Keepers at Home

Younger women in today’s modern church are too busy with their feet running to and fro in order to spend much time in their own homes (Proverbs 7:11). Careers along with raising children and events such as Girls Night Out is the phenomenon that causes much of this.

 

The Bible advises the “older” women to teach the “younger” how to excel as a keeper at home (Titus 2:4-5). It is definitely a lost art in this contemporary society.

 

“Apples of Gold” is a wondrous ministry promoting this concept ( http://www.applesofgold.org/home.shtml ) Several years ago, the ladies in our church went through this program with uplifting and lasting results.

 

The younger women were so grateful to the older ladies who mentored them – giving them skills and wisdom, which their moms were never able to share with them for one reason or another.

 

There is no Biblical precedent for Girls Nights Out, or Women’s Conferences that take up a whole week-end of a wife and mother’s time, as well as eating into the family budget to pay for the whole event.

 

Single women often have the time and financial resources to participate in this type of fellowship with other singles, but married women can avail themselves of the teaching and ministry of their local churches.

 

Books, Videos and CDs also give us a chance to learn women’s related issues on our own or in a local church class. We can even learn Biblical truth by teaching or assisting in a children’s class.

 

Fellowshipping as couples, and even families, promotes strong church ties and deep friendships with spiritual people in every age group. The best way to learn as a couple is in a class where the spouses both hear the same information.

 

This gives us something to discuss in our private times, opportunities to hold one another accountable for what we learn, and resources that we can research together to teach us to deepen our relationship to one another and to Christ within us both.

 

The Pastor’s Bible studies on Sunday and Wednesday evening are full of Biblical principles for every Believer’s life; yet, so few people avail themselves of this rich and valuable opportunity to grow in Christ and to mature spiritually.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your plan and desire for women is to love our husband and children, and to make them our priority in our life. You state in Your Word that we can learn to live self-controlled and pure lives; so we will not discredit Your reputation by our words and behavior.

 

Teach us to manage our homes well and to live as co-heirs with our own husband. Help us to share with him our opinion, wisdom and leading from Your Spirit, but to ultimately submit to his decisions for our family. If he is rebellious against Your Word, we can pray for him to submit to your Word, strengthen our own ties with You, and attempt to find areas where we can agree as a couple.

 

Thought for the Day:

There is never a good reason for divorce, because with mutual submission we can always find a third alternative with which we can both thrive as individuals, as a couple and as a family; as keepers at home, we uncover God’s fulfilling role for our life.

 

 

Freed from Bondage

If we are interested, God will teach us His ways and help us to walk on His paths (Psalm 25:4). He forgives us, defends us, provides for us and takes revenge for us on those who inflict harm on us in any way.

 

God takes the persecution of His Saints personally and He will avenge His own (Acts 9:4; Romans 12:19). It is easier for us to forgive others when we know that God will take them off our hook and put them firmly on His.

 

They will not escape their punishment from Him (Luke 17:2). Our forgiveness of them does not exonerate them from the wrong they perpetrated on us, but it frees us from being in bondage to them through our unforgiveness.

 

When we exact the revenge our self, it shows a lack of faith in God’s protective care for us. We do not believe God cares or can make the person pay for what they did or said to us.

 

Attempting to vindicate our self leads us into trouble which often makes matters worse and leaves us more vulnerable than ever before (Deuteronomy 32:35-36; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30).

 

When we view life from a temporal rather than an eternal viewpoint, we often think that God is taking too long to make things right.

 

We also overlook our call from God to function in the ministry of reconciliation (Ephesians 1:18), and that we are filled with God’s Spirit and firmly established in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

God’s Spirit gives us the advantage in life by providing us with power in spiritual warfare, which is where much of our abuse by others is initiated (Mark 3:14-15).

 

Prayer:

Father God, open the eyes of our understanding and enlighten us of Your exceeding power within us. Show us the glory of our inheritance with Your Saints (Ephesians 1:18-20). Open our eyes and spiritual ears and teach us to walk in Your Spirit. Teach us to draw our strength, wisdom and grace from Your Spirit who abides within us.

 

Thank You for removing us from the Kingdom of darkness and freeing us from Satan’s bondage over our life through Christ in us. Reveal to us the extent of Your power within us and teach us how to use it for Your glory and to further Your Kingdom on the earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our lack of power in our Christian walk stems from the fact that we do not fully understand our identity in Christ and the power of His Spirit within us.

 

Do Feelings Control Us?

We often experience feelings which we cannot express. We can communicate our basic mood such as happy, sad, mad, glad, frustrated, etc. However, we cannot distinctly and clearly share how we really feel unless we develop a more detailed vocabulary

( http://wire.wisc.edu/quizzesnmore/emotionwords.aspx ).

 

What type of happy do we feel? Glad or elated? Are we simply sad or actually depressed or devastated? Are we mad or annoyed or fuming? Expressing in more detail how we feel helps us to better understand our self, and allows others to better understand us.

 

Our feelings can totally overwhelm our soul. We believe that we must act on them or explode. Sometimes we do explode and end up wounding other people that we really care about.

 

Feelings are red flags to enable us to see how our environment is effecting us. We do not have to act on them, but we can use them to change our environment for the better.

 

We cannot control other people, but we can control our choices. If someone makes a choice that is intolerable to us, we can make our own choice to temporarily remove our self from that situation until it is resolved.

 

Our feelings do not define us, but they do express how our environment is affecting us. As we are aware of and describe what we are feeling, we can make changes to turn our negative feelings into positive ones.

 

We may change our focus, or we can change the situation, or we can pray for God’s deliverance from an unhealthy or unholy or unsuitable situation or environment, which we cannot change.

 

Journaling helps us to sort out our feelings; then if want to keep our feelings private, we can rip the page to shreds or burn it in the campfire or a coffee can!

 

The important point is to acknowledge and provide for our desires, which are using our feelings to indicate what we really need. When we validate our self, we affirm that we are special and deserve tender loving care.

 

God gave us feelings for our good, and we should pay attention to our soul and how life is impacting us. This gives us a feeling of being cared for, if by no one other than our Daddy God and our self. Sometimes, that is all we really need.

 

Prayer:
Father God, as we trust in and rely on You to know what is best for us, You always hear us from Your holy hill and You turn even the worse situation into blessings for our eventual good. We come to a breaking point in our life where we let go of control and dive into the current of life. Instead of fighting the circumstances, we go with Your flow as You use us for Your Kingdom work.

 

At times we cling to our feelings as a defense or as a reason to hide from reality or truth. We use them as a weapon and slay with our words what we perceive as the opposition. Your Word encourages us that a soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). Teach us to respond with a soft answer, no matter how upset we feel, and remind us that we are Your special children and that You love us beyond words.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can acknowledge our emotions and allow them to explain how our situation is affecting us, but then we can let them go and pray for God’s wisdom to see more clearly what action is needed to rectify the situation.

 

Praying without Ceasing

 

There is a penchant in humanity to take things to the extreme. Many in our society will make desperate attempts to gain more intimacy with God to the point of neglecting their duties to family and society.

 

They will cloister their self from life and spend their time in their prayer closet, reading God’s Word and listening to sermons. In an attempt at holiness, they desert all aspiration to give or to receive with anyone other than God.

 

Yet, in doing this they prevent God from using them to reach the lost and dying world around us. A balance of devotional prayer and obedience is what God calls for from His Saints, until the day that He returns to claim His Bride for His own.

 

Then He will take us home to be with Him for eternity. Our current position in Christ allows us to see life from God’s perspective and to choose our words and actions according to the will of God.

 

In this way, we are always moving toward perfection, which is the prize of the high calling of God (Matthew 5:48; Philippians 3:14).

Carrying on throughout our day, we pray without ceasing each moment in order to remain in His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

 

Jesus taught the disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13) by focusing on these aspects:

 

1.) Praising God’s majesty

2.) Anticipating the coming of His Kingdom

3.) Requesting our needs to be met

4.) Repenting of our sins

5.) Forgiving those who sin against us

 

As we live in a place of communion with God during every waking moment, we have so much assurance of His love for us that we are able to rejoice regardless of the circumstance surrounding us (Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we walk in Your Spirit, we give thanks for everything that happens to us – the good, the bad and the ugly, because we know this is Your will and You always work out all things for our ultimate good (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17; Romans 8:28).

 

We rejoice and give You praise and thanksgiving for Your eternal care for everything that concerns us. We could never, ever repay You for Your personal love and care for each one of us. Thank You for taking a personal interest in our life and for providing for all of our needs.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we gather around the throne of Heaven, there will be a great innumerable multitude from every single nation, tribe, people and language group all standing there with us in worship and thanksgiving before our redeeming Lamb. – Revelation 7:9

Answers to Life’s Questions

There are several questions that every human being wants answered. Who are we? Where did we come from? What are we here for? Where are we going? Scientists, philosophers and researchers spend inordinate amounts of time looking for answers.

God is the source of all of our answers. He created us as His Children, for His glory and to spend eternity with Him in His Kingdom (Galatians 3; 2 Corinthians 5; Romans 8).

Everyone who chooses to believe in Christ and His sacrifice for us on Calvary’s cross finds our true identity in Him. Those who refuse to believe condemn themselves to eternal darkness (John 3:16-18).

God is constantly perfecting us by His Spirit who abides in our spirit. He takes away our desire to sin, and it no longer appeals to us. We are alive to God and we desire intimacy with Him more than the temporal pleasures of sin.

God’s Spirit helps us to walk away from our weakness and addictions. He searches our heart and knows our mind and prays for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

We are Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, and God’s Spirit replaces the carnal nature in our soul with the divine nature of Christ. Our eternal destination is heaven (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Jesus swallowed up death, and gave us the victory through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8). What the world views as the finality of death is actually the ultimate victory for God’s children.

Leaving this earth is to our benefit, because God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Romans 8:28; Psalm 116:15). In truth, there is greater advantage for us to go Home to the glory of Heaven than to continue living here on this sin-cursed earth (Philippians 1:21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for making us a new creation in Christ, for filling our life with Your peace and joy, and for exchanging our sin for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Through His resurrection, we have assurance by Your Spirit of enjoying everlasting life with You both now and for eternity.

You rescue us from violence and deceit, because we are precious in Your sight (Psalm 72:14). Your mercy and grace are our mainstays and ground us in this life with stability and normalcy, which only You can give. We cling to Your promises and enjoy the divine nature of Christ in us (2 Peter 1:4). Continue to mold us into sanctified servants for Your Holy Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
Accepting who we are in Christ, and why we are different from those in the world, helps us to make an eternal difference in our world.

A Reasoned Response

Most of my answers are soft (Proverbs 15:1); however, my life was filled with people who took me for granted and ignored me unless I YELLED and unleashed the full fury of my Italian wrath every once in a while.

I always wanted to have a sweet response when someone stepped on my last nerve, or yanked my chain one too many times, but people tended not to take me seriously unless I yelled.

Therefore, when the people in my life changed, I had to practice giving soft answers, to practice choosing to give a reasoned response, rather than letting my emotions build within me until I simply exploded (Psalm 116:7).

In the ensuing years, God allowed my children to grow up into responsible adults who live in their own homes. He also gave me a husband who nurtures and cherishes me.

God helped me to understand that I do not need wrath to get my point across. All I need to do is to quietly say, “I really want you to take me seriously, and listen to what I am saying.”

Our authority is in Christ, not in our self or the intensity of our words. In Christ, quietness is our confidence and strength (Isaiah 30:15, 32:17). When two people disagree, they can always find a compromise.

When we speak with God’s authority instead of our own, people listen. We get the person’s attention, share our needs and then relax in quietness and confidence that the Lord will fight for us, as we wait on Him (Exodus 14:14).

We can trust that God already placed the seed for a miracle in every trial, which we will ever encounter. If we water this seed with faith, patience and confidence in God’s faithfulness, a beautiful plant of blessing will grow.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that Satan battles for our soul through our mind, choices and emotions. He knows he already lost our spirit to You, but he wants to destroy our soul, and our witness for You (Proverbs 34:13). Help us to choose to step out of our self-effort and into Your authority by the guidance of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:23; Isaiah 45:22).

Wounds from our past and ever-occurring wounds in our present life – being belittled, discounted, deprived emotionally or physically, abandoned, insecure and frightened in our heart – will manifest in our words.

Yet, as we trust You, You help us to heal from our wounds. We will dwell in security and rest (Isaiah 32:18). May our thoughts and words be pleasing to You as we rely on You as our rock and Redeemer (Psalm 20:14).

Thought for the Day:
As God heals the wounds in our soul, as we relinquish our pet peeves and idols to Him, as we surrender control of our life to Him and realize that nothing can happen to us that is not already part of His plan for us (Isaiah 7:4), then we can think and speak quiet, confident thoughts rather than broiling negative emotions.