If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
If it is your desire to maintain an abiding relationship with Jesus day by day, one of the keys that unlocks the door for continuous fellowship with Him is confession. When we first believed, the admission and repentance of our sins was the pivotal point in being restored back to God, but of equal importance is a daily confession of our sins. When the smallest of splinters enters one’s finger, it is immediately felt, and there is no peace until it is removed. So likewise it should be in our walk with God; to be so close in our love for Jesus, and so enjoying His fellowship each hour of the day, that if a splinter of sin springs from our heart into action, we want it immediately removed so that our fellowship with Christ is not hindered by it. Memorize and stand on the promise of 1 John 1:9. “IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.” It has been said, the sooner we confess, this displays our love for the Lord, and the quicker our hearts will stay tender; yet allowing time to pass only brings forth a hardness of heart and will surely rob us of the joy and blessings that come from abiding in the love of Jesus. Recognize the sin, humble yourself before God, confess, and turn from sin. Then, receive His cleansing by faith in His written word. The precious blood of Jesus was shed so you and I can have eternal life and enjoy abundant life here and now as we abide with Him in a daily walk hand in hand with Him, until we see His face.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. - 2 Peter 1:5-7
It has been said, “Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time.” As we approach a new year, let us take time to reflect on this past year and assess our lives. What was accomplished? What was left undone? What needs to be worked on? What weights or sins must be laid aside? Prayerfully consider before the Lord what direction He would have you take in the various areas of your life. In what ways can you add to your faith the ingredients listed in the verse above? What will you do to add to and build your relationship with the Lord, your marriage, parenting, grand-parenting, your place of employment, or ministry? Make your aim high, remembering His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him. Seek His strength to do His will, seek His ways to walk in them, and most of all, seek Him! Being resolute to make Jesus the One we love and live for each day will surely pour over into all other areas of life to bring a bountiful new year.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Many years ago, Algebra for me was not an easy subject. And now reliving it as a homeschool mom, I still find it challenging! One fact I alway remembered from it was that two negatives multiplied always make a positive; and so it is with the Lord. Though challenges arise and negative circumstances compound, factoring God into any equation always brings a positive!
A fallen world brings trials of various shapes and sizes. Some can be minimal, yet constantly test our faith, and others can be monumental and bring grief and suffering beyond measure. Yet no matter what storms may come and testing circumstances arise, God promises to work all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
A close friend of mine said, "Nothing is wasted with God." Nothing. He uses the difficulties and ailments we face to produce Christ's character in us. Trials have a way of purifying us as in a refiner's fire, so that we can say like Job, "When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job:23:10). Hardships also have a way of bringing us closer to Jesus as we run to Him for help, wisdom, strength, and comfort. Joy comes when our hearts are freed from impurities and distractions, and we are brought into a closer walk with Him.
The key to enduring is remembering God's love for you displayed through the suffering and sacrifice of His only Son upon the cross. Trust Him and place His exceedingly great and precious promises as the rock beneath your feet. So when the rains come, and the strong winds blow, you will find yourself standing, for God will hold you up! Let Him have His way in the storm as He guides you to His desired haven. He is faithful forever! Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:37).
Admonish the young women to....love their children. Titus 2:4
From the moment a mother gives birth, to the time she sends them off to college and beyond, a child needs their parent's love. The love of a mother is often conveyed through her giving; the giving of her time, her energy, and herself. Caring also demonstrates love: getting little ones cleaned up for the day, meal preparations, affection, and listening ears, especially in the teen years. Imparting is critical in loving our children; imparting God's Word to them, imparting values, character training, and a biblical view on life. Exemplifying also displays love to them; denying ourselves and momentary gratifications that Christ may be seen in our speech, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity.
How can a mother successfully carry out the high calling and privelage of loving her children? The resources needed to achieve this are found at the feet of Jesus, where you and I are beckoned to come and receive all the heavenly supplies needed to do the will of God for each day. Beginning your morning with God's Word and prayer will pour into your cup His love, Jesus' joy, and the peace of the Holy Spirit, so you might overflow onto your children all the loving they need. And God will be glorified.
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” -Genesis 2:18, 21-23
As a blueprint is to an architect, so is God’s Word to us. Builders are to keep to the design laid out for them in the written plans. To deviate on measurements would be a cause for other parts of the whole to not fit together, but to build according to the written pattern would bring forth the beauty and building that the architect originally designed. Moses knew this to be true. As he prepared for the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, God intentionally told him over and again, “…See to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain” (Exodus 25:40). God has established for us in the Bible His written plan and original design for marriage. As believers, we are to carefully follow the pattern given to us in the Word of God; doing so will lay a firm foundation and provide a home of beauty and strength that will bring glory to God and will withstand both trial and storm.
In considering the blueprint of God’s design, God tells us in Genesis 2 that from the beginning it was not good that man should be alone. Now at this point, fill in your spouse’s name. God would design a helpmate comparable to him and present her to him as his wife. You’ve got the idea…fill in your name there. God brought you to be the helpmate your husband needed, to minister to him by meeting his needs, as 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 tells us, For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. This is a place of honor and beauty that God has designed for us as wives.
I want to highlight three areas on God’s blueprint of how we can live out our role as a helpmate to our spouse: First, we can help by providing him with our companionship; next, with our closeness, and thirdly, by caring for his needs. Companionship was what Adam couldn’t find in any other creature in the garden, for God had a plan that Eve would provide him with the company that he needed. You are the one person God has ordained to meet your husband’s needs for companionship in a way no other can. Take the time to ensure your husband is nurtured with your friendship and not left feeling alone, by providing him with time spent together enjoying open-loving conversation and being a confidant he can count on. Recreation is also another means of meeting this need. Accompany him on random errands, take part of what interests him, join him at his side at his favorite activities or hobbies. Sometimes the small sacrifices we do to fulfill these things can make a big difference, adding strength to our marriages.
A second way to help our husbands is by providing them with our closeness. 1 Corinthians 7:3,5 says, Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband…Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time…and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you… Lavishing upon your husband the affection that he needs will not only fill his cup, but yours too, and will wisely keep a safeguard about your marriage from the fiery arrows of temptation.
Thirdly, as your husband’s helpmate, caring for his needs is a sure way to not only help him, but will show him love, honor, and respect. What are your husband’s needs this week? Feel free to ask him! And then roll up your sleeves to serve him for love’s sake.
In closing, you may have noticed that helping requires giving; which requires a willingness; which requires the energy and strength to do it all. Remember the words of Jesus who said in John 15:5, “…without Me, you can do nothing”. Conversely, Philippians 4:13 declares with confidence, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. As wives, and as God’s daughters, let’s take the time to be filled with the Word of God and with the Spirit of God, so we can go in the strength of God to fulfill the plans of God, His blueprints for marriage.
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:35-38
At the start of each morning, we as busy women can have a long list (endless!) of all that needs to be done for the day. We can have our cup of coffee (or two) and run as if in a race; by the end of the dizzying day, we drop with exhaustion onto our desired pillow for the night, only to run again not many hours later. Perhaps you can relate to this in some ways. But whatever your day or mine may look like, let us as His daughters do this one thing: place on the very top of our “To Do List”, Loving God, because this is the “greatest” thing we can do each day we have breath. As the greatest commandment, it is to be placed as priority over all other lesser things of the day; which when done, brings lasting satisfaction.
To carry this out, take your Bible along with your coffee (in my case, it’s tea), and be still before the Lord. Treat yourself an allotted time to receive the life-giving nourishment from God’s Word, offer yourself to Him, and commit the plans of the day to Him, giving room for His Holy Spirit to direct your steps. Open your heart before Him and receive all the heavenly resources needed for the day. Time spent with Him spells LOVE. After this, make it your aim that whatever you do in your day, do it heartily as to the Lord. Give Him your best in all things; great or small, loving Him will all your soul and strength. And thirdly, bring your thoughts into the obedience of Christ, filtering all things through Phil. 4:8; letting your thoughts be on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy; loving Him with all your mind.
So at the end of your well-spent day, as your look back on all that was accomplished, you can rest in quiet confidence, knowing that the greatest priority was fulfilled, and a heart of love for God was cultivated. Consider this: that each day lived to love God, week after week, month after month, and year after year, will bring you to the end where you could look back; and in preparation for the day when you and I will stand before Him, we will know we had lived out the greatest commandment given by Him: A life spent loving God.