Maranatha Bible Studies

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Study on Submission and Obedience

One cannot be submissive without obedience - one cannot be obedient without being submissive. They go hand-in-hand, don't they?

Our children are commanded to obey. We are commanded to obey God. We are commanded to submit ourselves to God. Woman are commanded to submit themselves to their own husbands. We can glean much if we read verses dealing with this topic and applying it to our lives. If we practice true biblical obedience and submission, how can an unsaved husband or disobedient husband to the Word help but see God's goodness through our actions? If we, as wives, are not obedient and submissive to our husbands, how can we expect our children to be obedient to us? If we're not practicing what we preach to our children, are we not hypocrites?

But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1Sa 12:15)

When we know that God wants us to do something, yet we don't do it, we are being disobedient. We are sinning. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Jam 4:17) Therefore, if God tells us to submit to our own husbands in all things, and we don't submit in one little area, are we not sinning?

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1Sa 15:22) We can play the game of sacrifice all we want, but if we disobey in one area, we are not a delight to the Lord. Let's say my husband tells me to do something I don't want to do. Instead I make up for it by going the extra mile in doing other things for him - that is the game of sacrifice rather than obedience. I may have all the warm fuzzy feelings in the world because I did all those extra things for him, but I did not do what he asked me to do.

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. (Jer 7:23) When we obey, God says it will be well with us. We will have peace in our homes and foremost in our hearts. Women are emotional creatures. God made us that way. If we are trying to be a yielded vessel to God, we know automatically when we are not doing right. We do not have that peace that our actions are what God wants. We lie to our own selves when we say that we are doing the "right" thing yet we know it is not our husband's will.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Col 3:20) Don't expect your children to obey you if you don't obey/submit to your husband. Your children do not have to witness your unsubmissive spirit - it will be evident in other ways and you will reap with disobedient children. When your children are disobedient, look inward - examine yourself first. Are you a submissive wife? If you are, then deal with your children accordingly. If you're not, then deal with yourself accordingly. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7)

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: (Col 3:22) Obedience and submission is such an important lesson for us to learn. Without it, there is chaos. That is the reason the world is in the shape it's in. We have lost our singleness of heart (purity of heart - separation) and our fear of God. We do not see our disobedience as sin. We think we know better or have more wisdom than our husband. But the Word does not say to submit only when we think it's right.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (1 Pe 3:1) Why would Peter say this? The "conversation" of a meek and submissive wife speaks volumes to her unsaved or disobedient husband. He does not need the Word. He sees the Word in action by her submission!

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Eph 5:22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Col 3:18) Twice Paul commands the wives to submit their own husbands. Take notice and obey. To do otherwise, is sin.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Jam 4:7) When we submit ourselves to our husbands, we are submitting to God's will for our lives - as unto the Lord. God did not create us to rule our homes. No matter if we could do a better job than our husbands can, it is not our place to rule and go against his wishes. We do not have the God-given wisdom and discernment that God gives to men. We were made to nurtur, not lead. We women are emotional and do not base our decisions on logic as a man does. The devil will whisper in our ear and say that we know better but we should not succumb. We are to resist the devil - submit ourselves to God by submitting ourselves to our husbands.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Eph 5:33) The word reverence is only ever used in Scriptures as it relates to God, a king, superiors or our husbands. That should tell you something. Noah Webster says reverence means:
...to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection. We reverence superiors for their age, their authority and their virtues. We ought to reverence parents and upright judges and magistrates. We ought to reverence the Supreme Being, his word and his ordinances.
If a woman willingly submits to her husband, she reverences him. She shows him that she gives him the respect he rightly deserves. He should not receive it only when he earns it - his position as husband and head of your home says he deserves reverence. This is God appointed and God commanded. Without this order, there is chaos in the home.

Godly submission, obedience and reverence are our goals in life, ladies. We are to practice, practice, practice! When you go against your husband's wishes, can you honestly admit that your heart and your home are at peace? Honestly? If you are experiencing strife in your home, look to your heart first and see if you are being the submissive wife God has commanded you to be. Only then will you know for sure. If you're not, repent and ask forgiveness from God and from your dear husband.

If you are submitting to your husband as unto the Lord, God will give you grace during your trial and will provide for every need you have. He does not forsake us!!!

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Study on Blessings

The word blessing appears 64 times in Scriptures. The first time it appears is in Gen. 12:2, "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:" If I apply the rule of "firsts" here, I see two active parts of the word blessing: (1) God giving the blessings and (2) Believers being a blessing.

I. God is the one who gives these blessings. The tense of this phrase is future and on-going - God will bless us. Gen. 12:2 was given to the nation of Israel but can be applied to us today. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal 3:14)

A. Characteristics of God's Blessings

1. Birthright - Gen. 27.35 (Esau gave up his birthright for something to eat.)

a. The Christian's birthright comes by being born again into God's Kingdom (John 3:3).

i. God blesses us with salvation. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah. (Psa 3:8)

ii. He gives us showers of blessing because we believe on His Son, Jesus Christ. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Eze 34:26)

b. Abraham's blessing passed on to us - That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal 3:14)

c. The Gospel brings a blessing - And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. (Rom 15:29)

2. Fruitfulness - Gen. 28:3 Children are a blessing from God. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psa 127:3)

3. Spills over to others - Gen. 39:5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

a. When we walk uprightly, God blesses us. Our families glean from these blessings because of us. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: (Heb 6:7)

4. Sometimes has to be sought after - Gen. 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

5. Blessings can come with curses - Deut. 11:27-28

a. A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: (27) And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. (28)
If we obey the Word, we will be blessed. If we don't obey, we will not be blessed.

b. Both can come out of the same person - Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (Jam 3:10)

6. Curses can be turned into blessings - Deut. 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

7. Commanded to remember them - Deut. 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

8. Blessings given to:

a. The pure of heart - He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. (Psa 24:4) He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psa 24:5)

b. Those that live in unity - Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psa 133:1) It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; (Psa 133:2) As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psa 133:3)

9. Blessings make us rich spiritually - The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. (Pro 10:22)

10. Blessings come as a result of tithing and love offerings
And the first of all the firstfruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house. (Eze 44:30)

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Mal 3:10)

11. Blessings come from repentance - And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. (Joe 2:13) Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? (Joe 2:14)

B. We are to bless God - to pronounce Him holy and sanctify Him, His day and all things having to do with Him.

And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. (Luk 24:53)

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Rev 5:12)

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Rev 5:13)

Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (Rev 7:12)

II. Because of receiving God's blessings, God said the recipient shall be a blessing. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it. (Gen 33:11)

Share God's goodness and your surplus with others. And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. (Zec 8:13)

Because the Lord has saved us, be a blessing and lead others to Him!

A. Recipient gives of the fruit of his blessings - Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee. (Deu 16:17)

B. Blessing others even when they aren't blessing you - Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1Pe 3:9)

Much is to be said about blessings. I think the most famous verse, however, is:

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Act 20:35)


Make Me A Blessing

Out on the highways and byways of life,
Many are the weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.

Chorus
Make me a blessing, make me a blessing;
Out of my life may Jesus shine.
Make me a blessing, O Saviour I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.

Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love,
Tell of His pow'r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
True every moment you live.

Chorus

Give as 'twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.

Chorus

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A great story about being a blessing to someone else and it involves listening to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Enjoy :-)

God Speaks . . . Do You Listen?

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?" After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God..If you still speak to people speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli."Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, "Turn Down that street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street.At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will".

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in semi commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. "Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid." Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here."

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?" Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. "What is it?" The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you."

The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk." His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

To And Fro

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14)

I was studying these two verses this morning and why Paul would tell us to be no more children. Although the English word children fits nicely here and gives us the sense of striving toward spiritual growth, I looked up the Greek word for children and discovered that the word used here was not the usual word for children as we know it but meaning "figuratively a simple minded person, an immature Christian: - babe, childish"! Whoa! That surely puts punch to the verse now! An immature Christian is either immature because he is newly saved or is not in the Word. One needs to be in the Word so he can grow - it's just like a baby needing milk. Withhold that milk, and that baby will become malnourished. Peter exhorted the newborn babes to grow by getting into the Word. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1Pe 2:2)

If a believer does not get into the Word, he will be easily deceived by cult members. He will be easily deceived into believing that worldliness is OK. He will be a sucker for every wind of doctrine. He will be easily influenced by what his peers believe. His flesh will lead him rather than his spirit. Jesus knew that the flesh would starve the believer and mislead but the spirit would feed that believer into growth. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (Joh 6:63)

When I came into this world, my parents fed me as I was not able to feed myself. Once I grew to a toddler, I learned to feed myself. But my mother still controlled what I ate so I was still pretty healthy. As an older youth and teenager, I would leave the house and eat junk food. I didn't feed myself the proper nourishment I needed and only got this proper nourishment when I went back home and sat down to a meal fixed by my Mom. When I left home for good, I was in charge of my own cooking and did not eat properly. I soon discovered that I was catching every cold that went around, flu bug, etc. Maybe there was something wise in what Mom tried to teach me! Could it be she was right? I needed proper nourishment to fight off disease and to keep my body healthy - I needed proper nourishment to give me energy to deal with the day's tasks.

Let's compare that with our spiritual nourishment. If we quench the Holy Spirit by not heeding His conviction when He tries to show us our sin, we feed our flesh. When we do not read the Word, we cannot build our faith (our strength) and we cannot grow. We saw this earlier when Peter said to desire the Word so we can grow. If we are not growing spiritually, then we are feeding our flesh more than our spirit. We are allowing worldliness into our lives more than we are allowing spiritual things into our lives. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (Rom 8:5)

Is it your parents responsibility to feed you now that you are an adult and not living at home? Of course not! Is it your pastor's responsibility to feed you spiritual food? Watch out what you answer! If you answer yes, then you are still a babe in Christ. You are still the child mentioned in Ephesians 4:14. Shame on you if you have been saved for more than a few months and answered yes to this question. It is your responsibility to feed yourself spiritually. Yes, we get fed at church but that should not be the only time you eat! Can you imagine if you fed your body only three times a week? Your pastor can only feed you when you are at church - that's only about six hours a week. Are you starving the other 162 hours in the week?

Feed yourself, Christian! How important is the Word in our lives? Here are a few reasons:

BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psa 119:9) The Word cleanses me.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) The Word keeps me from sinning.

DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. (Psa 119:25) The Word makes me alive!

My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. (Psa 119:28) The Word strengthens me.

VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. (Psa 119:41) The Word shows me mercy.

So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. (Psa 119:42) The Word enables me to have the right words to respond to accusations.

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psa 119:50) The Word comforts me.

TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word. (Psa 119:65) The Word convicts me.

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. (Psa 119:67) The Word keeps me from going astray.

They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. (Psa 119:74) The Word gives me hope.

Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. (Psa 119:76) The Word comforts me.

LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psa 119:89) The Word is settled - never changing.

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. (Psa 119:101) The Word keeps me from evil.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) The Word gives me direction in a dark world.

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psa 119:133) The Word brings order to my walk.

Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. (Psa 119:140) The Word is pure.

Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. (Psa 119:148) The Word is to be meditated on.

I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. (Psa 119:158) The Word burdens my heart for the lost.

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psa 119:160) The Word is truth and is everlasting.

I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. (Psa 119:162) The Word is precious!

TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. (Psa 119:169) The Word gives understanding.

Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. (Psa 119:170) The Word delivers me.

My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. (Psa 119:172) The Word is righteous.

Does the Christian need the Word? Your answer will define whether you are a child tossed to and fro. Which one are you?

The Definition of Submission

According to Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary, submission is:

SUBMIS'SION, n. [L. submissio, from submitto.]

1. The act of submitting; the act of yielding to power or authority; surrender of the person and power to the control or government of another.

2. Acknowledgment of inferiority or dependence; humble or suppliant behavior.

3. Acknowledgment of a fault; confession or error.

4. Obedience; compliance with the commands or laws of a superior. Submission of children to their parents is an indispensable duty.

5. Resignation; a yielding of one's will to the will or appointment of a superior without murmuring. Entire and cheerful submission to the will of God is a christian duty of prime excellence.

WOW! Look at #5 - it says "without murmuring" ... SO I looked up murmuring in Noah's dictionary and got:

Uttering complaints in a low voice or sullen manner; grumbling; complaining.

"in a low voice or sullen manner" -- sullen meaning angrily in a quiet manner.

Do you think God is telling us to submit and not to complain under our breath or in our actions?

Today's Merriam Webster dictionary is far from the definitions that Noah has from this 1828 dictionary ... these are the definitions of the words used in the King James Bible. Not today's filtered and watered down definitions. A good study to see the difference is to look up the word sin in both dictionaries and you will be amazed at what the devil has done. Merriam-Webster doesn't elaborate and so their definition pretty much leaves it to the reader to determine exactly what is meant. The heart is perfectly wicked, the Word says. So no one will search out their sin in Merriam-Webster's definition. However, Noah's is very defined.

Can you tell I love to study the Word??? I may have bored you all to tears but at least I got it out of my system!

In any case, submission according to Kate is:

Yielding my will to my husband because he was given the authority over me (appointed as my superior) and I am to yield with my mouth and my heart because what's in the heart comes out the mouth.

Kate Plourde
March 23, 2006

Do Our Actions Say We Hate God?

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exo 3:5) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exo 3:6)

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11)

We have all heard that "actions speak louder than words" - or "actions speak volumes"! What do my actions speak about my love for the Lord? More importantly, do I hold God in a place of honor in my life above any other? What does God deserve? Why does He deserve this place of honor?

Do I truly view God as Moses viewed Him in Ex. 3:5-6? Do I stand on holy ground when I am doing my devotions? Or have I taken the worldly Christian's view of "Abba Daddy" too far? Do I give God the reverence that is due Him? Or have I "trivialized" His position in my walk and worship?

Yes, our Heavenly Father IS our Abba, Father. But do I speak to my earthly Dad with disrespect? Do I put my Dad on the same level as my friends? Of course not. My earthly father is respected and has a "higher" place than my friends. I don't speak to him in the same manner as I would my friends. The average Christian today has removed this respect and honor for God from their lives.

The phrase, Abba, Father is mentioned three times in the Word:

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mar 14:36)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal 4:6)

Whenever we want to learn what the Word has to say about a certain topic, the best Teacher is Christ Himself. Christ revered His Abba, Father to the point of praising Him (all things are possible unto thee), petitioning Him (take away this cup from me), and finally submitting to His will (nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt). Christ did not treat His prayer as though it was a talk with one of His friends. He recognized His position as being under submission but yet as a Son speaking to His Father. What a great teacher.

Why doesn't God work through men and women today as He did with our forefathers? Could it be because we have allowed the devil to dilute God's holiness and position in our lives? Do I "take off my shoes" in my heart as I enter into my prayer closet to spend time with the Lord? Do I hide my face because I am not worthy to look upon the face of God?

If not, why not? More importantly, if not - then what are my actions revealing? God is not just "one of the guys"! God is not my "buddy"! God is not "the Man upstairs"! How dare we trivialize God? How dare we put God on "our level"?

Yes, the Word does say that God is our friend. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. (Exo 33:11a) But do you treat your friend with disrespect? Then why do you watch movies or listen to jokes that dishonor God? Do you lie to your friend? Then why do you try to weasel your way out of telling the whole truth about missing church services? Do you steal from your friend? Then why do you steal from God by withholding your tithe? Do you find every excuse under the sun to avoid being with your friend? Then why do you skip your devotions and prayer time? Do you throw your friend's letters away or leave them unopened? Then why don't you open your Bible except in church? Ouch!

What the average Christian needs today is to set aside the "charismatic's" view of God and get back to the old fashioned principles taught in the Word. If you want to be God's friend, then pattern your life after Moses - And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exo 3:5) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exo 3:6)

Jesus Christ is our King of Kings! Let's treat Him like one!

Kate Plourde
July 14, 2006

The Secret To Living A Successful Christian Life

I have found the secret to prevent me from falling into sin and have a successful Christian life!!

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2Pe 1:4)

Peter explains that we have a promise that if we "partake" or practice the verses below, we can avoid worldly lusts and be more Christ-like.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (2Pe 1:5)

We are to be persistent in our walk of faith, but specifically we should be adding to our faith, virtue (the practice of moral goodness) and knowledge (studying God's Word);

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (2Pe 1:6)

We should also be adding temperance (moderation, no indulgence in natural appetites) and patience and godliness. Do we indulge in worldly pleasures? Are there areas in your life that need work? What about those TV shows that you watch that are all about sex? Do you watch them with your children? Shame, shame, shame. Are you impatient? We are most impatient with those we love the most, those in our own homes. Do you practice even harder to be patient with them? If not, you should. Are you practicing godliness? Today's Christian has been hardened by the things of the world. Don't measure yourself according to other Christians, but measure yourself to the Word of God. You cannot measure yourself if you don't read the Word! Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) This does not necessarily mean to memorize - but to read the Word, absorb its meaning by meditating on the Word.

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (2Pe 1:7)

Add to your life kindness to your fellow believers and love (agape love according to Strong's - which is the love that we should have for God). If we treat others with the same love God has for us, we would never lie to them, steal from them, cheat on them, curse at them, or do any evil toward them.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2Pe 1:8)

Peter tells us that if we practice these things and abound (possess in great quantity) we won't be barren (empty) in our knowledge of Christ nor will we be unfruitful for Him. The more we know the Word, the more we can produce for God. Are you doing anything for the Lord? Are you an active participant in your church? If sickness prevents you from being active, are you finding other ways to be a blessing? Are you conscious of souls dying every second and going to hell? Being IN the Word will make you soul conscious becaues Christ was soul conscious to the point of death.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (2Pe 1:9)

But those that lack these things are blind and have limited knowledge of the gospel so they cannot "see" the complete Christian way of life through the Word. They are satisfied to be saved as new born babes and not eat any spiritual meat. Drinking only the pure milk of the Word is like a baby only drinking Mother's milk his whole adolescent life. What kind of child will that produce? This will produce a weak one who won't be able to fight off disease or be strong physically. The same with our spiritual bodies - no spiritual meat in our diet will produce a very weak Christian who won't be able to fight off the devil's attempts. Peter also says here that the Christian has also forgotten that we are cleansed from sin but there is a growing process in the Word which can keep us from sinning, only if we grow.

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (2Pe 1:10)

Peter encourages those reading that as they walk in the manner he just explained, they should be diligent in this process so that they can prove to themselves they are the elect - the saved. He goes on further to share that if we do those things, we shall not stumble and fall back into our old sinful nature. When you are in the Word and doing what God says in His Word, you are not worried about your position in Him because you have the calm assurance of your salvation. The opposite holds true as well - if you are not in the Word, there is no calm assurance but one wonders if they are truly saved. Good question!

Here is the cure for sin in our lives as Christians. Do we take the cure or are we too lazy to do so? Many of us have ailments, some life threatening. We have been prescribed medication to take to help us. Do we neglect that medication? Of course not as that would be a detriment to our bodies.

Why is the average Christian so quick to neglect his/her spiritual medication? Do we think that it will go unnoticed? I dare say that there are probably quite a few who are not really saved but are just going through the actions of religion. If they put their spirituality to the test by doing as Peter commands, they would quickly see they cannot and are trying to work their way to heaven.

But the true Christian will grow spiritually as he/she practices verses 4-10. One who practices these commands will not only grow but will also have the peace and assurance of their salvation. Many doubt their salvation because they are quenching the Holy Spirit of God and not allowing Him to teach them. Quench not the Spirit. (1Th 5:19)

Are you struggling in your spiritual life today? Paul exhorted the Philippians to work out their salvation. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phi 2:12) He was not saying that they needed to work to BE saved. He was saying just as Peter was saying in today's verses. When we practice (or work) at what the Word says, we become more as the Lord desires for us. More like Him.

May 8, 2006
Kate Plourde

8 Steps to Living Peaceably With Your Unsaved Husband

1. Don’t look for a way out of this marriage. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. (1Co 7:12)

And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. (1Co 7:13)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)

Ask the Lord to reveal to you how HE wants you to act so He can complete His task through your current situation.

2. Be practical. Is it practical to think that your dh will act like a Christian? Do you expect your dh to get saved right now? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (Act 1:7)

Rest in this … God is at work in your dh’s life as He promised.

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. (Hab 1:5)

3. Do you remember why you are married? Do you wonder why God allowed you to become a Christian while you were married to an unbeliever? For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (1Co 7:14)

The word sanctify means "set apart." Your husband will receive extra opportunities to witness God’s grace and mercy. Another reason to stay married to your dh is for the children. This same verse says children living with a Christian parent are holy rather than unclean. Therefore, remember that your presence in their lives is of great influence.

4. Concentrate on your behavior. You MUST walk the walk and forget the talk. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Ti 4:12)

You need to be salt and light in your home. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Mat 5:13)

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14)

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (Mat 5:15)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:16)

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (1Pe 3:1)

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (1Pe 3:2)

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (2Co 3:2)

Your life may be the only Bible your dh or children will ever read.

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Phi 1:27)

5. Share your faith. There does come a time when you CAN share your faith but remember to do so “without the word” (1 Pet. 3:1). There are two very appropriate situations when you can verbally witness to your dh:

(1) DH may notice something in your life (an attitude or behavior that glorifies the Lord) and he’ll tell you how much he appreciates you. At this moment, remind him that this was not the way you were before coming to Christ. Explain to him how much better your marriage would be if you could share these changes together.

(2) Wait until your dh is struggling with the emptiness in his life or is experiencing difficulty in a relationship with another person. Remind him that you once felt the same way, and this is why you surrendered your life to Christ.

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Pro 15:23)

The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. (Isa 50:4)

6. Don’t hate your dh. If he continues to resist your words and rejects Christ, be VERY careful not to become resentful or angry toward him. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1Sa 8:7)

He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (Luk 10:16)

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. (2Co 4:4)

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luk 23:34)

Therefore, give your dh a little consideration based on your knowledge of his lost condition. Give him some space and patience, and pray that God will open his eyes.

7. Pray. Prayer is your greatest tool in the struggle to keep your unequally yoked marriage going. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jam 5:16)

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luk 10:19)

Pray without ceasing. (1Th 5:17)

8. Never give up!

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psa 27:14)

Kate Plourde
April 21, 2006

The World-O-Meter

How does the WORLD measure you as a Christian on the World-O-Meter?

Many times our Pastor has encouraged us from the pulpit to come out of the world and be different. We are called to be different in the Word: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2Co 6:17) In the previous verses, Paul is telling the Corinthians not to fellowship with the things of Belial (satan). How could Christians be fellowshipping with the things of satan? WHAT could they be doing? I meditated on this and thought I would share my findings with you.

My Mouth: Do I use slang for curse words? Everyone knows what curse word I was using so it's just as bad as using the actual word! Am I always complaining? Everyone hates a complainer. Each time I open my mouth and complain, I cause someone to dislike being around me. Why would I want to chase my friends and family away? My mouth should be filled with words of wisdom and encouragement to those around me so they can see Christ, not hate the sound of His name because of my complaining. The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: .(Pro 10:11)

My Dress: Why should I wear the same clothes as the world? Shouldn't I be different? If the world goes to church in jeans, why should I? Doesn't God deserve my Sunday best all the time? If the world revealing tops and tight skirts, does that mean it's OK for me to wear them? What if a weaker Christian sees me "dress down" for church . will that weaker Christian think it's OK for her to do it? Paul says But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (1Co 8:9)

My Music: Does the music I listen to deal with Godly things? Or is it the world's music filled with lyrics dealing with sex? If my sister in Christ has been struggling with worldly music and hears the kind of music I listen to, will this cause her to think that it's OK? Will she be encouraged toward Godly music by what I listen to? Some weaker Christian is always watching.

My Books: Do the books I read come from the world? Are they romance novels, popular top 10 readers' choices filled with sex and cursing? What if my sister in Christ sees me reading one of these books. Will she think it's OK for her to do so since her Christian friend is reading it? Or are my books the kind that will help her to grow in Christ and mature as a Christian?

My TV Habits: Do the things I watch on TV have Godly principles? Or are they filled with sex, violence, drugs, etc.? Does my sister in Christ see the things I watch and figure it's OK for her to do so as well?

My testimony is all I have on this earth to show others the way to Christ. My testimony is ALL I will take with me when I get to Heaven. Everyone there will then know just what kind of Christian I really was. OUCH! Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. (Mat 10:26) What about our families? No wonder it is so hard for our family members to get saved! They see us just exactly as we are ... we walk like the world, talk like the world, and dress like the world ... but yet we preach Christ. Such hypocrisy.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and water rolls off its back like a duck . then it must be a duck. If a Christian walks like the world, talks like the world , and dresses like the world ... then the Christian must be of the world.

Lord forgive us our sins and weaknesses. Help us to live more Godly lives for YOUR cause so we may be testimonies for You and not against You. I ask this in Jesus' Precious Name.

Kate Plourde
May 9, 2006

Spiritual House Cleaning

Luke 10:38-42, Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I love how God puts examples in the Bible that help us to learn His lessons for us. Here are two women, both raised in the same family but yet very different. There are a few spiritual applications we could glean here, that’s for sure. Martha could be an example of a person who is not saved and does not desire the things of God. It could be that Martha represents the saved woman who has not studied to show herself approved unto God. It could be that Martha represents the woman who has been saved a long time and has become comfortable in her Christian walk and feels she doesn’t need to grow spiritually anymore so she “works” a lot. Which Martha are you today, ladies?

Luke points that that Martha was “cumbered, careful and troubled about many things.” She was expecting Jesus and many others in her home. She was busy in her thoughts, laying out plans, what dishes to use, what meal to make, housework needed to be done, and everything in its place. In fact, these thoughts obsessed her so much so that she went to Jesus saying, “There’s so much to do, tell Mary to come help me!” Think about this for a minute. If you were receiving guests in your home and your sister wasn’t helping you with preparing, would you go to your guest and ask them to tell your sister to get to work? Is it me or was this a strange request to make? I think this goes deeper than meets the eye, don’t you? I think Martha wanted to draw attention to herself and all the work she had one by herself. SHE wanted the credit, in my opinion.

Jesus saw through this and told her that she was caught up in what needed to be done but was leaving her spiritual life unattended. He came right out and told her that Mary had chosen the good part and that this spiritual nourishment would not be taken away from her.

Is your spiritual housework all done, ladies? Is your house nice and spotless but your Bible study life is not? Do you put emphasis on cleaning your house but you leave your spiritual housework undone? What can we do to have a spiritually house clean?

1. Ask God to show you those secret sins in your heart and confess them.
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. (Psa 19:12)

2. Ask God to show you all your sins and to wash you thoroughly from them so you don’t repeat them. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (Psa 51:2)

3. How can we continually cleanse our hearts? By taking HEED to the Word. Not just reading it but taking HEED to it. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psa 119:9)

4. Again, the Word washes. It helps us to stay clean. What happens to water as it goes into a colander? It goes through the colander, right? But the colander is cleaned by that water, even though the water does not stay contained in it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (Eph 5:26) The same with our spiritual lives. We may not remember everything we read in the Word or study, but continual reading and studying helps us to stay clean.

5. Getting closer to God will clean our hearts. It will bring conviction, repentance and a need to ask forgiveness from the Father. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (Jam 4:8)

6. Abstain from worldly lusts. The things of this world have a lot to offer the flesh. Think in your hearts today what worldly things God is revealing to your heart right now. Is it TV? Is it music? Is it a book? Is it a distraction that keeps you from His Word? Any of these things distract. (2Co 6:18) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2Co 7:1)

Are you having difficulties saying no to the things this world offers? Are you having difficulties in your spiritual walk in general? Do a spiritual house cleaning today. Ask God to show you what He wants cleaned out. You probably already know what needs cleaning. Then ask the Lord to help you keep your spiritual house clean. He can, He will and He promises to help you. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1Jo 4:4)

Kate Plourde
April 17, 2006

Yay or Nay

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (Pro 31:10)

Is my personal "virtue" worth more than rubies? Or is my personal "virtue" a fake like cubic zironia?

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (Pro 31:11)

Does my husband know that I will be frugal with the money he works hard to bring home? Or do I spend it without prayer or forethought and end up with too much week at the end of my paycheck?

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Pro 31:12)

Do I do my husband good ALL the time? Or do I just do my husband good when I feel like it?

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (Pro 31:13)

Do I willingly work with my hands for the benefit of my family? Or do I complain of the mending that is sitting in the basket waiting to be mended?

She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (Pro 31:14)

Do I try to help out when finances are slim? Or do I complain to my husband that there's not enough money (all hubby hears in my complaint is that he is an awful provider!).

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (Pro 31:15)

Am I in control of my schedule to the point that I can get up early to take care of the needs of my family before they rise and the hussle bussle of the day takes over? Or do I hit the snooze button a couple of times only to have my entire household in a rush. I am in charge of setting the "tone" in my home.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. (Pro 31:16)

Do I consider what I buy and spend the money I make from my "craft" (whether that be from my garden or sewing or whatever) wisely? Or do I buy something that I hide away in a drawer or closet and never use?

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (Pro 31:17)

Do I exercise to keep myself physically fit for my family's sake? Or do I indulge and overeat only to put on more weight? Too much weight reduces my stamina, adds stress to my heart and my legs, and plays havoc with my blood pressure. My family needs me strong and healthy to be able to meet their needs.

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. (Pro 31:18)

Do I make sure that the products I sell are done to the best of my ability? Or do I try to get away with providing lesser quality for the same amount of money?

Am I so well organized that I do not run out of oil for my candle during the night? Or does my lamp go out at night and my family is left to wander through a dark house?

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. (Pro 31:19)

Do I learn to use the talents that God has blessed me with faithfully? Or do I make excuses that I simply just can't learn?

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. (Pro 31:20)

Do I care for the needs in my own church as I should? Or do I turn my head and hope that someone else will take care of?

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. (Pro 31:21)

Do I plan ahead and buy winter clothes on sale in the Spring to prepare for the needs of my family? Or do I end up buying winter clothes at top dollar value in the Fall?

She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. (Pro 31:22)

Am I watchful as to how I dress so I can represent my husband properly? Or do I leave the house to go shopping wearing my grungiest jean skirt and no make-up?

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. (Pro 31:23)

Are my deeds such that someone who knows my husband would say "He sure does have a good wife!" Or do his friends see a man whose shirt has not been ironed and his pants look like they sat in the dryer for a few days?

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. (Pro 31:24)

Are my creations done to the best of my ability where they are a wonderful example of Christ through my work? Or do I create things half heartedly and say "it's good enough"?

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. (Pro 31:25)

Am I clothed inwardly as well as I am clothed outwardly? Or am I guilty of hypocrisy?

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. (Pro 31:26)

Do I think before I speak making sure I have a kind response? Or do I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and have to clean up my mess later?

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. (Pro 31:27)

Do I make sure that my list of chores for the day are completed? Or do I procrastinate on a few of those chores so I can watch something on TV?

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. (Pro 31:28)

Do my words and actions warrant receiving praise from my family? Or do I become bitter because they don't praise me, not once wondering what I should repent of?

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. (Pro 31:29)

Do I strive to excel in my spiritual walk? Or do I do just enough to get by?

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (Pro 31:30)

Do I fear (and honour) the Lord enough for it to guard all my words and actions? Or do I leave those things undone and concentrate on appearing spiritual?

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Pro 31:31)

Do I let my spiritual walk and work speak for itself? Or do I look for praise from others?

Kate Plourde
June 28, 2006

Six Ways to Prove That I Am Saved

You are here on this page because you say YES that you are saved. As I listened to a revival message preached by Evangelist Hal Webb, I jotted down the following notes. It was an awesome message. It is the first time I've ever seen a check list, so-to-speak, of how to prove your own salvation. Call it a Spiritual Inventory, call it a check list, or use it as a reminder of what God expects of us after salvation.

Won't you print this out and insert it in your Bible so that you can share it with those who "think" they are saved but their lives don't show it. I hope it is a blessing to you!!!

1. I have no desire for habitual sinning in my life. If I smoke, my desire will be to quit and I WILL succeed with Christ's help.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1Jo 3:9)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:9)

2. I have a personal belief in Jesus Christ. I truly believe He is God Who left Heaven to come to earth; in His virgin birth; His sinless life on earth; He is the Messiah of mankind Who shed His blood on the cross of Calvary for MY sins; He was buried and on the third day, He arose from the dead; He ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father awaiting His return to reign on earth.

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. (1Jo 5:1)

3. I live righteously.

If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (1Jo 2:29)

I will have a different holy life. Do I try to please Christ every day? Do I find myself trying to please Him? Am I doing His will? Do I avoid evil? The greatest joy in life is the joy of serving Christ.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Co 5:17)

4. I will have a love for fellow Christians.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. (1Jo 3:14)

I can tell I'm saved by the crowd I CHOOSE to hang around with. Am I eager about Christian things? Do I desire to be around other Christians more than my worldly friends?

5. I'm overcoming the world.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1Jo 5:4)

There's always some Christian you know that "everything in their life is always going wrong"! Are they overcoming their circumstances? This is not to say things won't go wrong, but what is their attitude as they go through these circumstances? Are they overcoming or are they defeated?

The world's opinion is not to be MY standard of living. My standard is the Word. I am not to please the world but I am to please the Lord, Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (15) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (16)

6. I will have a desire for purity.

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1Jo 5:18)

I am to care for my soul and protect it from evil.

Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. (Amo 5:15)

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1Th 5:22)

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Psa 101:3)

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:16)

Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. (1Ti 5:22)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phi 2:12)

Table of Contents

Married to an Unbeliever/Disobedient Husband

by Kate Plourde

When I study, I use my King James Bible and a Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary. Both are quoted in this study.Before I start, I want to share a little something with you. I was saved on April 1, 1980. John and I had been married for 6 years already. I was no longer in love with my husband and I wanted "out" of my marriage. I no longer loved my husband and, in fact, hated him! I was married to an unbeliever for six years before he got saved. During these six years, God taught me how to be a submissive wife and what His Word said about being the wife of an unbeliever. God not only taught me in these areas but he healed my marriage and restored my love for my husband. Praise His Holy Name that He not only saved me, but He drew my husband to salvation six years later. I speak to you today because I have been through this. I speak from experience of the wonderful things God can do in your marriage if YOU allow Him to do it. That's the key. We must allow God to work in our hearts, our husband's heart, and our marriage. God desires for you to have a great marriage. God desires for your marriage to be equally yoked.For you ladies who are married to a saved husband, please read the study anyway as it involves submission ... and we can ALL stand to have refresher courses in this very important area in our lives. :-)Are you ready to commit to that? Are you tired of your marriage being rocky and miserable and unequally yoked? Are you desiring a husband who will serve God and love Him? These wonderful things CAN be achieved if you do your part with your heart and leave your husband to the Lord.

Let's get on with the study then :-)Heavenly Father, I know that all things work together for good for those who love You. I pray, Father, that You would use this study to Your glory and that You would heal the heart of the lady who is desperately trying to draw nigh to You. I lift up each marraige represented here in Lilacs and pray God that Your Holy Spirit would work in the hearts of the women to be the help meet You want her to be. I ask all these things in Jesus' Precious, Precious Name. Amen.

What does the Word define a wife is? A wife is a helpmeet according to Genesis 2:18 "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what help meet means. She will help her husband and she will meet his needs. :-) Simple, isn't it? Does it say that she is a help meet only if the husband is saved? Not in my Bible :-)

Therefore, we are to be help meets regardless of where he is spiritually. Before I begin, I need to stress that God's Word for wives does not only apply when we are married to a wonderful Christian man. It would be very easy to be a wife of such a man. God's Word applies when we are married to an unbeliever, a back-slidden believer, drunkard, gambler, drug addict, etc. It applies to the woman who has been married for many years and is no longer in love with her husband (and vice versa). Well, Kate you might say, just how in the world can I be a help meet to a man such as my husband? He's simply awful! The answer is quite simple. Let God work in you to be the kind of wife He wants you to be and HE will take care of your husband. :-) This is not an easy thing to do... I know that. However, I've been there and I know what worked in my heart and for my marriage.

The best place to find information on what is expected of you as a wife is to go to the Source where the information is perfect and absolutely correct :-) ... and that, my friend, is your beautiful Bible. Let's look at probably one of the most important passages of Scriptures for married women.

1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;1Pe 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:1Pe 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.1 Peter 3:1 God starts the verse with Likewise. Likewise means: In like manner; also; moreover; too. ....

Hmmmm, likewise to what? To see what Peter was referring to, you must go to chapter 2 and read the latter part of it. When these letters were written, they weren't divided by chapters and verses as they are now so we lose that continuity. As you see, Peter is referring to Christ's work on the cross and how we are now returned to the Bishop and Shephard of our souls :-) Isn't that beautiful? As Peter lays the groundwork here, he then moves on to chapter 3 verse 1. SOOOO, now that we are saved we have some instructions to follow. Next, the instruction is to "ye wives" ... it does not say husband here. This is a definite instruction to US. Further more, that verse goes on to say that you are to be in subjection to your OWN husbands.

Why do you think Peter would need to tell the wives this? Could it be that they were listening to other men but not listening to their own husbands? I use to be that way. My husband could tell me that the sky was blue but I wouldn't listen to him. But let another man (especially a saved one) tell me that the sky was blue and I listened to him. Isn't that sad? I'm ashamed to even say that I did that, but I did. :-( (Thank You Lord for Your patience with me.) In fact, Peter thought this SO important that he says it again in verse 5.

I believe Peter had a tender heart for wives ... he had a wife of his own. He knew exactly what we needed to hear and God spoke through Peter as he wrote these instructions for us. Verse 1 continues to say "that if any of your husbands don't obey the word" ... let's stop there. Does it say that if any of your husbands are not saved? No, it does not. Therefore, this could also apply to women with husbands who ARE saved but are backslidden. Both the unsaved and backslidden husbands are disobedient to the word.

So what does Peter tell us to do if we are married to a man who is disobedient to the word? He says that they "may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;"! Do you see that? When I first read this verse, the words WITHOUT THE WORD jumped off the page at me and convicted my heart! This can mean several things: no preaching to hubby, no correcting him, no nagging him because he's not going to church, no nagging PERIOD, no belittling him, and all those other nasties that tend to come out of our mouths when we are not happy with him. Why? The answer is in the latter part of that verse ... so that they may be WON by the conversation of the wives. Well, if we're not allowed to speak, what conversation is Peter referring to? God's not saying that we cannot speak at all. He's telling us that He doesn't want us "speaking" THE WORD to our unsaved husbands. Why do you think God doesn't want you to quote the Scriptures to your hubby when he's sinning? Aren't we suppose to correct our brother in Christ like Matthew 18 says?

Not your husband! Let the Holy Spirit deal with your husband. You must remember that the Holy Spirit IS God! His way is perfect and His way will bring peace and reconciliation in your marriage ... not YOUR preaching. I truly believe that when we "preach" to our unsaved husbands, it comes across to them as "fingernails on a blackboard." I believe this because this is what my husband told me after he was saved.

Now let me stop here a moment to clarify that I am not saying that you cannot tell your husband that he has hurt you or share with him something that you would like him to do. For example, if your husband is constantly using the Lord's name in vain, it is OK for you to ask him to please restrain himself from doing this because it hurts you. BUT, you don't have to quote him the Scriptures that deal with using the Lord's name in vain. Make sense? The Word says that you are not to preach to him... example: Hubby doesn't want to go to church but yet you remind him that Heb. 10:25 says that he should go to church. THIS is what God is referring to. Let the Holy Spirit convict your husband's heart. He will accept it a whole lot better coming from God than coming from you. In fact, when we preach to our husbands about their sin, we distance ourselves from them. They will resent us for "being more spiritually minded" than they are. God knew what He was saying in this verse.

Let's move on to verse 2. Our husbands need to observe our chaste conversation coupled with fear. What is God talking about here? Chaste means pure ... pure conversation ... I'm thinking sweet, clean, holy and uplifting conversation, aren't you? But not just that alone ... God says "coupled with fear" ... what do you think He means here? God is saying that your husband should hear pure conversation from your mouth to the point where he actually can tell that you fear God (respect Him, reverence Him, obey Him). Do you think your husband thinks that you fear God when you're snapping at him? I don't think so.Verse 3-5 go on to describe the chaste conversation of the wife and how it does not mean "how she looks, fixes her hair" but how her HEART is. God is saying that the wife is to have a meek and quiet spirit ... a mild and peaceable spirit. Can she truly have this type of spirit if she is preaching to her husband or correcting him spiritually? Of course not. Well, Kate, this is easier said than done. You know what? You're right! It is. However, my Bible says that ALL things are possible with Christ. My Bible says that ALL things work together for good. Therefore, I must allow God to do the changing in MY heart. Forget my husband's sins.

Forget my husband's faults. Forget my husband's disobedience. Holy Spirit, work within ME to change ME and I will leave my husband to Your care, Lord.We've all heard the Scriptures that God is the Potter and we are the clay. God needs to mold you to be the wife He wants you to be for your husband. He's YOUR husband, not someone else's. You cannot trade him in for another model, ladies. I hate to put it in these terms, but you are stuck with him. You chose him to be your life long partner. You would be out of God's will if you divorced him so the only alternative is to give in to the Holy Spirit and let Him work a miracle in your life by healing your heart of the sin of being an unsubmissive wife ... yes, I said sin!

It IS sin to be unsubmissive. We've been commanded in several Scriptures to submit to our own husband, amen? Confess this sin and forsake it. Let God work in your heart. Don't worry about your husband. God will take care of him. I'm speaking from experience. :-)Lastly, verse 6 gives Sarah as our example. She called Abraham "lord" (little "l" not L). Webster defines lord as (1) master (2) husband (3) a title of respect, as applied to kings, or as to a respectable person. God is not saying that we should call our husbands lord with our lips but He IS saying we should call our husbands lord with our hearts. He is saying that we should recognize our husband's position as master of our home and to give him the respect due him. One of the definitions of master is "husband"! Does that make an impression on your heart? Your husband is given this position as lord of your home by God Himself. So if any of you ladies believe that you just HAVE to rule your home because hubby's doing a horrible job, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart. It is not your job to rule your home. It is your job to "help" your husband fulfill his role as master of your home.Your unbelieving or disobedient (to the Word) husband has the rule over you, your children and your home. Your husband has direct authority from God to be master of your home. Just because he is not saved doesn't mean he doesn't have the God-given responsibility as your head and head of your house. Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." Why would Paul have to tell the Ephesians that the husband was the head of the wife? If husbands ruling over the wife WAS being practiced, do you think Paul would have to tell them this? Good question, huh? It is your natural fleshly desire to have the rule over your husband. We think we know better than our husbands at times. We think we just have to get our way or his way will lead us to ruin! Sound familiar? God says that your husband shall rule over you. If you think of a master of a house (either during the time of slavery or even an employer of a company), you think of someone who makes the decisions and runs the show. No employee would tell his boss what to do and get away with it. No slave would tell his master what to do without being chastised for it. Although we are not slaves or employees to our husbands, the concept is pretty much the same. Someone has to make the final decision if there is a split-decision. For example, your husband wants a Pontiac and you want a Chevrolet. Your husband has to make the final decision since the two of you are not agreeing in this matter ... and guess what, ladies, YOU HAVE TO LIKE IT! Not just "like it" in your head but "like it" in your heart.

You have to submit to the point where it shows on your face. You can say "All right, get the Pontiac, but I don't have to like it!" ... and your face looks as though you've been sucking on lemons! That is not submitting. Submitting is leaving the decision (whether it's the right one or the wrong one) with your husband and trusting God to take care of this decision. Let me take it one step further. Submitting also means not "throwing it in his face" when his decision ends up being the wrong one.

***ouch***If you want to be in God's will in your marriage, then you must desire to have your unsaved husband be the head of your home and ruler over your home. What does that mean? It doesn't mean that you must get permission from him on what time you should eat lunch. It means that you SHOULD ask him if it's OK with him if you spend money on a new dress... these are just examples but I think you get my meaning here. :-) Even if your husband is not saved, he is still the head of your house. The sooner you accept this fact in your heart, the quicker you will be able to learn the meaning of submission. You cannot submit to someone you don't WANT in authority over you... does that make sense?I clung to 1 Peter 3:1-6 in the first few months of God's dealing with me on submission. I read them daily and asked God to change my heart. I memorized Psalms 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." What is a right spirit in this study? It is the spirit of accepting what God has planned for your life as a wife to an unsaved husband... Accepting that God's will is that you submit to your husband whether he is saved or not. Accepting that you are not your husband's personal little holy spirit in charge of making him spiritual or godly. This is God's job ... and, after all, once God does the changing in your husband, it will be perfect and permanent. :-)Submission applies to all wives ... not just to those whose husbands are not saved. It is the will of God. It is harder for women whose husbands are not saved because she is unequally yoked. The wife of an unsaved husband goes through a spiritual battle every single day. She is placed in situations that an equally-yoked marriage does not experience. Does this mean that she should sin if her husband asks her to? Of course not. This is when the wife must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 we see that Peter was told that he could not preach the gospel and his response was just that.... I will obey God rather than men. I like what Paul wrote in Colossians 3:18 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." .... as it is fit in the Lord ... this is what is called a qualifying statement. Paul didn't end his sentence after the word husbands. He continued with "as it is fit in the Lord" for a reason. So Paul is telling us that in our submission, we must obey the Lord's commands and not go against His will. The husband abuses his authority if he commands his wife to sin. She must obey God. She can sweetly say to her husband that she fears God's chastisement on her life if she disobeys HIM. God will take care of the wife if that husband gets upset with her. She is being obedient to God in this instance. However, in all other instances (where sin is not involved), the wife must obey what her unsaved husband asks of her. Her obedience and subjection is service done to Christ. When a woman submits to her unsaved husband, she is submitting to Christ. She is fulfilling God's desire for her life. This brings much comfort and peace in a woman's heart. It brought great comfort to me. I had such child-like faith when I was first saved. I just KNEW in my heart that God would take care of me when it came to submitting to my unsaved husband. I just knew that God would not allow me to go through certain things that would place me in a situation I could not handle.The wife of an unsaved husband experiences things that no other wife experiences. There are times that her husband verbally abuses her because of her faith. There are times when her husband mocks her because of her faith. There are times when her husband tries to provoke her to anger and sin so that he can appease his own guilty conscience. These times are extremely difficult for this poor wife. We women are created by God as emotional beings, therefore, we get emotional during these trials and tests. I have three verses that will help you during these moments. I encourage you to memorize these two verses and they will bring you much comfort. Psalms 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Have peace in your heart because you love the Lord and don't let anything your unsaved husband says offend you or upset you. Tell the Lord about your hurt feelings. Tell Him how much you're hurting inside. Tell Him how you can't bear it any more. He WILL comfort you. He WILL give you that peace. He WILL take care of your problem. I promise this! God is not an oger. God is not insensitive. God is not heartless! God IS LOVE! He loves you! He doesn't want to see you hurting!

How many of you enjoy seeing your child hurting? None of you. God doesn't either. He comes running when He hears us crying to Him. What a lovely and comforting thought, huh?God will NEVER give you more than you can handle. The trials we experience will also have a temptation to go with it. A temptation of possibly giving up and leaving the marriage, giving in and try to take rule of your house away from your husband, giving in to the desire of yelling back and saying unkind words, etc. However, the Word says that God won't give you more than you can handle and WILL provide you with a way to escape this desire to yield to temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." This is the second verse you should memorize. Turn to Him and share with Him your deep hurts. He WILL listen. He WILL not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able to handle! That would be cruel if He did and we know that God is love ... He is not cruel.If you are experiencing a difficult trial with your husband (whether disobedient to the Word or unsaved) today, take shelter in the shadow of His wings. Psalms 57:1-2 "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me." Take refuge in God until your calamities (trials) are past. A dear friend of mine shared these verses with me when I was going through a trial recently, and I felt that it would apply beautifully in this study. God will perform His will in your life for your benefit ... you have to want it and you have to allow it.God bless you as you grow in Christ in this area of being married to an unsaved man or a disobedient man.Heavenly Father, again I lift the dear lady here who is in this situation. Help her, Lord, to have a teachable heart and a willing heart to be the submissive wife she needs to be to her unsaved husband. Bless her, Lord, in Jesus' Name I pray.

Being a Good Sister

by Kate Plourde

What is a friend? I think we can all think of one special person (not our husbands) who we can say is a very dear and close friend. I think of my dear friend, Vicky, who lives in my home town in Maine. Not only were we best friends all our lives, but our mothers were best friends also. We were always together. The Lord used Vicky to lead me to Him! What a wonderful friend she is and she is also my sister in Christ as well as my spiritual mother.

I think before we can look at the verses which talk about what a friend should be to YOU, let's look at what God's Word says about what kind of a friend WE should be. Proverbs 18:24 "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." The Lord tells us that before we can have friends to call our own (I'm not talking about acquaintances here), we must FIRST be friendly. Why do you think God threw this verse in here? The ball is in our court here. We have to be the initiator of friendships. Don't wait for someone to come to you ... go to them.

I remember when we switched churches and how I dreaded the thought of starting over in getting to know a new group of ladies. I'm a friendly person but I have to really work at being outgoing and the "first one" to start a conversation. Some women, on the other hand, are extremely shy and would rather die than to start a conversation with new people. Instead, they wait for those others to make the first move. Then you have those ladies who are just naturally friendly and outgoing and can talk to anyone! Which lady are you like? Whichever lady you are like, you must FIRST be friendly, right?

Let's look on to what God's Word says about the "qualities" of a friend so that we can learn to be this kind of friend. Firstly, we're told a friend's love doesn't have a time table. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. God says that you must love your friend at ALL times. You cannot be a "fair weather" friend, can you? You must love this friend at ALL times. I like that little three-letter word, "all". It's so small, yet it packs such a punch! You must love your friend whether she has her makeup on or whether she just got out of bed!

You must love her when she's having good days as well as when she's having bad days. You must love her and DEFEND her then walk away when others are "having her for lunch" in their gossip session! You must love her when YOU'RE having bad days. She should not just receive your love when you feel like giving it to her. It should be constant and consistent.

Next, God's Word says that you must be faithful to your friend in spiritual matters as well. Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. You should love your friend so much that you will reprove and correct her spiritually when she sins. Of course, you do this with love and it is received with love. If she were to be walking off a cliff, you would stop her right? You should do the same for her spiritually. How you ask? Here's a good example (one that I have experienced myself). Have you ever heard her dishonor her husband in her conversations with you when he's not around? You KNOW better and you know that this will not bring God's blessings upon her when she does this. Do you lovingly correct her with the verses she needs from God's Word? Or do you let it go because you're afraid to hurt her? Do you think you've helped her by not saying anything? No, what you've actually done is leave the door open for God to punish your friend.

Do you want God's punishment on her? Of course you don't. That's why as a true and good friend, you should share with her things even if they will temporarily hurt her or cause her embarrassment. I have been spiritually corrected by two or three women in my life time whom I have respected. I didn't despise them for their correction but was thankful that they loved me so much to help me and guide me. This is one characteristic of a friend which needs much prayer and forethought before exercising it.

Thirdly, a friend is spiritually wise, which means to be a good friend you must be in the Word and walking with the Lord. Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. A friend gives sound biblical counsel to you when you are in need. At times the Lord works through a dear friend to speak to us. It reminded me of another verse: Proverbs 15:23 "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!"

A true friend will have words spoken in due season for you. They will be spiritual words that have been thought about and prayed over before speaking. I've seen too many times where women have opened their mouths and voice opinions and have only served to hurt the very person they were trying to help. Be sure you know this is what the Lord would have you say. Think before you give counsel. Pray before you give counsel. Look up verses before you give counsel. God will direct you for the benefit of your friend.

Fourthly, you must sharpen your friend's countenance. Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." How can you sharpen a friend's countenance? I can think of encouraging words, sweet words (Scriptures) in time of need, rejoicing when she rejoices, weeping when she weeps. The countenance is another word for face. You can see a bright and happy face here if the sharpening has been of the Lord. I see someone whose friend has been encouraging her, uplifting her, rejoicing with her to the point where her countenance is affected. This means that this friend is close to her and knows her very well. Haven't you ever been down in the dumps only to open your mail and find a sweet card from a dear friend that says exactly what you needed it to say? Didn't that make your gloomy face change to a smiling one? Your countenance had just been sharpened by this friend! In turn, this is the kind of sharpening you must do to your friend.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the verses dealing with friends. I picked the qualities of a friend that I enjoy in my dear friend and expounded on those qualities. I'm sure you can all contribute several other verses and qualities that you see in your dear friend as well. Take a moment and meditate on what your dear friend means to you and what you like most about her. Thank God for her in your life and make a commitment to be that kind of friend to her or to someone else that the Lord has laid on your heart.

Now that we have seen what a friend IS ... how can we, personally, BE that friend to someone else? This will take work on our part. Anything that we want bad enough, we must work for. As we first saw in the beginning in Prov. 18:24, we must FIRST show ourselves friendly before we can be blessed with a friend such as this. What can we do to teach ourselves to be this kind of friend to others? Let's read on.

Incorporate your gift(s) from the Lord in nurturing your friendship. What gift(s) has the Lord blessed you with? Are you craftsy? Do you love to write poetry? Do you love to play the piano? Do you love to send cards? Do you love to cook? Do you love to sew? Take this gift that God has blessed you with and use it to bless your friend! I told you earlier that I wasn't excited about having to get to know another group of ladies. I love to send note cards to folks. So I used this "love" to write to each of the ladies in the church thanking them for welcoming me and my family into their church family. This opened doors with these ladies and it did not take long before we got to know each other better.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

If you love to sew, make your friend(s) a Bible book cover or apron... you know, a "just because" you love her gift. If you love to play the piano, record yourself playing some of her favorite hymns and give her the cassette :-) If you love to cook? Next time you make lasagna or whatever, make a little extra for her and her family. We always seem to wonder what we can do to bless our friend. There are so many ways. Can't think of anything? Does your friend have children?

Babysitters are so expensive, why not offer your time to her? Watch her
children while she goes out shopping or watch them so she and hubby can have a date. Many times, the BEST gift we can give our friend is our "time"!

Praying is the BEST thing we can do for our friend(s). The BEST thing we
can do for our friend is to lift her needs daily before the Throne. There are always things that we don't ask God about for ourselves... your friend probably has things she would never ask God about but YOU could ask God on her behalf. :-) Ask her periodically what she needs you to pray about. Ask her to be specific, for example, baby needs new shoes this month or your friend would really like to have material to make a couple of new dresses. Lift your friend up to God frequently and thank God for placing her in your life. Ask Him to show you ways to be a better friend to her. Ask Him to show you what areas He wants to use you in. God loves a willing vessel.

Now ... take your abilities of prayer, gifts, & love and get to work at being the best friend you can possibly be.

In closing, your gift of friendship does not need to be limited to just one or two friends. Be a blessing to someone in need. Be a friend to someone who is in need of a friend. I'm sure there is a lady in your church who needs befriending. I'm sure you can think of someone right now that appears lonely. Is there a widow in your church family? Is there a lady whose family lives out-of-state and she's alone? If you can't find someone, ask your pastor or your pastor's wife if they know someone who could use a friend like you.

God bless you as you hone your "friend" skills in light of God's Word.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Biblical Submission

I am so excited about this mini study I just finished! It's like God gave me a golden nugget today and I am whoopin' and hollerin'!!

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Gen 3:16)

As I studied this verse, I noticed that Eve's desire would be to her husband. Hmmmm, he was the only man there at the time. She had not given birth to any children yet. Why would God tell her that her desire would be to her husband? Surely the word desire here cannot mean that she would only want him. That got me to thinking that maybe this word "desire" was not really what I thought it meant.

Eve's desire could not possibly mean that she would desire Adam because he was the only man around - of COURSE she would desire him. We women automatically desire our husbands in the physical and emotional sense. It is something that is natural within us. So what could this word "desire" mean?

I have been taught that we should obtain our definitions of certain verses in the Bible by finding other verses that use the same word and let God's Word interpret the meaning. As I searched out the word "desire," I found that the English word "desire" is found in 109 verses. There are 38 different Hebrew and Greek instances of this word which are translated into just the one word in the English language! Each of the Hebrew and Greek instances vary in meaning. I found that the Hebrew word for this particular word is #8669 in Strong's (teshûqâh "pronounced tesh-oo-kaw") and is found in only two other places in the Old Testament (Gen. 4:7 and Song of Sol. 7:10 - I pasted the verses below.) These two scriptures clarify the meaning of this word.

The definition I found basically meant "to want to be in control of or to have the rule over." God chose this particular Hebrew word in these three particular verses for a reason. So I found it interesting to see that #8669 was used only three times - twice in Genesis where we learn about our beginnings and the third time in the beautiful Song of Solomon, depicting a beautiful marriage.

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Gen 4:7) Here God tells Cain that he still had the rule over Abel because of his birth right.

I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. (Song of Solomon 7:10) Her beloved has the rule over her.

What have I gotten out of this mini study? It is clear to me that Eve was told that her desire would be to take the leadership role in the home, to rule over her husband and household. I loved how God immediately followed that statement with "and he shall rule over thee." The world's definition of desire would not fit here. If Eve is told she would desire Adam emotionally and physically, why would God then say that Adam would rule over her?

I'm convinced that Adam and Eve's marriage was perfect in the Garden of Eden. Adam was the head of his home and Eve was content with him ruling over her. After Eve strayed from God's and her husband's will and sin entered the picture, she sinned. She sinned by exercising her own will - it was her choice. Because of her choice, she would now have to fight that choice even greater. She would now have a battle with wanting to lead the home. It makes perfect sense to interpret this verse in this manner.

As a result of this willful sin in Eve (which was passed on to all women), there are many women who chose to exercise their own will rather than allowing their husbands to lead. The husband's role is knocked down, he is crushed into a wimp and his rightful leadership role is taken over by the wife. I was reading an article just yesterday that in the U.S., the "single" families now exceed the families which have both a husband and wife. Is it any wonder? But women do not have to be this way... it is a choice that we make. We either do God's will by submitting to our husbands or we don't. We are not destined to repeat this sin - with Christ, we can overcome our self will and be the submissive wife He wants us to be.

We women are not equipped to be leaders. We were created to be their helpmeets, not vice versa. From the beginning, God has said that the husband would rule over the wife. The man is equipped with leadership skills and decision making. It's not to say that we women cannot possess those skills. But it is to remind us that there must be order in the home, just as there is order in the universe, order in the world, order in the government, order in law enforcement, etc. God is a God of order as is evident throughout Scriptures.

When we go outside God's plan for us, we will be unhappy and discontent. Our role is to be a helpmeet to our husbands and to honor him in all we say and do. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Pro 31:12)

I pray this study will speak to your hearts and give you a clear picture of what God intended for us women.
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