Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Is Your Belly Your God?

If we love the Lord Jesus and are filled with His Spirit, God will be our God.  We won't have idols in our life. Many today have made their bellies their god. "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things" {Philippians 3:19}. This verse describes many in our culture. They eat way more than they need, eat way more of stuff they shouldn't, and have no self-control in this area. Are you this way? Have you made your belly your god?

Our culture spends billions on weight loss programs and food. Fast food and microwave food is commonly eaten since many women don't have time to cook nourishing meals. Soda, which has many teaspoons of sugar in one can, is guzzled down like water.  Many care more about satisfying their taste buds and fleshly lusts than they care for their health. Children are getting all of the diseases adults have and are becoming more and more obese and unhealthy.

"Christians ought to watch what they eat. I do not refer here only to overeating, which is a bad thing, but to eating the wrong things. Too many sweets, too many rich things, too much junk. Take a walk through any supermarket and note the space given to soft drinks, candy, packaged snack foods, dry cereals. We could do very well without any of these. Try it for a week. You may be surprised at how dependent you are on them. You might even discover that you are an addict." {Elisabeth Elliot}

Is your god your belly? Do you allow it to boss you around or are you in control of what goes into your mouth? Do you have self-control in all areas of your life? If you are a believer, you have the Spirit of the Living God inside of you and one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. 

"We are not to let our appetites control us, but we are to have control over our appetites. (See Deuteronomy 21:20, Proverbs 23:2, 2 Peter 1:5-7, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, and 2 Corinthians 10:5.) The ability to say “no” to anything in excess—self-control—is one of the fruits of the Spirit common to all believers (Galatians 5:22)."{gotquestions.org}

God commands that we be moderate in everything! "And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things" {1 Corinthians 9:25}. Temperate means moderate. We discipline our body for the purpose of godliness. We are temperate in how much we eat, how much money we spend, how many clothes we own, the time spent watching TV, time on the computer, how much we sleep, and even how much we work. 

This means we need to learn self-control in all areas of our lives! "But I can't do this. My body and desires control me!" As long as you say this to yourself, you won't be able to change, for how a man thinketh in his heart, so is he {Proverbs 23:7}. Your thoughts and words have a lot of power. Renew your mind with what God says instead. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. You are dead and freed from sin. The power of the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. Look up all the verses you need to memorize and change your lies to these truths and then step into the freedom that the Lord died to give you. Accountability is also a great tool. The family of God should be exhorting, rebuking, and encouraging each other in every area of our lives.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Parental Anger ~ Chapter Three

Have you noticed how angry people are today? Their temper and rage flares at the drop of a hat. The reason for this is they were never trained as a child to control their temper. An adult who is angry most of the time is going to produce angry children. When parents are poor trainers, they come to dislike the children they have produced. If you have painted a picture you don't like, don't blame the canvas.*

Ken and I don't have anger problems, thankfully. It is rare indeed that we ever get angry. Ask our children. They don't have anger problems either. None of our parents have anger problems. We come from a line of non-angry people and we are blessed, but it didn't just happen. It took a lot of time and discipline on the part of the parents to produce children who don't get angry easily. 

Women tell me that their children make them angry because they argue all the time. Tim Chester wrote in Gospel Centered Family, "Cut through the mire of 'she said, he said, she started it, her started it' with a focus on the heart. 'I don't care who started it. You both got angry because you wanted your own way." Don't allow your children to fight, argue, and get angry with each other. Selfishness is at the root of all sin; we want our way. Teach them about generosity, being a servant, and thinking more highly of others than they do themselves.

Now, if you have an anger problem towards your children, you must deal with this first. Never discipline your children in anger. The best way to do this is to make sure your children obey you the first time you tell them to do something. Don't train them through threat, intimidation, nagging, anger, and an occasional outburst of spanking.* No, train them the first time they disobey you that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by you. If you consistently do this, you will not have a problem with anger towards your children, because you have taught them to obey you the first time and to learn self-control.

Life is a lot more pleasant for everyone when children obey their parents immediately without having to bear the wrath of their parents. Children will test their parents if they aren't consistent and will continually push the limits if they allow them to do so. You must not. You must set boundaries and stick with them when they are young. Consistency, boundaries, and discipline is the formula in raising self-controlled children who are a pleasure to raise.

"The obvious application is that I need to keep planting the seeds of honesty, Biblical truth, perseverance, kindness, long suffering, patience, sweet attitudes, and so forth with my children. I must keep at this God-given task, fully expecting that 'in due season' I shall reap what I have sown in my children" {Helen Aardsma}

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, 
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Proverbs 16:32

*Quotes from the book.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Unforgiveable Sin and Hardening Your Heart

{Written by Ken }

There is only one unforgiveable sin and that is the sin of unbelief. Christ died for the sins of the whole world, but to accept God’s pardon one must personally accept the forgiveness God offers or their unbelief will harden their heart and become their unforgiveable sin.As it is said, 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion'” {Hebrews 3:15}.

The book of Hebrews is a fascinating treatise written to show us the superiority of Christ over the prophets and angels, and in turn the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old. This Jesus, with one definitive act, purged our sins and then sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High {Hebrews 1:3}. This final sacrifice that was foretold by the slaying of countless numbers of bulls and goats foreshadowed the suffering Messiah. “It is finished!” he cried out as he gave up His Spirit and completed God’s plan for salvation on the cross, so that by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified” {Hebrews 10:14}.

This is our hope, not in a sacrifice that appeases God each time we sin, but in this one final sacrifice. Far too many Christians do not understand the finality of Christ's work on the cross and that there is no longer any need for “gaining forgiveness” from a God who has already promised you that He has granted it. I am not opposed to “asking” the Lord to forgive our sins when we commit them, but our theology is incomplete if we do not understand that whatever sin we may commit was already placed on a cross in 30 A.D. for all who will accept this by faith. Jesus does not die over and over again each time we sin, but instead His work on the cross is complete. Our asking for forgiveness is an acknowledgement of our sins, but the reality is that all the Believer’s sins, past, present and future are already forgiven.

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” {Hebrews 10:16-18}.

What a wonderful gospel we have been given; proving once and for all that no good works can earn salvation, but it is indeed a gift of grace from God. All we can do is accept by faith what God says is true and then in turn respond appropriately to such immense love. Beyond this, we are told that we can boldly draw near to the holy of holies where God sits on the thrown making our appeals and our relationship directly with the Father through our High Priest, Christ Jesus {Heb. 10:19-21}.

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” {Hebrews 10:22-24}.

We are told that the “love of Christ compels us” that “he died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf "{I Corinthians 5:14-15}. If you are a true Believer in the Lord Jesus, you can have no other response, but to enter into a life of love and good works. Not that these things will save us, but rather that they become a proof that we have indeed tasted of the goodness and grace of God and we are indeed saved. Our hearts are changed, our minds are changing, and we are learning to no longer walk in a dead flesh, but walk in newness of life in the Spirit of God. When Jesus died, we died. When Jesus rose, we rose with Him to a new life alive in the Spirit of God. Now will we only believe it and walk in this new life God has given to us?

Therefore, we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip {Hebrews 2:1}. We must be in the Word consistently and listen to biblically sound teaching so we will learn how we are to walk with Jesus day by day, moment by moment. We must listen to great teaching and be in prayer often for there is an enemy of our soul who wants to kill, steal and destroy. Christ’s death on the cross destroyed the power of the Devil {Hebrews 2:14}, so let us move forward and conquer the promised life that God has given us.

Since we know all of these truths about Jesus, our high priest, we are exhorted to believe until the end. If you want to know what is the final proof of one’s salvation it is that they will believe until the end. We who believe will never forsake Him who has promised never to leave or forsake us. We are warned, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” {Hebrews 3:12}.
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” {Hebrews 3:13}.

Christian sisters, please heed these warnings for I fear for those who are afraid of, or unwilling to heed the admonitions of our spouse and others as they warn us against our sins. We have heard from far too many who are sure that they are right and their spouse is all wrong. Then bitterness and hardness of heart has set in and begun to blind and destroy them. Learn to appreciate being exhorted to live godly lives and ask those closest to you to call out any sin they see in your life. Sin is so sneaky, and its desire is to control you. Keeping a toe in the muddy waters of sin risks wallowing in the mud, an embarrassment not becoming your position as a child of God. Come out from among them is our admonition, and live a life of godliness in the pure white linen of the clothing of Christ. For this is the calling of the children of God {2 Corinthians 6:16-18}

For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence STEADFAST unto the end; While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 3:14, 15

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Are You Careful or Wasteful?

Written by Ruth Mast
A husband faces a hostile world while he provides for us. He may be ridiculed or berated by a fellow employee for something he did not do. His business venture was not paying off as well as hoped. The corn crop needs rain. The used tractor he bought was misrepresented. But he cannot stay in his rocker. Husbands keep going to provide for us. 

There is an old saying that "a woman can throw things out the back door with a spoon faster than a man can bring it in the front door with a shovel." That means: the woman of the house is careless and wasteful. Even though the husband is diligent in providing, he can make no progress financially because his wife spends faster than he earns.

Today, a woman faces the danger of credit card buying so she can have the extras that many two-income families enjoy. But even credit card buying has a due date and must be paid. The result is more tension and unhappiness in our homes, and often we resort to doing extra work at home to pay for the things we want. Credit card buying can become a careless and wasteful habit.

How should a careful mother show her thanks for the good provisions given her? Here are ways that we can show our appreciation, and you may think of more ~

Being frugal with our husband's earnings. Even Jesus was concerned about frugality. After He had fed the five thousand and the multitude was filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost" {John 6:12}.

By not wasting food. Give little children small portions of food, and when they clean up their plate and are still hungry, give them more.

By buying items such as clothes and furniture only when we need them and have money to pay for them. Younger children can wear clothes older children have outgrown.

By cooking our meals from scratch, rather than buying expensive prepared food. Use leftover food in soups and casseroles.

By avoiding credit card buying. Do not insist on spending money you do not have.

By making a list of shopping needs to reduce trips to town.

By encouraging children to use their imagination in play and use materials on hand, rather than smothering them with toys from the store. Boxes can be barns, houses, tunnels, hiding places, and doll beds, or puppy and kitty beds.

By being happy and content with what our husband provides. Instead of complaining, alter your spending to fit the budget. Do not make your husband uncomfortable by reminding him of your needs when you are on a reduced budget because he changed jobs to be more Biblical.

We do not achieve real meaning in life by abundance of things (Luke 12:15}. Jesus said, "Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" {Matthew 6:25} It is important to be a careful example before our children so that they have a proper reference when they establish homes of their own. In this way the Lord's work can prosper, and our families can grow up to know the Lord and serve Him.

*This excerpt is from "Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman" by Ruth Mast.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Seeking a Career "Just in Case"

There is a troubling trend going on now. More men are becoming stay-at-home dads while the mothers go off to work full-time. With women taking over the colleges and careers, once they get married, husbands often times don't want their wives giving up their careers with the financial security they provide. Some women make more then their husbands so the husbands decide they'll stay home while their wives goes to work. Many women today go to college and get careers just "in case;" not understanding the trap they may be setting for themselves in the future.

None of this is good or God's plan for us, women. God commands the men to be the providers and women to be keepers at home with the children. Once feminism convinced women to leave their homes and pursue higher education and careers, many women have become stuck in their careers because they make more money than their husband or their husband doesn't want to give up the money his wife is earning. It's a no-win situation!

Many men don't want to work much anymore or provide for their families. I mentor women in this situation. They are the breadwinners for their families. Once these women learn their God ordained role and want to come home, their husbands often won't let them because of their wife's career. Careers trap women. They don't free women. Do you see how Satan twists things that sound so good to become so bad for women?

Getting a career "just in case" leaves out God in the equation. I had a pastor's wife comment on a post and told me her husband wanted her to work "just in case." It's sad how far we have come from God's roles for us. When I was growing up, my pastor's wife worked full-time and was rarely around except for on Sunday mornings. If the church isn't going to teach and model women being at home taking care of the children and home, who is going to teach or model it? How can a church teach women to be keepers at home if the Pastor's wife has a full-time career? A woman just yesterday sent me an email about her pastor telling her she was "judging" another woman for sharing with her about being a keeper at home because she was working herself ragged in two jobs outside of her home. When we get scolded by a pastor for teaching women to be keepers at home, it's a sad day for the Church.

I don't care if your husband is better at home and wants to be with the children and you love your job and make a lot more money. This isn't God's plan for either of you. Just because our society tells us something is fine and dandy, doesn't mean it is. We need to stop doing what culture is doing and begin obeying what the Word commands us to do.

To end this post, I want to share what Kelly Reins shared on her Facebook page yesterday, "On to my next shop, an older woman strikes up a conversation with me. She's in her eighties and spoke of the change she's seen by the affects of feminism on womanhood. 'Women no longer have children nor want them. They have jobs. And men have changed too. They want wives with jobs.' I mention the feminism in our culture and her eyes light up. 'Women have bought it and it's destroyed their dignity.' She proceeds to show me a photo of her recent family reunion, it is full, edge to edge with family members, 'This isn't all of them,' she tells me. She is the mother of nine and her children are well on their way to building their large families. 'I wanted nothing to do with children. I thought they were brats because I was a brat. The Lord did it all and I got to be a part of it. Who would have known what a joy grandchildren would bring.' She encouraged me to study theology and 'Be absolutely sure not to believe anything that isn't true. I have a grandson in his early twenties graduating from college and he already has his home. He's told me that he absolutely will not marry anyone who doesn't understand her faith.' I've been invited to her home to visit and talk theology."

Trust in the Lord with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge Him 
and He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5, 6

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Forcing Your Opinions on Others

Women are strong today; strong in their opinions and strong in their desires to be like men. Many will argue their point so hard that it causes dissension and strife in their relationships. I know. I have done this but I don't want to do this any longer. I don't want to debate my husband or others in a way that tells them that I am right and they are wrong. It's more important to protect the relationship than it is to be right.

If you no longer want to force your opinions on others and get in long, drawn out arguments with your husband, simply give your opinion and then leave it there. It's good to allow others, especially our husbands, to have the last word. In fact, this is how you must do it since they are your head and the leader of your home. To insist on being right is to overstep the boundaries the Lord has given you. It is to be disrespectful and unsubmissive. Bottom line, it is sin.

We are commanded to have gentle and quiet spirits. This doesn't mean we don't share our opinions, convictions, beliefs and have discussions but if we do it in a forceful way and in order to prove we are right, then we are wrong even if we are right. Nobody likes a know-it-all and someone who forces their opinions on others. On the other hand, we love to be around someone who listens carefully, shares what they believe and then leaves it at that. They respect us enough to not argue what we believe to be true.

This is also part of being feminine. Feminine women shouldn't be ones who argue cases and debate others. If you watch the women who do this on television, it isn't feminine at all. It's women wanting to be like men. The Bible calls us to be peacemakers and to pursue peace with all men, not strive to be right and noticed.

This is difficult for those of us who have strong opinions. Women shouldn't be arguing over issues that have no eternal significance like organic or not organic, vaccinations or no vaccinations, public school or homeschool, sleep training or co-sleeping, spanking or not spanking, etc. Now, I have very strong opinions on all of these topics. If you have read my blog long enough, you know what my opinions are on these topics. Some of them, like public schools, would be a sin for me to send my children to since I am convicted that no Christian child should be sent to an anti-God government run institution all of their growing up years. I could argue all of these topics but I am not sure I have every persuaded anyone by arguing with them. I give my opinion. There may be a discussion {even a long discussion} and then drop it without saying anything mean, getting upset, or holding grudges. These topics are definitely not worth losing a friendship or relationship over. 

Even the topic of female Bible teachers. The more I have studied this topic, the more I am convicted that many of them teach some false doctrine and many teach men. However, if some women I know love some of these teachers, I give them my views and then allow the Spirit to convict them one way or another. Planting seeds is a gentle process. It's not forcing our convictions on someone but allowing others to come to their own convictions. 

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.

Colossians 3:12

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Parental Absenteeism and the Empty House

Having a lot of children used to be normal. Now families with a lot of children are made to feel badly about it. Marriages staying committed "until death do they part" used to be normal but is not normal now. There are so few mothers at home anymore taking care of their children. What was once normal is now not normal at all! "Kids do not profit from parental absenteeism and the empty house can be a dangerous place...many find empty houses a convenient place to engage in self-destructive behavior." *

Studies have proven that children with absent mothers suffer more from depression, suicidal thoughts, sexual promiscuity, and these usually affect them greatly throughout their entire lives. The feeling of abandonment so many children have today causes them to participate in self-destructive habits since their feelings of being unloved are so strong. Children need their mothers home full-time. They need their mothers loving them deeply enough to be with them, discipline, and train them. They were never meant to be away from their mothers; their greatest source of security in this insecure world. "Moreover, as these insecure children grow up, the ramifications for society are disturbing. One psychologist has said that never before in American history have so many children been raised by strangers."* It has been a devastating experiment that has destroyed many children's lives.

If mothers have to work outside of the home, the children don't understand this since they need their mothers. All they know is that they have been abandoned by the one person who is supposed to love and protect them. Mothers should do everything they can to come home full-time and be there for their children. If your husband insists you work, buy the book Home By Choice and have all the statistics available to explain to your husband how detrimental it is for his children to be without you home full-time. Ask the Lord for wisdom in how to present it to your husband in a respectful way. Pray that He will convict and change your husband's mind. Live within your husband's income. This means to live carefully, frugally, and be content.

In order for your husband to listen to you, you should be a warm, loving, joyful, and affectionate wife towards him. Do everything in your power to be the wife God calls you to be. You don't want your appeal to fall on deaf ears. However, if he understands the importance to his children of having you home and the detrimental effect of you being gone, he most likely will do everything he can to have you home full-time.

Concerning single mothers: "While it is not my intention to heap guilt on single mothers who find they must work, they need to be aware of how their children are affected. You see, young children don't understand that the mother doesn't have a choice. I would challenge the single mother, if at all possible, to use her wits and ingenuity to turn her skills into profit at home."* 

"Feminists have largely controlled the public image of women. Mothers at home, who are impediments to the feminist agenda, have been largely ignored. In their thrust for subsidized child care, equal rights, and abortion rights, feminists have done violence to mothering with their constant proclamation that mothering is a 'low status job.'"*

Mothering is NOT a low status job. It is a job given to women by their Creator. Do you see how easily the enemy of our souls tries to deceive people into believing the opposite of what God has commanded? Stop listening to him and begin listening to the Lover of your soul. When you come home, you need to love your children deeply, speak words of life and Truth into their lives consistently, and teach them to work hard, be honest, love God, and be kind. Raising up godly children takes a lot of time and effort but it is well worth it. It is the most important ministry you have in your life.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8

{*All quotes are from Home By Choice}

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Picture of a Beautiful Family

There is a big problem with sexual identity today. It's a very sad state of affairs. This wasn't the case when I was growing up. We all clearly knew the differences between male and female. Yes, women were doing the things men did like leaving their homes and having careers. Now children in elementary school are taught that they can be male or female. It's their choice as if we get to be whatever they want to be, regardless of the long-term destruction to society and the child themselves. Here are some encouraging words from John Piper about his growing up years and clearly knowing the differences between the roles the Lord has created from the beginning.

"I heard one time that women don’t sweat, they glow. Not true. My mother sweated. It would drip off the end of her long, sharp nose. Sometimes she would blow it off when her hands were pushing the wheelbarrow full of peat moss. Or she would wipe it with her sleeve between the strokes of a swing blade. Mother was strong. I can remember her arms even today thirty years later. They were big, and in the summertime they were bronze. 

But it never occurred to me to think of my mother and my father in the same category. Both were strong. Both were bright. Both were kind. Both would kiss me and both would spank me. Both were good with words. Both prayed with fervor and loved the Bible. But unmistakably my father was a man and my mother was a woman. They knew it and I knew it. And it was not mainly a biological fact. It was mainly a matter of personhood and relational dynamics.

When my father came home he was clearly the head of the house. He led in prayer at the table. He called the family together for devotions. He got us to Sunday School and worship. He drove the car. He guided the family to where we would sit. He made the decision to go to Howard Johnson’s for lunch. He led us to the table. He called for the waitress. He paid the check. He was the one we knew we would reckon with if we broke a family rule or were disrespectful to Mother. These were the happiest times for Mother. Oh, how she rejoiced to have Daddy home! She loved his leadership. Later, I learned that the Bible calls this 'submission.'" 

John Piper was blessed to be raised in a godly home. This is God's description for the family and contrary to popular opinion; it is a beautiful thing. Marry a godly man, bear children, and guide the home, as the Lord has commanded younger women to do. 

 Choose you this day whom ye will serve 
but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua 24:15

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Believers are Not in the Flesh ~ Romans 8:9-13

How can we not be in the flesh? It sure seems like we are in the flesh, yet the Word tells us that believers are not in the flesh. What does this look like in the Christian's life? 

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. {Romans 8:9} No believer is ever in the flesh. This is not a description of one's walk, but of the seat of one's life. The natural man's life emanates from the flesh and cannot do other. The believer's life emanates from the Spirit and cannot do other. The believer was circumcised out of the flesh when he was buried with Christ into His death. All believers are positioned in the Spirit. The source of the believer's life is no longer the flesh; it is the Spirit of God. The missing factor in every natural man {all children born into this world} is the Spirit of God. The human spirit is sufficient to express humanity, but not sufficient for humanity to express God. The Spirit of God restored to humanity is humanity enabled to fully express humanity. Where the Spirit does not dwell, Christ does not dwell, and there is no life, just carnality. 

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. {Romans 8:10} If you are saved, Christ is in you. If Christ is in you, your body is dead to sin. If Christ be in you, two things are true, set one over against the other: 1) The body is dead; 2) The Spirit is life. In Christ our human body is dead. That which was crucified in Christ is that which the believer shares. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" {Galatians 2:20}. Experience would never teach that the body is dead and free from sin. The gospel of Christ is supernatural. God defines reality in His own terms, not ours. God condemned sin in the flesh by terminating the place where sin resides - the flesh {the message of Romans 6}. The Spirit of God has become, not just the source, but the very life of the born-again believer. 

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you {Romans 8:11}. We have a guarantee. If the same Spirit dwells in us that dwelt in Christ when He raised from the dead, we can expect the exact same treatment. Having become a recipient of the work of Christ on the cross, we are assured of a continuing work. The word quicken, as used in the New Testament, is reserved for that act of resurrection wherein the mortal body is raised from the dead. 

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. {Romans 8:12, 13} We who are dead in trespasses and sins were placed into Christ and quickened in his quickening. We owe all. We must give all. If a believer could not do other than walk after the Spirit, it would be a waste of breath and paper to make a command or give a warning. The believer in the Spirit should walk after that Spirit. If he doesn't, he comes under temporal condemnation. Here is a warning that brethren who live after the flesh will die. It is most appropriate that if one should live after that which is dead, he should himself die. This death is the sin unto death of the believer whereby his body is killed in order "that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" {1 Corinthians 5:5}. A believer is a debtor {duty bound} to walk consistent with his position. The warning is that if a believer does not choose to walk after the spirit, he will be killed by God.

Fellowship with the Spirit {the saved state} is still essential to overcoming the flesh. The regenerated man cannot depend on the renewal itself to deliver him; he must conquer through active participation with the Spirit. The believer does not have the responsibility to crucify his flesh. The flesh of every believer is as crucified and as dead as the flesh of Christ. The believer is crucified, his flesh dead, yet it appears quite alive. There are two worlds: the world of the flesh - of the seen, and the world of the Spirit - of the unseen. If we believe our outer experience, we will be no better off than the unregenerate of Romans 7. If we believe God, we experience a miracle of sanctification and deliverance from sin's power. We are not told to believe that the body of sin is dead apart from Christ, but in Christ. The death of the flesh is a divine reality. Faith has hold of that objective truth, and when we experience that freedom from the flesh, it is called mortifying the deeds of the body. Mortifying is not creating reality, it is faith appropriating a reality already accomplished in the work of Christ. The implication is that if a believer does not mortify the deeds of the body, he will be killed, in the flesh, prematurely.

"If you do not die to sin, you shall die for sin. 
If you do not slay sin, sin will slay you." 
{Charles Spurgeon}

*The series begins HERE.
***From Michael Pearl's teaching with some of my thoughts.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Peace In Our Homes

Written by Donna Martin
Have you heard the saying,“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” When you think about it, it’s a very true statement. Mothers play a large part in setting the tone of our homes. Are we cranky, short tempered, critical, and impatient or do we display kindness, patience, and show love? Peaceful homes are made up of peaceful people, and it stems from having peace within our hearts. If you do not have a peaceful home, or if feel that you could be doing better, let’s look at Scripture to see what might be causing the problem in this area.

Why People Fail To Produce Fruit
In Galatians 5:22, the third fruit of the Spirit is peace. If you are a Christian and you want the fruit of the Spirit to develop in your life, the only way it will happen is by growing closer to the Lord. Why would people fail to produce these fruits of the Spirit? Let’s look into Luke 8, where Jesus explains the parable of the four soils: The first group in verse 12 was like those religious people who refused to believe God’s message.

The stony ground people in verse 13
 trusted God, but never got around to doing anything about it.  Materialism overcame the thistle patch people in verse 14, and left nowhere in their lives for God. The good soil people followed God, no matter what the cost. I suggest that if you belong to anything but the good soil group, you will not have peace in your life or in your home.

Is there is a reason why the devil is taking the Word from your heart before that Word can sink in? In Psalm 139:23 we see that David asked God to “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” David laid his heart open before God and asked Him to point out any sin, even to the level of testing his thoughts. In Colossians 2:7,
 we are directed to let our roots grow down and draw up nourishment in Him. This way we will become strong when we receive the truth. In Philippians 3:8, our gain is through knowing Christ. Count it all worthless if it is not in connection with a growing relationship with Christ. Therefore, cares, riches, and pleasures of life can cause unfruitfulness for us.

In John 15:4, the fruit of peacefulness is found by abiding in the vine. It reads “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

Obtaining Peace
Peace is given to us as a gift from God. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). And in Psalm 29:11, “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.”

There are conditions to obtaining peace ~

Psalm 199:165 - “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

Philippians 4:6,7 - “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 37:11 “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Romans 8:6 - “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

Isaiah 26:3 - “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stay on thee: because he trusteth in me.”

Peace in the Home
Real peace comes from faith in God, because He alone embodies all the characteristics of peace. To find real peace you must find God. Let’s look at some of God’s people who lived in peace.

Isaiah 32:18 - “And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”

Psalms 122:7 - “Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.”

Peace Will Reign
Here are some suggestions on steps we can take to ensure that our home is as peaceful as possible ~

1. Daily Morning Prayer
A day hemmed in prayer seldom unravels. I have this saying on a cross-stitch piece that hangs in my kitchen. My reaction to incidents with my children and husband during the day determines whether peace will prevail. For example, if I have placed prayer as being my first priority of the day, I will more likely respond in an appropriate manner that will not disturb the peace that I want to rein in our home.

2. Watch Your Words
Did you ever stop and think how powerful words are? The Bible has quite a bit to say about the tongue. Proverbs 21:23 says: "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." Words can encourage, heal, build up, and bring life or they can tear down and destroy. It is so easy in the heat of the moment to say cutting, unkind, hurtful things to our children or husbands. Careless, angry comments can leave their sting for a long time. Our children can be corrected without degrading words. Gentle, kind words diffuse anger and promote family harmony.

3. Regular Routines
All of us, children and adults alike, benefit from regular routines. When our meals, our bedtimes, our chores, and our children's schoolwork time are on a fairly predictable schedule, it gives us a sense of structure, self-discipline, which results peace of mind. Think about what happens to you when your schedule is thrown off for some reason. Your kids might react negatively to an unstructured, confusing household.

4. Organized Home
This may not be an important factor for you, but I have no peace when my house is a mess. I truly believe it’s difficult for anyone to live in disorder. Spend time before the children's bedtime and create a quick pickup, so when you get up in the morning you don’t begin the day already set back with work. I can concentrate more clearly and set my homeschooling goals for the day when I don’t have to clean the house first.

5. Establish Rules and Consequences
Establish rules and consequences for your children's behavior. Be clear about what you expect, and consistently follow through with your corrections if they test the rules. Children are more insecure if they are unsure about what's expected, or if they feel that their parents don't have the follow-through to be firm. There is stability in knowing that you are in charge, not them.

6. The Past is Haunting Me
This point is an important one, because it can truly prevent you from walking more closely with the Lord. It can be difficult dealing with turmoil of the past. Christ said to bring your burdens to Him, and lay them at his feet. All our worries, hurts, emotional wounds, and concerns may be brought to Him, and He is willing to take them upon Himself and free us to do His work in our family and in our lives (Matthew 11:28

I can remember when I had 5 of my 7 children under the age of 6, and I was a depressed crazy person. It took me several years before I was set free from the depression and anxiety. Most of it was due to a bad attitude and wrong thinking. It did steal my peace, just as something in your life may be stealing yours. Don’t let those things rob you of your future.

7. Live in Submission to Your Husband
Unfortunately, very few women have taken their wedding vows seriously. Or possibly they have a modern version of what being submissive means. Submitting to someone whom God has placed over you with loving authority is a relief, not a burden. It is an act of yielding or surrendering, and it has been given to us for protection and happiness. If you are resisting this aspect of God’s plan for the family, there will not be total peace in your home. When you have a high view of this calling and a biblical view of your responsibilities associated to this calling, your husband will be set free to live up to all God has called him to. You will find that the atmosphere in your home will change, and change for the good.

In Closing
These suggestions may seem simple and obvious, but they can go a long way in promoting peace, harmony, and mutual respect in our homes. We as mothers and wives have tremendous influence over our families. None of us are perfect in these areas and we are human. But by positive words, structured routines, established rules, and order in our homes, we can begin to have a more peaceful and happy home. Above all, putting God in control will give you the strength and foundation you need to accomplish this high calling.

Blessed are the peacemakers, 
for they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9

Friday, May 20, 2016

Always There for Her Children

Elisabeth Elliot said this about her mother, "My mother was a godly woman. She was a woman of prayer. She stuck to her Bible. She read it everyday and she lived by the rules. She was a woman of self-discipline; always neat and feminine. She accepted her femininity as a gift from God. She believed in punctuality and I think of her as a woman of restraint. She never made a big fuss about anything. She was also submissive to her husband and honored him in the way she treated him. There was order in the home. Our father was the head. My mother taught us obedience and respect. She sang songs to us, she prayed with us and read us stories. She was always there for us."

Many women today are not godly women, even those who call themselves Christian. They rarely prayer nor read their Bible. They read worldly literature and they live by these rules. They are not self-disciplined; rarely neat or feminine. {They prefer sweats and t-shirts, instead.} They don’t accept femininity but desire to be like men and do everything men do. They aren’t punctual since they are too busy with the non-essentials like time on the Internet or phone. Besides, it doesn’t matter if they are late since everyone else is late too. In fact, it's very acceptable to be late to church. {Our church is almost empty when it begins on time.} They aren’t women of restraint and make a big fuss about many unimportant things. They are NOT submissive to their husbands since they excuse it by saying this always leads to bondage and abuse. They don’t honor their husbands, but spend their time arguing, belittling and trying to control their husbands. There is very little order in the home since there is no one leader in the home and if they are the leaders, there is disorder because it is not God’s order. They don’t teach their children obedience and respect since they would rather be their children’s friend instead of parent. They don’t have time to sing songs, pray or read stories to their children since they work full-time outside of the home. They are rarely home for their children.

Are you a godly woman or a worldly woman? Are you living in obedience to the Lord's commands to us or are you living in obedience to the enemy of your souls? Are you always there for your children as Elisabeth Elliot's mom was for her? This world is an insecure place. God provides a mother to a child to provide the security and direction the child needs. This is why it is imperative a mother be home full-time. If you have a career, your career will come before your children since it takes up so much of your time away from home. You can't be always there for your children. You are their guardian and watch over them by making sure they are safe, nourished and cared for. You must also be home full-time to keep a clean and tidy home. This takes a lot of time on top of fixing healthy food. Reading to them, singing to them and playing games is what you do with them in your free time instead of wasting your time with a computer or television. They will fondly remember times like this with you and treasure it deep within their hearts. You are investing your life in your children's lives and there is no better place to invest it in.

She looks well to the ways of her home 
and eats not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27