Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Let not your good be evil spoken of...

" Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify one another." Romans 14:19

Do you ever find yourself wanting to "change" another person? Do you see yourself nitpicking at others because of your own convictions? Maybe you desire that those you are concerned with " see the importance of being in the Light"... to know what is good and right...

... or maybe... you simply want them to turn away from evil.

You know, sometimes we tend to go "overboard" impugning our own rules on someone else, or simply pushing others to believe as we do, or nagging them to no end. And while we mean good, sometimes our attitudes bring about strife... and not peace. 

We forget that God is at the helm of every life... He does the work of salvation.. and He brings about true repentance. We are to seek peace and pursue it.

It was while reading through the book of Romans recently, that I thought upon my need to follow after righteousness, peace and joy... and not bring about strife.

" For he that in these things serveth Christ 
is acceptable to God and approved of men." 
Romans 14:18

I was yet again reminded of my need to reflect a bit on my own life... to see how my attitude, or my words or my deeds can make another person stumble. 

Do I act and do any thing that causes another... to stumble, to be offended or to be made weak? Do I let  the good that God has done... be evil spoken of ? 

I have to admit I don't ask these questions of myself as often as I should.  Sometimes I think I am so right, that I am blinded by my own "righteousness". 

O, Lord forgive my self righteousness! Help me to know Thee with simplicity and pureness of heart... that Christ might be exalted.

Make me to be holy in all manner of conversation... and may my deeds manifest YOUR working in me. May I not grieve or make another stumble because of my proud attitude... and bring shame to your name. 

" But if thy brother be grieved... now walkest thou not charitably?" 
Romans 14:15

And remind me not be a "clanging cymbal"... but rather, may your LOVE cover over all inadequacies. 

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, 
I am become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal." 
1 Corinthians 13:1

May you be encouraged today to follow after righteousness, peace and joy ... in the Holy Ghost.(Romans 14:17)


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Let your loins be girded about, and your LIGHTS be burning.

" No man when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the LIGHT. " Luke 11:33

Have you ever wondered if the LIGHT in you is burning brightly? Can others see Christ living in you? Are you a witness for Him?

I asked myself these questions as I was meditating upon several verses in my daily Bible reading. 

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; 
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." 
Matthew 5:15

I was really struck when I read the verse again... the light... it gives light to ALL that are in the house.

For in a room, none can help but notice the light when it shines....

You know, I've known this verse since childhood.... heard it in Sunday School.. and heard it being preached upon. But recently I saw something a bit different, something I had missed before.

This LIGHT dwelling in us should give light to all that are in the house.

Have you thought about the importance... of being a light in our own homes... that our own family see Christ living in us? Sometimes we forget to shine brightly in our own homes... where those closest to us know us best. It's there, though, where it comes most easy to... simply dim the light, place it in a secret place... or even hide it.  We often become weary in well doing...

However, we are reminded to have our loins " girded about " and to keep our lights burning.

But I didn't stop there, because after being blessed by the verse in Matthew, encouraging me to shine brightly in my own home, I decided to look up the same verse in a different gospel...

" No man when he hath lighted a candle, 
putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, 
that they which come in may see the LIGHT. " 
Luke 11:33

Luke says it a bit different... that those who come in, ought to see the Light. We are to be a light even to those that come into our homes...

Do we shine and direct others towards the ONE who is the true Light?  Can those near and around us feel the warmth and see our lights burning brightly?

I realized one thing of importance...  when Christ rules in our lives...  when we are led by the Spirit... our lives will bring Light to those around us... 

... in our homes 
...and to those that come in.

The Light... Christ Jesus... the One who lights our candles.

What a blessed reminder that we are not to cover the light, so as to hinder its brightness or usefulness... but rather to be a vessel used of God... to bring light to those around us.

Oh, that our deeds might manifest His working in us. 

" But he that doeth truth cometh to the light 
that his deeds may be made manifest, 
that they are wrought in God." 
John 3:21

Could we, too, be a witness... as John the Baptist was for the coming of the LORD JESUS CHRIST...

...and can the LORD GOD say the same of us?

" He was a burning and a shining light..." 
John 5:35

May you be encouraged to shine brightly in your home... that those therein and those coming in... may see Christ living in you.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

...God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

" Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee." Psalm 73:25

Have you ever felt a longing to be with the Lord? Do you find Him the perfect Friend that you depend on... at all times?

I know sometimes we get caught up with the things here below. We find ourselves looking unto others to fulfill our needs. But I wonder how often we really, truly find ourselves seeking the Lord... as Psalm 42:1 says it so well,

"  as a deer panteth after the water brooks..."

Can I truly say, 

"... so panteth my soul after Thee , O God."

I've been thinking much on this verse. I know most of us know it quite well... maybe we can even quote it to others.  But I find myself  "knowing"  too much and when it comes to applying what I know, well, I admit I often fail. 

Yet I am most grateful to the Lord... 

The Lord is gracious, and in His tenderness comforts, encourages and speaks to me from His word... drawing me ever so close to Him. He reminds me of His precious promises and His work on my behalf... that I might be renewed in mind and conformed to His image. 

He takes care of what needs to be accomplished in my life and I don't need to worry about what He thinks of me... for He already knows my thoughts... and who I am.

Indeed He truly is my faithful Friend. The One who I depend on. The One who never changes. The One who I run to... in sorrow or in joy.

My desire is to have my soul pant after my Savior... to give Him praise and to long for Him with fervency.

A few days ago I heard a lovely song on the radio while walking around town...  it blessed me, and I hope it blesses you as well. I also saw a lone turkey wondering the streets... I thought how lost and confused it was. How thankful I am that when I am "lost and confused" I have a most blessed Savior who watches over me... a most blessed Friend.

“Jesus, Savior, Blessed Friend” 

Whom have I, O Lord, beside you? What have I except your love?
Where is home if not for heaven, there to dwell with you above?
Who are you, if not my Savior? Who am I if not your own?
What are you if not my shelter, Christ my rock and cornerstone?
Jesus, Savior, blessed friend, I will love you without end.

Who will share my earthly sorrow? Who will heal my broken heart?
Who will hold my life together when it seems to fall apart?
When the fears are far too many, and the joys are far too few,
Who will comfort and defend me? Only you, Lord, only you.
Jesus, Savior, blessed friend, I will trust you without end.

Where, O Lord, when life is over, can I go, but home to you?
What have I except the promise where you are I shall be too?
When at last I reach the comfort of that bright celestial place,
There with joy will I behold you, gaze upon your glorious face.
Jesus, Savior, heavenly friend, I will praise you without end.

by Deborah Govenor

May you know the  Lord Jesus Christ as your very own  personal Friend... " Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."  John 15:14


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

He hath shewed STRENGTH with HIS arm...

" He that is MIGHTY hath done to me GREAT things: and HOLY is HIS name." Luke 1:49

As I am nearing the end of memorizing Romans Chapter 8, I have been tremendously blessed by it. Oh, the treasures gained by slowly dwelling on God's word... and knowing Him more.

Memorizing has brought much strength and peace to me... not only building me up and helping me to discern His will, but it has been most helpful...

...during times of anxiety, 
...during times of discouragement, 
...during times of loneliness, 
...and during times when I needed strength for the day... or night.... when my thoughts strayed from the things above to those here below.

While memorizing verse 32 of Romans 8, I marvelled at God's love for us:

 " He that spared not His own Son, 
but delivered Him up for us all, 
how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" 
Romans 8:32

Sometimes we know not what we ask for... we want... and want.... and want. Our "needs" are never met.

But as I stayed a bit upon the verse, I realized how often we discount the magnitude of God's love... and His gift for us.

Shamefully, we don't acknowledge God's precious gift for us as being more than enough.  No, not more than enough, but rather,...

Abundant. Overflowing. Plentiful. Bountiful...

Have  you ever marvelled at God's gift for you? For indeed He has given us ALL things through His Son Jesus Christ. 

We lack no good thing.

And as I was reading through the book of Luke, I was blessed with a verse that brought overflowing thanksgiving  in my heart to the Lord... for His goodness to me. 

" He that is MIGHTY hath done to me GREAT things: 
and HOLY is HIS name."
 Luke 1:49

Indeed He is mighty... and nothing is impossible for Him.

Great things has He done for me... and HOLY is His name!

May you rejoice today in the abundance of His love for you... and praise His Holy name.