Friday, October 28, 2011

her children will rise up and call her blessed...

October 28, 2011

Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken

As I sat yesterday listening to my brother-in-law give the sweetest eulogy to his beloved grandmother, I was once again amazed at the hope and peace we have in Jesus. I know that Tom was hurting, I know that every one of her three children, her six grandchildren, and most of her sixteen great-grandchildren (some are too young) were hurting. Yet, I know without a doubt they were comforted by the Hope they have in Christ. They were comforted mostly, of course because they knew Nannie’s testimony; she was saved and going home as she said often. They were comforted in the fact that although God says it’s ok to cry but do not be grieved because Jesus will come again, and when He does we shall see her again. They were comforted because of the legacy that she left with her family. Nannie was a woman whose children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will rise up and call blessed. I am blessed to have known her. What greater legacy can a mother ask for?

God is near to us...

October 27, 2011

Psalm 84:10-11 …the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly

How great is it that we have a God so near to us that He knows what we need? His Word says that He will not withhold it either. As I watch my children try to understand death and the sorrow that is attached to it, I am sad, but I know that God will give them and us what we need to walk this path. It’s a hard lesson to learn so young. The lesson that God determines the steps of man and how long we can live on this earth, and that sometimes there is peace found in death. Yet, what a gift to my children; they will see that He also provides us with the strength, and peace necessary to deal with our hurts. How great is that?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

love in abundance...

October 25, 2011

Lamentations 3:32 but though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love

I love this verse simply because it shows us the overwhelming and abundant love of our God. Even if tears are necessary in our lives they are not given in vain; there are reasons for them! Not only are there reasons but they are given to us by a God who keeps track of every single tear and gives us comfort for each hurt. In this life, we all experience grief. It will at times devour us. It will hurt but we can rest in the knowledge that God’s steadfast love never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, and He will wipe every tear from our eyes. He holds us and He comforts us through the necessary hurts of our lives. I’m glad.

Nannie, you were loved and you will be missed greatly!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Deciding to Commit...

October 24, 2011

1 John 2:11-14

V 14… the word of God abides in you…

As I learned, or perhaps better stated, as I was reminded yesterday, while teaching small group; the Word of God will only abide in you if you put it there. There is no such thing as learning God’s word through osmosis. Instead, we must make the choice to put it there. Every day we must wake up put our feet on the floor and decide to commit ourselves to learning more from His word. Spiritual maturity comes in the good times to prepare you for the bad times; don’t wait until your world is crashing around you to learn from God’s Word, it will be too late. Learn now so that when your are hurting you can wrap it around you like a comforting blanket.

Friday, October 21, 2011


October 21, 2011

1 John 2:9-10

V 10 whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling

I’ll admit to being lazy this morning, too lazy to get up to get my bible commentary, so I don’t know exactly who John is talking about. I don’t know who is (or is not) doing the stumbling here in verse 10. I don’t know if it could be those around us in response to something in our lives; or us because we are actively loving our brothers. I guess it really doesn’t matter does it. Since, we are called to love our brothers as our self; it should be as important to keep them from stumbling as it is to keep ourselves from doing the same.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Tracks of our Tears...

Revelation 7:17 and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes


Ever wonder if anyone sees our tears; ever wonder if anyone listens to the weeping of our hearts when we are broken. Ever wonder if anyone sees the sadness behind our smiles. The answer to that is, of course, yes. God sees and knows every tear track that is on our face and heart. He knows the sorrow that hides behind our smiles and in our hearts. And He will comfort us…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Lovely...

October 19, 2011

Psalm 84:1-12

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in you house, ever singing your praise!

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools,

They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer give ear, O God of Jacob!

Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed!

For a day in you courts is better than a thousand elsewhere I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


October 18, 2011

1 John 2:7-9

V 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in the darkness

Hate is such a strong word, and I think that it’s also a word that has lost some of its true meaning because we toss it around a lot. Sort of like love; we say we love a TV show or we love a pair of shoes, or we Hate brussel sprouts. We cheapen their meanings by using them to describe the mundane. Hate is perhaps too strong a word to attach to a vegetable!  But the Bible here says we can’t attach the word or the emotion to other people either. And that’s hard. There will be people who mean us harm; there will be people who will mean those we love harm. According to John Macarthur’s Study Bible, he says that these people would have had a lifestyle of habitual hatred; while at the same time, professing a great love for the things of God. This, of course, is contrary to what God teaches us. When asked what the greatest commandment was Jesus answered…To Love the LORD God with all your heart, soul and mind and the second is to love your neighbor as your self (not word for word but you get the meaning!) How many of us hate, I mean really hate, ourselves?

Monday, October 17, 2011

we may be sure...

October 17, 2011

1 John 2:4-6

V 6 …by this we may be sure that we are in him

We can, I think, become complacent in our Christianity. We can assume because we make it to church most Sundays and even some Wednesdays; we may even teach a class on occasion or sing in the choir. Any manor of activities that we could participate in at church could convince us that we are Christ’s. We can assume that because we are active in the place of God we have a place in the family of God. However, they are two different things. Unless you, as it says here in verses 5 & 6, “…whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected” and in verse 6 “…whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” keep God’s commandments you are not in him. I like how we can know for sure; there isn’t any need to wonder or worry we can know. As we live our day to day lives our steps should be guided by God’s word. We should live them as if we were sitting in the pew at church. So often we try to compartmentalize our lives, this is my dealings with work, this is my dealings with friends, and finally this is my dealings with church. When in actuality God and His word should permeate all of the aspects of our lives; that is if we are His.

Friday, October 14, 2011

my yoke is easy and my burden is light...

October 14, 2011

1 John 2:2-3

V 3 by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments

What a seemingly impossible task ahead of us as believers? We already know that our normal inclination will not be to obey God’s commandments, but rather our sinful flesh. So, not only are we going to be in constant battle; we will also have to know what those commandments are. Some are self-explanatory (you can’t kill everyone who annoys you!) while even more are unknown to us and we must read and meditate on God’s word to find them. However, I’m reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 11, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” God hasn’t set us up for failure, instead, He has given us a yellow-brick road to follow. He wants us to succeed, on His terms true, but He doesn’t want our lives to be filled with turmoil. That of course, doesn’t mean we won’t have trials and tribulation, but what it does mean is that we won’t be going alone through them nor will we be going on our own strength, but His.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

at the mercy of...

October 13, 2011

1 John 2:1

V 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

I think that I sometimes have the attitude that my sin is bigger than me. That I have no control over whether I sin or not; like my sin is too strong for me to resist. I have no choice but to sin. Not all sin of course; I have managed to not kill anyone today! But that sin that plagues our steps, the sin that always seems to be present around every corner; that’s the sin I sometimes think I’m at the mercy of. Yet, that thought is not only not true, but it’s unbiblical. The only thing that controls us, as believers, is God’s Holy Spirit. That’s it; we are able to resist sinning. It’s not easy and will require constant attention to our “self” but we are capable of not sinning.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


October 12, 2011

1 John 1:8-9

Confessing sin…not all that fun right? First it requires that we be honest with ourselves about the areas of our lives we try to hide from everyone, even ourselves. I’m sure we get defensefull as we try to justify the areas in our lives where sin prevails. Or we try to cover it up with the blanket of, “forgive us for our sins” without ever really naming the sin that plagues us. Mainly, I think, because we want to sin; our flesh desires sin over all else. It’s fun for us. Yet, here clearly God’s word tells us we are to confess our sin; we are to acknowledge to God and ourselves the areas in which we have failed to uphold God’s statues. The great thing about it is that when we do, God is faithful to forgive us. He forgives us all the time, every time. Now that’s not a free ticket to sin; we, as believers, should mourn when we sin. We should endeavor to try to rid ourselves of our sin, but when we are unsuccessful God will forgive!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Having Fellwoship...

October 11, 2011

1 John 1:7

v 7 But if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin

Having fellowship? What’s that mean really? Fellowship is defined as, “friendly relationship; companionship; communion…” Having companionship with God the Father is possible when we fellowship with him. When we choose to turn away from sin and walk in the light of Him. True we are and will always be, till resurrection, sinful but we can choose to fight it, and thankfully we have His strength in which to fight or we would be lost with just our own. We, when empowered with His power, can choose to not sin, when what our flesh really wants is to sin. I think the fact that we can have fellowship with God is an amazing thing. When you think of who God is, and who we are; it’s pretty incredible that it’s possible. Maybe I will do a word study on “fellowship” to see what God has to say on the topic!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Walking in the Light...

 October 10, 2011

1John 1:5-6

V 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice truth.

Do we do this? Do we fool ourselves into thinking we are ok? Just because we go to church, sing our worship songs loud and proud, teach a class, keep the nursery, even manage to have a some-what faithful quiet time, does not in any way mean that we don’t walk in darkness in some areas of our lives. In fact, the darkness we tread upon might be keeping us from fully enjoying the light that is in God’s presence. So, how to know if we are treading in darkness; Paul tells us to examine ourselves daily to see if we are in the light. I’m sure Paul meant more than the basic, “Lord, forgive me from my sins!”  I’m sure that it was a heartfelt desire to know and rid our lives of specific sin. Do we share Paul’s desire to know if we walk in darkness or light?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We Proclaim...

October 5, 2011

1 John 1:1-4

V3 …that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you…

John was writing about what he and the other apostles were doing. He was relating to us all that he saw while accompanying Jesus; he tells us all that he learned at the feet of Jesus. And can you imagine how that might be… He and the other apostles were given the mission to tell everyone, to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. But couldn’t we say that we are given a somewhat similar mission. Haven’t we seen and heard from God. Haven’t we learned things at the feet of Jesus through His word? Haven’t we seen Jesus work in our lives; sometimes even in miraculous ways? Yes, of course we have. Now shouldn’t we also proclaim?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not my will but Yours...

October 4, 2011

Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Like He is in all areas of our lives; Jesus is the example I should follow in my quest for willingness. Here, He knows that He is headed for the cross and all the agonies that will entail, and He is willing submitting to God’s will for Him. He’s not mad, He’s not in a state of depression, He’s not begging or burring His head in the sand. No, instead of all that, He is just willing to submit Himself to God’s will. What greater example could I ask for!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Being Willing and Weak...

October 3, 2011

Matthew 26:11 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak

A classic verse on being willing and how hard it is to accomplish. Mainly because we have to constantly battle what our flesh, the “we”, in our lives wants to happen. Sometimes we win and we do live according to God’s word, and sometimes we don’t. Every win is certainly a testimony to God’s Spirit in us. I know how I should walk; I know how I should look at the situation in front of me, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. My flesh is strongly opposed to what might be God’s will…where does that leave me? Battling.