Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Do Not Steal Time With God

"And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage...Thou shalt not steal." Exodus 20:1,2,15

Apart from life itself, what is the most important thing we have to deal with? It is TIME. Our economy is valued in time; the wages we get paid are in relation to our ability and the time we spend exercising that ability. Time is a very important commodity. As Christians, we have a responsibility to invest our time wisely for His glory. But how do we spend our TIME? We steal time by squandering it aimlessly in the pursuit of meaningless desires and pleasure of the flesh. How often we have said to ourselves after some event or occasion, "What a waste of time." We realize we have not spent our time wisely. We steal time that God has set for the development and maturing of our lives. Athletes spend countless hours, months, and years for a special event or for their participation in sports. Their whole life centers upon the honing of their skills to the maximum. When the time of opportunity comes, they are ready. So God seeks to bring us to spiritual maturity through the process of conforming us to the image of His Son. We must not shrink from the TIME needed to prepare and mature us. We steal time from the opportunities God sends our way that may never come again. We need to be an encouragement to those who are in despair, lonely, and in need of someone to come alongside of them and let them know we care. TIME to encourage others! We steal time God has given us to feed upon His Word in meditation, in studying the Scriptures, in letting God speak to us intimately and personally. We need to spend time in prayer, communing with Him, and lifting up our hearts in praise, adoration, and worship. We need time for God to respond and reveal Himself to us. TIME with God! We steal time from the process of faith that God wants to instill in our hearts. Through our adversities, God wants to deepen and stretch our faith so it will be securely anchored in HIM. When we read of Paul's lifelong encounters with suffering, trials, beatings, shipwreck, hunger, and persecution, and his being cast down, distressed, perplexed, ! some may ask, "Was that like a God of infinite power that was in control of his life?" Yes, it was just like the Lord! TIME when God was working! He was molding Paul's life to be the great man of God he was to become. What was Paul's response? He rises above all his adversities and says, "But thanks be unto God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him, for we are unto God the aroma of Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14). Can anything compare to such workings of His grace in our lives that we may "become unto God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing"? TIME when we are becoming like Him!

When the Lord was sovereign in Paul's life, severe conflicts immediately came, which were always persistent and never ended. Perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; he "always emerged victorious" through Jesus Christ! TIME WITH GOD IS IMPERATIVE if we are to grow in grace and be "conformed to the image of His Son."

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission

Friday, March 28, 2008

"You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3

Unbelievers refer to the Ten Commandments as rigid and to God as a stern taskmaster in the giving of the law when He said, "Thou shall not" do this or that. If God has in His heart only rigid requirements and prohibitive desires for mankind, we would have to say He is a God of Law. Where are mercy and grace? Ah, but if we want to see what God is like, we only have to look at Jesus Christ on Calvary's Cross, full of grace and truth manifesting unconditional love. "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

The Law was given as God's standard of what man ought to be, and reveals the sinfulness of man. It is like a mirror that reflects man's moral derangement. It is like a plumb line beside a bowed wall; it reveals crooked lines. It is like a bright light; it reveals hindrances in the way. But it does not create evil, nor is it capable of correcting it; it simply reveals what's there. That which can only curse, can never justify. That which can only kill, can never be a rule to live by. The Law is neither the "ground of life" for the sinner or the "rule of life" for the believer. The gospel of grace gives life as the "only proper ground" of forgiveness.

What do you think God means when He says, "Thou shall have no other gods before me"? Do you immediately think of idols or icons that people revere or worship? It goes deeper than that. It means, giving honor, reverence, or glory to any creature or creation, which is due to God only. Now, let's be very practical. What are some of the gods that confront us? How about pride, covetousness, sensuality, ego, pleasure, or whatever is esteemed or loved, feared or served, delighted in or depended on, more than God? That becomes our god and is idolatry.

God said, "My people have committed two sins. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water." What is it in creation that is not a product of His power and a gift of His grace? That which satisfies the heart and soul of man finds its source from His grace and love. What does He require of us? He requires us to "regard Him" as the source of life and true joy, "acknowledge Him" in all we have and do, and "delight in Him" as our Friend, our Father, and our Everlasting Portion. But what do we prefer? We prefer pleasure, fame, fortune, power, and the world's acclaim. Sin is making these things the "chief pursuits" of our lives, letting them draw us away from God, letting them claim the affection that is due to God alone. God refers to such attitudes and conduct as "forsaking the fountain of living waters." God said, "Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness" (Isaiah 55:2). He is the "fountainhead" from which all the refreshing, living waters find their source. So come, "that out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life!" Make Christ pre-eminent in the whole of your life. He is Lord, to be revered above all.

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

After writing what I did yesterday, I found this today:

"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"

Peter was grieved. Jesus had just asked him for the third time if he loved him. Peter had already whole-heartedly answered yes twice. What else was he supposed to say? Had he lost the Savior's trust?

"Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."

It wasn't until later that Peter realized what had happened in that painful conversation on the beach. It wasn't that Jesus doubted Peter's love. Instead, he had allowed Peter to affirm his love for Jesus for each denial he had made on that terrible night.

Peter's failure had been humiliating as well as horrible. He had proclaimed his loyalty to Jesus in front of everyone during the Passover meal: "I will lay down my life for you." He really thought he would. When Jesus replied, "The rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times," Peter couldn't imagine it.

He had no idea how weak he really was, how vulnerable to temptation. The memory of the servant girl was the most painful. "You also are not one of this man's disciples are you?" He completely caved. "I am not."

I am not. Those haunting words had kept Peter awake at night. Some rock he turned out to be. "Who am I? What am I?" he wondered. The Peter of the Upper Room proclamations? The Peter who lopped off Malchus' ear in the garden? Or the Peter who cowered before a servant girl?

In truth, the real Peter was all of those things: loyal, loving, bold, quick-tongued, and very weak in his sin. That night Peter discovered how much he depended on Jesus for strength. He was not strong. He was not superior to the others. He was not above denying the One he loved most in front of a servant girl.

Peter also discovered how powerful Satan was. Jesus had warned him that Satan had demanded to sift the disciples like wheat. But Peter had cast out demons. He wouldn't yield to Satan. But that night Peter realized that the only spiritual power he had came from the Son. His own resolved was no match for Satan. Apart from Jesus he could do nothing.

One source of hope for Peter was Jesus' words, "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:32). Peter had failed. But Jesus knew that would happen and he had prayed that Peter's faith would not be destroyed. "When you have turned." Those words were so full of hope. Jesus' power would help him turn from his failure to faithfulness again and become a strength to the other failing disciples.

Peter's failure did not define him. It was a horrible, humbling stumble along the path of following Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross he completely paid for the sin of Peter's denial. "Not guilty" was the final word for Peter. He knew he did not deserve acquittal. But Jesus had settled Peter's account with the Father and gave him guiltlessness as a free gift of love. He was not Peter "The Denier" but Peter "The Forgiven."

One of Peter's friends later wrote, "For we all stumble in many ways" (James 3:2). This is very true. When Jesus chose us to be his disciples, he knew our future failures as sure as he knew Peter's. We may be surprised by our own depravity, but Jesus isn't. We may be tempted to say, "That's not the real me." But it is. Facing and admitting our failures is one way Jesus teaches us what the gospel is. Our failures show us what we really are: great sinners. But that's not what Jesus wants us to focus on. He wants us to look to the cross and allow our failures to show us what Jesus is: a great Savior.

The guilt of past failures and sins can haunt and inhibit us in many ways. Satan loves to bind us up with the rope of condemnation. But Jesus aims to completely set us free. John Piper preached a great message a few years ago titled, "The All-Conquering Love of Christ," from Romans 8. The whole goal of this message is to free us from condemnation so we can live a fruitful life of following Jesus.

The church of Jesus Christ is a fellowship of forgiven failures. And in Peter Jesus shows us how he can transform a failure into a rock of strength for his church. Empowered by the Spirit of his beloved Lord, Peter became a humble, encouraging, suffering, and persevering disciple of Jesus. And he became a bold ambassador of the gospel of forgiveness to the most miserable failures."

Written by Jon Bloom, Executive Director of Desiring God Ministries, Sept. 2007

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm feeling shame and guilt this morning. I took part in an un-needed conversation yesterday. I should have kept my mouth closed or attempted to steer the conversation to another topic, but I didn't. I remained silent for awhile as others talked, but soon found myself joining in and adding to what was being said. Why do I do that? Why do I waste words and time like this? Why do I join in a conversation that is better left unsaid?

I've confessed to our Father this morning but that doesn't help the way I'm feeling right now. And that's good. I don't need to run to Him and tell Him what He already knows then glibly walk away. I need to confess and then take to heart the wrong I've done and ask His help in not doing it again. I need to think about the words I spoke and repent of wasting good air to say them.

What struck me hardest was the fact this is a part of why Christ went to the cross. My sins helped put Him there, and yesterday's conversation was a part of that. Shame and remorse are necessary when you've sinned against God, His Son and His Holy Spirit. When you've taken the freedom He purchased and treated it loosely and unwisely. I know there's forgiveness when we sin and then come to Him in repentance and confession, but it doesn't make it easier to accept the fact I said things I should not have said and I can never, ever take those words back. I imagine I will one day give an account of them. What do I tell Him then? "Ummm, well you see God, I didn't want to feel like the odd one out that day so I just kind of joined in with what they were saying?" That won't fly later any more than it does now.

Another hard thing for me is to accept the fact He does forgive me when I am truly repentant for what I've done. Yes, I'll think on what I've done and with His help learn from this experience as I've learned from others, but ... it's hard for me at times to accept that I walk in freedom. That the penalty has already been paid and I can't add to it. I suppose that's part of the remorse I'll deal with ... yes, I sinned against a Holy God. Yes, He said He will forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Yes, He puts my sin into a sea of forgetfulness, never to remember it any more. But I do remember. I am sorry and saddened. Perhaps this is as it should be for we human beings who think too highly of ourselves from time to time. We need to face what we've done and if need be, carry the load for just awhile before it gradually fades into the past as God grants peace once again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Happy, Blessed Easter to you.
He is Risen!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

His Delight Is in the Law of the Lord

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2

The order of the day seems to be, "If you want to do it, go for it; everybody's doing it." Few seem to make any effort to control their passions, live by any just standard of truth, or uphold any rational guideline of morals. We are living in a pluralistic society, which is making inroads into our traditional evangelical churches. They proclaim, "It really doesn't make any difference who your god is. There's good in all religions; they all lead to heaven, so worship whatever god pleases you."

Materialism has engulfed our lifestyle to the extent that we think "matter" is the only reality. We should grab all we can get, because "the one who has the most toys wins." It's good to have lots of things, but it's better to have more. Surrounded by the accumulation of things they have sought to make them happy, they find themselves living in a superficial world of materialism, without fulfillment, without God, and without hope.

Another false philosophy making the rounds is "hedonism." The goal of this lifestyle is "pleasure." It is our "moral duty" to obtain gratification in a pleasure-seeking life. Pleasure is paramount, so enjoy as much of it as you can. Solomon sought this approach at the end of his life and found that all such efforts are but vanity, vanity, vanity!

Why do I say all of this (and there are many more such philosophies that people embrace as they seek the "real meaning of life") and why should we be concerned? Because the secular world, under the beguiling influence of Satan, is seeking to redefine our values and undermine the standards of believers. Followers of these beliefs infiltrate our churches and try to influence Christians to live compromising lives. One destructive thought is to envelop our thinking to compartmentalize our behavior: "Go to church on Sunday, identify with Christians, join in the services rendered, but live as you please the rest of the week--or as soon as you get out of church. Don't expect the truth you have heard to be effective in any way in your life. Simply give a mental assent to what you have heard, and set your own course in life."

Another entrapment is the willingness to violate our own conscience. We know better, but we act anyway. We lower the standards to accommodate our own desires, and the danger increases. We rationalize our thinking by comparing our standards to the lives of others. Jeremiah said, "The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walks to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Our standards, our direction, our way must be found outside of ourselves in Jesus Christ, in the Word of God. There is nothing within man to give him a true sense of direction. "Thy Word is a lamp unto thy feet and a light unto thy path" (Psalm 119:105). Until we align our hearts to God's Word, we will never find what our soul seeks more than anything else: peace with God and true fulfillment in life, living under His Lordship and the Sovereignty of His will!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.

To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
where his glory forever I'll share.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My hubby's appointment with the lung specialist went well. Dr. said his lungs sound good and he put him on a new medication, one that I've been on for a while. It's a longer acting maintenance drug that has helped me. Hopefully it will help my Fred too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do you know just where you were 12 days before Easter in 1979? I do. I was in the first day of a 12 day coma at a local hospital. I had gone into the hospital with an asthma attack. My visits to ER and admissions to the hospital were routine by this time and no one thought much of it. I knew the day was different when they admitted me. I don't know how I knew, I just did.

My husband stayed long enough to get me settled and went home to go to work. After he left, my breathing began to worsen and I was in and out of consciousness for a time. The next thing I knew, my husband, my brother and my youngest sister were in my room and I was begging them to pray for me because I knew I was dying.

I wasn't a Christian at this time and I knew I wasn't ready to die. I begged my husband and my brother and my sister to pray with me. They couldn't. My sister was a new convert, and at a loss for words, so she called a lady from her church who came and prayed. I don't remember this woman's face, just her hand holding mine as I lapsed once again into unconsciousness.

That unconsciousness lasted 12 days. I had gone into respiratory failure and then into a coma. The days preceding Good Friday and Easter were going to be my last ones on earth according to the doctors. They said that if I lived, I would be in a vegetative state for the remainder of my life. On Good Friday I was aware that my brother and my husband were in my hospital room. My brother was reading a card to me and holding a rose.

I was transferred to a larger university hospital so they could do a CT scan on my brain I and began to regain consciousness on Easter morning. As I became more and more awake, I learned I couldn't move my body. I was paralyzed from the neck down. Once I was fully awake, I was put into rehab and began physical therapy. They were training me to live life as a quadriplegic.

There is so much more to this story and perhaps I'll tell all of it one day. It's a story of God's providence to a sinner who had no redeeming value in herself. It's a story of God's mercy and grace. It's a story about me and where God allowed me to find Him. In the deepest, darkest time of my life, He allowed me to find Him.

This is a special time of year for me and my Fred. Not only did I live, I also walked again and regained corrected vision in my right eye. I didn't stay in the wheelchair or on the crutches. God gave back what the enemy of my soul was determined to take.

He's done that for all who know Him as Savior and Lord. He's given us new life and allowed us to see His mercy and grace each day we're here. We have such glorious reason to celebrate this Holy Day called Easter because our Redeemer lives! He lives and He reigns and He rules to the glory of God the Father!

May you find Him anew this week. May He be all you need for whatever you might be facing in this life. May you come to a place of rest and refreshment in the knowing that He knows you and He cares for you. He has called you by name and you are His if you have accepted His gift of new life in Christ.

He reigns! Hallelujah to His Name, He reigns!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My dear Fred is doing a bit better, but still has a ways to go to fully recover from the asthma attack. He's doing breathing treatments here at home and resting a lot. Said he's very sore and I totally understand the pain he's having. I will call tomorrow and hopefully get him in to see our lung specialist this week. The nurses in pulmonary know me well and work in expert fashion to get me in quickly. I'm sure they'll do the same for my Fred.

Another issue he's dealing with is side effects of Prednisone. It's a good medication when needed, but the side effects are disturbing. You feel like you're going to shake out of your skin; bad dreams; a sense of doom seems to hang over you at times and at others, you're so hyper you can't be still. You can also feel like you could take on the world and win and that can lead to other issues.

I find myself wondering why on earth anyone would purposely take steroids when there is no medical reason to do so. I hear of athletes who use steroids and wonder if they know the harm they're doing to themselves. I can also fully understand how, when a person is on large doses of steroids for long periods of time, they can harm others and themselves. It's a drug that alters who you are and you'll do things you would never do if you weren't taking them.

The last time I was on Prednisone I thought I would literally come apart at whatever seams I might have in my life. I would talk to myself, telling myself that I was really alright and that in just a few days I could stop the medication and things would go back to normal. I didn't sleep. I was either frightfully hungry or didn't want anything to eat. I craved sweets and felt like I could run marathons. When I finished that course of treatment I told my doctor, "Please, no more unless I absolutely have to".

We need to be so thankful for simple, everyday gifts: The ability to breathe normally. The ability to get out of bed by ourselves when we wake up in the morning. The ability to walk down a hall way. To take a shower or a bath. To wash our hair and put on a bit of make-up if we choose to. To make breakfast. To read a book. To talk to our Father in heaven. To sit at our computers and communicate with friends. To know there are people out there in cyber-space whom we've never met but who care for us and pray for us. To know there are friends we've known for years who love us in spite of ourselves and who pray for us as well.

The most important gift of all is the gift of God's redeeming love for us. When we were yet dead in trespasses and sins, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. What a gift! What a precious, unearned gift we've been given.

Thank You Lord for life. For breath. For friends and family. For You.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Fred isn't feeling well again. His breathing was so bad late last night that I called 911 and our city EMT's took him to the hospital for treatment. I couldn't risk driving him myself as he was nearly in a panic attack on top of the asthma. I know first hand how quickly things can go from really bad to horribly worse and couldn't risk that by taking him to the ER on my own. The fact he didn't protest my calling them proved how ill he was.

Last night I saw something in his eyes and face that I've never seen in him in all the years we've been together .... fear. Honest-to-goodness fear ... fear that he was dying and there was nothing he or I could do to stop it. I hope I never see that in him again.

There's not much worse than not being able to breathe. I've experienced that too many times to count in my own life. It's like drowning to me. Fred said later last night it was as if someone had their hand over his mouth & nose and wouldn't let go. Whatever an asthmatic's explanation is, it's not good. None of it.

He's resting and for that I am thankful. We were home by 4 this morning but it was difficult getting to sleep. I kept touching him to make sure he was breathing.

If we didn't have the Lord to call on, what would we do? That's all I could do last night as I tried to calm my husband. Call on the One who could help and He did. Thank you Father.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How old is Grandpa?

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.
The Grandfather replied, 'Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:
' television
' penicillin
' polio shots
' frozen foods
' Xerox
' contact lenses
' Frisbees and
' the pill

There were no:
' credit cards
' laser beams or
' ball-point pens

Man had not invented:
' pantyhose
' air conditioners
' dishwashers
' clothes dryers
' and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and
' man hadn't yet walked on the moon

Your Grandmother and I got married first, . . . and then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, 'Sir'. And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.'

We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.
We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.
Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.
Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the evening breeze started.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios.
And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.
If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan ' on it, it was junk
The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.
Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.
We had 5 & 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi we re all a nickel.
And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, . . . but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day:
' 'grass' was mowed,
' 'coke' was a cold drink,
' 'pot' was something your mother cooked in and
' 'rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby.
' 'Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office,
' ' chip' meant a piece of wood,
' 'hardware' was found in a hardware store and
' 'software' wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder people call us 'old and confused' and say there is a generation gap. and how old do you think I am?

I bet you have this old man in are in for a shock!

Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time.
Are you ready ?????

This man would be only 59 years old.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Saturday's Happenings:

1. Baked homemade Scones

2. Ate homemade scones

3. Worked on lesson plan for tomorrow's children's class at church

4. Spent time with Stef & Erica this evening

5. Learned that Fred's hometown in Ohio has been declared a disaster area due to the snow and electrical outages. They were expecting 20 MORE inches of snow today.

6. Gave thanks that we don't live in that part of Ohio. We did once.

7. Turned all the clocks ahead one hour. Oh joy.

8. Checked in on all my blog family.

9. Had chicken stir-fry for dinner. Fred's cooking again. Yea!

10. Taking myself to bed. Good night all.

Our backyard in Summer...
Our backyard this week & the week before & the week before ....

While the snow is beautiful, I will be grateful to see our yard in Spring again.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis ( says this:
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him".

I Cor. 10:31
Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Am I satisfied in Him when I drink a glass of water or eat a meal? How am I satisfied in Him by eating or drinking? By recognizing that He is the supplier of my food and drink and being thankful for what He supplies.

Am I satisfied in Him when I'm cleaning house and doing laundry and grocery shopping?
He gives the strength and energy to do all these things. They matter to Him too and He is glorified when I thank Him for the ability to do them.

Am I satisfied in Him when I'm having a no energy day and simply can't do what I'd like to do?
He knows these days will come and I've learned they allow my body to restore and refresh if I'll simply rest and let it happen.

Am I satisfied in Him regardless of all that is going on around me?
If I am, He is glorified.

Am I satisfied in Him regardless of what my health issues are?
If I am, He is glorified.

Am I satisfied in Him when people I love aren't saved and don't seem to care about the condition of their soul?
If I am, He is glorified.

Am I satisfied in Him enough to trust Him with absolutely everything?
If I am, He is glorified.

There's a singer/songwriter I know who wrote this song:
In my life Lord, be glorified, be glorified
In my life Lord, be glorified today.

At one time I naively thought He was best glorified when all was going well in my life. When everything seemed to be coming up roses and there wasn't a thing to be concerned about. Now I know that it is my satisfaction in HIM regardless of circumstances, that brings Him glory.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Husbands & Wives

Eph. 5:22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.
5:23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.
5:2424 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
1 Peter 3:1 In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,
2 When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

I am not the wife I should be and the verses above attest to that fact. I don't want to subject myself to my husband. I don't want to be submissive nor do I want to adapt myself to him. I am so full of my 'self' that I have wrongly, sinfully, dismissed these verses and attempted to do things 'my' way regardless of what my husband says. Oh, I'm not blatantly in his face about it; we females have our ways, don't we? We can connive and plot and plan, with good intentions of course, but we're still trying to have our way about things. We'll do whatever it takes to get around our other half and get what we want. I have done this. May God forgive me for that.

In looking at these scriptures this morning the thought came to me that as a child of God, He has put within me all I need to DO what His Word tells me to do. I have no acceptable reason or excuse not to. None of my rationalizing will hold water in light of what His Word tells me to do. I am accountable to Him and will give answer one day for what I've done and why I did it. I'm forgiven of course and will not lose my salvation. But God has given me His precious Word and I'm responsible to be a doer of that Word and not a hearer only. For when I only hear it and don't put it in to practice, I'm deceiving myself. James 1:22 is clear about this.

I've asked God to help me and He has clearly let me know that all I need is within me ... His precious Holy Spirit lives within me. His Word is my guidebook for all of life. I am responsible to read it and obey it to the very best of my ability. I am to rely on Him and then DO what I don't want to do. When I walk in obedience to His Word my flesh will most likely rebel and there will be a struggle going on. But it's entirely up to me as to who's going to win.

He hasn't called me or any of us to easy things in this life. You can count on that if you know Him as Savior and Lord. He has called us to be children who honor their Father by their obedience to Him and His Word. And I will honor Him when I honor my husband. As I submit to my Fred, I am also submitting to the One who loves me most. As I revere my Fred, I am showing reverence for the One who put us together over 40 years ago. And think of this: As I admire, praise, deeply love and enjoy my husband, I am accepting one of the gifts God has given me. He's given me this man to be my head, my covering. Why have I persisted in trying to do it my way all these years?

I thank God for what He's allowing me to learn this morning. I thank Him for grace that I don't deserve and mercy that is new every morning. I thank Him for my Fred. I give up wanting it all to be done my way. I wave the white flag of surrender, admit my sins, run to the Father and let Him heal all that needs healing.

What an awesome God we serve. What blessings He bestows on wayward children. Praise His precious Name ... He is mighty to save and will not leave us to our own devices!