’re faced with death, the feeling of despair sweeps over you and engulfs your very soul. While suffering with terrible bouts of worry and anxiety, crippling fear continues to flood your mind.

Pits are deep, dark, confining, lonely, and down-right scary places with no known escape hatch. The Bible calls them trials, testings, tribulations and with them comes the feeling that there’s no way out. Psalm 121:1 says, “I will lift up mine eyes. . . My help cometh from the LORD . . .” The only way out of the pit is to look up, cry out and wait on God. You’re not alone in the pit. He promises He will never leave you or forsake you and gives you the confidence to know, He’s your helper in time of need (Hebrews 13:5b, 6). I have learned that I cannot only survive the pits, but I can thrive in the midst of them.

Lord, thank You for the invaluable lessons learned,  from the pit.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Woman's Response to Submission

  A Woman’s Response to Submission
                                  Ephesians 5:21-23
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . .

The responsibility of all believers is to submit to one another. When we submit mutually to each other, we approach all of our relationships with humility, unselfishness, self-denial, and a desire to meet the needs of the other person. It is commanded that every Christian wife is to be in subjection to her own husband. This does not mean every woman is to be submissive to every man, but that submission is an attitude which shows a loving act of obedience and a willing spirit to submit to her husband. Submission is not the husband’s to command but for the wife to willingly and lovingly offer to her husband as unto the Lord–––who has given this command regardless of her husband’s personal worthiness or spiritual condition.

Do you have a husband who’s life-style is a trial to you, either because he's unsaved or he's a disobedient believer? Has your husband failed to fulfill all of your hopes and the expectations you desired in a husband? Are you struggling with his authority over you? Dear wife, all the more reason to be submissive, to demonstrate to him a respectful kind of behavior. Adorn your heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in the sight of God and every husband’s dream (1 Peter 3:1-4). 

When a wife does not submit, there is deviation from the design of God causing the relationship between the husband and wife to be dysfunctional. God has designed the body to respond to the head and has designed the husband to be the head of the wife. (We are not speaking about abuse, it is another matter.) Responding to your husband as if you were responding to Christ is submission.

Lord, without reluctance, I submit as unto You.