Do Not Misunderstand God’s Discipline

Good morning, Lovelies!
I trust your week is going well and you’re enjoying the month of June.
Life has been rather busy as of late and I apologize for not writing a post two weeks ago.
Time got away from me and it just slipped my mind.

Proverbs 3 is the Scripture for this month and as I read the entire chapter
I was greatly enriched by the words.
This chapter is so full of wisdom that it can easily be read over and over
and each time something can be learned from it.

I was drawn to verses 11 - 12 which say,

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD;
neither be weary of his correction:

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth;
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

We need to appreciate the Lord and not misunderstand His discipline.

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I looked up Proverbs 3:11 - 12 in the Bible Knowledge Commentary and here is what it said. . .

The God who can be trusted to smooth out obstacles and bring one to his appointed goal (vv. 5-6)
and to supply one’s material needs (vv. 9-10)
demonstrates His love by discipline. 

The warning to the son is two-fold: do not despise (“reject or take lightly”)
the Lord’s discipline and do not resent (“loathe or abhor”) His rebuke. “

And ye have forgotten the exhortation
which speaketh unto you as unto children,
My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, 

nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth,
every son whom he receiveth.
~ Hebrews 12:5 - 6 ~

Physical punishment and verbal correction are hard to accept
but they demonstrate God’s loving concern.
The same is true of a parent’s discipline of his children.
Loathing such discipline - thinking that God disciplines because He enjoys causing pain -
over-looks the benefits that come from such correction.

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:
therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.

~ Job 5:17 ~

I do not write these words to “bash” anyone on the head,
but to remind us that God loves us and desires the very best for His children.
And sometimes the very best might come with chastening. . .but He does it in and through His love.

Have a beautiful week, dear friends!

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Be Ready!

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
- Romans 13:14

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Ye are all the children of light, and the children of day:
we are not of the night, nor of the darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others;
but let us watch and be sober.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 6

The word sober in verse 6 means living with our eyes opened.
The Lord’s return is coming someday, my friends, are we ready?

But let us, who are of the day, be sober,
putting on the breastplate of faith and love;
and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation
by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together with him.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:8 - 10

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We do not want to be found dressed in dirty garments when the Lord Jesus returns.
As a follower of Jesus, we are privileged to wear the armor of light,
not the deeds of darkness.
We have absolutely NO reason to get involved in the pleasures of the world.

And now, little children, abide in him;
that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence,
and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
that we should be called the sons of God:
therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.
- 1 John 2:28, 3:1 - 2

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But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
- Romans 13:14

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ means to become more and more like Him,
to receive by faith all that He is for our daily living.
What are we eating? We grow on what we eat
so that is why God warns us not to make provisions for the flesh.

If we feed the flesh, we will fail,
but if we feed the inner man the nourishing things of the Spirit,
we will succeed.
- Wiersbe Commentary

Blessings to each one of you!

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Loving God’s People

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren,
see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
1 Peter 1:22

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As believers in Jesus Christ we ought to be walking in harmony and holiness, 
and yet we often struggle with our relationships with one another - we struggle with showing love.
Unfortunately, we don’t always get along with everyone,
but from God’s divine point of view there is only one body.

There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all,
through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:4 - 6

. . . unto unfeigned love of the brethren.

We should not attempt to “manufacture” love,
but the the love we share with each other must be generated by the Holy Spirit.
This is not only a spiritual love, but a sincere and fervent love.
We must strive with all of our energy to bestow love unto the brethren.
We show love to others when we treat them the same way God treats us.
It is not a matter of feeling but of willing, and this is something we must constantly work at
if we are to succeed.

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. . . see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.

pure heart ought to be in each one of us
and it should encourage us to build and maintain unity among God’s precious people.

St. Augustine said it perfectly,
In essentials, unity.
In nonessentials, liberty.

In all things, charity.

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May your week be blessed, dear friends!

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God’s Refining Fire

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O Lord, we pray “Thy will be done” or “Master, here am I.”
We pray You’d do a mighty work that to the flesh we’d die.
And when the answer comes to us in form of trial and test,
We fail to see Your loving hand, refining fire is best.

That I may stand when You appear, abide till Your return.
O place the fire perfectly that all the dross be burned.
Whether furnace of affliction, Lord, or unfulfilled desire,.
Bring forth a vessel pure and tried by Your refining fire.

Chorus
God’s refining fire, God’s refining fire.
May it purge me now and make of me what You require.
O Lord, feed the fire, Your refining fire.
Now as gold and silver must be tried, Lord, may my heart be purified.
Lord, send Your great refining fire.
~ Mac Lynch ~

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Trials meet needs. . . 

Trials can discipline us when we have disobeyed God’s will
and at other times , trials prepare us for spiritual growth.
We may not always know the need being met, but we can trust God to know what is best.

Trials are varied. . .

No matter what “color” our day may be - a “blue” Monday or a “gray” Tuesday -
God has grace sufficient to meet the need.
We must not think that because we have overcome one kind of trial
that we will automatically “win them all.”
Trials are varied, and God matches the trial to our strengths and needs.

Trials are not easy. . .

Peter did not suggest that we take a careless attitude toward trials,
because this would be deceitful.
Trials produce what he called “heaviness.”
The word means “to experience grief or pain.”
There will be difficult trials in life, something we must accept as a believer.

Trials are controlled by God. . .

They do not last forever; they are “for a season.”
When God permits His children to go through the furnace,
He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.
When we submit to Him, He does not allow us to suffer one minute too long.

Our trying experiences today are preparing us for glory tomorrow.

Just as the assayer tests the gold to see if it is pure gold or counterfeit,
so the trials of life test our faith to prove its sincerity.

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The patriarch Job went through many painful trials, all of them with God’s approval;
and yet he understood somewhat of this truth about the refiner’s fire.
~ Wiersbe Commentary ~

But he knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
Job 23:10

We are born for glory, kept for glory, and being prepared for glory.

May we come forth as gold, dear friends!

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It Is Well With My Soul

This heart-stirring hymn has been my ultimate favorite song throughout the years.
The story behind these words is incredibly saddening,
but also very empowering to read of the strength of the Spafford family.

This hymn was written after many traumatic events in Spafford’s life.
The first was the death of his son at the age of four by scarlet fever.
Shortly after that the Great Chicago Fire took place and ruined him financially-
he had been a very successful lawyer.

Then in 1873 Horatio Spafford planned on traveling to Europe
with his family aboard the SS’Ville du Havre’,
but sent his family ahead since he was delayed by business.

While crossing the Atlantic, the ship that his family was on sank rapidly
after a collision with a sea vessel called the ‘Loch Earn’.
All four of Spafford’s daughters perished while his wife, Anna,
was saved by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious  body and propped her up.
She sent Horatio the now famous telegram, “Saved alone. . .”

Shortly afterwards, Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to meet his grieving wife.
During his voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge.
A careful reckoning has been made,” he said,
“and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked.
The water is three miles deep.”
Horatio Spafford then returned to his cabin and was inspired to write the lyrics of his great hymn.

It would be extremely difficult to predict how we would react under circumstances
similar to those experienced by Horatio and his wife,
but we do know that the God who sustained them would be with us
and keep us in the palm of His hand.
The trials Horatio and Anna endured only made them stronger in their faith
and their character steady.

No matter what difficulties overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford. . .

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IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll -
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Tho Satan should buffet. tho trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin - O the bliss of this glorious tho’t -
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll:
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
“Even so” - it is well with my soul.

Chorus
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul),
IT IS WELL, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.

Horatio G. Spafford
1828 - 1888

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A special thanks for the kind birthday wishes - you ladies blessed my heart
and made my birthday even more special :)

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Jesus Christ, The Living Water

“And he that sat upon the throne said,
Behold, I make all things new.
And he said unto me,
Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me,
It is finished.
I am Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end.
I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”
~ Revelation 21:5-6 ~

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The dramatic change to the new order is expressed in the words,
I am making everything new!
This revelation is trustworthy and true.
The One bringing about this great change is Christ,
the One who calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega,
the first and the last.

Those who are thirsty are promised that they will be able
to drink without cost from the spring of water of life.
Apparently this refers not to physical thirst but to a desire for spiritual blessings.
~ Bible Knowledge Commentary ~

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Jesus answered and said unto her,
If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee,
Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him,
and he would have given thee living water.
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water
springing up into everlasting life.
~ John 4:10, 14 ~

What is this “Living water?”
In one sense it is running water,
but in another sense it is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit who brings salvation
to any person who believes 

in what He has to offer.

Jesus Christ does satisfy with the Living water
and He gives life!
He IS the Alpha and the Omega - let us not forget that!

And the Spirit and the bride say,
Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
~ Revelation 22:17 ~

May your day be beautiful and blessed!

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Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb

“Salvation’s message, ringing clear is calling sinners,
It’s word to hear;
God’s voice is calling to small and great;
‘Come to the Savior, ere its too late.’

Sinner now hasten, God’s Word believe, come to the Savior,
New life to receive;

Your sin He’ll pardon, and set you free,
Jesus is longing your Lord to be.

Christ the dear Savior, offers His love, and He will give you,
Grace from above;
He died on Calv’ry, sin to atone, do not reject Him,
Make Him your own.

Gladness in sorrow, peace in great strife, calmness in death
And joy in this life;
A home in heaven where all is bliss, all this He’ll give you,
If you’ll be His.”
~ Wm. Skooglund ~

The Lord’s desire for each one of us is to have a personal relationship with Him,
to put our faith in Him so that we might have eternal life.
Jesus Christ told Nicodemus in John chapter 3 verse 3  that,
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

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And in Titus 3:5 it says,
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

It is through the shed blood of our Savior that we are able to have life everlasting.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.”
~ John 3:16 ~

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I don’t know about you, but when I think about the sweet salvation that Christ offers unto us
I get quite excited and often the hymn ‘Redeemed’ enters my mind
and the words begin flowing out of my mouth.

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“Redeemed - how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed thru His infinite mercy - His child, and forever, I am.

Redeemed and so happy in Jesus, no language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence with me doth continually dwell.
I think of my blessed Redeemer, I think of Him all the day long;
I sing for I cannot be silent, His love is the theme of my song.
I know I shall see in His beauty the King in whose law I delight,
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps and giveth me songs in the night.

Chorus
Redeemed, redeemed, 
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed, 
His child, and forever, I am.”
~ Fanny J. Crosby ~

Praise Jesus for His precious salvation!
Redeemed… there is nothing better than having Christ as our personal Savior!
Redeemed… I hope this song is flowing from your heart as well :)

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“In whom we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of grace.”
~ Ephesians 1:7 ~

May the Lord richly bless you, dear friends!

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Let Us Exalt His Name

“I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies.

I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord that filled the earth with food;
He formed the creatures with His word and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed where’er I turn my eye:
If  I survey the ground I tread or gaze upon the sky!

There’s not a plant or flower below but makes Thy glories known;
And clouds arise and tempests blow by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,
And everywhere that man can be, Thou God, art present there.”
~ Isaac Watts ~

As you may have already read, dear friends, Psalm 34 is this months Scripture.
All through my teen years I held Psalm 34:1-3 close to my heart…especially verse 3.

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Verse 3 excites me and reminds me that we, as believers in Jesus,
have the privilege to magnify the Lord
and we, as believers in Jesus, have the ability to exalt Him with
our mouths,
our actions,
our thoughts,
our very being!

The song I shared written by Isaac Watts can be sung or read as a prayer from the heart.
We have so much to sing about unto the Lord -
His power, His wisdom, His goodness!

How can we look at God’s creation and not have the excitement of praising Him for everything,
of magnifying His awesomeness and blessing His holy name!
It ought to immediately flow out of our lives - let us exalt His name together, sweet friends!

May you have a blessed and beautiful day!

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Joy In Jesus For He IS Joy

“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey…
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things…
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise…
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God…
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things…
I got nothing that I asked for - but everything I had hoped for;
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.”
~ An Unknown Confederate Soldier ~

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Why do we, as humans, think we have to have “things” in order to be happy and content?
There are many times I think to myself,
“If I only had this or that than my life would be complete and I would be quite content.”
And yet when I finally get that certain “thing” the joy lasts for only a little while
and then it’s on to the next “want.”
Have you ever been like that -
want something, get it, than find out is does not offer full and complete joy?

As I read the prayer of the unknown Confederate Soldier I am reminded of the joy and contentment that Jesus Christ gives
and only He can give such precious joy.

I have learned that when I am resting in the Lord and allowing the contentment of Him to wash over me
than that’s when I am truly full of His joy and at peace - content.

His Holy Word says,
“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD:
it shall rejoice in his salvation.”
~ Psalm 35:9 ~

Is there anything or anyone you would rather place your joy in than the Lord and Savior?
As I ask myself that my heart shouts out “NO” … I want only Christ
for He is the one that can fulfill my life.
Yes, there will be things and people in this life that bring us great happiness,
but only the Lord can offer joy 24/7 - He is the author of contentment.

“JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!
To many, Jesus Christ is only a grand object for a painting, a heroic theme for a pen,
a beautiful form for a statue, or a thought for a song.
But to those who have heard His voice, who have felt His pardon,
who have received His benediction,
He is music - light - joy - hope - and salvation - a Friend who never forsakes,
lifting you up when others try to put you down.
There is no name like His.
It is more inspiring than Caesar’s, more musical than Beethoven’s,
more eloquent than Demosthenes’,
more patient than Lincoln’s.
The name of Jesus throbs with all life, weeps with all pathos, groans with all pains,
stoops with all love.
I struggle for a metaphor with which to express Jesus.
He is not like the bursting forth of an orchestra.
That is too loud and it might be out of tune.
He is not like the sea when lashed by a storm, that is too boisterous.
He is not like a mountain canopied with snow, that is too solitary and remote.
He is the Lily of the Valley; the Rose of Sharon; a gale of sweet spices from Heaven.
He is our home.”
~ Source Unknown ~

There is truly no better place to find joy than in the arms of our loving Heavenly Father for He IS joy!

May you, dear friends, have a JOY-filled day :)

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Made New in the Forgiveness of Jesus

One of the most remarkable things in this life (at least to me)
is the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers to us.
Daily I am reminded that I am not even close to being perfect
and I continually make mistakes,
yet the Lord is always ready to forgive my blunders and to wash my slate clean
so that I can start new and fresh.

Have you ever struggled with a certain “sin” that seems to keep haunting you?
Have you ever confessed a certain sin, done well for a while, but then went right back to doing it?
Have you ever gone to the Lord with a particular sin and said,
“It’s me again, Lord, with the same sin seeking your forgiveness”?

I know I have!
I am the person that continues to go before the Lord asking for forgiveness for the same thing
because there are times I am not allowing the Lord to get the victory over that area in my life.

But there is hope, my dear friends!
Hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.
You see, when we confess our sin before our righteous God and are truly repentant
then He washes away that sin and makes us white as snow - we are made new and clean.

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And here is what I find so comforting and beautiful … we may struggle with that same sin,
but God will continue to forgive us when we seek Him.
And when we go before the Lord He does not see us with the same sin
asking for forgiveness for the same “issue” over and over and over,
but rather He see’s His child coming before Him with a repentant heart
seeking His precious forgiveness .

No, I am not encouraging us to accept the fact that we may struggle with a certain sin for life
and we can just expect God to always forgive us,
but rather to realize that God does not roll His eyes
or sigh in frustration when we go before Him with the same problem 7 times in a week.
Our Heavenly Father desires the very best for us and He is there by our side
waiting to help us get the victory over those pesky sins.
He is there with His arms wide open ready to offer forgiveness over and over
and however long it takes.
Oh what a loving, merciful Savior we serve!

We will get the victory when our heart and eyes are focused upon our Lord and Savior
and when we are truly repentant.
Our Lord is full of mercy and grace and He will help us to press on each and every day.

“Grace can pardon our ungodliness and justify us with Christ’s righteousness;
it can put the Spirit of Jesus Christ within us; it can help us when we are down;
it can heal us when we are wounded; it can multiply pardons,
as we through frailty multiply transgressions.”
-John Bunyan (1628-1688)

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May your day be richly blessed!

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