November 18, 2016 – Assurance
There are no absolute assurances in this life we lead on this earth. We are not assured that every child will be born healthy, that every marriage will last a life time, that all our children will grow up to be morally minded, respectful adults or that we will live a long and healthy life.
There are no assurances that we will have a good job, enough money for the bills and food, that we will live in a nice house or drive a nice car. No one is assured that they can attend college, become famous, write a book, or even finish high school.
We awake each morning without the assurance that we will make it through the day. There is no assurance that we might not have an accident, be a victim of a violent crime or succumb to a stroke or heart attack. When we go to sleep at night, we are not assured that we will wake up healthy in the morning or that we will even wake up. This life has no assurances.
There is only one assurance available to us and that is salvation and the chance of living an eternal life without evil, illness, pain or sin, a life so full of love that it could very well overwhelm us. If we have accepted Jesus as our savior and lord we are assured of this eternal salvation, this utopia with him as our ruler and king, but we must totally accept him as this and go to him in prayer, repenting of our sins and asking him to live in us. Anyone can say a prayer, but they are simply just words unless they truly come from the heart. Today I am thankful for the assurance I have in Jesus Christ, my lord and king.
Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, of the Father and of Christ.
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born in his spirit, washed in his blood. Perfect submission, perfect delight, visions of rapture now burst on my sight; angels descending, bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my savior am happy and blessed. Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with his goodness, lost in his love. (Frances J. Crosby, 1873 )
November 19, 2016 – Bitterness
There is a list of 5 different definitions for “Bitterness” but the ones I think applies to this article is #5, which is “resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish or disappointment and #6 “Marked by resentment or cynicism.”
I don’t often talk about my past with many people. Only those few special friends and loved ones know all that I went through in my life. They also know how God brought me from a dangerous situation and has led me step by step to where I am today. Those who have heard my story are amazed that I don’t show as much bitterness as others would have, given the circumstances I found myself in at young age. All of this due to my own mistakes and letting the wrong people into my life.
Let it suffice to say that I have been through hell and back at an early age, that for many years I feared for my life, didn’t know if I would make it through each day. Even after God moved me out of that situation, there were others who took advantage of my giving nature until they had almost drained me of every ounce of energy I had and every cent I made. It was partly my fault because I wanted to help people so badly I actually became an enabler.
For many months after I got away from the abusive situation, I was a bitter person. For the first time in almost 20 years I was allowed to open my mouth, I was allowed to complain about something I didn’t like, I was allowed to be sick and complain about that. It wasn’t until they hired another woman that sounded just like me that I realized what a bitter person I had become. Just listening to her sounded like a recording of me.
When I accepted Jesus as my savior he gave me peace, peace I had never felt before. I still thought about the past but not with the same bitterness and anger I had felt before, and I stopped complaining about everything. Sometimes I think he put this woman in my life to show me a mirror image of what I was becoming. Today I am thankful that the Lord has taken my bitterness away.
Ephesians 4:31-32 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
November 20, 2016 – Cleansing
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things
As I grew up, I often would hear some of the church women state that “cleanliness was next to godliness.” I never quite understood what they were talking about. As I have gotten older and have been studying the Bible in depth, there may be a lot to this saying.
In biblical days, before Jesus arrived on the scene, there rules that God gave the people about cleanliness. The keepers and priests of the tabernacle were to cleanse themselves before performing certain sacrifices on days that God said were holy.
People who were sick with leprosy, were kept outside the city and away from anyone else, but when they were healed, they were to cleanse themselves before appearing before the priest to be pronounced clean. Women stayed outside the city for months after child bearing and for a week during their menstrual cycle before they would be clean.
Baptism was considered an act of cleaning oneself of all impurities that were vile to God when accepting him or Jesus as lord and savior. John began baptizing people before Jesus came to him to be baptized, and the disciples continued baptizing in his name long after he arose to heaven.
But there is another way we must cleans ourselves. In this immoral, vile, violent world we live in, it is so easy to harbor thoughts of anger, hatred, sorrow, unrest and so much more. Sometimes we can carry all of this around with us for weeks, months and even years.
Back in the late sixties and early seventies, when the hippie revolution was going on, people started meditating on the good things in life, like love, forgiveness, nature, and peace, and they had the right idea, although they should have been meditating on God first.
Every so often I do what I call a “Soul and Heart Cleansing”. I step back from the world and take a close look at what thoughts have been going through my head. As I take inventory, I repent of the ones that are not pleasing to God and hold onto the ones that are good. Today I am thankful to the Lord for showing me how to do a cleansing, not just of the body, but of the mind also.