VIDEO The Beauty of Love – Rooting Out Bitterness

May your fountain be blessed.  Proverbs 5:18

 

The “Jarabe Tapatío,” also known as the Mexican hat dance, celebrates romance. During this upbeat dance, the man places his sombrero on the ground. At the very end, the woman grabs the hat and both hide behind it to seal their romance with a kiss.

This dance reminds me of the importance of faithfulness in marriage. In Proverbs 5, after talking about the high cost of immorality, we read that marriage is exclusive. “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well” (v. 15). Even with ten couples dancing the Jarabe on stage, each person focuses on his or her partner. We can rejoice in a deep and undivided commitment to our spouse (v. 18).

Our romance is also being observed. The dancers, while they are enjoying their partner, know someone is watching. In the same way, we read, “For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths” (v. 21). God wants to protect our marriages, so He’s constantly watching us. May we please Him through the loyalty we show to each other.

Just like in the Jarabe there is a rhythm to follow in life. When we keep the beat of our Creator by being faithful to Him—whether we are married or unmarried—we find blessings and joy.

By Keila Ochoa

Today’s Reflection

Dear Lord, You know all my ways. Help me to honor You in my relationships with others.


Rooting Out Bitterness – Romans 9:1-3; 10:1 – Jon Courson

New Leaves and Social Media Time

By all means save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

The average person spends more than 5 years of his or her life on social media, and the average teen spends 9 hours a day using social media.To appreciate the generational shift that is occurring, consider this: People older than 50 spend 50 hours a week watching television, but people between 25 and 34 watch a “mere” 26.5 hours a week. They’re looking at smaller screens instead.2

None of us can afford to give that much time to social media. Turn over a new leaf this year and figure out ways to reduce the time you and your children spend online. Reduce the number of apps you use. Adopt more productive hobbies so you’ll have less time to waste.

But when you are on social media sites, think of 1 Corinthians 9:22, where Paul said he used “all means” to share Christ. We have new platforms now for quoting Scripture, for testifying, for pointing others to the Lord. We can share insights and links that advance the Kingdom.

Turn your social media into social ministry, and let’s use “all means” to save some.

Turn a new leaf for me, Father I pray; / Turn a new leaf in my life-book today; / Pardon me graciously, Deal with me wondrously, / Turn a new leaf in my life-book today. Hymnist Eliza Hewitt

  1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/306136
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/media/nielsen-survey-media-viewing.html

The Priesthood of Believers

Revelation 5:9-10

According to Scripture, the believer’s citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). In other words, we’re not going to be citizens of an eternal kingdom; we already are.

What’s more, every person who professes Jesus Christ as Lord is part of God’s priesthood. In the ancient Israelite culture, priests were the privileged servants of almighty God. They carried out all the tasks related to keeping the Law and preserving the spiritual well-being of the people. They cared for the temple, offered sacrifices, and interceded on behalf of the community.

When John says in Revelation 1:6 that we are priests, he is placing us among the ranks of a people set apart as God’s servants. It is a blessing and a calling to worship the Lord, to adore and honor Him, to ensure that all glory is given to His name, and to intercede on behalf of others.

The one priestly task we do not have to do is perform sacrifices. God Himself offered the final sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, when His Son died in our place. Our part is to bear witness to the breadth and depth of His love for all people. Once you grasp the fact that God looks on His children—every one a former slave to sin—with unconditional devotion, you’ll want others to know it too.

Believers are special in the eyes of their God and King. We are a sacred people and a holy order. Does your daily life reflect that truth? As a believer, you are not your own anymore (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are a priest and a privileged servant of the Most High God.

Where Is Jesus Right Now?

“Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” (Matthew 24:26)

The above warning was given by Christ in His famous Olivet discourse about His future second coming, right after He had predicted that many “false Christs” would first come, deceiving many (v. 24). That prediction has been fulfilled many times during the following centuries, but He Himself has not yet returned, in spite of the claims of these latter days.

However, His present location is no secret. After His resurrection and final instructions to His disciples, “he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). We must remember that He arose bodily from the grave, then ascended bodily to God’s throne, and that “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven” (Acts 1:11), will return. Until He returns, therefore, He is seated bodily at the right hand of the presence of the triune God in heaven. In fact, there are no less than 21 references in the Bible to the Lord Jesus now being at the right hand of God.

It is not strictly correct to say or sing that Jesus can come into our hearts, unless it is clearly understood that He is there symbolically in the presence of the indwelling Spirit of Christ. In this way, “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts” (Galatians 4:6) so that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17).

In the physical sense, however, the Lord Jesus Christ, still in His physical, but now immortal, body, is at “the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3) and will remain there until He returns physically back to fulfill all the remaining promises in the Scriptures and to establish the kingdom for which He created us. HMM

Find and Stay In The Secret Place

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

—Psalm 5:3

Retire from the world each day to some private spot, even if it be only the bedroom (for a while I retreated to the furnace room for want of a better place). Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God’s presence envelops you. Deliberately tune out the unpleasant sounds and come out of your closet determined not to hear them. Listen for the inward Voice till you learn to recognize it. Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God, and then be what and who you are without regard to what others think. Reduce your interests to a few. Don’t try to know what will be of no service to you. Avoid the digest type of mind—short bits of unrelated facts, cute stories and bright sayings. Learn to pray inwardly every moment. After a while you can do this even while you work. Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility. Pray for a single eye. Read less, but read more of what is important to your inner life. Call home your roving thoughts. Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul. Practice spiritual concentration.   OGM128-129

Lord, direct me today to those things that would most enhance my walk with You, and enable me to serve You better. Amen.

 

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.—Matthew 7:12.

 

Take the trouble to spend only one single day according to God’s commandments, and you will see yourself, you will feel by your own heart, how good it is to fulfill God’s will (and God’s will in relation to us is our life, our eternal blessedness). Love God with all your heart; value with all your strength His love and His benefits to you, enumerate His mercies, which are endlessly great and manifold. Furthermore, love every man as yourself,—that is, do not wish him anything that you would not wish for yourself; do not let your memory keep in it any evil caused to you by others, even as you would wish that the evil done by yourself should be forgotten by others; do unto them as you would do unto yourself, or even do not do unto them as you would not do unto yourself; and then you will see what you will obtain in your heart,—what peace, what blessedness! You will be in paradise before reaching it,—that is, before the paradise in heaven, you will be in the paradise on earth.

Father John

 

Mouth Confession and Heart Belief

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Rom. 10:9

There must be confession with the mouth. Have I made it? Have I openly avowed my faith in Jesus as the Saviour whom God has raised from the dead, and have I done it in God’s way? Let me honestly answer this question.

There must also be belief with the heart. Do I sincerely believe in the risen Lord Jesus? Do I trust in Him as my sole hope of salvation? Is this trust from my heart? Let me answer as before God.

If I can truly claim that I have both confessed Christ and believed in him, then I am saved. The text does not say it may be so, but it is plain as a pikestaff, and clear as the sun in the Heavens: “Thou shalt be saved.” As a believer and a confessor, I may lay my hand on this promise, and plead it before the Lord God at this moment, and throughout life, and in the hour of death, and at the day of judgment.

I must be saved from the guilt of sin, the power of sin, the punishment of sin, and ultimately from the very being of sin. God hath said it — “Thou shalt be saved.” I believe it. I shall be saved: I am saved. Glory be to God for ever and ever!