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Archive for the ‘Time to Honor’ Category

Mom’s everywhere are united by a common bond…we love to see our kids receive rewards and honors at school and one of our favorite topics of conversation is our children and how they are doing.  Our heart felt desire is to pass on to our kids the values we ourselves hold dear and some wisdom to help them grow into faithful adulthood.  And if there is anyone on earth who might care as much as we do for our kids, it would be their Grandma’s.

The Bible tells us about a Mother named Eunice and a Grandmother named Lois who I think were very much like modern day mothers and grandmothers.  They loved little Timothy and did their best to pass on to him the things that were most important in their life.  And in a letter to the adult Timothy who had been called into ministry, Paul honors their efforts. 

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and , I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (2 Timothy 1:5)

These two women are honored in the pages of God’s Word for their sincere faith they passed along to Timothy.  What a positive generational legacy that speaks to the value of training in the home and the blessings of spiritually mentoring our children.

But the whole idea of spiritual mentoring can sometimes feel overwhelming to us as mothers and grandmothers.  There are many resources available to aid us in this calling, but the most important source is our Father God Himself.  As we lean on Him daily, nurturing our own relationship with Him through study of His Word and prayer, there should be a natural overflow of spiritual mentoring to our children.  They will actually observe in our daily lives how valuable our relationship is with God and hopefully desire to have that same sincere faith. 

This summer is an excellent time to start living out our sincere faith before our children!  Let’s take advantage of every moment we have with our kids to pass along our values and our faith! 

What are some ways you plan to share “your sincere faith” with your kids this summer?  Leave a comment with any ideas that you can share with the rest of us!

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Have you ever met someone with good judgement, who makes decisions that are also the right decision?  They are discerning!

Abigail is honored in Scripture as a woman with good judgement.  Her husband, however, was named Fool…his name actually was Nabal, which apparently means “fool”, and folly was a characterization of this man’s life.  Nabal didn’t like to pay his bills and refused to pay David and his men for the protection they had offered his livestock and his servants.

Nabal’s folly now endangered his own life and that of his household, and Abigail stepped forward and intervened.  When Abigail heard about her husband’s foolishness from his servants, she decided to quickly put into action a plan that would save her household.  She gathered up peace offerings and herself played the role of peacemaker with David (eventually King David) who was on his way with murderous intentions.

Here is what David says to her when her plan succeeds:  “Praise be to the God of Israel who has sent you today to meet me.  May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed…” (I Sam. 25:32-33)

Good judgement, discernment, is a valuable gift…so how do we get some of that in our own lives?  How can we move forward in our daily decisions and challenges with the confidence of an Abigail?

It comes from the author of good judgement, the Lord God, and He tells us to seek it out.

“I am your servant; give me discernment, that I may understand your statutes.”  (Psalm 119:125)

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”  (Proverbs 18:15)

Note:  When women respond to men with concern for their needs and respect in their words and actions of communication to them God works miracles of blessing.

1 Peter 3:1 “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”

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Jochebed was an amazing woman.  She wasn’t rich.  She wasn’t a powerful influence in her land.  She wasn’t famous.  In fact, she was a slave.  What Jochabed had going for her was strength of purpose.  This brought her honor from God in Israel’s history, found in the pages of Scripture both in the Old Testament and New Testament.

The story is familiar to many of us, whether we heard it growing up in Sunday School or whether we were introduced to her through the movie from recent years.  A mother refuses to give her baby boy up to the decree of death, hiding him for three long, yet bitterly short months.  And then when hiding is no longer an option, she creatively sets up a scenario in which the Pharoah’s own daughter discovers this darling child and saves it…adopts it even.  And in the end, that child grows to be Moses, the deliverer of the Israelites from slavery.

What a story…that all begins with one woman’s strength of purpose to fear God rather than man.  To obey God’s Law even though it put her own life and those she loved at risk.

By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. (Hebrews 11:23)

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25)

How does the “fear of man” cause you to be trapped and ensnared?

In what one area of your life do you most need to follow Jochebed’s example, her strength of purpose, showing your desire to trust God rather than fear man?

Our dear Father, you know our deep desire is to please you in this particular area…but we fail, we are weak, we fall short. With Your great power,   please grant us the strength of purpose to follow through with our resolve today.  We will trust in You!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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For every woman who has a checkered past, who has “messed up” in her life at some point, Rahab shines out as a source of hope.

Rahab was a prostitute who lived in her own house of ill repute inside the city of Jericho.  When Joshua sent some Israelite spies in to check out the city, for whatever reason the spies decided they would enter her house.  That night, when word travelled all the way up to the king that these two men were in Rahab’s house, she deliberately lied that they had left, hid them for the night, and announced to them:

I know that the Lord has given this land to you…for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and earth below. (Esther 2)

A New Testament passage spells out more of what was going on deep in Rahab’s heart:

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. (Hebrews 11:31)

Honored for her faith!  Rahab is honored in Scripture for a repentant heart that turned in faith toward God.  Her very life was preserved!  And she was blessed to be placed in the lineage of  the future Messiah. (Matthew 1:5)  Rahab was running a house of prostitution, but God was still interested in using her for His plans and purposes for the people of Israel, and for the entire world.  She was a sinner, yet God welcomed her faith and placed her firmly in a place of honor.

Are there spots from your past that you still remember with a cringe?  Are you currently struggling with a sin but want to turn from it in faith?

How can we be influenced by Rahab’s story?  By stepping away from that sin we struggle with or that memory or past sin that wants to keep us captive.  We can turn towards God in faith!  He will honor our desire to please Him and to serve Him.

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Esther

In approximately 480 BC, an evil plot of genocide was laid out in the land of Persia by a political leader named Haman.  But when Haman planned on ridding his land of Jews (Esther 3:6), he didn’t factor in the courage of one Jewish woman…Esther. There is a saying that describes the story of Esther perfectly…desperate times demand desperate measures.  Her life and the life of her beloved people was at risk and Queen Esther stood in the unique  position of being able to do something about it, be it ever so desperate. But she didn’t do it alone.

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me.  Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  I and my maids will fast as you do.  When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.  And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:15,16)

Prepared by this period of fasting (which traditionally was for extended times of prayer and placing dependance on God) Esther did approach the King unbidden, he pardoned her breach in protocol (Esther 5:2), and she courageously set her plans in motion for the dramatic confrontation of Haman in the presence of the King. (Esther 7:6)  The King was enraged by Haman’s plot and instead of the Jewish people being extinguished, Haman lost his own life.

There are many stories in Scripture where the trait of courage is honored.  As we take a closer look at the pages of God’s Word, studying the story of Esther and other heroes of the faith, we see that they didn’t shine in isolation.  Their courage had a foundation of faith in God and through His strength.  In addition, as in the case of Queen Esther, God usually provides other humans to link arms with in the “battle.”

What are your battles?  Where is your challenge that requires courage? It isn’t always big things that test our character!

Courage to do what you know is right, even though it is hard.

Courage to do your best.

Courage to persevere.

Courage to step forward.

Courage to say “no.”

Courage to risk failure.

Let’s follow Esther’s lead of leaning on God as we embrace a life of courage, in the little things and in the big things of life.

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