30 Days of Thanksgiving pt 2; CONTENTED

30 days of THANKFULNESS

day 10.

I’m grateful for CHILDREN.

Psalm 127:3-5 KJV

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord : and the fruit of the womb is his reward. [4] As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. [5] Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

HERE IS OUR LIST OF GRATITUDE SO FAR.

Grace

Rain

Advocate

Transportation

Invocation

The Temple, the church.

Understandable word of God

Debt paid by Christ

Election

HERE IS OUR LIST FOR BEING CONTENTED.

Children

OPEN doors of Opportunity to preach the Gospel

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

NUPTIALS.

Prov 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

TIME.

Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

EATING & Enjoying company with Family & friends.

Ecc 2:24; 3:13; 1Tim 6:8

1Tim 4:3-4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.

NEEDS being MET.

Phil 4:11-13; Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

TALENTs (ability).

Matt 25:15. Each according to his ability.

EFFORTS (wages according to my effort.) Luke 3:14. 1Cor 7:17; Matt 25:15

DOCTRINE of Christ.

2John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Why are you GRATEFUL?

7 things we ought to PROTECT

O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy trust,” (1Tim 6:20).

Paul’s letter to Timothy focuses on the work of the young evangelist and his need to remain faithful to God and His word.

At the end of the letter is the command, “KEEP that which is committed to thy trust.” Another word for keep is to ‘guard.’ W.E. Vines defines this word as, to watch, i.e. be on guard (literally or figuratively); by implication, to preserve, obey, avoid: — beware, keep (self), observe, save.

Paul is primarily speaking about the word of God. By implication it would also include whatever else is commanded for us to protect.

This got me searching the scriptures for other things we should protect, keep, guard.

First, we are authorized by command and example to PRESERVE our PERSONAL life. While Paul was ready to die in Jerusalem (Acts 21:13), if it could be avoided without denying the faith, he was authorized to PRESERVE his life. Upon learning of a plot to kill him, Paul was able to thwart that plan (Acts 23:11-30). This led to him to continue to preach as far as Rome (Phil 1:21-26).

Second, we are commanded to use and not to waste our RESOURCES. An example of waste through disuse is with the 1 talent servant. “Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury” (Matt 25:24-30). In our passage, Paul told Timothy to command the rich, “that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1Tim 6:17-19).

Third, we are commanded to care for our OLDER relatives who can no longer care for themselves. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1Tim 5:8-16). Another example is found in the care of Naomi by her daughter-in-law Ruth.

Fourth, we are to protect our TIME in this life. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16). TIME is fleeting and precious. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas 4:14). We see this in the example of the urgency to be baptized of those that heard the gospel. “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:33). “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized” (Acts 8:36; cf. Rom 13:11; 2Cor 6:2)?

Fifth, we are to make a covenant with our EYES to protect our heart. “I made a covenant with mine eyes” (Job 31:1). “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov 4:23; cf. Mt 12:34; Mar 7:21).

Sixth, we certainly must protect CHILDREN. Jesus Himself warned, “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:2-6; cf. Mark 4:42-44). Yes, he was inclusive of protecting the child of God, but that only strengthens the point of protecting the innocent life.

Seventh, most important of all, we must protect our TREASURE in Heaven. We have guards, locks, and safes to protect our earthly treasure where “moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” (Matt 6:19). This treasure is temporal and temporary and cannot help us in the judgment, but rather witness against us, “Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days” (James 5:3).

Jesus said, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:19-20). We can take our treasure with us to heaven if we’ve laid one there. This is definitely included in the command to Timothy, “KEEP that which is committed to thy trust.”

Spencer is an evangelist for the Franklin and Juniper St church of Christ in Borger, Tx.

as little CHILDREN

Children have not always been treated very well. They have…

  1. Been Sacrificed; 2Kings 17:31; Eze 16:20-21
  2. Caused to pass through fire; 2Kings 16:3; Jer 32:35;
  3. Sold for debt; 2Kings 4:1.
  4. Eaten. 2King 6:28-29.

Even now children are used as pawns in failing relationships, in manipulating the news, and in politics. These things ought not be so.

What does the bible say about children? Better yet, what does Jesus say?

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

(Matt 18:3)

Jesus uses the qualities of CHILREN as an illustration of those who desire to become CHILDREN of God. He makes it very clear, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” CONVERSION is the process of turning completely around. Comparing it to the CHILDREN, it speaks to our turning from trusting in our own abilities, and trusting fully in Christ, His sacrifice, His promises, His working through our faith. Without faith it’s impossible to please God.

Another quality of CHILDREN is seen in their HUNGER and their cries to be fed. Peter uses this quality to illustrate the need for the child of God to HUNGER for the word. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2).

One of the things we learn from Jesus as He uses CHILDREN for our understanding, is that children are INNOCENT. They do not have sin IMPUTED to them. Some claim that children are born wicked and totally depraved. Jesus didn’t see it this way. When asked about inherited sin, Jesus said it didn’t happen. (see John 9:2-3) When David’s son died in infancy, he desired to “go to him” (2Sam 12:23). Did David want to go to heaven or hell? Clearly, he knew that children are INNOCENT.

One quality every parent has experienced from children is their capacity to LOVE and our capacity to LOVE them sacrificially. Jesus uses that quality when He looked on with tears over Jerusalem (Matt 23:37). In Solomon’s day, he used this capacity for a mother’s LOVE for her child to determine the true mother of a child (1King 3:24-27)

Little children are especially unique in their ability to be DEVOTED to their parents regardless of their qualities. Consider Hebrews 12:4-11. We revere our earthly parents when they disciplined us (maybe not at the time). God wants this level of DEVOTION for His children.

Children are used to REPRESENT the NEW BIRTH of becoming a Christian. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This is very similar language He uses when He placed a child in their midst. The new birth REPRESENTS baptism in water (John 3:5; cr. Rom 6:3-4).

Then there’s the EXPECTATION of parents for the growth of the child. The New Testament writers make this comparison in Hebrews 5. “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (5:12-6:2; cr. 1Cor 3:1; 13:11).

Lastly, while children desire to grow and mature, they know that they are unable to do many things for themselves. They recognize their NEED for help from their parents and are ready to ask without embarrassment. Oh, if this child of God could be better at this quality. Children can teach us so much about how to grow, mature, work, and try to do, while simultaneously knowing their complete NEED for the loving care of their parents for their basic needs. “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him” (Matt 7:9-11)?

Let us think on the words of Christ about the example of CHILDREN. Despite how the world sees children, let us see them through the eyes of our Lord and learn the lessons that He has taught us through them.

— spencer

John’s Letter to a Mom

Many people discount the truth found in the Bible because they say it’s a male centric book. Clearly these folks know nothing about the Bible, for God’s word is replete with positive stories about women, incredible faith stories and strong female role models.

The Apostles demonstrated their heartfelt respect of women. One such example is the letter to a mom from the Apostle John.

The Second Letter of John is addressed to an older Christian woman, to a mom. In his introductory remarks we learn that this remarkable woman is well loved by the Apostle because of her own love for the truth. She’s loved not only by him but by others in the faith because of her love and knowledge of the truth.

He continues by expressing his joy over the news that her children are “walking in truth.” Don’t miss this, one of the greatest joys a mom can experience, apart from the physical birth of her child, is to witness that child’s spiritual birth in Christ Jesus and their walking in truth.

As with many other Biblical characters, there’s no information about her history, but that matters nothing to the teachings in John’s letter. After his expression of joy, he immediately reminds her, and every Christian, about the commandment regarding Love. Not that she wasn’t loving, it’s obvious that she was as the introduction states. Love is such an important part of the faith that John wrote about it extensively and does so here as well.

The remaining teaching of the letter is a warning against deceivers who might prey on her love and hospitality. It seems clear to me that this godly woman must have been very hospitable to have John be concerned enough to send her this personal warning.

He warns her about ‘antichrist’ these are any who come preaching something different from the revealed ‘doctrine of Christ’ [cr. Gal 1:6-9]. He tells her not to let them into her home AND don’t even ‘bid him God speed.’ This is still an important warning to all of us. Think about those modern-day antichrist groups who pound our doors.

He, the Apostle John, concludes by expressing his desire to see her and to speak with her further. Wow! How would that feel to have the one who is described as the one ‘Jesus loved’ desire to come and spend some time with you? [John 13:23; 20:2, 21:20] Does this sound like the Apostles disregarded women?

The entirety of this beautiful letter is printed here for you to read and to learn from this godly example. An example of a mother that God, through the Holy Spirit to John, felt was important enough to give us a peek into this wonderful woman’s joy and love.

 

John’s Second Letter

“The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.”