Lucia's Blog: 2014-01-05
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, January 10, 2014

THE FOOLISH WOMAN


"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."
 Proverbs 14:1


It seems to me we have a lot of foolish women in our culture and in our churches whose tendency is to tear down their homes with their own hands, rather than to build them up.

Consider the ways a foolish woman can tear down her own home:
  1. By being critical of her husband and children, nagging them all the time like a constant drip, "A constant   dripping on a day of steady rain, and a contentious woman are alike"  Proverbs 27:15 NASB
  2. By ignoring her housework and meeting the needs of her family using a million excuses not to do it.
  3. By sharing her husbands failures and shortcomings with relatives such as in-laws, especially her mother.
  4. By being unfaithful and untrustworthy, "The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."  Proverbs 31:11-12
  5. By being careless and sloppy about her appearance.
  6. By being lazy and careless about the finances of her home.
  7. By gossiping and being a busybody especially about her loved ones, wasting time.
  8. By using her tongue as a weapon of jealousy, envy and rivalry; being this her sharpest asset!
  9. By refusing to SUBMIT to her husband.
  10. By being materialistic and covetous about what others have.  Never content with what God provides for her.
  11. By disrespecting and dishonoring her husband in front of her children and those around her.  Raising her voice at her husband.
  12. By watching too much TV, soap operas, playing games, spending too much time networking, by fantasizing about how much kinder, romantic.... other husbands are such as in the movies and books.
  13. By forcing her husband to "earn" his times of intimacy with her with his "good behavior,"  I Cor. 7:4
  14. By always pushing the buttons that she knows will certainly irritate her husband.

"And everyone who hears these words of  Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like 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 it fall."  Matthew 7:26-27

With all the above warnings of tearing down our homes, let us start behaving like wise women by building our homes on Christ's foundation, walking upright and fearing the Lord.  Let's start professing godliness in our homes by making them flourish rather than destroying them and those within.  Let the world of darkness see Christ in our homes by showing ourselves to be godly and wise women.

May the Lord help us be wise women who build their homes with their own hands on His foundation with godly reverence.  May the Lord help us to not tear down our homes like the foolish women do.


Luci

Thursday, January 9, 2014

THOUGH HE SLAY ME - GOD'S PURPOSE IN OUR SUFFERINGS

"Though He slay me, I will hope in Him."
Job 13:15


What powerful words Job speaks!  Who would hope so much and still proclaim such TRUST after thinking that God had stabbed him?  This is absolutely what Job models for us.  This is what God has instructed us through His Word TO DO, to TRUST Him even when we think He has stabbed us in the back, receiving it in FAITH, with TRUST.  There are so many BLESSINGS in our sufferings.  Suffering perfects our FAITH, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,  so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."  
I Peter 1:6-9.

So often, we question ourselves in our own hearts, but then others also doubt us when they see us suffering as in the case of Job.  They wonder why this is happening to us?  We are overwhelmed with many questions! Why won't God let me get pregnant?  Why won't God heal my child?  Why did my loved one die?  Why did my spouse leave me for someone else?  Why did my friend marry so much better than I did?  Why am I lingering in so much loneliness and pain?  What is wrong with me?  Is it disobedience in me or some hidden sin which I need to repent of?  Is there a lesson I need to learn?   The questions are numerous.  Job's example reveals to us that these kinds of questions miss the point of  what truly is going on.  Of course, when we find ourselves in the midst of our long term suffering, we tend to react this way missing out on the importance of our suffering.  Job did not need to learn any lesson when he was chosen to suffer, though he surely learned some valuable lessons along the way.  God was not trying to correct any flaw or sin leading Job to repent.  It was God's testimony about His heavenly rule.  It was about silencing Satan.

Job's suffering seems a bit unfair, maybe even wrong.  For God to let Satan stretch out his hand against all that belonged to Job does not seem right.  But, we must remember that God restrains Satan in what he might do in our lives.  We must see Satan's limitations.  Although it may seem that God was unfair to Job, there are many things that we do not understand.  Nevertheless, we must cling to the God of all Scripture.  He is good, righteous, loving, longsuffering, steadfast....I must always remember God's ways are not my ways.  If God allows Satan to tempt us, all Satan does will be calculated for our own good, Rom. 8:28.  It will work out for our good.  We must learn like Job to know our own insignificance compared to God, the Great I AM.  Remember God never answers Job's questions.  Instead He questions Job.  But Job does not complain.  He repents.  Job admits his failure in speaking of things he could not know.  In the same way WE MUST ADMIT that God is God and I am not.  We must learn with God's help that we cannot fathom all of His ways, but we CAN TRUST HIM.

Consider God's purposes in our sufferings:  
  • Suffering increases our consciousness of the power, sovereignty and sustenance of our ALMIGHTY GOD, Psalm 68:10.  
  • Suffering is used by God for our refining, perfection, strength and to keep us from falling, Psa. 66:8-9; Heb. 2:10.  
  • Suffering allows Jesus be manifested in our mortal flesh, 2 Cor. 4:7-11
  • Suffering weakens us making us depend upon God, 2 Cor. 12:9.  
  • Suffering teaches us humility, 2 Cor. 12:7.  
  • Suffering makes known to us the mind of Christ, Philippians 2:1-11.
  • Suffering teaches us character and Christlikeness, Rom. 5:3-4; Heb. 12:10-11; 2 Cor. 4:8-10; Rom. 8:28-29.  
  • Suffering teaches God's discipline for us, for our good, so that we may share in His holiness, Hebrews 12:1-11.  
  • Suffering can help us learn obedience and self-control, Heb. 5:8; Ps. 119-67; Rom. 5:1-5; James 1:2-8; Phil. 3:10.  
  • Suffering for others can demonstrate the abundance of joy and love, 2 Cor. 8:1-2,9.  
  • Suffering is part of the struggle against evil men, Psalm 27:12; 37:14-15.  
  • Suffering is part of being worthy of the kingdom of God, 2 Thes. 1:4-5.  
  • Suffering is the struggle against injustice, I Peter 2:19.  
  • Suffering is sharing in the sufferings of Christ, 2 Cor. 15; I Peter 4:12-13.  
  • Suffering teaches us endurance so that we may win our crown, eternal life, 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:12.
  • Suffering  binds Christians in sharing with the needs of the saints with a common purpose, Philippians 4:12-15.  
  • Suffering teaches us God's statutes and brings us back to the way of God when we go astray, Psalm 119:66-67,71.  
  • Though we suffer for our sins, our broken and contrite spirit pleases God, Psalm 51:16-17.  
  • Suffering helps us to focus on our hope, the salvation of our souls, the grace that will be brought to us when Jesus is revealed, I Peter 1:6, 13.  
  • Suffering produces humility in us, I Peter 5:6-7.  
  • Suffering helps us to number our days,  Psalm 90:7-12.  
  • Suffering is necessary to win the lost, 2 Tim. 2:8-10; 4:5-6.
  • Suffering strengthens us by allowing us to comfort others, 2 Cor. 1:3-11
  • Suffering is nothing compared to the value of knowing Christ, Phil. 3:8.  
  • Through suffering we can know God's Truth, Psalm 51:6; 119:17. 
  • Suffering is part of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus, 2 Tim. 1:7-8, 4:16-18.
  • Suffering teaches us thanksgiving and joy, I Thes. 5:18; 2 Cor. 1:11.
  • Suffering gives us hope, Jeremiah. 29:11; Job 13:14-15. 
  • Suffering reveals God's care for us, Psalm  56:8.

With all these lessons learned from suffering, let us never forget that Jesus, the Man of sorrows was very acquainted with GRIEF AND SUFFERING.  Our Lord Jesus modeled for us endurance in suffering.  Most importantly, His perfect suffering made it possible for us to have redemption through Him.  He endured the cross and the curse for us.  For the joy that was set before him, Jesus despised the shame, but He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, Hebrews 12:2.  We are to share in His sufferings, Matt. 26:36-46. Jesus trusted His Father in the garden of Gethsemane.  He had to finish and had to face His worst fears becoming the Man of sorrows for the salvation of our souls.  Let us purpose in our heart, soul and mind with all of our strength to walk like Jesus and Job who TRUSTED completely in God in times of deep suffering.  

It is remarkable to me that although Job was stripped of everything in this life, that he could have trusted still in God.  Job held unto his FAITH.  God gives and God takes away.  Blessed be the name of God!  Anyone who has had to endure deep suffering can recognize these moments in their journey. Tough He slay me, yet will I TRUST HIM.

May our Lord help us to meditate with wisdom on God's purpose in our sufferings and various trials. May we consider them all joy knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance in order for us to be complete lacking in nothing.  May our Lord help us to persevere under sufferings and trials and be approved of God in order to receive our reward in heaven, our crown of life, which our Lord has promised to those who love, believe and obey Him.  To Him be the glory.  AMEN


Luci

Monday, January 6, 2014

WITH ONE ACCORD


"Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus; so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"   Romans 15:5-6



It is amazing to me how many times in the beginning of the Lord's church, the phrase "with one accord" calls attention to itself. This is found so often in the Book of Acts because a significant attribute of the early church was its TOGETHERNESS and UNITY. We find it at least 12 times in the Book of Acts. I believe it was very essential for the church to be of "one accord" in order to have unity and love. In Acts 1:14 we see that the 12 apostles, the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers continued with "one accord" in prayer and supplication. In Acts 4:32, we see again that those who believed were of the same heart, mind and soul. They were in so much "accord" that they wanted unconditionally to share all they possessed.   

Again, in Acts 2:44, they were together with "one accord" and had all things in common. In Acts 2:46, this new church continued daily with "one accord," breaking bread from house to house, they ate with gladness and simplicity of heart. This "one accord" is able to praise God and have favor with all men. The apostles and elders, with the whole church were assembled with "one accord," to send chosen men to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, Acts 15:25.

In order for the church, the body of Christ, to be of "one accord," we must learn and labor hard in fellowship, unity, love, affection and mercy, "Being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of  ONE MIND," Philippians 2:2; being of the same mind toward one another, Romans 12:16; Our main goal must be to edify one another, Romans 14:19; They were like-minded in glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 15:5. The only way to accomplish this and have victory is to have the mind of Christ and be willing to do His will, "Who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God... He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, death on a cross, Phil. 2:5-8.  In order to be of "one accord" we must learn and exercise the love of God who sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross, that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  To say that we LOVE and BELIEVE God means to OBEY His Son in order to have eternal life and not the wrath of God, John 3:36. This takes practice, hard labor and a desire TO DO HIS WILL, but the end result is UNITY in the body of Christ, having the mind of Christ that is able to show affection, mercy, love, fellowship, patience and hope. 

We have been taught by our God to love one another, I Thes. 4:9. The Thessalonian brethren were a great example of this love. Even though, they were once very unrighteous Gentiles, they learned and exercised this love. We need to cleanse ourselves from the old leavened bread of wickedness and replace it with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, I Corinthians 5:7-8. We need  to learn to live a crucified life, Galatians 2:20 and let the Spirit of Christ live in us.  The only way we are going to be able, as the body of Christ, the church, to be of "one accord," is by crucifying the old man that is full of hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfishness, dissension, envy, murder.... We need to first go back to our first love, Christ, and walk in the Spirit with gentleness, love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against these there is no law, Gal. 5:16-26.  Finally, we must pray fervently for UNITY in order to be of "one accord."

I am always amazed at how many times the apostle Paul prayed for the early church to be of "one accord"; meaning having abounding love, enlarging their hearts, forgiving one another, having a sincere heart, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are the glory and praise of God.  This can only be accomplished with a lot of DISCERNMENT and KNOWLEDGE of the will of God from Scripture. I believe that the reason why so many times brethren, those in the body of Christ, are not of "one accord" in unity and love is because of this lack of KNOWLEDGE and DISCERNMENT of the will of God. This is VITAL for spiritual growth and edification of the body of Christ. We must put on the breastplate of faith and love in order to be of "one accord."; we must learn to edify and comfort one another, I Thes. 5:8-11 in order to be of "one accord"; we must learn to consider one another in order to stir up love and good works Heb. 10:24 in order to be of "one accord"; we must learn to love one another  in order to be of "one accord," for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know the Father, for God is love... If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another, I John 4:7-11.  

Let us remember and purpose in our heart, soul and mind to keep the UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace, Eph. 4;1. Let's follow the example of the apostle Paul who prayed constantly for the UNITY of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God... to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Eph. 4:13. Let us never forget our Lord's prayer, "I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be ONE as We are ONE, John 17:9-11.

May the Lord help us to be of ONE MIND walking in the Spirit of Christ for our spiritual growth and edification of His body.  May we edify, love, comfort, consider.... one another by crucifying our flesh and going back to our first love, Christ, in order to have the mind of Christ in us and be of "one accord" in UNITY and LOVE.


Luci