Is it well with your Soul…

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Is it Well with your Soul…

Maybe it is just my imagination and I hope so, but it seems to me that much of Christianity does not see the persecutions and trials of this world as having merit. Am I wrong and how does my life stack up is the nagging question? I know that in my heart I do not like persecution and trials so if I can avoid them, I will. Then I see scripture that says if there is no objection to my life style by the world then I may be a Christian in hiding. And worse yet, if no trials then I might not be saved. Ouch, that thought process is not one that I wish to pursue.

First I check out my eternal life and find I am confident that I have asked and am trusting in Jesus sacrifice for my sins to be sufficient for my salvation. Nothing can be added from my end (Gal 2:16-21). Then comes the question of how my life as a believer stacks up to His will for me. If I do not change to meet my Savior’s will for my life just what will I hear at the Judgment Seat of Believers. I know my sins are washed away so they will not be on display there but how about my life’s work or lack of work for my Savior after being “born again”?????

The second verse of “It Is Well with My Soul” puts persecution in perspective.

Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

And an example from scripture helps us to put trials into perspective.

Paul is one of those examples. As we review his life as recorded in scripture we see that he was given “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Almost every saint of every age could echo Paul’s concerns and the request for God to remove those thorns.  Trials do come to each child of God.

That is a given. How we look at them is not. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1 Peter 4:12).  God had a purpose in Paul’s life, and He has a purpose for us.  Paul couldn’t clearly see the purpose, and, at times, we can’t either. We can, however, “glory,” as Paul did, or “rejoice,” as Peter advises, or “count it all joy” as James records in response to the knowledge of God’s loving oversight.

 

I love this thought from that passage on removing the thorn in II Corinthians. I memorized it so I could have it ready when the difficulties of my life are better understood by listening to my God. Paul accepted God’s answer to his prayer that he requested three times and the answer was.  God’s grace is sufficient; you need that thorn in your life for a much greater purpose and outcome than the immediate fleshly satisfaction of it being removed.

II Cor 12:8-10 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Controlling your Temper…

Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who
rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Controlling your Temper…

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.  His
Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he
lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.
Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger,
the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He
discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those
nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper
at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested
that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able
to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell
his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the
fence.  The fence will never be the same.  When you say things in
anger, they leave a scar just like this one.  You can put a knife
in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say
I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.  Friends are
very rare jewels, indeed.  They make you smile and encourage you
to succeed.  They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they
always want to open their hearts to us.”

As with all needs our heavenly Father provides the answer for correcting the problem called anger and also called sin. It goes against our flesh or what part of us feels is the solution. That is because our flesh and the world rebels against God. But to have that peace in our lives that passes worldly understanding we need to implement God’s solutions and deny our fleshly desires. Correcting anger starts here;

Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Priorities of Children…

Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Priorities of Children…

Recently I made a strong statement. My friend responded, “Wow, you certainly are passionate!”

“Don’t you feel passionate about certain topics?” I asked.

Our conversation instantly took another course as we began to discuss our passions.

Five years ago, I experienced a payoff for having practiced my passion. Not only did I realize a benefit from pursuing my zeal, but also I encountered a blessing in the midst of the worst of storms.

I have a deep passion for children, especially their salvation. I grew up in a developing country surrounded by third-world waifs. Living in the third world also afforded me the luxury of constant contact with missionaries. A combination of godly ambassadors, plus the financial and spiritual poverty around me reminded me daily of humanity’s need for Jesus.

You see, those who were poor truthfully had nothing. Yet those who were poor and had Christ had everything. I encountered God’s power in the simplest places and saw His overwhelming peace take control in the most desperate circumstances.

I am certain that the missionaries who encouraged me to visit their remote communities in South American jungles never realized their impact on the life of a little American girl. Without a doubt, God used them to plant the seed of Christianity in my life and call me to sow the seed of Good News into the hearts of others.

With the birth of my sons, I committed them to God. I told God, “I’m not sure I can be a good mother. I don’t like to cook and I am not much of a housewife. But I love You and I know my children will be eternally lost without You. Help me prepare them for the day they come before Your throne and account for their lives. My greatest desire for them is that they spend eternity with You.”

Years later tragedy struck. I received the phone call every parent dreads. Aaron, a junior in college had been admitted to the ER. I moved into the hospital and became his roommate, not a dream-come-true for a university student. During our first week as roomies, he had one of many brushes with death. He was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. The grave information stunned me. He could die any moment! What’s a mother to do?

Aaron admitted to having struggled with God at times but eventually realizing, “Why wouldn’t I want to go to a better place? After all, heaven is where God lives.” He told me not to worry about him – he would go to heaven if he were to die.

Those words flowed over me with a comfort that only comes from God’s perfect peace. Death had its grip on my son, but my Father’s arms opened wide, ready to accept His suffering child. Never was the gospel I had taught my children more real to me, or Aaron.

Nothing we teach our children matters if it does not point them to Jesus’ saving grace. As it turns out, God did not call Aaron home during his illness. I agree with John who wrote, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4 NASB).  That, I am passionate about!

By Van Walton

Deut. 11:19 “And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Real Angels…

I Cor 13:4-8a “Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy; Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”

Real Angels

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

Rudy often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. Rudy knew I loved yellow roses.

With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blond, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks. She saw me watching her and she smiled. “My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don’t know.”

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. “My husband passed away eight days ago,” I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. “Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.”

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away. I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood; trying to decide which size milk I should buy.

A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream section near the front of the store. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front.

I saw first the green suit, and then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blond hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held, and tears began misting in my eyes.

“These are for you,” she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. “When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.” She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.

I wanted to tell her what she’d done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know?

Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn’t alone. “Oh, my Lord, you have not forgotten me. He was still with me and more so in my time of grief.

Mat 28:19,20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

IMPORTANT RECALL NOTICE…

Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death…”

Important Recall Notice!

The Maker of all human beings is recalling all
units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to
the serious defect in the primary and central component
of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original
prototype unit’s code named Adam and Eve, resulting in
the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed,
‘Sub sequential Internal Non-Morality,’ or more commonly
known as S-I-N, as it is primarily symptomized by loss
of moral judgment. Some other symptoms:

(a) Loss of direction
(b) Foul vocal emissions
(c) Amnesia of origin
(d) Lack of peace and joy
(e) Selfish, or violent, behavior
(f) Depression or confusion in the mental component
(g) Fearful
(h) Idolatry

The manufacturer, who is neither liable or at fault
for this defect, providing factory authorized repair
and service, free of charge to correct this SIN defect.

The number to call for the recall station in your
area is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your
burden of SIN by pressing A-C-C-E-P-T  J-E-S-U-S A-S S-A-V-I-O-R.

That will download J-E-S-U-S into your life.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, the
JESUS repair will replace it with:

(a) Love
(b) Joy
(c) Peace
(d) Longsuffering
(e) Gentleness
(f) Goodness
(g) Faith
(h) Meekness
(i) Temperance

Please see operating manual, HOLY BIBLE, for
further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING:

Continuing to operate the human unit without
correction, voids the manufacturer’s warranty,
exposing owner to dangers and problems too numerous to
list and will result in the human unit being permanently
impounded. For free emergency service, call on J-E-S-U-S.

DANGER:

The human units not acknowledging and accepting this recall action will have to be scraped in the furnace.  The SIN defect must not enter heaven or else heaven will be infected.

Authorized by: The Creator.

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

And, the rewards are out of this world……….

Bitterness and Jealousy will Destroy…

Heb 12:15 “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;

lest any root of bitterness, springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

************************
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man
was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help
drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only
window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked
for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes,
their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had
been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the
window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his
room-mate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where
his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color
of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model
boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of
the rainbow.  Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of
the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man
on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the
picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a
parade passing by.  Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he
could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed
it with descriptive words.

Then unexpectedly, a sinister thought entered his mind. Why should the
other man alone experience all the pleasures of seeing everything while
he himself never got to see anything? It didn’t seem fair.  At first
thought the man felt ashamed. But as the days passed and he missed
seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him
sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should
be by that window – that thought, and only that thought now controlled
his life.

Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window
began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man
watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped
for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never
moved never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse
running in.  In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped,
along with that the sound of breathing. Now there was only
silence, deathly silence.

The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their
baths.  When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,
she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
moved next to the window.  The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully,
he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly
turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate
who had described such wonderful things outside this window.  The nurse
responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She
said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

The sins of jealousy and anger are deadly and left unconfessed they fester and destroy a person.

Psalm 137:7b, 8, 9 “…do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret; it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”

John 3:16…What does it mean…

John 3:16″For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son …”

 John 3:16…What does it mean…

In the city of Chicago, one cold, dark night, a blizzard was
setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner. People were in and out of the cold.  The little boy was so cold that he wasn’t trying to sell many papers.

A policeman walked up to him and said, “You wouldn’t
happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep
tonight would you? I’ve heard you sleep in a box up around the corner
there and down the alley and its awful cold in there, especially at night.
You need a warm place to stay.” “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16 and they will let
you in.”

So he did, he walked up the steps to the door and knocked on
the door and a lady answered. He looked up and said, “John 3:16.”
The lady said “Come on in, Son.” She took him in and she sat him down
in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace and
she went off.  He sat there for a while, and thought to himself
“John 3:16….  I don’t   understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy
warm.”   Later she came back and asked him

“Are you hungry?”  He said, “Well, just a little. I haven’t
eaten in a couple of days and I guess I could stand a little bit of
food.”  The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more.
Then he thought to himself “John 3:16… Boy, I sure don’t understand
it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full.”

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled
with warm water and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked,
he thought to himself, “John 3:16… I sure don’t understand it, but
it sure makes a dirty boy clean.

You know, I’ve not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life.
The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old
fire hydrant as they flushed it out.” The lady came in and got him,
and took him to a room and tucked him into a big old feather bed and
pulled the covers up around his neck and kissed him goodnight and
turned out the lights.

As he laid in the darkness and looked out the window at the
snow coming down on that cold night he thought to himself, “John 3:16…
I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy rested.”

The next morning she came back up and took him down again to that
same big table full of food. After he ate she took him back to that
same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and she took
a big old Bible and sat down in front of him and she looked up at and
she asked, “Do you understand John 3:16?”

He said, “No, Ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was
last night when the policeman told me to use it.”   She opened the Bible
to John 3:16 and she began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there
in front of that big old fireplace he accepted Jesus as his Savior.

He sat there and thought, “John 3:16. I don’t understand it, but it
but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.”  You know, I have to confess I
don’t understand it either, how God would be willing to send His Son to
die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing.

I don’t understand it either, but it sure does make life worth living.

Author Unknown

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the
world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”