Archive for the 'Faith' Category
Is your family too busy for family Bible time? Feel like there are too many good shows on TV to take time to read the “Good Book”?
Consider some vital reasons to take the Bible down off the shelf, give it a good dusting, and open its pages. As part of ”grandma’s corner” now, I can speak with some wisdom of hindsight, which always seems to be 20-20. We still have two of four children at home, though, so this can very much apply to me as well!
1. If you’re a Christian blessed with children, it’s your responsibility to teach them in God’s word. We’ll look at Deuteronomy 11:19.
2. What should influence your children more – secular television & music, the internet, peers, or God’s word?
3. Abuse of the internet can be detrimental to teaching God’s word to our families. It’s also a place of easy access to pornography and the beginning of sexual addictions and broken lives, all because we haven’t taught our children to guard their hearts against Satan’s attack. Oh, my dear readers, we parents need to step in and grab the reigns once again by establishing a consistent routine of family devotions to avoid these pitfalls!
4. If you don’t read/study the Bible with your children, you will increase the odds of them growing up not have trusting faith in the Lord Jesus.
Romans 10:14 (NIV) says, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
I realize that children don’t want to be “preached at” by their parents, but I believe they will listen to Scripture being read to them if you start this practice at an early age. You will, in effect, become your child’s first “preacher” of the word of Life, an immense privilege and responsibility! Oh, Mom and Dad, you need to “get on the same page” at pursuing this very important task. Don’t pass the buck, as it were, to your spouse. Both parents need to be active participants in this exciting venture with the family! Your marriage will find the way to blessing as a result! Men and women following Jesus in this way will never regret it.
5. God tells us in Deuteronomy 11:19 (NIV), when to teach His words : “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
I believe we Christian parents will be required to give an account to God about whether or not we obeyed this command of His and taught our children His word.
6. Big reason for a family Bible time: It will be a great substitute for liberal mass media that has invaded our homes. Spending hour upon endless hour with our eyes and ears glued to the TV was never God’s plan for His people, the church, especially in these last days! Do we want to be in the middle of another episode of blood & gore on TV, when Jesus comes for His church in the Rapture, or do we want to be doing things like reading His word, praying, witnessing to the lost, and helping those in need? So choose the path to let your light shine!
7. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV). “… ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
We must allow these words of Jesus to immediately spur us on to carving out time for personal and family Bible study, prayer, and witnessing! God calls us to take up the Sword of the Spirit (the word of God) in Ephesians 6:17. I believe we can through Bible study with our children, teaching them about who God is from its pages. This plan is about something so much better than some strict and stern other method enforcing our rules. Instead, family Bible study can be about teaching our children about the real meaning of life – having a redeeming relationship with the one true God who loves them. It’s about teaching them how to love and worship the LORD God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who made us and willingly gave His life for us on the cross, and now gives us a resurrection, even Promised Land, type of living that can free us from the penalty and power of sin, so that we and our children (whoever trusts in Christ) may live the life of freedom and holiness in Christ, by His life and presence!
Let’s ask ourselves: Can this life of submitting to the Kingship of Christ be learned by sitting on the couch night after night, taking in secular TV, with all of its foul language, blood and violence, sex, and immorality? I think not! From what I’ve seen, most of TV and family don’t mix. Let’s shut those TVs off! (I do love to watch Christian TV channels while I do my exercise routine, but we must not succumb to surfing the other channels.) There are a few good specials on sometimes, but as a whole, TV is a time-waster. If we are tormented by this, let’s take a bold stand and cart the television(s) out to the roadside for trash pickup! Then, we’ll be more open, as part of the body of Christ, to seek God with all our hearts…and teach our children to do the same!
In a July 29, 2011 post ”Jesus Feeds 5000; Will You Be Broken Too?”, I share how Jesus fed the multitude with bread. As parents and/or grandparents, we have the blessed opportunity to feed our children/grandchildren with the “Bread of Life”. Let’s not deprive them!
What are some things God wants us to always be doing?
To answer, here’s one of many thanksgiving quotes from the Bible:
First Thessalonians 5:18 - “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” As you allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, His fruit shows by an attitude and practice of prayer, enabling you to give thanks in everything! This great task of perpetual thanksgiving would never be possible if we’re not men and women of prayer. To be one of answered prayer, you must be a follower of Jesus Christ, the only Way, Truth, and Life! (John 14:6)
So, thankfulness leads us to pray, which, when answered, leads us to thankfulness, both commanded of us by God.
Thankfulness and prayer can also lead to an exciting life! It will help you look on the bright side of life, and we all know that being optimistic makes you more fun to be around.
One of the most optimistic people I’ve heard of was Zig Ziglar (November 6, 1926 – November 28, 2012). A well-loved quote of his is, “Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.” Now that’s a happy attitude! Zig helped many people with his positive attitude, which he shared in his conferences and books. He was fun to be around! His life was based on walking by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He showed and taught how to live successfully as a result. That kind of attitude was possible, because he knew how to be a thankful person. I recommend his book, Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live!
If you want to experience a complete life of Promised Land living in Christ as a man or woman following Jesus, get to know Jesus, our Promised Land! In OT Exodus, most of the Israelites, as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, were not thankful people. In fact, their constant grumbling and complaining disobedience, despite numerous warnings from God, is what kept them from finally entering the Promised Land of Canaan. Their children, not they, were the ones to enter into Canaan! The complaining bunch of Israelites who had previously been delivered from slavery in Egypt, and who crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, all thanks to the LORD’s doing, eventually forgot to pray and give thanks to the LORD. As a result, they grew to despise their leader, Moses, and grumbled against God.
Knowing God starts when you accept Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Savior, trusting His sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins. If you don’t know how, just sincerely pray a prayer something like this:
“Dear God, I confess or admit that I am a sinner. I know that You can’t allow any sin in your presence. Without you, I would suffer in hell-fire for all eternity. I trust your death on the cross, Jesus, as full payment for my sins, and I receive you into my life to be my God, Lord (Master), and Savior. Thank you for dying for my sins and for rising again from the dead! Please come into my heart and life by your Holy Spirit to save me. I give myself over to You, Lord Jesus. You are the Boss in my life now. Thank You for saving me, Lord Jesus! Now be my life and enable me to walk in obedience to you. I thank You and praise You! I pray in Your name, Jesus. Amen”
If you see your need to be saved, and you just prayed that prayer from your heart, WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD! Hallelujah!
All of you who just trusted in Jesus as your Lord and Savior really have the greatest thing to be thankful for now! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you
that, if you have just given your life over to Jesus! This is your spiritual birthday, for you’ve been born again! Jesus said in John 3:7, “…You must be born again.“ This means that everyone who has trusted and believed in the Lord Jesus has passed from death to life. Their spirits have been regenerated to be alive unto God again! “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life (John 5:24).”
The Apostle Paul said in Titus 3:4-7: 4“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
For a new Christian, as well as for those older in the Christian walk, a life of thanksgiving and prayer is the key to personal joy and victory in Jesus. Prayer and thankfulness keeps you on track with Jesus, helping you to live a life of obedience to the Master! I pray that you choose that kind of life starting today, Dearly Beloved! That’s the way to blessing for you and the way to let your light shine in Jesus. You cannot be a picture of Christ to the world, if your life is not filled with prayer and thanksgiving as a Christ follower.
Please let me know if you’ve just trusted in the Lord God Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord! I’d be so glad to hear from you. I’ll read comments as time allows, due to the vast amount of them I’ve received. Your next steps are to tell someone what you’ve done, be baptized as a testimony of your new life in Christ, and get into a Bible-preaching church.
Do you need some words of encouragement as the holiday of Easter approaches? First, please let me pose to you a question? Is Easter-Resurrection Sunday still relevant to us in this postmodern world?
To help us answer that, let’s start by looking at who God is and what He’s like.
I remember when my children were still very young, I was in church choir rehearsal before our Easter-morning worship service. I had this very exciting word from God that I had just received a day or two before! Our choir director asked the group if anyone had a word from the Lord that they would like to share, something he rarely asked.
I know that the Bible is complete, and we can’t add to it, but God still speaks to us by His Holy Spirit as He applies His written word to our hearts. Ephesians 6:17 talks about the Sword of the Spirit, which is the “rhema,” or the spoken word of God. (Please see my post about that very topic: “Full Armor of God: Sword of Spirit.”)
I knew that I had to share from my heart what God had given me. That burning in my heart was like God saying, “You go, girl!” So I shared about 2 Peter 3:8. Please stick with me as I quote the passage, and then I’ll tell you the treasure that God spoke to my heart! Here’s the verse along with verse nine, a very inspirational quote coming from the heart of God!
8 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8,9 NIV).”
The Message, a paraphrased Bible by Eugene H. Peterson says it this way: 8 “Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”
I see now that this passage is talking about waiting for the return of the Lord and possibly the rapture, but God used verse 8 that day to speak to me about His resurrection. Here’s the “Easter blessing” that God gave me and that I shared with the choir! We know that Jesus’ resurrection happened about 2000 years ago, and we might feel like it was so long ago that we can’t feel its significance as much for us today. God reminded me that since a thousand years is like one day to Him, those 2000 years that have passed since His death, burial and resurrection are actually like two or three days ago to Him. This makes His death, burial, and resurrection very relevant to Jesus. These are His crowning accomplishments, Jesus’ greatest miracles!
So we can celebrate this Easter, knowing that it’s very relevant and can be worth everything to us! Let’s live as if Jesus had just died on the cross for us, was buried, and rose again on this Easter weekend! That’s the attitude we should always have as we walk by faith in these end times. How’s that for relevance? In other words, God is timeless. What He does, especially for us, is always contemporary, current, and up-to-the-moment! Resurrection Sunday is of utmost relevance. He will bring everything into right focus, if we are seeking Him! Amen and amen!
Please leave a comment if this has helped you.
When you can’t sleep, the best way to relax and fall asleep is to let Jesus be your Comforter! You may have a blanket/comforter, but Jesus is Who you really need to hold you in His arms to bring you real comfort.
The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter in John 14:15-17: “If you love me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you, and shall be in you.” Jesus also said in John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.” So the first step to curing insomnia is faith in Jesus!
Make sure you’re covered with the right amount of blankets and nightgown/pajamas, but your inner comfort is of even more importance. Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. The Weymouth New Testament says it this way: “Throw the whole of your anxiety upon Him, because He Himself cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”
Are you up in the middle of the night tonight, unable to sleep? Surrender all your will and obedience to Jesus, along with all your cares, for John 14:15 says that if we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments. We will sense the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Father the closest to us when we have a completely surrendered life, obeying His guidance. What do you need to surrender to God?
Please let me share my own very personal story about my sleep habits. My husband wakes up for work at 4:00 am. I set my wake-up time for 5:15 am, so that I can be the alarm clock for our youngest child before her school day. It’s often difficult going back to sleep after my husband gets up at 4:05. You might think I’m crazy after reading this, but the best thing I can do is grab our giant “Mr. Stuffed Doggy,” a cast off from our 16 year-old daughter, to keep me warm (my hubby substitute) and feel Jesus wrap His arms around me through my own arms. Jesus lives in me, so I let Him use my arms to keep me warm and comforted. You can do the same if you have to sleep alone!
If you have your spouse in bed with you, hug him or her close! Also, be everything that he or she needs for you to be. The sleep benefits are colossal, too!
Matthew 11:28-30 says, 28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Here is a Bible verse I posted in our daughter’s room with a picture of her as a little girl “sleeping” with a smile on her face. “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).” I trust that seeing this verse on her wall helps her fall asleep, resting in Jesus!
Another favorite verse of mine is: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep (Psalm 127:2).” This verse is proof that God approves of us taking a break, and that it’s a great idea to get at least eight hours of sleep per night! God will supply healing as we sleep. It’s a scientific fact that children physically grow when they are sleeping. This is another gift from our Creator God as we sleep!
Another way that God gives to me as I sleep, is the writing ideas He gives me as I am waking up from my sleep. My subconscious mind is still active and God uses this time to speak to me (when I’m at rest and can listen). This must be an example of the Sword of the Spirit (the spoken word of God), part of the Full Armor of God (found in Ephesians 6:10-18). If you are a writer, make sure you get up momentarily to write down those ideas, or you will forget them. Then you can peacefully and joyfully go back to sleep, knowing you have something to write about when you get up for the day!
Other parts of the Full Armor of God that you can put on if you wake up in the middle of the night are the Breastplate of Righteousness to guard your heart and emotions and the Helmet of Salvation to guard your thoughts from the attack of Satan. Put on all of God’s armor; put on the Belt of Truth, so you can hold your “garments” in place and run from the devil. Wear the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. I know you’re in bed and you don’t want shoes on and you’re not taking the Gospel to anyone at the moment, but trust me, you’ll want these shoes on, so you can run into Jesus’ open arms! Also strap on the Shield of Faith (that really enables you to put all the Armor on with prayer)! With Jesus in you, there is no cause for fear from the enemy (Satan). So tonight, be sure to rest in Jesus, our “Promised Land.” Pray before falling asleep, and as Michael Card started singing years ago, “Sleep sound in Jesus.”
I must not be remiss by not including one most important factor. First, you must know Jesus as your personal Lord (Master) and Savior for all of this to be possible. If you don’t know how to do that, please leave a comment and I will help you receive Jesus into your own life!
— Love and blessings from Jo ♥
What’s the true meaning of Easter?
Candy in cute Easter baskets?
Easter bonnets and pretty dresses on little girls?
Chocolate bunnies and the Easter bunny?
Traditional turkey dinner?
Or is there something more to this spring-time holiday?
Yes, but let’s discover what!
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 — ”3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for ours sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”
So, what significance does Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection have to us? We must answer this question! All of heaven and hell hangs on the answer!
First Peter 2:21-25 says:
“21…Christ also suffered for you…22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness: for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He has made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Jesus is God in the flesh! God the Father loved you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to take your place on the cross, to suffer abandonment by the Father, as He bore your sin and its guilt. He was judged so that you could become free, free to ask Him into your heart and life!
So what’s the true meaning of Easter? It’s Jesus rising from the dead after paying for your sins and mine! It’s also Jesus living in you with all the power that raised Him from the dead!
Romans 8:11 – “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Jesus is the resurrection and the life! Without Jesus, every person still has a dead spirit that is unable to see God. These will be banished to hell after they physically die, 43 “…into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] – Mark 9:43,44.
WITH JESUS, you can have the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit living in You! He will give you a new, transformed life!
He is Eternal Life, my precious one! Once, by faith, you let Him into your heart as your personal Lord (Master), Savior, and God, you will have His Eternal Life in you, and He will never leave you nor forsake you (from Hebrews 13:5). You’ll have a home in heaven waiting for you! That’s what Easter is ultimately all about! So I ask again,
Do you want Jesus?
Yes or No
Please leave your answer in the comments.
I would be so glad to help you pray to sincerely receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord! Then you will be able to say, “I have Jesus in my heart and life, and I’m on my way to heaven!”
Please comment in space provided.