A Spiritual Mother

A guest post by Louise Robertson

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

When I was growing up my mother would say to her children, “When you are little you step on my toes; but when you are grown you step on my heart.”

I’m a grandmother and a great-grandmother. After the children are grown, instead of stepping on your toes and your heart, they sometimes almost cut your heart out.

After the children are grown, you have to watch what you say to them. Most grown children do not control their tongue. You may want to live their life for them, but you can’t.

A mother gives birth to a happy, healthy, bouncing baby boy or girl. For the first few days she will hug, pat and caress her little baby. She will rock back and forth, and say, “I love you forever,” and “I like you always,” and “as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

When they are growing up you get angry because of things they might be doing, and you might say, “You’re driving me crazy.”

When the child gets to be a teenager, they think they are eighteen going on twenty-one. They like loud music and strange clothes. Sometimes, it would be great if you could put them in a barrel, cover up the hole, and let them out whenever they are twenty-one.

Indeed everyone who quotes proverbs will use this proverb against you: “Like mother, like daughter!”

“You are your mother’s daughter, loathing husband and children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children; your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite” (Ezekiel 16:44-45).

Most children today think you can buy love, but you can’t buy love, because love is not sold anywhere.

 

The Love of Many

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Among the prophecies of the Lord was one that must have been painful for Him to speak. It is contained in the above verse.

The apostle Paul, in his instruction, said we should put on the whole armor of God that “you may be able to withstand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13).

There can be no doubt that the Lord’s words are true. You can see how the love of many has turned cold.

Christians, once steadfast, once regular in attendance, once supportive of every good work, abandoning their faith and breaking the hearts of loved ones in Christ, their lives blighting their relationship with others, and their consuming self-interest has destroyed their usefulness to the Lord.

Their love has waxed cold.

Those who have held steadfast sometimes asked themselves, “Why?” Self-incrimination often follows. They ask themselves, “Where have I failed?” or “How have I failed?” “What could I have done that would have made a difference?”

A person seeking entrance into the military electronic school was told by his superior officer in the service, “You will never make the grade.”

The reason Christians are compared to soldiers (Ephesians 6) is because of the rigors of training. Some just do not have the qualities required to be able to “stand.”

Do you?

Or, do you feel like the little boy trying to sharpen a cheap pocket knife? It just does not have metal hard enough to take an edge.

Has the world taken the “temper” (degree of hardness or strength) out of you…that which would enable you to, as the Scriptures say, “Stand?”

Making the simple switch, from sitting to standing, begins with love.

 

Our Main Objective in Life

A guest post written by Danni C. DeVera (Philippines)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Paul illustrated his main objective in life by the athletic contests of the day. The runner had only one thing in mind – to win the race, and receive the crown.

Maybe, Paul liked sports and that is why he uses the runner as an example. Paul must have been concerned with his physical health and wanted to be physically fit in order to do the work of the Lord.

Christians must have this kind of objective in life. We are to set our mind on what is our priority in life (Matthew 8:33).

Paul had an attitude to do one thing at a time, and this one thing was the only one he had in mind to do (Philippians 3:13).

Paul reaches forth with strong exertions like a runner in the race. He was running in this world in order to reach heaven for eternal life. In reaching forth, he forgot what was behind, reaching out to what was ahead.

All opportunities lie before us, and we must go onward no matter what, to obtain our objective in life – eternal life. We all need to go forward because God wants us to (II Peter 3:18).

Our main objective must be to press toward the mark. We should not run outside the line, nor stay off the course that we may not be disqualified.

Our run must not be hindered by any obstacles (trials, suffering, persecutions, etc). In running for our goal, we need to lay aside all excess weight – sins. We must always abide in the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ (II John 9). in order to receive the crown of life.

If we fail to observe the rules of the race we will not reach the finish line. Like Paul, we must always keep our eyes on our objective, which is our Lord Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).

If we do not keep the goal in view, we will not know the direction we are running. We must, like Paul, keep our main objective in life.

Faith

A guest post written by Anita Bontjes

For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7, NKJV).

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him, for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was gong. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:5-10).

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).

The Gift of God

A guest post by Ronald F. Pounders

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, so you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

“Love is a beautiful thing.”

“Love is a physical attraction.”

“Love is never having to say you’re sorry.”

“Love is something you show to people you like.”

The Bible agrees that love is a beautiful thing but says it is much more than just a feeling.

Love is a verb—it actively participates. Go to the Bible and seek all passages which refer to God’s love. They all have one thing in common—”God loved, so He gave” or “God so loved, so He did.”

This gives us a clue as to the meaning of love—it’s foremost characteristic is an active quality which evidences itself in giving to others, in pouring out its feelings in deeds of kindness.

Love is a way of living life to the fullest. Psychologists tell us that man has two basic needs: to love and to be loved.

God is love. Love is the very essence of His being.

Jesus is God’s love personified. Because He loves us, a relationship with Him is possible.

God loves us for ourselves. God loves unconditionally. God loves unselfishly. God loves us while we are still His enemy.

True love is reciprocal—the more you give, the more you get. Love in this way is difficult, however God rewards those who take up the challenge. He forgives our sins. He drives out our fears. He gives us greater strength to love.

We may be unable to meet everyone’s needs for love. We can meet the needs of a few and meet some of the needs of others:

“I am only one, but I am one.

I can’t do everything, but I can do something.

What I can do, I ought to do.

By the will of God — I will love

and lighten someone’s load.”

 

Spiritual Fraud

A guest post written by Judy Tedder

The elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth … I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (II John 1:4-11).

These verses made me more aware than ever [of] our responsibility to read and study the Bible daily so that we will know what the scriptures say on all issues. We can then talk intelligently and not mislead anyone.

Many people think that just as long as you go to any church, then you will be saved. According to these verses, if anyone comes to you and does not bring the teachings of Christ, it says, “…he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”

When we do not take a stand, regarding major issues, such as sexual immorality, including the life style of the homosexual, unscriptural divorce, baptism by sprinkling instead of immersion for the remission of sins, communion weekly, instead of at our convenience and many other issues, then we do not care enough about people’s souls to make sure they are saved.

We are making light of Christ’s teachings.

He did not say it would be easy. I have been in church all my life, but I did not read my Bible as often as I should have until the past year, when I started trying to read it daily.

I find His word exciting and so practical. I have found that if you pray for opportunities to share your faith, they will come. I have read a scripture one day and the next day that particular subject comes up.

It makes you feel good to be able to answer questions with scriptures on the spur of the moment. You can learn something new every time you re-read the Bible. The only book we need is the Bible.

 

Overcoming Depression

Depression tear

Guest Post by David Johnson

“Overcoming despair, depression and discouragement God’s way” (Job 1-3).

1. Even the strongest believers can be discouraged and depressed.

Depression and despair are tools Satan uses most often. If he can create in us any of these symptoms, then we begin to lose our faith, and “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).

In II Corinthians 1:8-11, we find that even Paul experienced depression. However, he recognized where his help came from.

2. We may be going through many levels of depression simultaneously!

a. Intellectually (Job 3)

b. Emotionally

c. Spiritually

3. Discouragement can cause us to lose perspective

a. We often forget who God really is. What we may consider as tough, difficult, challenging, and impossible, for God it is nothing.

b. Remember, the power of His Word holds the whole world, and we even sing, “He Has the Whole World in His Hands.”

4. Do not keep your deep pain to yourself. Share it with someone else.

5. Remember that God has a purpose for our suffering (I Peter 1:3-9).

In conclusion: take the proper steps to avoid depression:

a. Memorize and meditate on the Scriptures. Also, remember songs of faith when tried or tempted to sin, such as, “Yield Not to Temptation.”

b. Listen to Christian music.

c. Stay in Christian fellowship.

d. Find someone else to encourage.

e. Find a prayer partner.

f. Remember that God is sovereign.

g. Maintain physical exercise.