“Modesty & Discretion: Does God care how we dress & speak?” March 11

 

Modesty & Discretion: Does God care how we dress & speak? - What does God value in a woman? Does He care about modesty and discretion? About how we dress or talk? Does the Bible have anything to say about these things? Check out our proverbs reading to learn more.What does God value in a woman? Does He care about modesty and discretion? About how we dress or talk? Does the Bible have anything to say about these things? Check out our proverbs reading to learn more.

 

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 19 & 20
Psalm 33.1-9
Proverbs 11.22-24
Mark 12.1-27

 

Modesty & Discretion: Does God care how we dress & speak?

 

Proverbs 11.22-24:

To the Ladies:

 

What does our clothing and behavior say about us? Is clothing merely a fashion statement? Is it our right to dress any way we choose? Is off color language simply part of life in the business world? Does the Bible have anything to say about these things and other ways that we relate to those around us?

It turns out God has a great deal to say about these things. Verse 22 in today’s reading for starters.

“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.”

A beautiful woman without discretion—a woman without modesty, wisdom and grace—is compared to a pig!

A pig is an animal who roots around in garbage, an animal that you can clean up, but who will go right back to the pig sty! The beauty of a woman without discretion is like a jewel put in the nose of an animal that pokes around in the slop!

Ladies, why do we stand around and listen to dirty jokes, or laugh at them, or … tell them? Why do we reveal parts of our bodies that should be reserved for our husbands or future husbands—by wearing things that are too low, too short or too tight? And why do we allow our daughters to dress that way?

Why do we allow gossip and criticism and unwholesome things to come out of our mouths? Why do we watch TV shows and movies and read books that fill our minds with things contrary to the Word and make us look like the rest of the world?

The Bible doesn’t give us rules and regulations about the length of our skirts or the style of our clothes and I don’t want to either. And we need to be extremely careful about becoming self-righteous in this area, especially when it comes to visitors to our churches or with new believers. But as we grow in Christ we should be more sensitive to these issues and more aware of the heart attitudes behind them.

When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus said in short, love God and love others (Matt. 22.37-40). Our behavior has an effect on others: on our brothers in Christ, on our sisters in Christ who are their wives, on those who look to us as an example, and to the world who is watching to see if there is really anything different about us.

More than once, I’ve heard women say, “I like to dress this way. If men look at me, that’s their problem.” Certainly, men are responsible for what they do with their eyes, but we are also responsible if we’re a stumbling block.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (1 Thess. 4.3-7).

One definition of defraud is to offer something for sale that you don’t intend to provide.

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Eph. 5.3-4)

Instead, may the Lord help us to be the women Peter talked about:

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3.3-4).

 

A Note to the Men:

 

Men, I pray that you will become the kind of men who value what God values in a woman, rather than the world. Too many men value the wrong things. Sadly, I’ve even seen men with 1 Peter 3.3-4 wives who were demanding they become Proverbs 11.22 women!

 

TODAY’S OTHER READINGS:

 

Numbers 19 & 20:

Whining, Murmuring, & Complaining

 

Almost 40 years had passed since the Israelites were brought out of Egypt. Most of the adults had died just as God said they would. They did not enter the Promised Land because they listened to the evil report of the ten spies instead of trusting God. Now there was a new generation murmuring against God. They seem to have learned more from their parents’ example than from their parents’ fate!

What are your children learning from you? Do you tell them not to “whine and complain” while you “whine and complain” about your spouse, your boss, your government (this one hits pretty close to home for me), your mother-in-law or whatever?

This is one way the sins of the fathers and mothers are visited on the children Continue reading

“When You’re Whining” February 2

 

grumbling and complainingI hope I’m not the only one who falls so easily into the trap of grumbling and complaining. After all, it seems like such a little thing! Yet, in reality, we’re not just complaining about our circumstances or other people, but against our Sovereign God. We’re called to shine the light into a dark world, but it’s hard to be shining when you’re whining!

 

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 15 & 16
Psalm 18.20-27
Proverbs 6.12-15
Matthew 21.23-46

 

When You’re Whining

 

Exodus 15 & 16:

Grumbling & Complaining

 

The children of Israel had just watched God deliver them in a powerful way. He had parted the Red Sea and allowed them to cross over on dry land and then completely destroyed their enemies. What a celebration that must have been! God had gloriously and miraculously delivered the Israelites from the powerful armies of Egypt, a world power at that time. There was singing and dancing. The whole congregation glorifying God!

But then … three days later … three days! Their concern over their physical needs caused them to grumble against Moses. The text in verse 25 of chapter 15 says that God was testing them.

Again God worked miraculously by making the water drinkable. In fact, He did exceeding abundantly above all they could ask or think, as He so often does for us (Eph. 3:20), by leading them to Elim where there were “twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees” (15.27).

Then a few verses and a month later we read:

“Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, ‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger’ ” (16:2-3).

Again it was all about physical needs.

From our vantage point, it seems so foolish of them, after all God had done, to so quickly throw aside their trust in Him. But … before we get too critical, what about us? Continue reading

“Are you whining or shining?” September 13

 

are you whining

We’re called to be different! But when it comes to how you respond to circumstances, tests, trials, the state of our nation, economy or politics … are you whining or shining? And why does it matter?

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 17 & 18
Psalm 106.32-39
Proverbs 25.11-12
2 Corinthians 5.1-21

 

Are you whining or shining?

 

Isaiah 17 & 18:

A Remnant … Whining or Shining?

 

In these chapters God through the prophet continues to warn of coming judgments, but reminds them there will always be a faithful remnant (18.6).

As we see what’s happening here in our nation, we cannot give up or lose hope. We must realize that it’s our calling to be part of His faithful remnant. We are to be salt and light.

Philippians 2.14-15 says we are to:

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that [we] may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world” (emp. added).

How’s your light? Is it bright and clear? Is it dim and hidden by junk (sin or the cares of this world)? Or do you just whine and complain like everyone else?

If we are going to give hope to a lost and dying world, even in the midst of discouraging political seasons and other setbacks, we must point to the only source of real hope. Our hope cannot be in the candidate of our choice, the hope that our nation will wake up and turn back to God, or any other person or event.

The fact is we don’t know if any of those things will happen. Our hope must be in all the truths and promises of Scripture: God’s free offer of salvation to those who will believe, His divine supports here and now to those who belong to Him, and the reality of heaven and the promise of eternal rewards. And while our saltiness may sting at times, it must be balanced with the brightness of our lives that will cause others to want what we have.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 106.32-39:

Holding Out the Light, Not Taking Part in the Darkness

 

lightbulb

As the psalmist continues to recount the history of the Israelites, he includes these verses about their involvement with pagan religions, even taking part in the most detestable practices.

Verses 35-38:

35 But they mingled with the Gentiles
And learned their works;
36 They served their idols,
Which became a snare to them.
37 They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
38 And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.

In 2 Corinthians 6.14-17 Paul said:

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God …

17 Therefore
“ Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord …”

Because we have not obeyed that command, like the ancient Israelites of Isaiah’s time, we are often more a part of our culture then we are separate from it. We are so afraid of being called “intolerant” or of being accused of being narrow minded or ignorant that we have accepted the world’s philosophy on many things or at least been intimidated into silence while unborn babies are being killed, history is rewritten, and truth becomes relative.  Continue reading

October 7 “Whine or shine?”

sunshine shineWhen faced with difficulty, do you whine or shine? You have no greater opportunity to “shine” than when you have every reason, by the world’s standards, to grumble, whine and complain!

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 65 & 66
Psalm 116.1-4
Proverbs 26.28
Philippians 2.1-30

 

Isaiah 65 & 66:

He found me!

Verse 1, “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ to a nation that was not called by My name.”

We often say, “I found God,” but the truth is, it’s always Him who “finds” us!

 

Psalm 116.1-4:

He has heard my voice

“I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD. ‘O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!’”

This is the kind of faith we should all desire, faith that will not only allow us to run the race, but to complete it, as well!

 

lies lying fingers crossedProverbs 26.28:

Light, lying and darkness

“A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”

Lies hurt people! But an outright lie is not the only way to “lie.”

When we deceive or when we twist the truth to suit our purposes or to justify our behavior or to make ourselves look good or to gain sympathy, it’s lying just as surely as if we make up a tale out of whole cloth.

And isn’t that what the devil does, he takes the truth and puts his spin on it? Just as he did with Eve, he mixes his lies with just enough truth, to make them plausible: “Did God really say, ‘don’t eat the fruit of any of the trees?’” Continue reading

September 13 “Whining or shining?”

imagesCAA3XMC3

We’re called to be different! But when it comes to how we respond to circumstances, tests, trials, or the state of our nation, economy or politics … are you whining or shining?

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 17 & 18
Psalm 106.32-39
Proverbs 25.11-12
2 Corinthians 5.1-21

Isaiah 17 & 18:

A remnant … whining or shining?

In these chapters God through the prophet continues to warn of coming judgments, but reminds them there will always be a faithful remnant (18.6).

As we see what’s happening here in our nation, we cannot give up or lose hope. We must realize that is our calling—to be part of His faithful remnant. We are to be salt and light.

Philippians 2.14-15 says we are to:

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world” (emp. added).

How’s your light? Is it bright and clear? Is it dim and hidden by junk (sin or the cares of this world)? Or do you just whine and complain like everyone else? Continue reading

August 18 “To spank or not to spank”

angry childTo spank or not to spank? What is your source of truth? That’s been the question since Genesis 3. In this case, what is your source of truth concerning child discipline?

Today’s Readings:
Job 27 & 28
Psalm 97.1-6
Proverbs 23.13-14
Romans 16.1-27

 

 

 

Job 27 & 28:

The secret things belong to the LORD

In chapter 28 Job talks about the precious things in life which men will work so hard to dig out of the earth—gold, silver, precious stones. Then in verse 12 he says:

“But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?”

The Bible teaches that the wisdom of God—that is—that measure of wisdom which He gives to men and women must be dug out, too. But there is a wisdom that remains with God.

Verse 13, “Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living.”

 

Deuteronomy 29.29 says:

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

God doesn’t always see fit to explain everything He does to us! There are things and truths and reasons which we will not know until we get to heaven, if then. But there are things that we can understand and those things are revealed to us through His Word.

Read the Bible in a YearIt’s our responsibility to read and study the Word and seek to understand. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to illumine our hearts. So if you struggle to understand something pray and ask Him to open your eyes that you might see wondrous things from His law (Ps. 119.18).

But in the end, if there is something going on in your life that you fail to understand, trust Him and remember that the secret things belong to the Lord. Continue reading