The Sin of Murder . . .

He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him ~ 1 John 3:14,15.

This is the sixth commandment : You shall not murder.

Make what Jesus has done

There was a time in my teens and young adulthood that my hatred of my grandmother went so far as to want to get rid of her. She was a nasty and bitter old woman who lived with us and drove me crazy. It was very sad. But when I got born again, I began to pray for her. By this stage I was married. I heard a preacher talking about his experience of bringing a senile aged relative to the Lord. I was encouraged and inspired. I continued to pray for my grandmother and I sent her a letter to apologise for my part in our differences and I told her Jesus loved her. My mum read it to her but didn’t know if she even understood.

It was coming up to Christmas, so I decided that when we arrived at mum and dad’s place on Christmas day, the first thing I was going to do was go and pray with my grandmother. I had been praying that God would open up a moment of clarity so that her spirit would understand and receive Him.

At this point in time she was not going well and was bed-ridden. I read the prayer for salvation line by line and waited for her to repeat each one and as she did I went on to the next line until we had said the whole prayer. I left her to rest, believing by faith that she had received something.

A little while after Christmas my sister was sitting singing praise songs to her and she responded by singing with her!

Now you had to know my grandmother to appreciate the fact that God had moved in a big way and this was a definite confirmation of her salvation!

I was so thankful to God for His mercy and grace, poured out over a bitter old woman who had not been raised knowing Him, but who had now been saved by grace.

And by faith and a choice to not hate and resent any longer, but to love.

Some scriptures pertaining to this article ~                                                                         Exodus 20:13 ~ Matthew 5:43-47 ~ Luke 6:27-38 ~ Romans 12:10-21 ~ Galatians 5:14-16 ~ 1 John 3:14,15 ~ All 1 John ~ 2 John 5,6

What Comes Out of My Mouth . . .

You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name  ~ Exodus 20:7 (NLT)

Of all the things I have struggled to change in my life, this has been the most difficult! Giving up smoking and losing weight were a breeze compared to changing my bad mouthed habits. It becomes so  habitual to exclaim words one shouldn’t be saying  whenever frustrated or angry, although I have never blasphemed. Over the years I have hurt people, my family especially by shouting some expletive at them. Even when I love the Lord and so want to change my ways, sometimes it is like fighting a losing battle.

Praise 1

There are many bible verses I have known for years that talk about what comes out of my mouth, but  trying, just in my own strength, to change what  I  say  has  been  almost  futile. 

In  the  gospel  of  Matthew   12:34-35, Jesus says that “…the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good…”

This week I want to focus on the third Commandment, which is, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Matthew Henry says that we take the Lord’s Name in vain by ~

  1. Declaring Him as our Lord, but we do not depart from iniquity.
  2. Making promises to God, and then breaking them.
  3. Swearing and using God’s name as a by-word, to no good purpose at all.

The third Commandment basically, concerns insulting God with what comes out of my heart, because if I have confessed Him as my Lord and Saviour, then He lives in my heart and I should be making every effort to dispense with my fleshly desires and be  working toward having The Mind of Christ.

I change what is in my heart by ~

  1. Training my body to walk in the Spirit, by :
  2. Reading the Word regularly and allowing it to change me, therefore :
  3. Taking back the territory of my own mind and actively renewing it, so that God can train me to win.
  4. Worshipping God daily.

If there’s one thing I have learnt over the years, it’s that I cannot make these changes by myself, just trying, trying every day. I need to lean on the Lord, give it all to Him, and let Him change me. Knowing WHO I AM in Christ by observing the above four daily habits. 

Some Scriptures pertaining to this article ~ Psalm 19:14/Proverbs 23:15-16/Matthew 12:34-37/Romans 12:12/Ephesians 4:29/Ephesians 5:4/James 3:7-10

 

 

 

 

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.

Salvation 7

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.”