Daily Word Archives



What Open Door posts on Facebook - April 2013

 

4/1/2013

 

If you were in church yesterday, you likely heard some type of message on the resurrection. Today someone might have a question like: “Now what do we do we do?” This might be compared to the day in the Bible when the disciples beyond a doubt knew that Jesus had been resurrected. Jesus was with them 40 days demonstrating “infallible proofs” and speaking to them about the Kingdom of God.

 

After all of this, the disciples essentially asked, “What are you gonna do now Jesus”? Are you now going to restore the kingdom to Israel?

 

Jesus did not really tell them what He was going to do; He told them what they were going to do. In the same way, for us today, there is plenty to do.

 

Simply put, we could say it like this:  We have a life a live, a message to give, and a kingdom to promote.

 

What Jesus said He was going to do is send them some power in order to do that mission - the Holy Spirit

 

We desperately need the Holy Spirit and His working in our lives each day. Everything seems so complicated, and we ask the Holy Spirit to sort everything out, show us the important things and how to get them done.

 

4/2/2013

 

It is interesting that both the book of Psalms and Proverbs start out along the same lines: People should seek after Godliness, wisdom and understanding and should shun sin and the counsel of the ungodly.

 

For many of us this may be Christianity 101, yet our challenge is to walk it out each day. As we have often said, when we look at these principles in light of our children we sometimes see a clearer picture.

 

As your teenager leaves for school in the morning, he turns to you and says: I just want you to know that I am against sin. I desire to walk in righteousness today and learn skillful and Godly wisdom. I want my behavior to never bring a reproach upon me or our family. My desire is to honor the Lord in all I do.

 

Some would find it difficult to imagine a teen saying something like this, but they would if taught and instructed that:

 

sin is a reproach ~ Proverbs 14:34

 

Godliness is profitable in this life ~ I Timothy 4:8

 

We reap what we sow ~ Galatians 6:7

 

We receive good from the Lord for the good we do ~ Ephesians 6:8

 

In like manner, we as Christian adults should be demonstrating this in word and deed. Are we making such a statement to them?

 

One purpose here is to show what happens when we speak up for that which is right. When we voice it and say we are taking a stand for God and doing good, the power of it intensifies greatly - just like when your student gave you his speech above.

 

If he would say something like this and truly mean it, it would be hard for you to contain your joy - you know he is headed in the right direction.

 

Both Proverbs and Psalms get us started in the right direction.

 

4/3/2013

 

Many of us read books regarding people of faith whose stories inspire us. We read about those who went from poverty to wealth, who persevered through hardship to gain happiness and prosperity, and of those who gave up everything yet their lives are so enriched.

 

We can look into biographies and autobiographies in an effort to see how others did it. We read the great stories of the faithful in the Bible and especially the hall of faith chapter - Hebrews 11.

 

Much of this is good and can be very helpful, but when all is said and done, the question for each one of us is: "What am I going to do"?

 

That is a bottom line question and one we can take to the Lord in prayer. As we study to show ourselves approved (II Timothy 2:15) and desire to walk worthy of the Lord and be fruitful (Colossians 1:10), we ask dear Lord to show us exactly what to do that we might fulfill those good plans You have for us ~ Jeremiah 29:11

 

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

 

4/4/2013

 

Here is a good question: If you were to do something perfectly, what would that mean?

 

This question takes a little time to consider. Further, who would decide whether it was perfect?

 

The question is raised in light of the fact that in this world things are constantly changing. If there was something perfect, would it be perfect a few weeks from now? Was the perfection just a particular act, a thing created or done, a plan, blueprint, or something that fixed a problem?

 

Hopefully you can see that the concept of perfection in this natural world is hard to nail down. We do not expect people to be perfect, but we appreciate when they give their best.

 

We are back to the attitudes and motives of our hearts. We note the zeal that the Apostle Paul exhibited in his service to the Lord. We further note his words:

 

            And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving             thanks to God and the Father by him. ~ Colossians 3:17

 

            And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; ~ Colossians 3:23

 

May we demonstrate this attitude in our service and in the things that we do - whether to the Lord or to our fellow man. This would be a great testimony to the Christ in us the hope of glory

 

4/5/2013

 

It has been said that our lives are full of two things: saying and doing

 

These two areas of course are critical and the better we are at them, the more success we will have.

 

As Christians we are called upon in these areas to operate in love that is seasoned with salt. James Dobson used the phrase "tough love" and it especially resonated with parents.

 

It is likely that all of us need some tough love at times. Whether we are giving or receiving we must remember that it is love - and we ask for God's help in all of its work in our lives.

 

4/6/2013

 

As we have commented in earlier posts, we will never be able to answer everyone's questions. When you think about it, we cannot even answer all of our own. On the other side of it, sometimes when we get an answer we wish that we had not asked the question. We might even receive a little too much information at times.

 

Even Jesus did not answer everyone's question or do what some people wanted Him too. We are not told to answer every question but we are told:

 

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: ~ I Peter 3:15

 

Sharing this with people is better than sharing every little piece of information that we have heard.

 

4/7/2013

 

My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. ~ Psalm 7:10

 

May this verse be our declaration, Lord may my heart be upright and surround me with favor as with a shield ~ Psalm 5:12

 

Many things come at us that we do not see or recognize. God also knows the things that are coming. While we should do everything we can - like putting on the armor of God; we still need His defense and deliverance from every evil work ~ II Timothy 4:18

 

4/8/2013

 

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. ~ I Peter 5:7

 

Jesus said the cares of this world, if they enter in, would choke the word it would not bear fruit in our lives. ~ Mark 4:19

 

Care is something that can get on the inside of us - in our minds particularly. When it begins to replace the Word of God and the faith that the word produces; then fear, anxiety and worry begin to develop within us. If it continues, depression and hopelessness can take root. This is the danger of allowing the cares of this world to take hold within us.

 

That is not to say that we do not address and deal with problems and difficulties. It is often required that we do so. But if we can deal with the problem and cast the care over on God, we are well on our way to success.

 

This might take practice and we may need some time to develop and perfect this in our lives. Remember God tells us to do this, therefore, we know we can count on Him to help us.

 

Do not allow the cares, worries, fears and anxieties to become bigger on the inside of you than God and His Word.

 

4/9/2013

 

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:31-32

 

May my life demonstrate an intense desire both to know the truth and walk in it.

 

4/10/2013

 

The book of Judges shows a disturbing course of events. It shows that once evil and wrong-doing get a foothold, they are likely to continue. We further see that they continue until they no longer bring pleasure. At some point people will begin to cry out for relief.

 

We are seeing the same progression in our society today. Individually we need to make sure that we do not go the same way. May we do our best also to keep it from happening with family and friends. We cannot decide for others but we can do something about ourselves and be a light. We can pray for God's mercy, healing and revival in the land ~ II Chronicles 7:14

 

In society today we have seen prayer taken out of school, no more manger scenes on public property, the ten commandments taken out of schools and courthouses, the motto "in God we trust" being attacked and ridiculed, the move to take "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and righteousness assaulted from many sides. We pray it will not take a catastrophe to show the results of turning away from the God of the Bible and message of the gospel.

 

We pray for the outpouring of God's Spirit and for a revival in the church. We see an aspect of scripture that speaks directly to us: 

 

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? ~ I Peter 4:17

 

May we take care of this ourselves regarding our own lives:

 

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. ~ I Corinthians 11:31

 

We are living in serious and perilous times as the scriptures point out. ~ II Timothy 3:1

 

May we live our lives seriously and in reverence to God and His Word. Lord help us to make a difference in the lives of others that many might come to Christ.

 

4/11/2013

 

One of the greatest needs we have is to be able to engage this culture with the gospel in such a way that it would spark interest in people.

 

If you asked 10 Christians how to do this. you would likely get at least 10 different answers. That is because each will have had different experiences with different types of people and situations.

 

We do need good counsel, especially from those who have been successful in this area. But we especially need the guidance of God's Holy Spirit and we need to spend time in prayer in this regard.

 

We can ask ourselves how affective have we been in sharing our faith, getting people interested in the gospel and the things of God? This would be a good first step.

 

May God especially help us in this area to bear fruit for His glory and bring blessing to others.

 

4/12/2013

 

Many know the general story about Jesus walking on the water and Peter getting out of the boat and walking toward Him. It has been preached many ways with a number of points made. We would offer a few as well:

 

The boat can represent a place of safety and refuge. It can weather a storm yet we see storms can impact it and indeed sink some boats.

 

At times we see Jesus in the boat. In the scenario here we see Jesus out in the storm and essentially walking above it.

 

To be with Jesus in the above scene, we would have to get out of the boat and join Him in the storm. It will require faith and keeping our eyes on Him in this dangerous circumstance.

 

Does this remind us of some things in our lives today? In another story we see Jesus in the boat and a storm hitting with such fury that the disciples ask Him if He cares that they are going to perish.

 

The storms come whether we are in the boat or out on the water so to speak. Whatever our situation, may we always be able to see Jesus in it.

 

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; ~ Hebrews 12:2

 

As Christians we are told to walk by faith and not by sight - whether we are in the storm or enjoying smooth sailing right now.

 

4/13/2013

 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross.

 

Sometimes we feel inadequate in our witness and sharing the gospel. This song reminds us that our words and actions can demonstrate where we stand very effectively.

 

Though we may not say everything as well as we would like, and words sometimes fail us; may we consistently show that we stand with Jesus.


4/14/2013

 

Do you recall these first lines of a hymn?

 

Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee!

 

This could be our prayer each day. Though we may be saved and born again, we realize that our conduct and attitudes always need "tending to".

 

It is great when we are able to have victory over a temptation before it ever comes. This does not happen by accident, but comes with prayer, meditation in the Word, standing in the armor of God, and confessing our faith of what we have in Christ.

 

Lord help us to train ourselves to resist temptation. Show us the path to victory that we may overcome. May we not grow weary in well doing and may this demonstrate our consecration Lord to Thee.

 

4/15/2013

 

The other day we used the line "Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross" to begin our post. We noted that it is a good place to align ourselves in whatever circumstance we are in.

 

The world seems to make everything so complicated, complex and tedious. It comes at Christians and the Church with all sorts of accusations and statistics. Regardless of whether we are able to address everything, a good response is always "I stand with Jesus".

 

We can further elaborate and say we live by New Testament principles, we are pursuing righteousness, we desire to speak the truth in love (seasoned with salt) and demonstrate the fruit of the spirit, and we will give praise and thanksgiving to God.

 

Once we make this type of determination, then we should study and pray to show ourselves approved and to find out how to effectively deal with all of the things that are thrown at us.

 

But this firm foundation is necessary so that we are not carried away by every wind of doctrine or deceived by the craftiness of men ~ Ephesians 4:14

 

God help us to demonstrate such a Christian lifestyle that it brings blessing and fruit in the lives of others.

 

4/16/2013

 

We join with many others in prayer for those dealing in any way with the bombing in Boston. May God's mercy, healing and comfort be extended mightily to those in need.

 

We pray for hospital staff and doctors, family members dealing with loved ones and a complete change in daily schedules, for those who sustained injured, and for those seeking to bring the people responsible to justice.

 

We pray the body of Christ reach out with all the help and compassion that God would give. Please dear Lord touch the hearts, minds and bodies of all of those involved.

 

We will continue to pray for these people in the coming days and for all of our nation as we move forward. May we be strong, of good courage and walk in the love of God - in and through the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

4/17/2013

 

When looking at things we often consider value and reward. We note the following from Psalm 19:

 

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. ~ 7-11

 

When we attempt to measure eternity as opposed to this life that is likened to a vapor (James 4:14), these verses remind us of what is truly valuable.

 

4/18/2013

 

Many are familiar with the music of Don Francisco and especially his song "He's Alive". He recently commented on the song as follows:

 

The reason the song He's Alive has such an impact is that it views the resurrection through the eyes of someone who denied Jesus repeatedly. Yet Jesus didn't reject Peter for doing this. In spite of the destructive things we manage to get into, most of us will not have the opportunity to blow it this badly in our whole lives. Yet we see written for us in black and white what the response of Jesus was to his friend - forgiveness and love.

 

4/19/2013

 

We remember George Beverly Shea as he went home to be with the Lord at 104 years old. May we know the reality of this song he sang so often, as he knows its reality now - I'd Rather Have Jesus.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cxH8s4SvEc

 

4/20/2013

 

These verses remind us of some wonderful things that are a part of the family and kingdom of God:

 

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. ~ Romans 8:31-34

 

4/21/2013

 

Do not let the gloominess of this present day, in the world around us, detract from the light that we should be living and walking in.

 

Certainly gross darkness is covering the earth – God has already warned us about that. But from the Word of God concerning us, we see things like this:

 

(Mat 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.

 

We are called children of Light

 

We are to be a light to those in darkness

 

We are told to put on the armor of light

 

We are light in the Lord

 

We are called saints in Light

 

(1 Th 5:5 KJV)  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

 

We have been called into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9)

 

Remember, God provides the light - our job is to shine.

 

It would help us greatly when we deal with the darkness (usually daily) to remember that it is a different kingdom, a different existence. Though we may deal with it and in it, it should not be in us.

 

We are told to walk in the light as He is in the light, even when there is darkness all around.

 

4/22/2013

 

From our daily Bible reading:

 

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. ~ Proverbs 29:2

 

We need to remember this does not just mean federal government positions. This refers to anyone in charge over anything - righteous oversight, decisions and policies will bring a blessing.

 

4/23/2013

 

On April 23rd we are reminded of Psalm 23. It is 6 power-packet verses that offer great comfort and encouragement. It does not sugar coat everything - it does mention valleys, shadows of death, and enemies.

 

We see both the good and bad in Psalm 23. We are especially thankful for God's presence and provision in this life.

 

Yet we know this life will end and therefore are greatly thankful for all He has done that we may spend eternity with Him. 

 

4/24/2013

 

Most people have likely heard the expression: "Good help is hard to find".

 

Normally when we think about doing something in order to "help", it has a pleasing connotation and it is considered good. Certainly people that are really trying to help have good motives at heart. The whole premise behind the concept of helping is to better a situation and/or the lives of others.

 

In thinking back to our first sentence, if you are one who can consistently give good help, you have a valuable skill that can bless others.

 

In the next few days we will look at the word "help" in the New Testament.

 

In the meantime (even today) we can honor the Lord, serve Him and others by simply coming forward and asking "Is there anything I can do to help"?

 

4/25/2013

 

Yesterday we began looking at the word "help" from a New Testament standpoint. It is interesting from I Corinthians 12:28 that "helps" is listed in the appointments or ministries that God has set in the church. It is in the same list that includes apostles, prophets, miracles, etc.

 

Anyone who has labored for a church or a ministry knows that this is not a misprint. Christian laborers have a great appreciation for the words "work of the ministry" ~ Ephesians 4:12

 

We all know what a great blessing it is when we have a challenging situation and someone steps and says: I can do that, I can do it quickly and correctly, and if you need any changes I can take care of that as well. If that person carries it out, he or she is the helper you need.

 

Our point again is to recognize how important and valuable good help is. We know those who are leading and making the decisions are important - they have their function. But without those who actually put the plans into material and realization, you just have ideas in people's heads.

 

We want to thank all who are so good at helping, and we thank God for providing more such individuals.

 

 4/26/2013

 

As we continue to look at "help" in the New Testament, we note what Vine's dictionary says. Without getting too technical or detailed, the words translated "help" or a form of it mean:

to render aid, to support, to take instead of, to assist, to take part with, to join together in and with, a coworker or fellow-worker (helper).

 

As we first mentioned, all of this has a good connotation and intent. We help in order to bring aid or relief. With this in mind we note a very familiar Old Testament verse:

 

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. ~ Psalm 46:1

 

In considering "help" as a part of the ministry of Christians, it should be a daily occurrence. Anyone truly wanting to help can have a full-time ministry.

 

When we think about it, all of us who are employed are there to help. Do our bosses know and recognize that we are there to help them? Do we realize we can help ease their minds by assuring them and showing them that we will be "very present" in order to help them?

 

Certainly there are people who will take advantage of those who are true helpers. But we please God when we show the right spirit in this area, and we trust Him to work out anything that is wrong as we endeavor to do right.

 

4/27/2013

 

We note this verse as we continue to look at the word "help":

 

Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. ~ II Corinthians 1:11

 

Wherever we may be, we are in a position to help by praying. We likely do not understand how powerful and indeed how helpful prayer is in carrying out the will of God.

 

Recall the story in the book of Daniel regarding his prayers and how angels and demonic forces immediately involved themselves in what Daniel was praying. ~ Daniel 10:12-14

 

May God give us great understanding and desire to help by praying and skill in serving this way.

 

4/28/2013

 

In keeping with our theme, let one of our reasons for going to church this morning be in order to help someone. May someone else be glad they came to church this morning because there was a person in attendance who could help them.

 

We ask that God would bless us this morning to go with such a motivation. We know it is all because of Him and He should get the glory.

 

We pray Lord that we receive just what we need, and may we be vessels in any way You see fit to help someone receive just what they need.

 

4/29/2013

 

Many are familiar with Kirk Cameron, his ministry, his early television career, and the movie "Fireproof". He is a bold witness for Christ and advocate of Christian virtue and values. On his website recently was a post we included below. Because so many of us deal with children, we hope this will be a blessing:

 

When My Children Act Out in Public

 

My two boys live life at full speed, full volume, and with their full bodies. Sometimes when we are out in public, I worry about what they might do. When my oldest was 2, I took him to story time at the library. All the little girls sat nicely on their mommy's laps listening to the librarian read. Then there was my son. He ran circles around the group. When he finished making everyone dizzy, he tried to figure out how the blinds worked on the windows. From then on, we did story time at home.

 

Another time, I let my youngest push the grocery cart at the store. While I searched the seemingly endless rows of cereal boxes for the one I needed, he took off running down the aisle-with the cart. And yes, he ran into someone else.

 

The Catapult Incident

 

Some incidents with my children stand out in my mind so much that I give them a name. Last year, the four of us attended a banquet at a country club. Crisp white table linens covered the round tables. There were multiple forks and spoons at each seat and glass goblets from which to drink. For my kids, it was different territory from the usual fast food establishments with the indoor playground, chicken nuggets, and free toy.

 

It was at this meal where the "catapult incident" occurred. My oldest has an engineer's brain. He is always building things and designing something new to create. From the moment we sat down at the table, he fidgeted and squirmed in his seat. As I turned my head to talk with my husband and youngest son, my oldest took the utensils and proceeded to construct a catapult out of them. When the fork flung across the table at another guest, I realized what he had done. Did I mention that he used the utensils of the person seated next to him?

 

When I saw what happened, I felt my face redden. I knew, or assumed I knew, what the other guests thought about me, my parenting, and my children. And I wanted to say, "Really, we aren't the Beverly Hillbillies!" No doubt, I was embarrassed by my son's behavior at that dinner. I wanted to hide my head. I chastised him, and then he was embarrassed too. "Mom, I'm sorry! I didn't mean for that to happen, and I didn't know that wasn't my fork!"

 

When my children do something childish, without thinking, and even out of ignorance, I am often embarrassed. Even when they are flat-out disobedient in public, doing something they know they shouldn't do, I am embarrassed. I've come to realize that too often I respond to them out of that embarrassment. In those situations, I care more about what other people think of me than about responding to my children's heart.

 

While their behavior often requires correction and even consequences, I also need to pay attention to what is going on in my own heart. When their behavior becomes about me and how it makes me look to others, I need to do a heart check.

 

In reality, my responses can often reflect the idols lurking in my heart. The ones I've established on a throne to worship, crafted out of my own wishes and desires. These idols are not made of metal or stone, but they are idols just the same.

 

Because when I care more about the thoughts and affirmations of other people than about what God thinks, I've created an idol. When I measure my value and success by the verbal accolades from others about my boy's good behavior, I've created an idol. And when I react out of embarrassment to my children's behavior, it just might be because I've put my idol in first place before God.

 

Opportunities to Remove Idols

 

Before I had children, I didn't realize how much I desired and yearned for affirmation from others. God has used my boys as mirrors, reflecting back to me the pride and selfishness I didn't know were hiding in the deepest crevices of my heart. Situations like the "catapult incident" provide the opportunity for me to recognize, acknowledge, and remove the idols.

 

Tim Keller writes in Counterfeit Gods that once we remove an idol, we have to replace it with love for Christ. When I saturate my mind and heart with the truth that God loves me more than I could ever understand, I cannot help but respond to him with love and gratitude. When I realize the great lengths he went to so that I could be his child, my heart is overwhelmed. The more I remind myself of who I am because of Christ, the affirmations from others pale in comparison. Because the truth is, being his child is all I've ever wanted. It's what I was made for and what my heart desires most. Everything else is just a false substitute.

 

I'm sure my children will continue to do the unexpected, have poor manners, and even act out in public. When I realize that I am angry and embarrassed because desire for affirmation is trying to reign in my heart, I must run straight to Christ. Only in his presence and in the shadow of his grace do the idols in my heart begin to crumble. And when I dwell on Christ's great love for me, my idols fall from their throne, freeing me to love him as the first thing in my heart.

 

Christina Fox is a licensed mental health counselor, coffee drinker, writer, and homeschooling mom, not necessarily in that order. She lives with her husband of 16 years and two boys in sunny South Florida. You can find her sharing her journey in faith at: toshowthemjesus.com and on Facebook at: Facebook.com/ToShowThemJesus.

 

4/30/2013

 

Note these verses from Proverbs:

 

I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. ~ Proverbs 24:30-31

 

Now verse 32: Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.

 

Does this verse describe us? Do we consider what we see and receive instruction? Or do we ignore it and go on our way? Do we act the same way but reason that it would never happen to us - we are smarter than that! To borrow an expression from our young folks - NOT!

 

Oh Lord help us to consider what we see and receive instruction. Know that it can be good or bad, right or wrong. Help us to discern the difference and act upon it.

 

This is good instruction for all of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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