Jul 5, 2013 - Hearing From God    3 Comments

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES PART II

If you missed Part I, check out my previous post to get the background on the story of my daughter and her new Kindle Fire.

Part II
Interestingly enough my daughter’s praise, though humbling, was easy for us to receive. But what would our reactions be if she had praised the manufacture of the Kindle over us? This was the case with Jesus when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did and the children in the temple were crying,“Praise God for the Son of David.” The chief priests and scribes were sorely displeased and said unto Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, Have you never read the Scriptures? For they say, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?” Matthew 21:15-16.

If you ask me, these children displayed more wisdom and zeal for The Lord then the chief priests and scribes. My daughters Emma Grace and Ella Louise are a constant reminders of what it’s like to possess a childlike zeal. Watching my girls explore on their Kindles with such excitement brought joy to my heart and their zeal brought me back to my own fond childhood memories. I never gave it any thought that some day I would be watching my own children creating their own memories.

A child’s zeal can be contagious if you take the time to view things from their perspective. However, zeal without imageknowledge is a very dangerous thing. Zeal without knowledge can cloud all rational reasoning. The Apostle Paul in Romans 10:2 shared this about the Jewish people to Christians living in Rome: “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”

This was the case when Jesus had come into the city of Jerusalem. Matthew 21:12-14 The people were filled with zeal and very curious about Jesus; talking amongst themselves and saying, “Who is this?” And the multitude said, “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” Jesus went into the temple and saw the people buying and selling and exchanging money. Jesus over turned their tables and drove them out of the temple saying, “My house shall be called a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves”. At first glance, one might think Jesus actions we’re violent. But it wasn’t until He threw them out of the temple, that the blind and lame came and were healed. Jesus’s actions transformed mans’ selfish acts of buying and selling into what God had intended His house to be: a house of prayer, a place of healing, praise, and worshiping. We see again the pitfalls of zeal without knowledge.

If we don’t fully understand the purpose of something it will become easy for us to misuse it. Jesus knew that the zeal of childlike faith produced determination. Children don’t possess the suspicions adults have. Adults would do well to possess the trust and humility of a child concerning Jesus. These are traits that every believer should aspire to have. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In this verse Jesus wanted His disciples to take on a childlike humility because in the verses prior to this His disciples wanted to know who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. A proud spirit will kill one’s zeal for The Lord and bring about a false worship!

My little girls are a constant reminder to me of what it’s like to have zeal and to remain humble. The next time you enter the House Of Worship, do it with the heart of a little child. Come with zeal having the knowledge of what Jesus can and will do. Come humbly, expecting the needs of others and yours to be met by a merciful God.

Jul 3, 2013 - Family Matters    8 Comments

FROM OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES

Wade Girls

This week I have such a wonderful insight into God’s word to share, I’ll be sharing it in two posts.

PART I

Even as I write this my eyes want to tear up, but I must share this precious story.

Here’s the background …
My wife and I purchased two Kindles Fires for our daughters, Emma Grace and Ella, as gifts for them to enjoy while we travel on business during the summer. I know what you’re thinking – Kindles for an eight and six year old, really! Are you serious?

We thought that too; especially since the girls’ behavior can be a tad challenging not to mention the drama! But we had hoped the Kindles would “light a fire under them” when it came to practicing their school work all summer long. Our plan was for them to earn playtime on it once they had done their school work.

We arrived in Columbus, OH on our first business trip and I couldn’t wait to give them “their surprise.” My wife wanted to talk to them about it first but I just couldn’t wait. So while at the hotel breakfast on the first day, when my wife was working, I broke out the Kindles. The girls were beside themselves with excitement.

Out of the mouths of babes …
While walking around the Easton Shopping Area in Columbus, Ohio my wife,Amy, told me about a conversation she had with our eight year old daughter, Emma Grace. Amy said she had been so impressed with how Emma Grace had been behaving that she had to ask Emma Grace what was so different. Here’s what Emma Grace said:
When daddy first brought out the Kindle I thought it was for me and Ella to share so I was glad about the Kindle but not so glad about having to share it with Ella. Then, I saw him bring out a second one. When he handed it to me I just couldn’t believe you guys got me a Kindle … MY OWN Kindle! And I kept thinking about it, how I didn’t deserve it, but you still bought it for me … I just had to change my behavior … I wanted to change my behavior. I mean you got me MY OWN Kindle!

We thought Emma Grace might shape up her behavior to “earn” time on the Kindle. It never occurred to us that she would change her behavior simply because she reflected on how good it is to receive something you don’t deserve.

Jesus showed us once again, first hand, how His mercies are fresh every morning. And, the praises of His mercies can come from a babe like my eldest daughter. How perfect for us to see through the eyes of of a babe, Jesus’s love towards the undeserving. God did the same thing in that He gave the world what it did not deserve; His only Son Jesus. God’s word says, God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

All to often we have ears but do not hear and eyes but do not see. My little Emma Grace chose to see that day. And by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit she realized her need and had a desire to make a change in her behavior. Maybe she did the math and realized that more often then not she received far more then she ever deserves. The fact is, what she said moved her parents to once again see The Lord moving in their midst.

Look for PART II of Out of the Mouth of Babes on Friday …

Jun 27, 2013 - Hearing From God    12 Comments

THE MERCIES OF THE LORD ARE FRESH EACH MORNING.

Most recently I have been meditating on chapter three of the Book of Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. 22 It is of The Lord’s mercies that we are not  consumed, because His compassions fail not.

IF NOT FOR GOD’S MERCIES I WOULD HAVE PERISHED.

They that lose hope feel and believe that they are a failure.  Hopeless people believe that they have let themselves and others down.  Their loss of hope clouds all reasonable thinking; the smallest of issues can become as heavy as a ball of steel.  Like a recking  ball, it pounds and destroys anything in it’s path.  Hopelessness starts out small in size and in weight, but if not dealt with in a timely fashion it will grow out of control.   Like a recking ball hopelessness picks up momentum as it travels.

Perhaps you have experienced what I have just described or maybe someone you know is currently experiencing hopelessness.  If we place our hope and trust in ourselves, people, places or things; sooner or later we will come under the yoke of hopelessness.  The prophet Jeremiah experienced this first hand as he looked down on the destruction of Israel from a hill top.  Jeremiah realized and meditated on the mercies of The Lord and how they are fresh every morning.  We would all do well to have Jeremiah’s perspective on the mercies of The Lord.

When was the last time you meditated on the tender mercies that you have received from the  Lord? And what did you do to deserve God’s mercies?  The funny thing about mercy is when we’ve been wronged we want and often demand justice. But when we’ve wronged others and face dire consequences we want mercy.  This very dilemma caused Jeremiah to reflect on the mercies of The Lord.  They are fresh every morning and without them we would all perish.

In our darkest despair there is always hope if we trust in The Lord. God’s help is not dependent on how righteous we are but how repenting our heart is. Are we willing to confess our sin and seek God’s help to turn from sin? It’s foolish to think you or I can muster or even muscle up enough strength to stand under the weakest of trials. “Let us lay aside every weight and sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

Have you ever seen God work out a trial for your good?

As bad as things are, having the knowledge that they could be a whole lot worse if not for the mercies and grace of God, is a real eye opener. This is how it was for the prophet Jeremiah when he wrote Lamentations. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “They that wait upon The Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings of eagles.” Isaiah 40:31

We would do well to know the true nature of ourselves and how satan works against us and that our hope should always be in Christ Jesus, not people, places or things. Through the ages men and women have placed their hope in these and have been sorely disappointed. They have idolized places of worship, more then the creator. They have worshiped the created things more then God and have placed their hope in possessions which could not save them from their calamities. God’s compassion fails not; His mercies are fresh each morning.