I have been studying the life of David. Let me tell you that man has so many highs and lows in his life it is unbelievable. One thing I noticed though was he had a few good friends! The one we are most familiar with in his life is Jonathan. Bar none we can say that is a kind of friend we should have. Over and over the Bible tells us of Jonathan's devotion to David. He warned David when it wasn't safe to be around his father Saul. Probably my favorite passages about interaction with these two is in I Samuel 23:16. The Bible tells us that Jonathan went to David and strengthened his hand in God. That says so much to me, first a friend that will come to you when you are at one of the lowest times of your life, and then that friend encourages you with God. "Friends" like to give advice, but great friends know that only God can really give you what you need.
The second person I see that was a friend of David was, Hushai. Most of us might not be familiar with his role in David's life. Well it was when he was running from his son Absalom stepped and showed his loyalties. God had made Ahitophel counsel foolish. So Hushai jumped in and saved the day. Both were advisors to the King, but 1 Chronicles 28:33 tells us that Ahithophel was the king's counsellor and Husai was the Kings companion. So any one can advise, but a friend can save your life!! It doesn't always have to be a life or death situation. It can be just a life changing day for you.
Friends so many use this word so lightly now a days. I mean how many Face Book Friends do you have that you really know nothing about?? I would say a lot. But, how many true friends do you have?? Most of us can count on one hand our true friends. True friends don't just tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes they have to tell you the truth and the truth hurts. Proverbs tells us Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy is deceitful. Just as they need to tell you when you are wrong, there is nothing like knowing you have that one person that when life has you down, you can call them and they are not going to give you flowery words, but words of encouragement. Not just their words, but words of God that will help you on this path we call life.
I can count a least six woman in my life who I consider my friend. I know that with each of these in a crisis they would drop everything and be there for me. The funny thing is we don't talk every day and one lives far and I don't talk to her but a couple times a year. The minute we see each other our souls are forever knit together and it is like no time has past. A life long friend is a true treasure in deed. And if you have one or two thank God for that person in your life. Also, you be that kind of friend to someone else. Be the one with the word of encouragement, a smile, a look, can change the outcome of some ones life.
Lastly as a Christian you have a friend that sticketh closer that a brother. Jesus is the best friend any one could ever have. You can go to Him with all your problems. What a privilege to carry every thing to God in prayer.
I start today with a passage in Ezekiel 22:30 where God says He will save Israel if He could find just one person to stand in the gap and intercede for them. Sadly He found none. I would hate to know that one of my children or loved ones could have been saved from something if only I had been willing to stand in the gap and cry out to God for their sake.
Paul begs them in Romans to go to God for his sake. That he would be able to return to them refreshed. Again in Colossians that God would open a door for them to speak the word. Our prayers of intersession are not always for safety or healing, but sometimes so that another work could go on for the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians he keeps it simple Brethren, pray for us.
I would like to challenge you to think of a person or persons who you know could use someone to stand in the gap for them. Maybe it is healing, job, or relationship related, whatever it is, boldly go before the Throne of grace for them. You may never know this side of heaven what a difference it made.
Lastly, maybe you have in mind someone who did just that for you. Thank the Lord for that person in your life. Because without them who knows where you would be.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the story of Elisha in the cave.
I can so relate to Elisha. Emotionally overwhelmed, feeling like I am the only one.
Then God steps in with that still small voice and reminds me who He is. He is not in the
commotion of life, but yet, right beside us.
There is something to be said for being still, and waiting and listening. The world is
so loud and the Lord speaks in that still small voice. David tells us in Psalms to stand in
awe, and be still. Psalms 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God"
So in our crazy reckless world, take the time to be still. Listen with your heart.
Allow God to speak to you. And try to drown out the noise of the
What does the Bible say about religion. Today's arguments are whose songs are right, whose service order is right. Is it the person who never misses a service, activity, shouts at the right time, gives their offering. Sadly no, but even sadder is that this is what most "Christians" believe it is all about. Traditions are killing our churches.
James 1:27 tells us exactly what it is. "Pure religion and undefiled before God, and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world." Wow seems so simple so how come so many of us are missing the mark. Exodus 22:22-24 God says some very strong words to those who don't take care of the widows and fatherless.
How long would it take to send a card, give a hug, say kind things, ask if there are any needs a widow might have. Not long, but it might take a few minutes of our "precious" time. You wont have to look far in our city to find a fatherless child, in fact I am sure there are some in your very own church.
I am going to tread in some dangerous territory, but here goes nothing. But since I will be using Jesus' own words, I cant go wrong. Mark 12:38b-40. "Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing (we do not have pure religion by wearing certain outfits to church) and love salutations in the market places ( God isn't interested in your posse that lifts you up) And the chief seats in the synagogues ( just because you are on your pew it makes no difference) and the uppermost rooms at feasts ( you made it to all the fellowships- so what) Which devour widows' houses and for a pretence make long prayers ( God isn't interested in your words) these shall receive greater damnation" WOW!!!
So, just think about that next time you get all riled up about something your church does or doesn't do. God is interested in what you do for the ones who need you the most. Adopt a grandmother, take time out for that child that might be unruly because that may be the only time he/she gets attention.
My goal for 2014, love God, Love people
As the mother of two almost three teenage girls, I see the struggle of wanting to fit in. This is something Calvin and I have worked very hard to instill in our children, you aren't made to fit in you are made to stand out. From the time we were just a baby in our mothers womb. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: and before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee...
This world view is corrupting our children, and most parents, to have friends, to rise to the top, you must fit in. How sad, we dress our girls like the world, we teach our boys you must be crass and cool. All the while as young Christians they should be so different. Am I saying they need to carry around the family bible everywhere they go?? Am I saying they should dress with no style and be obnoxious to the world?? Not by any means. What I am saying is that when the world looks at them and us, they see we have something they don't have. Also, they see it in a way that makes them want it too.
I want them to know that sometimes they are going to have to stand alone. I also am giving them the upbringing to know how. Is it going to be easy, no. Is it going to be fun, no. At times is it going to be downright painful, yes!! But in the end will it be worth it?? Yes, Yes and a thousand times yes!!!
I want them to see beyond today, beyond highschool,. They often get tired of the phrase I use "It's temporal". My point is to say that all this we worry about, will one day go away. But who we are and what we do with Jesus is all that will matter. I want them to be the light, I want them to be the city set on a hill that wont be hid!!
As Dr Suess said "why try to fit in when you were born to stand out"
I like the words in this song- " you were made to fill a purpose that only you can do, there could never be a more beautiful you!!
How I feel about being a mom!! Wow, almost too emotional for me to try to explain. I will try to keep it less than a novel!! At times I feel unworthy of the vocation the Lord has called me to. And yes, I believe it is a calling. I understand a woman can bare a child and have no motherly feelings toward that child. I don't believe this is what God intended. I believe we see this as a result of sin. Looking back at Genesis 33:5b when Esau asks Jacob who are these people with you, and he responds, the children which God hath graciously given thy servant. He realized they were a gift, and that it was only because God was gracious toward him did he have them. It is heart breaking to me when children are seen as a burden. Yes, it is emotionally and physically exhausting to be a mother. I read it is the choice to have your heart live outside of your body for the rest of your life. James tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above. He gives them to us.
I think the biggest thing mothers overlook is that you are shaping this child to be what he or she will be for the rest of there life. And to try to be any kind of mother without the Lord is just foolish. At first who in their right mind could do it alone. Psalms 127:1 Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it. I sure don't want to invest all of this for naught. Every word you speak, every action you take is being recorded in that precious head to be played over and over as that child grows.
I love being a mom!! I wouldn't trade the years of clothes with spit up, or the countless hours rocking and singing and reading. I don't regret one story time, one trip to the zoo. I wouldn't trade finger prints on everything. I don't want the hours back sitting in a gym or riding in a car. The hours of piano/violin lessons. The worst thing about being a mom is working yourself out of a job. Yes I will always be there mother, but my role is changing before my eyes. It is coming to the time when Calvin and I are letting go of the arrow, we have set its course, we have aimed it in the way it should go, it is up to them to land on target.
Being a mom is like no other feeling in the world. From the moment they lay that precious bundle into your arms, til the Lord takes you home your life is forever changed. I am sometimes awed that God allowed me to have five blessings. I have family and I know friends who struggled to have one or never at all. I don't understand why God saw fit for me to be entrusted with them. But one thing is for sure, I don't take it lightly and with Him as my help I pray that I raise five amazing adults who will set this world on fire.
So today is the day!! A new you, a better you. Maybe a thinner you, maybe a healthier you, maybe a nicer you. Whatever you have set out to do today, remember we can do nothing in our own strength. Any thing we accomplish this year will not be because of us. It will only be because the grace of God allowed us to do or be anything. I did keep my last years resolution, I didn't drink diet coke for an entire year!!! But this year a song that I love best describes what I want this year to hold for me. Keep Making Me by the Sidewalk Prophets
Make me broken so I can be healed
cause I'm so calloused and now I cant feel
I want to run to you with heart wide open
Make me broken
Make me empty so I can be filled
cause I'm still holding onto my will
and I'm completed when you are with me
Make me empty
Til you are my one desire
til you are my one true love
til you are my breath, my everything
Lord, Please keep making me
Make me lonely so I can be yours
til I want no one more than You, Lord
Cause in the darkness I know you will hold me
Make me lonely
Til you are my one desire
Til you are my one true love
til you are my breath my everything
Lord, Keep making me
I hope this song is a blessing to someone today. Praying everyone has a great year and one that will only bring honor to God.