“Sleeping with Frogs” January 29

 

Sleeping with Frogs - Frogs ... they're everywhere! ... in their homes, in their beds, in their bowls, in their ovens—everywhere! Yet, when Moses, God's messenger comes to Pharaoh and asks when he'd like them removed, he says, "Tomorrow." "Just let me spend one more night with those frogs." How about you? Are there any frogs you're keeping around for another sleepover?Frogs … they’re everywhere! … in their homes, in their beds, in their bowls, in their ovens—everywhere! Yet, when Moses, God’s messenger comes to Pharaoh and asks when he’d like them removed, he says, “Tomorrow.” “Just let me spend one more night with those frogs.” How about you? Are there any frogs you’re keeping around for another sleepover?

 

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 7 & 8
Psalm 17.1-7
Proverbs 5.15-20
Matthew 19.1-30

 

Sleeping with Frogs

 

Exodus 7 & 8:

Hard Hearts

 

It’s time. God is about to deliver His people. But first, He prepares Moses and Aaron for the task ahead:

¹ So the Lord said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them” (Ex. 7.1-5).

“I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.” At first glance, that might seem a little unfair! Is God on His throne pointing to one person and saying I don’t like the way she looks, I think I’ll harden her heart? God is God and He can certainly do as He sees fit, but that is not the picture we see here.

God said He had heard the cries of his people in Egypt (Ex. 3.7), cries against which Pharaoh had already hardened his heart. When we harden our hearts and refuse to show compassion on others, why should we be surprised if He withholds compassion from us?

Even as believers, though we don’t lose our salvation, we can damage our fellowship with Him and set in motion laws of sowing and reaping (Gal. 6.7-9). And if we repeatedly harden our hearts, it may be a sign that we are not really saved, because the Bible teaches that though believers may sin, they will repent.

Even in these passages in Exodus, Pharaoh continues to harden his own heart. Ten times it says Pharaoh hardened his heart and ten times God hardened his heart. God’s hardening was judicial hardening in response to Pharaoh’s personal, sinful hardening.

We see a similar picture in Romans 1 beginning in verse 18. We sometimes call this passage the downward spiral of sin. We see men and women refusing to respect God as God though they know the truth and choosing to continue in their sin. In verses 24, 26, and 28 we see the response of God. It says He, “gave them up …,” “gave them up …,” and “gave them over …” John MacArthur says in his Study Bible, “When men consistently abandon God, He will abandon them by removing His restraint and allowing sin to run its inevitable course.”

This results in hearts that are more and more hardened by their own sin. As we look around our world today, we see this in abundance. It’s interesting that the example God uses in Romans 1 is that of homosexuality. Consider that as you listen to the news.

 

One More Night with the Frogs

 

One of the plagues God brought on the Egyptians was frogs (Ex. 8.1-15). Can you imagine? Frogs are everywhere—in in their homes, in their beds, in their bowls, in their ovens—everywhere! When Pharaoh had once again promised to let the people go, Moses said, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you …” In other words, “When do you want me to get rid of the frogs?” And Pharaoh says, “TOMORROW!” Tomorrow? “Yes, let me spend one more night with the frogs!”

It seems ridiculous, yet, there can be things we refuse to give up in spite of the consequences. Areas where we are saying, in effect, “Let me have one more night with these frogs!”

Then notice verse 15, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.”

How many times have you and I repeated the same pattern? We have a crisis Continue reading

“Red Hot Love” September 4

 

Red Hot Love - Red hot love? Does God really approve of a red-hot sexual relationship within the context of marriage? Judge for yourself!Red hot love? Does God really approve of a red-hot sexual relationship within the context of marriage? Judge for yourself!

And what about pornography … is there a place for it within marriage or outside of it?

 

Today’s Readings:
Song of Solomon 7 & 8
Psalm 104.31-35
Proverbs 24.21-22
1 Corinthians 14.1-20

 

Red Hot Love

 

Song of Solomon 7 & 8:

Real Intimacy, Pornography & Singleness

 

I’d like to share some of these verses from The Message to help us get a clearer picture of the imagery here. Chapter 7.1-9 contain Solomon’s description of his bride:

1-9 Shapely and graceful your sandaled feet,
and queenly your movement—
Your limbs are lithe and elegant,
the work of a master artist.
Your body is a chalice,
wine-filled.
Your skin is silken and tawny
like a field of wheat touched by the breeze.
Your breasts are like fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is carved ivory, curved and slender.
Your eyes are wells of light, deep with mystery.
Quintessentially feminine!
Your profile turns all heads,
commanding attention.
The feelings I get when I see the high mountain ranges
—stirrings of desire, longings for the heights—
Remind me of you,
and I’m spoiled for anyone else!

Your beauty, within and without, is absolute,
dear lover, close companion.
You are tall and supple, like the palm tree,
and your full breasts are like sweet clusters of dates.
I say, “I’m going to climb that palm tree!
I’m going to caress its fruit!”
Oh yes! Your breasts
will be clusters of sweet fruit to me,
Your breath clean and cool like fresh mint,
your tongue and lips like the best wine.

Then his bride begins to speak:  Continue reading

“How am I doing with the 2 great commandments?” September 1

 

How are you doing with the 2 great commandments? - Paul warned us of the importance of regularly examining ourselves and of the consequences when we don't!How am I doing with the 2 great commandments? Paul warned us of the importance of regularly examining ourselves and of the consequences when we don’t … sickness, problems, even early death. But how can we examine ourselves when our tendency is to justify our own actions and responses? Living in our sin-cursed world, how can we re-inform our consciences biblically so we are more sensitive to the sin in our lives? And in so doing, grow and change?

 

Today’s Readings:
Song of Solomon 1 & 2
Psalm 104.1-9
Proverbs 24.15-16
1 Corinthians 11.17-34

 

How am I doing with the 2 great commandments?

 

1 Corinthians 11.17-34:

Examining Ourselves

 

prayer trusting GodIn verses 27-32 Paul gives instructions for how we should approach the taking of the Lord’s Supper. He says that we should use it as an opportunity to examine ourselves to see if there is any unconfessed sin or unreconciled relationships in our lives.

If so, we should confess them to the Lord and repent. Repentance is more than regret or feeling sorry, it carries with it the idea of a turning from our way and going God’s way. Paul said that because we fail to examine ourselves, many in the body of Christ are sick and some sleep (have died prematurely).

Of course, communion isn’t the only time we should examine ourselves. It should be a regular part of our walk with the Lord.

When asked about the most important commandment, Jesus said the whole law and the prophets can be summed up in two commands: Love God and love others. If we’re loving God as we should, we won’t look for loopholes for disobedience. If we’re loving God as we should, obeying Him won’t be a burden, but a delight. That doesn’t mean our flesh will always like it, but our hearts will desire to please Him.

 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (Jn. 14.15).

But part of loving God is loving others.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 Jn. 4.20).

A good way to examine how well we are loving others is to study and meditate on 1 Corinthians 13.4-7 and ask, “How am I doing in each of these areas (remember our standard is Christ, not how we’re doing compared to someone else)?”

If you’re struggling in some relationship, it may be helpful to be specific. How did I do today or yesterday? How am I doing with my spouse, my children, my co-workers, strangers I encounter, other drivers …  Continue reading

“Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex” + LINKUP

 

Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow & Lorraine PintusWelcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus.

 

SEX … it’s everywhere! It’s in commercials, situation comedies, on billboards, even subtly injected into children’s movies.

And yet … the questions we most want to ask, we find too embarrassing, especially as Christian women.

Intimate Issues tackles that problem in an open, honest, sensitive way. Linda and Lorraine are two godly, mature Christian wives. I attended one of their conferences years ago and also had the privilege of hosting Linda in my home. She is just as real and honest in person. She loves the Lord and seeks to honor Him even in this delicate topic. I know Lorraine has the same heart.

In their own words: Continue reading

September 4 “Red hot love”

Fire flamesRed hot love? Does God really approve of a red-hot sexual relationship within the context of marriage? Judge for yourself!

Today’s Readings:
Song of Solomon 7 & 8
Psalm 104.31-35
Proverbs 24.21-22
1 Corinthians 14.1-20

Song of Solomon 7 & 8:

Red hot love

I’d like to share some of these verses from The Message to help us get a clearer picture of the imagery here. Chapter 7.1-9 contain Solomon’s description of his bride:

1-9 Shapely and graceful your sandaled feet,
and queenly your movement—
Your limbs are lithe and elegant,
the work of a master artist.
Your body is a chalice,
wine-filled.
Your skin is silken and tawny
like a field of wheat touched by the breeze.
Your breasts are like fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is carved ivory, curved and slender.
Your eyes are wells of light, deep with mystery.
Quintessentially feminine!
Your profile turns all heads,
commanding attention.
The feelings I get when I see the high mountain ranges
—stirrings of desire, longings for the heights—
Remind me of you,
and I’m spoiled for anyone else! Continue reading

September 1 “Passionate physical love” & LINKUP

Romantic coupleSolomon and his bride have a lot to teach us about God’s will for passionate physical love within marriage.

Today’s Readings:
Song of Solomon 1 & 2
Psalm 104.1-9
Proverbs 24.15-16
1 Corinthians 11.17-34

Song of Solomon 1 & 2:

God & sex

Just in case you didn’t think God sees sex as a good thing, think again. The Song of Solomon is a book about the sexual relationship between a man and a woman! It’s written in the form of Hebrew poetry, something most of us find somewhat foreign, but if we go through it prayerfully, I believe God will give us some great nuggets of truth. Truths that can open our minds, not just to God’s thoughts on sexual intimacy, but to the incredible love He has for us and the intimacy He desires with us. REMEMBER: Marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ and His church (Eph. 5.32)! So even if you’re single, the Song of Songs has much to say to you.

young kissing coupleLet’s start with 1.2:

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is better than wine.”

According to Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus in their book Intimate Issues, the word for kiss in Hebrew is onomatopoetic, that is, it sounds like what it means. They suggest we might translate this verse, “O, that he’d give me some of his smacking kisses that take my breath away.” Continue reading

Strengthening Your Marriage Audio Series

marriage

Would you like to strengthen your marriage or prepare for a strong marriage in the future?

Is there room for improvement in your communication?

Do you have trouble resolving conflict with your spouse?

Would you like clarity about the role of the husband and the wife?

Do you avoid intimacy or wish that area of life was more like you imagined?

My husband and I recently taught a marriage series called “STRENGTHENING YOUR MARRIAGE” in one of our adult Bible classes. I wanted to share the link in case you would like to listen to them.

Here is a list of the sessions:

  • God’s Design for Marriage
  • God’s Design for the Husband/the Husband’s Role
  • God’s Design for the Wife/the Wife’s Role
  • Strengthening Your Communication
  • Anger & Conflict Resolution
  • Sexual Intimacy

Class outlines are available, too.

“STRENGTHENING YOUR MARRIAGE” audios & notes

May God strengthen your marriage or prepare you for your future one.

In Him,
Donna

Linking up with:

Christian Mommy Blogger and these other these blogsites.