The first of the five Thursday night "Man to Man" meetings was completed last night. And what a great night of study it was. Our pastor lead the discussion with around forty in attendance. The effort, many hours of prayer and study that our leader put into this was of a great benefit. I received much help throughout the evening as I know all did. What a wonderful group of men to share the love of God with. And please never take lightly the leadership Pastor "A" provides to all of the church. Let's share a though for today concerning the family.
Colossians 3 & 4 looks at practical holiness to the family unit. Family relationships should be a mirror of our relationship with our heavenly Father. As He values and encourages each of us, no matter our social standing, so we will value and encourage one another, especially within the family unit.
The message to the fathers is strong. They are the earthly representatives of the heavenly Father, so the relationship to their children is crucial. Sweet infants, so beautiful and precious, grow into children and teens that develop their own attitudes, preferences, and personalities. We can choose to be encouraging teachers who shape their lives positively for the kingdom and God, or we can discourage them in a critical manner.
Discouragement is the easy route, often leading to despair and personal destruction. Encouragement requires much more intentional instruction and incredible patience. The investment of time and energy in encouragement, however, will pay huge dividends eventually as a balanced, productive, positive adult emerges who will also encourage others to seek holiness.
When one allows God to make him what he should be then it is not so difficult to do what He wants him to do.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
Have a wonderful day in the Lord, and may He bless you and yours. Never forget that you are loved!!!
Remember as a small kid, how difficult it was to get started on the swing? You could see the older kids having a great time, swinging high, while you seemed to just be passed by. You needed some help to get started, just as many new Christians need some help. We all need each other. Perhaps you are not a new Christian but are you down in your spirit today, with some problems over finances or relationships, or bad news, medically? Maybe life just has you in a rut, or you know someone that is in a horrible rut.
Whatever the situation, we all need each other. And you know what happens when you push a kid on a swing? Pretty soon he’s pumping, doing it himself. Do you believe Christ wants His body of believers to seek that help or be that help that is needed? Is that not part of a Christian's role in life? To give others that needed gentle push.
Christian, if you are down and out this morning, seek out some Christian confidant to talk to. If you are new in your walk with the Lord, seek out a godly person, and build that encouraging and learning relationship you need. Let's all be aware of needs around us, and be prepared and willing to give that gentle push when and where it's needed.
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16
Be blessed today, as you look for the one who needs a gentle push, and always know that you are loved!!!
"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms." The Apostle Paul, speaking to the faithful generosity of the church of Corinthians, made special reference to the one from whence all blessings emanate when he said, "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift."
When we have thanked God for our country with all its boundless resources; when we have thanked God for our church, our homes and every blessing of our families and friends, it still remains for us to remember this 'unspeakable gift' for nothing is secure and lasting but in Him.
"The Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations."
For this we are eternally grateful! Be thankful, be blessed, and always keep in mind how loved you are!!!
Those that were standing around couldn’t help hearing it! The lady had a voice that could carry a considerable distance and they distinctly heard her say: “I figured it out and then convinced them from the Bible.”
“Well, at least somebody’s interested in the Bible,” they said to each other.
But as she continued on it turned out that she had used the records in an old family Bible to establish her claim to part of an estate. These records, introduced in court, had won the case for her.
There was, after all, no indication that she was interested in the Bible— only in those pages between the Old and New Testaments which, in some editions of the Bible, are kept for family records.
Actually she was no different from the masses about us who go about from day to day interested only in the things of this life and ignoring almost completely the things that really matter: God, heaven, hell and their own eternal destiny.
If these people only knew what treasures are to be found in the Bible! Among these are “riches of mercy” (Eph. 2:4), “riches of grace” (Eph. 1:7), “riches of glory” (Phil. 4:19),“riches of wisdom and knowledge” (Rom. 11:33), “the riches of the full assurance of understanding” (Col. 2:2), “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).
And the best part of it is that anyone may have these riches simply for the asking:“For there is no difference… for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:12,13).
In our Sunday school lessons we have been studying a course entitled, "We Can Trust The Bible". Through this, we are learning how to study our Bible; and tomorrow we will be looking into the matter of how to discern the false teachings around us, from the true teachings of Scripture. We will have a glimpse into Islam, Mormonism, and Jehovah's Witnesses, and then place those up against the Word of God. Please come and be part of this.
May the Lord of all truth bless your week-end, and always remember that you are loved!!!
For the one who is working for the Lord, and growing low on energy, please read this old hymn slowly and prayerfully. Then read it again and again.
“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
"When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
“His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His power has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”
Annie Johnson Flint
Let’s worship Jesus, the Source of our strength today!
"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might
He increaseth strength." Isaiah 40:29
May your blessings today come from the Lord Jesus Himself, and never forget that you are loved!!!
Sermons have always been one of the greatest blessing I've enjoyed. To hear preaching of the word is my hearts delight, and when I traveled for years in my work, I kept preaching tapes with me. For hours along the Interstates and Turnpikes, the car was filled with those great proclamations of God's word. Today we have access to the internet with sermons at our fingertips, including the sermons from Dogwood.
Is the preaching of God's word a blessing to your heart? On Monday morning, and throughout the week do you reflect back on the sermon you set under the previous Sunday morning? Our last message, the one we just received from Proverbs on Christian giving was very powerful. The point about the Father's gift, and the personal gift of the Son, Jesus Christ Himself given for us, is very motivating to the Christian's giving.
We have read of much money being given in ransom demands. Frank Sinatra paid $250,000 to get his son back, another family paid $600,000, but the highest ever paid is said to have been $60,000,000 for two brothers. That is a lot of money, but that is wrong!
St. Paul, by divine inspiration, wrote in I Tim. 2:4-6: “God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. Who gave HIMSELF a ransom for all…”
Did you get that? Christ gave Himself a ransom for all. All mankind had been taken captive by Satan and sin, but Christ paid the price of our ransom. That price was Himself — His own life, which He gave on Calvary’s cross to pay for our redemption. That is not always something our culture readily comprehends, for today most think in terms of $$$, when considering worth or value. But the greatest value is life itself, and He gave His life that we may have life eternal. When that is understood, the Christian is eager to give of his $$$, as well as his time and service to his Lord, which is life itself.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1
Our prayer is that you will have a great Monday, and keep in mind throughout this day that you are loved!!!
We saw a sign in the window of a business recently that read: "We buy junk and sell antiques". We all want to buy good products, but buy them for as low a cost as possible. Bev and I were traveling in Mississippi several years ago, and we stopped at a small bargain store. I remember purchasing, for three dollars, an old Case knife worth several hundred. What a find! But there's a greater find that is available to everyone. "Truth", it's an amazing bargain, but it's not free or even inexpensive.
Every true Christian should understand that the truth costs. If you don’t think so, make it your own, value it, defend it, stand for it, and see if it doesn’t cost. Before you are through it may cost you far more than you had thought — hours of ease and pleasure, friends and money. Salvation is gloriously free but the truth costs — that is, if you want it for yourself. Many who know the truth won’t buy it. They won’t pay what it costs to say: “This is what I believe. This is my conviction.” The truth isn’t worth that much to them.
But in Prov. 23:23 God’s Word urges us: “Buy the truth”! Not, “Buy it if you can get it at a bargain; if the price is not too great.” No, “Buy the truth”! Buy it at any price. It is worth far more than anything you can give in exchange for it.
And when you have bought it: “sell it not.” How many, sadly, have bought the truth only to sell out again! For a while they valued and defended some God-given light from His Word, but presently they sold it again for something that seemed more valuable. Perhaps it was peace with others, or position, or popularity or some other temporal gain. They still gave mental assent to it but it formed no part of them. It was no longer a conviction.
If that is where you are, read again the Spirit’s counsel: “Buy the truth, and sell it not....” He does not say: “Don’t sell it unless you can get a very good price for it.” He says: “Sell it not.” Sell it not at any price. Buy it, no matter what it costs and when it is yours do not sell it for any price or under any consideration.
It is because the truth is so little valued in this indifferent age, that many of God’s people have become so spiritually powerless. They hold opinions instead of convictions, because they have given the infallible, unchangeable Word of God little place in their lives. God blesses and uses those who “buy the truth and sell it not.”
We enjoyed a great day at Dogwood yesterday. The new SS class dealt with some effective ways to study God's word. From that first lesson, we came to understand it takes much effort, cost, to find the truth, to embrace it, and keep it. Digging into God's word is not for lazy people, and it just so happened that the theme in Anthony's message from Proverbs gave us, picture after picture, of the difference in the life of one with good work ethics and of the one without. Let's apply diligence to our Bible study.
"Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." Proverbs 23:23
May God bless your Monday as you value and defend the God-given light you've received, and know for sure that you are loved!!!
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12:32
Jesus had just prayed: "Father, glorify thy name." John 12:28 The Father's response was, He had and He would.
We are of the belief Jesus was speaking of being lifted up on the cross, but can we lift Him up today in our testimony? Can we tell the world what He has done for us, because of His cross?
"I'm going to lift up the name of Jesus.
I'm going to tell of my joy since He came.
I'm going to sing of His power, every day and every hour.
I'm going to lift up that wonderful name,
I'm going to lift up that wonderful name.
Now you can talk about your world condition.
You talk about all that's gone wrong.
You can state your views and positions.
But I'm going to sing me a song.
I'm going to lift up the name of Jesus.
I'm going to tell of my joy since He came.
I'm going to sing of His power, every day and every hour.
I'm going to lift up that wonderful name.
I'm going to lift up that wonderful name."
May the Lord bless you real good today, as you share the joy He brings. Always remember that you are loved!!!
The rose exhibits its beauty and sheds its fragrance in the rain as well as in the sunshine, or in the desert as well as the garden because that is its nature. The water lily keeps clean and white while surrounded by the slimy, filthy water of the pond because its nature requires just that. Nature is superior to circumstances.
God changes a man's surrendered heart from a tendency to do wrong to a tendency to do right. The bent of his will to say "no" to God becomes a bent to say "yes." The flow of his affections toward self becomes a flow toward God. Before it was his nature to be controlled by his surroundings, affected by the pollutions of the world, it now becomes his nature to radiate the fruits of the Spirit in the rain as well as in the sunshine, in the desert as well as in the garden, and to keep clean and white amidst the pollution of sin on every hand.
Is that your experience? If not it can be! "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" Matthew 5: 29
Scripture says to the needy: "According to your faith be it unto you." Matthew 9:29
Have a great evening, and never forget that you are loved!!!
On a church marquee near my home, the sign reads: "Seven Days without prayer makes one weak." In all honesty, it does not take that long to make me weak, because, sooner than that I begin to fade, and can quickly develop a rotten attitude.
As good as it was to worship together at Dogwood yesterday, with the wonderful music, and Antony's sermon about heaven; I can't live long on that, anymore than I can live long on the buffet meal from Golden Corral, or Bev's Sunday dinner.
In the wilderness, the manna that God provided for the Israelites on one day, was corrupt when the next day came. I must every day have fresh grace from heaven, and I obtain it only in direct waiting upon God Himself. Let's begin each day by tarrying before God and letting Him touch us.
"Sing thy first song to God
Not the thy fellow man;
Not to the creatures of His hand
But to the Glorious One.
Take thy first meal with God,
He is thy heavenly food;
Feed with and on Him; He with thee
Will feast in brotherhood.
Take thy first walk with God;
Let Him go forth with thee;
By stream or sea, or mountain path,
Seek still His company.
Thy first transaction be
With God Himself above;
So shall thy business prosper well,
And all the day be Love."
May the good Lord bless you today, as you allow Him first place in all your life, and never forget that you are loved!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!