~Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Denying ourselves of ungodly things and worldly lusts is a battle indeed. The first step is to be able to recognize these things in our lives. How can one recognize them if one is knee-deep in the world? Do you remember the day when you actually heard the Holy Spirit’s convicting voice? It was there once … but has been drowned out by the world’s goodies.

I have seen what allowing the world into one’s life can do to a person. I know someone personally who use to live right. Somehow the devil has gotten compromise in this brother’s life and now he is doing things I never dreamed I’d ever see him do. He still goes to church but the sad thing is he no longer sees these compromises as sin but as his “right” and “liberty” in Christ! It grieves me to see someone use Christianity as an excuse to do whatever they want. There’s no consideration given to the weaker brother who is watching and may be encouraged to sin because of the poor testimony displayed by this person.

You can’t be around a skunk for more than just a few seconds and the smell disgusts you. You also come away feeling like you smell like a skunk, don’t you? However, the longer you’re around the stench, the less you smell it. I grew up in Northern Maine. A few times a year, we would drive to Massachusetts to visit my sister. The route my father used went right through Lincoln, Maine. We always knew when we were getting close because of the awful smell of their paper mill. This town would have been a great stopping point to eat but we never would stop there because we just could not stand the smell! As children, we would block our noses and hold our breath as we went through town, it was that bad. We actually met people who had lived there all their lives and they claimed they couldn’t smell it! It’s the same with worldliness. The longer you are exposed to it and allow it to come into your life, the more it will permeate your life and your ability to discern it will be less and less.

I find this type of worldly behavior by Christians as spiritual immaturity. They are like toddlers who keep saying, “Mine!” “Give me!” “I want!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” A friend, Lee Pierson, shared this with me. It is worth sharing here with you. I hope you are blessed by it.

Spiritual Growth Chart

Babies

Pacifier – Always needing to feel like you are eating but happy with just going through the motions and not really having to swallow anything or digest any truth. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:13)

Diaper Changes – Making messes uncontrollably that must be cleaned up by other more mature people. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Crying for attention – Crying not because of pain or hunger, cold or hot, or any other discomfort but because you want attention. Babies lie to get attention! Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

Thoughts – They know that they exist and they begin to learn. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psalms 139:23)

Toddlers

Banging Heads – They see what they want and plunge in after it but they never see any danger. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:19)

Poison – They will put anything in their mouths But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

Falls – They will walk right off of the edge or trip over the most obvious hazards. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (John 11:10)

Undisciplined – This is the age where discipline must be taught, this is where we learn what ‘no’ means. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Proverbs 13:24)

Learning – Begin to learn the first hard lessons of life usually the hard way. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psalms 25:4)

Childhood

Newness – Everything is new and must be discovered. This is where the greatest learning takes place. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Recognition – We begin to recognize what causes sickness and pain, joy and pleasure. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psalms 119:7)

Socialization – We learn to play with others and learn from someone other than our parents. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Independence – We can feed ourselves and maintain ourselves with only a little help and nudging. We begin to make decisions. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:14)

Education – The beginning of a formal education they learn the basics from adults. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:10)

Pre-Teen – Teen

Assertion – We begin to assert ourselves as individuals and demand some control over our lives. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deuteronomy 8:6)

Rebellion – We rebel against the authority of others over our life. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)

Individuality – We begin to show our individuality and uniqueness. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (1 Corinthians 12:18 )

Abilities – We now have the ability to do constructive work or to destroy the work of others. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1 Corinthians 12:17)

Pride – We gain pride thus reaching the age of accountability. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 )

Self centered – The world is there to serve us. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Philippians 2:4)

Knowledge – Begins to become knowledgeable of the deeper things of the World around them. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

Adult

Responsibility – Takes responsibility for his own actions good or bad. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1 John 2:10)

Wisdom – Understands truth and his own limitations thus reverences the Creator. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Proverbs 16:31)

Service – Works for the benefit of others and not just for self. A
nd the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2 Timothy 2:24) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2 Timothy 2:25) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)

Sacrifice – Gives of themselves for their family and the ones that they love. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Diligence – Does the routine things and the things that are expected of them. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Proverbs 22:29)

Higher Education – They can now gain that higher knowledge of the mysterious things of creation and beyond. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalms 143:10)

So, my friend, where do you find yourself in this chart? Are you as far away from the stench of worldliness or have you hung around it long enough that the “scent” is all over you? This doesn’t need to be your story. Paul said you can turn it around by living soberly, righteously, and godly. Get in the Bible, Christian. Stop quenching the Holy Spirit of God and allow Him to prick your heart and point out the areas of compromise and worldliness you to need to work. It’s never too late to turn your life around and be at peace once again. If you were to be totally honest, you cannot say that your worldly life has brought you any true peace. Won’t you turn today and serve the Lord Jesus Christ again?

~2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we buy our fruit in the grocery store, we don’t stop to think about where the fruit came from or the work it took the fruit farmer to get that fruit to us. A tree can only produce plenty of fruit – good fruit – when it is properly cared for and has all the right “ingredients.” It needs the right amount of sunshine, rain, fertilizer and pruning. A healthy tree produces a good crop of fruit.

It is the same with our Christian lives. Without the Son-shine in our lives, we cannot bear fruit. Without Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot possibly be fruitful nor can we make it without Him. Just as a tree cannot feed itself or water itself, neither can we feed ourselves spiritually without God’s word.  Without getting to know Him better through the Scriptures, we cannot grow. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5) At times we need pruning so we can be more fruitful. Pruning comes in various ways – through trials, through the word of God, and even through the preaching. A tree doesn’t have much choice but to be pruned. But we do! We don’t have to allow the Lord to prune us. Sometimes the pruning will hurt – but it does not have to if we are proactive. However, when we aren’t, we can be sure we will not grow properly. We won’t produce the fruit we could produce.

Psalm 1:2-3, But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (2) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (3)

Notice that verse 3 says that his leaf shall not wither. If I water my plants regularly, they stay looking nice. If I miss a week, however, the leaves start to droop and they “scream” for water. So should Christians scream for the living water of the word of God. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38 )

Philippians 4:7-8, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (7) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (8)

Other than your Pastor, how many Christians do you know that are truly sold out for God and consistently moving forward in their spiritual lives? How many Christians can you say are striving toward living a Godly life in every aspect of their lives? We can perfect one area, like what music we listen to, but if we leave inappropriate reading aside, we are straddling the fence. We are sitting on the fence of do-nothin’. I love that expression – my Sunday School teacher loves to use it 🙂

When you don’t move forward toward righteous living, you are making the decision to sit on the fence. Jesus said it best:

Matthew 7:13-14, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (13) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (14)

This speaks of the road to salvation, however, take notice that the believer has to enter at the straight gate and go down the narrow road. The person who sits on the fence is not in motion. The believer who enters in at the straight gate and then sits on the fence is not moving forward down the narrow road. He is sitting still and is not making any progress on his spiritual journey.

What is causing you to straddle the fence today? Is it impure thoughts? Is it covetousness? Is it what you watch on TV? Is it the music you listen to? To whatever you expose yourself, you should ask yourself if it meets with the Philippians 4:8 criteria. Any Christian who does not desire to grow spiritually needs to ask himself why he is so indifferent about his progress. Is it because the things of this world are more pleasurable than the things of God?  Is it because you would rather continue in these worldly ways?  The devil’s delights are pleasurable but only for a short time.  God’s delights are eternal!

David took leave of his walk with God and allowed himself to straddle the fence. While he sat on the fence, his eyes caused him to covet another man’s wife (Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba). He straddled that fence a little longer and the devil wreaked havoc with David’s thoughts (adultery). Next, David began thinking of ways to remove the obstacle out of his way which prevented him from fulfilling the his lust (having Uriah killed). However, after David was chastised (the death of his son) and convicted of his sin; he repented and moved forward from that point on. We don’t see any accounts of his falling deep into sin after that. Can you see what straddling the fence does? It always comes with a cost! Any time you are idle in your thoughts, you will be tempted to wander. That is why Paul exhorted us to “think on these things”!

Where is your thought life today? These types of thoughts in Philippians 4:8 are fixed on heavenly things. What are you thinking about? The latest movie out of Hollywood? The latest romance novel? What the argument was all about with your neighbor? How many minutes/hours does your mind dwell on thoughts like these – even when you’re reading that book or watching that movie. Compare it to how many minutes/hours your mind dwells on Godly things.

Paul exhorts us to think of things that are true – only God is Truth – His word is Truth. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)

Are you thinking of honest things in all areas of your life? Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)

Are you thinking of things which are just? (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13)

Are you thinking of pure things? The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psa 12:6) If your thoughts are not focused on the Word, which is pure, they will be focused on the world. The believer should be in motion on this one – he should be moving forward working toward purifying himself. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1 John 3:6)

Do you think on lovely things? Not things the world has to offer – but things that God offers. Do you think about what Heaven will be like? Do you think about God’s creation? Do you think about the message you heard on Sunday? His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Solomon 5:16) Thinking on Christ is lovely! He is altogether lovely!

What about thinking of things of good report? Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:7) A man considered for Pastor must have a good reputation so the lost don’t have reason to doubt him. Are you thinking about your reputation and keeping it honorable?

What about thinking on virtuous things? Do you think on morally good things? 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: (2 Peter 1:3) God has called us grow in this area. The more we think on morally good things, the less we’ll have time for the ungodly works of the flesh.

Do you think about praises? [To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.] I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. (Psalms 9:1) Even when you cannot think of one thing to praise God about, look at His wonderful creation and you’ll find something to praise Him for.

Why not take moral inventory of your life today. How much time do you spend in God’s holy word? How much time do you spend in prayer? How much time do you spend in church? How much time do you talk to others about the Lord? How much time to you study your Bible? Now compare it with how much time you do everything else in your life – be honest with yourself. Write it down on paper if you have to so you can see it in black and white. I beg you to do this assignment. Are you sitting on the fence of do-nothin’? This ought not be so! The path to Heaven is narrow and few are called. Why do you think this is? There is a cost to righteous living.  It requires dedication and work! We must be growing in grace – growing in the knowledge and wisdom of the Scriptures. It is in this growing process that we come down from straddling that fence and move forward in the path of righteousness. Remember, not only does the devil own the wide gate but he owns that fence of ‘do-nothin’. He loves it when the Christian is not in forward motion!

~Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Denying ourselves of ungodly things and worldly lusts is a battle indeed. The first step is to be able to recognize these things in our lives. How can one recognize them if one is knee-deep in the world? Do you remember the day when you actually heard the Holy Spirit’s convicting voice? It was there once … but has been drowned out by the world’s goodies.

I have seen what allowing the world into one’s life can do to a person. I know someone personally who use to live right. Somehow the devil has gotten compromise in this brother’s life and now he is doing things I never dreamed I’d ever see him do. He still goes to church but the sad thing is he no longer sees these compromises as sin but as his “right” and “liberty” in Christ! It grieves me to see someone use Christianity as an excuse to do whatever they want. There’s no consideration given to the weaker brother who is watching and may be encouraged to sin because of the poor testimony displayed by this person.

You can’t be around a skunk for more than just a few seconds and the smell disgusts you. You also come away feeling like you smell like a skunk, don’t you? However, the longer you’re around the stench, the less you smell it. I grew up in Northern Maine. A few times a year, we would drive to Massachusetts to visit my sister. The route my father used went right through Lincoln, Maine. We always knew when we were getting close because of the awful smell of their paper mill. This town would have been a great stopping point to eat but we never would stop there because we just could not stand the smell! As children, we would block our noses and hold our breath as we went through town, it was that bad. We actually met people who had lived there all their lives and they claimed they couldn’t smell it! It’s the same with worldliness. The longer you are exposed to it and allow it to come into your life, the more it will permeate your life and your ability to discern it will be less and less.

I find this type of worldly behavior by Christians as spiritual immaturity. They are like toddlers who keep saying, “Mine!” “Give me!” “I want!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” We had an interesting discussion on the Our Final Authority about comparing a human being’s growth from baby to adult to the spiritual life of a Christian. Thank you, Brother Lee, for sharing it with me. It is worth sharing here with you. I hope you are blessed by it.

Spiritual Growth Chart

Babies

Pacifier – Always needing to feel like you are eating but happy with just going through the motions and not really having to swallow anything or digest any truth. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:13)

Diaper Changes – Making messes uncontrollably that must be cleaned up by other more mature people. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Crying for attention – Crying not because of pain or hunger, cold or hot, or any other discomfort but because you want attention. Babies lie to get attention! Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

Thoughts – They know that they exist and they begin to learn. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psalms 139:23)

Toddlers

Banging Heads – They see what they want and plunge in after it but they never see any danger. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:19)

Poison – They will put anything in their mouths But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

Falls – They will walk right off of the edge or trip over the most obvious hazards. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (John 11:10)

Undisciplined – This is the age where discipline must be taught, this is where we learn what ‘no’ means. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Proverbs 13:24)

Learning – Begin to learn the first hard lessons of life usually the hard way. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psalms 25:4)

Childhood

Newness – Everything is new and must be discovered. This is where the greatest learning takes place. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Recognition – We begin to recognize what causes sickness and pain, joy and pleasure. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psalms 119:7)

Socialization – We learn to play with others and learn from someone other than our parents. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Independence – We can feed ourselves and maintain ourselves with only a little help and nudging. We begin to make decisions. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:14)

Education – The beginning of a formal education they learn the basics from adults. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:10)

Pre-Teen – Teen

Assertion – We begin to assert ourselves as individuals and demand some control over our lives. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deuteronomy 8:6)

Rebellion – We rebel against the authority of others over our life. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)

Individuality – We begin to show our individuality and uniqueness. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (1 Corinthians 12:18 )

Abilities – We now have the ability to do constructive work or to destroy the work of others. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1 Corinthians 12:17)

Pride – We gain pride thus reaching the age of accountability. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 )

Self centered – The world is there to serve us. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Philippians 2:4)

Knowledge – Begins to become knowledgeable of the deeper things of the World around them. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

Adult

Responsibility – Takes responsibility for his own actions good or bad. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1 John 2:10)

Wisdom – Understands truth and his own limitations thus reverences the Creator. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Proverbs 16:31)

Service – Works for the benefit of others and not just for self. A
nd the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2 Timothy 2:24) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2 Timothy 2:25) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)

Sacrifice – Gives of themselves for their family and the ones that they love. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Diligence – Does the routine things and the things that are expected of them. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Proverbs 22:29)

Higher Education – They can now gain that higher knowledge of the mysterious things of creation and beyond. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalms 143:10)

So, my friend, where do you find yourself in this chart? Are you as far away from the stench of worldliness or have you hung around it long enough that the “scent” is all over you? This doesn’t need to be your story. Paul said you can turn it around by living soberly, righteously, and godly. Get in the Bible, Christian. Stop quenching the Holy Spirit of God and allow Him to prick your heart and point out the areas of compromise and worldliness you to need to work. It’s never too late to turn your life around and be at peace once again. If you were to be totally honest, you cannot say that your worldly life has brought you any true peace. Won’t you turn today and serve the Lord Jesus Christ again?

Psalm 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

I wanted to write about how God uses the Scriptures to bring conviction against sin to us. However, as I read and re-read this verse, it became apparent to me that the Lord used the words “young man (or woman)” here. Why would God use this adjective to describe the man? He could have just used the word man. So why did God interject with the word “young”?

I’ve seen older Christians who have remained “spiritual babes” because they have not spent time in the God’s word. Taking time in the Bible is work but a blessing follows. Some of us work for a living and at the end of the pay period, we receive a check. At the end of our hard work of reading and studying, we also receive a paycheck – a spiritual paycheck. However, our paycheck is inexhaustible and lasts for eternity. Paul spoke about these spiritual babes. 1 Cor. 3:1-2, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” Paul likened the spiritual babes as carnal. They were still more concerned about the things of the flesh than spiritual things. After all, isn’t that what a human baby does? He cries and cries unto he is fed. He is only concerned about his own needs at this point. Not once does this baby consider that Mommy is really tired and could sleep an extra hour if he would just hold off! Paul used the right choice of words here, didn’t he?

As that baby gets older, he becomes a whiner so he can get what he wants. There are Christians who are whiners in every church. They don’t like the way things are going – they don’t like the color of the carpet that was chosen – they think the Pastor preaches to long and keep looking at their watches.

The more we grow in the Lord through His word, the more we become spiritual adults. We no longer have the same struggles we did as younger believers. We have put off the immature spirituality and have made way for the meat of God’s word. We’ve learned to trust more in the Lord; we’ve learned that we can never lose our salvation and we’re sure of it and can prove it from the Scriptures; we’ve learned that God is faithful and won’t abandon us; we’ve received this peace that young Christians and spiritually immature Christians can’t understand. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7)

Suffice it to say, however, that just reading the Bible is not sufficient. One has to heed its warnings, as the Psalmist continues to point out. What’s the use in reading a self-help book if you don’t apply what you’ve learned, right? Applying God’s word to our lives is the key to maturing as a believer.

I know I sound like a broken record, but God stresses over and over in His word that we need to be IN the word of God and applying it to our lives! Without it our growth is stunted spiritually. That baby would die without his Mommy feeding him, right? So will the babe in Christ stunt his growth in Christ by not opening his Bible and gleaning from its spiritual nourishment.

There’s a banquet table awaiting the believer who stops to eat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I let a stranger in my life
He filled my every need
He didn’t ask much of my time
So easy was He to please

He simply said His load was light
How true that was to be
I grew to love Him more each day
And now I am set free

I can’t explain the way I feel
This happiness inside
I want to share it with all I know
A love I just can’t hide

Why does He make me feel this way
I can’t begin to know
He says to put my trust in Him
And inside me His Spirit grows

He’ll show me what there is to life
If I just keep His Word
He’ll help me through the grief and strife
If I will make Him Lord

It’s not easy to give in to Him
To change my wicked ways
He knows this and with outstretched hands
He helps me not to stray

He asks so little in return
For all these needs I ask
Only to love and praise His Name
That’s such an easy task

Oh how happy I am I let Him in
That stranger in my life
No more darkness will I see
Just His sweet and glorious Light.

Kate Plourde

March 1981

~John 12:24-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Scientists have tried to create a seed in laboratories for years but have failed to do so. Yet, the Creator provided us with countless numbers and varieties. A seed cannot bring forth anything until it dies in the soil. That simply amazes me! Our Lord and Saviour used the seed as an example of our lives. If we could compare each kind of seed this world has to offer, we would most certainly find that each one is unique – different from the others.

Let’s just look at flowers for today’s example. I have irises in my back yard and roses in my front yard. The picture above was taken from a friend’s yard – her irises look different from mine. As well, when I inspected my roses, I discovered that each rose came from the same seed and each rose look different in appearance. Year after year, this seed produces more roses and each looks different from the ones before. Each is unique and special in its own way – in size, in variance of color, etc. To think that the seed had to die before it could produce such beauty is a wondrous thought on which to meditate.

How does my spiritual walk compare to this beautiful flower? Let’s use the iris as our analogy for today’s thoughts. Was the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ planted in good soil in my heart? Am I feeding my flower, my spiritual life, with the word of God and growing? Am I pollinating and “reproducing”? Is my spiritual walk beautiful or filled with bugs and sickness?

One can only produce a beautiful flower if the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been planted in the heart – in good soil. (Mark 4:20) The seed (the old man – Romans 6:6) has died and a new life (John 3:3, Romans 6:4) has been born. Our new life is then made public by being watered, both by baptism (Romans 6:3-6) and by the watering of the Scriptures. (Psalm 23:2) Now we have a flower that has grown from a seed and has sprouted from the ground. The beauty of this flower has not yet been revealed but with just the right amount of sun, water and good soil, this flower will grow into something beautiful.

But what about the snares in life? Flowers can lack nourishment from the soil; they can wilt from lack of water; they can die from bug infestation. I can glean so much from this analogy! It’s amazing how we can look at God’s creation and learn from Him!! I cannot grow spiritually if I do not work at it. You’ve never seen a beautiful Japanese garden that has gone untouched by human hands. It takes hours of gardening to make a garden that beautiful. It’s the same with our own spiritual walk. I cannot just absorb God’s word without opening its pages, reading them and applying what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me. (Hebrews 3:7-12) He convicts me of my sins and molds me into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

As I walk on my Christian path, I can myself from sin or I can succumb to temptation or I can resist it. Any good gardener will tell you that pests that are allowed into the garden will destroy the gardener’s hard work. He must use pesticides or natural predators to eliminate the problem. We can only resist temptation if we keep ourselves in God’s word. (1 Corinthians 10:13) I find that I am at my weakest spiritual state when I am not armed with the power of God to resist temptation. (Ephesians 6:10-17) It is not my power, but God’s power that helps us resist sin. My power, my flesh, is weak (Romans 7:18) and in it lies no good thing. Yielding myself to the Lord gives me His power to resist the bugs, the sins of life.

Although I may fall into sin, my Master Gardener (Psalm 30:5) can take my tears and renew my spirit come morning! With the morning dew comes a beautiful new day which produces a beautiful flower. But this flower will be of no use if it does not affect another’s life – whether it is sharing its beauty or “pollenating”! (Romans 1:16, Proverbs 11:30)

So, dear friend, what kind of flower are you? What stage of growth are you in? It’s never too late to work on your spiritual garden!

 

There’s nothing more peaceful than a newborn baby sleeping!

Aren’t babies precious? I literally spent hours watching my sons sleeping! The love that came over me when they were born was so overwhelming. I’m sure every mother knows exactly how I feel 🙂

Our Heavenly Father uses so many examples from everyday life to teach us. Yes, even through our own children. Think with me a moment on your child’s progress. Out of the womb he came, screaming and physically shocked by the new environment. He is introduced to his mother’s breast and fed – peace and contentment soon follows 🙂 Not too long thereafter, a diaper change is in order and he communicates that need quite clearly and loudly! Isn’t it amazing how a mother learns the different sounds of her baby’s cries? A hunger cry is so much more intense and “needy”!

As I was going down memory lane this afternoon, I thanked the Lord Jesus for allowing me this amazing privilege of having two children! Before I had children, I would read Psalms 127:3-5 and it really didn’t “speak” to me as it did after I had children. I can so relate to the passion behind these words now.

~Psalms 127:3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

The joy that my sons have brought me cannot be measured. Having children is sort of like the famous statement in “A Tale of Two Cities”: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. 🙂 But best of times overwhelmed the worst of times and they have faded into a memory filled with cobwebs!

How can we add to our growth in Christ as women? The everyday tasks we are blessed with have a spiritual application – we just have to ask Him to show us. Are you a new Christian, dear lady? I think of Peter’s words:

~I Peter 2:1-3 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Just as that precious newborn baby needs nourishment from his Momma, so should we (as new Christians) desire the “sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”! A baby’s whole method of eating can be a beautiful lesson. Notice how he “roots”! For those ladies who don’t know what this is yet, rooting is when a baby is hungry, he turns his head and purses his lips in search of the mother’s breast. Do we hunger after God’s word with the same tenacity?

Once the baby finds the breast, he latches on for dear life! Any breastfeeding mother can tell you about the “intensity” of this action 🙂 Have you ever noticed the facial expressions of your baby during this process? During the whole rooting and latching on process, his face is intense. But once the milk begins to flow and he receives his nourishment, a precious, gentle, peaceful little face appears! The beautiful sounds of him cooing as he eats brings any new mother’s heart to its knees. Thank You, Lord, for this wondrous gift! Thank You, Lord, for giving me this precious life! OK, back to topic 🙂 (I tend to get carried away when I speak of my babies!) Do you search God’s word with the voracious appetite of a baby? Do you latch on to your Bible and feed yourself spiritually? Do you coo with excitement when the Lord gives you exactly what you needed that day?

Have you ever noticed that your precious little newborn actually grows and outgrows his diapers and clothes quicker than you can bat an eye?? 🙂 Are you growing as quickly, spiritually speaking? Our babies outgrow their clothing and so should we outgrow our “old” fleshly habits – the same habits Peter speaks of in verse 1 above. Once we outgrow these things, we are ready to be spiritual toddlers 🙂 We are able to eat more than just milk – we are now ready for meat!

~Isaiah 28:9-10 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

It is sad to say that some women don’t get passed that infant stage. They feed their old nature with gossip and busybody-ness, just to name a couple. Their new nature (II Corinthians 5:17) is being stunted for lack of good, solid spiritual nourishment. Notice what Isaiah says: “…whom shall he make to UNDERSTAND DOCTRINE? them that are WEANED from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” Wow – and who says one can’t learn from the experience of having a baby! Could you actually see your five-year old with a bottle and in diapers? Oyyy! So why are there so many baby Christian women who have been saved for many years? Isaiah continues to tell us that precept must be upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little.

It takes time to grow as a Christian. As we read God’s word, study it (II Timothy 2:15), and apply it to our daily lives (Isaiah 28:10), we can’t help but grow. Just as our babies can’t help but grow as we feed them properly, so will we grow. We simply can’t stay in “baby” stage as Christians. If we do not stay in the word of God, eating the spiritual “meat” He wants to give us, we will stunt our spiritual growth.

~Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Do we want to teach our children in the way of the Scriptures? Do we want to lead our children to Christ at an early age? We need to stop feeding off the milk of the word of God and start chewing on the good stuff! This is the only way we can lead our children to Christ. It’s the only way we can teach our children to make it in life as a Christian! How can a teacher teach Math if he has never learned it himself? He can’t! For our children’s sake, it’s important that we get out of spiritual diapers.

Anyone can be a mother but not everyone can be a Godly mother!

Ahhhh, I can’t help seeing myself sitting on the bench in today’s picture – just enjoying the view and breathing in that fresh air! What perfect therapy, indeed! One can have the most stressful day but once one sits on that bench, listens to the birds chirping, beholding the beauty God has provided, those stresses melt away! What a beautiful photograph! My precious friend from Northern Maine takes many of the photos I use on this blog. What an eye she has! She captures God’s beauty in such a way that one can’t help but glorify Him!

As I looked at these beautiful colors (yet another blessing from the Lord), I realized the lessons that God is waiting to teach me – right down to science! 🙂 As Winter approaches, those daylight hours become shorter and, therefore, the photosynthesis time is shortened – we all know that less photosynthesis means less green leaves. We see the results in Fall’s vibrant colors! Our Creator must love color? I know that I sure do! Between Fall colors, a colorful Monarch butterfly, and a beautiful rainbow, I’m convinced of this fact 🙂

O.K., back on track, Kate! Some of the Autumn leaves have turned brown – they are totally dead; others seem to cling to life for as long as they can, shining brilliantly in the sunlight! There’s nothing like Autumn in New England on a sunny day! The vibrancy of the colorful foliage as the sun beams down is almost blinding!

So what’s the application, you may ask? (Everything on life’s journey can have a biblical application if we look for it.) Personally, I see Autumn as a beautiful comparison to my Christian walk! What color are the leaves of my current spiritual life? I see a new Christian as buds on a tree – in the Spring of their Christian walk. As that Christian grows in the Lord, becoming more spiritually mature (leaving the milk of the word and moving on to the meat of the word – Hebrews 5:13-14), his leaves become full, moist and green! The Summer of this Christian’s life is the time of fruitfulness. The fruit grows and matures! What a lovely analogy!

Fall comes along with its gorgeous colors and its harvest – whatever we have sown as believers will now surface (II Corinthians 9:6)! Have we led another to Christ? Oh what lovely spiritual fruit that is! Do we have children? Yet another beautiful fruit! Better yet, have you led your children to Christ? 🙂 Were we a Godly wife and mother (Proverbs 31:11-31)? I’m sure that accounts for a few more beautifully colored leaves. I think you see where I am going.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; )

Now that Autumn is over, what will I take with me into the “Winter” of my spiritual life?

~Song of Solomon 2:11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

It’s too late once Winter comes.  A tree can’t say, “Wait, wait! I want to grow more leaves or bear some more fruit!” If the tree didn’t bear any fruit, it’s too late. The rains are finished and the hardness of the ground appears. Nothing grows at that point. I believe we fail to think that far ahead. We assume that we have plenty of time, but do we, really? The last thing I want is to enter Heaven with brown leaves. 🙁

It’s never too late to start working on our spiritual lives! It’s never too late to work on our colorful leaves 😉 The spiritual portrait of our life can appear dull or it can be vibrant with color.  Each lesson taught by the Lord, each moment spent in His word, creates “color”! We, too, can stand tall with the sparkling colors of spiritual growth.

~Ephesians 4:14-15 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Each moment spent at the Master’s feet is reflected in our lives! So what color leaves will we have when the Lord calls us home? Are we going to be brown like the dead leaves and have no fruit to give Him? Or, are we going to shine brilliantly in the Son’s light, reflecting the faith that has grown through the years and the souls we have touched, either through salvation or helping them to grow?

My Autumn Leaves

How colorful will my leaves be,
as I approach my Autumn days?
As stunning as the Maple tree,
or brown from my lazy ways?

Will I shimmer in the Son’s light,
or will my dullness bring Him shame?
Will I hang my head embarrassed,
as my leaves go up in flames?

My life’s Winter is drawing near;
what I’ve done is what will last.
No longer can I change those leaves
It’s too late to change the past!

Gifts of color I wish to give,
from the leaves He caused to grow.
So I may lay them at His feet,
gifts of color for my Lord!

© Kate Plourde
March 2011

Psalm 71

1 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. 2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. 3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. 4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. 5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. 6 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. 7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. 8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. 9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. 10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together, 11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. 12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. 13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. 14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. 15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. 16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. 17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. 19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! 20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. 22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

The seasons of my life are a beautiful lesson on spiritual growth. Fall is especially a pensive season with all of the colorful variations of changing trees. Today’s picture, taken in Northern Maine by my dearest friend, paints a beautiful depiction of the spiritual condition of our world.

Still mostly green, those trees represent the lost world. They are at the “prime” of their spiritually lost condition and waiting for something different. The colorful leaves are still a minority amongst the green. True Christianity is most certainly a minority in our lost world.  There are so many false religions that have led many astray.  I also see people who claim the title but their lives haven’t changed at all. They have been deceived by false doctrine and led astray.

The Word says that when one professes salvation, his life will change. If there is no change, nor a desire to change, there’s your proof.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Even amongst the changed leaves in the colorful Fall foliage, I see different shades – some colors are dull, some are vibrant. What a beautiful depiction of spiritual growth!  I’m led to ask myself, “Have the seasons in my Christian walk produced brilliant colors or dull ones”?  What does my walk have to show for those colors? Are my leaves vibrant with color for Christ or are they dull due to a lack of yielding msyelf to Him? What have I done for Christ after my salvation?

~Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

As I deny the world’s temptations and ungodliness, I am reminded that I should replace those temptations with action:  live (1) soberly, (2) righteously, and (3) godly.

So where am I in the Fall colors of my life… right now? Am I more colorful than last year? Are my colors more vibrant?  Or have I become dulled by sin?

~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As I study and read His Word, and apply it to my life, it will produce change. Application produces life-changing results! This is yielding to the Holy Spirit’s teachings! After all, He wrote the Scriptures and desires to teach me in all things.

~John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

When I yield myself to the Lord as He teaches me, I become more sanctified – more set apart for His use.  Yielding myself means that I have read His word, understood what He was trying to teach me, and applied it to my life by doing!

~2 Chronicles 30:8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

My spiritual colors become more vibrant as I submit to Him. As I renew myself daily in the Word, separating myself from the world, I will be able to recognize what is of the world and what is God’s will for me.

~Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

What are my colors like today?  Are they lost amongst the green leaves, the world?  Or do they “pop” out and show up amongst the green?  May they be a vibrant picture for You to look at, dear God!

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Noah Webster defines the word sanctify here as:

To cleanse from corruption; to purify from sin; to make holy by detaching the affections from the world and its defilements, and exalting them to a supreme love to God.

I am totally convinced that the born again Christian who keeps claiming “grace” for his continued sin struggles with this verse. How can one who continues to act like the world say he is sanctified?  Is that Christian cleansed from corruption?  Is he purified from his sins?  Is he making himself holy by detaching himself from the affections from the world and its defilements?  I’m not talking about Christ’s blood covering our sins and salvation.  I am talking about the on-going process of our spiritual walk after salvation.  God is the Potter, we are the clay.  He molds us into Christ’s image through sanctification – through our continued growing process as we read His Word.

Sanctification is a process. When we read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit wants to prick our hearts with conviction. When we respond to that conviction, we begin the process of sanctification.

Mr. Webster further defines this process of sanctification as:

The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God’s grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.

It is no wonder that today’s “church” is struggling!    They are no longer in the act of making their lives holy.  Instead, they are busy with distractions and not digging into God’s Word.  This produces a church that does not separate themselves from the world – they act like the world – they talk like the world – they dress like the world!  All because they look at God’s grace as though He looks the other way when they act like the unsaved!  Christ took His salvation to the people, yes.  He ate with them, He told them truth and He led them to truth.  He always had a purpose and that was to lead them to truth.  He didn’t compromise that truth by “acting” like them.  The world sees Christians like this and they do not desire what they have for there is no difference between the two in their eyes. The Christian’s salt has lost its flavor!

Sanctifying ourselves means that we must daily strive towards being more Christ like. Would Christ use the Lord’s name in vain? Would Christ have a cursing mouth? Would Christ gossip? Would Christ get drunk? Would Christ have a temper tantrum?  Would Christ steal?  Our lives as Christians should be an on-going process of spiritual growth.  Granted, we’re not going to be sinless – but we should sin less!!  The more we hang out with the world and act like them, our standards will lower.  How can one grow unless one sets himself apart from sin? How can one grow if one doesn’t make himself holy?  Just because we are saved does not grant us the privilege of sinning!  If this is what you are thinking, then something is not right with your spiritual walk.

Church today is big on God’s “grace” but they miss out on the half of it. They want His understanding and forgiveness but they do not want to purify themselves and alienate themselves from sin and the world. Sin brings pleasure and they are not so willing to part with it.  This is the basis of our struggling church today. Man’s heart is desperately wicked and deceitful says Jeremiah 17:9. Why would we trust our own heart to make decisions when we are not sanctifying ourselves?

Granted, our salvation is not in question here. Christ’s blood covers us and we are assured Heaven because of HIS work, not ours. However, the process of allowing the Holy Spirit to be the Potter (and we the clay) who will mold us into Christ’s image is the process of sanctification. Surely we cannot be so brazen as to think that we can be saved and yet continue to live in sin. If that is the case, we are sorely mistaken. The Word of God is a “living” Word – it cleanses and purifies! Just as water cleanses our bodies, so is God’s Word to our spirit!

~2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

We walk on dangerous grounds when we trust our own heart to lead us down the Christian path!

~Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

God wants to show us where to go and how to live. He does not want us trusting in our own thoughts and desires but in Him! He wants us to lean on His understanding, now our own. How important it is to read His Word and allow His Spirit to guide us!

~1 Thessalonians 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

How do you possess your vessel? Do you protect yourself from the temptations of this world? What are your weak areas? Do you have a pet weakness? Honor God with your actions. Honor God with your mouth. Honor God by sanctifying your life – set it apart from what the world does. Grace has nothing to do with us continuing to sin and act like the world. Grace has everything to do with salvation! Once we have received salvation, we must train ourselves to turn to God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us and sanctify us! Wake up Church!

~Psalm 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Praise the Lord that His work in the born-again believer is never finished! Daily we find ourselves tempted and daily we fail. I am so thankful that God continues to work in my life for my benefit!

~Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The Lord began a good work in me the day I was born-again! He continues to grow good works in me through His Holy Spirit’s convicting power. When I yield to His convictions, I grow spiritually. That is the reason a baby cannot be born-again at baptism as some religions claim. Babies cannot decide for themselves whether or not they will fall into sin. They are born in sin. They cannot choose to do right – not yet. That is why a child must get to the age where he knows the difference between right and wrong. At this point, he is able to understand the need for salvation.

~Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

We’ve all seen babies who cry the minute they are put down for a nap, yet the minute Momma picks the baby up, the baby stops crying. How true Psalm 58:3 is!  But can a baby repent?  Not just yet – he is totally dependent on his parents until he reaches an age where he can see for himself that he is sinning.  Once that child is born-again, then God begins that beautiful work spoken of in Philippians 1:6!

Thank you, Lord, for your continuing work in my life!

The Baptist Muse Topsites The Forums at The Baptist Muse - Independent Fundamental Baptist Articles, Downloads, Forums, Topsites, and Much More! The Fundamental Top 500 The Baptist Top 1000

This is a notice of my quest to move on
No longer to live in rooms void of light
Each brings me so much pain and remorse
I would wander inside as though it were night

The first room of choice is the darkest of all
The attic so small but filled with the old
And dust covered secret sins long forgotten
But kept just in case desires should unfold

My bedroom was next, neatly tidied within
Filled with sins of omission – all smartly hidden
From family and friends, so they could not see
The depravity and filth, neatly painted within

As I walked down the hall, the kitchen in view
Here was a hub filled with family discussions
At mealtime yet nothing really nourished within
Nothing took root, only increased frustrations

After the family room where I would kick back
To entertainment crammed with cursing and sin
My mind and my heart were hardened and blind
By the choices I made much to my shame and chagrin

The basement was last and I feared this one most
The corners were dark, filled with questions and doubt
It was here that You shined the Light of the Word
And established my heart, now I scream and I shout

I’ve been wondrously saved by the Blood of the Lamb
No longer to roam in this house, it’s now banned
To God be the Glory I now have a new home
In heaven for me and it’s called Beulah Land

Given to me by the Lord
May 4, 2006

The Baptist Muse Topsites The Forums at The Baptist Muse - Independent Fundamental Baptist Articles, Downloads, Forums, Topsites, and Much More! The Fundamental Top 500 The Baptist Top 1000