Abide in Me

MAY 5, 2019 | CHRISTIAN MOM

 

Before 2018 ended, we went up to the Cloud of Glory Prayer Mountain in Lilo-an Cebu. It is a place where our church built for us to get away from the hussle of life in the city and seek the face of God.

For the past two years I have asked the Lord for His one word for me every year. Or should I say, my spiritual theme for the year. This year, God’s one word for me was REMAIN. In another translation from the Bible – ABIDE.

While browsing through my online notebook, I came across with one of the exhortations I made last 2017. I may have written this two years ago but this is a good reminder for me this 2019 and for the rest of my life.

In John 15:1 Jesus declared, “I Am the True Vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” , This was the last of the seven “I Am” declarations of Jesus recorded in the Book of John. This was His last message to His disciples before His pending crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension. Knowing that His temporal leaving bothered His disciples, Jesus encouraged them with this beautiful metaphor as the True Vine Himself and God the Vinedresser.

The vine gives us a picture of a close, permanent and vital union with it’s branches. It is symbolic of entirely belonging to the vine. Jesus was saying “You are entirely Mine and I am all you need.” Jesus was saying although I will be physically away, I will continue to nourish, support, and sustain you like a vine sustaining and nourishing it’s own branches as long as it is attached to the Vine, as long as they abide in Christ.

John 15:5 says I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

This message goes out not only for the disciples but for every believer of Christ. We are to attach, depend, rely, abide in the True Vine Jesus Christ.

The word abide has been repeated 10x in the first 10 verses of Chapter 15. Jesus emphasized our need to abide in Him.

The word abide in the Greek means “we make our home in.” Abiding in Christ is much more than just being beside Him, it is making our home in Christ. Making our home is His love. And when we make Christ our home, we will see Him in all His beauty, stand in awe of His greatness, glory in His power and experience His strength.

Let it be that we make our home in no one else but Christ. He is the True Vine. He is all that we need. And much more let it be that He is all that we desire and want.

Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.

Love,

Christian Mom

Abide in Me

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Mother’s Day Encouragement: God’s Guidance for Happy, Respectful, Obedient Children

By Larry Tomczak – May 12, 2019

 

I heard a man of God rehearsing his upbringing when he inserted the following, evoking a hearty laugh from the audience:

“People ask me in my mischievous childhood if I ever got spankings? I surprise them when I say I was never spanked. But I sure got some ‘wuppins!’”

Enjoying Turner Classic movies and reruns of wholesome family shows like Andy Griffith or Lassie, an occasional spanking for little children was just the norm when they persistently misbehaved. A little protoplasmic stimulation to the backside of learning got a wayward child back on track with a lesson learned.

Celebrating Mother’s Day brings  pleasant memories for moms along with some persistent questions like the appropriateness of spanking in our hyper politically correct culture.

Years ago I authored a book now titled, “The Little Handbook of Loving Correction.” It was formerly called, “God, the Rod and Your Child’s Bod” but I changed it out of cultural sensitivity.

For every wonderful mother in America struggling with this nagging issue, receive this biblically informed reassurance as a gift. May it bring peace from alignment with God’s plan for raising happy, respectful and obedient children.

Realism in Raising Kids

Raising children requires a realistic perspective on our inherited sinful nature and a rejection of the “inherent goodness of man.” Adam rebelled and all of us have ratified that rebellion because of our inherited sin nature.

We don’t have to teach children to be selfish, lie, hit their siblings, steal or pout when they don’t get their way.  We do have to train them to learn to control themselves and do what is pleasing to God.

Don’t you just love it when parenting “experts” expound their views on TV in their world of Utopia? A couple living together with no children confidently shares their “wisdom” philosophy about raising their future children by simply reasoning with them, calmly affirming them and ignoring clear cut disobedience as “a stage they’ll grow out of.”

Yeah, right. Wait ’till they confront strong-willed little Grayson in all his glorious defiance one day! This is why seasoned veterans wince at this idealism and understand bumper stickers reading:

“Insanity is inherited. You get it from your children.”

Going God’s Way

Better to approach parenting God’s way and embrace the truth that appears on a plaque we had in our home:

“It is better to build children than to repair men.”

If you permit a child to nurture destructive habits, which they will one day be forced (with greater difficulty) to break, you are living beneath the revealed will of God concerning your role as a parent.

There is a difference between abusing a child and lovingly, responsibly disciplining him. Children know the difference between an objective spanking ministered in love and a smacking springing from pent up anger.

  • “Correct your son, and he shall give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Pr. 29:17).
  • “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Pr. 22:15).
  • “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame” (Pr. 29:15).
  • “Do not withhold correction from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and deliver his soul from death” (Pr. 23:13).
  • “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Pr. 22:6).

God’s method for curbing harmful attitudes and nurturing healthy ones in young children is not parents going ballistic, threatening, screaming, hauling off in anger, or tuning out destructive conduct, bribing with candy or by banishment to a room to brood and fester in resentment.

Loving correction, which includes spanking at times, is an expression of love! Though not literally, have you ever experienced a “spanking” from the Lord for persistent, ungodly conduct?

“My son, do not despise discipline from the Lord nor grow weary when you are rebuked by Him for whom the Lord loves He disciplines” (Heb. 12:5-6).

Loving, Legal and Logical

Research reveals that in America up to 85% acknowledge they’ve used corporal punishment. Every state in America allows corporal punishment of children.

Due to disciplinary problems in schools many are reevaluating their policies like the Arlington school district outside Memphis, Tennessee. They voted to reinstate corporal punishment saying:

“Teachers need all tools possible.”

Former NBA superstar, Charles Barkley, has joked:

“If corporal punishment is a crime, then every black parent in the South is going to be put in jail!”

10 Essentials of Loving Correction

May this acrostic for CORRECTION reinforce the “basics.”

  1.  CLARITY: Loving correction always begins by clearly defining and communicating reasonable boundaries before they are enforced.
  2.  OBEDIENCE: Spankings can occur if there’s persistent, deliberate disobedience. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Eph. 6:1).
  3.  RIGHT ATTITUDES: We are to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps.100:2), so persistent whining and complaining have to be addressed.
  4.  RESTORATION: Embracing and reassuring a child afterwards enables us to avoid leaving them feeling guilty or rejected.
  5.  EXPLANATION: Taking time to explain the offense as well as enabling the parent to calm down (if needed), makes this essential.
  6. CONSISTENCY: Loving correction requires an investment and persevering commitment… “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him dearly” (Pr. 13:24).
  7. THOROUGHNESS: Shaping the will without breaking the spirit requires being authoritative not authoritarian so the child experiences some pain, versus simple “love pats.” “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Pr. 19:18 KJV). “Now no discipline seems to be joyful at the time, but grievous, yet afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11).
  8.  IMMEDIATELY: With exceptions, loving correction should be given in the moment not “when daddy comes home” hours later. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed swiftly, the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11).
  9.  OUT-OF-SIGHT: Discipline is administered in private so as to not humiliate or embarrass a child.
  10.  NEUTRAL OBJECT:  Scripture states a “rod (a small, flexible branch) of correction” not a hairbrush or the nearest object. Hands should be instruments expressing affection and tenderness; we don’t want children flinching or retreating when a hand is raised.

A closing question:

“Where is the rod administered?”

God in His wisdom prepared a strategic place on the anatomy of our toddlers and children which has ample cushiony, fatty tissue and sensitive nerve endings to respond to Spirit-led stings. “Fannies” are gifts from God! In 47 years of ministry, I’ve discovered that all children come equipped with one!

“On the lips of him who has understanding wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense” (Pr. 10:13).

Here’s the deal: Scripture tells us:

“reproofs of instruction are the way to life” (Pr. 6:23).

May this Mother’s Day gift of God’s timeless wisdom educate and encourage moms across America. God’s ways are always best when carried out consistently and in faith for His glory.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Original here

VIDEO 8 Moms in the Bible Who Served God Well

 

Eight mothers in the Bible played key roles in the coming of Jesus Christ. None of them was perfect, yet each showed strong faith in God. God, in turn, rewarded them for their confidence in him.

These mothers lived in an age when women were often treated as second-class citizens, yet God appreciated their true worth, just as he does today. Motherhoodis one of life’s highest callings. Learn how these eight mothers in the Bible put their hope in the God of the Impossible, and how he proved that such hope is always well-placed.

Eve – Mother of All the Living

Adam and Eve
God’s Curse by James Tissot. SuperStock / Getty Images

Eve was the first woman and the first mother. Without a single role model or mentor, she paved the maternal way to become “Mother of All the Living.” She and her mate Adam lived in Paradise, but they spoiled it by listening to Satan instead of God. Eve suffered terrible grief when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel, yet despite these tragedies, Eve went on to fulfill her part in God’s plan of populating the Earth.

Sarah – Wife of Abraham

Sarah
Sarah overhears the three visitors confirming she will have a son. Culture Club / Contributor / Getty Images

Sarah was one of the most important women in the Bible. She was the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. Yet Sarah was barren. She conceived through a miracle in spite of her old age. Sarah was a good wife, a loyal helper and builder with Abraham. Her faith serves as a shining example for every person who has to wait on God to act.

Rebekah – Wife of Isaac

Rebekah
Rebekah pours water while Jacob’s servant Eliezer looks on. Getty Images

Rebekah, like her mother-in-law Sarah, was barren. When her husband Isaacprayed for her, God opened Rebekah’s womb and she conceived and gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob. During an age when women were typically submissive, Rebekah was quite assertive. At times Rebekah took matters into her own hands. Sometimes that worked out, but it also resulted in disastrous consequences.

Jochebed – Mother of Moses

Jochebed and Baby Moses
Public Domain

Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible, yet she also showed tremendous faith in God. To avoid the mass slaughter of Hebrew boys, she set her baby adrift in the Nile River, hoping someone would find him and raise him. God so worked that her baby was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed even became her own son’s nurse. God used Moses mightily, to free the Hebrew people from their 400 year, bondage of slavery and take them to the Promised Land. Although little is written about Jochebed in the Bible, her story speaks powerfully to mothers of today.

Hannah – Mother of Samuel the Prophet

Hannah840x616.jpg
Hannah presents her son Samuel to the priest Eli. Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (circa 1665). Public Domain

Hannah’s story is one of the most touching in the entire Bible. Like several other mothers in the Bible, she knew what it meant to suffer long years of barrenness. In Hannah’s case she was cruelly taunted by her husband’s other wife. But Hannah never gave up on God. Finally, her heartfelt prayers were answered. She gave birth to a son, Samuel, then did something entirely selfless to honor her promise to God. God favored Hannah with five more children, bringing great blessing to her life.

Bathsheba – Wife of David

Bathsheba640x400.jpg
Bathsheba oil painting on canvas by Willem Drost (1654). Public Domain

Bathsheba was the object of King David‘s lust. David even arranged to have her husband Uriah the Hittite killed to get him out of the way. God was so displeased with David’s actions that he struck dead the baby from that union. In spite of heartbreaking circumstances, Bathsheba remained loyal to David. Their next son, Solomon, was loved by God and grew up to become Israel’s greatest king. From David’s line would come to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. And Bathsheba would have the distinguished honor of being one of only five women listed in Messiah’s ancestry.

Elizabeth – Mother of John the Baptist

Elizabeth - Mother of John the Baptist
The Visitation by Carl Heinrich Bloch. SuperStock / Getty Images

Barren in her old age, Elizabeth was another of the miracle mothers in the Bible. She conceived and gave birth to a son. She and her husband named him John, as an angel had instructed. Like Hannah before her, she dedicated her son to God, and like Hannah’s son, he also became a great prophetJohn the Baptist. Elizabeth’s joy was complete when her relative Mary visited her, pregnant with the future Savior of the World.

Mary – Mother of Jesus

MaryMotherOfJesus.jpg
Mary the Mother of Jesus; Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (1640-1650). Public Domain

Mary was the most honored mother in the Bible, the human mother of Jesus, who saved the world from its sins. Although she was only a young, humble peasant, Mary accepted God’s will for her life. She suffered enormous shame and pain, yet never doubted her Son for a moment. Mary stands as highly favored by God, a shining example of obedience and submission to the Father’s will.

Watch Now: Learn About Mary, the Mother of Jesus


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What Did Mary Know? (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur


 

VIDEO Father Launches Fundraiser After PA State Rep. Harasses His Pro-Life Wife, Daughters

May 7, 2019  By Alex Madajian

State Rep. Brian Sims (D)
(Facebook)

(CNSNews.com) — After [hate filled]  openly gay Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims (D-District 182) publicly filmed, harassed, and sought to “dox” a mother and three daughters who were praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility, the father of the three girls launched a GoFundMe page to support the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.

The gofundme.com page reads, “State Rep. Brian Sims tried to Harass and Dox my Daughters. He Offered $100. Let’s Donate $100,000 to the Pro-Life Movement Instead.”

“On Holy Thursday (April 18, 2019) my wife, two teenage daughters, and their friend were peacefully praying outside of a Planned Parenthood in Center City Philadelphia when a man started yelling at them,” reads the fundraiser. “[A]fter ranting at them for several minutes, he left, and returned with his cell phone to record the above video.

“It turns out that the man is an elected official,” states the page. “Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims. In his video, later posted on Twitter, Rep. Sims not only attempts to shame them for praying for the unborn babies facing abortion, but offers viewers $100 if they will identify the teen girls in the video.”

“It’s bad enough that a grown man would be trying to dox three teenage girls,” reads the page. “It’s even worse that he is an elected official. I’ve got two responses to these despicable actions by ‘Representative’ Sims:

“First, Brian, if you have a problem with my wife and daughters praying outside of an abortion clinic, you can come and see me.

“It seems like you like to pick on women, teenagers, and senior citizens (see him harass a senior citizen who was praying by clicking here ). That’s shameful, and unacceptable.”

(Twitter.)

“Second, I have a challenge for the pro-life community,” reads the fundraising page. “Rep. Sims offered $100 to anyone who would identify these teenage girls for him. Instead of $100, let’s join together to donate $100,000 to the pro-life movement.”

So far, in a little over 11 hours, the fundraiser has generated more than $5,500.

During the video made by Sims, he says to the mother and the teenage girls, “Hi everyone! Representative Brian Sims here. And I am outside the Planned Parenthood in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Oh no, they’re leaving now. What we’ve got here is a bunch of protesters. Bunch of pseudo-Christian protesters who have been out here shaming young girls for being here. And so here’s the deal. I’ve got a $100 to anyone who will identify any of these three [teen girls].”

(Twitter.)

The mother then interjects, “Hi — we’re actually just praying for babies, and we believe women deserve more.”

Talking over the mother, Sims says, “But I’m going to donate to Planned Parenthood. So look, a bunch of white people standing out in front of a Planned Parenthood shaming people.”

“There’s nothing Christian about what you’re doing,” says Sims. “Nothing Christian at all about what you’re doing. Nothing Christian, or loving, or godly about what you’re doing. So I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify who this [is].”

Sims then points his phone at a young man who is standing on the sidewalk and says, “See if you’ve got some friends out here, a $100, it would be easy if you gave me your name an address.”

The man responded with his name and address. Sims shot back without giving him the $100: “What makes you think that it’s your job to tell women what’s right for their bodies? And the truth is I’m not really asking ’cause I don’t care. Shame on you.”

Pennsylvania’s State Rep. Brian Sims (D) sends a visual
message to Vice President Mike Pence. (Twitter)

Sims apparently did not pay the young man the $100 as promised.

Sims then walked away from the man and towards the clinic. “Guys, Planned Parenthood out here faces attacks daily from people like this, from pseudo-Christians saying that they are here to somehow protect their own version of Christianity,” he states. “Do me a favor, if you’ve watched this, please consider giving $100 to Planned Parenthood, I’m going to do the same.”

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/alex-madajian/father-launches-fundraiser-after-pa-state-rep-harasses-his-pro-life-wife


Exodus 14:13,14
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever…

2 Chronicles 20:15

This is what the LORD says: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

The Fresh Start Effect

Rebooting Your Spiritual Walk

March 1, 2017 By In Touch Ministries Staff

 

If you’ve ever been to the gym at the new year (or even on a Monday), you’ll notice it’s a bit more crowded than usual. Whatever cookies one indulged in—or 5:00 a.m. exercise classes were missed—they are long forgotten. It’s a new day, and everyone has a bolstered sense of motivation and purpose.

Psychologists have coined a term for this and other similar “get ’er done” moments of inspiration. They call it the “fresh-start effect.” It’s the notation that we all have a way of making progress toward our goals during transitional time periods, like from an old year to a new one. Even simply returning to a task after taking time off from it can give us renewed energy to do what we couldn’t seem to muster the strength to do before.

From the creation of the world to the final promises of a new heaven and earth, the Bible is full of stories of—and encouragement to observe—new beginnings. Jeremiah wrote about the Lord’s mercies being new each morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Paul instructs us to forget what lies behind and to reach forward to what lies ahead (Phil. 3:13). And Jesus Himself often said things like, “I don’t condemn you for your past. Go and sin no more” (paraphrased, John 8:11).

God is constantly providing opportunities for us to have a clean slate, the ultimate fresh start being when He sent His Son to die on the cross to give us the gift of a new spiritual life. It was a do-over of epic proportions. And when we accept His salvation, He makes us into new creations. “The old things [pass] away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

But the fresh start doesn’t end there. As new creations, we can begin each day by dying to our past selves and embracing the present opportunity to live in Christ (Rom. 12:1-2). At any moment, we can renew our minds by remembering what Christ has done for us and given to us. We can be freed from the burdens of yesterday and embrace the newness of life God gives us.

Do you need a fresh start with God? Let today be a new day of reconciliation with your heavenly Father. Ask Him for forgiveness and thank Him for the gift of new life. Start reading His Word again. Resolve to follow His will for your life. Today is a new day. And through Christ, you can do it!

Reignite your spiritual walk with a copy of “Cross and Crown: Scripture and Pastoral Reflections on Easter.”

 

https://www.intouch.org/read/blog/the-fresh-start-effect

Reputation Or Foundation ???

April 22, 2019

 

If life is likened to a rope, human life is like a rope that’s not visible where the ends are. We know when it has started, we also know how long it has been done, but we don’t know when it will arrive at the end node. How much time we have left cannot be measured by how long it has taken, because each person has a different length of rope. To be sure, everyone only has one chance to live life in this world.

Now let’s pause from all the busyness to reflect on the life we have been through. Some of us have gone through it for decades, some may have been a dozen years. What kind of life have we lived? What kind of deep impressions and images are captured by others about us? Have all of our behaviors built a good or bad reputation? Has our reputation been established on a solid foundation? If in a moment we are faced with a choice between reputation or foundation, which one will we prioritize? Do we attach importance to displaying a glorious reputation or prefer to build the right foundation even though for a moment we seem to lose our reputation ??

Saul: Concerning the Image in the Human Eye

In 1 Samuel 9-10 Saul was anointed as king by Samuel. The people exclaimed “Live the king” cheering him because they were happy to have a king for the first time. Even the valiant men followed Saul because their hearts were touched by God. However, in the midst of the respect he received there was a group of people who doubted and even insulted him. Saul’s reaction to this matter is really interesting: But Saul kept silent.” (1 Sam. 10: 27 NIV)  It seems that Saul didn’t care, but apparently it hurt him. This can be seen from the decisions that show how much Saul thirst for recognition and respect from others.

One of the events that clearly shows how people’s recognition and respect is very important to Saul is when Israel fought against the Philistine forces: Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. . . .  Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. (1 Samuel 13: 3-7 NIV)

Jonathan fought and defeated the Philistine army but Saul made it in the eyes of the people as if he had defeated the Philistines. Saul’s goal was for the people who were afraid of the retaliation from the Philistines to become dependent on him. Until this stage the goal seemed successful. Saul went to Gilgal according to Samuel’s instructions and the people followed him. But that didn’t last long. The people who followed him began to leave because Samuel had not arrived yet, while the Philistine army was ready to attack.

Knowing that he had begun to lose control of the people, Saul decided to take a shortcut by offering burnt sacrifices without waiting for Samuel. This is a violation because Samuel clearly ordered Saul to wait (1 Samuel 10: 8). When Samuel rebuked his folly, Saul made the excuse: “When I saw that the people were scattered from me . . . .” (1 Sam. 13: 11 )  For the sake of not being abandoned by his people, Saul chose to violate God’s decree.

What happened next further reinforced the tendency of Saul’s heart which emphasized reputation rather than obedience to God, namely when Saul was ordered to crush Amalek. Since Israel was still in the wilderness, in Exodus 17: 14 the Lord commanded them to crush the Amalekites to extinction because of their wickedness. This command was further confirmed by Moses in Deuteronomy 25: 19. Then Samuel commissioned Saul to carry out the Lord’s command (1 Sam. 15: 2-3). Unfortunately Saul was disobedient. He only killed everything that was despised and weak, but Agag, the king of Amalek, was left alive. He also took the best sheep and oxen. When Samuel rebuked him, Saul used his people twice as an excuse and shield to justify his disobedience: The soldiers took sheep and cattle, . . .  . Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” (1 Sam. 15: 21, 24-25 NIV)

Saul twice on behalf of others for his mistakes and twice he asked Samuel to return with him. The second request was even followed by words so that Samuel would honor him before the people: “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” (1 Samuel 15: 30 NIV)  This is an insincere confession of sin. Saul confessed to sin only so that Samuel would not leave him.

Saul asked Samuel to remain with him not because Saul realized that he needed God’s guidance, but because he was afraid that the people would leave him if Samuel left him, because at that time the priest had a huge influence. This shows that Saul’s actions and words were controlled by what people say and how people perceive him. We know how Saul became angry and jealous of David because the people sang “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. (1 Samuel 18: 8-9 NIV)

Saul was very concerned about the words, impressions, and views of people about him. Saul is concerned with reputation, even if necessary he will violate the truth if his reputation is disturbed. The end was Saul losing what he had been chasing and trying to maintain it in various ways. The Spirit of God departed from Saul and the king’s position was given by God to David.

David: Prioritizing the Right Heart

In many ways, David’s attitude was the opposite of Saul’s. Saul cared too much about his image in the eyes of others, David did not. For example, when David left the palace because of Absalom’s rebellion. Knowing this, Shimei, one of Saul’s family, cursed David and pelted David and his troops with stones along the road. David who was accompanied by soldiers and heroes didn’t counter at all. Instead, when Zeruiah was about to avenge Shimei, David said: “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’”. . . . Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.” (2 Sam. 16: 10-12 NIV)  Compared to anger, feeling insulted, and retaliating, David prefers to subject himself to the authority of God.

Saul did everything he could to maintain his image, David did not. More than once David had the opportunity to kill Saul but he didn’t do it (1 Sam 24, 26). In fact, if Saul died then David’s life would be calmer because no one hunted him again. If Saul died, the way to become king would soon be realized because he had indeed been anointed as king. But David didn’t do it because he didn’t want to touch the Lord’s anointed person. David respected God and feared God. Compared to doing it in his own way, David prefers to trust God.

Saul never truly repented, while David quickly regretted his sin. When the Prophet Nathan rebuked him for taking Bathsheba, David immediately said: “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Sam. 12: 13 NIV)David didn’t excuse or blame others for his sin.

In many instances, David prefers his heart to remain right before God. For him, God’s words are more important than human words. Most of the Psalms are the outpouring of David’s heart to God. How in joy and sorrow, in strong and weak, in various situations, he always comes closer to God. He isn’t afraid of being abandoned by humans, he just doesn’t want God to leave him. He doesn’t care about being antagonized by humans as long as God sided with him. The most valuable for him isn’t the treasure and throne, but God. That’s why God is pleased with David.

BUILDING THE TRUE FOUNDATION

A reputation, good or bad, will stick to someone as long as the person lives. Even for some people who have a big influence, their reputation will continue to be remembered even if the person is gone. As children of God, we must have a good reputation because a bad reputation will be a stumbling block. But a good reputation is not everything. The most important thing is whether that reputation has been built on the true foundation. The true foundation here isn’t true according to man, but true in God’s view.

The only absolute truth for believers is the Bible. So, whatever attitude and behavior of the children of God must be in accordance with God’s word written in the Bible. When we think, say, and act according to God’s word, what comes out of us is everything that is good and right, which in itself will build a good and right reputation. Indeed obedience to the word of God doesn’t always make us favored by others, or even makes us despised, because many of the values of this world are contrary to God’s word. But our duty isn’t to please people but to please God. What is the point of having a good reputation in human measure, but finally we are wrong before God.

A good and true reputation built on the true foundation will have eternal impact, not just to impress others. Conversely, if we try to build a reputation by relying on power, wealth, expertise, even good deeds, then we will be trapped in what people say about us. We can be encouraged to become hypocrites. We will easily compromise to please others. We will do good things just for the sake of good name, but there is no love and sincerity. We must remember that God always sees the heart, not what is in sight. If reputation is everything to us, then we will fall into arrogance and unnecessary competition with other people.

Therefore let us ensure our lives have been built on a solid and true foundation, namely the word of God. Don’t be like Saul who was more concerned with his name and image in the eyes of others than obedience to God. Be like David who was obedient and gentle in heart and makes God the most valuable treasure. Don’t put our values on the words and views of people towards us, but put our values in God. We are valuable not because we are successful, good, even godly. We are valuable because we are created like God and God loves us so much.

Let’s focus on what’s inside, whether our foundation is right or not, by always connecting with God. At the time we diligently build relationships with God and put God above all else, that’s the time we are actually building a solid foundation for our reputation. And at the time we choose to obey the word of God even though for that we will be left behind by people, that’s the time we are actually laying the right foundation for our lives. The foundation is indeed invisible but the foundation greatly determines the strength of whatever is built on it. Foundation will form reputation. Bad foundation means bad reputation. So, prioritize building the true foundation, not just a reputation.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com (edited with pixlr apps)

Original here

VIDEO Missing Them Is A Hard Thing

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

April 30, 2019

 

 

The loss of a loved one can bring a pendulum of emotions. It is expected that a child will bury their parents. Parents care for, raise and guide their children while they shape their values.

One of the greatest traumas imaginable is when parents have to deal with the death of a child.   Producing greater stress than dealing with the death of a parent or spouse, a child’s death is especially traumatic because it is often unexpected as well as being in violation of the usual order of things in which the child is expected to bury the parent.

If you have never experienced the death of a child, it’s extremely difficult to know what to say to someone facing this type of loss. The death of a child is unnatural, unfair, and tragic.

Although the circumstances can be different, death is a permanent change of address from this side of eternity to the other. Your loved one is no longer available to call or hug. Your loved one, however, is still with you in your heart.

A remembrance of the good times is very helpful. Focusing of missed opportunities can lead to depression.   While words can never fully express how much someone means to us, language can still provide comfort, solace, hope, and even inspiration following the death of a loved one.

A parent being deployed brings a different set of anxiety and fear than a child going off to war. Parents are expected to protect their children and normally the parents are easily accessible. When children go off to war, they are protecting their parents.

There are times when elderly parents need the assistance and protection of their children. Be good to your children as they may one day make decisions for you.

Upon the death of a loved a final, a funeral service fills several important needs.

  • Funerals help us acknowledge that someone we love has died.
  • Funerals allow us to say goodbye.
  • Funerals offer continuity and hope for the living.
  • Funerals provide a support system for us, friends, family members and the community.
  • Funerals allow us to reflect on the meaning of life and death

A funeral comprises the rites, rituals, ceremonies and/or other meaningful observances that human beings conduct in order to honor or memorialize a person who died, whether held with or without the physical presence of the deceased’s remains.

Even if you never experienced it, I’m sure you can understand that the death of a child is especially painful. Everyone grieves in different ways. Sometimes celebrating the life of your departed loved one is the best way to heal.

Former Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, Rich Hill, revealed to the media on March 6, 2014 that his infant son, Brooks, passed away on February 24, reports CBS Boston. The nomadic Hill had signed with the Red Sox in January 2014 so that he could be close to his family and son, who was being treated at Mass General. Rich Hill, his wife Caitlin, and son Brice have a wonderful storey at https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/rich-hill-mlb-dodgers

Children are a Blessing of the Lord.  There are plenty of couples who are looking for the Blessings of children. My question is not judgmental but why would anyone choose to end the life of a Blessing of a child?

 


Related 

https://narrowpathministries.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/video-born-debate-very-much-alive-in-left-abortion-attempt-survivor/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/01/democrat-on-abortion-some-kids-are-unwanted-so-you-kill-them-now-or-you-kill-them-later/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/02/rep-bradley-byrne-condemns-horrific-abortion-comments-from-alabama-democrat/

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/grazie-christie/judge-issues-injunction-against-trump-title-x-rule-offers-expectant

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/huckabee-abortion-violates-unborn-childs-5th-and-14th-amendment-rights

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/missing-them-is-a-hard-thing/