Friday, April 25, 2014

He Can Work on the Children Too

Psalm 78:5
5For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children,
 Sometimes adults don't see past themselves. But when you have children, this view must change. The premise of providing for the needs of children extends beyond just their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. You are also responsible for their spiritual development. Some think that this is secondary but actually, the spiritual development also helps shape their view of discerning right from wrong. Their spiritual development help shapes their thought pattern. The Word says in Proverbs to train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. It is their foundation. Jesus rebuked the disciples when they wanted to discourage the children from coming to Him.
As a former Sunday school teacher and AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed) listener, my heart leaps when I see children who desire to know the Word of God. But how will they know if no one is willing to instruct them? Psalm 145:4 says, One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. The NKJ Study Bible gives the translation of this verse as, "The instruction one generation gives to the next is crucial in God's plan."  I recall a young student of mine walking in one Sunday with his mother and saying, "Ms. Joy, how come our class doesn't read straight from the Bible?" He had just turned six years old. His mother thought I was offended and apologized but I hugged him because I understood his concern. The lesson plans I had were Bible story books with colorful pictures to help the four and five year olds associate. I explained to him that not every student was as advanced as he was. His desire was evident and I thanked his mother for doing such a wonderful job with him. I have been blessed to see children younger than him who desire to know the Word of God. The seed was planted by those they were surrounded by. Expose your children to the Word of God. If you are in the Word and God works on you, don't you think He can work on your children?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Do You Have Understanding?

Acts 8:30
30So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
I suddenly had technical difficulty this morning so I know today's message will be an eye opener for someone. AMEN PRAISE HIM!
Philip was one of the first Deacons along with Stephen. Philip was also an evangelist. The apostle Paul describes in Ephesians 4:11 those that are called to help prepare the body of Christ for greater works and bring them to maturity. The angel of the Lord sent Philip to Queen Candace's eunuch who was on his way back to Ethiopia. Philip was on an assignment by the Lord to help bring Queen Candace's eunuch to a greater understanding of the scriptures and the decision of Christ. The eunuch's heart was already open to receiving the Word of God as Philip found him reading it; the eunuch only needed assistance so that the Word of God could be made in terms he would understand. No evangelistic tool is to replace the Bible itself. It is only to assist in bringing clarity to the hearer or reader and enhance application of the Word of God. God will send someone like Philip to help make clear that which seems unclear. You, like the eunuch, are still responsible for your own study of the Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15 says that you must study to show yourself approved. No one can replace the Word of God. If you do not open the Bible and read on your own, then how will you know if any "evangelistic tool" whether it is a devotional, televangelist program, film, evangelist, apostle, prophet, preacher, teacher or anything else is correct? You actually make room for the enemy to distort details in your own mind and fall prey to "every wind of doctrine" as stated in Ephesians 4. Get Your JOY In The Morning is not to replace the Word of God in your own Bible. It is only to help clarify, bring thought, reflection and application to that which you are already reading in the Word. There are testimonies of this which I BLESS God for. Nothing here is to be by my own will but of the will of God. Do you understand what you are reading? Have you been reading? If not, it is never too late to start. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Rare Jewel

Proverbs 19:21
21What is desired in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar.
God gave King Solomon yet another truth that often seems overlooked today. Many people know what qualities they want to see in others but one must possess it themselves. The NKJ Study Bible gives the Hebrew translation of kindness as chesed which literally means loving kindness. Why is this missing today? Meeting one who is kind is such a rare jewel as many have conformed to the societal thought of, "it's all about me" or "how much can I take?"  Kindness is not a sickness nor is it a weakness as some would have you think. Kindness is an attribute of Jesus. The NKJ Study Bible says that God desires this attribute in us. It is considered a fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Those who walk according to the Holy Spirit will possess qualities such as joy, peace, kindness, etc. The NKJ Study Bible says that anyone who is kind will draw others to them. A special note also listed, "Loyal love is of much greater value than wealth; even poverty would be preferable over the absence of unfailing love."  Some would disagree with the translation of the statement. But what good is material wealth if there is no love? What good is the material wealth if the heart is filled with nothing but anger and greed? The inability to truly love will drive others away. Remember 1Corinthians 13 describes love. You can have every form of wealth, knowledge and spiritual gifts but if you have not love, it does not matter. Deep down everyone wants to be loved and treated well. Unfortunately, because people do not know the love of God, they fail to know what love looks like.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Much Sorrow?

10Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
David wrote the psalm on forgiveness from the Lord. How sweet is His mercy! David knew all to well about going his own way. Though he was a man after God's own heart, David too strayed at times. And when he did, the results were never what he hoped for. Once David saw the error in his ways, he sought the Lord and His mercy.
Think about when you go your own way and do the opposite of what God has shown you. How much sorrow do you endure for your stubbornness? How much more difficulty do you have to step through? It hurts doesn't it? Trusting in the Lord and following His guidance is always the best way. As David noted in verse 8, God guides us with His eye. He is Jehovah Roi; the God who sees. He sees far beyond what we can see. He already knows the end result. Why not follow His lead? Who do you know that created the heavens and the earth, man and everything in it? Who do you know that can be everywhere at once? Who do you know that can love you endlessly to the level of sacrifice that God has demonstrated for us all? Mercy is what you and I do not deserve but thank you Jesus He gives it! As long as you continue in your own direction and not in the wisdom and strength of God, you will always experience greater sorrows than you would if you relied on God.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pure Motives

Proverbs 16:2
2All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.
God gave King Solomon wisdom, not for the sake of just saying it but to actually apply it and share. Things said and done have a purpose. The Lord always knows the purpose of what is said and done by anyone, even if they are unaware at first thought. No matter how pure a person may think their motives are, God is the one who exams the motives and will reveal them at a time He designates. For example, genuinely kind people may often do acts of kindness because it is their nature and they are kind to all. Someone who is not considered as kind can do something nice and the person can say they are just being kind, but later, the true motive is revealed. God searches the heart behind all that is said and done. God always makes it known when He knows it is necessary for He does not like deceit. God is a man that cannot lie as said in Numbers 23:19. People cannot claim to say and do things whether by God's name or not without God revealing the true purpose. Sooner or later, whatever is in a man's heart shall come forth from his mouth as said by Jesus in Matthew 15:18. Pure motives you say? God is the judge.