Lucia's Blog
Google Logo
Image Caption goes here.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, January 12, 2018

WAIT FOR THE LORD!

"The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom should I fear?  
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom should I be afraid?  
2 When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, 
my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.  
3 Though an army deploys against me, 
my heart is not afraid; 
though a war breaks out against me, 
still I am confident.  
4 I have asked one thing from the LORD; 
it is what I desire:  
to dwell in the house of the LORD 
all the days of my life, 
gazing on the beauty of the LORD 
and seeking Him in His temple.  
5 For He will conceal me in His shelter 
in the day of adversity; 
He will hide me under the cover of His tent; 
He will set me high on a rock.  
6 Then my head will be high 
above my enemies around me; 
I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy.  
I will sing and make music to the LORD.  
7 LORD, hear my voice when I call; 
be gracious to me and answer me.  
8 My heart says this about You, 
'You are to seek My face.' 
LORD, I will seek Your face.  
9 Do not hide Your face from me; 
do not turn Your servant away in anger.  
You have been my helper; 
do not leave me or abandon me, 
God of my salvation.  
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, 
the LORD cares for me.  
11 Because of my adversaries, 
show me Your way, LORD, 
and lead me on a level path.  
12 Do not give me over to the will of my foes, 
for false witnesses rise up against me, 
breathing violence.  
13 I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness 
in the land of the living.  
14 Wait for the LORD; 
be strong and courageous.  
Wait for the LORD!"'    
Psalm 27


All Scripture inspired by God is profitable. Many of us deny ourselves the great help that God has placed in the sacred Psalms. A great example is the 27th Psalm. Jesus and the apostles of the New Testament cry out to us that we must believe in the LORD. They give us much detail but the 27th Psalm dramatically shows us some of what is involved in waiting for the LORD. Let us give careful thought to David’s beautiful song of real faith in our Almighty God.

I love the Psalms so much because they are rooted in God's Word to strengthen and help me remain steadfast when life's storms and difficulties want to blow my faith away.  It is then that I look to the Psalms for help.  They help me to plant my feet firmly in God's Truth.  Indeed, they transform my heart and mind as I read and study God's riches found in them.  They instruct, comfort, encourage and guide me when I need it the most.  It is my life's manual that I have to put into practice daily.  In the Psalms, I find Jesus our Lord. The truths of God found in the Psalms help me to find freedom, peace, confidence, assurance, and joy.  Through the Psalms, I build my faith up as I worship Him in a deep and intimate way.  They teach me to seek God with all my heart, that I may pour out my heart to Him and tell Him everything.  They help me to worship Him for who He is and not what He is doing for me.  They help me to accept my trials as victories.  They also help me to examine my heart, that I might repent and receive God's gracious forgiveness.  In a few words, they help me in my pilgrim journey here on earth as they deepen my faith, and commit me to obedience and discipline toward God and His Son.

The Psalms show me the beauty of walking intimately with my God when I meditate on them.  They strengthen my prayers as they help me express what I want to say to my God in the right words that at times I struggle with.  How wonderful it is to have such communion with our God through our prayers!  They also help me to acknowledge that my ways are not God's way and that I must wait on Him when life is difficult.  They teach me to hold on to God alone even when it seems as if He is not holding on to me.  They help me to trust in God as I plead with Him for deliverance.  They remind me that my walk with God is based upon trust, that is, faith and not sight.  They help me to praise Him in all situations, for He is trustworthy and faithful.  They help me to see His presence and glory all around us as I read and study them.  They help me to accept the only Truth, which is that I must fear God and keep His commands, for He will bring every act to judgment, (Eccl. 12:13-14).  Since the Psalms help me to see God for who He is, I am resolved to trust in Him, obey Him, be faithful to Him, pray to Him so that I can commune with Him all the days of my life.

Psalm 27 is very dear to my heart because it deepens my faith and my trust in God as it helps me face my fears.  This Psalm was written by David himself concerning his life, his circumstances, and the confidence or trust he had in His LORD.  Through this Psalm, I learn that the antidote for fear is our God.  It was written during David's low and difficult times when he fled from his enemies.  David chooses to trust in God as he waits for Him with confidence.  This Psalm begins and ends with faith in God and David's determination to wait in faith for the LORD.  Notice that David is uttering a prayer to God where he reminds Him of his circumstancesPsalm 27 reminds me that our LORD is our Light, our salvation, the stronghold of our life, our Deliverer and our guidance when we draw near Him and walk with Him faithfully.  We can rest assured with complete confidence that He will be there for us in our time of need.


I.    THE LORD IS OUR DEFENSE (STRONGHOLD) AND STRENGTH:

David expresses his confidence in his LORD in verses 1-6.
"The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid?  2 When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.  3 Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid; though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident.  4 I have asked one thing from the LORD; it is what I desire:  to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His temple.  5 For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock.  6 Then my head will be high above my enemies around me; I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy.  I will sing and make music to the LORD."
  •  The LORD Is My Light:
In this Psalm, David describes how God impacts our lives not only spiritually but also as a physical defense against our enemies, (verse 1).  David recognizes that in the end, our God will help us win over our fears.  He begins this beautiful Psalm with a tremendous picture of encouragement.  He says, "The LORD is my light and my salvation."  David recognizes that God is his "light" (understanding) as well as his "salvation" (deliverance).  In the Old and New Testament, the word "light" has a significant meaning since it refers to God as "light."  In Genesis 1:3, God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day."'   You see light was the first element of the creation that God spoke into existence.  God Himself is called the Light, (Ps. 4:6; Is. 10:17; Mic. 7:8, 1 Jn. 1:5).  Jesus declared that He is the LightGod removes the darkness of ignorance and sin through His Light.  We are commanded to walk in the Light just as He is in the Light.  Moreover, light means walking with God and having His favor.

In Lamentations 3:1-3, we see an illustration of this: “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.”  You see God's people lost that fellowship with Him and thus were destroyed because they were walking in darkness.  Micah 7:8-9 describes for us the same sentiment:  “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I have sinned against Him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness.”  You see the prophet Micah declared that because the nation of Israel had sinned, they would have to bear the LORD'S wrath upon them, as He said, they were “sitting in darkness” and “bearing the LOD'S wrath.” However, God showed mercy and brought them "out into the light."

In Psalm 27:1-6 David described his relationship with his God as he communed and walked with Him.  That is why he was confident that he had nothing to fear.  Isn't it beautiful to have such a confidence in our God no matter what may come our way!

  • The LORD Is My Salvation:
Besides God being David's "light," He was also his "salvation."  God was David's source of deliverance from all of the severe and violent circumstances in which he found himself.  He could say with confidence, "The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell."  (Verse 2).  David remembers that the LORD has been, is, and will be his only "defense" or "stronghold."  God brought hope and encouragement to David as He replaced the gloom of his doubts with His glorious presence.  David had no reason to tremble in fear since he knew that the Almighty God was his salvation.  He knew well that God was going to fight his battles, defending him against his enemies and sustaining him during his most troublesome and perilous times.  David was confident that God was his light, his salvation, and his deliverance since He has the power to deliver us from our enemies, our sins and the power of Satan.  No matter what we go through, our God can help us through them.

In verses 2-3 we can see David dealing with his enemies who are fighting violently against him.  In verse 2, David goes back to remember his walk with God.  His life had not been free of toil and difficulties, for his enemies would come to him to devour him like the wild beasts, who pounce on their prey to rip it up and consume it.  However, his enemies failed, because God was with him as His Savior.  His victories came from God and not from any military forces.  The LORD was faithful to him as He dealt with his foes, his enemies.  He caused them to stumble and fail I am amazed beyond words!  I must remind myself of this always!!

In verse 3 David exults saying, "Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid; though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident."  You see faith will give us confidence, the trust to face whatever comes our way, even our enemies.  Our faith (our trust and confidence) helps us to see God as the One who shields and protects us from all evil forces.  In David's case, the LORD stood before him to help him and keep him secure.  Thus in faith, he says, "Though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident."  His victories gave David confidence to believe, to have faith even in the midst of war and surrounded by enemies.  He acknowledges that God would fight for him and protect him.  Our God also fights for us Christians today!  Paul recognized this when he said, "No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us."  (Romans 8:37).  Such comforting words enlighten our souls!

Throughout the Scriptures, we see God's power as He took care of His nation.  Take for instance what God told Abraham in a vision.  “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”  You see God reassured Abraham that he need not fear because He was going to make him a great nation even though he was without a son, (Genesis 15).  God also told Jacob not to fear to move him and his family down to Egypt because He was going to take care of them and would make them a great nation.  God said, "I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes.”  (Genesis 46:3-4).  God also told Joshua over and over again to take courage and not be afraid because He was with him, (Joshua 1:9; 8:1; 10:25; 11:6). God told Jeremiah not to be afraid to speak what He was commanding him to say to the nation, (Jeremiah 1:6-8).  He told Ezekiel the same thing when He commanded him to speak to the nation of Israel when they were rebelling against Him.  God said, "And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions.  Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 7 And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.” (Ezekiel 2:6-7).  God told the people of Israel before they conquered the land of Canaan saying,  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

God not only made these promises in the Old Testament but throughout the New Testament as quoted in Hebrews, “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?‘”  (Hebrews 13:5-6).  In Matthew 10:28-31, Jesus said, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."  Therefore, we have nothing to fear except being outside of the light of God, for if God is not our light, then there is much to fear.  But if God is our light, then there is nothing to fear, for He is with us and is our deliverance.


II.   THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH:
"I have asked one thing from the LORD; it is what I desire:  to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His temple.  5 For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock.  6 Then my head will be high above my enemies around me; I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy.  I will sing and make music to the LORD."  (Psalm 27:4-6).
  • The Stronghold of Our Life:
Our God is a mighty stronghold, the anchor of our lives, when there is turmoil, storms of doubt, discouragement, despair, defeat as well as when we face the waves and winds of temptation, the trials, and the sorrows that tear at our sails.  When we are faithful followers of Christ, we can have the confidence that no matter how bad things might appear, with God on our side, life can be free of worry, fear, and anxiety.  Our God brings us inner peace, calmness or quietness.  Our LORD is our peace because He is our Light.   Even death itself has no hold over us.  Death is what every person fears, but we Christians must not fear death since it is merely a transition into eternal life and paradise with God.   The Scriptures repeatedly reassure us with confidence saying,  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28).  Our God is our strength and joyIsn't that marvelous!

David’s earnest desire was to seek after God that he might dwell in His House, (verses 4-6).  David wanted to be in God's presence more than anything else he desired.  He wanted "to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life."  It was David's chief yearning, and it must be ours too.  Verses 4-6 are captivating to me because of David's earnest desire to seek after God and dwell in His house.  And though the Temple was not completed yet when David wrote this Psalm (Solomon his son finished building the Temple after David's death), David was not speaking literally about dwelling in the Tabernacle (only the priests could enter it).  David was speaking of the close and intimate relationship he had with his LORD.  The word "house" does not refer to a physical one.  It is a figurative "house" which refers to God's presence; where God is, and he wants to be.  David wanted to be where God dwelt and see Him in all of His infinite beauty.  He wanted to behold the beauty of the LORD and meditate in His presence, His temple.  God's glory and presence gave him joy continually.   He gazed upon God's kindness and goodness all the time.  He would come to inquire in God's temple to know His will more perfectly.  His chief desire was to be in God's presence in his actions, love, growth, and the understanding of God's will.  It is beautiful beyond description!!

David knew that although life is full of troubles and trials, God was going to be his Helper to shield him with His strength.  He says, "For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock."  You see God is our protection (a tabernacle or tent); and a rockAs our tabernacle or tent, our God is our security to hide us in Hs presence.  As our rock, He sets us on high to keep us far from the arrows and slingshots of our enemies.  David tells us that God will put us in the hollow of His mighty hand to protect us with His presence and strength from all harm.  As we walk with God in true communion, we can rest assured that He will be there for us to help us handle life's difficulties, and to give us the strength to endure them.  God will provide for us in times of danger, for He will lift up our head in victory over our enemies and those who want to defeat us.  When I think of what my God has done in my life and how He has met His promises to me, I can't help but to shout of joy and sing praises to Him!

Therefore, like David, we must desire earnestly to draw near our God. We must want to be with Him and seek Him in all of His glory and beauty as David did.  Our greatest desire in life must be to have an intimate relationship with our Creator and walk or commune with Him as His friends.  We must yearn to see Him face to face as our God and Creator as Enoch, Abraham, and Moses did.  David longed for the LORD only and for nothing else.  Therefore, our God must be our only focal point and nothing else in our lives.


III.   HEAR MY CRY (VOICE):   David’s Earnest Prayer to God: (27:7-10)
"LORD, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me.  8 My heart says this about You, “You are to seek My face.”  LORD, I will seek Your face.  9 Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger.  You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation.  10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD cares for me."
  • David  Needs to be Heard:
In verse 7, David cries out saying, "LORD, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me."  As a helpless and needy servant, David seeks God's face.  He earnestly petitions God to come to his rescue.  He puts his faith in God by asking Him to place His protective arms around him, and that is exactly what we must do.  He remembers who God is and what He has done for him.  Therefore, he begs his God to come to his defense against his enemies.  Indeed, God hears when we cry out to Him, and He is never too busy to listen to us.   Yet, He is the last person we want to talk to.  How is He going to listen to us if we don't even bother to approach His throne of mercy?  God is the only one on whom we can confidently lay our heavy burdens, to find relief and rest for our weary souls.  We must believe and trust Him, for He will indeed listen to us.  He is a faithful and perfect Father who longs to hear us when we cry out to Him.  Can there be a better or more perfect listener than our Father in heaven who wants to hear us?  No one, for there is no better listener who can help us with our cries like our God!   No one can assist us and grant to us that inner peace that we so desperately need in our times of turmoil except our Father in heaven.  That is why we must always remind ourselves of all His promises.  Jesus, our Lord, promised us that if we "keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you."   (Matthew 7:7).  Such faithful promises are too much for me to fathom!  So, I will trust in Him with all of my heart and soul!!

  • David Needs Acceptance:
"8 My heart says this about You, 'You are to seek My face.'  LORD, I will seek Your face."'   God has asked His children to seek His "face." The word "face" with regard to God represents that intimate or unique communion, God's favor, we have with Him.  God wants us to have close fellowship with Him.  God invites us to seek Him.  David accepts God's invitation to seek Him, so he begins praying to Him fervently.

In verse 9 David prays to God saying, "Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger.  You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation."  In his prayer, he cries out and begs God to answer him.  He is aware that his prayer is an emergency that demands urgency, for he is indeed in deep despair and trouble.  He needs immediate assistance.  So he pleads with God to hear him and respond with mercy and kindness.  As he prays to God, his eyes move from the clouds of conflict and doubt.  David fervently expresses his need for acceptance and for God to come to rescue him.  Don't we all want to be accepted when we struggle with rejection?  We experience at times such rejection perhaps from our family, or maybe our spouse, friends, co-workers, brethren and those with whom we come into contact in our everyday tasks in life.

"10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD cares for me."   Verse 10 captivates my heart because of its beautyDavid felt as if the world had discarded him, for even his dearest friends had turned against him.  Indeed, there was a blanket of loneliness upon him.  But he is confident because of his faith that God will take better care of him than anyone else he has met in life.  And even though others have failed him in the past, he is confident that God will not forsake him but instead be with him all the way.  David's faith found refuge and strength in God.  He found consolation in God as He shielded him and strengthened him when troubles surrounded him.

 And though at times we feel as if the world has cast us away, our God will not abandon us, for He cares for usSuch mighty comfort and confidence in our God Almighty!!  David acknowledged God’s immense love for him and so must we.  Thus, in verse 9, David exclaims, "Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger.  You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation."  God had been David's help when he most needed it in his life.  God did not abandon David.  God's help and approval are all that must matter in our lives.  Even when the world rejects us, our God is faithful to His faithful ones, and He will not reject and abandon us.   Therefore, like David, we must seek the LORD for true acceptance and not the world's.  Without God's acceptance, we will starve and run the risk of seeking the acceptance of this world.


IV.   OUR GOD IS OUR GUIDANCE:  (27:11-14)
"Because of my adversaries, show me Your way, LORD, and lead me on a level path.  12 Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence.  13 I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living.  14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and courageous.  Wait for the LORD!

David also pled with God for guidance.  He said, "11 Because of my adversaries, show me Your way, LORD, and lead me on a level path."  Our faith casts our fears away through God's guidance in His Word.  All faithful followers of God want to know God's ways better.  They want to be led by God to a "level path."  Our God can guide our steps in the way of righteousness.  Like David, we must desire to walk a level path of obedience to God.  When we stand on God's stable path, we can face our enemies.  God protects us from evil and danger, and He will care for us as His precious children.  As His beloved children, we need to be taught by our Father who loves us and cares for us.  We can confidently turn to Him for guidance, but because we are often stubborn and reject our Father's guidance and wisdom, we find ourselves in trouble.  We deceive ourselves thinking we are wiser and have more knowledge than Him, but the Truth is that without God as our Helper, we are completely lost.  We must learn to humble ourselves and turn to God Almighty for His hand of mercy and helpLet us not harden our hearts and retreat into our weaknesses and the delusions of sin that ensnare us.  Let us surrender our will to God's will, that He may lead us in the path of righteousness, the only path that is perfect.

  • David Needs God's Protection:
"Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence." (Verse 12)
In verse 12, David makes a special plea to God for protectionEvil and slanderous men are speaking evil against him.  Violent men are trying to ensnare him.  They are breathing violence and seek to harm him.  He feels overcome.

David prays to God for protection amid so much darkness and turmoil.   As we read this Psalm, it is evident that David had many enemies (in verses 2, 3, 11, 12).  God is our Provider, for He alone, provides for our needs.   Sadly, we often try to fill these voids in other ways that are not God's ways.  Yet, our heavenly Father cares enough for us that He is willing to meet our needs when we let Him be our Light to guide and protect us.  When we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we can confidently trust in Him and not be afraid.  I must remind myself of this!!

  • David’s Reminders Amid His Trials And Turmoil:  (27:13-14)
"I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living.  14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and courageous.  Wait for the LORD!"
  • Wait for the LORD!
"Wait for the LORD" is one of my all-time favorite phrases in the Bible.  Verse 13 manifests David's immense confidence in God in moments of much turmoil.  Were it not for God's goodness, David would've given up in despair.  He declares, “I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living.”  His enormous hope in God sustained him.  His faith allowed him to see God's goodness, His kindness.  Our God will come to our rescue and will keep us in the "land of the living" because of His "goodness" toward us.  Such precious hope is marvelous beyond words!!

In verse 14, David exclaimed, "Wait for the LORD; be strong and courageous.  Wait for the LORD!"  David knew that God would answer his prayer because he knew who his God was.  An Almighty God keeps His promises, for all of God's promises are faithful and not false.  So, David prayed knowing that his prayer would be answered as he patiently walked with God.  David waited for the LORD's goodness through his faith in Him.  David knew that God was with him in whatever state he found himself.   David did not give in to his doubts and fears.  He was determined to have courage, for he believed that God was going to extend His hand of mercy and goodness to him.  He chose to be patient until God could give him the victory over his trials.  So, David had two reminders:  First, to wait for the LORD and second that God's timing is not our timing.  David was resolved to pray and wait for the LORD and His timing.  He knew God would not delay in coming to spare him from all his troubles and turmoil.  We must learn patience. We must learn to wait for the LORD to help us.  Let us then keep these two reminders and not get discouraged when fear assails our door.  David states these reminders at the beginning and at the end of verse 14 as his farewell words.

So, are you waiting for the LORD with confidence and patience?  In Proverbs 20:22 we are reminded of God's justice, “Don’t say, 'I will avenge this evil!'  Wait on the LORD, and He will rescue you.'"  Sadly, because of our bad habits, we demand answers and solutions to our problems immediately. We refuse to wait for the LORD. We cannot wait to see how things might turn out.  We delude ourselves, thinking that we know all the answers. We think we already know the best solution to our problems.  We demand that things be done according to our folly, knowledge and our desires, rather than trust in the faithfulness of God's promises.   But what does this lack of trust or confidence in our LORD portray?  Merely a lack of faith in Him.  When we behave in such a manner, we are telling God we do not trust Him and His knowledge of what is in our best interests, as He has purposed for us.  How often do we wait for the LORD?  Very little!  We choose to complain about Him for not hearing our prayers.  We complain that He has let us down and refuses to help us.  Such whinners and complainers we are!  Where is our patience and confidence?  Where is our trust in God?   We must wait for Him!

  • We Must Be Courageous:
God commanded Abraham, the nation of Israel, Joshua, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel to be courageous and wait upon Him.  We must be courageous in the LORD. We need to be flexible and depend on the LORD more.   We must not concede when obstacles come our way.  Indeed, God's people find an infinite number of obstacles as they walk the narrow way on the way to heaven.  However, our LORD repeatedly demands that we believe and trust Him with all our might.

He is with us and will be with His faithful children all the way to the gates of heaven.  He has promised us that He will come to our aid to help us overcome all of life's obstacles and the darkness in our path, only if we will faithfully trust in Him to deliver us.  He has promised us that we will be able to overcome everything because of our faith in Him.  We must trust in Him to meet whatever challenges that might come our way.  He has promised us that He will strengthen our minds and hearts to do whatever it is that He requires us to do.  We must not act foolishly and demand that everything be done our way.  We must not complain, but instead cry out to Him with all of our heart, for He cares for us.  Therefore, let us resolve to be strong in the LORD, and in His power to help us overcome.  Let us learn this attitude of heart to endure our many trials victoriously.  Let those heroes we read of in Hebrews 11 be our motivatorsThey trusted and waited for the LORD in the face of adversity.  Are you willing to wait for the LORD as your only deliverer and stronghold?  Are you willing to stand for the LORD and His kingdom of righteousness while facing your needs and trials?  Remember, many of these heroes came through victoriouslyTheir faith grew stronger because of their courage to remain faithful to their God in the face of hardship.  Will you hold on to your faith in your times of turmoil and sufferings?  Will you stand for the LORD and wait for Him no matter the price?  Or will you give up and accept defeat?  The choice is yours to make!  I choose always to wait and stand for the LORD in whatever circumstances I am.


CONCLUSION:

Our faith in our God will win over fear and doubt, for He is our defense, strength, and guide.  He surrounds us with His Almighty arms of protection against our circumstances and enemies.  God helps us to bear the fiery furnace of our trials, that we might not be burned.  We must walk by faith and not by fearGod is our Light, who brings us out of the darkness of sin into His glorious Light of righteousness.  God provides guidance to life's problems through His TruthHe is our salvation, for He delivers us with His strong hand.  He is also our defense when we put our trust in Him as faithful servants.  He puts us on a high rock to keep us from harm and danger, for He loves us and cares for usMay our God be praised for His marvelous Light, salvation, and defense!  Our God is not only a God of love but also of Truth.  He keeps His promises, and there is no falsehood in Him.  Therefore, we must trust Him with an unwavering faith to face each trial that comes our way.

Our heart's yearning must be to seek after God and dwell with Him, walking with Him as His companions and members of His family.  We must behold God's beauty with purity and love that His magnificence might surround us.  Like David, we must desire to know God's Truth and have His mind by doing all things His way.  To do this, we must have a yearning to study, learn and do His will.  God will deliver us when we submit our will to His will in all things.  In doing this, we can rest assured that He will give us spiritual victories over our difficulties.  God's goodness compels us to rejoice in our problems and trialsHis presence, love, and victory are enough to walk our journey here on earth.  He has provided all that we need through His Son, to accomplish His Will.  Therefore, we must offer living sacrifices of joy and praise to Him with a heart of gratitude.  We demonstrate our gratitude to Him by our godly and holy living and by the way we live out His Word.

So when trouble comes your way, don't lose heart but choose to be strong and wait on the LORD.  Believe with all your heart that you will see God's goodness in the land of the living.  Trust in His goodness and faithfulness.  And though waiting is hard, it is necessaryRemain faithful to Him and keep praying.  Wait on Him and remain faithful to His Truth.  Seek God's face by drawing nearer to Him in prayer.  Approach His throne with confidence and cry out to Him.  God will hear your deep feelings, even your broken and distressing ones.  Put yourself in God's hands and let Him guide you into His level path of righteousness.  But you must remember to be patient and wait on the LORD.  He will lead you to a safe and secure placeWhat an awesome Father we have in heaven!!

Is God the Light in your life? Is He your deliverance, your salvation, and your stronghold in this world? If you are not walking the level path of righteousness with God as you draw near to Him, then it will be hard to have that confidence, faith, trust I have mentioned in my study.   Don't lose God's great blessings by turning away from Him, and living in the sinful desires of the flesh.  Why not draw near to Him and His ways that lead us to the path of righteousness?  Why not pray and talk to Him more in prayer?  Why not choose to be in His presence by studying and meditating on His Word?  Why not choose to walk with Him that He might be your Friend to listen to you, protect you and guide you?  I can assure you, He will not let you down and will not forsake you.  Let us wait for the LORD to provide all that we need to make it to heavenWhen you find yourself in the pit, look up to God in prayer!

May we have an unwavering faith, waiting and trusting in God when we feel lost, without hope and mercy.  May we always turn to our Light that He may give us strength and victory over our fears, our enemies, and evildoers who rise against us.  May we stand firm and rooted in His Word that we may have confidence in Him.  May we always seek His face and worship Him with songs of praise as we walk His level path of righteousness.  May we learn to wait for Him steadfastly by praying and by keeping watch.  May we focus on God as our shelter and hiding place.  Finally, may we seek the LORD while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near.   May all men return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on them, for He will abundantly pardon.

The following song was my motivation to write this study.

THE LORD IS MY LIGHT
Written By C.E. Couchman

The LORD is my light and my salvation.
Whom shall I fear?
And He is my strength, the defense of my life.
Whom shall I fear?
Have mercy, O LORD, and answer my cry.
Turn not away.
For You are my help, the God of salvation.
Turn not away.

O LORD, lead me now in Your path straight and even.
Teach me Your way.
I will not despair; Your goodness sustains me.
Teach me Your way.
To dwell in His house all the days of my life:
This shall I seek.
And oh, to behold the LORD in His beauty!
This shall I seek.

[Chorus]
Wait, wait, O wait on the LORD.
Be strong and take courage!
Wait on the LORD.
Wait, wait, O wait on the LORD.
Be strong and take courage!
Yes, wait on the LORD.

Luci

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A HOUSE BUILT BY GOD

 "By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."   
Proverbs 24:3-4


On the fifth day of God's creation, He filled the oceans with sea life making it swarm with fruitful life, but it was not good enough. The next day He made man and all of the dry land creatures that breathe oxygen and exhale CO2. There was but one problem: He made only one man. He said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." He made the woman so that he and she could form a family, and fill the earth with the creature that He loved the most, mankind. The ultimate expression of that love is found in His ideal of the godly home.  One of the most beautiful sounds on this earth is the laughter of children. The sound of children playing in the yard or in the street is the sound of a neighborhood that is still alive. We take much for granted. Happy families are no accident. From beginning to end, God has a plan. He is our Creator and Judge. He knows what is best for the men and women that He created.

Lately, I've been reflecting on the fundamental role that the home plays in our society, the church, and the nation.  I grieve that many homes are crumbling before our eyes.  Our godless culture is breaking down the most fundamental unit of society, the home Strong, godly and healthy homes are the only hope for the survival of our people.  The home is the laboratory and the incubation chamber for the next generations of our nation.  The identity of our culture is found in the character of our homes.  

One of the most damaging factors in the break-down of our homes is fornication, sexual intimacy outside of divinely authorized marriage.  Our godless culture accepts the widespread practice of couples living together, even raising children, without the holy bonds and commitment of marriage.  These couples give a number of excuses, for not getting married.  The truth is they don't want the lifetime commitment!  They boast about their love for each other, but they insist on defiling that love by fornication, mocking the public marriage contract that would render their union holy before both God and man.  Our culture not only accepts this arrangement, but celebrates it.  It is outrageous!  So, if they truly love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together, like they claim, why don't they get married?  When one raises such a question, they stutter or keep silent.  But the truth is they are not truly committed to each other and their vows.  They know they can get out of the relationship without the legal complications of a marriage license.  Such relationships don't usually last.  They don't last because they willfully ignore and disrespect God's laws on sexual morality and His principles of righteousness.  I must stress that living together or being engaged as husband and wife outside of marriage is fornication or sexual immorality in God's Law, His Word.  It is condemned in the Bible and brings the wrath of God, (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-5; Col. 3:5-6; Rev. 21:8).  Those who practice living in such sinful relationships will not be in heaven. They will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.  They bluntly insult such a standard or principle of morality, saying that Bible morality is outdated and old-fashioned.  But guess what?  God's laws, His Word, never changes.  It is just as relevant today as when it was first written!

When children are born out of wedlock, they are handicapped both socially and morally. When they grow up without the godly example of a faithful dad married to their mom, they themselves are ill-equipped to establish a stable family in which to raise their own children. They form another dysfunctional homeThe parents pass their sinful behavior onto their children who likewise live in fornication. They cycle continues generation after generation.  These sins of immorality bear many terrible consequences.  So, what happens then to a society or nation where there is no fear of God, their young engage in sexual immorality out of wedlock and reject God's marital vows?  Nothing but chaos and collapse, ungodly and unhealthy homes to support the ongoing integrity of our culture.  When the home breaks down, it weakens its ability to strengthen the culture.  So as our culture goes, so goes our nation.  It is alarming to watch the progressive break down of the home in our nation.  The breaking down of the home has now reached the church that Jesus purchased with His own blood.  

The Lord's church is impacted deeply by the break down of the home.  Strong and godly homes have a tremendous power to raise strong and faithful children who in the long run can become strong, faithful Christians when they become adults.  As faithful adults, they build strong and godly Christian homes whose Builder is Jesus, He whose kingdom is righteousness.  A home that is built by God's wisdom can produce godly, strong and faithful Christians.  Such godly souls are a blessing to the Lord's church!  They strengthen the church.  These are the type of homes that produce leaders who will serve in many vital roles in the church.

  1. Today, the Lord's church needs such men who are earnestly devoted to learning and applying God's Word in their daily lives, that they might be faithful to His teachings.  
  2. The Lord needs godly role models who can be the salt of the earth in His church, the home, and the world, (Matt. 5:13; Phil. 2:15-16).  
  3. The church needs men and women who can be strong and sound Bible teachers, (2 Tim. 2:2).
  4. The church needs strong and godly adults who will teach the young the fear of God, and a compelling desire to serve and love Him faithfully.  
  5. The church needs elders, deacons, and preachers who are strong in the faith and thus provide righteous leadership to the flock, (1 Tim. 3:1-3; 1 Pet. 5:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:1-5).  
  6. The church needs members who can love one another the way Christ has loved us, (John 13:34-35).  
  7. The church needs members who can exhort, encourage and strengthen one another constantly, (Heb. 3:13; 10:24).  
  8. Finally, the church needs members who can love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, (Matt. 22:37) and can be devoted and committed to Him and His church.  
You see broken, dysfunctional homes do not often raise up such amazing Christians.  The saddest thing is that the Lord's church is suffering immensely because of the breakdown of the home. Instead of overcoming the world by our saltiness and devotion to Christ and His kingdom (being godly examples), we are overcome by the world and its lawlessness, and darkness.  We must take responsibility at once for things are turning our homes upside down.

Another major factor in the breakdown of the home is that men are not living up to their God-given responsibility of being the head of the home.  (Eph. 5:22-24).  It is not a question of equality or who is inferior to whom.  Rather, God has given men and women different roles in the home.  (More on this later).

Divorce is another huge factor that is contributing to the breakdown of the home.  There is one divorce expected for every two marriages performed in our nation.  Unfortunately, it has been this way for many decades.  I cannot understand why people do something that God hates so much!  The answer is, that so few people know God or care about the Bible.  Faith is developed by hearing and heeding the teachings of God's Word, (Romans 10:17).  Those who care little about seeking the Lord and His Word will indeed have very little knowledge of His laws or teachings and will carelessly violate His teachings or laws.  Hence their faith will be weak.  That is why we must stress the need for spending time studying God's Word diligently and teaching it to others that they might be equipped to do good and righteous works, (2 Tim. 2:15).   Some married couples decide to seek the Lord only to find out that their present partner is still married to someone else making them adulterers, according to Jesus’ teaching on divorce and remarriage. (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:8-9).  They were ignorant and didn't know God's will for marriage and the home.  Often this becomes a stumbling block for their faith, so they find themselves in trouble and being accountable to God.  Paul stressed to the Athenians that ignorance of God's Will is not an acceptable or a justified excuse, for God will hold us accountable in the end, (Acts 17:30-31).  Sexual immorality is the only exception to God's law regarding marriage, divorce, and remarriage.  And whether our society agrees and respects God's laws on marriage, in God's eyes the marriage commitment is for life until death except for sexual immorality, (Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Cor. 7:39).  It is God's intention from the beginning, (Matt. 19:8; Mk. 10:4-9).  His design for marriage is simple, one man and one woman together for life.  

Today, the marriage vows have no value anymore and are commonly ignored by couples who seem to care little about marital commitment and God's divine design for the home.  Such design must be based on love.  Unfortunately, our upside-down culture has developed a careless and flippant or irreverent attitude toward marriage and divorce.  Instead of couples working out their differences and problems, they often give up on their marriage.  The consequences are devastating for the home.
  1. Children must be raised in a single parent home, a dysfunctional and broken home.  
  2. Children are raised without godly role models in a strong and stable home.  
  3. Young boys grow up without fathers who can teach them by example all about manliness and godliness. 
  4. Young girls grow up without learning virtue, chastity and what to expect in a husband.  
As a result of this break down of the home, our society is weakened and our culture disintegrates.  They don't realize that God hates divorce, (Mal. 2:16; Matt. 19:9; Matt. 5:32).  The only grounds for divorce is adultery.  Outside of adultery, there are no other Scriptural grounds for divorce.  Like I said before, God's divine design for marriage is one man and one woman married for life.  Sadly, our society and culture has ignored and keeps ignoring God's laws on marriage and divorce.  As it is stated in Hosea 8:7, we have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind.  We must turn back to God and His divine design for the home.  

Consider some good and wise counsel about the marital relationship and rules of thumb for a godly marriage and home.


I.   WALKING WORTHY IN THE HOME:
  • Wives Yielding in the Home:  (Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.  7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you  of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."  (1 Peter 3:1-7).

Peters begins with the phrase "Likewise, wives."  What do you suppose Peter is implying here?  He is stressing the need to live our lives in such a way as to glorify God with our good and righteous deeds before the world, (2:12).  The central point is to live in such a godly way as to encourage others to obey God, (2:15).  Thus, Peter is commanding wives to yield as well.  In doing so, they are subject to their husbands yielding to them.

Our culture has often challenged and made it almost difficult for wives to obey the command to submit to their husbands.  Our society places "headship" as "dictatorship."  The only truth is that the wife must voluntarily yield to her husband, seeking out his best interests.  Her yielding is what God demands of her.  A godly wife wants her husband to lead her and the family without her attempting to do it.  Our society has failed us in reversing the rolesWe see passive husbands and domineering wives.  Men don't want to lead, provide for their family and are content being lazy.  Thus, the lay the responsibility of leading their household on their wives.  Many even send their wives to work and are content by not providing for the needs of their family.  Husbands, God has made you responsible for your family, not your wife.  As the heads, the buck stops with you!  How can you ask your wife to yield and refuse to the lead?  Step up and be the leader!  Wives, you are commanded by God to encourage your husband's leadership or headship.  Don't try to seize your husband's leadership just because you think he is not leading.  You still must continue to have a yielding spirit and encourage your husband's leadership.

In Ephesians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul is urging wives to "submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior."  That is walking worthy of their calling in the marriage by voluntarily submitting to their husbands.  In our twisted society, the word "submission" has become an unpleasant and ugly word.  It presents a picture of being dominated and oppressedThey have completely corrupted the meaning of the word and the concept of what the Bible teaches.  Jesus has never asked us to do anything that He did not do Himself.  Jesus submitted to the will of His Father and yielded to His Father's interests.  He wants wives to voluntarily submit to the leadership of their husband.  Husbands, remember that the Lord does not want you to abuse your leadership by forcing her to submit, using punishments or other consequences.  If the wives refuse to yield, I believe there is nothing that you can do but be accountable to God and expect Him to judge the wives if they refuse to repent.  She must voluntarily submit to the husband's leadership without the husband forcing them to do it.  Wives who fear the Lord will submit to the headship of their husbands without enforcement.  Their primary desire must be that of submitting to God's will and that of their husbands.

Ladies, if you do not desire to submit and follow a man's leadership, then you must not marry, but you cannot escape your obligation to submit to male authority by remaining single.  To please God, you still must learn to submit your will to the divine will. Period!  Remember, submission does not mean you are inferior.  Do you suppose Christ was inferior when He submitted to the will of His Father?  I don't think so!!  Why?  Because submission or yielding shows strength and godly meekness.  Submission must be praised not belittled and defamed.  Remember, that when you submit to your husband, you are showing reverence and service to the Lord.  That is, you are serving Christ by yielding to your husband's will and not yours.  For the husband is the head of the wife.  There is only one head in the marital relationship.  God created both, husband and wife, as one flesh to function together under one head.  They are not to be autonomous but live together.  God has made the marriage relationship to be as beautiful as Christ is to the church.  Wives, submission is not doing what you always want to do or get your way.  Submission is choosing to submit or yield your will and desires to the will of your husband.  This is walking in godliness and love.  It is devotion to the Lord!  Submission honors and affirms the husband's leadership and encourages him to carry it on.  Submission is not begrudging and does not undermine the leadership of the husband, (1 Peter 3:1-2).  Wives, you are obeying Christ and submitting to His will when you submit to your husband's leadership or headship.  Remember, you will be rewarded for your yielding and loving service to your husband and the Lord.

It is vital that we stress the importance of wives behaving in a holy way outside and inside the home.  In 1 Peter 3:1-2, he illustrates a wife whose husband is not obedient to God's Word.  She is commanded to win her husband by her godly and holy conduct.  Wives, your godly, righteous lives speak more than words.  But if you behave like the world, you are not obeying God and submitting to His rule.  Period!  You must behave in a godly way regardless of how he acts toward you.  If he does not act like a godly man, the way he must, it gives no permission or right whatever for you to refuse to submit to him.  Period!

Holy women in the past placed their hope or trust in God and adorned themselves inwardly and outwardly.  They clothed themselves with a yielding or submissive heart toward God.  Sarah is the best godly and yielding example for all Christian wives and we must learn from her example.  You see Sarah showed a yielding, submissive spirit in the way she treated her husband even her conversations with Abraham.  By following her godly and holy example, we are children of Sarah.  We cannot be heirs of the promise when we behave in an ungodly and unfaithful way.  A yielding wife trusts her husband and acts in his best interest.  She yields or submits to her husband because she fears God and wants to submit to Him, doing what is right.  She is godly and has a quiet and gentle spirit, for she obeys Christ.

Sisters and friends, remember that we must not focus on the externals only.  Our beauty must not be how we look externally but it must be a spiritual beauty as well.  Our beauty must reveal a gentle and quiet spirit.  Our hearts are precious to God, and so it is a character that is gentle and quiet.  In Matthew 5:5 all Christians are commanded to be meek, i.e., gentle just like Moses who is praised for his gentleness or meekness of heart toward all, (Num. 12:3).  Wives and sisters remember that our most excellent beauty comes from our godliness.

  • Husbands Walking Worthy of Their Calling:   
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'"  (Ephesians 5:25-31). 

Husbandswalking worthy of your calling means to love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.  Loving your wives means giving up your interests and desires for those of your wife.  Loving your wives is to do everything for the benefit of your wives.  This is the love of Christ for His church.  He did not do what He thought was best for Him but for us.  Husbandsyou must love your wives in all circumstances and not when it is convenient for you.  You are to love your wife as your own body.  The husband is commanded to be the headship of his household.  He is accountable to God for his family.  He is responsible for the welfare of his family in all aspects, mainly spiritually.  When husbands love and submit to the headship of Christ and his rule, then they will lead them properly.  It is vital that we stress the importance of leading them with love in a godly way.  Paul stresses the kind of love husbands are to have toward their wives in Ephesians 5:28-29.  They are to love their wives as their own bodies.  That is they must love and cherish them, for she is his body and the two are one flesh.  Thus, if he indeed fears the LORD, he will not lead her in a nasty, spiteful and bitter way.  Instead, he will cherish her since they are one.  Therefore, the husband must see his marriage relationship in a godly way, treating his wife with care and love.  There is no other way to be pleasing to God.

In 1 Peter 3:7, husband are to treat their wives with understanding in a considerate way, showing honor to her as the weaker vessel.  The husband must treat his wife as a delicate and fragile vessel.  Treat her with respect, for she is not inferior and because she is a partner of the grace of life with you.  It means that he must treat her as equal since she is an heir with him and not a slave under him.  Husbands, when you mistreat your wife and fail to show honor, you are not showing understanding and compassion.  Thus, you're running the risk of hindering your prayers.  God will not listen to you and you will not have a relationship with Him.  This is extremely serious!  You cannot treat your wife as a slave, mistreating her and still expect to commune with God.  When you behave in such an ungodly way, you are separated from God, for you are in sin.  Therefore, it is vital that you show her honor and kindness Show respect, understanding, and compassion in your actions and words toward her.  Treat her as an equal heir in your walk with Christ so that your prayers are not blocked or hindered.  Take heed!
  • Unconditional Love In Marriage:
What is love?  For most people love is subjective and is based on personal feelings and experiences.  It is impossible to define such love objectively.  Indeed, it is much easier to describe love than to define it.  But the most inclusive definition is found in the Word of God:  "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."   (1 John 4:8). 

Although most people would agree that love is the fundamental basis for marriage, emotion is usually what drives a couple to get married.  The problem is that when love is only emotional, it will diminish or lessen within a very short period of time.  As a result, their marriage is in jeopardy.  I don't deny that emotion is vital between a husband and a wife who love each other, still, the only love that will sustain the marriage relationship must be based on more than mere emotion.  Unconditional love, commitment is vital for a marriage to endure the wiles of Satan.  The type of love in Paul's treatise of love in 1 Cor. 13:1-3, is "agape love".  It is often described as the most excellent form of love in the New Testament Greek language.  You see, "agape love" is not based on emotions or physical attraction.  It is a devoted, willful and committed love that one person extends to another person he chooses to love.   He extends that love even when he is not loved in return.  He is determined to love even when that other person is not worthy of his love.  He loves that person even when that person is unlovable.  He is practicing agape love.  In an upside-down culture, this kind of love sounds rather strange.  Everyone wants to get something in return for their investment (money, time, emotion, etc.).  Often, I hear that marriage is a 50-50 proposition and each spouse is required to meet the other one-half way.  With this kind of mindset, there are a lot of problems in the marriage relationshipMarriage is not a 50-50 relationship!!  For a marriage to work the way God has designed it (to be rich and fulfilling and rewarded by God), there must be 100% commitment from both husband and wife to the marriage relationship.  There will be times when the marriage relationship is put under extra strain. Here is where "agape love" must come into play.  
    1. Agape love will sustain the marriage relationship in the face of trial.  
    2. Agape love kicks in when the other spouse is unlovable.  
    3. Agape love refuses to give up on marriage when the world shouts, "Walk away, get a divorce!"  
    4. Agape love continues to love unconditionally!!  
    5. Agape love prevails.  
    6. Agape love, unconditional love overcomes evil with good, (Rom. 12:21).
  • Fathers, Bring Up Your Children in The Discipline and Instruction of the Lord:  
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  (Ephesians 6:4).
The word "discipline" implies the activity of education.  Some translations use the word "training."  The word "instruction" is the verbal part of the education.  Thus, fathers must verbally train and instruct their children by their actions and words.  Both are necessary.  The most important teaching a father can do for his children is based on God's instructions.  When he follows God's instructions, he will teach them to love God above everything, obey Him, fear Him and worship Him joyfully.  But words and actions are necessary to be successful.  

Christian parents play a foundational role in teaching their children daily the fear of God.  Unfortunately, many Christian parents don't serve God faithfully and end up raising children who as adults don't serve God either.  Their children grow up and are lost.  Other reasons could be cultural influences combined with a lack of proper Bible teaching.  The power of cultural influences is stronger than ever with the rise of media and the many technological devices (TV, movies, video games, music, social media, internet, texting, etc.).  Most of these influences are ungodly.  Even those children who were brought up in a Christian and godly home spend most of their time with other children who are not being raised to fear and love God and His Word.   All Christian parents must fight tooth and claw all negative cultural influences.  They must instill principles of righteousness and God's Word in the lives of their children.  It is not enough taking our children to church weekly.  It is not enough to feed and clothe them well without teaching them the fear of God and obedience to His Word. Attendance alone (when we gather together to worship God) is not enough and the central pillar of life without proper Biblical teaching or instruction.  It is how we live our lives, our actions, that will teach our children do what is right as genuine children of God.  Our children can indeed see where our priorities are.  Fathers are not to provoke their children, for they will become discouraged.  Fathers, you are giving the ultimate responsibility for the training of your children without wrath and discouragement.  You must train your children to save them spiritually.  Under no circumstances abuse your authority.  You must not be oppressive but rather exercise wisdom and discernment.
    • Saving Our Children:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."  (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
God has put us, parents, in charge of our home and we must lead appropriately according to the will of God.   Our lives must be ordered and determined by God's kingdom and God's righteousness if we indeed are faithful followers of Christ.  In doing this, you can rest assured you will be equipped to teach your children the fear of God and defeat all negative cultural influences that exist.  We must be earnest about the souls of our children and learn from the wisdom of God written a long time ago, (Deut. 10:12-13).  It is crucial that we as Christian and godly parents walk worthy of the Gospel if we want our children to obey God.  It is a foundational truth in saving our children.  We cannot expect our children to be faithful to God if we are partially committed to Christ.  When both parents fear God, are devoted, dedicated and zealous to the Lord and His work, their children most likely will follow their parents' lead successfullyThe church cannot save our children.  Parents are the only ones who can save them with the Lord's help.  No Bible classes and sermons at a church building weekly will influence our children's lives and save them.  Parents must walk the path of righteousness and practice what they teach their children that they may see the way to heaven.  The power of godly example from both parents is vital for them to be saved and go to heaven.  (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).

Indeed, this Scripture is full of practical wisdom about the godly home that does not forget God.  When one loves God, he will also love His Word.  When it comes to child-rearing, parents must practice what they preach.  There must be a personal example and spiritual teaching and training.  Bible study with their children is a priceless opportunity.
  1. Parents must teach their children to love, respect and obey God supremely. 
  2. They must teach them a love for their neighbor.
  3.  How to respect and submit to all authority. 
  4. They must teach them to humble themselves, exercise self-disciple and do hard work.
  5. How to be gracious and merciful to all.  
  6. They must be reminded that God is watching and that they will reap what they sow.  
  7. And that they must keep learning and growing in the fear of God.  
These are fundamental and priceless truths that will save our children.  Remember that our primary goal is to teach our children how to walk with God as we are endeavoring to do it also.  Leading by example is not enough sometimes since we must also invest time to properly teach them, (Eph. 6:4).  Without Bible knowledge, the wisdom of God and the path of righteousness in their lives, our children are most likely to be lost in this world of darkness (the culture around them).  May we never allow this world's constant distractions to squander these precious opportunities to teach them what really matters, the fear of God, love for His Word and obedience to all of His commands, (Deut. 6:8-9).  Parents, do your children know well the Word of God?  For example, do they know where to find the Sermon on the Mount?  Love?  Faith?  Salvation?  Heaven?  Hell?  Judgment Day?  Remember, our time with our children is limited!  Therefore, we must train them well in the way of the Lord.  Please, don't abandon your God-given duty!  Please, teach your children God's riches found in His Word that they might hear and understand it to bear abundant fruit for the Lord, (Matt. 13:22-23).

Let 's purpose in our hearts to train and raise godly children.  Let us train these precious souls to become faithful and zealous disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ because God has entrusted their soul to our care. Remember, our job as parents is first to bring up godly children even while we prepare them to make a living.  Why not start using our time God has given us to manifest our faith in our children so that they might also be firmly established in their faith?  Why not teach them loyalty to Christ and His church, the one He purchased with His own blood?  Since God cares about our relationships, it is vital that we walk in a manner worthy of our calling, Eph. 4:1 in our homes and Christian life.

  • Children, Obey Your Parents:  
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise)."  (Ephesians 6:1).
Children are commanded by God to listen and obey their parents in everything, for this is the will of God.  Children, especially teenagers, you are walking worthy of God when you obey your parents showing honor and respect toward them.  Obedience to your parents is your service, submission, and worship to Christ and His rule.  You must obey your parents in the Lord, for in doing this, you are serving the Lord through your obedience.  It is pleasing to the Lord.  When you rebel against your parents, you are rebelling against your God.  You are commanded to honor your father and mother, (Ephesians 6:2-3).  When you honor your parents, you are reflecting your relationship with God.  And whether you like it or not, your parents are wiser than you.  Your life will be better when you submit to their counsel and instructions.  Remember, they're giving you rules and instructions for your own good and keep you from many headaches in life and destroying your soul.

In Matthew 15:3-6, Jesus condemned the Pharisees for breaking the commandment of honoring their parents.  They failed to take care of their parents financially, saying that their money was given to God.  They failed to show respect and honor for a lifetime, forgetting that it never ends.  And though your parents might not be worthy of honor, because they have behaved dishonorably toward you, you still must show respect and honor toward them.  It is God's will that we honor, care and respect them and keep from behaving sinfully toward them.  God will judge us in the end.  Take heed!

  • So Why Should You Get Married?
"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous."  (Hebrews 13:4).
Why should a man and a woman get married?

A man and a woman should get married because marriage is honorable, righteous and ordained by God.  Also, God will judge those who live in fornication or adultery, (Heb. 13:4).  God designed and instituted marriage.  It did not happen by accident.  God created the woman, Eve, from a bone out of the man's body.  He then brought her to the man, Adam, (Gen. 2:21-24).  A man and a woman should get married because they honor, respect and love each other.  People should get married because they want childrenMarriage is the relationship in which God designed children to be born in this world, (Gen. 1:28, Ps. 127:3-5).  Children must never be viewed as a nuisance or inconvenience. Unfortunately, that is exactly the modern view in our society.  Children are a blessing from God, (Ps. 128:3-4).  Don't ever forget that!  Men and women should be married because God blesses the marriage relationship emotionally, physically and spiritually.  As husband and wife strive together, they help each other get to heaven, but only when both are Christians, and faithful to God.  A wife should love her husband enough to be in subjection and submissive to him and respect him as her head and husband, (Eph. 5:22-24, 33).  A husband must love his wife as Christ loved the church; enough to die for her!  He must love her as his own body, nourish and cherish her, (Eph. 5:25, 28-29).  Therefore, those who are entering marriage must be careful in thought and prayer to do God's will in their marriage relationship.

Preparation for marriage begins with Mom and Dad walking together and modeling a godly example in their marriage relationship on a daily basis.  God-fearing parents must teach their children God's principles of righteousness in the marriage relationship.  They must instill such principles of righteousness to guide them to be godly husbands and wives the way God designed them to be.  Parents must raise and train their children to fear God and be faithful to Him because when they fear God and are faithful to Him, the marriage relationship will be blessed as each one works diligently to make it to heaven, (Phil. 3:11-14).  Parents must teach their children by example, that marriage is a twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week commitment.  Such commitment must be filled with joy rather than bitterness and grudges


CONCLUSION:

Marriage is one of the greatest blessings that God bestowed upon mankind.  God created man and woman to be together and to complete one anotherIt is fascinating to me how God fashioned the woman from one of Adam's bones, (Gen. 2:21-23).  It is amazing how God personally brought the woman to the man and how He recognized such a union as marriage from the beginning, (Gen. 2:24).  Marriage is not a byproduct of some supposed social evolutionary process.  It was God's purposeful design!  Unfortunately, mankind has messed up big time such a wonderful blessing.  God designed marriage to be a blessing in which husband and wife can fulfill or complete each other in all aspects of life. Today our godless culture disregards God's will for them to remain pure and innocent virgins, until marriage.  Today, we are supposed to believe that it is unusual for couples to remain virgins until marriage.  The saddest part is that this ungodly behavior is polluting the Lord's church.  More and more Christians lose their virginity before marriage.  God has repeatedly warned us through His Word concerning sexual immorality which includes fornication, sexual relations, before and outside of marriage, (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:8-9; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-4; Col. 3:5-9; Rev. 21:8).

Living together or cohabiting as if husband and wife, yet without being married, is sin.  Even raising children without being married is very common today.  Adultery is justified and explained away and even sanctioned as a means of finding fulfillment and happiness.  Marriage has become a commodity that one can throw away when it is no longer wanted.  As a result, the family structure is catastrophically degradedThe home is the lifeline for developing and maintaining the character and strength of a society.  There is no other viable substitute!  The morality, strength, and stability of our culture and society are bending downward because of the careless, godless and irresponsible way our culture looks at marriage and the home.  When the home is at the heart of a strong and God-fearing culture, marriage will indeed be at the heart of a strong and godly home.

Ephesians 5:32-33, shows a beautiful picture for us of the relationship between Christ and the churchA godly marriage and home will reflect such a relationship.  When we walk worthy of our calling in our marriages, wives, husbands, and children will behave properly according to the will of God.  Husbands will love their wives with love, honor, and respect.  He will lead his family, reflecting his best interests for the well being of his home, because he wants to please and honor ChristWives will respect and honor their husbands also even when he is not worthy of it.  She does it because she loves Christ and wants to submit to Him and His will just as He did so when He submitted to His Father in heaven.  The wife will honor the headship that God has given to her husband by helping him.  She will be his helper and companion for life without wavering, just as God is faithful to His faithful children.  She will help him in that role. Neither the husband nor the wife will hurt the other with words or actions, for they want to be pleasing to Christ.  The wife will show respect toward her husband in public and in private, yielding to his best interests above her own just as Christ did for us.

Only when wives, husbands, and children submit to Christ and His headship, will the marriage or home be a joyful blessing.  But when the marriage or the home is self-centered, focused each on his own way, God's beautiful picture of the home will be destroyed, and sin will rule the home.  This is why divorce exists.  Remember, divorce is a sin and is not worthy of the calling that God has called us to.  When we love Christ, His kingdom or rule, we can live for Him and joyfully do His will to love and yield or submit one to the other.

A house whose foundation is built on wisdom through God's knowledge and understanding is a haven filled with boundless treasures.  These treasures by no means are earthly nor will they rot or rust.  Instead,  they are eternal treasures such as godliness, character, peace, wisdom, and love.  A stable home must be built on virtue and learning to stand firm.
"Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain." (Psalm 127:1-2).

Those who truly belong to Christ and whose lives are hidden in Him have put to death anything that hinders them from their love for Christ and His kingdom of righteousness.  They have put on the new self as God's chosen ones.  A life that is hidden in Christ will behave in a godly way in all relationshipsIt means that as God's chosen people, our relationships must show Christ in us as to how we deal with one another.  The problem is that many ignore God's design for relationships, especially in the home, and end up with catastrophic relationship problems.  Our Lord and Savior, must be all and in all even in our relationships.  Difference of role does not mean inequality of worth or value.  We must keep our eyes on Christ and apply His principles of righteousness in all our relationships.

God cares very much about our relationships with one another and what happens in our lives even behind closed doors.  He cares about our submission to Christ and to one another, husbands, wives, parents and children.  When we submit to one another the way God intends, we are showing the beauty of submission.  Only when we submit to Christ and His rule in the fear of God, can we be pleasing to God as children and parents, walking worthy in the family.  Walking worthy of our calling in the home means honoring our parents, and teaching our children the fear of the Lord.  God cares a lot about life in the home.  Parents must train their children in that which is the most critical education: God's education in the home.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine... to a wise man, who BUILT his house upon the rock.  And the rain descended... and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock... a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house, and it fell, and great was its fall."  (Matthew 7:24-27).   
A home that is built by material and earthly possessions hold no valueA home must be built on seeking God, His instruction, His love and His principles of righteousness. This will eventually be seen in the family.  Unfortunately, today many homes are built on money and materialism.  Our homes have become more like showpieces rather than what God demands for our homes.  Sadly, many homes look like showpieces because no one is ever there!

Therefore, it is vital to stress that our primary goal must not be to have an earth-centered home.  We must not let ourselves become enslaved to material things, given to the newest electronic gadgets and devices.  What isolation!  Let's spend true time together reading our Bibles, meditating on it, loving and encouraging one another.  No wonder our churches and our culture are so messed up!   It is regrettable that all these treasures have been replaced by gadgets, devices and yes Facebook.  We spend too much time on Facebook and online.  Let's redeem the time!  Let's be wise and not replace the blessings of our homes with worldly things, lest we forget to cherish what God has entrusted us with, our family unit, that He has designed for us.  Lest we forget, He will judge us.  Therefore, we have the responsibility to make our homes a lasting impact on this world of darkness.  Although our children may grow or leave, the memories and lessons taught and learned are going to build them up inside for life.  Our children can spread all these blessings into the world.  You could call it EVANGELISM.

At times, I wonder if we, Christians, have forgotten the true definition of what a home must be. A home is supposed to be our "haven."  It is here, home, where our haven is made.  It is where our dinner conversations are full of joy, questions, and answers.  Oh, how much I treasure this!  It is where life is put in order, birthdays are celebrated and the Word of God is studied with its big questions and answers.  It is where love is built and cherished.  It is the most sacred place.   It is where we show  "hospitality" to others, which in the Bible means love of strangers, (Hebrews 13:2).  Sadly, so many can't wait to be anywhere that is not home by avoiding being there.  To build a home on God's wisdom requires daily work and time. We must set an atmosphere of peace, learning, love, and godliness.  We cannot make the mistake of providing an atmosphere of worldliness, humanism, and ungodliness.  Instead, we must provide an atmosphere whose fragrance is Christ, (2 Corinthians 2:15-17).  God must be the center of our homes.  He needs to dwell there.  Of course, this requires a lot of investing in those we love and care.  It takes being fully present,  making the effort of connection.  Let's slow down and make memories by speaking God's words of wisdom, love, kindness, and life into the lives of our children. The world needs to see the Light shining in the midst of so much darkness and what better place than our homes.

"The curse, of the LORD, is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the dwelling of the righteous."  (Proverbs 3:33).  
A godly marriage and home does not happen by accident.  It is developed and sustained through careful focus and diligent commitment from both husband and wife because they know that it is a blessing from God.  Consider some rules of thumb that can serve as a guideline in the marriage relationship.
  1. Always put God at the head of your life, home, and marriage, (Matt. 22:37-38).
  2. Do not allow Satan to hinder your marriage, (Jas. 4:7-8).
  3. Love your spouse deeply enough to cheerfully accept and fulfill him/her without resenting your God-given role as husband and wife, (Eph. 5:22-25).
  4. Be committed to faithfully lead your family in the fear of God, (Eph. 6:4).
  5. Always be honest and loyal to each other, (Prov. 12:22).
  6. Don't surrender yourself to anger, bitterness or evil speaking in your marriage relationship, (Eph. 4:31).
  7. Be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, (Eph. 4:32).
  8. Forgive, forget and move forward in your marriage relationship, (Mark 11:25-26).
  9. Be supportive and bear one another's burdens, (Acts 20:35; 1 Cor. 13:7; Gal. 6:2).
  10. Take your marriage life and everything to God in prayer together as husband and wife, (1 Thess. 5:17).
  11. Never stop counting your blessings together and be grateful for what God has done for both of you, (1 Thess. 5:18).
  12.  Above all love each other deeply and unconditionally ("agape love," 1 Cor. 13:8, 13).

There is a song that describes God's ultimate expression of love found in His ideal of the godly home.


GOD GIVE US CHRISTIAN HOMES
By B.B. McKinney

God give us Christian homes! 
Homes where the Bible is loved and taught, 
Homes where the Master's will is sought, 
Homes crowned with beauty Your love has wrought; 
God give us Christian homes; 

God give us Christian homes! 
Homes where the father is true and strong, 
Homes that are free from the blight of wrong, 
Homes that are joyous with love and song; 
God give us Christian homes; 

God give us Christian homes! 
Homes where the mother, in caring quest, 
Strives to show others Your Way is best, 
Homes where the Lord is an honored guest; 
God give us Christian homes; 

 God give us Christian homes! 
Homes where the children are led to know 
Christ in His beauty who loves them so, 
Homes where the altar fires burn and glow; 
God give us Christian homes; 
God give us Christian homes!


May our LORD give us wisdom as we build our homes on Him and His Truth. May we rule our little corners of God's kingdom honorably and well. May we seek His wisdom and faithfully persevere in our God-given role, as godly parents. May we enthrone our LORD in our hearts as godly parents that all might see His glory shining in us. May all wives love their husbands and submit to them like Christ. May we make our homes a joyful blessing given to us by our Father in heaven. May we show the world God's beautiful picture of the home rather than destroying it because of the sinfulness that rules our marriages. May we walk worthy of the calling of our Father in heaven, living only for Christ by loving and submitting to each other. May we show respect to each other in the home by our actions and words. May wives show their beauty inwardly and not just outwardly. May we reflect a gentle and quiet spirit by our pure and godly conduct. May all husbands show compassion and understanding toward their wives, showing honor to them as their most precious and valuable possessions. May the world see Christ in us in the way we behave as wives, husbands, parents, and children. May we apply God's principles of righteousness to all of our relationships, especially in the home.

Luci