Adopted By God

I John 3:1a  “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.”

 
     Once a baby is born into this world, he/she is someone’s child, someone’s son or daughter.  Sometimes the parents are not able or do not want to care for the child and then the child can be adopted by people who have a desire to love and care for him/her.  Special papers are signed and by law that child now has the same rights and privileges as if he were born into that family.  No papers can ever be signed to “unadopt”  him. He will always be their son/daughter and their heir.  He was chosen in particular.  The adoptive parents had a choice as to whether they wanted him or not and so the adopted child should know for a fact that he was wanted very much and chosen from among many.
     God had only one Son, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christbut it is through His Son that we can become “sons of God” also.  Are you adopted?  No, I don’t mean in the physical sense, but have you been adopted into the Family of God?  Let’s consider for a few moments what the Word of God says about this great and high privilege.  Galatians 3:26 says “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.”  First of all we become a child of God because we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  Again Galatians 4:5 says, “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”  When God grants us faith to believe this, we immediately become a part of the Family of God.  The Bible says, “And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Corinthians 6:18. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12
     Isn’t that wonderful?  We now have the same rights and privileges as a son or daughter.  “And if children, then heirs: heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.”  Romans 8:17.  What an inheritance we have been given: first, we are chosen among many, then redeemed from the curse of the law, then called a son of God, and then we are freely given a rich and lasting inheritance.  All this is ours with absolutely no merit on our part.
      Meditating on these thoughts is certainly a humbling experience—-to think that we become joint heirs with the One who shed His blood for us.  An honor certainly completely undeserved, but thankfully and humbly received.  “Behold what manner of love…..”
 
Theme: The Better Way: Being Someone’s Child is Good: Being Adopted By God is Better
 
Read Also:  Apple of God’s Eye
Posted in Encouragement, Thankfulness | 4 Comments

What Does the Lord Require of Thee?

Micah 6:8  “He has told thee O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

 
      This is one of my favorite Bible verses and over the years I have found much peace from reading it.  During the times when I have felt pressured to do this and do that or when I have felt burdened by the law, or when I have felt pushed to participate in some area of ministry service that I did not have time for or did not feel was right for me, and have felt an uncertainty about what is required of me, I go back to this verse to “see” just what it is that God wants me to do. 
God requires that I:
 
“Do Justly”—I need to walk in holiness in my manner of living and walk in honesty in all my dealings. 
                    
“Love Mercy”—-I must be long suffering and forgiving, over-looking the faults of others, out of a spirit of love, remembering always that I am forgiven not just daily but every second of every day.
 
“Walk humbly with thy God”—-I must walk in obedience to God’s commands, surrendering my will to God’s Will.
 
     If we take these instructions from God’s Holy Word and apply them, then we will certainly be filling ourselves with the Word of God daily and praying daily.  When we do, then our “cup” will begin to get full and very soon it will naturally overflow.  We will want to give out what we have been given by God.  It will not be a forced service, or a “have to” duty, because our service and our witnessing for the Lord will flow naturally, aided by the spiritual gifts God has given each one of us.  Our lives will be a reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let us ask the Lord to give each of us the grace to follow His instructions.
 
The Better Way: Serving the Lord is Good: Being a Reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ is Better
 
Read also: Self-Discipline
Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for Women | 4 Comments

God’s Protective Hand

Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Today I have a very interesting story to relate to you.  It is one in which the events seemed most natural to me, but upon reflecting later, my family and I were amazed at the intervention of what we know to be an angel sent by the loving protective Hand of God.
Ten years prior to this event, our family had moved to south central Mississippi from New Orleans, La, built a home and established what we hoped to be a permanent residence.  But ten years later, the job market became so bleak that my husband returned to the commercial construction field in New Orleans.  For three months he lived in an apartment part-time returning home every weekend.  I was saved at that time but as a “babe in Christ”(I Corinthians 3:1) I had not yet learned to take everything to the Lord first.  Still as you will see in this story, God’s Protective Hand was there to care for me. 
One week, I drove down to New Orleans with 2 of our 4 children.  My husband had given me specific instructions on how to find the apartment complex, but I ended up in the wrong area.  Carefully following what I thought were his instructions, I drove around and around to no avail.  Becoming more and more anxious. I finally decided to stop and ask someone and found a small grocery store.  “No,” no one was familiar with the name of the apartment complex. (I realized later there were dozens of them all over the area.)  The second place I asked gave me the same response.  I felt frustrated and helpless.  (Remember 33 years ago we did not have cell phones.)
By this time, I had been driving around for 45 minutes, with a fussy baby unwilling to be comforted by the helpful effort of her five year old brother.  I knew now it was useless to search anymore.  Gathering my then frayed nerves together, I organized a plan in my mind.  First, I needed to find a telephone; next I would call information and get the phone number of the apartment complex; (at this time, my husband did not have a telephone hooked up in his apartment) then I would call the apartment complex office, tell them where I was and ask them how to get to their place.  In my upset state the procedure seemed long and complicated, but I could come up with no other solution.
Searching for a pay telephone, I finally came across a large driveway area, next to a building.  There, hanging on the wall was a pay phone that was being used by a lady.  I pulled up close because of the children.  When the lady got off the phone, I hopefully asked her if she knew where the apartment was, explaining that I was lost.  She replied kindly but negatively and as she walked on down the driveway I proceeded to pick up the telephone.  Still looking in the direction of the lady, I saw a man appear from behind the surrounding shrubbery, walking down the sidewalk.  In one hand he was carrying a canned soft drink, but the other hand was up waving back and forth, as if to draw attention, while he said, “Anybody need some help?  Anybody need some help?”  In my anxious state of mind, I concluded that it was obvious to this man that the situation looked like someone was in need of help.  Of course, that was not the case because there was no physical  evidence of a problem.  I was eager to respond to his offer of help when to my relief I saw the lady speaking to him and pointing in my direction.  He came up the  driveway and asked me if I needed some help.  I said “yes” and told him I was lost and gave him the name of the apartment complex I was searching for.   “Yes” he knew where the place was.  I might add that the place was quite a distance from where we were and yet, and with his finger he drew out the directions on the hood of the car in a simple easily understandable manner.  With great relief I comprehended what he said and thanked him for his help and went straight to my destination where my husband was anxiously waiting in the parking lot.
At the time, this event seemed a natural occurrence—I needed some help and someone offered to help.  But as I began to relate the story with tears of relief, my husband said in amazement, “No one walks down the street asking if anyone needs help. That must have been an angel, sent from the Lord!”  Shocked, I realized how right he was. Oh,  how I praise the Lord for His wonderful protective care.
 
As a footnote:  I hesitated to print this incident, since there is a trend in our society that leans toward worshiping angels.  In no way, do I want to give any praise other than to my Heavenly Father and His dear Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord. In speaking of angels, God’s Word says:
  “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14
 
The Better Way: Realizing God Never Leaves Us Alone Brings Great Comfort And Security
 
  
 
Posted in Assurance, Encouragement, Thankfulness | 10 Comments

When You Pray

Matthew 26:39b  “Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

 
     As we think about prayer, I want to share with you a way I organize my prayer requests.  For many many years I kept a prayer list on a long narrow strip of paper in the center of my Bible (at the beginning of Psalms) to help me stay focused on the people I wanted to pray for and the specific things I wanted to pray about.  It became tattered and torn but was like an old friend.  (Yes, I still have it.)
     In 2007, our church started doing Prayer Requests by email and since there were so many requests that I couldn’t remember them all I started a “Prayer Notebook,” .  On the left-hand side of the page I made 2 columns: one is for the date the request was made and the other is for the letter ” A” for “answered”— if or when I ever knew the  specific answer.  How encouraging it is to see many “A’s” and a lined crossed through the request !  Other requests remain on the pages even after 6 years. But I praise the Lord that I can bring them all without hesitation, without uncertainty and without fear of rejection.  Each prayer will be heard, each prayer will be answered.   No request will be disregarded and perhaps now or in a little while or sometime in the future I will see the answer and rejoice.   But wait……I can rejoice right now, because when the answer does come, it will not be my will but God’s Will, and it will be the perfectly right answer, and I could want nothing else.
     Following Jesus Christ’s example in His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, I will say “nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” 
 
     Remember: Pray when you feel like it, because it would be a shame to miss that opportunity.  Pray when you don’t feel like it, because that’s when you really need it!
 
Theme: The Better Way: Praying is Good, Praying for God’s Will is Better
 
Posted in Prayer | Leave a comment

A Father’s Day Letter From His Daughter

In honor of Father’s Day, I am publishing a letter our daughter sent her father several years ago. May you be encouraged.

None of the cards in the stores ever seem to say the right things  So I thought I’d write one myself. There are many thing I realize I never say “Thank you” for. Sometimes we just assume parents know we are thankful for these thing. But just in case you don’t know, I thought I’d tell you.

Thank you for being a good provider.  You’ve always had a home for us with plenty to eat and good clothes to wear.

 

Thank you for teaching me how to work.  There were many mornings I didn’t want to go pick peas or pull weeds in the in the garden or feed the chickens. But I’m thankful now that I was taught to do these things.

 Thank you for teaching me about the Lord and having family devotions.  I still remember kneeling at the couch and praying when I was 5 years old.  
Thank you for being a faithful husband to your wife.  Many men aren’t and families are divided.
Thank you for saying “no” to things I wanted to do when I wish you would have said “yes.” At the time I thought you were just too rough on me, but you’ll never know how much I’m thankful for those “no’s” now.

 

Thank you for all the times you said, “You be a good girl.”  Some words ring in your ears at just the right moment. 

 I’m thankful for all the principles and values you taught me.  It was not just by speaking them but living them before me that has made me who I am today.
And most of all, I’m thankful you are my father.
Love always, Beth
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A Letter To A Father From His Son

For This I Am Proud of You 

 
The Lord Jesus said we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
This I have seen with my childhood family on our knees around an old footrest.
This I have seen as I rode to work with you in your pickup truck many summer mornings
This I have been blessed to see in numerous Bible studies since Katrina.
You have held dear this greatest of commandments in too many ways to mention here.
Daddy, I am proud of you for this.
 
The Lord Jesus said we are to love others.
This I have seen in your friendliness and honest desires to connect with all people.
This I have seen in your sincere strivings to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.”
This I have been blessed to see my entire life in your empathy for the elderly.
Your have held dear this second greatest commandment in so many other ways.
Daddy, I am proud of you for this.
 
A Psalm asks, “Who can find a faithful man?”
This I have seen my whole life in your commitment to God, Country and Family.
This I have been blessed to see in your persistent actions as well as heard in your consistent words.
This I have seen in you as a dependable and reliable construction worker (has to be a rare find),
     your constant & unfailing dedication to family and your steady & unswerving desire to do right.
For this your faithfulness, reliability, and trustworthiness, I am proud of you.
Daddy, you are that faithful man.
 
A Proverb encourages a man to walk in integrity.
This I have seen in the method you taught us to accurately weigh a bushel of purple hull peas.
This I have seen (and I believe the example very fitting) in your careful and meticulous craftsmanship.
This I have seen more clearly than most because integrity in little things is not usually seen by the world.
For this your integrity, sincerity and uprightness of heart, I am proud of you.
Daddy, I am sure the Lord will say, “Well done.”
 
The Lord requires much of those who are given much.
I have received so much in the example of a true father, that my only option is to beg for mercy.
Because of unpleasant experiences, many people cannot associate God’s love with a father’s love.
I have never had this problem.
This fantastic mixture of consistent firmness and immense compassion, I have seen in you.
For this, I am proud of you.
 
With all love and respect, Carlos Jr to my dad, Carlos Sr


Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for Fathers, Raising Children | 1 Comment

Bible Encouragement For Fathers

Proverbs 23:24 “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.”
 

 

What does God’s Word have to say to father’s?  The following verses give some clear concise instruction:


To Teach

Deuteronomy 6:7

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 4:9

 

“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

Isaiah 38:19

A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.

 

To Train

Proverbs 22:6

 

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

To Provide

2 Corinthians 12:14

 

Children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

 

If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

1 Timothy 5:8

 

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

To Nurture and Love

 

Ephesians 6:4

 

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21

 

Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

To Discipline and Control

 

1 Timothy 3:4

 

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.

 

 

Proverbs 29:17

 Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.

Examples of Godly Fathers:

Job prays for his children Job 1:5

When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Joshua’s commitment, Joshua 24:15

 

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Abraham’s faithfulness, Genesis 18:19

 

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. 

David’s charge to Solomon, 1 Kings 2:1-3

 

As David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying,  “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man.  Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies,according to what is written in the Law of Moses.”

Zacharias Godly example, Luke 1:6

 

They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.

 
If your heart’s desire is to be a good father, to follow God’s plan and will for raising your children, then don’t be discouraged over your failures.  Children know when you are sincere; they know if you love them or not; they know if your motives are selfish or not, and they overlook and rise above it all.
 
Remember: I Corinthians 16:13-14
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
 
The Better Way: Following God’s Instructions for Raising Children Is The Better Way
 
Teach your children Bible verses through song:
 

Read also: Training Children

Read AlsoA Biblical Marriage 

 

 

 



Posted in Building Our Homes, Godly Living, Raising Children | 1 Comment

Encouraging Prayers and Poems

 
Study Prayer
Lord and Savior, True and Kind,
Be the Master of my mind.
Bless and guide and strengthen still,
All the powers of thought and will.
While I ply the scholars task.
Jesus Christ be near, I ask.
Help my memory, clear my brain,
Knowledge still to seek and gain.
copied
 
Calling God’s People To Worship
Up slight man,
Flee for a little while thy occupations
Hide thyself for a time from thy disturbing thoughts.
Pass away now thy toilsome cares and
Put aside thy burdensome business.
Yield room for some little time with God,
And rest a little while in Him.
In the inner chamber,
Shut out all thoughts save those of God, and
Such as can aid thee in worshipping Him.
Speak now to God and say,
“I seek Thy face, Thy face, Lord, do I seek.
by Anselm of Canterbury
 
 
He Maketh No Mistake
My Father’s ways may twist and turn,
My heart may throb and ache,
But in my heart I’m glad I know, 
He maketh no mistake.
 
My cherished plans may go astray,
My hopes may fade away,
But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead,
For He doth know His way.
 
Though night be dark and it may seem
That day will never break.
I’ll pin my faith, my all in Him,
He maketh no mistake.
 
There’s so much now I cannot see.
My eyesight’s far too dim,
But come what may, I’ll simply trust,
And leave it all with Him.
 
For by and by the mist will lift,
And plain it all He’ll make.
Through all the way though dark to me,
He maketh no mistake. 
Unknown Author

May the Mind of Christ My Savior

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,Live in me from day to day,By His love and power controlling All I do and say.May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour, So that all may see I triumph Only through His power.May the peace of God my Father Rule my life in everything, That I may be calm to comfort Sick and sorrowing.May the love of Jesus fill me As the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing, This is victory.May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe, Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go.May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win, And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him. (copied)

 
 
 
Lord, you’re the priority and when it comes to me, 
all I ask is that You fulfill Your promise on my behalf 
to sustain my life for Your glory, 
forgive my sin for your glory and
 to protect me from the evil one for Your glory.
  So whatever it is you do about this illness,
 or whatever it is you do about this dilemma,
 whatever it is You do about the suffering and the pain, 
Lord, may it honor You and
 may it manifest the fulfillment of Your promises.
Amen
 
Prayer by Pastor/Teacher John MacArthur
  
 
We come to you as our most gracious and loving Father. 
 We do hallow Your name and seek your glory.
We remember the words of our Lord Jesus,”anything you ask in my name, that will I do, in order that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  It’s really about You and then about us, in so far as what happens to us glorifies You.  May we pray as worshippers, always for your glory.  We thank You for the access, this open door and may we live in this constant communion which you’ve made available to us.  Be glorified, O God, through our lives.  Hear and answer our prayer.  We pray in your Son’s name.  Amen
 

 

Prayer by John MacArthur
 
 

 

 

 
Prayer For Our Country

 

‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. 

We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. 

We have lost our spiritua
l equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. 

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. 

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. 

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. 

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!’

Billy Graham

 

 

Prayer In Nehemiah

Ne 9: 5-8

 

Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever!

O, may Your glorious name be blessed,

And exalted above all blessing and praise!

You alone are the Lord.

You have made the heavens,

The heaven of heavens with all their host,

The seas and all that is in them.

You gave life to all of them,

And the heavenly host bows down before You.

You are the Lord God….. for You are righteous.

 

 

 

The Bible

 

Here is
the spring where waters flow,

To quench our heat of sin:

Here is the tree where truth doth grow,

to lead our lives therein:

Here is the judge that stints the strife,

When men’s devices fail:

Here is the bread that feeds the life

That death cannot assail.

The tidings of salvation dear,

Comes to our ears from hence:

The fortress of our faith is here,

And shield of our defense.

Then be not like the swine that hath

A pearl at his desire, 

And takes more pleasure from the trough

And wallowing in the mire.

Read not his book in any case,

But with a single eye:

Read not but first desire God’s grace,

To understand thereby.

Pray still in faith with this respect,

To bear good fruit therein,

That knowledge may bring this effect,

To mortify your sin.

Then happy you shall be in all your life,

What so to you befalls:

Yes, double happy you shall be,

When God by death you calls.

(From the first Bible printed in Scotland–1576)

 


Hymn
of Praise

by

F.W. Faber

My
God, how wonderful Thou art,

Thy
majesty how bright!
How
beautiful Thy mercy-seat
In
depths of burning light!

O
Everlasting Lord!

How
dread are Thine eternal years,
By
prostrate spirits, day and night
Incessantly
adored.

The
sight of Thee must be,

How
wonderful, how beautiful
Thine
endless wisdom, boundless power
And
awful purity.

With
deepest, tenderest fears,

And
how I fear Thee, living God,
And
worship Thee with trembling heart
And
penitential tears!

Almighty
as Thou art,

Yet
I may love Thee too, O Lord,
For
Thou has stooped to ask of me,
The
love of my poor heart.
 
No
earthly father loves like Thee;
No
mother e’re so mild,
Bears
and forbears as Thou hast done,
With
me, Thy sinful child.

 

Whatever My God Ordains Is Right


 

In
His love I am abiding

Whatever
my God ordains is right
I
will be still in all He does
And
follow where He is guiding
He
is my God, though dark my road
He
holds me that I shall not fall
And
so to Him I leave it all

Whatever
my God ordains is right

He
never will deceive me
He
leads me by the proper path
I
know He will not leave me
I
take content, what He has sent
His
hand can turn my griefs away
And
patiently I wait His day

Whatever
my God ordains is right

Here
shall my stand be taken
Though
sorrow, or need, or death be mine
Yet
I am not forsaken
My
Father’s care circles me there
He
holds me that I shall not fall
And
so to Him I leave it all

Whatever
my God ordains is right

Though
now this cup in drinking
My
God is true, each morn anew
Bitter
it seems to my faint heart
I
take it all unshrinking
And
pain and sorrow shall depart
Sweet
comfort yet shall fill my heart

 

Credits:

Original
words by Samuel Rodigast (1676), translated by Catherine Winkworth
(1863), music and alternate words by Mark Altrogge 

 

 

 

Have you not known, have you not heard
That firm remains on high
The everlasting throne of Him
Who made the earth and sky?

Are you afraid His pow’r shall fail
When comes your evil day?
And can an all-creating arm
Grow weary or decay?

Supreme in wisdom as in pow’r
The Rock of ages stands,
Though Him you cannot see, nor trace
The working of His hands.

Mere human pow’r shall fast decay,
And youthful vigor cease;
But they who wait upon the Lord
In strength shall still increase.
–Isaac Watts, 1707

 

At
the Judgement Seat of Christ

 

When
I stand at the judgement seat of Christ,

 

And
He shows me His plan for me;

The
plan of my life as it might have been,

Had
He had His way, and I see

How
I blocked Him here and checked Him there,

And
would not yield my will,

Shall
I see grief in my Savior’s eyes;

Grief
though He loves me still?

Oh,
He’d have me rich, and I stand there poor,

Stripped
of all but His grace,

While
my memory runs like a hunted thing,

Down
the paths I can’t retrace.

Then
my desolate heart will well-nigh break,

With
tears that I cannot shed.

I’ll
cover my face with my empty hands

and
bow my uncrowned head.

No.
Lord of the years that are left to me,

I
yield them to Thy hand.

Take
me, make me, mold me,

To
the pattern Thou hast planned.

 

Alexander

Maclaren, 1826-1910

 
 
 
Prayer
 
“Lord help me live from day to day

In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for – Others.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I do for you
Must needs be done for – Others.

Let “Self” be crucified and slain
And buried deep; and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again
Unless to live for – Others.

And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven’s begun
May I forget the crown I’ve won
While thinking still of – Others.

Others, Lord, yes others
Let this my motto be
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.”

 

Flame Of God
Give me love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire.
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me thou fuel, Flame of God.
by Amy Carmichael
 
Teach your children Bible verses through song:
 
 
 

 

Posted in Assurance, Bible Study, Encouragement, Prayer | 1 Comment

Stop and Pray

Ephesians 6:18 “With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” ESV

Much has been written on prayer and the Bible has a lot to say about prayer, and still many of us find ourselves feeling very inadequate when it comes to praying.  Recently a suggestion crossed my path that has been very helpful for me personally and I wanted to share it with you.  Pastor John MacArthur of Grace To You, www.gty.org, says that in addition to our regular prayer time, he also encourages everyone to pray as we read our Bibles.
As we consider this idea, first let’s stop a minute and think about those things we want to include in our prayers.
1. Adoration and Worship of Almighty God.
2. Thanksgiving and Praise for blessings.
3. Repentance and Confession of our sins
4. Supplications and Requests for others and ourselves.
The Bible gives us much encouragement even before we begin to pray with the words from Psalms 81:10b “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” Yes, we can ask largely, ask many, ask much.  
Returning to Pastor MacArthur’s suggestion: Perhaps we’re reading in Psalms–“The heavens declare the glory of God” –stop and pray a prayer of adoration and worship.  Then we may be reading Mary’s song of praise in Luke 1:46-47, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoice in God my Savior,” and we can stop and give thanks and praise the Lord for our blessings.
Or we may be reading in Kings about the sins of the Children of Israel, II Kings 17:7, “And so it was that the Children of Israel sinned against the Lord their God…”–we can stop and pray a prayer of confession of our sins, the sins of our church and the sins of our nation.  Reading on in God’s Word we find Jesus healing a woman and saying to her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole,” Luke 5:34 and we can stop and pray for the many people we know who are sick and suffering and those that need to know the Lord as their Savior.  Next, as we read about Ruth and Esther we can stop and pray for ourselves, asking God to conform our own lives to His will and His way.
These are just a few simple examples of praying as we read the Bible, but hopefully they are an encouragement to press on in prayer as we follow Christ’s command through Paul in I Thessalonians 5:16-18, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 
       Remember: Pray when you feel like it, because it would be a shame to miss that opportunity.  Pray when you don’t feel like it, because that’s when you really need it!
 
The Better Way: Praying Some Is Good, Living A Life In The Spirit Of Prayer Is Better.
 
See also:  When You Pray
 
Posted in Encouragement, Prayer | 2 Comments

And When You Pray

Psalm 81:10b “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.”  

 
     Considering the vastness and wonder of space, as we did in the last blog has been such a blessing to me in my prayer life.  When I start praying and my list seems so long, I call to mind the universe (the heavens) and the millions and billions of stars and planets that God created.  Like a tiny ant taking a few grains of wheat out of a huge silo, I realize that certainly my one hundred or so requests are nothing to Him.  How encouraged I am to lay before God all my heart.  
    Reread the above scripture verse again: “Open thy mouth wide.”
    I want to:
 
    Not just ask a few, but ask largely, ask many;
    Not just ask timidly, but ask boldly;
    Not just ask doubtfully, but ask with assurance
    Not just ask fearfully, but confidently in faith
 
Why? Because our God hears all and answers all. His promises are sure.
     Reread the above Scripture verse: “and I  will  fill  it.
 
     Remember: Pray when you feel like it, because it would be a shame to miss that opportunity.  Pray when you don’t feel like it, because that’s when you really need it!
 
Theme: The Better Way: Praying is Good, Praying with Boldness is Better
 
See also: When You Pray
See also:  Stop and Pray
Posted in Prayer | 1 Comment

Our Compassionate God

One morning my husband and I were sitting at our table by the kitchen window, as we watched a wasp walking around on the screen.  From its appearance we could tell that the wasp was “trapped” between the screen and the window, unable to find the way out.

After about two days of watching that wasp walk around on the screen, we both became aware that our feelings toward this insect was changing.  Usually we have a great dislike for wasps.  Usually we get out the insect spray and with a vengeance go after the wasp nests, happily watching them fall as the poisonous spray overwhelms them.   Usually there is absolutely no compassion in our hearts because we are at war, fighting the enemy, defending ourselves/our children/our grandchildren/ and our great-grandchildren and others from the hurtful sting of the wasp.

But now, as we watch this vulnerable insect, we are not afraid of it, we do not want to kill it, we actually feel pity and want to help it and set it free.  As I pondered on our brief time of concern for this helpless trapped insect, it brought to mind the true compassion of our great God toward us—sinful, rebellious, self-willed, selfish creatures that we are.  “He remembers we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

While our feelings toward this insect did not cause us to set it free, because we knew of its potential to harm, yet God, knowing our hearts, in His great love, still sent his only begotten Son to actually die for us.  Matthew Henry says compassion is “love and concern which leads to action,” and that is exactly what God felt toward us.  Our simple momentary feelings toward the wasp was pity and ended there.  We took no action to show we cared.

But God’s Word has much to say about His compassion.  Here are just a few gems to stir our hearts and perhaps cause us to search the Scriptures and seek to know more about our Compassionate God:

Psalm 78:38 “But He, being full of compassion, forgave their (our) iniquities.”

Psalm 86:15 “But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering and plentious in mercy and truth.”

Micah 7:19 “He will have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot.”

Then Lamentations 3:22 says “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy Faithfulness.”  This verse encourages our hearts, for our Heavenly Father’s compassion is not a one time happening—-it is new every morning.  Each day can be a fresh new rejoicing day.

Through daily repentance and forgiveness we can go forth in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit which dwells in us.  Then we can show forth this same compassion and  concern for others.

 The Better Way: Remembering God’s great compassion brings great rest, peace and joy and stirs our hearts to reach out to others in warmth, sensitivity and tenderness.

             

Posted in Encouragement | Tagged | 3 Comments

Eve: The First Mother

Genesis 3:20  ” And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.”

 
      Eve is fascinating to study because she was the first woman on earth and all her experiences were “firsts.”  We don’t learn a lot about her after chapter four of Genesis, but as we consider her situation, we know that since she was the “mother of all living,”  she was the first woman to ever have a child; consequently, she was the first woman to experience labor pains and the first woman to be amazed at the miracle of life, with the birth of the first child ever born, Cain. ” I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Genesis 4:1  Even to this day, the miracle of the birth of a baby still brings amazement and wonder.
     Eve was also the first woman to feel the joy and satisfaction of motherhood and to experience it’s many trials, too.  She did not have a mother or any other woman to look to for guidance and help, but God gave her the knowledge and the innate ability to know how to care for this child.  This should be an encouragement to any mother who may have feelings of uncertainty about caring for and raising her child/children.  God gives you the wisdom and help to know what to do.  Call upon Him at all times.
     Sadly, Eve also saw the physical result of her disobedience to God, for God had said to her and Adam “thou shalt surely die” Genesis 2:17,  if they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree.  She experienced grief and anquish at the death of her son, Able.  To add to the sorrow, it was not a normal death, but a murder by the hand of her firstborn son, Cain.
     Let us as mother’s and grandmother’s take heed and be warned by Eve’s disobedience that there are consequences of our sins that can have far reaching effects on our children and grandchildren.  How careful we ought to be to live godly lives and teach our children the Word of God. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  The things we do or fail to do have eternal consequences.
 
Theme: The Better Way: Being A Mother is Good: Being A Mother In Obedience To God’s Word Is Better
 
                 Mary, The Mother of Jesus
                 Hannah, Full of Grace
                 Samson’s Mother
                 A Christian Mother’s Virtues
                 The Self-Sacrificing Unnamed Mother
Posted in Guidance for mothers, Raising Children, Women of the Bible | 3 Comments

The Mother of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s Wife

Genesis 7:13 “On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark.”
 
   While writing the devotion, The Rainbow Promise, I began to reflect on another faithful wife and mother in the Bible, Noah’s wife, the mother of Shem, Ham and Japheth.  What an excellent example she is for us women today. Many of the following thoughts are not mentioned in the Bible specifically, but are assumptions made by me and should be read as such.
       First, she showed great obedience to God in her honor and obedience to her husband.  During those many many years of building the ark, she must have also suffered great ridicule and loneliness, yet she showed herself to be a woman of strength, resolutely standing faithfully by Noah’s side, supporting him and trusting him and following his leadership as he obeyed God’s will.  “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time, Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9 “Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.” Genesis 6:22.  Noah was also called a “preacher of righteousness.” II Peter 2:5
     As a mother, she was also a a great example to her sons and her daughters-in-law.  As objects of ridicule also, they saw and followed her diligent example of trust in God.  Noah’s wife must also have created a strong bond of togetherness and been a source of strength and refuge during their long and lonely time on the ark. Here they were as a family, the only people left on the earth, terrible storms going on outside for 40 days, and then many more days (335 to be exact) on the ark as the waters subsided and yet they were bound together as a family with Noah as the righteous head and his wife faithfully gathering the family together under his leadership, finding refuge and solace in each other.
     The mother of Shem, Ham and Japheth was also an industrious woman.  There was much to work to be done during their time on the ark in caring for the animals, preparing food for themselves, and keeping things clean and orderly and she set an example of hard work and diligence.  
     Then she was also a woman of wisdom. The time they spent working together was also a time spent in sharing, laughing, and creating a bond that kept them close.  Any differences between them must have been carefully averted by Noah’s wife, as she wisely spoke words of edification and not division.  ” Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
     Let us spend some time considering this special wife and mother in the Bible, as we build our homes and families and seek to daily walk in God’s will.
     
The Better Way: Being An Example Of Obedience, Diligence, Industriousness and Wisdom is the Better Way
 
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Posted in Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Wives, Women of the Bible | 1 Comment

The Self-Sacrificing Unnamed Mother

 

I Kings 3:27b “She is his mother.”

“Oh, my lord, give her the living child and by no means kill him,” cried the unnamed mother the moment King Solomon gave the command to bring his sword and divide the baby in half.  The great tender compassionate love she had for her child brought the anguished cry, for she would be more than willing to sacrifice raising her own child so that he might live.  The other mother revealed she had no love for the child and did not care what happened to him, as she, without feeling, assented to King Solomon’s command saying “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!”

In this account, from I Kings 3:16-28, showing Solomon’s great God-given wisdom, we have the story of two women, who lived in the same house and gave birth to baby boys within 3 days of each other.  The one, a careless mother, laid on her child as she slept and he died.  Realizing what happened, she got up in the night and exchanged the babies, taking the living baby back to her bed.  When morning came, the true mother of the living child realized the dead baby in her bed was not her own.  As they stood before King Solomon, both mothers vehemently claimed the living child was their own.  No witnesses were present, so how was the determination to be made?  Since the physical evidence was not obvious, King Solomon must seek out the heart of the matter.  And so the true, self-sacrificing heart of the real mother is revealed, and Solomon said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him.  She is his mother.”
As we read this story, we are reminded of the verse from God’s 
Word that says “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord 
looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7b. Also, Hebrews 4:13 says, “And 
there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and 
laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
Dear Heavenly Father, As we carefully examine our own hearts, help us to root out any selfish ways.  Through the many trials and weariness of motherhood, bless us with tender compassionate hearts, filled with Your love.  We ask for genuine, willing, self-sacrificing attitudes.  Refresh us daily, even hourly, with Thy Spirit, O Lord, that we might maintain a firm but gentle attitude as we teach and train our children, according to Your Word. We ask this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen
 
                Mary, The Mother of Jesus
                Samson’s Mother
                Sarah’s Handmaid, Hagar
Posted in Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Women, Women of the Bible | 1 Comment

God’s Sovereign Hand

Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you…”

 
I’m a clock watcher. My daily schedule and activities are structured around a clock.  Depending on the time, I hurry through a task or take it slower.  Some tasks I change or eliminate because I do or do not have the time.  But God does not have our time schedule. Because He is Omnipotent (all-knowing), His time is like a huge panorama screen that shows the beginning and the end in one view.  Consequently, what I want done now, God may do for me 10 years from now.  My prayer may appear to be unanswered or I may have thought God said “No” when actually He said “Wait” or “Later.”  He does all things “in the fullness” of His time. Galatians 4:4
The life of Joseph in Genesis chapter 37, 39-50 is a clear example of God’s time versus man’s time, and is an amazing story to read.  As a 17 year old lad, Joseph was loved with a special love by his father, Jacob, and hated by most of his brothers; a hatred that was founded on jealousy.  That hatred was so strong that they even plotted to kill Joseph. One brother, Rueben, not wanting to kill him, talked the others into throwing him into a pit (hoping to rescue him later.)  That hatred manifested itself so vividly when they callously and cold-heartedly ate their dinner as the young lad cried and pleaded from the pit. Genesis 42:21 says, “We saw the anguish of his soul, when He besought us and we would not hear.”
 While Rueben was gone, the other brothers sold Joseph to the Midianites and he was carried off to Egypt to be a slave. His coat was dipped in an animals blood and given to Jacob, as the brothers covered up their evil deed with lies.  Oh, the loneliness he must have felt to be so cruelly wrenched from the security of his loving father and carried to a strange land where no one served the One True God.
But God’s hand was upon Joseph and it is evident that he felt it, because Joseph never failed in his faithfulness to God.  Alone and lonely, he was obedient to that which his father, Jacob, had taught him even while he was living in a foreign land among heathens.  God caused those around Joseph to show favor toward him and treat him well; thus he lived comfortably for a while, although as a slave.  Then, even though we may think Joseph had suffered enough, he had to go through another trial of being humiliated and lied about . Taken from his decent surroundings, he was put in a prison house for several years.
Consider the life he now had: when he should have been at home in Caanan raising a family, tending sheep, and spending time with his father, he was spending his younger years in prison.
Yet, there was no slackness in Joseph’s faithfulness and God caused those around him to show him favor.  Finally, around the age of 30, God gave him wisdom to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and he was elevated to greatness, even first in command under Pharaoh.  Over the next nine years, he was given a wife, had two sons and was treated royally.  Now, at the age of 39, his brothers came to Egypt to buy corn during a severe famine.  For 22 years they had lived knowing the terrible deed they committed against Joseph and the lie they told their father.  But not knowing what happened to Joseph, their consciences were dulled as they lived out their lives.
Suddenly, the brothers are faced with a serious trial and their guilt surfaces. They fear they are being punished for their evil deed of the past. “We  are verily guilty concerning our brother…” Genesis 42:21.  Oh, how we are amazed as Joseph confronts his brothers with his identity and then makes this remarkable statement, “Now therefore, be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Genesis 45:5.  Again Joseph says, “And God did send 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: and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”
Genesis 45:7.  
What trust Joseph had in the faithfulness of God to see his life, not as a personal tragedy, but as a fulfillment of God’s plan for His people.  Joseph was blessed to see his father again, even for seventeen more years.
God’s Time versus Our Time.  The everyday events in our lives pale in significance when we take time to submit to God’s plan for our life from His Time.
The Better Way: Believing God Is Good: Trusting Completely In God’s Omnipotent Hand In Everything is the only way.
Read also: Trust In The Lord
Read also: Through the Flood
Posted in Assurance, Encouragement, Godly Living | Leave a comment

Beneath The Cross Of Jesus

Thinking on Jesus Christ’s death on the cross often has me singing this beautiful hymn: 
1. Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand
The shadow of a mighty Rock
Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat,
And the burden of the day.
2. Upon that cross of Jesus
Mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One
Who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart with tears
Two wonders I confess
The wonders of redeeming love
And my unworthiness.
3. I take, O cross, thy shadow
For my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
The sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by,
To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame,
My glory all the cross.

                       Lyrics: Elizabeth Cecelia Douglas Clephane
                                Music: Frederick Charles Maker

http://youtu.be/g82KP4XXRRE

http://www.gty.org

The Better Way: “God Forbid That I Should Glory Save In The Cross Of The Lord Jesus Christ” Galatians 6:14

See Also: The Cross of Jesus Christ

See Also: Surrendering Our Will

Posted in Assurance, Encouragement | 3 Comments

Two Faithful Women

Exodus 1:17 “But the midwives feared God.”

 
A few years ago I embarked on a two year journey to read through the Bible again. Traveling from Genesis into Exodus, two names  suddenly appeared on the printed page—two names recorded no where else in the Bible, two obscure names, two names of women.  How important are these two women who have their names written in God’s Word?
Further study reveals Shiphrah and Puah were midwives, women who assisted in the birth of the babies of the Hebrew women. Most likely they were older women and the representatives of their profession.  During their time in Egypt, the Children of Israel grew greatly in number and strength and Pharaoh felt threatened and became fearful.   In an attempt to curtail their growth he ordered the midwives to kill all Hebrew boys at birth.  Instead of being the ones who were looked up to for their skill and were trusted to take great care in seeing that the lives of these babies were preserved, they were suddenly thrusted into the position of being executioners, deceitful and untrustworthy.  These two women who “feared God,” refused to obey such a law. They reverenced God and obeyed Him rather than man. Exodus 1:17. “They obviously understood that children were a gift from God and that murder was wrong.” (John MacArthur) Like the apostles in Acts 5:29 who said, “We must obey God rather than men,” these midwives had the courage to stand alone and do what was right. 
Shiphrah and Puah were ordinary women who devoutly did their humble job, and yet they were used of God to preserve and save a nation that the King of Egypt desired to suppress.  Do you have a desire to serve God?  Whatever role God has given you to perform in this life, do it faithfully and obediently with love and care and God will bless.  In fact, as we read on in the story, we see where it says that God looked favorably on the midwives.  Exodus 1:20 says, “Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives,” and verse 21 says, “Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them.”  God built them up into families, blessed their children, and prospered them in what they did.  
What a wonderful example these two midwives are to us to be obedient.  God’s Word tells us in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”  Again God’s Word says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:17  Enjoy your work, finding pleasure in it as you honor God and are used for His purpose. 
 
The Better Way: Working Is Good: Working And Honoring Jesus Christ In All You Do Is The Better Way
 
 

 

Posted in Godly Living, Guidance for Women, Women of the Bible | 2 Comments

Spiritual Dryness

Isaiah 1:30  “For you will be like an oak whose leaf fades away or as a garden that has no water.”

 
     Long periods without rain cause many problems.  The most obvious signs of the lack of water show up in the grass, trees and plants.  First the leaves become dull and dry, then they start to lose their color, then they shrivel up and fall off. (“an oak whose leaf fades away”).  This is not the same sequence of events that we see in the Fall—for usually God requires nature to show us a brilliance of color before the leaves fall off. This happening brings us a great deal of pleasure. 
      Contrariwise, drought is not pretty; drought brings no pleasure.  Isaiah also mentions “a garden that has no water.”  Much hard work and time can be put into planting a garden but if it does not rain timely rains—rains at the proper intervals–the plants will not grow properly and the garden will not produce.
     Likewise, Isaiah is telling us that we as Christians can be spiritually dry.  What are some things that can make us spiritually dry?  The first symptom that comes to mind is depression.  In this state the joy of living has departed.  There is no eagerness to live and most of our thoughts are inward.  There is no desire to read God’s Word and when we do our hearts have become so dry and our spirits have become so dull and hazy that our minds cannot absorb the moist dew of God’s Word.  
     A second symptom is anger.  Anger over-whelms our thoughts to a point that all others are blocked out.  It consumes our nature and makes us unreasonable.  Hardness of heart sets in and so much so that even the gentle rain of God’s Word sheds off.  
      A third symptom of spiritual dryness is worldliness; simply put–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.( I John 2:16 ) These are the things that take our mind off God’s will and way and set it upon our will and way.  This brings about a cold heart.  A cold heart is tight and becomes dry, and resists the warmth of God’s Word. 
      A fourth symptom is worry.  All of us are very familiar with what worry does to our spirits.  It slowly and treacherously drains us, leaving us weak and without strength.  In this helpless state so much energy is leaving out that our hearts have no time to absorb the fresh encouragement of God’s Word, thus we become spiritually dry.
     Now that some symptoms have been laid before us, what is the prescription to prevent these aliments? First we need to examine ourselves to see if we have an unforgiving heart toward someone.  This has to be corrected and forsaken at once.  Next, we need to confess our sins and turn in true repentance from them. 
     And thirdly,  Hosea gives us an enlightening answer in Hosea 6:3, “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.  His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us, like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”  Oh, how encouraging these words sound!  What is it we have to do?  “Press on to know the Lord.”  Be faithful, never stop in your quest to know the Lord more fully, never turn aside to the right or to the left, stay on the straight course, and seek a refreshing from the Lord, daily partaking of a portion of God’s Word and praying.  Let the Word of God be at home in you.  Don’t put yourself on a spiritual starvation diet.  Don’t starve to death in a house full of the best food available.  Feast upon the Bread of Life.  Say like the Psalmist, in 119:83 ” Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget Your statutes.”  This faithful course will allow us to receive the “spring rain” that God faithfully sends to nourish us so that we will not be spiritually dry.
 
Hebrews 12:1″….let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Hebrews 12:12-13 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”
 
Read also: Milk Of The Word
Read also: When You Pray
Theme: The Better Way: Reading God’s Word is Good: Pressing On To Know The Lord Is Better
 
Posted in Bible Study, Encouragement, Spiritual Dryness | 6 Comments

Hannah, Full of Grace

I Samuel 1:2 “The name of one was Hannah.”  

 
As we study the women of the Bible, we are drawn to I Samuel, and a woman named Hannah, who exemplifies many attributes of a wife and mother that we should try to follow and a woman who was greatly used by God.

We first find, that she was in a situation that we know nothing about and a position that I would never want to be in—-she was one of two wives of a man named Elkanah.  Involved in this circumstance we learn she had an advantage—-her husband loved her best, and a disadvantage—-she had no children, “for the Lord had closed her womb.” I Samuel 1:5.   But as we travel through the story, we see that the Lord, in His wisdom, was working out His great and marvelous plan to raise up a great prophet, and was using this humble woman to bring about His purpose.  You see, Hannah was “greatly distressed and wept bitterly”, (I Samuel 1:10), because she had no children and to make matters worse her “rival would provoke her bitterly to irritate her.” I Samuel 1:6
But Hannah did what all of us should always do in our distress—she prayed and sought the Lord.  Brought to her lowest point in life, she made a vow no loving mother could make under normal circumstances. ” O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…” I Sam 1:11.  This is exactly according to God’s plan: for Hannah to be brought to such agony of soul that she might make such a extraordinary vow in order to raise up the prophet Samuel to lead the people of Israel.
After Samuel was born, Hannah was a dedicated mother, diligently teaching him about the Lord, nurturing and implanting in him the Scriptures, during those first three years of his life until he was weaned. Oh how she must have savored every moment with her beloved son. Then fulfilling her vow, she carried him to the temple and “dedicated him to the Lord.”  I Samuel 1:28.  But instead of weeping and crying over leaving Samuel, she sang a song of thanksgiving, (I Samuel 2:1-10) rejoicing and exalting the Lord, giving God all the glory . I know you will enjoy reading these verses for yourself.  Later, Hannah was rewarded by the Lord for her faithfulness in carrying out her vow, for God graciously gave her five more children.
As a wife, Hannah exemplifies trustworthiness, for her husband safely trusted in her and honored the vow she had made, saying “Do what seems best to you…..only may the Lord confirm His word.” I Samuel 1:23.   Let us prayerfully and carefully desire to follow Hannah’s example, that we too, may be used of the Lord for His honor and glory.
 
The Better Way: Being A Humble, Prayerful, Dedicated, Thankful, Faithful, Trustworthy Wife and Mother is the Better Way
 
                    Eve: The First Mother
Teach your children Scripture songs through this link: http://www.thbmm.com/scripture-songs.html
Posted in Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Wives, Raising Children, Women of the Bible | 7 Comments