Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

     I just wanted to take a quick moment to tell all my blog readers Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a great day and God bless you all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spiritual Growth

   A key in your relationship with Jesus Christ is spiritual growth.  This never comes easy. It is most likely compared to physical growing pains. Spiritual pains can be like tribulations God has set for us to go through. We benefit from them, don't we? In this way we grow from them! So what are the stages of our spiritual growth?

  •    The first stage of growth is an infant. Infants need love from God, their parents, and friends. They need protection from Satan, self doubts, and discouragement.  They also need nurturing such as attention and feeding. Infants are like "new" christians. They need help and encouragement along the road. 
  •    The second stage of growth is a child. They need discipline, guidance, and role models. They need someone to look up to. My two role models are my parents. All children need someone to look up to. Remind you of any christians you know right now?
  •    The third stage of growth is a teenager. As a teenager, they begin to develop a closer walk with God, self discipline, and spiritual gifts. Teenagers are still lacking some things. They are the lingering step between childhood and adulthood.
  • The fourth and final step of growth is an adult. An adult, by now, has developed a closer walk with God, self discipline, and earned spiritual gifts. They have been through pain and tribulations but they have grown from them! 
   1 Peter 2:2 says, " Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation." Also, Colossians 2:6-7 mentions, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." So from all we have discussed in this passage... What spiritual stage of growth are you in right now?

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    Brotherly Love

       Hebrews 13:1 says, "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters." Three important things are revealed to the reader through this scripture. First, the practice of brotherly love had been happening before and was ongoing. Second, we see the desire of the author that brotherly love should continue. Third, this verse can show us how important brotherly love is to the Christian life! If we want to follow God's command shown in this verse, we must know what brotherly love is and what it looks like (basically examples).
       What is brotherly love? It is most simply put, love for others. It is made found with kind affection, honor, deference, and preferring one another. Romans 12:10 says, "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." In Romans 13:8-10, it says, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." We should lay down our lives for our brethren and provide to one in need. 1 John 3:11-18 says, "For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
       What does brotherly love look like? Jonathan and David showed brotherly love in 1 Samuel 20:4 which says, "Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” Throughout the bible many great examples of brotherly love are seen but perhaps the greatest example was that of Jesus Christ. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Jesus lay down his life for you and me! Who can ever show greater love than that of Jesus Christ throughout the New Testament?
       In close, 1 Peter 1:22 says, "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart." Are you showing brotherly love to others in your life?

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Why makes YOU special?

       Criticism takes its toll on people today. As a middle school senior, I know that teenagers worry about how they look and words can hurt you more than anything else, even if they are not true! Reality is that most people have a very poor image of themselves and do not have a lot of self confidence. They wonder what use they are in the world. "How could God love me?" they may ask. We have all been there. You may be asking why or how but you are special no matter what! 
       First, you were made in the image of God himself! Genesis 1:26-27 says, "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." 1 Corinthians 11:7 also says, "...since he is the image and glory of God..." You have the stamp of God's image on you! 
       Second, He died for you! 1 Peter 3:18 states, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." Jesus Christ did not lose his life. He gave his life! John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Romans 5:6-8 also says, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus paid a BIG price for us by giving his life! You are that special!
       So, what can we conclude here? You are special! You were made in the image of God, and he died for you! No matter what this world may tell you, never forget these things that God has said and promised. You are special!

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Cleaning Out Your Temple For God

       Today, we will look at the verses of John 2:12-25.  John 2:12-25 says, "After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
     Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
     They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
     Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person."
       As we can see, Jesus was very angry at the merchants and sellers in this passage. They had turned the church into a market place. Jesus knew that God's house was a place for worship and focus upon the Lord God our Savior. The people were full of greed and love for the "world." If ungodly people set up sales stands outside of your church, taking the attention away from the church wouldn't you be angry? So what can we as christians learn from John 2:12-25? We should keep God's temple clean! When the bible speaks of a temple, it can mean a building for God's place of worship or our own souls! 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" So we must keep both of these clean! Is your temple filled with hate, lust, sexual morality, lies, anger, greed, or other sins? God wants you to clean it out! (Aren't your grateful that our God is a forgiving God?) If we want God to be with us and live in our temple, we must clean out or hearts and ask for forgiveness of sins.
       If you met with Jesus today, would he see your heart forgiven and pure? Or would he see sin that you have tried to cover up and have not yet asked for forgiveness? Do you have your heart right with God???

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    The Race Set Before Us

       Today's post will be based on the verses of Hebrews 12:1-3 which states, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
       In this particular verse, we as christians are compared to runners. Why would God have chosen for this certain comparison to be part of His word? Let's state some facts. Runners lose as much weight as they can before they run a race. They don't carry around a heavy book bag as they are running. They also wear light clothing. Too much weight and/or extra clothing can be the difference between win or lose. You might be asking, "What does this have to do with christians?" Well, God was very wise to lead the author of Hebrews to write this. God is wanting us to run the race of faith for him. To do this right, we need to lay aside some things. We need to ask Him for forgiveness (This is essential!) and let go of things like love of the world, forgiven sin that we still worry about (GUILT), and any other distractions. This verse tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. How are we to focus on him if we have things distracting us constantly? It is important to give full focus to him because as soon as the devil knows you are only "half" focused on Jesus, he will manipulate you and tempt you so you will become even more distracted. Soon enough, you will be running the opposite direction! Most people have heard the story of Peter and Jesus walking on water. (If not, you can read the story at Matthew 14:22-33) As soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and lost focus he began to sink. And what did Jesus say? He said, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?" Jesus made our salvation possible! We owe all our focus to him. In the race of faith, endurance is essential! This is a marathon not a sprint! You need more than just one burst of energy. This ties back into one of my recent blog posts about just being a "Sunday Morning Christian." Stay on fire for God and don't let it die down! 
       Having trouble running your race of faith? Spend time in the bible. It is important because through it we learn many things. We may learn things like what we need to lay aside and we can learn about Jesus, what he did for us, and what a great example his race of faith can be for us! Lay worldly things aside, keep your endurance, and most of all focus on Jesus!


    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Who Is Jesus?

       Colossians 1:18 says, "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." As we read this verse, let us think about who Jesus is as Paul sees him and as how we see him.
       First, He is the head. Basically, He is the one in charge! The head is essential to the life of the body. Who is the body? Well, the church is the body! 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." The head contributes alot to the body. It gives us....

    • Direction...Ephesians 5:1 says, "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children."
    • Goals and Plans...James 4:14-15 says, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
    • Usefulness...Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
    • Existence...1 John 5:12 says, "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."
       Second, He is our hope. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ! We will not see heaven if we have not been saved through him and believe in him. So, why is he our hope? 

    1. He is the beginning. He started it all! Jesus was the beginning of the church. Matthew 16:18 says, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." He died to purchase the church! John 10:11 says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
    2. He is the firstborn. The word prototype means the original or model on which something is based or formed. Jesus was first to die, be buried, and rise again to never die. Jesus will not be the last! He was like a prototype. What happened to Jesus Christ will, sooner or later, happen to us!
      Third, He is our heart. The word preeminence can describe Jesus. Preeminent means eminent above or before others; superior. He needs to be preeminent in your life. This means you need to put him first! God has a goal to place Jesus on the ultimate throne of the universe. Philippians 2:9-11 says, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Your job and my job is to set Jesus first on the throne of our hearts. Does he have preeminence in your heart at this moment?

       God bless all who read this and have a wonderful week!

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Wisdom From Proverbs

       Good advice. That is exactly what you will find in the book of Proverbs. This book of the bible is full of short sayings that show wisdom for christians or even non-christians. In this post, we will look at six verses out of Proverbs 10 and what you can learn about them and from them.
       1. Proverbs 10 : 4 - "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." Diligent means constant in effort to accomplish something. Lazy means averse or disinclined to work. This makes this saying more understandable and usually true, (Proverbs may describe what usually happens but it may not happen, according to God's will) but wait! What kind of wealth does this verse describe? Wealth can mean a great quantity or store of money, or it can mean an abundance or profusion of anything. A man born into a rich family may have wealth of money. On the other hand, a righteous man may constantly serve others and work diligently will earn wealth of love, respect, kindness, and others. Lazy hands make a man poor... but diligent hands bring wealth.
       2. Proverbs 10 : 12 - "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs." Dissension means strong disagreement. There is alot of hatred in our world nowadays. This will surely stir up trouble and disagreement. But love covers over all wrongs. Jesus' love for us covered up all our sins. When he died on the cross for us, our sins were forgotten and "covered up!" Hatred stirs up dissension...but love covers over all wrongs.
       3. Proverbs 10 : 17 - "He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray." I instantly thought of my parents when I read this scripture. Someone once told me that your parents are strict and punish you because they love you. When I do something wrong, I will get in trouble by my parents. It teaches me a lesson and I don't make that mistake again.They are helping to shape me into a godly and responsible young lady. I cannot imagine where I would be today if they had not disciplined me properly over the last few years. He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
       4. Proverbs 10 : 19 - "When words are many, sin is not absent. but he who holds his tongue is wise." Imagine yourself in an arguement with a person who is very different than you and tries to insult you. They may say some very mean things to you. What do you do? Do you insult them back, or do you hold your tongue and simply ignore them? If you lose your temper and say something rude back, people may question your true relationship with God and trouble will come. I have been guilty enough to do one, but in other situations I have been wise enough to do the other. Revenge is the Lord's. Be wise enough to turn the other cheek. When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
       5. Proverbs 10 : 25 - " When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever." In this verse, I imagine the "storm" as our life here on Earth. Children of God will stand firm forever. God has given us definite victory in the end. Heaven! Doesn't this verse just give you sudden hope? Hope that everything will be alright in the end? Matthew 7:24-27 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone... but the righteous stand firm forever.
       6. Proverbs 10 : 30 - "The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land." Plant your seed in the Lord and you will never be uprooted. The devil will try to pull you away and make you fail to do what the Lord has called you to do. Don't let him! Plant your seed and hang on to God! I know I say that a lot, but I always like to stress the importance of it. The righteous will never be uprooted.... but the wicked will not remain in the land.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    A True Man Of God : Stephen

       God gives us many people and examples to study throughout the bible. Even though the humans lived thousands of years ago, we can still relate to them today.
       Stephen is first introduced in Acts 6:8. He is desired as a man full of God's grace and power. He did great wonders and miraculous  signs among the people. Members of the Synagogue of the Freedman - Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia began to argue with Stephen. They accused him of the unforgivable sin. 
    Acts 6:11 says... "Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”
    Luke 12:10 speaks of the unforgivable sin... "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
    Mark 3:29 also speaks of it..."But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."
       They then seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses and lies flew out of their mouths. The high priest then asked if there charges were true. Then, Stephen begins to tell his speech. I want to encourage you to take a moment right now and read Acts 7. Stephen sure did know his Old Testament history! He told of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and others. 
    Acts 7:51-53 says... "You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”
       He told this whole speech by memorization. He stood strong by God. He was challenged by his enemies and he challenged right back. Do you know enough of your bible history and some verses so if that someone challenged you, you would be prepared?
       When the others heard this, they were furious! Then Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God. "Look," he said, " I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." At this they were infuriated and they drug him out of the city and began to stone him. 
    Acts 7:59-60 says... "While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
       So, who had the victory in the end? Well, of course, Stephen did! He is of this Earth and now living and eternity with Jesus Christ in heaven!
       There is so much to be learned throughout the bible. What did you learn from Stephen? Do you need to change something in your life that God wants you to? When you get to heaven will you hear from Jesus, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"? (Matthew 25:21) I challenge you to notice something in your life that perhaps you should stop or change today. God will be there to help you. Talk to him about it. Talk to God about ANYTHING. He will always be there....your father....ready to listen to you.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    The Devil Will Mess With You!

        I had another post ready, but I was more inspired about this post and felt the need to blog about this topic. The devil will mess with you while we are on this earth. The devil rules this world. We as christians need to take a step of faith and trust God to help us through and spread the good news!  When you get saved, the devil doesn't just give up and disappear. He is going to mess with you even more and mess with your faith and strength in God!
    John 16:33 says..."I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
       The devil can and will work with and through anything. Take technology for example. It seems like every time I have tried to get on my blog in the past week and make a post, my computer just gives up. He doesn't want me telling you all the great news! This is the devil's world. He controls politics and everything else in our world. But here is the good news...He doesn't have to control you! We have hope and redemption in JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Savior! The devil is powerful but GOD is even more powerful!! We are all sinking on a huge ship in the middle of the ocean, but we as christians know that God is sending that life boat to SAVE us. We have hope in Jesus Christ!

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    The Importance Of Private Devotions (Part II)

    So why should you take part and do private devotions?continued
    By doing devotions, you can find peace and stability.
    Philippians 4:6-7 says...."Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
    Psalm 119:105 says...."Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."
    Psalm 119:165 says...."Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."
    How can I have private devotions? 
    Find a time and a place to have them.
    Time may vary between every individual. Early birds may start of their day with something to think about. Night owls may end their day as a reflection time. I do my devotions at night, but again, it varies between different people. Try to find a time free of worldly distractions.
    Place will also vary between every individual. Some might follow the example of Jesus and go outside for their devotional time.
    Mark 1:35 says...."Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed"
    Others might follow the teaching of Jesus and stay inside for devotional time. 
    Matthew 6:6 says...."But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
    Whatever your time or place for devotions may be, just make sure it is a quiet and peaceful place so you can focus on God.
    Should I engage in prayer and praise during devotion time?
    First approach God in prayer.
    -Thank him for all his many blessing toward you!
    Colossians 4:2 says...."Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."
    -Confess your sins!
    1 John 1:9 says...."If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
    -Make supplication of needs!
    Philippians 4:6 says...."Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
    -Intercede on behalf of others!
    1 Timothy 2:1-2 says...."I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."
    Next, simply praise him!

    The world we are living in right now is....lets just say...a tough one. We need God more than just once a week at church! Devotion are a very important key to a closer walk with God. Start simple and grow in your devotions. Stick to it and make it a habit. God bless and I hope you will take my advice!

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    The Importance Of Private Devotions (Part I)

       You may attend public worship faithfully, but do you also take the time to do daily devotions by yourself? Private devotions are the hint to having a better relationship with our Lord and Savior.  Great men of God were noted in the bible doing private devotions. 
    Genesis 24:63 speaks of Issac...."And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming." 
    Psalm 55:17 speaks of David...."Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice." 
    Psalm 63:6 also speaks of David...."On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night." 
    Daniel 6:10 speaks of Daniel...."Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before."
    The Son of God even engaged in private devotions throughout his time here on earth. 
    Mark 1:35 speaks of Jesus...."Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
    Luke 6:12 speaks of Jesus...."One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God."
    Jesus instructed the disciples to pray to their heavenly father while alone.
    Matthew 6:6 speaks of this...."But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
    So why should you take part and do private devotions?
    By doing private devotions, you can draw nearer to God.
    James 4:8 speaks of this...."Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
    By doing private devotions, you can also receive spiritual nourishment.
    Matthew 4:4 speaks of this...."Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
    Spiritual nourishment comes from the Word of God.
    1 Peter 1:23 speaks of the seed...."For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."
    1 Peter 2:2 speaks of spiritual growth...."Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation."
    Private devotions will give you spiritual strength.
    Ephesians 6:10-17 speaks of this strength in armor...."10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
    Do you want a stronger spiritual life, and a closer walk with God? Then engage in private devotions! ***Check back in at tomorrow for Part II!***

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    A Special Father's Day Post

       My fathers have taught me so much. Yes, my two fathers. They would be my earthly father AND my heavenly father. I believe that God put earthly fathers on earth to...
    1. Love their children
    2. Discipline their children
    3. Teach their children
    4. Lead their children
       **Love their children... Psalm 103:13 says, "As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him."
       **Discipline their children... Hebrews 12:7 says, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?" Proverbs 3:11-12 says, "My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,  and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."
       **Teach their children... Proverbs 23:22 says, "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old."
       **Lead their children... Proverbs 4:11-13 says, "11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom 
       and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; 
       when you run, you will not stumble.  Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; 
       guard it well, for it is your life."

       My heavenly father and my earthly father have both shown me most to love.
     4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
     8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
    1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    I hope you all will take time to thank God today for your father, and for Him being a great father too! He sent his one and only Son to die on the cross just so he could call us his children! How great is our God!