Tag Archives: truth

To see what is right

“To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.” Confucius

Is it?

Does the person who clearly understands the correct choice, yet chooses not to act is simply lacking courage?

Or is it something more?

Mark 4:19 KJV — And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

It is through the Word of God we find out what is right and what is wrong.

In Pilgrim’s Progress Christian and Hopeful discuss another man named Temporary.

Hopeful: What reason of his sudden change, and why do others backslide in this way? Christian: That is a good question. What do you think is the reason? Hopeful: In my judgement there are four reasons for it: First, though the conscience of some men is awakened, yet their minds are not changed. So when the feeling of guilt wears off, they naturally turn to their old carnal ways again. They’re guilty conscience causes them to fear hell, and the fear of hell begets their interest in heaven. But when the feeling of guilt is gone, the fear of hell vanishes and they lose their interest in heaven. So they go back to the old life for the fleeting pleasures of the world. Pilgrim’s Progress in today’s English by John Bunyan retold by Jamesh Thomas, Moody Publishers, 1992, pg. 145

Hopeful continues to give the other three reasons: fear of man, pride, hardening of one’s heart.

Not doing what is right,

or doing what is right,

are both choices.

Scripture is clear, we are to do what is right.

Proverbs 3:27 KJV — Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

Not only is it wrong to choose sin, it is as wrong to refrain from following through on what is right.

Doing right, following God’s command to do good is not a seesaw for when we feel like it or reserved for those who do good to us.

We are not to play favorites, but rather do good unto all.

Galatians 6:10 KJV — As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Because Jesus is our example:

Titus 2:14 KJV — Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

For our choices reflect upon our Lord.

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

1 Peter 2:12 KJV — Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth and clear outline of right and wrong we find in Your Word. Lord, thank You for living in those things, showing us how to apply Your truth. Lord Jesus, please quicken my heart when I’m in error. Show me my danger that I might not sin against You either by doing wrong or by neglecting to do right. Thank You, Lord. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 KJV Amen.

Truth

God’s Word is truth and we find the answers to life’s questions within.

Psalm 25:5 NKJV — Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

This leading and being taught by the Lord is a journey.

Psalm 25:10 NKJV — All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.

He’s infinite and we are finite, thus we can be blessed with continually learning from the Lord throughout our days on Earth.

Psalm 33:4 NKJV — For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth.

He is God Almighty and He’s given us such an awesome gift in His Word, for through it’s pages are righteousness, truth, and the knowledge of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Psalm 40:10 NKJV — I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly.

Not only should we enjoy regular time in the Word, we should speak of it with others.

For it is a gift far too precious not share.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your gift of salvation, righteousness, and truth. Lord, please continue to encourage each one of us through the washing of Your Word upon our souls. Lord, help us to be diligent to etch the Word into our hearts, to apply Your standards to our lives, and to encourage those around us to do the same. Thank You for Your wonderous works and Your great love for us. I love Your Word, Lord. Thank You for it. Amen.

Are you ready?

With all the preparation happening, this question came to mind.

But it has nothing to do with Christmas.

Instead, it’s about my heart.

For weeks now the Lord has been challenging me to give up my own ideas and expectations; to come to Him with a heart ready to listen rather than request.

Not that I’m without requests, for it is important to stand before the Lord in prayer for those He places on my heart.

Intercession is about coming before God on behalf of those God leads me to pray for and often I begin with asking the Lord for how He would have me pray.

Which is what He’s been leading me to do in my personal prayer time as well.

To come before Him with humility, acknowledging my sins, open to correction, and willingly laying down my desires.

Because I’m learning how beautiful it is to die to my flesh, to surrender my thoughts, and to adjust my expectations.

It’s not easy, but it’s so good.

Why?

Beginning each day with a heart ready to serve the Lord is the best way I can be ready for my day.

Choosing not to start with telling Him all my plans, but rather asking Him for His.

Am I ready?

Are you?

Romans 12:1-2KJV — I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for teaching me continually through Your scriptures. Please continue to train my heart to be ready for Your service, walking in humility, quick to listen and slow to speak. Lord, thank You for using my circumstances yesterday to show me a place in my heart which wasn’t ready to serve You, but was still stubbornly clinging to what I wanted. Lord, thank You for reminding me that I have no idea what is best for me and I have often wanted things which were not what was good for me. Lord, please keep me from living in rebellion to You and Your Word. Place a hedge of protection around my heart that I might not fall into sin, but rather be transformed by Your Word. Lord Jesus, Your ways are perfect. Your truth is amazing. Your salvation is proof of Your incredible love. Thank You. My heart is Yours. Whatever comes today, may I be Your faithful servant. In Your name, Jesus, I request these things. Amen.

“…for them also which shall believe…”

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Luke 1:1‭-‬4 KJV

Luke clearly states why he’s writing this book:

“…that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”

We can have certainty in the things we have been instructed in, because we have the scriptures.

Not only has there been scientific and archeological evidence for the Bible*, but the life of Jesus Christ is proof.

His birth and death were written about long before He was born.

His life was the fulfillment of those prophecies.

These things are for our encouragement and we can rest in the knowledge that Jesus wanted us to know Him and His purpose.

Jesus prayed specifically for those who would believe through the words of the disciples.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
John 17:20 KJV

Because His people are a testimony.

that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
John 17:21‭-‬23 KJV

Because the world needs to know who Jesus is, who sent Him as a baby in a manger, and the reason for it all: love.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the assurance we can have in Your truth. Thank You for the love so immeasurable that You came to save us from sin. Thank You for Christmas and the opportunity it affords to proclaim the truth of Your life, death, and resurrection. Thank You for the blessed gift of eternal life through You. Lord, please help me to be a reflection of You to those around me. Help me to speak truth in my heart, to know Your Word, and to be transparent about the things You have done for me. Lord, help me to be compassionate, encouraging, selfless, and full of Your love. Please help me to be a blessing. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

* There are many places to learn more about the evidence which proves the Bible, these are my personal favorites:

A Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

Evidence for the Bible: 10 Reasons You Can Trust the Scriptures (DVD) https://alwaysbeready.com/

https://evidence-for-the-bible.com/scientific-evidence-for-the-bible/

https://answersingenesis.org/about/

Keeping Jesus first

During the holiday season: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, we are frequently reminded to keep our focus on Jesus.

This weekend, I had a lesson in that, but it wasn’t what I expected.

Saturday, we needed to restock our furniture booth and we were discussing what to take.

My husband commented on a set of items he wanted to sell and I responded.

In the moment, I thought my motivation was “being wise”.

Looking back, I can see my motivation wasn’t wisdom at all, instead it was fear.

I hadn’t kept Jesus first in my thoughts, nor had I even heard my husband out.

James 1:19-20 NKJV — So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

I failed to apply God’s Word.

Proverbs 10:19 KJV — In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Thankfully, my husband was quick to forgive me after I prayed and apologized.

My time with the Lord got my attitude corrected.

The Lord reminded me that keeping Him first shouldn’t be limited to my Christmas celebration, but should be my lifestyle.

Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV — “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

No matter what you are facing today, I hope you are able to keep Jesus first.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth of Your love. Thank You for reminding me that You have every detail under control and I need to trust You and trust my husband, for You gave him to me. Lord, please help me to keep You and Your Word first in my heart, that I might not sin against You or anyone else. Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness and my husband’s. Thank You for showing me an area of fear I didn’t know I had. Lord, please guard my heart from fear, envy, selfish ambition, and falsehood. Lord, help me to be real with those around me and open to listening. Lord, help me to find my comfort in Your Word and my needs met in Your truth, for You always provide, You are faithful and always good. Thank You! In Your name, I ask these things, Jesus. Amen.


For our good

Neither the sheep nor the goat can understand why we have restraints on their behavior.

Whether it be the pen in the barn or the fence in the field, the boundaries we set for them isn’t what they’d prefer.

They cannot comprehend it is all for their good.

The boundaries keep them safe from predators, cuts access to the road, and protects them from over eating the grain.

It’s easy for us to chafe at God’s boundaries, too.

Our God loves us and is a good Father.

He has given us His Word to instruct us.

Giving us boundaries for our lives is God’s protection from harm.

And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. Deuteronomy 6:24 KJV

Yet, mankind is rebellious and often our foolishness leads us into pain and suffering where the first thing we do is look at God and ask: “Why did You let this happen?!”.

Ahh, if only we had applied the commandments of the Lord and humbled ourselves before Him.

Praise God, He is merciful and compassionate.

He understands our wayward tendencies far better than we do.

That is why Jesus died and rose again; to make a way for us to be saved.

It’s a wonderful gift, for those who believe on Christ Jesus.

We have eternal salvation, as well as redemption here on Earth, for Jesus gave us His Word to instruct our wayward hearts, that we might know those things which are right and good.

Although, the New Testament is full of practical truths, after the Passover Supper Jesus’s last instructions before He was to be taken into custody are profound.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:15 KJV (The whole chapter is excellent.)

Let each of us choose to love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts and walk in His commandments, for God gave them to us,

“for our good always,”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your boundaries, Your instructions, Your commandments. Lord, please help us to remember they are for our good. That You know what is best and following Your laws brings us blessings. Lord, please help us to remember that chosing rebellion is choosing heartache, suffering, and tragedy. Sin separates us from You and only in You do we find love, patience, peace, goodness, faithfulness, and selfcontrol. Lord God, You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.

Faith in the Word

Our family watched a movie called Play the Flute last night.

I’ve seen it before, but it was the first time our son had seen it.

When it was over we discussed it and something he said stuck with me.

“It’s about having faith in the Word of God.”

He went on to say he knew others who didn’t have that faith.

We discussed the importance of God’s Word as well as the costly price just to have it in our language.

I told him about William Tyndale and his passion for the Word.

As our conversation drew to a close, my heart was challenged.

Do I revere God’s Word as I should?

Am I passionate about it?

Have I given it the time and attention which something so profound deserves?

I feel there’s room for improvement.

Not only do I want to study, memorize, and meditate upon God’s Word, I want to apply it.

I want to seek answers from God’s Word, looking to Him for my plans, the standards I set, the measure I use.

If someone was to ask me if I believe the Bible, I’d respond quickly with a harty “Yes!”.

However, I know, I don’t always respond to God’s Word with that same quick “Yes!”.

I want to, but I’m still learning how to surrender myself before God in all things.

Things like:

Trusting God completely with our children, that He is using all things in their lives for good.

When suffering in one form or another, giving God praise and seeking His will for the circumstance.

Am I willing to surrender everything before God, including my physical abilities?

In my heart I have assurance that the Bible is God’s Word and I can rest in its truths to guide and direct.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 9:23 KJV

I’m still learning how to put these truths into practice; still learning how to die to my flesh.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the wonderful gift of Your scriptures. Lord, thank You for showing me the error of my ways, where I need to have faith in Your Word and walk bearing my cross with joy. Lord Jesus, thank you for your patience with me, a slow learner. Please continue to hone my heart and help me see the areas that I need to surrender to You. Lord, thank You for Your truth and the many people who have given so much to translate the Bible throughout the Earth. Lord, thank You for teaching me to love Your Word and to hide it in my heart. I’m so grateful for Your promises and the blessings which come from applying the scriptures. Lord Jesus, I am picking up my cross today and following You, for there is no other way to Heaven and a fruitful life here on Earth. Thank You! Amen.

How do you deal with mistakes?

This morning I was in the garden briefly and noticed one these beauties laying on the ground.

I found a stake and tried to put it in the dirt, but it was way too dry.

I got the hose and watered the area then set the stake in.

As I gently lifted the plant my hold slipped.

Crack-snap!

I’d broken the plant clean off at the base!

“Oh no!” I exclaimed, but no one was around to hear it.

I felt like crying, but realized my best response would be to gather the flowers from the plant and thank God.

Maybe it sounds strange to be thankful to God at a moment when I just ruined something He gave me, but I’ve been asking the Lord to help me learn to have a thankful attitude.

Here was my chance.

And there is much to be thankful for.

How I handle myself when I’ve made a mistake speaks loudly to the condition of my heart.

Especially, if it’s something small and no one is around.

Luke 19:17 KJV — And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

God has been working on my heart a lot this past week through a variety of circumstances and His Word.

(It’s been a difficult journey.)

Challenging me to step up to His standards more fully.

Praise God continually.

Philippians 4:4 NKJV — Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Submit myself daily before Him, including my schedule.

Proverbs 3:5 KJV — Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Don’t worry, and always bring requests before the Lord with a grateful heart.

Philippians 4:6 NKJV — Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Be humble.

James 4:10 KJV — Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

The Word of God is true and should be applied daily to our lives.

For through it we can see a more accurate picture of ourselves and what God is calling us to.

Personally, it was a struggle to realize I needed to revisit truths I know and to humble myself before God and people.

Yet, through the submission came incredible blessing, and I can testify to the goodness of God.

It’s one of the wonders of God’s Word, how it can be so familiar, yet still teach something new, still unearth something hidden inside our hearts, and still bring us closer to Our Heavenly Father.

No matter how much we know about the Lord, there is always more to learn and more to apply, for this is a journey.

But the path of the just is as the shining light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Proverbs 4:18 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for this past week and the difficulties You used to teach me and deal with me. Lord, thank You for holding me in Your hand and walking with me through this. Lord, thank You for helping me see that through humility I find clarity. When I’m proud in any area, I’m going to struggle with total surrender. Lord, thank You for bringing these things to my attention. Thank You for surrounding me those those who love me through my struggles and encourage me to do what is right. Lord, thank You for Your Word which teaches me so much. I love You, Jesus. May my life bring glory to Your name. Amen.

Personal reflections

Galatians 1:23-24 NKJV — But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
And they glorified God in me.

As I was reading these verses, this morning, I was reminded of God’s incredible ways.

He takes what we see as tragic, horrible, loss, and transforms it into something incredible.

The Apostle Paul’s life is a wonderful testimony to God’s faithfulness and truth.

Romans 8:28 KJV — And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

And through His incredible works, which people see, God is glorified.

Galatians 1:24 NKJV — And they glorified God in me.

I didn’t understand this truth until four years ago.

My sight was skewed, I looked upon hard things as something we endure, something which teaches us about God.

But I didn’t realize it is an opportunity to praise Him, to glorify Him.

Sadly, in my twenties, I didn’t truly believe that God was working all things together for good.

I regret my self centered perspective and how I allowed the enemy to rob me of my joy through self-pity.

When disappointment came, I allowed resentment, rather than seeking the Lord for His path.

When loss came, I held on to faith with white knuckles, thinking my efforts were some how doing God a favor, rather than finding my faith built through praise, for He had given me such blessings through these departed loved ones.

When disagreements came, I stood rigid, unyielding, arrogantly thinking I understood the other’s motives, and holding them in the wrong, rather than gently expressing my fears and perspectives, listening with open heart, trust, and love to God, knowing that He was working through these things.

Even in the light of these past errors, I can praise God.

First, because He forgave me.

Second, because He has taught me through it.

Finally, because I have the understanding of past experiences, which I can share with others, encouraging them not to fall into the same errors I did.

Even in my regrets, God is working.

For He is good.

And like Paul, I want others to see what God has done in my life, and give glory to God.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for teaching me so much in my 45 years of life. I’m excited to see what else You have to teach me in today. Thank You for Your wonderous works. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for salvation. May the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You! Amen.

“The Lord gives…”

Job 1:21 NKJV — And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Job was a righteous man, who had a profound perspective.

Job 2:10 NKJV — But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Both these recorded words, as well as his actions, shows the truth he had built his faith upon:

God is Sovereign.

and

He deserves all our worship.

It’s been said, that the character of a person is revealed when they are “squeezed” by life’s circumstances.

Job’s character is clear:

Job 1:8 NKJV — Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

God knew his integrity from the beginning and after this extreme trial, He reveals Himself to Job in a way He’d not done before.

Job 42:1-3 NKJV — Then Job answered the LORD and said:“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

Because Job held fast to his integrity, he came through the trial with a far greater understanding of God Almighty.

Job 42:4-6 NKJV — Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

He also had a better understanding of himself.

Would Job’s incredible journey be yours or mine if we were put to the test this way?

Would we hold fast to the truths Job did and find a clearer understanding of both God and ourselves?

Or would we fall prey to the sins of Job’s friends?

Determined in their beliefs that God never allows bad things to happen to “good” people, they accused Job of sin over and over, demanding him to confess and repent, without any evidence of wrong doing.

They jumped to a conclusion based upon their faulty understanding of God.

But God used this circumstance to teach both Job and his friends.

Job 42:7-9NKJV — And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. “Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job.

“If God is good, why do bad things happen?”

Humanity has been asking this question for generations.

Sometimes, it is a consequence of sin.

Sometimes, it’s our faulty perspective, assuming something is “bad” when it’s actually a blessing.

Other times, it’s a test or trial, filled with opportunity from the Lord for understanding and growth.

Let us, each one, come before the Lord with humility and seek Him, asking that He reveal our hearts to us and instruct us in truth.

“Do I believe God is Sovereign?”

“Do I believe He is worthy of all praise?”

“Do I respond as Job, with humility and worship when facing loss?”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Job’s story and how much there is to glean from it. Lord Jesus, please help me to cling to Your truths, to be steadfast in my integrity before You. Lord, I want to walk as Job did. I want to be faithful through every circumstance. Lord, I want to seek You in all things, praising You continually with a thankful heart. Lord, I am weak and often I fail to give You the trust and worship You deserve. Please forgive me. Lord, I want to do better. Thank You for today, another opportunity to choose to walk with You. May my life reflect Your Word. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.