Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Gracious Heart

(I know you all are probably really tired of seeing lilac photos, but I have an infatuation with them right now! :-)

Graciousness is an invaluable quality!  But it can be so hard to exercise this noble character trait sometimes.  I find that I struggle with this most often when dealing with false teachers.  My first instinct, though passionate as it may be, is always to scream the truth and seek that it be obtained.  While being passionate and zealous for the truth is a wonderful thing, we should be equally passionate about developing a gracious and kind spirit.  Not just towards the people who we agree with on every subject, but likewise, the ones who stir up heated theological discussions with us.  People who appear to antagonize us and drive us over the edge of  "crazy cliff", may have been brought into our lives solely for the purpose of teaching us to be gracious.

Now I am not saying to condone sin and just sweep it under the God's grace, I don't want to ever do that-!  But we should proceed with kindness and a humble heart, seeking to honor God and point others to Christ with our words.  Not just Christ's wrath, (which I seem to do well) but His all sufficient grace.

However, when dealing with people who are genuinely workers of iniquity, we should proceed with firmness and caution.  Christ rebuked the Pharisee's and drove the merchant's out of the temple. ("And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." John 2:14-17)  We see commands from Paul for one of the Churches to purge the evil person from among them. ("...Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person". 1 Corinthians 5:13)  So I think that it is important to maintain a healthy clarity as to who we should avoid and rebuke and who we should approach more gently, or answer with grace, when confronted by them.

Having a tender heart towards unbelievers can be a truly good thing, but we cannot let it interfere with our distaste for evil.  When we encounter people who are willfully seeking to destroy Christ's Church, we should instantly feel the need to protect the body of believers and avoid that person at all costs.  If God desires to bring them to repentance, they will eventually respect and understand your protectiveness for other Christians.

Learning to have a kind heart is inestimable!  It is essential for properly conveying the character of God.  Learning to view things from a spiritual perspective will help us immensely in our endeavors to achieve a gracious spirit.  If we can look at a person and remind ourselves that without the saving hand of God, we could be exactly like them, it will help us attain the graciousness we so desire.  Understanding that we did nothing to deserve God's gift of salvation, will help us appreciate it and instill a precious attitude towards the state of our eternal souls.

As we embark on our venture to pursue graciousness, we should also remember to pray fervently for our enemies and our brother's and sister's in Christ.  We need to pray that God will provide us the grace to be the vessels for His glory that He intends for us to be.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Poem

(a poem that I wrote for my Mother this Mother's Day)

The Portrait of a Biblical Mother

She is brimming with strength and might,
Fighting battles with feminine grace
Conquering evil and shattering lies
Fighting hard for a heavenly Kingdom,
She is brimming with strength and might.

The fruit of her hands is pure and whole,
Seen as good in the eyes of a majestic God.
Worthy of honor amongst her peers,
And  yet despised among the enemies of the Lord.
The fruit of her hands is pure and whole.

She does not weary nor lose heart,
A redeemed soul and the mind of Christ are her shield and sword
The word of God, her map thru this tiring journey
Dispelling myths about true beauty
She does not weary nor lose heart.

She is strong in the grace of God
She lacks no slumber or rest
Carrying on thru these treacherous times, she seldom feels worn
God grants her strength to persevere and press on
She is strong in the grace of God.

Her hands have toiled to honor God with new life,
Fear and admonition of Him, she has instilled.
Caring for and nurturing new mighty warriors
Who will strive to fight as she, in this heavenly battle
Her hands have toiled to honor God with new life.

Her heart is full of graciousness and love,
Willing to help all who are in need.
Self-less and humble for those whom she loves,
Yet receiving so little in return.
Her heart is full of graciousness and love.

A life of ease, she has not see,
But integrity is earned from a life of toil
Her spirit has been broken and grieved
But only that she may be able to feel the merciful hand of God
A life of ease she has not seen. 

God has smiled upon this sometimes weary soul
Her efforts to further His kingdom and embrace her role
Are precious treasures among the angels in heaven
As Christ will honor her noble endeavors
God has smiled upon this sometimes weary soul.

This Is War - Paul Washer

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Remnant

People love to put their faith in numbers.  And while, there is help and sometimes wisdom in numbers, ("Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. Ecclesiastes 4:9  "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14), we shouldn't formulate an assumption that "numbers" demonstrate possessors of truth.  

Many people like to believe that unless there are a considerable amount of individuals following after a movement, religion, or set of beliefs and convictions, they must not be sound.  This is primarily being seen among families who are seeking after a lifestyle that is glorifying to God.  Families who are embracing convictions that clearly define the difference in the Biblical roles of men and women, desiring to honor God with the education of their children and are striving after a life that holds fast to the theology of the early Christians, Reformers and Puritans, are a minority in this world.  We are even a minority among the so called "Christian" and modern day home school communities.  One area that is particularly under harsh attack, is daughters who have decided to stay at home and honor God with their lives until marriage.  There are so many people who want to declare that since there is only a small amount of people seeking this lifestyle, it must be a giant fallacy...however, the Word of God speaks something very different.

  • "Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it."  (Ezekiel 14:22)
  • "For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things." (Zechariah 8:12)
  • "Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth."  (Romans 9:27-28)
    • "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." (Romans 11:5)
      • "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."  (Revelation 12:17)

        These are just a few passages, there are many more.  As we can see, there are many instances in Scripture which make reference to God taking for Himself  a remnant.  This utterly destroys any theory that would affirm God is not in small numbers.  Just take a close look at some of the false religions out there.  Look at how many people are Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Islam, etc.  Just because there are a large quantity of people embracing those religions, does not mean they are sound!  Likewise, a small amount of people embracing a certain lifestyle does not make it sound either.  That is not the issue I am seeking to address, the issue at hand is one where the world is declaring that a minority is evidence of a farce. 

        So when faced with these false doctrines that stare us in the face and scream in our ears, it is always important to look at everything from a Biblical perspective and return to them the truth of God for their lies.  The truth is, a life that is oriented towards the furtherance of Christ's kingdom in a Biblical manner, is not easy.  We are faced with so many people who want nothing more than to convince us that our convictions are not from God and steal our hearts for the promotion of their rebellion towards Christ.  Let us be always mindful of the battle we, as genuine Christian young women are in and be constantly girding ourselves up with the Word of God.

        "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..." (Ephesians 6:10-18)