“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

“Where is God?” August 2

 

Where is God? - Have you ever wondered "Where is God?" Why doesn't He seem to be answering my prayers? Why is he allowing this?Have you ever wondered “Where is God?” Why doesn’t He seem to be answering my prayers? Why is he allowing this?

Also, what does it mean that God “remembers our sins no more”? Does it means He forgets? Do we have to forget in order to forgive others of sins against us?

 

Today’s Readings:
Esther 5 & 6
Psalm 90.1-6
Proverbs 22.9
Romans 4.1-25

Where is God?

 

Esther 5 & 6:

The God Who is Always at Work on Behalf of His People

 

God is always at work, on behalf of His people, even when we can’t see what He is doing. In the book of Esther, there is no prophet, no direct words from God. God’s activities are not, at first, apparent.

But He causes a pagan king to suffer a sleepless night and to ask his servant to read to him—from a government record. What an unlikely “bedtime story.” Then God has the reader go to something that happened five years previously, concerning one of His servants, Mordecai, and his loyalty to the King! As you will remember from yesterday’s reading, Mordecai is in wicked Haman’s crosshairs.

When the king realized Mordecai had never been rewarded for his actions, he decided to reward him (better late than never) and used his enemy, Haman, to do it. Haman was mortified and, probably, terrified about this turn of events!

Even his wife, who had encouraged him to build a gallows on which to hang Mordecai, said, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.”

To be continued in tomorrow’s reading …

As you read today’s and tomorrow’s readings in Esther, ask God to show you how He’s working behind the scenes in your life, even in those things which are painful and difficult, when you’re tempted to ask, “Where is God?” Meditate on Romans 8.28-29 and ask yourself: 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

“Gift-Wrapped by God: Why Wait?” + LINKUP

 

Gift Wrapped by God + LINKUPWelcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I’ll feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Gift-Wrapped by God: Secret Answers to the Question “Why Wait?” by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus.

I’m out of town because of a death in the family, so I’m going to let Linda and Lorraine speak for themselves. From their introduction:

This book is about God’s plan for sexual purity and His heart for you, His daughter. It’s the book we wish we’d had when we were single, because we believe it would have saved us much heartache.

As you read, may your eyes be lifted to the beauty of God’s Gift of sex. May you discover emotional and spiritual reasons why sex is worth the wait. If you have already given away the Gift, may you receive hope of a new beginning sexually.

Thousands of women have shared with us their deep regret concerning their wrong sexual choices. Repeatedly we hear, “I wish someone had told me to say no, told me why to say no, and helped me develop my own plan to say no.” We pray that Gift-Wrapped by God will do this for you.

Continue reading

January 29 “Sleeping with frogs”

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?

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

Exodus 7 & 8:

When we harden our hearts

Have you thought about the statement where God says He will harden Pharaoh’s heart? At first glance, that might seem a little unfair! I mean, 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 in Scripture.

Remember that Pharaoh had already hardened his own heart. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He told Moses that He had heard the cries of his people in Egypt, 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 can 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. Continue reading