Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sobering Scripture

Romans 2:

Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,


to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

There will be tribulation and destress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,

But glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,

for there is no partiality with God.

For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;

for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

For not when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law are a law to themselves,

in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

But if you bear the name "Jew," and rely upon the Law, and boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,

and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,

a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

you therefore who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal?

You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?


For indeed circumcision is of value, if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

If therefore the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?

And will not he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law, and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.

But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which if of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I am a man of prayer (Psalm 109:4)

All too often we are in a "holy" hurry in our devotional time. How much actual time do we spend in quiet devotion on a daily basis? Can it be easily measured in minutes? Can you think of even one person of great spiritual stature who did not spend much of this time in prayer? Has anyone ever exhibited much of the spirit of prayer who did not devote a great deal of time to prayer?

George Whitefield, the English preacher who was one of the leading figures in the eighteenth-century American revival known as the Great Awakening, once said, "I have spent entire days and weeks lying prostrate on the ground, engaged in silent or spoken prayer." And the words of another person, whose life confirmed his own assertion, were these: "fall to your knees and grow there."

It has been said that no great work of literature or sceince has ever been produced by someone who did not love solitude. It is also a fundamental principle of faith that no tremendous growth in holiness has ever been achieved by anyone who has not taken the time frequently, and for long periods, to be alone with God. ~from the Still Hour

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's All a matter of Prayer...

The greatest and the best talent that God gives to any man or woman in this world is the talent of prayer. And the best usury that any man or woman brings back to God when he comes to reckon with them at the end of this world is a life of prayer. And those servants best put their Lord's money 'to the exchangers' who rise early and sit late, as long as they are in this world, ever finding out and ever following after better and better methods of prayer, and ever forming more secret, more steadfast, and more spiritually fruitful habits of prayer, till they literally 'pray without ceasing,' and till they continually strike out into new enterprises in prayer and new achievement, and new enrichments. ~Alexander Whyte

Martin Luther, when once asked what his plans for the following day were, answered: "Work, work, from early until late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer."

Prayer is no laggard's work. When all the rich, spiced graces from the body of prayer have by labor and beating been blended and refined and intermixed, the fire is needed to unloose the incense and make its fragrance rise to the throne of God. The fire that consumes creates the spirit and life of the incense. Without fire prayer has no spirit; it is, like dead spices, for corruption and worms. The casual, intermittent prayer is never bathed in this divine fire. For the man who thus prays is lacking in the earnestness that lays hold of God, determined not to let him go until the blessing comes. "Pray without ceasing," counseled the great apostle. That is the habit that drives prayer right into the mortar that holds the building stones together. ~E.M. Bounds

You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed. ~Dr. A.J. Gordon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Great Reminder....

Seeing God in everything is the only thing that will make me loving and patient with people who annoy and trouble me. Then I will see others as the instruments God uses to accomplish His tender and wise purpose for me, and I will even find myself inwardly thanking them for the blessing they have become to me. Nothing but seeing God will completely put an end to all complaining and thoughts of rebellion.
~Hannah Whitall Smith

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When All Is Said and Done

When all is said and done, I want desperately for my children to speak of me as one who spent time with the Lord and in so doing that it flowed into every part of my life. One day when they look back upon their childhood, I want them to see a mother who prayed with them, taught them the holy scriptures and most importantly--LIVED IT OUT. Because if they remember me as one who led bible studies and prayer groups, who wrote and talked about the Christian life--but didn't see me live it out in the ordinary, mundane moments in life--then all the 'outer work' was in vain. You see, all the 'outer work' is really the easy part. The harder part is working it out moment by moment. The harder part is being Christ to your husband when he is doing the very thing that drives you nuts. The harder part is being Christ to your children when they are giving you a sour or defiant attitude. The harder part is daily dying to my own selfish desires in order to be the wife and mother that God has called me to be. It is sooooooooo hard. But it can be done if I rely on God's strength in all of my weaknesses.

Below, I am sharing with you a quote from a son about his mother. I read this in my devotional the other day--it was inspiring to me. It reminds me of what my purpose is. It reminds me that the season--right now--is to disciple these children with whom God has entrusted me. It reminds me to not get sidetracked with other things right now. My earnest prayer is that one day my children--too--would speak of me this way. Yes, I have a long way to go. I mess up a lot. One thing is for sure, though--His mercies are new every morning.

My mother made it a habit every day, immediately after breakfast, to spend an hour in her room, reading the Bible, meditating over it, and praying to the Lord. That hour was like a blessed fountain from which she drew the strength and sweetness that perpared her to complete all her tasks. It also enabled her to maintain a genuine peacefulness in spite of the normal trying worries and pettiness that so often accompany life in a crowded neighborhood. As I think of her life and all that she had to endure, I see the absolute triumph of the grace of God in the ideal Christian lady. She was susch a lovely person that I never saw her lose her temper or speak even one word in anger. I never heard her participate in idle gossip or make a disparaging remark about another person. In fact, I never saw in her even the hint of an emotion unbecoming to someone who had drunk from the 'the river of the water of life' (Rev. 22:1) and who had eaten of 'the living bread that came down from heaven' (John 6:51) ~Frederick William Farrar

Okay, I do have to make one last comment. I have to admit that it does sound a bit idealistic. Maybe, like me, you read this and immediately think--Yeah right. She never lost her temper? She never had an unbecoming emotion--NEVER? Yes, I had those same thoughts too. I think we can read that and immediately feel guilty, knowing that in our own lives this is not the case. And, truly, in this woman's life I am sure it wasn't the case either. Nobody is perfect. This mother wasn't perfect. The point is--this is what she was characterized by. And what we are characterized by is what we will be remembered by. I am sure she had some bad days, but the beauty of her meek and quiet spirit--enabled only through Christ--outshone every bit of it. The time she spent with the Lord enabled her to be what she could not be on her own.

Yes, I am an absolute mess. I am a sinner in need of a Savior. We all are. This mother must have understood that too. She allowed Him to be her Savior and be what she could not be. She
immersed herself in scripture and believed by faith that He could be all things that she could not. We too, can do that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So Thankful

I am so thankful for Jesus. I am so thankful that He came down to this earth in the form of a man and lived a holy, blameless life. I am so thankful that he died on the cross for my every sin. I am so thankful that he rose on the third day so that one day I too can have eternal life. I am so thankful for a loving, yet just, God. I am so thankful that He opened my eyes to the yuck in my life--that He showed me I am a sinner and there is not one thing I can do to save myself. That not one of us is righteous--not one. I am so thankful that 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life ~John 3:16.' I am so thankful that He sent us a Savior--someone to save us from drowning. I am so thankful that He calls us to Himself. I am so thankful to have a relationship with Him and to walk through this life with Him. I am thankful that through Him I can have peace and joy--even in great difficulties and hardship. I am thankful that this life here on earth is not all there is! I am thankful to belong to Him! I am thankful that Jesus' blood covers my sins--a cross word, a rash action, all my errors big and small--COMPLETELY. I am so thankful that this free gift from God took nothing from me except BELIEF. Belief in Jesus. Jesus--non political, non religious, not of this world. JESUS. LOVING, HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, FORGIVING, JUST, GOD INCARNATE. JESUS.

I love you, sweet Jesus. Thank you for giving me life.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Romans 1:16-17