Honouring My Parents . . .

Jer 29 11 (3)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your Father and Mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3)

This is the fifth commandment, repeated here in the new Testament.

There have been many times over the years that I have resented many things that my parents either did, or did not do, in regards to my upbringing. I was a very emotionally charged teenager who was never given any purpose or direction in regard to my life. So I developed into a very emotionally charged adult who spent quite a few years blaming my parents for everything. That is, until one day God showed me that I was wrong to be blaming everything that had happened to me over the years on my parents and others.

Many of us do this, sometimes for our whole lives, without ever owning responsibility as adults for the fact that we can, if we really want to, make changes to our generational inheritances of all the things that went wrong. The bad things that happened, or the opportunities that I missed, cannot be rectified, but God can certainly help to turn my life around. It’s up to me to make the effort, with God’s help, to change.

What my parents did or did not do is determined pretty much by the fact that they were raised by imperfect parents also. When I became a parent, and particularly of teenagers, my whole perspective changed. My parents, I realised, did the best for me, and my sisters, with the education and resources that they had. Amazingly, in fact, when I really take time to think about it. I respect and honour my parents for their input into my life, and thank God for them.

Some scriptures pertaining to this article ~                                                                           Exodus 20:12 ~ Proverbs 1:8,9 ~ Proverbs 6:20,21 ~ Proverbs 20:20 ~ Proverbs 23:22,25 ~ Ephesians 6:1-3 ~ Colossians 3:20

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There is however, the suffering experienced under abusive parents, which I can only imagine would deem respect pretty much impossible. All I can say is that forgiveness, and holding them up in prayer, and fighting in the spirit for their souls, would be the greatest honour that could be shown for them.

Matthew 5:43-48 ~ Matthew 6:14-15 ~ Matthew 7:7-8 ~ Matthew 7:12 ~ John 3:16 ~ Ephesians chapter 6

God Bless You ~ Check out joycemeyer.org

Keeping Holy the Sabbath . . .

The Sabbath is God’s gift to us. He knows that taking a day off is so much against our desires, He has made it a rule.

Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy, is the fourth Commandment. Sabbath means : to cease, desist, a cessation from activity.

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In his book Ten, Laws of Love Set in Stone, J. John says that “When we refuse to co-operate with God’s laws for our body’s proper maintenance, we run an increasing risk of malfunction. God tells us that He worked in creating the universe on a daily basis and that He Himself rested at the end of His efforts.

Resting one day in every seven has therefore the highest endorsement possible : it comes from our creator Himself.”

Now  we  may say  that  this  is easier said than done because  there  are  several  professions that must work on a Sunday. Those in the medical professions, in the emergency services, in charge of public utilities, and of course church staff.

If this is the case, and Sunday is a working day for you, it is very important that you take another day off during the week. Regularly, the same day, if possible. The important thing is that we need to make sure we have a regular weekly break, whether on a Saturday, Sunday or some other day.

J. John also says that “Taking a day of rest also makes a statement about who we are and who runs our lives. It deliberately dethrones work from being central to our existence. The issue that this Commandment addresses is a fundamental one : Who controls our time? By keeping God’s day of rest we proclaim to ourselves, and to the world, that God runs our lives. If He is Lord, He is Lord of our time.”

Ideally, if we could all make the same day our day of rest, we could all rejuvenate together, coming together as well to praise our Lord in Sunday worship and fellowship.

For one day in the week, the Sabbath reminds us that we are dispensable to work  and  the  world, but not  to our families, our community and  our God.

 Some Scriptures pertaining to this article ~ Exodus 20:8-11/Isaiah 58:13-14

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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

No other gods . . .

DAY 1

The very first statement God made even before He began to give Moses the Commandments, was ~ I am the Lord your God.

God delivered the Hebrews from Egypt and looked after them with miracle after miracle in the wilderness. He demanded and deserved their worship. Today, many of us who may not be of the seed of Abraham physically, are certainly joined in covenant with him in the Spirit, by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament call for obedience by keeping the Commandments, was summarised by Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40 when He said to Love your neighbour as yourself which pretty much sums up the last six of the Commandments.

The first four are in reference to God and what He expects of us, if we profess Him to be our God, and our Lord and Saviour. The first Commandment concerns the object of our worship, Jehovah, and Him only ~ You shall have no other gods before Me.

Matthew Henry says of this first command, “The sin against this Commandment which we are most in danger of, is giving glory and honour to any creature, which is due to God only . . . whatever is esteemed or loved, feared or served, delighted in or depended upon, more than God, we do in effect make a god. In the last words,  before me, it is intimated that ~

1. We cannot have any other god but He will certainly know it.
2. That it is a sin that dares Him to His face, which He cannot, He will not, overlook.

Halley’s Bible says, “In founding the Hebrew Nation, God’s ultimate object was to bring Christ into the world.” And also that, “His immediate object was to establish, in a world of idolatry, as a background to the coming of Christ, the idea that there is One, True, Living God.”

Much of my life has been fraught with many other gods that I have come to realize took the place of My Father in Heaven. Since beginning my walk with Him through reading His word I have come to a place in my life where I no longer want anything at all to stand between me and God.

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DAY 2
Exodus 20:3 ~
“You must not have any other god but Me.”                                                            Deuteronomy 32:47 ~
“These instructions are not empty words-they are your life!”

DAY 3
Psalm 115:1-8 ~
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory for Your unfailing love and faithfulness.
Why let the nations say, Where is their God?
Our God is in the heavens, and He does as He wishes.
Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell.
They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound.
And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.”

DAY 4
Isaiah 43:11 ~
“I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other saviour.”

DAY 5
Matthew 22:37-40 ~
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself.
The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

DAY 6
1 Corinthians 8:5-6 ~
“There may be so-called gods in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords.
But for us, there is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live.”

DAY 7
2 Corinthians 6:16 ~
”And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

Salvation is knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour. When we die we live on forever. We either live forever in darkness separated from God the Father of Light, or we live forever in His Kingdom of light and wonder and everlasting joy.

Our decision for Christ or against Christ determines our destination. This is not to scare you, but to bring you to a place of deep thought about who you are and what you truly believe. Do you think there should be more to this life than you feel you are getting? If so, please click here.

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.

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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.