When we set our eyes on circumstances instead of the promises of God

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:17

A young missionary lady lamented to discover that she was expecting a baby. She and her husband were ministering in a very primitive location in Africa, where they lived in poverty conditions, and they already had five children. It is such a burden to have children on a primitive mission field. There is never enough money, always too much work, and parents must endure the heartbreak of having to send their children off to school.

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”

Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, follow the Lord’s lead according to His word.  Even if His direction doesn’t seem right, don’t trust your own judgment but trust His.

It’s tempting to think we know more than the Lord, but that’s where we have to decide; to trust Him or yourself. Continue Reading

Iron Sharpens Iron Relationships

Iron Sharpens Iron

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”

Do you have a friend who, through their criticism or suggestions, feels like an 8 in stainless steel knife has just scraped against you?  Maybe it rubbed you the wrong way?  Not stab you in the back – that’s different!  But this feeling wakes you up, doesn’t it?  Maybe it snaps you out of a weird frame of mind that you had to break away from. Maybe it stimulates you to some anger, sadness, and disappointment or maybe to a revelation?

Do you have a true “Iron sharpens Iron” friend?  One to rely on for truth?   Maybe you have a friend with whom you could sit down and talk about spiritual matters and come away refreshed and strengthened?  Is there one who you truly care for enough to share the truth about each others faults?

Relationships are some of the most effective ways to help others grow and develop in their relationship with Jesus Christ. When iron is rubbed against another piece of iron it shapes and sharpens it. Friends can help each other improve by their discussions, criticisms, suggestions, and ideas.  Genuine friendship doesn’t respond with hostility but with humility to realize you’re being sharpened. It’s hard on you, but good for you.

True friendship in the Lord is not built on deception.  Even if “the truth hurts,” honesty can never harm if it’s given in love.  So don’t sugarcoat things.  It’s better that we “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), because the Spirit can use truth and love to build character, while the devil uses lies and flattery to tear things down (Prov. 29:5). “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue” (28:23).

Flattery is manipulation, not communication.  What honest person would want to manipulate a friend?  It’s the sharpening of wits and character that comes through the frank and open interaction of friends.  “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (27:6).

How we accept and apply rebuke is a test of how devoted we are to truth and wisdom and how sincere we are in wanting to know God’s will.  “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise” (15:31). “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding” (v. 32).

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him” (27:14) Beware of the “friend” who loudly and frequently praises you and tells you what a good friend you are, because true friendship doesn’t depend on such antics.

 

 

The Canaanite Woman and The Power of Faith

Proverbs 31
Be a Proverbs 31 Woman

Matthew 15:21-28 “Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Have you ever risen to a challenge? Have you risen to a challenge for a loved one? Continue Reading