Families Belong Together

1 Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The current political debate is whether families should be separated who have illegally crossed into the USA.  Months from now it will be off the hot plate and something else will divide Americans once again.

Most Christians would say that God loves the family. All throughout Scripture, God has given families task of rearing children in the Lord. Husbands and wives are commanded to be faithful to one another, and children to their parents. The thing that I love so much about God and His word is that when he ask us to do something, He gives us all the instructions on how to do it.

Here a few things, that I think, are biblical instructions on how to keep our families together and if followed will bring many blessings upon our family. (in no particular order)

  1.  Teach your children about God and His word every day.  Deuteronomy 11:18-20  You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  2. Teach your children to obey their parents.  Ephesians 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and your mother(which is the first commandment with a promise), so that may be well with you, and that you may life long on the earth.  
  3. Teach your children to have a healthy fear of purposely disobeying The Lord. Proverbs 1:7-9 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. 
  4. Treat your children justly, fairly and respectfully.  Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. 
  5. Teach your children to obey the law of the land.  Romans 13: 1-5 Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. For the policeman does not frighten people who are doing right; but those doing evil will always fear him. So if you don’t want to be afraid, keep the laws and you will get along well. The policeman is sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for he will have you punished. He is sent by God for that very purpose. Obey the laws, then, for two reasons: first, to keep from being punished, and second, just because you know you should.
  6. Teach your children about marriage by living your marriage as God has ask us to.  Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  Ephesians 5: 22Wives, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority as you have placed yourselves under the Lord’s authority, Stay away from porn and refrain from having an affair:1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
  7. Teach your children to have good work ethic.  Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, and 2 Thessalonians 3:10 While we were with you, we gave you the order: “Whoever doesn’t want to work shouldn’t be allowed to eat.”
  8. Teach them to be financially responsible and give tithes and offerings.  Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender, and
    Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
  9. Teach your children that church and serving at your church are important to God and to you also. Hebrews 10:25 Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching and 1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
  10. Teach your children to respect and obey those who have authority over them such as pastors, teachers, police officers, adults etc  Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders, and accept their authority. They take care of you because they are responsible for you. Obey them so that they may do this work joyfully and not complain about you. (Causing them to complain would not be to your advantage.)

    I believe this is how we keep families together.  When we stray from Gods plan for families we begin to allow satan to have his will and his way in our lives and to cause chaos and disunity.  I will not join in on the debate about what we should do with the illegal immigrants in the USA because I think we should focus on cleaning up and tightening up our own families and be the example to others.  Even Christians can’t agree on these 10 things, all supported by the Bible, so how do we expect them to agree on this new hot issue facing Americans.

What do you think???

When I Was Helpless

Romans 5:6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

I love the read the bible.  I read at various times during the day just because I love to read it.  Today I was reading Romans and I read this verse.  I have read it many times before but something resinated with me.  The first part of the scripture is something that all of us have either faced or may even be facing now, a feeling of utter helplessness.  I read that part and just kept on reading AND then part two of the verse hit me like a ton of bricks.

Two things really stood out for me in the last part of this verse.

  1. It says that Christ came at just the right time.  Isn’t that our God?!?!?  He did not show up early, he did not show up late, he showed up at just the right time.  Maybe in your struggles you are wondering where God is, why He is not on top of the situation.  I am hear to tell you that He is there at just the right time.
  2. The last part of that verse says he showed up TO DIE for us.  Let me say that again.  He showed up at just the right to die for us.  Wow.  I have had someone show up to help me in times of needs but never to die for me.  Other than Jesus, my husband is the only one who I believe would actually die for me.

Everyone at some point in their life is going to feel utterly helpless, even Christians.  The Bible says as long as we are alive and in this world we will have troubles.  Today it could be me and tomorrow it could be you feeling utterly helpless.  Write this scripture down and put it somewhere so it can be a reminder to you.  If Christ came at the just the right to die for us in our utter helplessness, he will surely be here to help us at just the right time today.

Are you feeling utterly helpless now?  Do you have someone in your life who would die for you?  If you have ask Jesus to come into your heart you at least one person who has already done it, even before you loved Him.  Jesus.

 

Walk This Way

Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.

I think everybody loves Winnie The Poo, so I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes from him,  “I Always Get To Where I Am Going By Walking Away From Where I Have Been ~ Winnie The Poo.”  This fictional character is giving us good advise, sort of even biblical I would say.

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A lot of women I know are either walking in circles, standing still or pacing back and forth from the present to the past and from the past back to the present, just to keep repeating the process.  It could be a relationship, a death, a divorce, a hurt or a past decision that they keep going back to.  Day in and day out the past is impacting their present and their future.  I have always heard insanity is the doing same over and over expecting different results.

God tells us in the scripture today that we need to forget what lies behind us and strain forward to lies ahead.  Now I agree that saying it can be easier than actually doing it.  If we are Christians, trusting The Lord is the way to move forward. We can have confidence that God is faithful to His promises.  Today’s scripture says we are to press on for the prize.  Not just any prize but a prize that God has for us.

Here are a few ways to put one step in front of the other to get to the prize:

  1.  Focus on reading the word of God.  It is amazing how God’s word can be the best medicine for what ales you.  I encourage you to read a chapter in Psalm and a chapter in Proverbs every day.  These books of the Bible are encouraging and packed with much wisdom about life.
  2.   Seek out someone who has been a Christian for a long time.  Not one who just goes to church, but one who studies the word of God and can advise you on the what God says about what you are going through.
  3.   Understand and believe that when you are weak, God is strong for you.  How do you believe this?  Through prayer.  The more you pray, the more God will reveal His strength to you.  You will begin to see that you are stronger than you ever imagined.
  4.   Set baby goals and an action plan on how achieve them.  Maybe your goal is to stop talking about……  Your action plan could be to find a positive scripture that you can memorize and recite or read when you begin to talk about ……..  You could write it down in a journal instead of talking about it and end with writing something positive.  As you begin to focus on the future and you can check off items on your action plan you will begin to see the future more.
  5.   Lastly, seek counseling.  Too many people let pride or money stop them from seeking out help to move forward.  I do not understand why church people do not take advantage of the wise counsel in their churches.  The pastor and his wife are two free resources that are not often used.  I have actually heard people say they would never go to their pastor because they did not want him to know they had issues.  REALLY!?!  That is why he is there.  He wants to serve you and so does his wife.

What is holding you back from running straight toward the goal to win the prize that God has for you?  I am praying for you and believe in you.  With Jesus YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE!!

Two Things Every Dream Needs

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Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” 

Psalms 37:23-24“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the one who holds his hand” 

Have you ever known in your heart that the Lord was directing to you do something bigger than you thought you were capable to do?  I have.  Actually I am in the mist of that BIG THING right now.  I went through so many emotions before I said yes.  You see I am a bit of a perfectionist.  Those reading this who know me said, “yes you are” as soon as they read that.  I am also impatient.  Once I commit to something I want to get it done NOW.  I am also a planner.

All of these can be good qualities, however they can also be roadblocks. You see if God has directed you to do something you should allow Him to direct your steps.  When we fall, and we may, we won’t stay down because the scripture says he holds us in his hands. You see He has given us the keys to completing the goal, dream, vision, whatever you may call it, in todays scripture.

In pursing every dream you need two things to successfully allow God to direct your steps and to help you with the fear of falling:  Prayer and Patience.  Ok, so number one comes easy for me because I LOVE TO PRAY.  Maybe it is easy for you too.

The second one is the hardest for me.  Patience.  That’s why I need to pray a lot, to pray that God gives me more patience as WE work towards the prize.  I am not sure how confident you are regarding your dream or calling.  If God has ask you do something, then I suggest that you begin every day with prayer, asking Him to direct your every step, every process, every idea as you move forward.

Don’t give up on your dreams if they don’t happen right away or even if you fall.  If you know in your heart that God has called you to do something then just know that He will get you through to it.  Don’t be afraid.  God has great things for you and I know one thing, He is faithful and just.  Go after your dreams and do it right now.  Take that first step right now.  Comment below and share what your dream is and what you are doing to move forward towards it.

 

Separated

Isaiah 59:2 But your wrongs have separated you from your God, and your sins have made him hide his face so that he doesn’t hear you.

1 Corinthians 15:33  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”    

Sin not only separates us from God but it separates us from other brothers and sisters in Christ and our church or it should anyway.  Not forever, but until they decide to get back on track with their spiritual life.  Does that mean that we stop loving them, stop praying for them, stop being nice to them?  The answer to all these questions is no.  We can still associate with them but because they have chosen to live a life contrary to what God has asked to do we need to take a break from hanging with them every day.  These are not my words only but God’s words.

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2 Timothy 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of Godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

We should love them and encourage them, we should pray for them and we should not act like we are better than they are because we are all sinners.  Ask yourself, do they know what they are doing is wrong yet purposefully choose to do it. Remember that God never stops loving them and neither should we.

Romans 8:35-39  35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Surround yourself with others who love The Lord as you.  My mother always said, birds of a feather flock together.  It is time to find a flock that flies for Jesus.  Together you can soar to heights that you never thought possible.

Are You Swiping God Right or Left?

John 15:5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Have you heard of the mobile phone app Tinder?  Because I work for a pregnancy center I am very well versed on this and many other hook up apps.  These apps are used by Christians, non-christians, young people and middle aged people to find people who want to have a sexual encounter without commitments.  You know…hit it and quit it.

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I think some Christians are playing hit it and quit it with God.  He is popping up to us in our thoughts and circumstances and we are swiping Him left.  Not now God.  You are not what I am looking for.  I don’t have time for you right now. God is swiping you right while you are swiping Him left.

Some of you are swiping God right but with the intention of just hitting it and quitting it.  You want God, but only for that moment or that problem you are trying to fix.  Sometimes it is a swipe left for God and when things are going well it’s a swipe left.  However God is always swiping right for you because He is always there.

God does not want to be a hook up for us.  He wants to be our friend.  He wants to be there to hear the good things that are going on in our lives as well as our challenges.  He wants to know when we are just having a so so day, when we have bombed the day and especially when we have rocked it.  He is following us on every social media out there to keep up on what we are doing because with some of us that is the only way to know what is going on in our lives.

The scripture says: I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Abiding involves our response to the teaching of Jesus.  Colossians 3:16 tells us that we are to  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,”

Abiding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections. In other words, our relationship to Christ is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles! Then, of course, as Christ’s Word dwells in us and the Spirit fills us, we will begin to pray in a way consistent with the will of God and discover the truth of our Lord’s often misapplied promise: “You will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7b).

How our culture dates and the values and morals used for sex has changed but one thing that is consistent and will always be consistent is God and His love for us.  Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Romans 8:39 (ESV) nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is time to make a decision to stop the hit or quit app with God.  I challenge you to dwell Him every day.  To follow Him, read His post, to like his comments and even to retweet them.  God is so good and He loves us like no one else.  He promises us that by abiding in Him will bring us much fruit.  I don’t know about you but I read and see so much junk and depressing information on social media today that I could use some fruit in my life.  Today, make a decision to quit flirting with God and make a commitment for life long relationship.  Maybe you have been having an affair with the world.  Never fear, God doesn’t want He divorce.  Tell Him you are sorry and fall in love with Him again.  God is good and He is good all the time.