Through all of creation with
God speaks with a voice
that is gentle and tender.
And the birds in the trees
and the flowers of spring
All join in proclaiming
this heavenly King. . .
He’s the stares in the heaven,
a smile on some face,
A leaf on a tree or a rose in a vase.
He’s winter and autumn
and summer and spring,
In short, God is every real
and wonderful thing.
Helen Steiner Rice
Archive for March, 2015
Through all of creation with
“And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44-45 (NASB)
It is not enough for us as Christians just to be humble and unassuming. We must also be willing to serve wherever we are needed. To insure that we understand this, God sent His Son into the world to give us a living and dying example of what He wants us to become. No task was too lowly or obscure for Jesus to perform. In the upper room, on the eve of His arrest, He was willing to gird Himself with a towel and wipe the feet of the disciples. He told them, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).
Many church members have developed an attitude quite the opposite of what Jesus expressed. They come to church to be ministered unto, not to minister. Of course, all of us require a certain amount of spiritual feeding, comfort, and encouragement. But if we are always on the receiving end and not giving in ministry to others, we are likely to become stagnant. There is plenty for every believer to do. Some may minister through prayer on behalf of fellow believers. Others may contact the sick through letters, telephone calls, or personal visits. In any church there is enough work that no one should be merely ministered unto.
Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD;
it is fitting for the pure to praise
Praise the LORD with melodies on the lyre;
make music for Him on the ten-stringed
Sing a new song of praise to Him;
play skillfully on the harp, and sing
For the word of the LORD holds true,
and we can trust everything He does.
He loves whatever is just and good;
the unfailing love of the LORD fills the
Psalm 33:1-5 (NLT)
“The glory of life is to love, not to be loved; to give, not to get; to serve, not to be served.”
– Unknown –
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.’ For Moses said, ‘Honor you father and mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death.'” Mark 7:6, 10 (NASB)
Both Jesus and the Pharisees, to whom He was speaking, agreed that the Law required children to honor their parents (Exodus 20:12). A severe punishment was to be administered to anyone who spoke harshly against his or her parents (Leviticus 20:9). However, though the Pharisees gave lip service to this command, they cleverly managed to violate its intent (Mark 7:11-21). Because they avoided their responsibilities, Jesus charged them with hypocrisy.
Even among Christians, we occasionally hear of family squabbles over who will “get stuck with” mom or dad. It is clear that honoring aged parents must involve visiting them, encouraging them, sympathizing with their woes, and generally exhibiting love and gratitude toward them. Nursing homes and care centers serve an important role; but they must never take the place of our exercising personal care. Honoring one’s father and mother means much more than just showing respect for them verbally.
The LORD looks down from heaven
and sees the whole human race.
From His throne He observes
all who live on the earth.
He made their hearts,
so He understands everything they do.
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
nor is great strength enough to save a
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you
for all its strength, it cannot save you.
But the LORD watches over those who fear
those who rely on His unfailing love.
Psalm 33:13-18 (NLT)
As we talk about who God is, what He has done for us, and how He desires our love and obedience, our lives can become primers to the next generation. We can be teaching tools that God will use to help people in their walk with Him. – Dennis Fisher
When we teach others, we’re not just spending time, we’re investing it.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken to you.” John 15:3 (KJV)
It is by the Word of God (applied through the power of the Holy Spirit) that the believer is convicted of sin. Confession of sin follows conviction, and conviction always precedes confession. In other words, we will never confess sin until we are convicted, and we will never be convicted until the Word of God, through the Spirit, convicts us. God restores us, but the restoration begins through the cleansing power of the Word as it is applied through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The LORD merely spoke,
and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries
and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the LORD,
and let everyone stand in awe of Him.
For when He spoke, the world began!
It appeared at His command.
Psalm 33:6-9 (NLT)
“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4 (NASB)
Sinners in Noah’s day finally provoked their own destruction in the great flood. The northern kingdom’s unfaithfulness ultimately resulted in its defeat and capture by Assyria. The southern kingdom rebelled against God and rejected His prophets, until judgment fell and the people were taken into exile by Babylon. These are examples of God’s law of sin and retribution at work. Disobedience is punished; evil empires fall; unrepentant sinners are condemned.
Will we learn from the record of those who through the centuries have rejected God’s absolutes and His ambassadors? Will our personal experience profit from the prophets? Are we wise enough to apply Christ’s teaching to our own relationship with Him?
As long as we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of the Word of God, and the power of prayer, we can still hope for a reversal of the present moral and spiritual decline. We serve a Christ who declared to His followers, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When we are most discouraged, we must keep on praying, evangelizing, and standing up for Christ and the principles of His Word.