Bear with Me Please

There is something that every time I hear it, my heart groans. I believe when it is said, it is meant for good, but it still troubles me. What is it? 

When something happens for good and a person wants to give God the credit, he says it was a “God thing.” You might scratch your head and wonder how that could ever trouble me. Well, my God is holy and righteous. He is the Almighty God of the universe. If mankind were to see Him, we would die because of how holy God is. 

Yet, when people use the above expression, it brings God’s name down to something common. There is no reverence, awe, or respect. The Jews didn’t even say God’s name because it was so holy. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance expands on the word “vain” to include these words: emptiness, nothingness, and vanity emptiness of speech.  

May we give God proper respect and glory. He is worthy of our praise. “Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you” (Leviticus 22:32).

Posted in: Seriously

Which One Are You?

When you have a discussion with a Brother at church, what generally do you talk about? Is it the weather, sports, activities, or the things of the Lord? Is your conversation empty or edifying? “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19).

Here Is a Warning

Warning labels began being applied to poison substances in the mid 1800’s and without doubt have saved many lives. Ingesting harmful substances can cause longterm health repercussions and even prove deadly. We knew a family whose son had his throat seriously burned by drinking out of a cup that appeared clean but once had lye in it. It was a rough road for him for a long time. 

My Brothers, none will argue that ingesting sewage is harmful, and there’s been no argument to my warning regarding moral sewage in previous Seriously articles. What your eyes, the windows to your soul, dine on have great impact on your soul and resulting spiritual walk. 

Don’t you wonder how many dads have a poor relationship with the Lord due to their optical “malnutrition.” They have never experienced a close “sweet” walk with the Savior. They haven’t hungered and feasted on His Word because their appetite is poisoned. Sadly, they don’t even know what they are missing. 

“The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:34-35).

“Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

Learn of God

Do you ever struggle with fear, worry, or anxiety? When that is a part of our lives, then we lack rest and peace in our souls. We might want to have a quiet heart, but the worry ends up consuming our thoughts. Because worry seems to be something we regularly, or even often, deal with, I address it from time to time in Mom’s Corners. Usually, the theme of those articles is taking our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) by using Scripture to help us think truth.

Did you know that God has given us another solution to this problem? Actually, this is a solution to anything that causes unrest in our hearts such as anger, discouragement, or self-pity.

The Biblical Basis

Look at these passages:

Matthew 11:28-29: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

2 Peter 1:2-3: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

Here we see two amazing things about quietness for our souls. First Matthew 11 tells us that when we learn of Christ, we find rest for our souls. Secondly, in 2 Peter, it says that grace and peace are not just given to us, but it is multiplied through the knowledge of God and of Jesus.

Not About Me!

Overcoming worry, or anything claiming our peace, isn’t about me, but it is about God, the One Who is peace and gives us peace. We are to know Him more and better if we want rest for our souls. Have you ever embarked on a path of learning more of Christ?

For most of my life in my personal Bible time, I focused on trying to get something from the Word, something that was for me to help me. If I was discouraged, I looked for verses in what I read that day that would encourage my heart. If I was dealing with frustration or anger, I tried to find something that addressed that. If I didn’t have anything specific, I would read the chapters where I was and ask God to show me verses that were needful in my life.

How Does It Work?

In Jim Berg’s book, God Is More Than Enough, he teaches this biblical path to quieting a noisy soul that focuses on learning about God. Reading that book, I got excited to begin asking the question in my Bible reading time: What does this teach about God?

How does learning about God quiet our souls? There is always a truth about God and Who He is that relates to what is creating unrest in our hearts. It might be His sovereignty, His mercy, His love, His faithfulness, His grace, or another of the multitude of His wonderful qualities. We take what we know of God, through His Word, and we choose to believe that what we have learned of Him is true. Our souls can rest, as Jim Berg says, because of those stabilizing truths.

Of course, we learn about God in our Sunday School classes, preaching services in church and other preaching we listen to, and Bible studies we attend. There are two great Christian classics on this topic: Attributes of God by J. I. Packer and The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer.

May I encourage you to learn more about God in your personal Bible time? And if you aren’t in the Word each day, may I encourage you of the necessity of that in your life?

Teri Maxwell 

Posted in: Mom's Corner

Sewage Faucet

Paul begins Colossians 3:1 with the phrase, “If ye then be risen with Christ” is another way of saying, if you are saved, because what was to follow wouldn’t apply to those who are hell-bound (John 3:36). Then he continues, “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). The lost care nothing for heaven, because they are consumed with the world. The world is their life and what they love. 

That is not to be the case for someone who has been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. His eternal home is not earth, but heaven, where our Lord Jesus is. 

John admonishes similarly in 1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” We draw near to what we love because it has our thoughts and focus.

The networks can’t tell you how to think, but they tell you what to think about, because whatever they stream, you fill your mind with.    

A dad’s response following last weeks’ Seriously. 

“Yes!  Well said. I fully agree. If you recall, I work as a psychiatrist.  One of my most common non-pharmacologic prescriptions for people I treat is, “stop watching the news all day.”  It makes one depressed and anxious.  I usually tell them to set a limit of 10-20 minutes per day, then turn it off.  But really, never turning it on in the first place would be even better. Thank you for pointing out this truth from God’s Word!”