And He was Grieved by Their Misery

I hope you are experiencing a year of Bible study with daily devotions or a one-year Bible reading program.  As I’ve previously quoted in Be the One in Ten Christians That Have , only 1-3 in 10 Christians have ever read their Bible in it’s entirity. 

Everytime I read the Bible, important messages pop out at me and some I’ve never heard.  It’s like listening to Earl’s sermons every Sunday twice, (I stay for both services).  Sometimes I completely miss something the first go-round and pick up on it the second pass.  I used to just think that I was at fault in some way – was I not paying attention?  But no, that is not so.  Let me share with you how God works through the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, and even when we need to hear it!

God the Father created, Jesus saved, The Holy Spirit enlightens, directs and guides.

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

On May 12, 2013, Earl preached the sermon, How to Recognize the Holy Spirit .  I wanted to share that sermon with you via the link, because I believe it will enlighten all who read it about the exact relationship The Holy Spirit has with us – if only we would listen and be led by Him.

Part of The Holy Spirit’s obligation to us is to help us know God better.  The Holy Spirit came after Jesus ascended into heaven and as promised by Christ, The Holy Spirit came to remind the desciples of all that Jesus had done and said and this is where we get the words of the New Testament.  When reading the Bible, The Holy Spirit will reveal or enlighten us to what we are supposed to hear at that time in our life.  He guides us in our learning of our Creator and our Savior.

So getting back to my daily Bible reading….long way around, I have experienced sadness and grief over the illnesses of folks in our church and the passing of some very young people that the loss is far too hard to comprehend.  I have had conversations with people who blame God, other folks that cannot comprehend how a loving God could possibly allow such things to happen.  They are angry, and some individuals that I know have even turned their backs on God. 

While praying and asking God for help in these extremely difficult cases, I asked God for guidance in how to bring His peace to grieving people.  Was there anything that I could say or would I make it worse?

My God, who created me, also gave me a Savior in Jesus Christ, so that I don’t have to pay for my sins.  God then gave me His Spirit to help me as I traverse along this life on earth with all His other created beings.  But we all have choices to make about where we go, who we have as friends and what we do – and a myriad of other choices.  All these free choices can sometimes bring us friends or enemies, peace or consternation, wellness or illness, good or evil.  And the entire fall of creation brings with it dire consequences even when we are obeying God.  Jesus said we would always have the poor and hungry among us – that there would always be wars and natural disasters.  Even Jesus being perfect, suffered hunger and terrible storms in His life due to the sin of the world.

But as I was reading Judges 10:15-16, I found a message that the Holy Spirit used to speak to me. “But the Israelites pleaded with the Lord and said, “We have sinned.  Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies.” “Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the Lord. And he was grieved by their misery.”   Not only is God with us in all that we go through in this life, but when we admit our sinfulness and repent, God grieves for us.  He may even step in and remove the consequences, but even if He chooses not to do so, He will help us through it.  He will lead us to where we have to go to do our Father’s work.  We can be strong and courageous in this life when we rely on His presence to pull us through the seemingly inpossible.  We can give Him praise and glory for the pit we’ve found ourselves in, not just resentment, anger and dismissal of His love and will for us.

So as I pray for people who find themselves in such difficult times, and as the Holy Spirit gives me opportunity, I will remind them that God grieves with us in our misery.  Maybe they will feel the presence of God surrounding them, uplifting them and holding on to them.  I pray that they will feel Him pulling them through the hardships with all the tenderness of His tears and the strength of His love, leading them and guiding them to a fuller and stronger life in Christ.

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Submissive Christian Wife

Ephesians 5:21 ” Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Recently, I attended a wedding rehearsal for a couple of which my husband, Earl was going to marry the next day.  The bride was stunning, and she was the daughter of a wonderfully gentle and kind couple that are members of our church.

Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

At the rehearsal dinner, after finishing a delectable meal, the groom’s parents stood and toasted the couple and asked if anyone else had anything to say.  Family and friends stood and told stories and wished them the best, and then a lovely young woman in her mid-twenties stood and offered the couple some advice.  She said that the Bible has the answers to all life’s questions and whenever she needed to know something about marriage and relationships, she looked in her Bible.  For instance, if she wants to know about love, she reads 1 Corinthians 13, and if she wants to know how God created a man for a woman, she reads Genesis 2: 21, and if she wants to know how the marriage relationship between a man and woman is supposed to be, it can be found that a wife is to be submissive to her husband from Ephesians 5 and that a husband is to love his wife and give himself up for her.  I was genuinely pleased by her public stance and her commitment to her friend (the bride) to help her see what God calls for in a marriage relationship.

Many women get their backs up whenever this topic is broached.  But surely it is only because they don’t really understand the profound spiritual nature of what being submissive really means.  Being submissive does NOT mean being a doormat nor does it mean to simply being subject to the passing whims of her husband.

The New Testament teaches that marriage serves as a symbol of the relationship of Christ and His Church.  In the marriage relationship, it is the husband’s privilege to portray the headship of Christ over the family by his loving and sacrificial leadership.  It should be in this case, be the wife’s privilege and high calling to submit to her husband who represents the head of the household  and together to be submissive to the Lord Jesus Christ as the church Head.

Read Ephesians 5, but read the entire chapter, not just the section about the wife’s role.  Ephesians states all the character traits that the husband must work toward in order to even begin to come close to what Christ desires for his as the head of the household.  For the wife, there are perhaps two requirements in the whole chapter, to submit and to respect.  Submission is the voluntary surrender of our rights and self-interest for the benefit of others and for the glory of God.  Paul indicates that Christians, without exception, are to “be subject to one another.”  In this regard, if husbands are truly subjecting (submitting) themselves to the will of Christ in their lives and are leading their family in a Christ directed manner, then wives should not try to deviate from that path nor be an obstacle in her husband’s pursuit of that goal.

One must respect and honor a husband that is walking in step with Christ.  But the husband has a directive in this as well, beyond all that is stated in Ephesians 5, the Bible states, that he should seek her advice, as Elkanah and Abraham did (1 Samuel 1:23; Gen. 21:12), and yield to her when she is right.  A wife, who is wise, will give wise counsel and tell her husband how she feels and what God may be placing on her heart.  A husband should take his wife’s counsel to mind before making decisions for the family and then once a decision is made, the wife should honor her husband’s Christ-led decision.

I am very headstrong and opinionated, but I can tell you this, I have a husband that takes his life and lays it down for the sake of Christ.  He walks the walk and talks the talk.  He studies and prays hour upon hour every day.  I love him, trust him, respect him and most of all, will follow him in any and all major directions that he feels called by God to make.  This is not only being Biblically submissive on my part (which I did have to learn by the way) but a very, very wise move.  For I know God has called me to be a helpmate to Earl (Genesis 2:20), to walk beside him in his ministry, and minister to him, to serve him and to care for him as he helps lead others to Christ.  Therefore I gladly surrender, sacrifice and serve under Christ’s authority through my husband over this house for I see him daily doing the same under Christ and for our ultimate good.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, you have blessed me! Please feel free to leave a comment, subscribe to my blog, and/or share this post with a friend. Be blessed my friend!
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