Happy is the home when God is in it! A mother who has been very successful in raising her children made this statement:
"When my children were young, I thought the very best thing I could do for them was to give them myself; so I spared no pains to talk with them, to read to them, to teach them, to pray with them, to be a loving companion and friend to them. I had no time to indulge myself in many things which I would have liked to do. I was so busy adorning their minds and cultivating their heart’s best affections that I could not adorn their bodies with expensive clothing, though I was careful to keep them comfortable and neat at all times.
"I have my reward now. My sons are ministers of the Gospel; my grown-up daughter is a Christian woman. I have plenty of time now to sit down and rest, plenty of time to indulge myself, besides going about my Master’s business wherever He has need of me. I have a thousand beautiful memories of their childhood to comfort me. Now that they have gone out into the world, I have the satisfying consciousness of having done all that I could to make them ready for whatever work God calls them to do."
In this day and age we hear far too little of this, as parents become more and more preoccupied with things of secondary importance. The primary responsibility of all Christian parents is to give themselves to their children. This is the greatest gift of all. Perhaps it is the greatest need of all in a day when young people are more adrift in the world than ever before. The other things can wait...but our children cannot. They are a trust from God, and they are ours to raise. Let us take the time to do it.
Kids spell love: T-I-M-E - And maybe God does too!
"Let the little children come to me......" Luke 18:16a
Always remember that you are LOVED!
This is wonderful day! "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith." Hebrews 10:22
We have heard it many times, and have repeated it ourselves, that joy is not fully, or correctly understood by the secular mind. The world would ask: "How could Fanny Crosby be really happy, or consider herself blessed, being blind?" The Christian's answer: "The same way all can be happy today, and beyond that filled with joy."
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit washed in His blood.
Perfection submission all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long."
We are grateful for that assurance, for because of that assurance, we are happy and blessed today!
A Jewish man was asked how it was that his people were so successful in acquiring wealth. "Ah," he said, "we do not make more money than other people, but we keep more."
Friends, let's be on guard today against spiritual pickpockets and spiritual leakage. This can happen when we let the devil rob us of our spiritual blessings by allowing him to magnify the little negative things that come our way from time to time. John 10:10 says he comes to steal, kill and destroy. This thief will steal your blessings, kill your joy, and destroy your enthusiasm. If he is permitted to, he can cast shadows over great advancements and victories with God. Never let it be so in our hearts or in our church at Dogwood.
Let us "..lose not those things which we have wrought. Let us be sure "..we receive a full reward (2 John 8). As days come and go, let us make deposits in the savings bank of heaven. It may seem to be only a little, but if we can save all that God gives us and pass it on to His keeping, when the end of all things comes, we may be amazed to see how much the accumulated treasures are. Look back from time to time and recount your victories and blessings in Him. Praise His Name for what He has done!
"But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come."—Revelation 2:25
God bless you today as you review those spiritual advances God has brought in your life, and remember that you are loved!!!
Our Sunday Bible School class has been studying the authenticity and preservation of the word of God. It's a DVD study series entitled "The Indestructible Book". We are seeing what a terrible price was paid to place the word of God in the hands of the common people, and what a price some are still paying today when that are caught with the word of God in their ungodly country. If you have not been attending S.S., you just might enjoy the lessons Dan is leading.
We receive a lot of good things by email from friends. I believe the following one is relevant to our scripture today, and thought you might enjoy it's simple little message.
Short & Sweet
When you carry the Bible, Satan gets a headache.
When you open it, he collapses.
When he sees you reading it, he faints.
When he sees that you are living what you read, he flees.
And when you are about to re-post this message, he will
try and discourage you. I just defeated him !!!! Our God is an Awesome God!!!!!!!!
"So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth, it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where I sent it." Isaiah 55:11
God bless you, stay safe during this snow, and through out the day remember you are loved!!!
Hope you all had a good Sunday. At Dogwood, many people found themselves at the altar, renewing their commitment to the Lord, consecrating themselves to Him, seeking direction for the new year, and I'm sure, for other reasons. We had some good music, a great sermon, and a wonderful time in prayer. God is so faithful to meet needs, as He leads us.
"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6
Bob Benson, a hero of mine, who has been with the Lord for some 25 years now, had a very simple way of expressing himself. He said:
"It seems to me that it is possible to find the central thread around which each of our lives is woven. In fact, I believe the longer I live the more it seems
that all the places that I have been were indeed heading in one direction. Each place that at one time looked like detours at best, or dead end roads at their worst, appear now to have moved me along to where I am."
"Lord, may I have such clear guidance from Your unseen hand, that this little statement could always express my sentiments." God bless each of you today as you seek His direction in this new year, and know for sure that you are loved!!!
A lot of talk today about economics, isn't there? Have you ever thought about, really thought about, God's economy. The following is from the pen of A.W. Tozer.
(God has been pleased to deal with us in a most remarkable way concerning our Christian stewardship and responsibility of honoring Him with the things He has entrusted to us. The Bible teaching is plain: you have the right to keep what you have all to yourself-but it will then rust and decay, and ultimately ruin you! This may hurt some of you but I am obliged to tell you that God does not need anything you have! He does not need a dime of your money! What you need to understand is that it is your own spiritual welfare at stake in such matters as this. There is a beautiful and enriching principle involved in our offering to God what we are and what we have, but none of us are giving because there is a depression in heaven! A long time ago God said: "If I had need of anything, would I tell you?" Brethren, if the living God had need of anything, He would no longer be God!)
If you are struggling with you budget today, in this present day economy, put Him first, and trust Him, the one who owns everything.
"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein." Psalm 24;1
May the owner of all bless you today, and rememeber that you are loved!!!
"And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself." -Ephesians 1:23
Our Small group met last evening and it was great to be together for a meal and then study Romans 14 together. Just to hear how God is filling His body, His individual believers with Himself is a real blessing. We are unique in many ways, but we are united in His love, and His purpose. He takes unique individuals with differing styles and even opinions, fills them with Himself and creates that unit that is impacting other individuals in this old world. To quote from Thomas Jefferson: "Concerning style, swim with the current, concerning principle, stand like a rock. The world needs to see a united church body in love with Christ. Church, or a Small Group, is not a place to hide from the world. Our mission is to spread the gospel message all over creation in order to glorify God. There will be opposition and persecution that is worse for some than for others. But we stand together as one body and persevere."
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men." Romans 14:17-18
Be blessed today, by our God, who knows how to bless, and remember that you are loved!!!
In dealing with the lost souls in this world, we all have met those who ask: "Why are there so many different churches, with differing beliefs. How does anyone know what to believe?" Now we realize that is usually just a diversion from their own need. Pointing at the church instead of facing their sin, and acknowledging their need for the Savior. But many times the church is at fault with her petty arguments. The church, the body of Christ, is united when we focus on the love of Jesus, realizing His love embraces everyone who will repent, accept Him and love Him. That's what the lost sinner needs to see in the church, and then they can acknowledge that need for their own sinful soul. God loves the individual in the lost world with pity, but the converted individual as His child, even as He loves Jesus.
"May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:23)
We have been called to serve as witnesses, not judges. In today's Scripture reading, Jesus prayed we would testify in complete unity so the world would believe the truth about Him. When several credible witnesses say the same thing, it carries impact. Instead of focusing on our differences and getting into endless arguments, we can bear witness that Jesus took the punishment for our sins because of God's great love for us. Is this not what a confused lost soul needs to hear anyway? For you see, our witness is not so much for the benefit of other Christians as it is for the lost, because He was praying: "....to let the world know..."
Be blessed today as you realize, if you are a disciple of Jesus, the Father loves you even as He loves His Son. (Amazing Grace)
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Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!