WRITE THEM!

History is a story written by the finger of God.

C.S. Lewis

Recently I turned a year older and with that more mature age also comes more opportunities to become more forgetful or absentminded. One of the things we can learn to do to help overcome being forgetful, is to write things down. Even throughout the Bible God has commanded people to write things down, so they would not forget. Can you imagine what kind of a mess the Bible might be today if man did not obey God and write it down, and it had been spoken by mouth only all of these years, there would be quite a bit forgotten and left out.

King Solomon, the wisest human king in all of the Bible even taught his children (as God did us by having the Holy Spirit inspire certain men to write down His Word) by writing it for their generations to know. They did not yet have the whole complete story of God as we do today, and we should be thankful and grateful to God that we do!

Writing things down is only the beginning. We must also meditate upon (meaning giving much thought) what we have read and many times it is more valuable and profitable to read smaller portions of scriptures that to overindulge, especially if we are not writing it down. Writing it down also gives us references points to look back to. Maybe it was a sin that God gave victory over, maybe it was spiritual growth, maybe a word of comfort or encouragement that got us through some rough times. But again… WRITE IT DOWN!

Proverbs 3:1-3 – My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

If we read, meditate, think about God writing this to us, when we take our time, it is a powerful Word and promise. Where there are commas, we should take as much time as needed to let God speak to us. So for example, verse 1- My son, (pause). If we have read our Bibles much, studied, prayed, meditated much could be written about these two words alone. For me, I hear God telling me, His adopted child, these exact words of wisdom that He gave Solomon to his children. My son shows that He possesses me as His! I now have a relationship where I can trust Him who has called me His own, and the greatest promise that comes to mind quickly is Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” NEVER, let ne be more clear on that N-E-V-E-R EVER will He leave or forsake those who are His! MAN what a promise!

Next part of the verse he tells his child what to do. One thing that just came to mind (thank you Father) and most of us probably do not even think about is actions or lack there of. We who have children, and have asked them to clean their rooms or some other chore, what usually happens? Okay, in a minute, or I’ll do it later, okay. Then they forget! When we are to do something there is always an outcome, good or bad. Ever experienced someone’s wrath when you were supposed to get milk on the way home and no one had any for breakfast the next morning? Yeah, me neither 😉 But the author (which by the way is ALWAYS the Holy Spirit) says “do not forget my teaching,” (pause again).

If we were to speak this out, would you think any one part be more important than the other? Like DO NOT, forget… or do not FORGET… For stubborn people like myself, this is what I see… DO NOT FORGET MY TEACHING. Oh dear reader, how much do we forget and for so many reasons! I have spoken with my wife numerous times and challenged us both to how much time do we spend with God, individually and collectively? Have you seriously asked yourself that question? I can tell you from YEARS of personal experience, that you will NOT learn from or enjoy God if you DO NOT SPEND TIME WITH HIM! (emphasis added). We are the ones who have forgotten, we are the ones who forsake, not only His commandments, but Him! We treat God like He is some modern convenience that we can pickup and put down whenever we need Him, but for many Christians it is only when they are in trouble, or “God, do this for me and I promise…”, or maybe to finally win that multi-million lottery. If the Word of God does not satisfy you, nothing meaningful and long term ever will either. For the things of this world come and go, moth and rust destroy, and grow strangely dim. Yet, God… everything about Him is as the day when He first created, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

As if all of this is not enough in the first sentence, God uses a conjunction (not sure what He calls them, but that is what our English teachers taught us 😉 God says, BUT (which means to pay attention as I am joining it to something of importance) let your heart keep my commandments. Again, depends on where you might need to place some emphasis on the word(s) to drive the point home. Again we can see the importance of an intimate relationship when the writer uses words like heart and keep, and what are we to keep? His commandments! Now stay with me a little longer as we are just about done. I just want to stress the importance of the heart metaphorically. In Hebrews 8:10 it is written – For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. You might be thinking “Well that’s all well and good, but that is a promise for the house of Israel.” Not so fast… It very well be a promise for Israel, but we must not “forget” the other promise, “never will I leave you or forsake you.” God repeats this same promise again in Hebrews 10:16, but let us look at the entire context starting at verse 9 and ending at 17. Hebrews 10:9-17

Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Now we do not have time to unpack all of this together, and have showed you some basic tools on getting to the meat of what God is telling and showing us, but we have to be a part of the relationship, and must be our first priority! If not, our other relationships will fail as well, and that should not be too hard to notice, nor where the problem lies… with us. Let us repent of our sins on how we have treated God, seek His forgiveness, and make it the TOP priority of having Him in our lives in ALL things. Why? Go back to the top of our opening scriptures and look at some more of His promises to His children 😉

#ToGodBeTheGlory

LOOK ALWAYS TO THE SCRIPTURES

LOOK ALWAYS TO THE SCRIPTURES

We must especially watch and pray against the sins to which we are inclined. The written word of God is the surest rule of a Christian’s life, and by this rule we are commanded to be holy every way. God makes those holy whom he saves.

Matthew Henry

Remember when we were kids and and the cartoons and movies we watched many times presented characters that were good and evil, and just about every time good was always victorious. Too bad in the spiritual realm it is not that way, not yet any way.

I had a difficult time trying to figure out what to call today’s devotional, so I say we “Look always to the scriptures”.

As Christians, we must be different from the way, WAY different. We are supposed to think differently, act differently, speak to others differently, etc. Why? Because if we truly are Christians, we are filled and endowed with the Spirit of God! We are commanded to put off the old man, crucify the flesh, and put on the new man. Why would God save us from our sins and then expect us to stay the same? Granted, He could easily have some way of completely transform us into glory right here and now on earth, but He wants us to grow slowly, learn to be dependent on Him, trust Him, and praise and glorify Him. That is why we always need to be in the scriptures, studying, praying, seeking, that we would be less like the world and more like Christ.

When you study God’s Word in diligence and seek Him much in prayer, you will start to see  a chasm if you will, where the good and evil start to divide, you start to understand about comparing your life and contrasting it to the Word of God. 

James the author of the book of the same name, who was the half-brother of Jesus says it in a metaphor about looking into a mirror (which is the Word of God) seeing our sin, and then goes away and immediately forget what he (gender neutral) immediately forgets what he saw. One the other hand is the Christian, who intently looks (meditates upon) the law (Word of God), and to not only hear, but do what it says. The Bible is full of compares and contrasts, especially in the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs.

If we are reading or hearing only, and not applying and growing, one of a few things is wrong. 1) The church you attend is not teaching the Bible, rather they are teaching the opinions of man. 2) You are not preparing yourself to receive the message that God wants you to hear. 3) You are not applying what you heard. These are the 3 basic, yet major things we as Christians need to be fed every time we gather as His elected people.

So remember, always go to the Word for all of your daily life needs, for God cannot lie and will always steer you to absolute truth, which is what this world desperately needs!

#ToGodBeTheGlory

HUMILITY AND TEACHABLE MINDS

HUMILITY AND TEACHABLE MINDS

We must yield ourselves to the word of God,
with humble and teachable minds

Matthew Henry

These past few days we have talked about hearing and obedience and how my humans, er, I mean owners, have been working with me to become obedient to their requests of living in their home and being a profitable family member. Unlike people, I am not gifted with the level of knowledge and intellect that people are, however, I too am trainable.

When we think about obedience, being trained, being disciplined, what are some of the first things that come to mind?

Well, for some of us disciple may have a negative connotation as to disciplined may have meant spanking, being put in time out, or something to that extent. But if discipline has had a positive influence on our lives, it has brought us strength and power in a certain area of our lives. Maybe we played and instrument, and by hours of practice (discipline) we grew into a proficient musician that may have gone on to become a professional musician. Or maybe we spend a lot of time in the gym, training (discipline) for a sport and went on to be a professional athlete. The point is understanding that discipline can and should be seen as both a positive and a negative in our lives.

There are quite a few of us who have either read or read the famous proverb in Proverbs 22:6 – Train (that is discipline) up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

But what about some of the ones that sound more negative (by our standards) and yet are meant for our good and a positive outcome of correction from our sins

Deuteronomy 8:4-6 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. 6 So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.

Even worse, later in this very same book in chapter 21 verses 20-21 it says about the rebellious son (gender neutral) “20 and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

Can you imagine if this was still practiced at churches in America today hoe many folks probably would not go?

But, in love, we are always to be corrected of our sinful ways, that is the whole point of properly disciplining or being disciplined. Why?

Psalm 58:3 sums it up quickly “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.” Like it or not, by default we are ALL born into sins and a sinful world because of the fall in the Garden of Eden.

Look at what Proverbs 13:24 says “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

Disciple (although not pleasant at times) is absolutely necessary to a Godly living, God honoring, Holy Spirit filled life, and there is no way that we can do it ourselves. We must humbly submit ourselves to God, crying out to Him to have mercy on us and not discipline us with His wrath, but with the correcting rod of His Word, and the only way to receive that, is by daily spending time with God in His Word and by prayer.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Do you want the righteousness of God? Do you want to honor God? Do you want a life to the fullest they way He intended it to be? Then we are going to have to learn humbly and through the discipline from our sins, that His grace would shine upon us, and in turn give Him all the praise, honor, and glory, due Him.

#ToGodBeTheGlory