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Parenting Tidbits #6; Building Character in Conflicts


http://www.doorposts.com/blog/2011/05/24/dealing-with-quarrels/

This article is a good snippet in helping your children deal with conflicts.

 

 

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Love Is A Gift, Not A Right


There’s this song I really like, although it’s got a very humanistic tone to it.  It’s about love, you know, the romantic kind.  One of the lines sticks out the most and it states how everyone has a “God-forsaken right to be loved”.  It just reminded me that love doesn’t come to us as a “right”.  It’s a gift of grace.  When you get to the heart of many of life’s problems, it all come back to the sin of self-centeredness.  We all believe we deserve something, this and that, and love is not an exception.  Sure, we “should” love for God loved us first and showed us how to love.  As a secular society, even non believers sense some level of need to love and be loved in return.  That’s an innate longing that we were created with and for.  Because of sin, that desire is often skewed and tainted.  Only the Holy Spirit can alter that longing and fulfill it with God.  It’s a pursuit we ought to live toward each day and yes, life gets in the way.  All is not lost, we were created with one main purpose but many sub-purposes, if you will.  I’m not saying anything else we do outside of church worship is sin.  God created a world order too and each has their role.  But don’t take for granted the love and opportunities we have to love.  It’s not a “right”, something we’re entitled to.  It’s a gift.  Once we realize that, it’s easier to be thankful for being loved and not bitter when we are not.  This can be addressed in any kind of relationship; marriage, children, extended family, friends, etc.  Remember the greatest love is this, that He gave up His son for us while we yet sinners.  To the glory of His name, forever and ever.

Women, Pray for Your Husbands


Laziness is not a virtue. Self-Discipline is.


This is a great article about the heart of the matter. We ought not be elevating laziness, self-loathing, procrastination and the like. We out to be promoting and lifting up the virtues that instill honor to the name of Christ. Sure we all fail; we are not perfect. But our attitude towards diligence should not be of snickering, eye rolling. That is just disrespect towards good character, which is a dishonorable disposition of the heart.  God tells us to pursue these things.  Far be it from us to defame those who are striving for godliness.  Spread the word.

http://www.titus2.com/corners/7-11-m.htm

There’s 6 parts to this article. I haven’t read all 6 yet but when I do, I will update and expound.

Part 2:  http://www.titus2.com/corners/8-11-m.htm

Part 3:  http://www.titus2.com/corners/9-11-m.htm

Part 4:  http://www.titus2.com/corners/10-11-m.htm

Part 5:  http://www.titus2.com/corners/11-11-m.htm

Part 6:  http://www.titus2.com/corners/1-12-m.htm

 

Night Time Family Devotions


Deuteronomy 11:18  Fix these words of mine into your mind and being, and tie them as a reminder on your hands and let them be symbols on your forehead. 11:19 Teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road,  as you lie down, and as you get up. 11:20 Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates

As part of our daily routine, we always try to have family devotions before bedtime.   And if we miss it, it’s just not the same for kids to go to bed without devotions.  They ask for it.  It’s part of our life.  God’s word is to read, to be cherished, and honored.  They aren’t perfect in paying attention but it’s a tradition, a time they look forward to.  I hope they remember this also when they’re older as a great memory.  We generally have this time in girls’ room.  Once in a while in our bedroom, the living room, or “hang out” room (which is what we labeled the upstairs family room ) and the kids go crazy over this.  Oh the little joys in life!  Sometimes we do devotions at dinner. Sometimes things happen or come up and we don’t get to.  Such is life sometimes, ain’t it?

It’s our responsibilities as parents to teach our children in the way they should go, especially in the ways of the Lord.  We shall teach them the Word; what it says, means and how to live it.  I had a great devotional with the kids this morning as we read Psalm 90.  They may not understand it all now but it’s never too early to start instilling the value and love of the Word and time together as a family in reading and learning it together.  My youngest is 5 and just when I don’t think she’s thinking, she’ll pop up with some comment that has been brewing in her mind that was sparked by something I said or read, and it’s wonderful (aside from being so cute!)

I cherish these times.  The girls almost always want to cuddle with me while we have our devotions and it’s a sweet moment and memory that I hold dear.  May they too, cherish the time and remember it.  If not, they will have this post to read!  Love you guys!

Grumble, Grumble


If we complain and grumble about hard work, we teach our kids to do the same. (Phil 2:14). Work unto the Lord (Col 3:23).
I understand sometimes life can become overwhelming.  It’s okay.  Take a deep breath.  That’s when we need to seek God’s peace.  Marriage, parenting, household responsibilities, work, school, sickness, etc. It can all add up, I know.  Fret not, it’s not the end.  Life is part of the journey.  We can either fulfill it with joy or grumble and complain miserably till our death.  The latter ain’t no way to live, in my humble opinion.  But those whose hope is in Christ have a great reward to look towards, a future hope of heaven.

I don’t know about you but when I accomplish a task at hand or something I had planned to do or maybe didn’t plan at all, it’s always a satisfying feeling. God made us to be workers. And we are to work with our whole being; heart, mind and soul. Yes, I know that about loving God too. But those other verses tell us to work “cheerfully” and without grumbling. That takes heart. Obviously, working takes physical strength too. And the heart involves the “spirit” that God gives us.

It comes down to attitude, perspective and thankfulness.  It’s hard to do anything cheerfully when our heart is wrong.  But what a great God who gives in abundance when we seek and ask, according to His good purposes.  See Him in all things.

Christianity- Religion or Relationship?

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

James 1:26 If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile. 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

There’s this cliché, I’m sure you probably have heard it, “it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship”.  No, and yes.  Christianity is a religion, AND it’s a relationship.  It’s a religion built upon a relationship.

I think the word religion has gotten a bad rap over the last decade or so, at least.  Religion is not all bad.  According to an online dictionary, religion can be defined as:

  • 1) a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
  • 2) a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects;
  • 3) the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices
  • 4)to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices.

So if we just go off these definitions, Christianity can be defined, in part, as a religion.  What matters is what kind of religion you have.  There’s a religion that keeps you in chains, in your own effort striving to win and earn your way to your god, or there’s the Christ changing-Jesus atoning, sacrificial religion that covers the sinner by God’s grace.  We all know there are a smorgasbord of religions around the world and many claim to know God.  But who’s god is above all others?  Well, the one who always was, and always will be; didn’t have a beginning nor an end.

Religion has been used more or less as something you just “do”, do it well and consistently.  “I eat at that place religiously.”  “He goes to bed religiously at 10pm”.  “I workout religiously”.  People speak of things they are committed to doing as “religious” or adverb “religiously”.  So why is it bad if Christians are “religiously” seeking God?  We were created for it.  God commands his people to seek after Him, pursue Him, love Him, read His word, obey His word, love others, forgive, honor parents, and on and on.  Are we all just religious legalists who seek after God?  Why is it that someone who seeks to purify their lives by creating boundaries that are arrived from the bible casted into this “holier than thou” category.  I think it’s discouraging and show insecurities in people. Not all Christians who seek to live holy, honorable lives are legalists, and the opposite can be true too.  Rather than downplay their efforts, why not encourage & exhort the Christian brother/sister rather than try to tear them down because you feel threatened or insecure about your ability to measure up.  Unless it is blatantly clear they are not, we cannot know for certain but honor the confession of someone’s faith, and give thanks for their good works, for this is what God has created for us to do.  Eph2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.”   This is not license to boast in your owns strength, but in God’s all sufficient supply.

“Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his speech and is a fool.

Cussing and ranting as a means to ‘fit in’ with the world is not honorable.  Nor is it really cool.  It really shows a lack of security in God’s name and his honor.  It more or less shows too much need for the comfort of the world, which is inevitably not trusting in the goodness of God, but taking advantage of his grace.  It shows self-centeredness, a neediness for self-affirmation that is not humble in any manner.  Keeping in with the trends of the world just to make yourself feel better does not make you cooler and popular for God’s glory, but does make you a foul mouth who seeks after the praise of man.  That’s not what a Christian is “set apart” for.  Those who make friends with the world cannot be for God.   James 4:4 Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God?   So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy. 4:5 Or do you think the scripture means nothing when it says,  “The spirit that God  caused  to live within us has an envious yearning”? 4:6 But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 4:9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.  

For a Christian who is devoted to honoring Christ as light in the world, we are to be mindful of our actions so that the name of Christ is not defamed, being not conceited or boasting of how well we can outdo others in witty comebacks.  Humble yourself ye saints of the Lord.  God opposes the proud.  (James 4:6, referencing Proverbs 3:34)

3:1 But understand this, that in the last days difficult 1  times will come. 3:2 For people 2  will be lovers of themselves, 3  lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. 3:5 They will maintain the outward appearance 4  of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.

I do not seek to bash here, but seek God’s glory in His name.  I am offended that his name is smeared by careless Christians who think that what they do & say is not an issue because God’s grace is abundant.  Yes my friend, but do not scorn his grace by abounding in what you know to be right in the eyes of God.  He sees all.   Search God’s heart as you seek to search your own in living for His glory.  Live your religion in a real relationship with the only mediator between God and men- the man Christ Jesus.

Call to Stand Firm

2Thess 2:13 But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters  loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning  for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 2:14 He called you to this salvation  through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.2:15 Therefore, brothers and sisters,  stand firm and hold on to the traditions that we taught you, whether by speech or by letter.  2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 2:17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you  in every good thing you do or say.