Good Friday Morning To You,
Let me share with you something from Andrew Murray's book, "The Pray Life"
"The enemy uses all his power to lead the Christian to neglect prayer. He knows that however admirable the sermon may be, however attractive the service, however faithful the pastoral visitation, none of these things can damage him or his kingdom if prayer is neglected. When the Church shuts herself up to the power of the inner chamber, and the soldiers of the Lord have received on their knees "power from on high," then the powers of darkness will be shaken and souls will be delivered. In the Church, on the mission field, with the minister and his congregation, everything depends on the faithful exercise of the power of prayer."
Don will be leading our monthly prayer meeting again this Saturday Morning at 8:00. If you have been missing these, you have been missing a blessing from God. It starts at 8:00 and is over for you when you decide to leave. Men and women come and meet with God tomorrow morning.
Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Have a great, God bless, and remember that you are loved.
One of the greatest difficulties a parent of school age children faces, is the constant unraveling of untruths that the child receives. From the school, and from varies media, they are told evolution is the only truth; one is ignorant to deny it, earth is billions of years old, and it took billions of years to bring about all the changes. From slime to tadpoles, to monkeys, to man. Surveys have shown that if they buy into this false teaching, and deny the Biblical account of creation, they will begin to question many other scriptures. Evolution is wrong, let me share with you just one example, a thing that does take a very short period of time, in fish physically, and in humans spiritually.
We live in an area of Southern Indiana where most of the streams are underground. This section is inundated with sink holes, and caves. Within these underground waters there lives a little fish called the Northern blind cave fish. A similar fish has been found in Mexico as well. These tiny fish live in the deep recesses of limestone caves and, as their name suggests, the adult fish have no eyes.
They begin life as sighted fish, but because of their environment their eyes degenerate and close. It's a short period of time; just within their lifetime. In the pitch-black world of a cave, there is no need for sight.
We live in a world that is saturated with darkness, a world filled with misinformation, and a world that would completely extinguished the Light of the world, if that were possible.
But praise God we have the promise Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, gave: "By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Luke 1:78-79.
However, not unlike the little blind cavefish, if our children are left in the darkness of this world with it's false teachings and immoral influences, tragically, they will lose their sight.
We as parents must examine ourselves in light of this scripture: "If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth." (1 John 1:6) When we know we are in the Light and living by the Truth, we must lead our children to Jesus, the Light of the world, and train them to have lasting fellowship with Him.
God bless you, have a great day, and always remember that you are loved!!!
At a Little League baseball game a few weeks ago, I noticed a father watching his ten year old daughter's game with one eye, and reading, "Already Gone" with the other eye. Walking over to him, I ask if his Sunday school class was studying the book, as ours had recently done. No, his pastor had given it to him to read, for his eighteen year old daughter, a college student, had left the church and left the faith. When he said he knew nothing of apologetics, my heart was sadden for him.
Does it make you tired just to think of priorities? To consider priorities, indicates you have a lot to do, and need to organize your many duties in the order of importance. That does sound tiring. We've been instructed to start with the smallest task and complete it, then move to the next smallest task and complete it. This will build confidence.
However, in parenting, there is a task that must take first place, and nothing else even comes close. Dr. James Dobson refers to this matter of introducing our children to Jesus Christ, and teaching them His precepts and principles, "the ultimate priority." They need to come to know Him as their personal savior; and the younger the better.
A familiar scripture for Christian parents is Deut. 6:6-9: "These commandments that I gave you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Does that sound fanatical? Why would God want the children to see His word, or hear His word at every turn in their life? Is it because that is the only truth available to them, and without it there is no foundation for their life to be built on? So when do you start? The younger the better.
A three year old is capable of learning that the flowers, the sky, the birds, and even rainbows are gifts from God's hand. The same God that made these wonderful things, created each one of us, and loves each one of us. They can learn 1 John 4:8, "God is love." They can thank Him for their food, and ask Him for help when they are hurt of scared. As they grow and see your love for Christ, and your personal relationship with Him; as they see you pray and talk with them of answered prayers, their faith will grow.
A Barna survey says that kids from 5 to 13 have a 32% chance of accepting Jesus as their Savior. That rate drops dramatically to just 4% for kids ages fourteen through eighteen. Yes, we should start as soon as possible, but if our kids are four, fourteen, or forty and have not accepted Christ as their personal savior, that should be our "Ultimate Priority". There is no time to lose!
God bless you, and never forget that you are loved!!!
What a wonderful Father's Day we had at Dogwood yesterday. The Sunday school hour and the worship service were great. If you were unable to be there, go to the web site, www.dogwoodcommunitychurch.com, and listen to the sermon. If you missed S.S., we hope you can make it next week. We have a very good teacher, Dan, and he is teaching the scriptures out of Mark.
Let me share with you this morning what William Gurmall has to say about the scriptures:
One great goal of Scripture is to establish us in truth: "He gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints." (Eph. 4:11-12).
Why? "That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro...." (v.14). As you receive the Word, pay attention to the doctrinal part of the sermon as well as to its application. One is necessary to make you a solid Christian, and the other to make you a warm Christian.
Have a great Monday, and remember that you are loved!!!
Man is plagued with many fears, some of them odd. Mysophobia is fear of dirt. Hydrophobia is fear of water. Nyctophobia is fear of darkness. Acrophobia is fear of high places. Xenophobia is fear of strangers. Claustrophobia is fear of confined places. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13. Unfortunately, many people who have learned to fear things that they probably shouldn't have, never learned to fear God.
Belshazzar was one of those people. Whatever other fears he may have had, a fear of the God of Israel was not one of them. In the midst of a great feast, the king, a grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, ordered the gold and silver vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem to be put on display. He did not seem to care that God had humbled Nebuchadnezzar by having him reduced to the lifestyle of a beast eating grass for seven years, until the great King repented and feared God.
So, with utter disregard for the sacred nature of these utensils, and with no concern for God, Belshazzar profaned them by using them in his drunken revelry. It was not until a hand appeared and wrote on the palace wall of God's judgment that this arrogant king began to fear. But by then it was too late. His fate was sealed. Many people today treat God flippantly. They use His name in vain. They trample His standards of righteousness underfoot. They flout their sin in His face. They treat God's people with disdain and contempt. Yet they show no fear. Only when it's too late for many of them will they realize what fools they've been.
With Father's Day approaching, I heard a speaker say this week that their father's most lasting statement in their memory contained only 3 words: "TAKE GOD SERIOUSLY."
Just how seriously do you take God, and do your kids recognize that seriousness in your life? Be assured that one day everyone will fear God. The best course of action is to bow before Him in fear as Savior, walk before Him in humble obedience now, so you don't have to bow before Him in fear as Judge later. The choice is yours, would it not be much better to be at easy with God, and have Him call you friend now. Let me close with a verse about Abraham, the one God called His friend.
God said about Abraham, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord” (Gen. 18:19).
Remember the old saying: "One bad apple will spoil the whole basket." It's hard today to find a basket that has only one bad apple in it.
We had a discussion this week with a parent of young children who was so deeply concerned about the morals of their children's peers. What is a parent to do? How can children stay pure in their impure environment? What can strengthen them to go against the polluted flow surrounding them? This parent was convinced that the only thing that will bring victory to the life of a child is Christ and the word of God. The child must be insulated by the word of God.
Sound too simple; or sound like a worn out phrase? Fathers have you tried it? It's not for the luke-warm or lazy parent.
Jesus said: "If you abide in me, and MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, ask for whatever you wish and it will be done for you." John 15:7
Fathers, are you into God's word, and are you keeping your children in God's word? J. Wilbur Chapman had the following daily guide for us:
1. Study it through. Never begin a day without mastering a verse.
2. Pray it in. Never leave your Bible until the passage you have studied is a part of your very being.
3. Put it down. The thought God gives you, put in the margin of your Bible or your notebook.
4. Work it out. Live the truth you get through all the hours of the day.
5. Pass it out. Seek to tell somebody what you have learned.
Father's, if His word abides in us, and His word abides in our children, they will be insulated from that bunch of spoiled applies, and will be able to shun that polluted flow all round them. It's work, but your kids are worth the effort.
Every action in dealing with His own, God is motivated by love.
"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him." Psalm 103:13
Children need encouragement in these days. They can become despondent as well as adults. Father's, has your sweetness of temper, your loving obedience, your cheerful self-denial, your steadfast faithfulness, caused those who live with you to take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus? Or has your home life been a constant contradiction to your testimony outside the home? Fathers let's allow Him to live with us, but more than that, allow Him to live in us.
"O Spirit of redemptive love,
Pour out Your love through me.
Come, tender Spirit, gentle Dove,
Give love from Calvary.
Oceans of love to me impart;
May living streams within me start
And flow in love to every heart!
Love my family through me."
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!