What exactly does an obedient Christian life look like? Deuteronomy 28 is a nice long chapter which begins with amazing blessings to those who obey, and hefty punishment for those who do not! Yet among this chapter we find a great Bible principle to live in obedience to Christ. Three important words that can be applied to our daily walk. Hearken. Observe. Do.
Step 1. Hearken
Check out this definition: “To listen; to lend the ear; to attend to what is uttered, with eagerness or curiosity.” Here are just 3 ways this can easily fit into our lives: daily Bible reading, attending a church where God’s Word is taught and we are listening with eagerness and curiosity, and utilizing our technology to listen to God’s Word being read or preached throughout the week.
Step 2. Observe
There are a few definitions of this, but many are closely related to step 3, so let’s look at this one: “To see or behold with some attention; to notice.” This makes me think of not just hearing the Word of God, but really paying attention to it. Are we attending Bible Study, or using a devotional, or really caring about the details of what God has for our lives? Are we happy to just be a church-goer? Or are we living our life fully devoted to following Christ? It is high time we fully commit to following Christ as closely and passionately as we can in these last days. As the world around us grows darker- our lights must shine brighter! Every detail of our life matters.
Step 3. Do
Do we need a definition for this one? When we know what God has for us, we need to take the action step. And to be honest, most things in the Christian walk begin with prayer, because we need God’s strength to even obey Him in the “little” areas. Many things we already KNOW are His will- yet for some reason we stumble and fumble around just not doing it. Do we know we should read the Bible? Yes. Do we know we should pray? Yes. Do we know we should go to church? Yes. Do we know we should share the gospel? Yes. Do we know we should give our time, money, and talents to be used of the Lord? Yes. Do we know our lives should be a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1), we are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27), and we are to be a testimony to this world (Matthew 5:16)? Yes. So let’s do!
I hope you know John 3:16. Truly know it. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God gave us the greatest gift imaginable- and He did it out of love for us. Loving us even while we were yet sinners. Sending Jesus down to pay the penalty and price for our sin. He could have left us condemned- but instead he gave us a Saviour. All we have to do is put our trust in Him, ask Him to forgive our sins and be our Saviour. John 3:16
Jesus went to the cross for us. He was crucified, buried, and rose again. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (vs. 36) Light and darkness. Belief and unbelief. Saved and lost. God has given us such a stark contrast between Light and darkness, the Spirit and the flesh, life and death… yet it seems like our lives are still so full of grey areas? We see such a wonderful gift that God has given us, yet choose to walk in darkness. John 3:19 tell us plainly, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Jesus knows us so well. He explains the reason for this in verse 20. The light shows us our true selves. It reproves us of the wrongs we have done. It doesn’t feel good to be reproved. It can be embarrassing to be corrected. If we have a big dirty stain on our clothes, we definitely do not want anyone to see it! If we can’t change… we try to cover it up! But wait… who says we can’t change?
Once your faith and trust is put in the Lord Jesus Christ- the devil knows he has lost you for eternity. The next best thing he can do is try to win over the rest of your life here on earth. It truly is a battle between Light and darkness. But, Christian, we have God on our side. And God is ready to give you the victory! The best thing any one of us can do is to come closer and closer to the Light! Let God’s Word shine on our lives, clean or dirty. He knows how to get those spots out! If you have a stain of sin on your life today, I challenge you to step into the light. If the devil has been deceiving you and you think you are overcome, there is no hope, no way you can live in righteousness, don’t listen. He is a deceiver. God wants to shine His Light onto your life and make you clean! If you have trusted Christ as your Saviour- don’t be afraid to trust Him with your life!! Do you have questions about salvation? www.needgod.com
I Chronicles 16... David's Psalm
8 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.
10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
23 Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.
24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
28 Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.
29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.
32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
33 Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.
34 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.
...Wow!! So many GREAT reminders to GLORIFY the Lord! I love reading this each morning as a reminder to Glorify God throughout my day. Seek the Lord! Remember all He has done! Sing to Him!! Talk about Him to those around you each day. He is great and deserves our words of praise!
Leave a comment below to share with others which psalms are a blessing to you in your walk with God!!
Scrolling through Facebook I came across an article that caught my attention. Scientists that have studied married couples for 4 decades to figure out why some marriages work while others fall apart (either ending in divorce or living in misery) have come to a conclusion. By scientific, I mean the whole deal: thousands of couples, multitude of researchers, electrodes hooked to the brain kind of science. Guess what they found… couples that are kind to each other are the happiest.
Now, I’m not trying to steal anyone’s thunder here- but have you read your Bible lately? I promise it won’t take you 40 years, doesn’t require a master's’ degree, and you won’t need any electrodes!
We could use many examples, but let's just look at one.
We really could apply this to any relationship. When we live according to God’s Word things work out. Obviously it takes two, and I’m not disputing that. So to clarify, if both parties involved are kind to each other there is a happy marriage, happy siblings, happy in-laws, happy co-workers, happy people in the world. So basically all I am saying is that we could obtain world peace (if every person in it followed God.) But let’s start here: Be ye kind one to another. Commanded in the Bible and proven by science!
I fell in love with this peacemaker bracelet!
Who wants to love life? Sounds good, right? Just like we all have a natural desire to care for ourselves, look out for ourselves, and want the best for ourselves, we also desire to live a happy life. Unfortunately, life is not always a walk in the park. It can come with some pretty harsh blows. So, how can we have a life of peace, joy, and happiness? The answer is found in God's Word. His promises are true and His way is always right. God gives us the formula we need to see good days.
I Peter 3:10 begins, "For he that will love life...." First off, there is a will, a desire, to love life. Do you desire to love life? Have you even realized that God desires for you not only to be His child, but to live according to His will and enjoy the life here on earth that He has blessed you with. God gives us a way to have a life we can truly love! Pay attention: "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it." If you and I want to see "good days" we need to lay out a game plan to make these verses a part of our daily living. We need to get serious about this and see how much we can really love our life!
1. Let him refrain his tongue from evil.
Think of a parent refraining their young one from running into the street, or of a police officer that must refrain a suspect attempting to harm another. These are not just nonchalant casual encounters. This is head to head- do whatever needs to be done- kind of action! We are told here that if we want to love life we need to refrain our tongue! If we consider those things that bring us hardship in almost any relationship, most of them, if not all, can probably be brought back to a tiny little tongue, just doing what it does best! Let's get serious and active about refraining our tongue. This little tongue is no small matter!
2. And his lips that they speak no guile.
More about our mouth! Oh, yes. Something I find very convicting as I read these little passages in my Bible are the absolutes. "No guile." That doesn't leave any wiggle-room! Maybe we think that we are just about as good as we can get, after all, we are only human! But you see- as Christians, we are not only expected to use our mouths to bless those we love, but we are also told to bless our enemies! We are not on this earth to compare ourselves to the one standing next to us, but to Jesus Christ Himself. And chapter two verse 22 says He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to [God.] Is this the pattern we are following?
3. Let him eschew evil.
Here we have an even stronger word than "refrain." It is actually fun to see all the ways different dictionaries explain eschew! Each of them is pretty clear- you are getting away!! // to fight off; renounce; steer clear of; have nothing to do with; shun; to avoid something intentionally; to purposely try to stay away from; to avoid using, accepting, participating in, or partaking of // Do you really want to love life? Hey, it looks to me like we need to be making some serious actions to "eschew" those things contrary to God's will and God's way in our life! I ask each of you to set aside some time today to pray and ask God what evil there is in your life that you need to fight off, renounce, and steer clear of! Remember, there are promises ahead that we can only claim once we have followed His path.
4. And do good.
The Bible tells us to "do good unto all men" (Gal. 6:10) and to "maintain good works" (Titus 3:8,14). It's not just enough to keep the bad out of our life- but we need to fill it with good! Be good to your husband, good to your children, good to your family, friends, church body, neighbors, strangers, and even mean people! Do good. It's not a social gospel- it's God's command for Christians. Yes, we should be good. But being good isn't of much use if we are not doing good.
5. Seek peace, and ensue it.
This world has enough drama. Just don't get involved. You need your sanity. You need your peace of mind. Jesus says in His sermon on the mount "Blessed are the peacemakers." Be a peace maker. Seek it, follow it, make it happen. You will be blessed!! You will find joy in the simple things of life. You will love life and see good days. Take God at His Word and claim those promises that follow. Meditate on His Word and follow Him today!
Live your life God's way- and you will truly LOVE the life you live!
“For by grace are ye saved through faith…” (Ephesians 2:8a)
“But without faith it is impossible to please him…” (Hebrews 11:6a)
The very foundation of our life with Christ is faith. We must have faith. We are saved through faith. We must continue to walk in faith. We should pray, as the disciples did, that the Lord would increase our faith.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 17 that with faith as a grain of mustard seed a mountain could be removed, and again in Luke 17 that with that same faith a sycamine tree would be plucked up by the root and planted in the sea.
Yet I Corinthians 13:2 gets to the heart of the issue. You see, though we need faith to live the Christian life, faith is not enough. Faith without works is dead. I Corinthians 13:2 says that “though I have ALL FAITH, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”
It is easy to get so caught up in our Christian living that we begin to overlook others. We may be keeping our Bible reading schedule on track and showing up for every church ministry- yet not noticing the souls that God has placed along our way. If so, our lives have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) Also, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)
Galatians 6 is so full of advice on how we should treat each other. Paul encourages and admonishes us, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Ephesians 6:9,10)
Charity is having a genuine and sincere concern for others. Genuine. From the heart. Sincere. Without hypocrisy.
And not just concern for “certain” others. God is no respecter of persons.
“Charity suffereth long (longsuffering), and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
That’s a lot to live up to. In fact, I’ll be working on that until Jesus comes! (And I hope you are too.) Because faith without works is dead. You’ve heard the old saying, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care!” It’s true.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Cor. 13:13)
We all know by now that we need to “set a watch” over our mouth and be careful what we say. We ought not to be gossiping, backbiting, and slandering. It doesn’t take long to figure out a person by just listening to what (or who) they talk about. Here is a quick example of a few of the many many verses that warn us against using our words to sow discord:
James 1:26 - If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Proverbs 16:28 - A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Psalms 101:5 - Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
But what if we aren’t the one spreading the gossip? Do we get a free pass to listen to everything going on around us? I mean… the Bible does say we shouldn’t answer a matter before we hear it. So, does that make it right to go around making sure we get the whole story from everyone on every bit of gossip that comes our way? Actually, that just might be wrestling the Scriptures to our own destruction. The Bible contains a severe warning for those listening ears as well.
Yesterday I was made aware of some personal matters that were being discussed about my family. The content really didn’t bother me because I’m not afraid to give the truth and state the facts on what actually happened. It was just a mistake. But what did cause concern was how so many people had no problem discussing our personal matters.
When one dear brother in Christ asked me in sincerity, “Aren’t you concerned about the things being said about you?” I must say I answered quite quickly- and quite frankly. No.
Why not? Because the Bible tells us clearly in Proverbs 17:4 “A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” You see, it takes two to gossip. It takes a talker, and it takes a listener. Be careful if you pride yourself in your ability to hold your tongue and speak few words- people know who the gossipers are… and they know who’s listening!
I am not concerned about my testimony being marred by someone with such a low moral character that they would go about seeking gossip and slander, and you shouldn’t either. You see, following God gives a life of peace. Even when we make mistakes. It’s okay with me to admit that and move on.
If you (like me) often find yourself “out of the loop” as to what the latest gossip is going around, count yourself blessed that the gossipers know that you are not a good listener!!
Can you imagine if someone said to you, “You can’t serve the Lord!”
I can just hear all of the arguments that would start!!
“Of course I can!”
“No one can stop me from serving God!”
“I will keep serving Him no matter what!!”
Yet that is exactly what Joshua said to the Hebrew people after that famous challenge: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Oh yes, they made a great claim! “God forbid that we should forsake the Lord!” I mean, if you had a choice, wouldn’t you choose to serve the true God? ...Wouldn’t we all?
But there was something else… a matter of the heart. We can claim all we want that we have given God our lives and we are following Him alone, yet our actions (inside and out) speak louder than our words. Joshua wasn’t so quick to accept their choice, but followed it up with a pretty harsh challenge. “Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”
God sees past our words. God sees our heart. God sees our desires and our motives. He sees our pride, our self will, our true intentions.
The people in Joshua 24 insisted that they did choose to serve God, so Joshua gives them a challenge: “Put away the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel.”
It is good to honor God, to speak of God, to proclaim God’s goodness with our words, but if we have not inclined our heart towards Him, it is all in vain. God is a jealous God. He doesn’t just want us to fill our seat in the pew on Sunday. He wants our hearts towards Him alone. Jesus says the hypocrites “draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
When you make a choice to serve God and Him alone it is noticeable. We don’t just choose God and still keep everything else we want in this life. There are some things we must “put away” as we incline our hearts unto the Lord! God knows the difference between heartfelt repentance and alligator tears!
Next time you see the phrase “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” take a look at your life. When God looks at your heart what does He see?
Peer pressure. It can come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes we don’t even recognize it. Have you ever felt a little out of the loop, like you were the last one on earth to know about the latest fashion, trend, movie, song, or that video that just went viral. It’s definitely awkward when you’re with a group of people and all of a sudden you’re feeling like a middle-schooler hanging out in the teen group- just totally clueless as to what is going on around you. But let me cue you in on a little secret… it’s okay to not be fully informed on everything in the world today. If you haven’t noticed, our world is getting dirtier and shifting further from God each day. It’s pretty much on the fast track to hell, and if you have taken the opportunity to get off the devil’s ride and trust Jesus as your Saviour, there is no reason to keep standing in line to see what the world still has to offer. It will only bring destruction upon the life God has for you. Romans 16:19 says “I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” It’s easy to question “am I too naive?” We can easily convince ourselves that everyone else knows what is going on and before long the thought sinks in… Just Google It!
Way back as a teenager, before the cell phone/ internet is everywhere years, I made a personal decision not to watch things that did not line up with the way I should be living. I noticed a struggle within my mind. I knew it was wrong to watch most of the movies coming out and I wanted to abstain from evil, yet with all of the advertising, reviews, and big flashing signs there was a desire to see them, which caused a struggle to do what is right. A very simple decision made this struggle to keep my mind pure so much easier. >>Don’t read the movie signs. Don’t look at the entertainment page in the newspaper. If I pass an advertisement- just ignore it. ...So instead of inserting those worldly images into my mind and then struggling to keep my mind pure, I moved my focus to keeping out the thoughts and images in the first place. Still a short-term struggle, but I soon realized keeping my life pure was so much easier when I put some extra effort into keeping my mind pure.
Forward to 2016 where we are all just a tap away from everything… and I mean too much of everything! Instead of asking, “Should I learn about this?” we are saying, “Should I use Google or Bing?” In seconds or less we have a list of web, image, and video results to anything we type or speak into a search bar. It might be a phrase we heard but don’t know the meaning to, an acronym, or a person on the news. The truth is… some things we don’t need to know. And many things we really don’t want to know! It’s pretty easy to look up something out of curiosity only to find more than we were expecting. (I am thankful for the filters and safety nets we have online, but that’s not the point I’m referring to here.) We need to be careful about how quick we can be to search something instead of first seek God’s will in our life to live pure. We are unknowingly choosing to make the Christian walk such an uphill battle when we fill our minds with so much of this world.
We want the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, yet according to Ephesians 5:9 “the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,” not in the “filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting” (Eph. 5:4) of this world. Goodness. Righteousness. Truth. That is what we should be seeking. That is what we should be looking for, focusing on, learning about. That is what should fill our lives. The Bible tells us “it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Eph. 5:12) Christian, please, guard your mind. Set up boundaries for how you are going to live and stand strong! Plan ahead so you know how you will handle the temptation to fit in with the crowd. Be able to look at the crowd and see if the way they are going is towards the Lord, or are they standing in line going the way of this world. Read carefully through Ephesians 4 and 5 and see how God has made a change in the lives of His children. We are to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” (Eph. 4:22,23) The cleaner you keep your mind, the easier it will be to follow Christ from a pure heart, meditate upon His Word, and most importantly HEAR what the Spirit is speaking to you!
Our family uses Covenant Eyes on all of our internet browsers.
What do you use to keep yourself & your family safe online?
We have been blessed with a busy summer around here! I would love to blog more, but as the mother of 5 and a pastor’s wife I have decided to keep the blogging on the lower portion of my priority list. As a result, I have a whole list of things I would like to sit and write about! (Yes, I’m keeping a list!) But today, I sat in on the last service for teen camp. It truly blessed my heart, and our oldest daughter assured me that every service this week has been just as good. I would like to share some of the Scriptures, along with the preacher’s three points, and hope that it is a blessing to you as well. If you’d like to hear the sermon for yourself just click or tap here to open the camp’s sermon page. It Is TIME to Trust God!
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The Command “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;” Psalms 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth
his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
Psalms 4:5 “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.” The Caution “lean not unto thine own understanding.” Psalms 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man,
in whom there is no help.”
Isaiah 5:21 “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent
in their own sight!”
Proverbs 28:26 “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely,
he shall be delivered.” The Covenant (Promise) “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 16:20 “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth
in the LORD, happy is he.”
Psalms 40:4 “Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust,
Psalms 34:8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Final Thoughts: God’s way is always the BEST way. Psalms 9:10“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou,
LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”
Psalms 37:5“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to pass.” Thank you Bro. Brubaker for this great challenge!! May God bless all of you serving the Lord and being such an example at Servant’s Heart Camp!