Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kiss Bitterness Good-bye

Bitterness is on my mind . . . .

I'm editing a book that deals with Christian family members following a nasty divorce, and I'm finding that the consequences of bitterness are devastating--debilitating actually. Scripture addresses this:

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God
and that no bitter root grow up
to cause trouble and defile many."
~Hebrews 13:15

This verse says many are defiled once bitterness takes root in a life. Have you been troubled by someone else's bitterness? Have you caused trouble by your own bitterness?

One of the things we've all had to learn is that life isn't fair. This is a fallen world and there are bad people who do bad things. Actually, there are good people who do bad things.

Maybe you've been hurt. Maybe you're becoming bitter. Don't let that happen! Go to God: He can help. Read the whole verse:

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God
and that no bitter root grow up
to cause trouble and defile many."
~Hebrews 13:15

God gives grace--don't miss it! He will give you the grace to cast your care on Him because He cares for you. He wants you to trust Him to work things out--even to take vengeance on the one who hurt you, if  necessary. But let Him do it, because He knows how to do things in the right way--for everyone's betterment! 

He is your loving Father. 
Let Him take care of you. 
Trust Him . . . and kiss bitterness good-bye!

Friday, April 16, 2010

How Great Thou Art!

My grandmother used to say, "How can anyone look at a star-filled sky on a summer's night and not see the hand of God?"

How can anyone stand beside the powerful Pacific Ocean, locked within its bounds by the mighty word of God, and not see Him at work?

How can anyone behold a newborn baby, perfectly crafted by the Master, and not credit our Creator?

How can anyone read the Bible and not marvel at God's Master plan as it nears completion and draws to a close?

How can anyone discount the Old Testament prophecies that clearly were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son sent as a gift of love that whosoever believes on Him would have eternal life?

One day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. If you haven't yet done so, why not bend the knee to Him today?

Oh God, how great Thou art!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise

Today our concrete driveway received it's annual "seal" against whatever attacks concrete driveways. It took about half an hour to apply and ended up costing $500. We'll be rethinking that particular expense in next year's budget.

Nevertheless, it got me to thinking. We, who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, have also been sealed against attackers.

"And you also were included in Christ 
when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. 
Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, 
the promised Holy Spirit, 
who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance 
until the redemption of those who are God's possession--
to the praise of his glory."
~Ephesians 1:13-14

What a wonderful promise! The Holy Spirit, requested by Jesus Christ and sent by the Father to comfort us-- that very Holy Spirit who will never leave us or forsake us--is given to us as a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance.

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit 
that we are God's children.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs--
heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,
if indeed we share in his sufferings
in order that we may also share in his glory."
~Romans 8:16-17

We who know Jesus are guaranteed protection against attackers until the day Jesus comes to take us home to our inheritance. Can we even imagine what that inheritance will be?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Children And Choice!

Glancing through Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible* today, I opened to pages 188-89 and noticed that the first word is children and the last word is choice. Interesting!

There are many choices involved when it comes to children.
  • Whether or not to have them. Some people regard this choice as the most important choice of all--to the point that, if they become pregnant, they demand to exercise their choice to destroy the child. Others believe that the right to choose whether to have children should be exercised before having sex (or unprotected sex). Then there are those who suggest that it is really not our choice at all inasmuch as God said to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Whether or not to love them. As a grandparent, I can't understand how anyone could not love children. Yet, I'm not too old to remember how wearisome children can be at the end of a long day. Loving your children, instead of hollering at them, is a choice you can make. Children, like everyone else, respond better to love than to hatred. Take a deep breath and choose to love them.
  • Whether to spend time with them. Your children need you more than the air they breathe, the food they eat . . . more than anything. Children are desperate to have their parents' affection and affirmation. Someone has said that children spell love this way: T-I-M-E.
  • Whether to train them up in the way they should go. Sometimes culture works against the family and parents don't think their kids even listen to them. THEY DO! All the surveys show that parents influence their children more than all those external influences that seem so attractive to our children. So don't give up! Don't ever give up!
These are just a few of the choices we make when we consider children. Yet, it's interesting that Strong's Concordance lists five pages of references (approximately 1,740 references) to children and only 21 references to choice (none of which have anything to do with children). So, maybe when all is said and done, the only choice to make about children is to love and appreciate them as rewards from our heavenly Father.

*Thomas Nelson Publishers, copyright 1979.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Will Fido Be in Heaven?

Ever wonder what to tell your child (or yourself) when a beloved pet dies? Will he be in heaven?

Over the years I've heard many opposing thoughts about this and have come to my own conclusion based on Scriptures that are precious to me. From the very beginning, God has shown love and regard for animals.

  • In the Garden of Eden, God commissioned Adam to name the animals and tend to their needs.
  • When mankind corrupted the earth, God made sure that pairs of every living creature boarded the ark.
  • In Proverbs, God says that a righteous man regards the life of (cares for) his beasts.
  • Isaiah, when discussing end times, writes of wolves, leopards, and lions living with lambs, goats and calves and, best of all, a little child shall lead them.

Seems that the only ones who won't be in heaven are people who choose not to be.

"This day I call heaven and earth
as witnesses against you
that I have set before you life and death,
blessings and curses.
Now choose life
so that you and your children may live 
and that you may love the LORD your God,
listen to his voice, 
and hold fast to him."
~Deuteronomy 30:19-20

 Animals will be in heaven, but will the people they love join them?

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Promise of a "God-Made" Day (Reprint)

Friends, I'm re-posting this because I need it. Maybe some of you do, too.

On the wall beside my desk is a large silver cross. Across the top section is a rising sun, and below it are the words,

"This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:24

What difference does it make to know the Lord has fashioned the day stretching before you?

Does it affect the way you look at the events of the next 24 hours?

Does it reassure you  to know that nothing can enter your life except what has filtered through the hands of a loving Father who cares for you?

If it does . . . then, along with the psalmist, you can rejoice and be glad in this day, and the next, and the next.

If it does not, then perhaps you need to analyze this: Is He your Lord? Are you His child? Are you walking in the light of His word?

"For God so loved the world that he gave 
his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life."
~John 3:16

If you belong to Him and yet still do not rejoice in this day, consider this: Are you allowing the cares of this world to rob you of your joy?

Then turn your eyes upon Jesus!
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace!*

Look full in the wonderful face of Jesus. May the LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

*Lyrics by Helen H. Lemmel