This morning’s devotional from Br. Paul Chappell’s book, “Disciple”, was a great reminder on the necessity of importunate praying.
“Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” John 21:20-22
When our children were younger, I would often find myself using a phrase from the above passage to get my point across. For example, our conversation may go something like this:
ME – “________ (child’s name), you need to clean your room.”
CHILD – “What about ________ ?”(sibling’s name)
ME – “What is that to thee?”
Since we had discussed this passage on different occasions in our Bible time, that particular child knew they needed to stop worrying about what their brothers and sisters were doing and, instead, just OBEY Momma.
This morning, this passage served as a similar reminder to me. Adulthood does not negate the need for us to apply the above principle to our lives. Too often, I fear, we adults are just as guilty of looking at the lives of others and wondering why the Lord is not requiring THEM to travel the same path as us.
“Lord, why don’t THEY have to go down this path? Lord, what about _______?”
Ahhhh, but we can’t do that, can we? God’s plan for each of our lives is a “made to order” plan especially designed by God for our individual perfection.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4
This morning, if you find yourself looking around at the lives of others while questioning God’s plan for your own life, I would like to encourage you to use the above passage as a reminder. Although the ultimate goal for every believer is spiritual maturity, we must remember that God has INDIVIDUAL plans for each of our lives. As we submit to His will, He is molding and making us into vessels “meet for the master’s use” (II Timothy 2:21).
I have heard it said, “your history is your ministry”. Do you know what that means? The trials we may be experiencing today are preparing us for future ministry opportunities! Praise the Lord! And, since these ministries will vary greatly from one believer to another, how silly for us to expect the molding and making process to be the same! As clay in the Potter’s hand, our only job is to stay pliable while we willingly submit to Him.
“But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Perseverance counts much with God, just as it does with man. If Elijah had ceased at his first petition, the heavens would scarcely have yielded their rain to his feeble praying. (See James 5:17-18) If Jacob had quit praying at decent bedtime, he would hardly have survived the next day’s meeting with Esau. If the Syrophenician woman had allowed her faith to faint by silence, humiliation, or rejection, or to stop midway in its struggles, her grief-stricken home would never have been brightened by the healing of her daughter. Pray and never faint, is the motto Christ gives us for praying. It is the test of our faith, and the more severe the trial and the longer the waiting, the more glorious the results.” ~ E.M. Bounds
“…men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” Luke 18:1
“Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness…” Jeremiah 31:2
Reading the above verse this morning reminded me of something I have heard my pastor say several times. It goes something like this…
“Like Joshua and Caleb, God may have you wander in the wilderness BUT you don’t have to die there.”
Matthew Henry’s comments on this verse are as follows:
“They were then in the wilderness, where they seemed to be lost and forgotten, as these were now in a strange land, and yet they found grace in God’s sight, were owned and highly honoured by him, and blessed with wonderful instances of his peculiar favour, and he was at this time going to cause them to rest in Canaan. Note, When we are brought very low, and insuperable difficulties appear in the way of our deliverance, it is good to remember that it has been so with the church formerly, and yet that it has been raised up from its low estate and has got to Canaan through all the hardships of a wilderness; and God is still the same.” ~ Matthew Henry
This morning, if the Lord has you in a wilderness experience, you don’t have to die there! Rest in God’s all-sufficient grace (it is available even in the wilderness!!) as you TRUST the Lord to deliver while continuing to OBEY Him. The God of Joshua and Caleb is the SAME God we serve today! AMEN!!!
“For I am the LORD, I change not…” Malachi 3:6
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
“Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?…” Jeremiah 2:33
The girls received a compliment yesterday. They were commended for both nice and modest attire. The one who gave the compliment, a young married lady, emphasized both adjectives, implying that it is indeed possible to dress both fashionably and modestly.
This compliment, as well as recent observations here and there, sparked a conversation between the three of us on this topic of modest apparel. Reading the above verse this morning brought all of this back to my mind.
The verse reminded me of one reason why young ladies choose to focus on their outward appearance by dressing immodestly. In doing so, many are seeking love.
Concerning Jeremiah 2:33, one commentator stated, “as a lascivious woman dresses herself out in the best manner to excite the lust and move the affections of her lovers”.
That’s pretty straight-forward, isn’t it?
Dear Christian young lady, if you are seeking love by dressing in a way that draws attention to your body in hopes of “getting a guy”, you may very well get a guy. However, you need to ask yourself –
“Is that the kind of guy I want?”
“Do I really want a husband who was drawn to me because of my immodest apparel?”
Think about that for a minute. If your immodest dress was what attracted him, what will you need to do to keep him? If your immodest dress caught his attention, where will his eyes be every time another immodestly-clothed young lady walks by?
Let me stop right here and say this. I do not at all claim to know the exact standards of how a lady should dress. I do not claim to have all the answers in this area. However, if we are saved, we have the Holy Spirit living within us. And, because of that, I believe that if our desire is to dress to please the King, the Holy Spirit will guide us. I believe with all my heart that a young lady (and middle-aged lady…and older lady) who truly desires to dress in a way that would be pleasing to the Lord can stand in front of a mirror and KNOW if there is something too tight, too low, too short, too sheer, etc. Often, I fear the real question would be…
Do I even want to know?
Do I really desire to please the Lord, or, in the case of an unmarried lady, am I afraid of being single the rest of my life and therefore feel I need to “help God out” in this area of getting a guy? (By the way, according to God’s Word, it is the man that is to find the wife. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22 When a young lady is purposely advertising her body, is she not actively pursuing?)
There are so many other thoughts running through my mind right now on this topic of modesty. I don’t want to get too lengthy this morning so I will close with this thought:
Dear young lady, are you seeking love today? May I gently remind you – the Lord knows where you are. You do not have to help Him out one bit by advertising your location through immodest apparel. God knows your heart’s desire for a husband. And, that is a good desire. But, as a Christian, please…please…PLEASE don’t allow yourself to fall into an attitude of desperation while letting your standards slip and therefore attracting and settling for someone less than God’s best for you! If you have trusted the Lord to save you…if you are trusting the Lord in other areas of your life…can you not trust Him in this very important life decision as well? Of course you can!
Today, instead of seeking the love of a young man, seek GOD while trusting HIM with your future. He will not fail you!
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:10
We’ve certainly enjoyed ALL the services we’ve been able to attend here at the National Sword Conference. Here’s just a glimpse of yesterday morning’s service with Evangelist Justin Cooper preaching…
One thing we always look forward to each year at the Sword Conference is stopping by the Faith Music exhibit. Well, actually…we have a tendency to browse there several times before making that important purchase. 😊
These two cd’s gave us some new “music to drive by” on our way home yesterday. Excellent choices, I must say!
“For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.” Isaiah 50:7-9
I read the above passage this morning and love the CONFIDENCE – in GOD, NOT SELF – that these verses convey. AMEN!!!
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
“Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” Isaiah 45:11
This morning, in reference to the above verse, I read the following and wanted to share it here on the blog. I pray it will be an encouragement to someone today!
“God’s abounding liberality: — I am told that, in the olden times, on Christmas Day, it was the custom in country villages for the squire always to fill with good things whatever vessels the poor people brought up to the hall, that they might have a Christmas dinner. It was strange how big the basins grew year after year. Whenever the man came round with the crockery cart, every good housewife would look all over his stock to see if there was not a still larger basin. It was a rule that the squire’s servants should always fill the bowl, whatever size it was, and thus the bowls grew bigger and bigger. God will fill your bowl, however large it is! Get as big a bowl as you can; and when you bring it, if ever there comes a whisper in your ear, “Now you have presumed upon God’s benevolence, you have brought too big a bowl,” smile at yourself, and say, “This is as nothing to His overflowing fulness.” If I said, “O poor sea, poor sea, now thou wilt be drained dry, for they bring such big bowls to be filled with thy waters”; the sea, tossing its mighty billows far and wide, would laugh at my folly. Come, then, and bring your largest conceptions of God, and multiply them ten thousandfold, and believe in Him as this Book would make you believe in Him. Open thy mouth wide, and He will fill it. He bids you even to command Him. He says, “Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me.” That is a wonderful expression; rise to the sublimity of faith, and be daring with your God.” ~ (C. H. Spurgeon.)