VIDEO Something to Sing About

Aug 29, 2017

Tommy (Darius McCrary) worries that he’ll never get a break. An ex-con with the voice of an angel, Tommy finds his luck changing when Memaw (Irma P. Hall), a kindly grandmother who hears him singing one day, takes him in. Soon, he’s found God, lands a job and has a chance for his big singing break. He’s also caught the eye of Memaw’s beautiful granddaughter. But Tommy’s old friend doesn’t believe he’s changed, and he must fight for his new life.

Cast: Irma P. Hall, Darius McCrary, Tamera Mowry, Rashaan Nall, Helen Martin, Lobo Sebastian, Kirk Franklin, Brian White and Devika Parikh. Directed by, Charlie Jordan

From Worms to War

The Lord said to [Gideon], “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”   Judges 6:23

It was ten-year-old Cleo’s first time fishing, and as he looked into the container of bait he seemed hesitant to get started. Finally he said to my husband, “Help me, I-S-O-W!” When my husband asked him what the problem was, Cleo responded, “I-S-O-W! I’m scared of worms!” His fear had made him unable to act.

Fear can paralyze grown men too. Gideon must’ve been afraid when the angel of the Lord came to him as he was threshing wheat in secret, hiding from his Midianite enemies (Judg. 6:11). The angel told him he had been chosen by God to lead His people in battle (vv. 12–14).

Put your faith in the living God.

Gideon’s response? “Pardon me, my lord, . . . but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (v. 15). After being assured of the Lord’s presence, Gideon still seemed fearful and asked for signs that God would use him to save Israel as He promised (vv. 36–40). And God responded to Gideon’s requests. The Israelites were successful in battle and then enjoyed peace for forty years.

We all have fears of various kinds—from worms to wars. Gideon’s story teaches us that we can be confident of this: If God asks us to do something, He’ll give us the strength and power to do it.

Lord, thank You for the assurance that You are with us.

To take the fear out of living, put your faith in the living God.

By Anne Cetas 

Life-Changing Prayer

Colossians 1:9-10

Philippians 4:6 says that it’s good to bring requests to the Lord, and we do often ask Him for certain blessings, desired outcomes, and healing for loved ones. But there are times when, in God’s omniscience, He determines that a “no” would ultimately result in greater good.

So, what supplications can you be sure are in accordance with His will? Paul recorded specific petitions he made on behalf of the Colossians, and you can offer these life-changing prayers for people in your own life as well.

First, request that they “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). In this way, you are asking God to give them direction and the ability to see life from His viewpoint.

Second, ask that they “will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (v. 10). The only way to succeed in this is through the control of the Holy Spirit—He fills hearts with a longing for God and creates the desire to please Him through obedience.

Third, pray that their life would count (v. 10). There is a difference between being busy and being fruitful. Many Christians assume that to have an impact for God, they must volunteer in numerous ministries at church or become a missionary or pastor. But the truth is, effectiveness in God’s work depends on what He calls each person to do.

Too often, Christians pray for others only during hardships. But Paul continuously lifted up the Colossians to our Father (v. 9). As you mention others by name to the Lord, consider the areas that the apostle addressed.

Our New World

“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

The phrase “the new world” as applied to the two American continents is believed to have been coined by the explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who claimed to have been the first to sight the actual mainland. This is believed to be the chief reason why America was named after him rather than Christopher Columbus, who had “discovered” some of the islands of the West Indies just a few years before. (Actually, some of the Norsemen and possibly others discovered this new world several centuries before either one—not to mention the American “Indians,” who reached the continent much earlier than any of them.)

Columbus himself has many memorials named after him, of course. Think of the many cities named Columbus or Columbia, as well as the great Columbia River. Even America itself has been called Columbia in a number of songs and poems.

But was not a new world to God! It has been here all along, and we are thankful to be a part of it today.

There is a real new world coming, however! The Old Testament prophet Isaiah received God’s promise long ago. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17). The New Testament prophet John actually described it as seen in a wonderful vision. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” he said, and then described some of its beauties (see Revelation 21:1).

But the apostle Peter transmitted the most wonderful news of all about this new world when he wrote that “we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). And all of us who by faith have been made righteous in Christ shall live there forever! HMM

They offered willingly to the Lord

1 Chronicles 29:1-9, 20-23

David never turned aside from his desire to see a glorious temple erected to the honour of the Lord his God, and although he was not permitted to build it himself, he diligently provided the materials, earnestly charged Solomon to carry out his design, and at last gathered a solemn council to whom he commended this noble work.

1 Chronicles 29:1

God must never be served in a slovenly manner. We should feel under bonds to do our best in all religious work, because the labour is not for man, but for the Lord God.

1 Chronicles 29:2

He had thought upon the matter, and provided many things, and these were all of the best. Would to God that we all served God in this fashion, with thought and with sacrifice.

1 Chronicles 29:4, 5

He who gives freely himself may justly ask of others. Those who collect but never contribute are inconsistent.

1 Chronicles 29:6-8

He kept the accounts. God’s business should be done in order. Church funds should be very carefully accounted for, lest scandal arise.

1 Chronicles 29:9

The joy of giving to the Lord is a very great one. Angels might well envy us such bliss.

1 Chronicles 29:20

Paying religious homage to God, and respectful honour to the king.

1 Chronicles 29:21

Thus the threshing-floor of Araunah was saturated with blood that the foundations of the temple might be laid in sacrifice. Happy are those who are built upon the substitutionary death of Jesus.

1 Chronicles 29:22

So should sacred worship be far removed from sadness, and be regarded as a choice festival.

1 Chronicles 29:23

He was viceroy for his father for awhile, and then succeeded him by the consent of the whole nation.

 

Planning Premeditated Acts Of Kindness Toward Your Wife

1 Peter 3:7

Husband, absolutely no one in your life is more precious or important to you than your wife. One day when you are older and your children have started their own families and have moved to another city or state, or when your friends become elderly and pass away, your wife is the one who will still be right at your side. She started with you; she stayed with you; she will be with you through many years yet to come. And at the end of your life, she is the one who will still be right there at your side. Of all the relationships you have in this life, none compare in importance to your relationship with your wife.

This is exactly why the apostle Peter wrote to husbands in First Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life…”

Peter had been married many years when he wrote this verse. He had a godly marriage that was an example to the Early Church. So when Peter spoke about marriage, he had a platform from which to speak. He had done well as a husband. Peter knew what God expects from husbands and therefore spoke strongly to husbands regarding how they should treat their wives.

In First Peter 3:7, Peter commanded husbands to “give honor” to their wives. What does this mean? The Greek word for “give” is aponemo. This word means to assign, to designate, to allocate, or to intentionally give something to someone. It refers to a calculated decision to show attention, awareness, or consideration to someone else. In this case, it refers to a man purposefully showing attention to and consideration for his wife. Because Peter uses the Greek word aponemo (“giving”), this strongly suggests that the husband’s attention, awareness, and consideration don’t occur accidentally. Rather, this word pictures a purposeful and premeditated action by a husband to intentionally demonstrate consideration for his wife.

The word “honour” is from the Greek word timao, a word that carries the idea of something so valuable that it is held as precious, prized, cherished, treasured, valuable, and very dear. Peter uses the word in this verse to speak of a husband who values his wife highly; holds her in honor; treats her graciously; esteems her; handles her respectfully; and treats her like a prized treasure that is very precious to him.

As Peter continues exhorting husbands to treat their wives with special care, he makes one statement that unfortunately is often misunderstood. He tells husbands that they are to give honor unto the wife as unto the “weaker vessel.”

The word “weaker” does not mean inferior or substandard. This is the Greek word asthenes, which actually carries the idea of something that is fragile and of great value, like a priceless, beautiful, hand-painted porcelain vase that must be treated with supreme care. Furthermore, the word “vessel” is from the Greek skeuos, which presents the idea of a vase or treasure so rare and valuable that it should be treasured, cherished, highly prized, and handled with special care.

Unfortunately, many men treat their wives like a bucket that is to be thrown under the kitchen sink or used in the barn to milk the cows! They don’t comprehend that their relationship with their wife is the most precious relationship that exists in their lives.

Because a wife is so vital to the life of the husband, he should treat her like she is important. She is to be given a place of high honor in his life, as if she were a fragile and priceless vessel. She deserves a place of distinction and should know without a doubt that her husband views her as precious, valuable, and special in his life.

Husband, I want to give you some practical suggestions for expressing appreciation to your wife. These ten suggestions may sound very simple, but they are the kinds of actions that communicate to your wife how valuable she is to you. As you look at these ten suggestions, you will see that they are small, almost effortless acts of kindness; nevertheless, your wife will deeply appreciate them.

Certainly these acts of love and consideration are the least you can do for a wife whom you expect to faithfully follow you through life! Therefore, pay close attention to the following ten easy-to-follow suggestions:

  1. When you and your wife approach a door, open the door for her and let her go through the door first. If you step through the door first and then let the door slam in your wife’s face as she follows behind you, you give her the impression that she is of little value to you. So quit thinking only of yourself, and be a gentleman! Hold the door open for your wife!
  2. When your wife walks up or down the stairs or when she gets in or out of the car, show enough consideration for her to reach out and take her by the hand and help her. This little tender touch communicates that you want to treat her with care. It makes her feel very special.
  3. Instead of spending all the extra money on yourself, on your fishing trip, or on your personal pleasures, why not sacrifice a few of your own desires and give her that extra money to go do something for herself? When you give her a check or cash and tell her to go buy something for herself, it will probably shock her! But as she realizes that you are making a sacrifice of your own desires to bless her, it will send a gigantic signal that you love her and want to bless her.
  4. Tell your wife often how beautiful she is to you. This makes her feel cherished. She works hard to be beautiful for you, and it is only right that you acknowledge it when she looks pretty.
  5. Speak honorably of your wife in front of your children. If you treat her with honor, your children will treat her with honor as well. If you have sons, you are also providing a good example to them of the way they should honor their own future wives.
  6. Take your wife to dinner and let her talk, talk, and talk. The one thing she wants more than anything else is time with you. When you give her time that is completely undistracted, it lets her know that you want to be with her. By the way, in those special times set aside for your wife, it would be a good idea to leave the mobile phone at home!
  7. When you are at work, remember to pick up the telephone to call her during the day, just to let her know you are thinking about her. It doesn’t take long for you to make a quick phone call, but that moment of consideration means a lot to your wife because it communicates to her how much you value her. If you tend to be forgetful about calling your wife during your busy workday, write a note to remind yourself.
  8. Make time in your schedule to be only with your wife. This communicates that she is a high priority in your life. If you always have time to be with everyone else but never have time with her, you are sending her the message that she is the lowest priority in your life. Put yourself in her place, and you’ll realize that if she had time for everyone but you, it would probably make you feel pretty insignificant as well. So make time for your wife, and she will feel valued by you.
  9. Men don’t like to write notes, but women love to receive them. So take a few minutes every so often to write a little note or card and leave it for your wife to find. How much time and effort does it take for you to pick up an ink pen and a piece of paper and write two or three sentences of appreciation to your wife? It’s a small investment of time and creativity that speaks volumes to your wife about your love for her.
  10. Always remember special dates, such as your wife’s birthday or your wedding anniversary. Men tend to forget these things, but these are special memories to a wife and it means so much to her when these times are celebrated with her husband. Also, don’t forget to buy her a gift for these occasions. After all, wouldn’t you be shocked and disappointed if she forgot your birthday?

Now let me take this one step further and suggest ten things a husband should never do to his wife! If you do any of these ten things, you are sending a wrong signal to your wife, for none of these actions will make her feel cherished and treasured by you. In fact, they will have the opposite effect!

Husband, listen carefully:

  1. Never put your wife down in front of others. She didn’t marry you to be the brunt of your jokes. Even if she smiles and laughs, trying to shrug off your verbal jabs, this kind of behavior on your part is deeply hurtful to your wife. She needs your honor, not your sarcasm. If there is a conflict between you, wait until you get home where you can talk about it privately, but never make fun of her or put her down in front of others. You certainly wouldn’t want her to do this to you!
  2. Never point out your wife’s weaknesses to others. Husbands often do this, not realizing how disrespectful they are being to their wives. Talking in public about your wife’s weaknesses will embarrass her. And I must ask you again, do you want her to point out all your flaws in front of other people? You would prefer that she speak to you privately about such matters, so show her the same courtesy.
  3. Never tell your wife there isn’t enough money in the budget for her to buy a new outfit—and then turn right around and spend a lot of money on yourself, your fishing trip, your hobbies, etc. When she sees you do this, it communicates to her that you love yourself more than you love her. Do you want your wife to perceive you as a selfish person who is more in love with yourself than concerned about blessing her?
  4. Never tell your wife that you don’t have time for her. Even if your schedule is packed, look for time to be with her. She married you because she loves you and wants to be with you. When you consistently make time for everyone in your life except your wife, you are making a very big mistake. If needed, cancel something in your schedule so you can give attention to this most important relationship in your life.
  5. Never walk in front of your wife. Husbands are notorious for walking in front of their wives, and wives detest it. Too often men act as if they are racing when they walk, usually leaving their wives to walk five to fifteen feet behind them. Now, I understand that you may think your wife walks too slowly, but what is the use of racing in front of her if you must then stop, turn around, and wait for her to catch up with you? It takes the same amount of time to get to your destination, whether you walk alongside your wife or you walk ahead and then wait for her. So take your wife’s hand, and discipline yourself to walk by her side. You’ll shock her by doing this!
  6. Never compare your wife to another woman. She wants to be the one and only woman in your life, so comparing her to other women is not wise and shows great disrespect. Do you want her to compare you to other men? I don’t think so.
  7. Never make sexual innuendoes about your wife in front of others. This is not only disrespectful; it is deeply offensive to a wife. Your sexual relationship is a time of intimacy that is to be shared only between the two of you. Therefore, when you make jokes about it or talk about it in front of others, you are humiliating your wife and making her feel cheap. This is certainly not a way to cherish her or to treat her like a treasure!
  8. Never lie to your wife or tell a half-truth to cover your tracks. Honesty must be the foundation of your relationship. If you violate her trust by lying to her and she discovers it, your act of deception will affect her ability to trust you in the future. Therefore, if you really love your wife, always level with her and be honest. It may be difficult for her to hear what you have to say, but at least she will know you are being honest with her. If she discovers you have been lying to her, this will result in a far greater hurt than if you honestly admit to her what you have done wrong.
  9. Never dishonor your wife in front of your children. She is their mother, and they need to be taught to respect and honor her. If you treat her like a joke in front of the kids, they will treat her the same way. Dishonoring her and arguing with her before the children discredits her in their eyes. Do you want her to scold you or rebuke you in front of your children? Wouldn’t you prefer that she express her disagreements with you in private? Then show her the same consideration that you want her to show you.
  10. Never forget your wife’s birthday or your wedding anniversary! Excuse me for repeating this point, but it’s important. Men who consistently forget these two important dates and yet expect their marriage relationship to stay healthy are either ignorant or stupid. These are special dates in your wife’s mind. Remembering her birthday tells her that you are thinking of her. Remembering your wedding anniversary tells her that you deeply care about your relationship with her.

Remember, Peter commands husbands in First Peter 3:7 to “give honor” to their wives. As noted earlier, the word “give” describes a calculated decision to show attention, awareness, or consideration to someone else. This pictures a purposeful and premeditated action by a husband to intentionally show attention and demonstrate consideration for his wife.

If these kinds of thoughtful acts don’t come naturally to you, it’s time for you to learn how to do them. Quit saying, “I just don’t think that way,” and learn to think that way! The truth is that you show kindness and consideration to other people, so you can do the same for your wife as well. Peter tells you what your responsibility is as a husband: “… giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel….” If you intend to be an obedient son of God, you have no choice but to learn how to develop these skills in your life, because God commands that you show this kind of consideration to your wife.

If you sincerely want to please the Lord and to be a blessing to your wife, why don’t you go before the Lord today and ask Him to forgive you for being insensitive to her needs? After you talk to the Lord, it is also important that you humble yourself and ask your wife to forgive you as well. Then follow up your repentance with actions. Let the Holy Spirit teach you, correct you, and show you how to become more sensitive to the woman you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. Never forget—there is no relationship in your life more important than the one you have with your wife!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am asking You to please forgive me for being so selfish, self centered, and neglectful of my wife and her needs. I expect her to faithfully serve me, but I have given her so little in return. I am truly sorry that I’ve ignored her and, as a result, hurt her. I accept responsibility for the role I have played in wounding her and making her feel unimportant. Please help me become more sensitive to my wife. Teach me to speak words that build her up, not words that put her down. As I follow Your leading in this area, please heal my wife’s heart and bring tenderness back into our relationship once more. I accept Your challenge to purposefully show the honor, attention, respect, and tenderness she deserves. Thank You for helping me change in this vital area of my life!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am a loving and caring husband. My wife feels loved, respected, esteemed, and special because I do the things that communicate value to her. The Holy Spirit is helping me become more considerate, more tender, and more thoughtful. Every day I am dying to the flesh and becoming less selfish and self centered. I am a godly example of what a husband ought to be, and my actions give a great sense of worth to the wife whom Jesus has given to me.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. When is the last time you did something really extra special for your wife to show her how much you love and care for her?
  2. Have you been guilty of jesting about your wife in front of others or of putting her down in front of the children? Would you want her to do this to you?
  3. Is it time for you to humble yourself and to ask your wife to forgive you for the times you have been insensitive and uncaring of her needs?

 

I’m Not Responsible…

  • For my hot temper. I’m Irish.
  • For my lifelong indulgence in sensual behavior. I was molested at age 12.
  • For wallowing in self-pity and under-achievement. I come from a broken home.

Living as we do in a crybaby society that encourages blame-casting and personal irresponsibility, it is interesting to note that the Scriptures allow us no such luxury.

 

You don’t see Jesus, for example, saying to Peter, “Pete, your dad was a pretty harsh taskmaster, growing up as you did the son of a fisherman. When you get around to it, and are feeling better about yourself, perhaps you would consider tagging along with Me. Give Me a buzz when you think you are ready.

 

Or to Nathaniel, “You know Nate, you have a pretty sensitive disposition. Id like you to trust and believe in Me, but your alcoholic father scarred you for life. Perhaps we can work on the trust thing, when of course you have the timeand the inclination.

 

Today I had lunch with Sam and his lovely wife Kerry , and their three adorable children. Frankly, I was blown away because Sam is the product of multiple foster homes and irresponsible parenting. Women, who are loved and treated with respect, “glow.” Kerry “glows.” And the kids? Alert. Confident. Well mannered. Secure.

 

In his teens, Sam became a high priced con artist. In his mid-20’s he met Christ. At 40, he is a successful businessman who gives large portions of his income to God’s work. Sam also travels the world, meeting with heads of state, and sharing Christ in the most dangerous of environs. On the side, he raises millions of dollars for propagating the Gospel. In a word, Sam has assumed responsibility for his life.

 

While the Scriptures express compassion for human weakness:

 

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak… ” (Romans 15:1b; See Psalm 41:1-3)

 

They do not temper Christ’s call to discipleship:

 

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

 

RESOLVE: That whatever my background or situation, I assume responsibility for my life. I choose to trust Christ for the necessary grace and healing to conform me into His likeness. By His grace and enabling I purpose to follow Him as a true disciple. (2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Corinthians 1:27)

 

 

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