Happy Mother’s Day!

We begin life dependent on our mothers for everything. From birth, though, we begin to separate from them. As we grow older, we become progressively less dependent on our mothers. When married, the Bible speaks of a man leaving father and mother and cleaving to his wife. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31)

Still, we never should separate from mother so much that we lose our appreciation for her selflessness. A mother’s willingness to define herself, not by her aspirations or accomplishments, but by her offspring, is what gives her this precious title.

Also, let us never forget our mothers’ service. Think often of what she has done for you. Thank and praise her. Remind her of your gratefulness and honor her with your words, time, and resources.

Lastly, let us not forget the wisdom of mother. Listen to her. Learn from her. Children, obey her. Everyone, appreciate her. Pass on her priceless knowledge and understanding to the generations to come.

Thank you, to my mother, and many others, for your selfless humility, your faithful service, and your Biblical wisdom!

Four Important Ingredients in a Believer’s Life

In Psalm 144, God uses David to record a very blessed situation for a nation or any group of people. In verses twelve to fifteen, He describes blessings that all of us would love to enjoy:

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

13 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:

14 That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.

15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.”

These blessings are related to the preceding statements, in verses one to eleven:

“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

2  My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

3  LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

4  Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

5  Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.

6  Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.

7  Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;

8  Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

9  I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

10  It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.

11  Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:”

Please notice four important ingredients in this Psalm:

  1. A struggle (verse 1)

Never forget that when God saved you, He changed your identity and your eternal destiny, but not your current location. What does this mean? It means we are called to fight!

  1. A separation (verse 7,11)

We must choose to invite God to change our surroundings and our companions. How often am I more than willing to complain about my enemies, difficulties, and temptations, yet ignore or refuse the One who wants to make a change?

  1. A singing (verse 9)

Every believer should be singing! The Psalms are all songs, written from every life situation. They help to show us that we can and should meet every situation with one of God’s songs!

  1. A seeing (verses 12-15)

The result of the first three things being in your life will be seeing God’s blessings!

Is a Whale a Fish?

A lot of Christians struggle with knowing that the Bible is 100% accurate. Although we believe that the Bible is true, we sometimes see things that don’t seem to agree with our perspective. One simple example is Jonah and the whale.

The Bible refers to Jonah’s animal as both a whale and a fish at different times. In Jonah 1:17, the Bible says, “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” In Matthew 12:40, however, it says, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

We often assume that Jonah spent time in a whale’s belly. Yet the Bible refers to this whale as a fish, too. Many of us have learned in school that a whale is not a fish. A whale is a mammal. Is this a contradiction?

The simple answer is that the Bible is 100% accurate. Yes, a whale is a fish. Long before the Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus, worked to give us our modern system of animal classification in the 1700s, the word fish referred to any animal that lived only in water. Thus, a jellyfish was a fish. A whale was also a fish.

Once again, the Bible was, and is, accurate. Jonah was in a whale’s belly. This whale was a big fish.

The Glory of God

I have often heard that our ultimate goal as believers is the glory of God. Yet, for years, I have been confused as to the meaning of this phrase. If I am to ‘give God all the glory’, then is it something like praise (sharing with others how great He is)? Clearly, glory and praise are similar.

I believe, though, that glory is best explained by talking about light. Glory is like brightness or glowing, so that giving somebody the glory is similar to saying that you are putting them in the spotlight. Giving God the glory is like taking any positive glow directed at your life and focusing that light on God, the real source of your positive glow.

The glory of God mentioned in the Bible was, apparently, an extremely bright and fearful light that surrounded the very presence of God. Moses interacted directly with God’s glory, so much so that the skin of his face shone! Often, when the glory of God appeared in the Bible, it was surrounded by a cloud. Even then, people often fell on their faces in response to seeing God’s glory.

Here are a few observations about the glory of God:

  1. Glory can only come from a good, ‘bright’ thing. A person who lives life in the flesh and walks in darkness cannot possibly give glory to God. Only when our lights are shining can we possibly use those lights as spotlights focused on the God who made us. Oh, that we would be believers who live capable of giving God glory, because there are glorious works being done in our lives by our Father! (Matthew 5:16)
  2. We should seek to see the glory of God. Moses had heard from God and had seen Him work. He had spent a lot of special time with God. Even then, he still had a desire to see God’s glory. (Exodus 33:18) David longed for God. He longed to see God’s power and glory, “so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” (Psalm 63:1-2) Oh, that we would be believers who have a longing to see God for Who He is! Oh, that we would have a thirst for the awe-inspiring, fear-inducing, life-changing God, who is light! (1 John 1:5)
  3. We should seek for everyone to see God’s glory. God promised that His glory would fill all the earth. When Isaiah saw the Lord, the seraphim cried, “The whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:1-3) Oh, that we would be believers who seek for everyone to see how great God is!
  4. The way we will be able to show others God’s glory is through shining like Him. The way we shine like Him is the same way that Moses did. It is also what the moon does with the sun. The side of the moon that faces the sun automatically becomes a light of its own through consistent exposure to the sun’s brightness. It is through spending time in God’s presence that we begin to shine. A Christian who does not shine will not be able to give God glory. A Christian who is shining bright can then, and only then, point to the source of the light. Oh, that we would be believers who see God’s glory and bask in that glory, so that we can shine in this world!
  5. We must be willing to change if we want to shine brightly for God’s glory! (2 Corinthians 3:18) Spending time in God’s presence will produce changes in our habits, lifestyles, actions, and, of course, words. Oh, that we would be believers who are willing to change by the Spirit of the Lord into His image!

To summarize, giving God glory is like shining our light back on Him. To do this, we must spend time with Him (see the light), change to be more like Him (become lights ourselves), and then gladly tell others why we are so bright (shining the spotlight back on God), thus allowing them to start the same cycle. Of course in order for any of this to take place, it is very important to also take care of your health. Personally, I try to watch what I eat, and exercise when I can. I even take a health supplement to ensure I’m giving my body the nutrients it requires. If you are looking for one, this one comes highly recommended. Here you can know more.

Oh, that we would be believers who seek the glory of God!

Simple Outline for God’s Blessing

In Ezra 7:9, we see that “according to the good hand of his God on him,” Ezra came to Jerusalem. A life with God’s hand on it can be described as a blessed, happy, abundant life!

In the next verse, we see a simple outline that is connected with the idea of Ezra’s having God’s hand on him. The Bible says:

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” (Ezra 7:10)

Ezra prepared his heart to do three things:

  1. Seek God’s law.

  2. Do it, or obey it.

  3. Teach it.

Oh, that my life would have God’s hand of blessing on it! Oh, that I and others could see His protection and provision daily! With this desire, though, comes a clear opportunity. If I would have God’s hand on my life, I surely can have it, as Ezra did!

Oh, that I would prepare my heart to seek, obey, and teach God’s Word, the Bible! Oh, that I would daily wake up hungry for His words, be quick to obey what I find, and teach others to obey, too!

Oh, that today would be a day like that!