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Boast Not in Your Liberty, Ye Saints of the Lord


Romans 15:17 So I boast in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God.

2 Corinthains 10:17 But the one who boasts must boast in the Lord.

As scripture is our witness, let our boasting not be the sinful nature, an arrogance upon we seek to see other stumbling, a puffing up of our christian liberty, but honoring Christ in humbleness that He calls His children to be, to give Him the glory due His name.

Pursue righteousness, godliness, holiness, separating yourselves from the love the of the world…

As we are commended to have the faith of a child, even listen to the words of a child’s song, “oh be careful little eyes what you see… be careful little ears what you hear… For the Father up above, is looking down in love…”   Take care where your feet tread, take care and captivate your thoughts and seek your heart.  Is it God-ward?

Is pursuing purity from the filth of the world and it’s desires really a matter of legalism?   I’m sure it can be, but not all purity pursuits are legalistic.  Why are we quick to snicker and sneer at fellow Christians who seek to pursue a life of purity; from being smeared by the world?  We call them “holier than thou” people. Rather, shouldn’t we encourage and praise the Lord that such purity exists.  Only He can allow and such good to come from such tainted people.  The scriptures call us to think upon the things that are beautiful and pure.  The scriptures tell us it is possible to live a life worthy of the calling we have been given, through the Holy Spirit.  We are charged to pursue godliness, holiness, and on and on the list goes.  This is not to hold us in bondage, but to give us a hope, a joy in obedience.  We will not fulfill it perfectly, but we are picked up when we fall, and we continue running.   Perfect Peace comes through Christ.  If you are working for your salvation, then you’ve got another thing coming.  But if you are in Christ, your working should be exuding from a heart of joy and thanksgiving, an honor that is given to the saved.

Those who boast in their Christian freedom as to show others how “liberated” or ‘mature’ they are only prove too much that they are the opposite.  I think it leads to an arrogance of love for yourself that you are careless in how others, even especially unbelievers, see your witness of God’s character.  You as a believer have a responsibility, as much as you may not like it or if it puts pressure on you, you are not your own, but bought with a price.  Faith is not a light matter.  Sure we will fail, but nonetheless you are called to a higher calling, on that reflects Christ, and it is by His power and strength that you do all things, and only in and by His name shall you boast.

 

Real Christians read their Bible!


Matthew 22:29 ‘Jesus answered them, “You are deceived, because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God.”

It may sound like common sense, but is it?  Well, it should be.

Sometimes we might think that if we just know “For God so loved the world…” and a few other famous scriptures to quote that we should be okay.  Of course God could still save such a Christian.  But is he fulfilling the full joy and purpose of his life in Christ?

God reveals Himself through nature, but more importantly, through His Word.  How do we know God?  Reading His scriptures and seeking knowledge while gaining understanding.  Dig in.  Go past the surface.  Go diving and look around.  Study it like you would the guy you are infatuated with.  You know when you first meet someone you like, you try to find out everything you can about them; trying to catch any glimpse of them; the butterflies you get when you do lock eyes and exchange smiles.  Why isn’t our love for our Savior so sweet?  We are so tainted.  Thanks be to Christ that He loves us yet we were sinners.  Even more, He suffered to the point of death for His sheep.  What a glorious love we should know!

When was it you had your conversion?  Or did you grow up in a Christian home where God was just a part of growing up, a part of daily life?  For those who’ve had the ‘conversion experience”, the day you confessed yourself a sinner and looked to the cross of Christ for forgiveness, remember the initial zeal?  Did you constantly mention God in your conversations and about Jesus dying on the cross for you?  You often invited friends to church with excitement, not worried about impressions.  Did you lose that zeal somewhere down the road, when life became “normal” again?  We should pray for that zeal daily.

1 Peter 3:15 “But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.”  God gives us an instruction for this temporal life.  Be on guard.  Put on the full armor of God so that you may not be led astray.  Our joy is set high among the earth when we seek His glory in all things.  You better believe that’s a high order to keep.  Thankfully, you are not alone.  Christ has already won the victory, yet you still need to obey.  (1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 15:58 So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  You don’t find joy or peace in seeking God’s glory?  Something’s terribly wrong Christian.

We were created for this.  John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.  1:2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 1:3 All things were created  by him, and apart from him not one thing was created  that has been created.  1:4 In him was life,  and the life was the light of mankind.

Get out your bible.  Read it daily.  We are so spoiled and take for granted the little blessings we become numb to.  Many are dying in third world countries, dying for their faith as they risk persecution to hold on to the Word of God among their earthly possessions.  We tend to panic if we don’t have our cell phones as we leave the house.  You don’t necessarily have to bring your physical bible with you everywhere, but do you have the Word inscripted in your mind and heart?  

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

Christian- READ YOUR BIBLE!  Word.

‘Books of the Bible’ Song


Last year, in an effort to teach my kids to learn the books of the bible, I found this fabulous original song that is the best I’ve heard.  It didn’t take long, about a month, for both my girls, ages 6 and 4 years at the time, to learn it.

Here’s a link to my 4-year-old on my YouTube page, or here.  Here’s my 6-year-old on my YouTube page, or here.

Here is a link to them from the maker’s of the song Bigsby.com.

http://bigsbynews.blogspot.com/2010/09/soloists.html

It’s such a wonderful reality from heaven when we are blessed from the fruit of our labors.  What a virtuous pursuit!  What a joy to hear such beauty from the mouth of babes!  I hope you enjoy it too!  To the glory of God.

Faith like a child…


…is tough for adults. Probably not much surprise there.

As I set out to run errands and take a little break from home school at home today, I’ll dub it a “field trip”.  I always seek to find ways to incorporate a lesson to be learned from daily life.  Since such is the case, I have come to the realization in recent years that learning shouldn’t stop after “school hours” and just about anything can be a “teaching moment”.   Life happens.  So does the opportunity to learn from it.  God’s wonders and creation is infinite and we will (or should) always seek to grow in understanding and knowledge till the day we pass.  I learned some lessons of my own today.

As one of our last stops today, I thought we could go to the mall and just let out some energy walking while window shopping. (I was good, “I” didn’t buy anything but my son did. I just paid for it for him with his money.)  On this “trip”, of course, our first stop was the pet store.  In it we learned a little about rodents, snakes, dogs, birds, and not least, store etiquette. My youngest at age 4 was happy just to be able to wander around in a large area.  The girls got to ride one of those mechanical toys, you know, you put in a quarter and it “jerks” (some pun intended) you around for about 1 minute.  So we had a mini carnival experience without emptying the bank.  They enjoyed climbing on them too.  I’m almost always up for some good, cheap (and clean is a plus for me) fun.

My middle child, who is my first daughter, is quite sweet and passionate.  One thing she is passionate about is spreading the gospel, which is the good news of Christ’s & the cross.  With no prompting from me, she decided when we were getting out of the van that she was going to bring her “scroll”, as she referred to it, which was the construction paper on which she wrote a verse from Galatians 5:1 at church a couple of Sundays ago.  My oldest son tried to warn her, maybe even deter her a little out of fear or embarrassment, which was surprising because he’s usually the first to evangelize. So there we are, walking through the mall, like a lion, she is prowling around ready to share the gospel.  Understandably, she is a bit nervous, having never shared the gospel on her own to strangers.  I kept telling her to just pick anyone but she asked me to pick the people and she would share her bible verse.  So I did, and then she did her part.  The first was a young lady who said she knew of the gospel and goes to church every Sunday.  So we (I) shared the gospel anyway, said our farewell greetings and went on our way.  KB (my daughter) was not satisfied.  She was hungry for more.

Our next victim, the guy in the hobby store.  KB was searching for another opportunity.  So I suggested the guy sitting at the register.  Again, she asked me to go with her.  So I complied. I asked the guy if we could share the gospel with him.  He declined.  And my daughter was dejected.  “CG was right,” she admitted sadly with her head low.  I confessed to her previously and again that it’s true, not everyone will want to hear the gospel.  Our nature is against God but that is why we must share the gospel and hope that God will have mercy by growing any seeds, by the work of the Holy Spirit, that we may have planted today.  So as we were approaching the exit doors of the mall, KB lagged behind, with sullenness.  I asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to share the gospel with more than one person.”  Bless her heart.  So we tagged the next guy that came through the doors as we were leaving.  Turns out he said he was a christian and he thanked and encouraged us to keep on.  I looked at her, smiled, and said something to the effect of “Well, he said he’s christian.”  She responded with a whisper of “I don’t really believe him.”  I had to encourage her in that since we can’t say for sure because we don’t know him, we have to take his word at face value.  We were able to share the gospel, and KB’s bible verse, with two other people before heading home.  I think she was then satisfied.  At least for today.

As much as it was against my sinful nature to shamelessly be so bold in sharing the gospel truth in such a straightforward manner, I didn’t want to crush my dear daughter’s zeal in evangelism. It also brought me back to the initial period of my faith conversion, you know, the time when you were so on “fire” that you couldn’t contain it and you felt like you had to tell everyone you came in contact with?  I wish it weren’t so.  Now all grown up, we have these “intelligent” ideas and diplomatic ways as to how to approach people about ‘sensitive’ issues like religion.  Hogwash.  Oh Jesus, help me to have the faith like a child!

Today’s lessons:

  • animals: reptiles, fish, birds
  • vocab: all the different species of animals, semi-aggressive, evangelism, evangelist
  • life skills: social etiquette in a store; obedience to authority; social etiquette in evangelism?  😉  courage-doing the right thing even when it’s scary and seemingly hard or embarrassing (I think that was a lesson more for mom);
  • bible: what is the gospel?;  to have faith like a child (that’s obviously for mom)

Matthew 18: 1) At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  2) And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them   3) and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  4) Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.