Having Josiah nearby as we work on our projects is a joy! Whether a plumbing project or mixing together a favorite recipe, the precious sounds of our little one as he curiously examines the new world around him bring a smile to our faces…
…… a hearty laugh!
Over the recent months, we have heard several dear parents comment on how fast little ones grow and so the importance of cherishing the moments of raising children. The years tick ever so quickly by.
How easily do the seemingly urgent matters of life crowd out the important moments. Phone calls can be made later, emails can wait….for time does not stop. Today our little one is in our arms but the tomorrow will come when he holds his little one for the first time. Taking the time to make investments into the lives of our children and grandchildren and siblings will lay up eternal rewards. Walks to go on, special outings together, a word of encouragement, the passing on of a legacy gift, reading together, planning the future, praying for our dear ones.
Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. Ps. 71:18
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Ps. 127:3)
After reading the following verse from Deuteronomy the other day, my precious wife realized the blessing that it is to be able to enjoy the gift of children.
Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. (De 28:41)
True contentment and joy comes when we are able to rejoice in the cute, cuddly, happy moments of life along with the trying, tiring, long days. Newborns change so quickly, then they are toddlers, children, young adults, and married. Cherish and enjoy each and every of those precious moments of life – the smiles, the coos, the diaper changes, the late nights, the wondering eyes. Children truly are a blessing to enjoy.
Did you know that perspective is man’s interpretation of what he sees,
We were recently inspired and convicted by a message from Russell Kelfer on giving good reports. We’re on the air – the question is, what are you declaring? Did you know that from God’s perspective there is always a good report? God wants us to be a billboard for joy through which He can receive great glory. God views all of life’s circumstances as stepping stones to joy while satan views circumstances as measuring sticks of happiness.
The powerful two part message climaxed with a charge to purpose to give a good report. Knowing the human tendency to forget what was taught 24 hours prior, Brother Kelfer exhorted the listeners to record the purpose statement and place it in your Bible as a continual reminder.
I purpose to give a good report.
A Good report:
- Acknowledges that God is productive in all things.
- Focuses on character growth vs. circumstances
- Focuses on what God is doing vs. man
- Calls attention to God’s attributes
- Recognizes that trials, viewed from God’s perspective, result in: Grace (God’s imparted ability to stand), Mercy (God’s blessed limits beyond which satan cannot go), Peace (God’s imparted confidence in His Sovereignty, & Joy (exultation over God’s deeper plan)
A Negative Report:
- Calls attention to self
- Creates a martyr image that steals God’s glory
- Excuses faithlessness
- Focuses on circumstances
- Make’s Christ appear insufficient
- Declares, “I’m defeated”
- Reflects hostility towards God
- Creates an atmosphere of competition for pity
- Makes circumstances the gauge for how good life is
- Focuses on how I feel vs. my spiritual growth
- Magnifies the physical realm
- Forfeits giving God glory.
I recognize that this is a spiritual battle and that there will be many trials and tests, but God has given me the victory in Christ Jesus. All His promises are true. Therefore, I purpose to give only good reports – to God, of God, of myself, and to others. Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, those things will I speak.
May the Lord empower His people to be proclaimers of good reports. The nation of Israel turned down the opportunity to be lead of the Lord into the Promise Land. Why? because they chose to heed a negative report.
Seldom have I heard a missionary so beautifully expound upon the Sovereignty of God while conveying the overwhelming burden of our responsibility to proclaim Christ to the lost. Paul Washer of Heart Cry Missionary Society shares his heart with the body of Christ, urging them to go forth into all the world while reminding them that God will be victorious.
May you be challenged, as I was, to the core by these excerpts from Brother Paul’s exhortation.
…My dear brothers! Let us be strengthened and encouraged by the sovereignty of God. He will be victorious with our without us. Regardless of the apparent failure of the church and the little progress of the Great Commission, we must believe that our God, majestic in His apparel, is even now marching through the world in the greatness of His strength (Is. 63:1) …
My dear brothers! Let us not use the sovereignty of God as an excuse for our lack of passion and unbelief. The same God who has decreed that His Son will be worshipped by every nation has also decreed that this work be carried out through the obedience of His people to the Great Commission…A great privilege and stewardship has been laid upon us…
Acts 17: 24-25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Isaiah 63:5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
Twentieth-century Christianity has put God on charity. So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy to believe that we are necessary to God. Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help. We commonly represent Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father, hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world. Too many missionary appears are based upon this fancy frustration of God. An effective speaker can easily excite pity in his hearers, not only for the heathen, but for the God who has tried so hard and so long to save them and has failed for lack of support. I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service for no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situations His love has gotten Him into and His limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of. – A.W. Tozer
Rom. 10: 14-15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
You must go forth to sow! You cannot sit at your parlor window and sow wheat – and you cannot stand on one little plot of ground and keep on sowing there. If you have done your work in that place, go forth to sow elsewhere! Oh, that the Church of Christ wuld go forth into heathen lands! Oh, that there might be among Christians a general feeling that they must go forth to sow! What a vast acreage there still is upon which not a grain of God’s Wheat has ever yet fallen! Oh, for a great increase of the missionary spirit! May God sent it upon the entire Church until everywhere it shall be said, ‘Behold, a sower went forth to sow.” – Charles Spurgeon
Excerpts taken from the April-June 2012 issue of Heart Cry.
God wants to do the impossible through us, through our families, through the church. He wants to magnify Himself in us unto His glory. He wants to use us, as the church, for His Kingdom work. He is looking for those in the Body through whom He can demonstrate His power.
We talk about how God wants to use us – is He using you? Are you simply satisfied with the status quo in your life – your sin, your lack of fervor, your fear, whatever is keeping you from being completely surrendered to Christ? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to know Him and the power of His resurrection?
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Brethren, we must take heed. We must warn one another. There is a war raging. The barrage of attacks is intense and the stakes are high. Can you lay it all down? Remember the mercies of God upon your life? See His hand at work in your life? Recognize His glory and be satisfied only with the beauty of the Lord, desiring above all else to be in His presence – wholly and holy committed to Him?
If He is not Lord of all then He is not Lord at all in your life. Have you given God every key to every door, closet, and compartment of your life?
God wants to empower you for His kingdom work. To make you a channel, a vessel, through which He can pour His message through. Are you encumbered? What is keeping you back? Consider your state.
To abide in your own strength, apart from the power that comes through a passionate pursuit of an intimate relationship with Christ will endanger your spiritual health, your spiritual judgement, and the work of faith in and through you.
Satan wants nothing less than to distract, render ineffective or useless, confuse, undermine, and divide the body of Christ.
Is your focus on the Lord? Or is it on people and circumstances? In the current state, do you see the mercy of God upon your life, upon your family, upon your church? Do you see His hand at work and do you desire His glory to be manifested both to and through you and your children?