Acknowledging God

I love the story of Joseph! Here he is speaking to his brothers:

“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for GOD did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And GOD sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, BUT GOD…” Genesis 45:5-8

In my Bible, I have written beside these verses, “See God’s hand in EVERY situation!”

~ Rachel ~

To The Married

Woman was taken out of man; not out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled underfoot; but out of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved. ~ Matthew Henry

“…he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
…she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”  I Corinthians 7:33,34

“…and thy desire shall be to thy husband…”  Genesis 3:16

To The Unmarried

~ Fall in love with the Lord BEFORE you fall in love with your future mate. ~

“…He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: …The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit…”  I Corinthians 7:32,34

~ A woman’s heart should be so lost in God that a man must seek HIM in order to find her. ~

Just Leave It Off

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 17:14

The above verse was one topic of discussion this morning and Matthew Henry’s comments are as follows:

{Here is, 1. The danger that there is in the beginning of strife. One hot word, one peevish reflection, one angry demand, one spiteful contradiction, begets another, and that a third, and so on, till it proves like the cutting of a dam; when the water has got a little passage it does itself widen the breach, bears down all before it, and there is then no stopping it, no reducing it. 2. A good caution inferred thence, to take heed of the first spark of contention and to put it out as soon as ever it appears. Dread the breaking of the ice, for, if once broken, it will break further; therefore leave it off, not only when you see the worst of it, for then it may be too late, but when you see the first of it. Obsta principiis–Resist its earliest display. Leave it off even before it be meddled with; leave it off, if it were possible, before you begin.}

Another verse we referred to was Proverbs 20:3,

“It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.”

Contrary to the belief of many, the “badge of honour” belongs to the man or woman who is able to refrain from arguing. In fact, we read that continual strife in a believer is one sign of carnality. “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men.” I Corinthians 3:3  On the other hand, “Salty Christians” are those whose desire is peace among the brethren, “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” Mark 9:50

A good question for each of us to ask would be, “Does the atmosphere suddenly become peaceful when I leave the room?” Proverbs 22:10 says, “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” 

If we have someone in our life that constantly wants to argue, let’s choose, by God’s grace, to be the bigger person. Abram is a good example of this in Genesis 13:8,”And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” When faced with a contentious person, stay calm, whisper the following prayer, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3), and if need be…just walk away from the strife. And then, pray for that person. The worst-case-scenario would be that the person is an enemy and, if that is the case, the Bible still tells us to pray for them. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44  But also, pray for ourselves – for wisdom and grace as well as compassion toward the individual. God may allow us to see past the person’s continual fighting to an individual with deep hurts, insecurities, etc. As a result, the Lord may use us to make a difference in their life.

“And of some have compassion, making a difference” Jude 1:22

~ Rachel ~

Until Then

(Bethany is at the piano playing the following song. Can I say “Amen” to the words?)

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for awhile;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

(Stuart Hamblen)

Searching the Scriptures

(Anna is guest-posting today. The following was taken from her Bible journal.)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15

A lot of people depend on their pastor; they don’t take a Bible to church because they just take the pastor’s word for it and don’t look in their Bible themselves.  Acts 17:11 says, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” This verse is talking about the Bereans. The Bible says they were noble because they searched the scriptures daily to see if the things that Paul spoke of were so. I’m not saying that we need to make sure that our pastor is telling truth, I’m just saying that we shouldn’t get to the point where we stop bringing our Bible to church, and just depend on the pastor and not God’s holy, infallible word.  I Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” This verse is talking about proving all things. Don’t believe every thing we hear! Prove all things before we pass it along to the next person.

It’s important to study the Bible daily because we never know when we’re going to be asked a question about the Bible or something. The Bible tells in I Peter 3:15 to be ready for a time like that, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” Then, in Proverbs 15:28a it says, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer:…” Study God’s word DAILY! Don’t depend on man; depend on God! Be ready to give an answer!

~ Anna ~

Who Are We Pleasing?

“And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.” Mark 15:15

This chapter, as you see, speaks of when Jesus was being questioned before Pilate. In verses 12-14, we find the crowd crying out for Pilate to crucify Him, “And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.”

And then we find in verse 15 that Pilate, “willing to content the people”, carried out their wish, “And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.” In reading this verse, we find that Pilate was a “men-pleaser”. A “men-pleaser” is someone who wants the approval of everybody, therefore, seeks to gratify and “make everyone happy”. We are being a friend with the world by trying to please them. And, according to James 4:4, if we are a friend of the world, we are an enemy of God. “…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Although our desire should be to live peaceably, we should expect to be at odds with the world. And, we will be, if we are truly pleasing God in all things.  Luke 6: 22 says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”  If we find that the world feels comfortable around us, then we may need to have a spiritual “checkup”. On the other hand, if we find that people are separating themselves from us, not because of some wrong we did them but because of our Biblical beliefs and stand for Jesus, then that’s a GOOD thing. In fact, in the next verse Jesus says to REJOICE and “leap for joy”!!! Luke 6:23, ” Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”

Let’s examine and ask ourselves, “Am I a men-pleaser, or a God-pleaser?” Who would we be likened to, Pilate: a men-pleaser, or  Peter: a God-pleaser? May we, like Peter, make a decision that we will obey God rather than men!

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

~ Bethany ~