Idolatry . . .

As the first Commandment requires the inward worship of love, desire, joy, hope, and admiration, so the second requires the outward worship of prayer and praise and solemn attendance on God’s Word. It concerns the ordinances of worship, or in other words, the way in which God will be worshipped. The second commandment says to us,

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, you shall not worship them or serve them.”

Matthew Henry points out the fact that, “God forbids us to worship even Him by images, and that our worship must be governed by the power of Faith, not by the power of imagination. Those who truly love God will make it their constant care to keep His Commandments.”

Those Commandments sum up our attitude toward God, in the first four, and our attitude toward our fellow man, in the final six.

Jesus condensed them into two ~ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind, (the first four) and your neighbour as yourself (the final six).

Reverence for God is the basis of the Ten Commandments. Halley’s Bible says that, “Jesus indicated that He considered it the elemental quality in man’s approach to God, and made it the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer.” Hallowed be Thy Name ~ Matthew 6:9-13.

I have dwelt quite a bit upon this subject of Idolatry, because it is a very serious thing to turn our backs on God and serve other things. For that is all they are. Habakkuk 2:18,19 says, “What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it? It is a speechless thing overlaid with gold and silver and there is no breath in it at all.”

Idolatry is absolutely forbidden. Yet we continue to worship movie stars and musicians and models and TV personalities. We worship and immortalise sportsmen and women, bushrangers, and members of the underworld. We worship Jesus’ beautiful mother, Mary (she would be horrified) saints, religious leaders, and in some nations, their political leaders.

God demands our attention to Him as the One and Only God who delivered the Hebrews out of slavery, and ultimately, through Jesus, delivered all mankind from eternal death.

I don’t want to serve death, I would prefer to serve The Living God.

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SOME SCRIPTURES PERTAINING TO THIS ARTICLE ~

Exodus 20:4-6

Habakkuk 2:18-20

Matthew 6:9-13

Matthew 22:37-40

Ephesians 5:5

Colossians 3:5

Walking by Faith . . .

Many of us in the world today have our own ideas of what faith is, and in what or whom we place that faith. Many refer to their religion as their ‘faith’. But to me, faith is so much more than just believing ‘in something’.

My dictionary says Faith is a promise, a trust.

Jesus promised that He would be with us always, so I believe that. If He is walking with me all the time, then I have faith that He always looks after me. I believe He keeps me healthy and safe and helps me with anything He knows I am struggling with at any moment in time.

Of course He does many things in His Own Time, because after all He is God, who sees what the future holds for me, and therefore works in my best interests. Sometimes I can’t see that, and I want instant answers to my problems, therefore potentially creating more problems because of my impatience.

Let’s look at Hebrews 11:1 ~
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (NASB)

I cannot hope for something, and not have faith that it will happen. In the same way, I cannot have faith, without hope. In other words, if I am praying for healing, I have hope for that healing, but what gives my hope power, is my faith that healing will occur. My faith that what I am praying for, is the assurance of what I hope for ; it is the conviction, or evidence, of what I do not yet see, but know is going to happen.

All those Jesus prayed for during His earthly ministry received healing according to their faith.

When my children were young, I would pray over them while they were sleeping, and as they grew older, I chose to exercise my faith rather than worry over them, and stood on this scripture ~
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

I believe my faith then, contributed to the fact that now, all my children are serving the Lord. I praise God and thank Him for His Word, which, as I read it daily, continually helps me in making my faith strong.

Heb 11 1

DAY 2
Proverbs 22:6 ~
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (NLT)

DAY 3
Romans 8:24-25 ~
“We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.                                                                                                                                 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)”

DAY 4
Hebrews 11:1 ~
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (NLT)
Hebrews 11:6 ~
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”

DAY 5
Hebrews chapter 11.

DAY 6
All of Hebrews if you can.

DAY 7
1 John 5:4 ~
“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”

Spending Time With God . . .

DAY 1

Spending time with God is not just attending church on Sunday. In fact, it is far from it. I have my ups and downs when it comes to doing this, because what happens is I start to think of all the other things I could be doing instead. The enemy loves distracting me from time with God. I’ve had great times for weeks at a time, and then weeks or even months of dragging myself through the desert, so parched for lack of time spent with God that it’s ridiculous. But, you know what, God is Good, and He gently steers me back on track, because He knows I have a heart to serve Him and that I want to succeed at doing His Will.

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There are many ways of spending time with God. I believe that it’s not always quantity of time, but quality of time. Praising and worshipping God with my favourite music, reading His Word, listening to a good teaching, going for a walk and quietly praying/appreciating His wonderful creation, or just sitting quietly and listening for what God wants to say to me.

I don’t get to know God unless I spend time with Him, just as in any other relationship.

You may have a very demanding job and find it difficult to set aside time every day ~ you may do shift work ~ you may be a busy mum who has trouble finding any time to herself. Whatever your situation, it is very important that you commit to a time each week if not each day to spend time with God. You may want to do just one of the suggestions above each day, or each second day or incorporate them all into one time set aside each week, it doesn’t matter. God knows your heart and your situation and He will work with you. Really, it only takes a moment to be prayerful or thankful. It’s not quantity, but quality. Getting ready for work, putting your make-up on, driving, sitting on the train or bus, anywhere, anytime.

In “The Purpose Driven Life,” Rick Warren says, “God wants to be our best friend. Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences with Him.”

To do this we need to spend time with Him, not only a weekly appointment as suggested above, but in all we do. Thinking of Him, praying to Him, handing over the cares and worries we may have for the day ahead, thanking Him for the days blessings, praising Him. Walking, shopping, driving, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn, on holiday and even at work. Being mindful of Him in every aspect of our lives.

The little things He does for us each and every day. That’s Friendship.

DAY 2
Psalm 27:4 ~
“The one thing I ask of the Lord, the thing I seek most, is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His temple.”

DAY 3
Psalm 34:1-3 ~
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.”

DAY 4
Psalm 46:10 ~
“Be still and know that I am God!”

DAY 5
1 Corinthians 1:9 ~
“God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

DAY 6
Philippians 3:8 ~
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

DAY 7
Colossians 3:1-4 ~
“Since you have been raised to new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at the place of honour at God’s right hand.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.”

If you can, it’s always worth reading the before and after verses surrounding these scriptures, or the whole chapter. That will give you the whole picture instead of just a piece. Shalom.

Finding My Purpose in Life . . .

DAY 1

I’ve always struggled with what my purpose in life is meant to be. Not that I thought much about it while I was raising my children, but in later years I certainly have wondered what on earth I am called to do for God.

In April 2005 I committed to reading a book that changed my whole perspective on quite a few things. “The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren, showed me these five important things :

I was Planned for God’s Pleasure ~

I was Formed for God’s Family ~

I was Created to Become Like Christ ~

I was Shaped for Serving God ~

I was Made for a Mission.

Now for a person who never was developed in the social aspects of life, and who is very crowd averse, some of these have been very challenging. I’ve always found it hard to meet people and build friendships. So, I have come to a few realizations about who I am and what, I believe, God wants of me.

The very first thing He wants is my WHOLE HEART ~ That’s His Pleasure.                     Then He can begin to show me what He wants for the duration of my life.

He also wants me to WORSHIP with other believers, and get to know them. A big challenge for some of us ~ That’s His Family.

He wants me to READ HIS WORD and learn to emulate His Son. I really enjoy reading my Bible ~ That’s Becoming Like Christ.

He wants me to use the ABILITIES He has given me to help others. This is my way of doing that, by encouraging those around me to look to God ~ by publishing articles about God’s Word on this website, by regularly committing to the Inspirational Calendar I produce each year, to mention a few ~ That’s Serving God.

He wants me to pursue my DESTINY ~ That’s finding my Mission.

So my mission is to ~

Surrender my will to God’s Will ~

Continue to Worship God in Spirit and in Truth ~

Keep reading His Word daily ~

Develop my talents and abilities to use for His Glory.

Jesus Daisies

DAY 2
Psalm 63:3-4 ~ “Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You!
I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer.”

DAY 3
Psalm 149:4 ~ “For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.”

DAY 4
Romans 12:10-18 ~ “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them, pray that God will bless them.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

DAY 5
Ephesians 3:14-19 ~ “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

WANT MORE? ~ Read all of chapter 1

DAY 6
Philippians 1:6 ~ “And I am certain that God, Who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

DAY 7
1 John 1:5 ~ “This is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another.”

 

Rejoice! . . .

DAY 1

Sometimes, the only way I know to get me through the day is to make this confession before I get out of bed : “Good morning, Lord. This is the day that You have made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Thankyou for helping me to do what I have to do today.”

Just as deciding to walk with Jesus is a choice, and of course many things in life are a choice, so too is the decision to rejoice.

For those of us who have a melancholy disposition this choice is an absolute. Some mornings I feel so down that the only way I can get out of bed is to make the decision to, and choose to rejoice in the Lord. David obviously had serious bouts of depression, and he came up out of them every time by praising God. He cried, “But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” I don’t know if anyone has ever praised God as David did.

I love this, “I will bless the Lord who has counselled me, indeed my mind instructs me in the night.” Every night as I go to bed I drift off to sleep with praise music going and am usually asleep long before it finishes. It ministers to me as I sleep. One night, every time I turned over I heard in my head, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.” That was long after my music had stopped. That does not happen to me often, but it blessed me so much I got up in the morning and knew that the Lord was watching over me and helping me each day.

That was a reason to rejoice!

But, as I have said, it is a decision, and if for no other reason than the fact that my name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, because I have chosen to walk with God and His wonderful Son Jesus.

And finally, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-8 to “Rejoice in the Lord always”. He goes on to say to be anxious for nothing, to pray and be thankful, and that the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 118 24

DAY 2
1 Chronicles 16:10 ~ “Exult in His Holy Name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord.”

DAY 3
Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One Who holds my head high.”

Psalm 5:11 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.”

DAY 4
Psalm 16:7 ~ “I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.”

Psalm 118:24 ~ “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

DAY 5
Psalm 121:1-2 ~ “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth.”

Proverbs 17:22 ~ “A happy heart is good medicine, and a joyful mind causes healing.”

DAY 6
Philippians 4:4,8 ~ “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

DAY 7
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Holy Spirit : My Peace, Hope, and Joy . . .

Day 1

I used to be quite a bad-tempered person, particularly in my teenage/young adult years. I’ve slammed doors into the wall so hard, kicked things, or the wall, thrown things so ferociously, that I either made a hole or broke a window. I couldn’t tell you when I realized that my temper had gone, all I know is that when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and received His Peace, Hope and Joy on the inside through baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, I became a new creature.

Having been raised a Catholic, there came a time I really did believe and say the creed from my heart. Then a little while later I got prayed over to receive Jesus into my heart and receive the Holy Spirit. I had never heard anyone speak in tongues before so I respectfully declined that part of the process.

Then, 12-18 months later, 8 months pregnant with my third child, sitting on the end of my bed reading a book on the Holy Spirit by Kenneth Hagin, I got baptised in the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues!

God is so good. He knows the perfect time for each of us to take our next step with Him.

When you decide to ask Jesus to come and live in your heart, take the next step as well, and even if you were baptised as a baby, make the commitment to be baptised in water as a born-again new creation and receive the Holy Spirit along with it.

Each of us, as adults, must make our own personal decision for Christ some time in our lives.

Baptism is the outward witness of the commitment to Jesus that has been made. Going down under the water we die with Him, and then are raised to new life as we come up again.

The day I was baptised was the most exciting day of my Christian life.

What I’m saying is : Holy Spirit gives me power from on high to stick with it when things are tough, and not give up. He brings a peace, hope and joy into my life, even in really bad times, that keeps my faith strong. It’s not by my might that I live each day, but by the power of the Spirit of God.

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DAY 2
Psalm 4:8 ~ “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, do make me to dwell in safety.”

DAY 3
John 14:25-27 ~ But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

DAY 4
Acts 1:8 ~ “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Acts 2:3,4 ~ “And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

DAY 5
Romans 8:9-11 ~ “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
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 indwells you.”

DAY 6
Romans 15:13 ~ “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

DAY 7
Titus 3:4-7 ~ “But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared,
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

WANT MORE ? ~ Try all of Romans chapter 15.

If you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation, and give your heart to Jesus Christ, there is a link at the top of this page.

Also, for an explanation of how to use this devotional, see my earlier blog : Walking with God . . .