Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Listen To The Fish You Sluggard

Yes, I know I got the usual term a bit wrong, but it is meant that way.  Stay awhile and you might find out why.

How often do we forget to read our Bibles? -Or maybe some other excuse: busyness, sickness, tiredness, perhaps even disinterest.  But there are other times to read the Bible besides the scheduled morning & evening . The words of God are our comforter, our encourager.  Yet it is often the times when we need it most that we don't read our Bibles.

And this is where the "fish" come in.  You see, this morning I was over by my fish tank, just appreciating my decorative pet fish.  The fish quickly swims over to the feeding area and I can tell that he is hungry.  So I pick up the fish food; and right as I am doing that, he turns around and swims to the other side of the tank.  I sprinkle a little food in the tank but he does not realize that the food he so badly wanted is right there.  I tap the glass a bit, hoping to get his attention, but it wasn't working.  I thought "You stupid fish! Don't you realize that there's food right here?"

And then it donned on me; the thing I was accusing my fish of, we do ALL the time with God.  We are feeling just horrible, maybe we simply had a bad day, perhaps its something worse.  God sees that, and offers comfort all around the clock through His Holy inspired word.  It is our most reliable source of comfort and is often the very last think we turn to, or maybe we, like the fish, don't even realize its there.  We are hungry, God offers food, but we don't take it!

Now the purpose of this post is not to show you the similarities between mere fish food and God's word, but rather to prompt you to read the Bible when you need it most.

Psalm 12:1 says "Help Lord."  Charles Spurgeon writes on this verse that "The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent...Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements.... Workers in heavenly labor may thus obtain grace in time of need.  Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication; in fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. "Help Lord", will suit the living and dying, suffering or laboring, rejoicing or sorrowing.  In Him our help is found, let us not be slack to cry on Him."

When did the Lord comfort you when you needed encouraged?  When are some of the times that the Lord has helped you?

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Tips On Improving Your Devotional Life: Life Application

Hey y'all!

So I was recently realizing that I need to improve my devotional life and work on applying the Bible to my actual life. Reading the Bible is great and all, but not as much if it does not show in your life.  So here are some of the things I did to improve my devotional life and apply the Bible to my life:

1. Keep A Bible Journal- Jot down what comes to your mind as you read, whatever the Bible inspires you to write.  It really helps your get more out of what you are reading and this is the first step of improving your devotional life and learning to apply what your learn to your life. At the top of the page write whatever chapters you are reading, this will help you reference whatever you write on the passage.

2. After you are done with Bible reading for that sitting skim over what you wrote, what can be learned from it?  

3.  For each thing that can be learned sum it up in 1-3 words and write it down.

4. Think of a practical way that you can apply it to your life, not something vague like "make an effort" but something more specific.  For example lets say your want to improve your prayer life.  Don't put down something vague like "Pray more often" or "Have longer prayers".  Instead put something a bit more specific such as "Keep a prayer journal", or "Ask at least one person per day if they have any prayer requests".  It is important to be specific otherwise it is very easy to forget.


5.  At the end of the day write down how you did for each "project". Rate how well you think you did on a scale from 1-10, write down what you learned.  Oh, but be careful not to do to many "projects" at once; otherwise you will have way to many projects on your plate at once!

I hope that helps!  Lets me know if there is anything else you would like me to write about! :D 

The Value Of Friendship And Companionship

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.  Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.  And a three fold cord is not quickly broken." ~Eccl. 4:9-12

When our acquaintances become friends, and then our friends turn into close friends, we start caring about one another in a different way. We share our happiness; even if we are sad, the other person being happy is enough to make us happy.  The happiness gets shared! :D

This is not just talking about our non-blood related friends; but our blood related friends as well. Whether it be your child, spouse, parent or sibling share some of your joy with them!

John MacArthur notes on this passage that "Life is better with companionship".  I believe that this kind of companionship is especially true of the marriage relationship: the person you choose to love for the rest of your life.  If God has already put that person in your life, thank Him. If not, pray for that person, whomever they may be.  Just because you don't know who they are yet does not mean you can not pray for them! :-)

"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." ~Proverbs 18:24

Monday, November 3, 2014

Exchanging Thoughts With Charles Spurgeon: The Preeminence Of Christ

Charles Spurgeon once said "Oh, how precious is Christ! How can it be that I have thought so little of Him? How is it I can go abroad for joy or comfort when He is so full, so rich, so satisfying?"

 Let us not forget Ecclesiastes 1:7 which says "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again."  This verse should remind us of the preeminence of our Lord and that He is the center of all things. Everything we hold dear should somehow be connected to our love for our Lord. We cannot be full without Christ. Like the old words say "When my precious Lord I find all my ardent passions glow."

But this is not all we can learn from this; Charles Spurgeon notes on this passage that "He who is so good a steward as to be willing to use his substance for the Lord, shall be entrusted with more. Friend of Jesus, art thou rendering to him according to the benefit received? Much has been given to thee, what is thy fruit?  Hast thou done all? Canst thou not do more? To be selfish is to be wicked."

This should put to heart those well-known words, which although explain the purpose of our existence, we still forget them. For "What is the chief end of man?" but "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

Charles Spurgeon later states "God forbid that any of us should follow the ungenerous and destructive policy of living unto ourselves."  Perhaps the worst way to dishonor the name of our Lord is to put ourselves above Him. Let us try very hard to avoid this destructive path!

Charles Spurgeon also finds a lesson in the life of Moses: "Moses, being overtaken by a fit of unbelief, looks to the outward means, and is at a loss to know how the promise can be fulfilled. He looked to the creature instead of the Creator.... We can at once see the mistake which Moses made.  And yet how commonly we do the same!"

Let us turn away from our flesh!  For "we are here as the 'salt of the earth,' to be a blessing to the world. We are to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as workers together with Him.  Let us see that our life answereth its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to the praise of the glory of His grace."  We are here to live for Christ, regardless of how we feel. As Charles Spurgeon says "We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which He leads us all end in glory and immortality."  We have a short life here on earth, and then we ascend into heaven for all eternity; let us therefore live this time for Christ!

"O let us prove our gratitude by our devotion, and live as those who, having claimed a privilege, are willing to take the responsibility connected with it."  ~ Charles Spurgeon