“The Helmet of Salvation” 4/04/2017 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”  @  www.Godsmanforever.com

(revised from 1/19/2011)

“The Helmet of Salvation… Part 2 of God’s Armor” 

   (For the first  2 days writing…type 4/02-03/2017, as separate dates into the search window of   www.Godsmanforever.com)

Ephesians 6:17… And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (NKJV)

I woke up this morning, and before I even had a chance to ask God to guide me through this day, I knew what I was going to write on today… I had been writing about scripture in the Book of Romans, but was sidetracked by the Armor of God, each and every Christian should  be wearing as a complete set…all 6 pieces…(Ephesians 6:10-20)   [ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph6%3A10-20&version=ESV ]

In looking at my own weaknesses as a Christian, I am hopeful that others can find out what pieces they are missing of the “Whole Armor of God”, to be able to make a stand against Satan… To be Spirit filled on a more  consistent basis, I believe it’s necessary to be wearing God’s complete set of spiritual armor…   As Christians, any chinks in God’s armor will allow Satan in, and leave a crack in our fragile clay vessel… Our cup cannot be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, if we have any cracks in it…

The apostle Paul tells us in this, in…Ephesians 6:11… “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (NKJV)

The opening scripture talks about “the helmet of salvation”…   Salvation; or being saved by God’s grace, is all about obeying the Gospel of Christ…   We must understand the gospel, and respond to God’s calling…or we will be left to “die in our sins”, as the Apostle John pens this spoken by Jesus, in…  [See 1. Below for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ]

John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  (NKJV)

But once we are “Born Again” Christians, we must keep “the helmet of salvation” on 24/7…   Each and every day, we must be thankful for the grace God has gifted us with, as we have been accepted by Him into His family as a redeemed child of God…

As ambassadors of Christ, we must always look for opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with the lost and dying world around us…  This, for sure, was one of my major shortcomings for over 7 years, as I have previously confessed…because I allowed the Holy Spirit to take a back seat in my life…keeping me less than Spirit filled…Ephesians 5:18-20

Heavenly Father, being Spirit filled is what every Christian should strive to become on a consistent, but not perfect basis… Help each and every reader understand that Your complete set of spiritual armor is required, to protect us from Satan… It starts with “the helmet of salvation”… Help us Father to be striving to put on Your protective armor piece by piece…

Help us to realize that any chinks in our spiritual body armor will leave us vulnerable to Satan, and his bag full of tricks to deceive us…   Being Spirit filled is an ongoing, daily labor of love for You Lord, as Your obedient children walk in the Spirit…Galatians 5:16…   Help us Father, to keep our fragile clay vessel filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit…  I pray for this fullness of Christ within each and every one of us, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake I pray…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,   bruce

 

References:

 

  1.  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+of+the+helmet+of+salvation+Bible&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSpOXs24rTAhVG0iYKHYAKD10QsAQIGQ&biw=1126&bih=686#imgrc=Hvsl7EgqC555oM:

 

 

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“Our Justification” 9/25/2017 Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”  @  http://info.truthforlife.org

 

Original post @

http://info.truthforlife.org/devo-september25-2017?ecid=ACsprvviyDShHCmMdnYrLzKLn6yged-fZ3E6z7xqb6ezBQJzP5Q7_G8gs6cG-VzAYKnn88bJj52h&utm_campaign=Daily%20Devotion%20Emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=56617848&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–tV70bXjPd1es0Izsi-S8O_p3bVFCzBbFCvB9UESAOH9U9xP_1UuuB2D50OkC1o_P2AsF21MtjI3cc2_ZfQd-muNAOrO39a5Fdb9fSIS9_fc4tjP0&_hsmi=56617848

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Our Justification

 

Just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:26

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Conscience no longer accuses. Judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory looks back upon past sins with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet without dreading any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of His people to the last jot and tittle and received the divine receipt. Unless God can be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute can ever be cast into hell.

It seems to be one of the principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just; we feel that it must be so, and this terrifies us at first. But is it not marvelous that this very same belief that God is just later becomes the pillar of our confidence and peace! If God is just, I, a sinner, alone and without a substitute, must be punished. But Jesus stands in my place and is punished for me; and now, if God is just, I, a sinner, standing in Christ, can never be punished. God must change His nature before one soul for whom Jesus was a substitute can ever by any possibility suffer the punishment of the law.

Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer-having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that His people ought to have suffered as the result of sin-the believer can shout with glorious triumph, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?”1 Not God, for He has justified; not Christ, for He has died, yes, has risen again. My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, He is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me. Hallelujah!

1) Romans 8:33

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

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P.S. (from bruce) Have your sins been forgiven by God Himself ??  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how Gods grace is received to become a Christian in Gods eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…    http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

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“Why is it important to spend time alone with God?” 9/24/2017 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

Original post @  https://www.gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm

 

Question: “Why is it important to spend time alone with God?”

Answer: All relationships take time. A relationship with God, while unlike other relationships in many ways, still follows the rules of other relationships. The Bible is filled with comparisons to help us conceptualize our relationship with God. For example, Christ is depicted as the bridegroom, and the Church is depicted as the bride. Marriage is two joining their lives as one (Genesis 2:24). Such intimacy involves time spent alone with one another. Another relationship is that of father and child. Close parental relationships are those in which children and parents have special “alone time” together. Spending time alone with a loved one provides the opportunity to truly come to know that person. Spending time alone with God is no different. When we’re alone with God, we draw closer to Him and get to know Him in a different way than we do in group settings.

God desires “alone time” with us. He wants a personal relationship with us. He created us as individuals, “knitting” us in the womb (Psalm 139:13). God knows the intimate details of our lives, such as the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). He knows the sparrows individually, and “you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29, 31). He invites us to come to Him and know Him (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 22:17; Song of Solomon 4:8). When we desire to know God intimately, we will seek Him early (Psalm 63:1) and spend time with Him. We will be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to His voice (Luke 10:39). We will hunger and thirst for righteousness, and we will be filled (Matthew 5:6).

Perhaps the best reason for us to spend time alone with God is to follow biblical examples. In the Old Testament, we see God call prophets to come to Him alone. Moses met with God alone at the burning bush and then on Mt. Sinai. David, whose many psalms reflect a confident familiarity with God, communed with Him while on the run from Saul (Psalm 57). God’s presence passed by as Elijah was in the cave. In the New Testament, Jesus spent time alone with God (Matthew 14:13; Mark 1:35; Mark 6:45-46; Mark 14:32-34; Luke 4:42; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18; John 6:15). Jesus actually instructed us to pray to God alone at times: “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:6a).

To rely on Jesus as our vine (John 15:1-8), we will need to be directly, intimately connected to Him. Just as a branch is linked directly to the vine and, through the vine, connected to other branches, so we are linked directly to Christ and therefore share in a community. We spend time alone with God and in corporate worship for the best nourishment. Without time alone with God, we will find needs unmet; we will not truly know the abundant life He gives.

Spending time alone with God rids our minds of distraction so that we can focus on Him and hear His Word. Abiding in Him, we enjoy the intimacy to which He calls us and come to truly know Him.

Recommended Resource: Alone with God by John MacArthur


What’s new on GotQuestions.org?

What is evolutionism?

What does the Bible say about the eagle?

Why is Jacob called Jacob and Israel alternately in the book of Genesis?

What is Jesuism?

What is godly jealousy?

Who was Ambrose of Milan?

Why do I need to be saved?

Who was Hildegard of Bingen?

Is it appropriate for a woman to propose to a man?

Who was John of Damascus?

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P.S. (from bruce) Do you have an intimate relationship with God ??    If not, here is a link for this most important days writing, about how Gods grace is received to become a Christian in Gods eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…    http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

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“A Great Inheritance” 9/23/2017 Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS almost 21 years ago

 

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS  almost 21 years ago.  He now writes by use of an eye-tracking computer, with only his eye movements.  Bill’s “Unshakable Hope” should give us all a reason to count our blessings !!  (bruce)

Read all about Bill @  https://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/about/

Original post @  https://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/2017/09/22/a-great-inheritance/

 

A Great Inheritance

Wouldn’t it be great to inherit millions of dollars from a distant relative that you’ve never even met?
Unfortunately, this rarely happens, but I did get an email from Nigeria…


When I was fifteen years old, a great uncle, who I was named after, passed away and left me a gold-plated pocket watch with his/my name engraved on the back and a thousand dollars. I had never met this man, but he instantly became my favorite uncle. I was determined to be responsible with my newfound fortune so I opened a savings account and deposited the check. A few months later I turned 16, got my drivers license, and crashed into a tree in my sister’s car. I had to say goodbye to my great inheritance.

I thought a lot about material wealth while watching horrible images on TV of hurricane’s Harvey and Irma destroying homes and businesses in Texas, Florida, and other states. And, as I’m typing this blog post, I’m glancing at the TV and seeing more horrible images caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and a powerful earthquake in Mexico City. It’s heartbreaking.

We live in Southeast Texas, and we’ve seen the destructive power of these storms. So many people we know were flooded out of their homes from Hurricane Harvey. Thankfully, we were not among them.

A week after Hurricane Harvey destroyed so many homes and businesses in our area, my visiting nurse, Rebecca, came to our home. She visits me every month to confirm that I am still alive. Rebecca is a Christian and a single mother of three young boys. She told us that she and her boys had to flee their rental home as the floodwaters began to creep in. There was no time to move furniture and other valued possessions upstairs. The muddy water quickly engulfed the whole first floor, ruining everything it swallowed up.

Nine years ago, Hurricane Ike swept through Southeast Texas. Even though we live 80+ miles from the coast, we still had hurricane-strength winds at our home. The strong winds left our area without electricity and, because we have a water well, without running water, for seven days. We and most of our neighbors have generators because we’re prone to natural disasters and occasional power outages. My friend, and then next-door neighbor, Les, set up a little window air conditioner in our bedroom and kept our generator running 24/7.

Mary and I were sound asleep in our cool bedroom, while poor Les was yelling for us to call 911; their house was on fire! By the time we made it outside, their beautiful home was fully engulfed in flames; there was little the firefighters could do. We later learned that the cause of the fire was a faulty extension cord running from his generator to a fan in his home. Something so small, took so much. Thankfully, Les’s wife and kids were staying with relatives so everyone, except the family dog, escaped the flames.


How quickly our earthly treasures can be taken from us.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust (earthquakes, floods and fire) destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Where is your heart today?

Jesus gave the Apostle Paul, the disciples, and all followers of Christ our marching orders:

“…open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:18)     

Jesus wants all people to trust and hope in the inheritance that He suffered, died, and was resurrected to secure for everyone who “calls on His name.” This is the GreatInheritance, it’s an eternal inheritance.

We are living in uncertain times, our wealth, and, as I learned 21 years ago, our health, and even our very lives, can be taken from us In a moment.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

The Bible tells us that everything we see can, and will, be shaken. Only by putting our faith in Christ will we have Unshakable Hope.

 

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P.S. (from bruce) Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ ??  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how Gods grace is received to become a Christian in Gods eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…    http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

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“FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH” 9/22/2017 Posted by Don Merritt for “The Life Project”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Posted by Don Merritt  for “The Life Project” @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com

Original post @   https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/for-they-will-inherit-the-earth-4/

 

FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH

 

A person who is “meek” is often thought of as being resigned to their circumstances, even weak, but that really isn’t what is being described here. Those who are “meek” are those who understand that they are dependent upon God, and not upon their own strength or even upon the power of armies, for our own strength is a temporary affair, as is the might of an army; all will perish. Yet God’s strength is eternal, and His might never flags or fails. With this in mind, consider who is not meek; the proud, the loud, and the haughty. These are the ones who must always dominate others, who must always have the last word, and who will trample others to get ahead, for they fear losing control: They are not blessed for their own behavior is their curse.

The meek will inherit the earth, just like the descendants of Abraham would inherit the Land. Once again, Matthew has linked an idea relating to Jesus with Israelite history, and this time, He has done so in a way that leads us to an apocalyptic conclusion, for those who place their full faith and trust in God for their provision will not only enjoy relationship with Him now, but will reign with Him upon His return, thus receiving a double blessing of His grace.

 

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P.S. (from bruce) Have you given your life to Christ ??  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…    http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

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“Three Ways to Overcome Life’s Storms” 9/21/2017 Written by Rev. B. Keith Haney for “The Light Breaks Through”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                                          Image result for picture Jesus calms the storms of life Bible

Written by Rev. B. Keith Haney for “The Light Breaks Through”  @  https://revheadpin.org/

Original post @  https://revheadpin.org/2017/09/13/three-ways-to-overcome-lifes-storms/#like-11747

 

Three Ways to Overcome Life’s Storms

Someone once penned these words,

Out of the Darkness

Out of the dark forbidding soil

The pure white lilies grow.

Out of the black and murky clouds,

Descends the stainless snow.

Out of the crawling earth-bound worm

A butterfly is born.

Out of the somber shrouded night,

Behold! A golden morn!

Out of the pain and stress of life,

The peace of God pours down.

Out of the nails — the spear — the cross,

Redemption — and a crown!

The most important thing you need to know about the storm is that a storm will force you to walk your talk. Trials will put the strength of your faith to the test. How do you survive the storms? How do you rest on the strength of your faith in the midst of the storm? Let’s take a look at Psalm 107.  David gives you three simple things you need to do when the storms of life are raging. First of all.

  1. Cry out to God.

In this Psalm David describes merchants experiencing the same kind of storm at sea that the disciples experienced. He says…

“…in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end.”          Psalm 107: 26-27

Have you ever been there at your wits’ end? The storm is so overwhelmingly destructive that you have run out of ideas? Maybe you’re there right now. Maybe you’ve done everything that you know to do and your marriage is still crumbling. Maybe you’ve done everything that you know to do and your children continue to struggle. You have been to every specialist, tried all kinds of treatments, and your health is deteriorating.  After exhausting all your business knowledge, attending all kinds of seminars, borrowed against your home mortgage, you’ve done everything humanly possible yet your business is still failing.

If you are at your wits end in the midst of the storm, you have two options available. You can give up.  You can throw in the belief towel and decide that Christianity doesn’t work. When my life is falling apart this God seems to be asleep on a pillow. Let’s just forget the whole thing. That’s one option. To be honest I don’t think that is your best option.

The alternative is to do what the disciples did in Mark 4. They seek out Jesus and wake him up, crying, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:38

 Not the most articulate “prayer” in scripture, but it was effective. In the midst of your storm, you should follow that example: Cry out to God, and keep crying out to him until the storm has passed. Listen to what David wrote(v. 28-29) Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

When I hear people say, “I tried that. It didn’t work. I cried out to God for help, and nothing happened.” My question is always, “How long? How long did you cry out? For an hour? For a day? For a week?” God has His own pace, sometimes it takes longer. You need to pray as long as it takes to get an answer.

The results may not always be what we think we want, but we can be sure that the results will always work out for our good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

 In the midst of the storm, cry out to God, and keep crying out to him for as long as you have breath. He will hear you and he will bring you out of your distress.

  1. Let God Guide You.

There is an amazing principle in the Christian life that I have seen many people forget.  The principle is this: If you ask for God’s guidance, he will give it to you.

When we seek God’s guidance, He guides us. When we seek His direction, He directs. When we place our future in God’s hands, He takes care of our future. Listen to what David wrote,

(v. 30) They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.

 To their desired Haven. There’s a place where you want to be in your life, a place of peace, a place of security, a place of hope, and comfort, and rest. A place of joy, and love, and fulfillment. He can get you there, but you have to let him guide you.  My problem has always been I don’t like that path God wants to take me on.  I like shortcuts.  However, the path that God leads me on has necessary potholes, trials, and lessons I need for the future leg of this journey.  I just need to trust God to guide the way.

  1. Remember to Remember God’s Faithfulness.

I began this post series by saying that I have known some people over the years who stopped walking with the Lord. Some of these are people in ministry, people who had experienced his work in their lives. And yet, for whatever reason, they chose to forget about God’s past faithfulness in their lives. When the storms of life came, they didn’t remember God’s provision in the past, they didn’t see any hope in the future, so they gave up in the present.

Here’s my challenge to you. When you’re going through the storm, make an effort to remember all that God has done for you in the past.

David wrote Psalm 77 while he was going through a time of trial. Listen to his words…

Has his [God’s] unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:8-12

 David says, “When I’m going through a time of trial, I will remember all that God has done in the past, and it will help me get through this.” He says something similar in Psalm 107: 31,

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

David is saying, “Once you get through the storm, talk about it. Sing songs of thanksgiving to God, tell everyone you know about good God has been to you.”

God will get you through this storm like he has gotten you and so many others through the previous storms of life. When it happens, make sure that you remember to remember to thank him for his faithfulness.

The first post in this short series:

https://revheadpin.org/2017/09/06/three-critical-lessons-about-lifes-storms/

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“He Was Despised and Rejected.” 9/20/2017 Written by Patrick Hawthorne for “SGM”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Patrick Hawthorne for “SGM” @    http://servinggrace.com

Original post @  https://servinggrace.com/2017/09/13/he-was-despised-and-rejected/

 

He Was Despised and Rejected…

By Patrick Hawthorne

 

feet wash

He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. (Isaiah 53:3 Amplified)

As I read the above verse, I was struck in my spirit with deep sadness.  Yes, mankind has despised, rejected, and forsaken our Lord Jesus; that is to be expected due to man’s fallen nature.  But, that was not what caused me to pause.  Sadness washed over me as I meditated on the latter portion which read, “…and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.”

Isaiah was writing to the Jewish people alone…or was he?  It was with sadness that I realized that I was guilty of not giving my Lord the respect and the appreciation that is due Him.  I could write this post in a manner that would point my finger at the entire Church – the Body of Christ- but that would only serve as an attempt to minimize my own guilt; to focus attention away from my own shame by projecting it upon you, the reader.

Please do not misunderstand my intent.  I am not wallowing in self condemnation or pity.  For that matter, I thank the Holy Spirit for loving me so much to give me a nudge of a wake-up conviction; He is allowing me to judge myself and to make the proper course correction.  You see, as we progress in our walk with the Lord, our tendency is to become complacent, to take for granted the awe-inspiring price that was paid for each of us.

Think about this next portion.  Please don’t skim over it with a casual indifference.  “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him we are healed and made whole.” (Isaiah 53:5).

Jesus, our Lord and Savior, did that for us.  He took the wrath of God meant for us.  At the cost of a whip that laid open His back, Jesus suffered so that we could lay claim to promises such as Psalm’s 91:10, “There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.”

If you identify with this article, that is a good thing.  It means the Holy Spirit is speaking to you as He did to me.  Take this opportunity to think about the goodness of our Lord Jesus and to remember why you fell in love with Him in the first place.  Bring back to your remembrance the old you before meeting Jesus and the new you after meeting Jesus.  Be blessed.

 

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P.S. (from bruce) For those who have not yet been indwelt with the Holy Spirit, here is a link for this most important days writing, about how Gods grace is received to become a Christian in Gods eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…    http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

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“What Our Children Need Most” 9/19/2017 Written by Elihu Anderson for “elihu’s corner”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Elihu Anderson  for “elihu’s corner” @   https://elihuscorner.com

Original post @   https://elihuscorner.com/2017/09/15/what-our-children-need-most/

 

What Our Children Need Most

      aaron-burden-60068

“Mom, I need to get a zipper binder and headphones.” 

“Dad, my teacher said my pencil box isn’t big enough. I need another one”

“Mom, I have to have a zipper binder too.”

My head was spinning. It was only the first week of school, and on top of the lengthy list of supplies we’d already purchased, they needed more. My mental bank balance approached the red line as I ran to and fro gathering additional supplies. I drew the line at school shirts—they were just going to have to do without!

While I recognize there are many barely surviving in America, we remain a highly prosperous society. More than half of American families carry a mortgage, have two cars, own multiple cell phones, a TV, and standard household appliances. Many of us have more clothes than we can wear in a week, shoes for every occasion, and freezers and pantries stocked with food.

We are also a worn-out, stressed-out, tired-out society.

We don’t have time for debriefs, devotionals, or down-time. Even our vacations are heavily scheduled, interrupted here and there by texts and emails. Children attending public or private school rush about from dawn to dusk. If they are homeschooled, the desire to make sure they “keep up with their peers” can give a parent ulcers.

The pressure to turn our kids into “successful” adults is high, but I’m not entirely sure our society on the whole has the right method.

What do our kids really need?

  • More toys?

  • Brand-name clothes?

  • A phone?

  • Music Lessons?

  • Sports?

  • A Classical Education?

  • Private School?

None of these things are inherently bad. However, we fall into the trap of making worldly success of higher priority than spiritual character.

What our children need most cannot be bought.

Yes, they need food and clothing and a roof over their head, but ultimately, what is of lasting value??

They need to know the Lord.

In the Old Testament, Moses entreats the Israelites to teach their children:

“And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’”

Exodus 13.14-15, ESV

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 

Deuteronomy 6.7, ESV

(See also Deuteronomy 6.20-25, (the links take you to BibleGateway.com to read the passage.))

The Israelites suffered from Dory-like short-term memory loss when it came to God’s mighty works. By the book of Judges, it’s fairly evident the Israelites didn’t heed Moses’ advice and the nation was falling apart. In Judges 2 we read: “And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”

Their parents forgot to pass on what was truly important to their children.

Let’s be a generation of teachers for our children, leading them to the Lord.

In teaching our children—both in word and example–we accomplish two things:

  1. Our children learn about the great and steadfast love of the Lord, which can aid them as they navigate the rough seas of life

  2. We remind ourselves why we are who we are and what should drive our decisions.

I know it’s hard to squeeze in Bible reading and prayer. I know there are times we find ourselves tongue-tied during teachable moments. I know it’s a monumental task. Intentionally showing our children who God is and how greatly He loves us is single most important thing we can do as parents.

If you’re not sure where to begin, ask our Heavenly Father for wisdom. Then, be on the look out for opportunities and make plans to put them into action. (Click here for some additional tips!)

Pray and teach. Teach and pray.

They need to know they are loved.

Gary Chapman wrote a book several years ago entitled, The Five Love Languages. The Five Languages consisted of Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Gifts, and Words of Affirmation. I submit to you that all too often we fall into the trap of thinking our kids’ love language consists of gifts alone. Frankly, our children need to experience all five from us on a regular basis.

Quality time can be hard to come by in our hectic lives. Be intentional. Take your kids out on individual “dates” from time to time just to spend time together. It doesn’t have to cost money. My dad and I used to go on walks around the golf course and spend a good hour talking about all sorts of things.

Physical touch can be as simple as a hug. I always tell my kids that hugs are good for my heart, but I know it’s good for theirs too! Physical touch can also include sitting side-by-side on the couch while reading a good book or something as small as a gentle hand on the head or a loving squeeze on the arm.

Words of affirmation can be a bit of an ouch for some of us. I sometimes fall into the trap of doling out too much criticism and not enough meaningful praise. “Good job!” may not go as far as, “I know how hard it is for you to focus and I am impressed with how long you spent on that project. Well-done!”

Acts of Service may not impress your kids today, but they will recognize it, even if it takes twenty years. I still remember my parents making me lunch every single day before school and cooking dinner every night. I remember them sacrificing their precious weekends (without complaint!) to chaperone crazy high school kids for band tournaments. I still remember my dad helping me learn the art of crafting sentences and my mom drilling me on Spanish verbs.

Continue to love sacrificially, as Christ also loved you.

They need to learn how to live.

Sometimes we parents (well, maybe just me) fall into the trap of wanting to do everything for the kids because it just saves time.

Don’t.

Once you settle into school or holiday routines, entrust your child with some important task to help the family. Start simple with having them empty the dishwasher (or fill it), doing the dishes, picking up after the pets, putting away their laundry, packing their own lunches, or even cooking breakfast. This will, of course, go more smoothly with certain kids (and less smoothly with others). Begin with tasks you know they can handle and work your way towards the more challenging.

For example, I always started my two year-olds on putting away the silverware because it’s a good sorting exercise. I’d pay them a dime that they could save for something they wanted to buy. Eventually I “promoted” them to doing the entire dishwasher.

What life-skill goals do you want your children to achieve?

Here is my short-list:

  • Basic Household maintenance: Laundry, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, bathroom-cleaning, tidying, etcetera.

  • Manage money wisely: make (and stick to) a budget, learn to save, avoid debt, and balance a bank account

  • Manage time wisely: prioritize what is important, learn to hustle, make time to rest.

What life skills do you want your children to master before they leave the house? Life is more than academics. What information and skill sets are important to you?

As Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.”

They Need Prayer.

Here is the best parenting advice I ever received: “Raise Children on Your Knees.”

  • Pray for them to have mentors and friends who will draw them closer to God.

  • Pray for their future spouse (and their future spouse’s parents).

  • Pray for wisdom to raise them well.

  • Pray for their spiritual protection.

Our children don’t need more stuff or the best stuff. They need our love and wise training. Above all else, they need to know God. It’s so easy to get carried away in the tide of this crazy world, but let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and lead our families the way He intended.


Additional Posts Related to this Topic:

Mommy, who is He?

7 Marriage Principles We Should Teach Our Children

Entrust: Involving Children in the Important

Equipping Our Children

Engage: Building Meaningful Relationships With Our Children

How to Equip Your Children to be Future Christians (Raising GenNext)

Lessons from a Silly Goose

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