Month: March 2012
In the early morning hours
As the day begins anew;
Do your thoughts turn to Jesus
And what He has done for you?
Or do you get so busy
With the burdens of the day?
and miss life’s greatest blessings
‘Cause you don’t take time to pray?
©Edna L. Ingram
CAST ONE VOTE FOR GOD.
It will be conceded that a Christian’s first duty is to God. It then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code of morals to the polls and vote them. Whenever a Christian votes, he votes against God or for Him. He knows this quite well.
God is an issue in every election. He is a candidate in the person of every clean nominee on every ticket; His purity and His approval are there, to be voted for or voted against, and no (loyalty) to party can absolve His servant from his higher and more exacting (Loyalty) to Him. If Christians should vote their duty to god at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease. They would elect every clean candidate in the United States, and defeat every soiled one. Their prodigious power would be quickly realized, and afterward there would be no unclean candidates upon any ticket, and graft would cease.
Yet every Christian congregation in the country elects foul men to public office, while quite aware that this also is an open, a deliberate insult to God, Who cannot approve and does not approve the placing of the liberties and the well-being of His children in the hands of infamous men. It is the Christian congregations that are responsible for filling of our public offices with criminals, for the reason that they could prevent it if they chose to do it.
If the Christians of America could be persuaded to vote God and a clean ticket, it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country…a country whose Christians have betrayed it and are destroying it. Christianity is on trial now. And nothing important is on trial except Christianity. –Mark Twain, September 2, 1905
WEIGH THE CHILDREN
The story is told of a missionary family in China who was forced to leave after the Communists took control. Soldiers came to their home and gave them two hours to prepare to leave. They would be permitted to take only two hundred pounds of their belongings. The family hurriedly sorted through their personal belongs trying to decide what to take and what to leave. They each took a minimum of clothing, a couple of precious family heirlooms and a few books which all together weighed within the two hundred pound limit. After two hours had passed, the soldiers returned to escort the family to the train station.
“Have you weighed your belongings?” They asked. “Yes, two hundred pounds exactly,” the missionary replied. “Did you weigh your children?” The soldiers asked. “Um….No.” Replied the missionary. “Weigh the children.” The soldier replied.
In an instant, the material possessions that they had agonized over for the last two hours became trash. These material possessions meant nothing compared to the value of their children.
No loving parent would view their children as less valuable than material possessions. Yet, many parents in our society and even within the church, leave their young children with baby sitters and day care centers, and leave their older children at home alone, as they spend their time pursuing and accumulating the material things of this life. Satan has convinced us that we need to work diligently to give our children all the things our society says are important.
We have forgotten the words of Jesus in Luke 12:15, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Satan has offered our society great wealth and prosperity if we will just spend more time on the job making money and lest time with our children doing our job as parents. Have we ever stopped to ask what it is costing us? It is costing us our children!
The children of our society are being lost to drugs, alcohol, violence, crime, sexual immorality, excessive debt, poverty and a host of other social woes because many of the parents of our society are neglecting their parental responsibilities in order to pursue and accumulate the material things of this life.
I want to encourage you as a parent. Weigh the children!
I am writing the book of Matthew in my New Testament writing and I am in chapter 16. I just got down to this Scripture a few minutes ago and although I have read this many times…In writing it, I was taken aback like never before!!
Matthew 16:21-23 From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. “Never, Lord!” he said, “This shall never happen to You!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
I think Peter meant well but maybe was filled with false courage and maybe a bit of pride. It made me think: How many times in my Christian walk…Have I done something or said something that would have been worthy of Jesus saying that to me! I think without a doubt there was…more than once! It made me think how much we need to be aware of what we are doing at all times and the reasons we are doing it. How many put playing ball and other activities before Bible classes or the worship assembly, because they don’t want to let their team or others down? There are many things we can do that look like we may be doing a good thing and really mean it that way…when actually “we have in mind the things of men”, (or individuals) like Jesus said of Peter. Something to think about!
What is the greatest influence in a child’s life? Is it his school friends, the books he reads, movies he sees, a favorite school teacher? As great as these influences are, they do not compare with the influence of his mother. The mother’s influence is even greater upon children than the father’s influence. Why this is true, I do not know. It may be because of the time she has to spend with them compared to the time the father has to spend. This we know that God intended (Titus 2:3-5).
Her influence is so great upon her children; it even decides to some extent the father’s influence upon them, and how much respect and honor they have for him. What a tremendous responsibility mothers have! Christian counselors say that there is a distinct connection, how children grow up feeling about their earthly father and how they feel about their Heavenly Father. I know this was true in my life, growing up and even now.
There was a Christian counselor discussing a woman’s problems with her and he asked about her relationship with her father as she was growing up. She replied that he was a good father to them but that he was always gone away on business and spent very little time with them. She went on describing him and then the counselor asked her how she felt about God. She told him that she believed there was a God but that He seemed so distant.
Even the most dedicated Christian father has enough small faults that if the mother isn’t careful, she can make him look like a ‘Rat’ in the eyes of his children. Children need so desperately to have a daddy they can respect and look up to, in order to grow up respecting and honoring God. Even if the daddy is not a Christian while his children are small, the mother has the power to cause her husband’s good qualities or his bad ones to influence their children. He may later in life obey the gospel, but the damage will have already been done and no amount of regret can erase it. What a tragedy!
By this I do not mean that she teaches them that everything Daddy does is right, but she does need to teach them to have a great respect and reverence for him. Minimize his faults (for we all have them) and build up his many good points. Teach your little ones to honor their daddy and then…when and as they grow up, they will know how to reverence and honor their Heavenly Father. ©Edna L. Ingram, Christian Woman Magazine, February 1979
A GREAT PRODUCT…IN A NOT SO GOOD CONTAINER!
I have never purchased a can of _________ and been able to use the whole can before the spray quits. Most of the time it is still half full and I have to toss it. I don’t know if all the cans are that way or if I am just the lucky one every time. ________ is a great product…you know when you have that dreadful, embarrassing clinging in your clothes and you can just spray them with _________, even while you are wearing them.
This time I decided to let them know about the can and they were very prompt in making up for it. I received in the mail this morning, a nice letter and 2 coupons for 2 free cans of ________. More than makes up for the last can I bought…and they are working on a more efficient container.
Wow! That is all I was going to write…(I promise you that I didn’t think about this until I was almost finished with the post LOL) but while typing the post, I thought that this lends itself to more than just an earthly product.
What a great product God gave to this sinful world! The precious blood of His Son and His gospel, (Good News)! Jesus preached about His church in future tense, while He was here on earth, but on the first Pentecost after His resurrection, in Acts 2, the first gospel sermon was preached and His church started…and it was given to those apostles and first Christians to spread the gospel and today it is the responsibility of all who call themselves Christians.
Yes, He left this Treasure in ‘earthen vessels’ (Christians…2 Corinthians 4:7) to distribute to the world His saving grace. And what a sorry lot we are. But God’s grace more than makes up for our weakness…and He is working on making us more efficient containers…vessels. Some are better at it than others but I think more of us would be efficient at it, if there were more who were interested in hearing it.
How’s our container or vessel? Do we spew the contents out all at once without thinking of the feelings of others? Do we fail to give important information…or do we spray just what is needed in that particular situation and time?
II CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 4:1-9 “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…”