Quote of the Day.

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

-Arthur Ashe (1943-1993); American tennis player, social activist

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Devotions..

1.    Nourish Up

1 Timothy 4:6 says we are to be "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine..."  We love to nourish and nurture our children with love, but we also need to nourish them with God's precious Word. Be a Word Nourishing mother. Of course, you'll need to be nourished yourself. Place a Bible on your window-sill to be nourished by a verse from the Psalms or Proverbs as you prepare your meals. Put a Bible in your bathroom where you can grab another little morsel when you are there for a few minutes. Keep a Bible where you sit to nurse your baby and be nourished in your soul as you nourish your little one.

2.    Build Up

In Acts 20:32 Paul commends us to the "Word of his grace which is able to build you up..." Why do we neglect God's Word when it has the power to build us up? You need building up each day. Your children need building up each day. Be a Word Building mother, into your own life and also your children. Don't forget to read a little portion of the Word of God to them every morning and every evening.*

3.    Grow Up

1 Peter 2:2 says, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." It's the way to grow in your Christian walk. If a child does not grow physically it is because they have something medically wrong with them. A person who doesn't grow in the Lord also has a problem--usually because they  lack the nutrition that comes from the Word.*
As we grow, we'll wean from  milk to devouring strong meat. Hebrews 5:13-14 says, "For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age." Don't limit your children to Bible stories only. Raise them on the richness of the Word so they can learn to chew the meat as well. (Read Colossians 3:16)

4.    Clean Up

John 15:3 says, "Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you." (Ephesians 5:26) We make sure that we wash every day and we certainly try to make sure that our children wash every day. However, it is just as important to keep clean on the inside as it is on the outside. Daily cleansing happens through the daily reading of the Word.

5.    Liven Up

Jesus said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63) God's Word has the power to make you alive, to revive and refresh you.
The psalmist confessed,"This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me." (Psalm 119:50) The word quickened is the Hebrew word chayah and means 'to put life into, to live anew, to recover, to make alive, to refresh, animate.' When you are feeling low, drained of all emotional energy and wiped out, how do you feel alive again? You read and claim God's promises. They are your life. The Moffat translation says, "Thy promise puts life into me." The NLT says, "Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles." And again the psalmist confesses in verse 93, "Never shall I forget thy laws for they put new life into me." (1 Peter 1:23)
We gain our very life from the Word of God. Jesus emphatically stated in Matthew 4:4 that "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Deuteronomy 8:3) We do not deprive ourselves or our children of bread for the sustenance of their body; and yet how flippantly we can deprive them of the living bread that feeds their spirit. Don't look to other sources to be renewed. Find your life in God's Word. It is God-breathed. It is alive and active. As you read it in faith, you will be revived.

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
We continue to look at how the Word of God lifts us up.

6. Discern Up

There is so very little discernment around today. I am often amazed how even believers do not discern the difference between righteousness and evil. Many times they ignorantly condone what God says is abominable. Even Christians frequent abortion clinics! Even believers get involved in fornication! Do we have no discernment of what is truly right and wrong?
How do we get discernment? It comes from the Word of God. Hebrews 5:14 says, "Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." It doesn't come by haphazardly reading the Bible, or just listening to a message on Sunday. It comes by constant use!  It takes being committed to read the Word to yourself and your family. The margin in my King James Bible describes "reason of use" as a habit! That means a daily exercise. I like the Knox version which says, "Solid food is for the full-grown; for those whose faculties are so trained by exercise that they can distinguish between good and evil."
God promises that when we return back to Him and His Word that we'll learn to discern. Malachi 3:18 says, "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth not." He wants His teachers (which of course include parents) to teach "the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean." (Ezekiel 44:23)
My prayer is that we and our children in this generation will be like the children of Issachar who "had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do." (1 Chronicles 12:32) We are living in a new era in our nation--a time of disruption, change and deception. More than ever, we need the daily inspiration of God's living Word which will give us discernment and understanding of what to do.

7. Enlighten Up

Psalm 19:8, "The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes."
Psalm 119:130, "The entrance of thy words giveth light. it giveth understanding unto the simple." True understanding and knowledge comes from God's Word. The word understanding (bin) is also associated with discernment. The same word is used when Solomon asked God for wisdom, "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern (bin) between good and bad." We can't have discernment without being enlightened and we can't be enlightened without the Word of God.
Have you seen a picture of the tabernacle in the wilderness? It was formed in the shape of the cross. On the right hand side of the Holy place stood the Table of Shewbread on which the priests placed 12 loaves of bread each week. On the left hand side of the cross stood the Golden Candlestick shining its light upon the Presence bread. The light shining from the Candlestick speaks of the illumination of the Holy Spirit upon the loaves of bread which speak of the nourishment of the Word. The best translation of the Word of God is the Holy Spirit who reveals God's Word to us.
When God enlightens His Word to us we can be wiser than our enemies. There are many enemies of God's truth but as we fill ourselves up richly with the Word of God, we will have answers for our adversaries. Our children can have more insight than their teachers and elders when they are filled with the Word of God. Read about it in Psalm 119:78-100.
The Word of God increases the intellect as it is the source of all knowledge. James W. Alexander writes in Thoughts on Family Worship, "I cannot think it possible for any family to enjoy, twice every day for all their lives, the privilege of hearing the Scripture read at domestic worship without, by that very means, rising perceptibly and greatly in knowledge and intellectual force."  (2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Ephesians 1:17-18; Colossians 1:9)
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
Above Rubies, www.aboverubies.org

PRAYER:
""Oh Lord, please fill me with revelation and understanding as I read your precious Word.  Amen."
AFFIRMATION:
I'm sharpening my children with the Word of God which is sharper than any two-edged sword!

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
Above Rubies, www.aboverubies.org

PRAYER:
""Oh Lord, please help me to be a Word Nourisher and a Word Builder to my family. Amen."
AFFIRMATION:
I'm building up my family, not pulling them down.

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