Privacy

On a regular occurrence, I have a computer notification that relates to the hot topic of my privacy. I believe we might be shocked to learn the extent of what is known about our every move and purchase. Such is life with advanced technology, GPS tracking, and cell phones. 

Frankly, those concerns seem silly in comparison to what is actually known about each of us, to include what is done in the privacy of our homes. Every word that is spoken and the thoughts we think are open before the righteous, holy God of the universe. He sees and knows everything. How many realize or even care?

Those who love Him should care. May the desire of our hearts be to please the One Who loves us and died for us. The Psalmist says it so well. “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalms 101:2-3).

Sadly, it is considered normal for Christians to be entertained and have pleasure in viewing wicked things. It could be TV, movies, or YouTube videos – often justified with “there isn’t much wicked in it” or “there is more good than bad.” It could even be the news that many men are addicted to (Not addicted? Check yourself. What happens to you emotionally if you think about not watching the news anymore?)  What is the news? It is every rotten, immoral, secret sin (newsworthy of course) brought to light for viewing pleasure under the guise that people need to know about it. Really? “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12).

Posted in: General

End of the Road

We all know it is coming sometime. “For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names” (Psalms 49:10-11). Death is sure for each of us. Some live longer than others, but there is no escaping it. There are two areas of concern at death for a husband and father, spiritual and material.

Do you know that you know if you died tonight you will go to Heaven? I can’t tell you how many I have spoken with who say they prayed a prayer, and they are counting on heaven. But when questioned about Christ in their lives, grave concern is warranted because they have no indication of spiritual life. I hope each would know that you know your faith is a living faith in Jesus and you have spiritual fruit evidenced in your life. I pray you are living for Him and serving Him. 

Additionally, husbands are responsible to provide financially for their wives and children. We are aware of several husbands who died while their children were young enough to still be in the home. Even with such tragic circumstances, greater hardship was averted because these men made financial provision for their wives for such a situation. My brothers, not only give this thought, but put action to it. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8). 

What Love

“Ahhh.” When that sound of relief comes from your lips or maybe you just feel it without the expression, what provoked that response? For me, it most often comes when I’m extremely tired and finally get to lie down to sleep. Another time for me is when sit down in my recliner in my office with my Bible on my lap to begin my early morning Bible time. That is an “ahhh” moment for me. I love my time in God’s Word and prayer. 

Recently at church, I engaged a first time visitor in a lively, happy exchange. In time we segued to where she was spiritually. I often ask people if they are regularly in the Word, to which she replied, “Everyday. I couldn’t not be in the Word. I love my Lord.” 

I realize that some people aren’t “there,” and time in the Word is a matter of disciplined obedience to read every day. If that is you, keep on with the desire to learn more about your Lord, and to understand better the enormous love He has for you, His mercy, and His grace. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). In time it will be a delight. 

Maybe you have no hunger for His Word. If so, examine yourself. Are you truly saved? The worst lie anyone can tell himself is that he is saved when he isn’t. Next, examine what you are filling your mind with. The world’s media will poison your desire to know and grow in the Lord. 

If you are like our visitor, praise the Lord . . .

“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Psalms 73:25).

What a Gift

Likely you have noticed how different people respond when they are given a gift. On one hand deep and sincere thankfulness and appreciation for the gift and thought behind it. On the other hand there may be a token or oblatory, “thank you” at best with an air of “is that the best you could do?” The response should not be our motive in giving, but it gives us pleasure to know it was appreciated.

We men who are married have been bestowed with the second greatest gift a man can receive. First, is salvation which is an unmerited act of grace by our Lord Jesus. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Next most precious gift is a wife giving herself to her husband. 

In a Biblical marriage, she is vowing to be a helpmeet, to follow and honor her husband. Do any of us deserve it? No. So how well do we express our appreciation of her as a gift? Brothers, may I encourage you to give it deep consideration. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).

All day everyday may we live out and vocalize our gratefulness to our God Who redeemed us and the wife he blessed us with. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22).

“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).

Any Problems?

When someone asks you how you are doing, often the response is predicated on the problems we are facing. No problems equals a great day. However, if you are alive, working, and interacting with others, likely you are dealing with problems of one degree or another. How do you respond? Feel sorry for yourself? Be grumpy? Go around with a sad face? Do your “best” to make others as unhappy as you are? Maybe you’ve been there and done that but are willing to try something else. 

Here are some thoughts. First, what is in your power to resolve? Whatever is, allocate time and energy and then deal with it. 

Next, consider if any of it is my fault or something I need to take responsibility for. May we be quick to ask the Lord, “Is it I?” Amazing how often we either are the problem or hold the keys to the solution. If so, we must own up to it and resolve it. 

Consider if the Lord may be chastening you (Hebrews 12:5-7). 

If not chastening, maybe God wants to use afflictions to grow you. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Seek your wife’s input. We can be blind to something she has been concerned about and praying about (Proverbs 27:6).

Sometimes what we need most is a right perspective. As children of the Lord Jesus Christ (if saved by faith in His shed blood for our sins), nothing can afflict us that He doesn’t permit. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).

Read the Psalms if you want the right perspective on suffering and resting in the tender care of the God of the universe. He is good, always good, always.