VIDEO Fanny Crosby

Jan 22, 2011

Blessed Assurance, To God be the Glory, Praise H, Praise Him the list extends into thousands, songs from the heart of the blind poetess Fanny Crosby.In this Feature length motion picture the life and testimony of Fanny Crosby unfold from her days as a teacher at the New York Institute for the Blind until she becomes the most influential woman in evangelical history. You may have sung her songs a thousand times. Running Time 87 minutes. A Ken Anderson Films Presentation. Copyright Approved

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Scattering Seeds

The seed falling on good soil . . . produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:23

I received a wonderful email from a woman who wrote, “Your mom was my first-grade teacher at Putnam City in 1958. She was a great teacher and very kind, but strict! She made us learn the 23rd Psalm and say it in front of the class, and I was horrified. But it was the only contact I had with the Bible until 1997 when I became a Christian. And the memories of Mrs. McCasland came flooding back as I re-read it.”

Jesus told a large crowd a parable about the farmer who sowed his seed that fell on different types of ground—a hard path, rocky ground, clumps of thorns, and good soil (Matt. 13:1–9). While some seeds never grew, “the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it” and “produces a crop yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (v. 23).

Lord, today I want my life to sow good seeds in those around me. Help me to give out what You have put into me

During the twenty years my mother taught first grade in public schools, along with reading, writing, and arithmetic she scattered seeds of kindness and the message of God’s love.

Her former student’s email concluded, “I have had other influences in my Christian walk later in life, of course. But my heart always returns to [Psalm 23] and [your mom’s] gentle nature.”

A seed of God’s love sown today may produce a remarkable harvest.

Lord, today I want my life to sow good seeds in those around me. Help me to give out what You have put into me.

 

 

We sow the seed—God produces the harvest.

INSIGHT:We see the agricultural metaphor of “sowing seed” again in the book of 1 Corinthians. The apostle Paul taught the Corinthian believers for eighteen months (see Acts 18:1–11) and then Apollos watered the spiritual seed Paul had sown (Acts 18:27; 1 Cor. 3:4–9). Paul made it clear that those who spread the gospel are only God’s servants doing the work the Lord has assigned them to do (1 Cor. 3:5). While Paul planted the seed in the hearts of the Corinthian believers and Apollos watered it, it was God who made it grow.

At different times in our life we may be the one who is planting the message of God’s truth and love, and at other times we are the one who is watering. What’s important is that it is God who makes the seed grow.

As God’s worker, what seeds can you plant in someone’s life?

The Influence of an Ordinary Mother

Proverbs 22:6

If we were asked to name the greatest and most influential people, we’d probably think of presidents or leaders of industry, business, banking, or education because their decisions shape the world. But who shaped them? Perhaps one of the most influential people in anyone’s life is a mother.

When a woman is in the process of raising small children, changing diapers, wiping noses, and settling squabbles, it may not seem like important work. However, God has given mothers the responsibility of shaping those young lives and teaching the importance of knowing and loving Him.

Susanna Wesley didn’t have a high-ranking title at a large company, but she raised 19 children, including two sons—John and Charles Wesley—who were the founders of Methodism. Despite the demands of a large family, she committed herself to spending a full hour with each child once a week. She taught them theology, and through her example, they learned to love and trust God.

If you’re a mom, you have tremendous influence in the lives of your children. There’s no way to know how God will use them in the future. But whatever His plans may be, you can equip your sons and daughters by determining to spend time with them each day, reading and teaching them God’s Word.

But perhaps the greatest impact you have on your children is your example. When they see you modeling godly character or trusting the Lord in the midst of trials, they will want to know and love God as you do. And that is the best way you can equip the next generation.

The Mother of Us All

And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)

Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was called the mother of all “the children of promise” (Galatians 4:28), and the wife of Noah was the mother of all post-Flood mankind, but Mother Eve, alone, was “the mother of all living.” “Adam was first formed, then Eve,” Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:13, and so-called “Christian evolutionists” have never yet been able to explain God’s unique formation of Eve’s body in any kind of an evolutionary context.

Eve, as our first mother, experienced all the great joys and great sorrows that all later mothers would know. She evidently had many “sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4) and probably lived to see many generations of grandchildren. With Adam, she had even known paradise, but sin had entered their lives when they rebelled against God’s Word, and God had to say, “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). The greatest sorrow was no doubt when Cain slew Abel, and as with another mother whose Son’s innocent blood was shed many years later, it was like a sword piercing her own soul (Luke 2:35).

Nevertheless, as near as we can tell, after her first great sin, Eve trusted God’s Word henceforth and received His forgiveness and salvation. Later, as the mother of Seth, she taught him and her grandson, Enos, about the Lord and all His promises. “Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26).

Most Christian believers are looking forward to seeing their own mothers again someday—restating their love and appreciation for all they did in bearing them, and in caring, teaching, and praying for them. But it will be a wonderful experience to meet our first mother, also, as well as Sarah, Hannah, Mary, and all the other godly mothers of old. HMM

“Man doth not live by bread only.”

Deuteronomy 8

WE will take another passage from the discourse of Moses—Deuteronomy 8.

Deuteronomy 8:1

Obedience must be given to “all” the commands of God.

Deuteronomy 8:2, 3

The end of the Lord’s providence is to school us to faith. All too slowly do we learn the lesson. What a sweet series of sentences are those—”humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna.”

Deuteronomy 8:4

How much grace have we received in forty years! What wonders have we seen!

Deuteronomy 8:7-9

brass or copper.

Deuteronomy 8:10-14

Temptations grow out of prosperity. Has the Lord been very good to this household? let us not be lifted up so as to despise his poor people, or forsake his lowly worship, but the rather let us love our Lord the more.

Deuteronomy 8:17

O for grace to banish far from us all boasting. It is hateful both to God and man.

Deuteronomy 8:20

Yet were the Lord’s grace to be withdrawn, we should surely be disobedient and perish in our sins. Keep us, good Lord; keep us evermore.

 

I knew thee in the land of drought,

Thy comfort and control,

Thy truth encompass’d me about,

Thy love refresh’d my soul.

 

And if thine alter’d hand doth now

My sky with sunshine fill,

Who amid all so fair as thou?

Oh let me know thee still:

 

Still turn to thee in days of light,

As well as nights of care,

Thou brightest amid all that’s bright!

Thou fairest of the fair!

 

What Are You Teaching Your Children at Home?

1 Timothy 3:4

As parents, we have a responsibility to train and prepare our children to be successful in life, and there is no better classroom for teaching them the responsibilities of life than in our own homes. God expects us to teach our children how to conduct themselves, how to respond to authority, how to cooperate with others, how to work as a part of a team, and how to successfully execute daily responsibilities. By giving our children this kind of training, we prepare them for the real world where they will one day be employed and make a living.

This issue of properly training our children is extremely important. In First Timothy 3:4, the apostle Paul wrote that leaders are to set the example in this area for everyone else in the church. A leader must be “one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.”

Today I want to focus on what Paul said about how children should behave. What he says applies to all children, for there are no double standards. We are commanded by God to train, teach, prepare, and equip our sons and daughters to victoriously enter the arena of life.

Paul says that our children should be “… in subjection with all gravity.” The word “subjection” comes from the Greek word hupotasso. It means to set things in order or to be subject to someone else, and it strongly suggests the idea of obedience to authority. One expositor notes that this word implies a subjection to authority that can happen voluntarily or that can be required by force. It is important that Paul uses this word when speaking to parents, for it affirms that parents have the right to exercise godly authority over their children. If children don’t voluntarily submit, parents have every right before God to force their children to obey.

Further confirming the strength of the word hupotasso, this word was a military term that was used to describe soldiers who were under the command or authority of a superior officer. As with all soldiers, they knew who their superior was; they understood how to respond to that superior officer; they knew their own place, function, and assignment in the army; and they understood both the rewards for obedience and the penalty for disobedience and disrespect. Let’s consider how this example of a soldier in the military applies to the training of our own children.

First, a soldier never questions who his authority is. He knows from the first day who is in charge and to whom he reports. Having this knowledge clears away any confusion about whom he is accountable to. He has been given clear instructions about who is the boss, and this sets things in order so he never has to wonder who is really in charge.

Likewise, parents need to make it clear from the time a child is young that Dad and Mom are the ultimate authority in the home. When a parent doesn’t exercise authority and lets a child get away with whatever he or she wants, it brings confusion into the home.

Set things straight by making it known to your children that you are assuming your godly role as the leader of your home. By teaching your children to respond correctly to your authority at home, you are preparing them to respond properly to their future employers.

A soldier understands his daily responsibilities. For example, no soldier in the army wakes up and says, “Gee, I wonder what the sergeant will ask me to do today?” The soldier knows that certain responsibilities are regular and routine. He understands that he is expected to fulfill these basic duties each day—duties such as making his bed, combing his hair, grooming his face, shining his shoes, and wearing clothes that are pressed.

Likewise, your children need daily duties to teach them responsibility. By using the word hupotasso, Paul is telling us that, like soldiers, children need daily discipline—including responsibilities that are required and expected of them each day. This kind of “basic training” helps children understand the realities of work, the responsibilities of life, and how to be a part of a team.

It is my personal view that it’s wrong for a parent to make a child’s bed, clean up his room, pick up his mess after he showers, and wash his dishes after he eats while he sits and watches television. This kind of “schoolroom” represents an unrealistic picture of life for the child. In the real world, no one will do everything for him when he’s an adult. He’ll get a big shock when he goes out into the world and suddenly discovers that no one is going to be easy on him in the workplace and that he has to carry his own weight of responsibility.

If a soldier fails in performing his basic duties, he knows beforehand that it will result in some kind of penalty. By using the word “subjection” (hupotasso), Paul embraces this picture of military order that includes rewards for a job well done and penalties for poor performance.

Rewards are very important as you teach your children. Rewards become goals and aspirations to help motivate a child to achieve bigger and better results. Teaching this to your child at home will help him later when he gets a job and wants a bigger salary. He will understand that to receive better wages, he will have to put out better work. Teaching our sons and daughters that nothing comes free in life is imperative if we want them to be blessed as adults.

But as important as it is to give your children rewards for a good performance, it is also important to give them penalties for a poor performance. Why should a bad job be rewarded? Will your children be rewarded for a bad performance when they go out into the workplace and get a job? Of course not! Therefore, it is part of your parental responsibility to ingrain into your children the principle that good work reaps a good reward, but poor work produces undesirable consequences. That doesn’t mean you have to berate them for unsatisfactory work. You just need to take the time to lovingly explain and demonstrate how different levels of work are rewarded differently.

It is amazing that all these concepts are concealed in the Greek word hupotasso, translated in First Timothy 3:4 as the word “subjection.” Unfortunately, we live in a day when parents are afraid to be the authority in the home as God has called them to be. But you have no need to be afraid. God has designated you to be a leader and a teacher for your children. If you don’t assume this place of responsibility and teach them the necessary principles for success, who will prepare them for life?

So follow God’s pattern of parenting. Give your children responsibilities to regularly perform. Make sure they understand the rewards and penalties for not doing what is expected. Do everything you can to help prepare your children for a successful, disciplined life. When they grow up and begin to work in the real world, they will thank you for investing your time and love into preparing them for life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for speaking to me about teaching my children the responsibilities of life. I want my children to be godly and successful, so I want to lead them and teach them from the Word of God. I know that my personal example is the strongest message I have to preach to my children, so help me be real and authentic, not hypocritical in my Christian life. Parenting is such a huge responsibility that I must have Your help to do it properly. I look to You and Your Word to guide me as I rear the children You have placed in my care.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I declare by faith that I am a godly parent and I lead my children in the way of righteousness! I am not afraid to step up to the plate and take my leadership role. I do it boldly, proudly, and reverently, realizing that this is one of the greatest honors and responsibilities of my life. I recognize that my children are gifts from God, and I treat them with the greatest respect as I teach them how to become successful young adults. With the help of God’s Spirit and the guidance of His Word, I am doing exactly what I must for my children to be anointed, godly, and blessed.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. What impact did your own parents make on your life? Did they prepare you for life, or did you go out into the world feeling like you were totally unequipped for living on your own?
  2. What are you doing right now to teach your own children how to be prepared for life? Do you require daily duties of them and hold them accountable for how well they perform the jobs you have assigned to them?
  3. As you look at your own children and their attitude toward life, toward work, and toward authority figures, what changes could you make in your own leadership style in order to produce better results in your children?

 

God’s Response To Pride And Humility

From the 14th floor of my apartment I am looking out over the City of Singapore on an early morning as the sun peaks its way through the clouds.

 

Across the heavily trafficked road beneath me lies a mud-soaked lot a city block in size that is under preparation for the building of a massive apartment complex.

 

Boxcar-type housing of clapboard construction dot the edges of the property where imported laborers live. Like ants below, I can observe 2 or 3 of them as they pick their way through the mud while moving from one wood-framed living structure to the next.

 

In juxtaposition to this mired lot lie high rise apartments 25 stories in height that are architecturally modern, and possess a breathtaking view of the harbor. The expensive cars parked below give evidence of easy affluence.

 

In my reading this morning from Isaiah 40, I was struck with the fact that God has great contempt for anything that smacks of man’s pride, while possessing limitless compassion for the weak and downtrodden of this earth:

  • He brings princes to nothing and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing(He) sweeps them away like chaff.” (verses 23, 24)
  • He gathers the lambs in His arms, and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have youngHe gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (verses 11, 29)

Appearances of course can be deceiving and only God knows the condition of the heart, as people of every station in life represent both the proud and the humble.

 

But one must admit that humility does not come easily when one possesses what the world esteems as status and success.

 

So, if you happen to be among the so-called “successful” or “privileged” of this world, you may want to keep in mind God’s admonition:

 

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24)

 

 

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