Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1 John 4 & 5

I am finishing up 1 John today. Chapters 4 & 5 have challenged and encouraged me. I have pulled several key verses that resonated with me...

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and know God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love. -1 John 4:7-8

I am challenged daily to love, not just my family or friends, but all those I come in contact with. People that aggravate and frustrate me, people who are rude and unkind...God calls to love everyone, not just those who are easy or convenient to love.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. -1 John 5:2

Showing love to my brothers and sisters in Christ by obeying God! What a wonderful blessing and instruction God has given us in this verse!

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4

Again, God instructs us that we are not to be of the world, we are to overcome the world. We should not let the ideas and values of the world influence us and draw us away from those of God. Through faith, we can accomplish this!

We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. -1 John 5:18

What?! Not sin?! But I am not perfect!!! But God calls us to seek perfection in Him, and again offers His promise that if we are seeking perfection, He will protect us from Satan. He knows we will stumble and make mistakes, but if we are continually seeking His face, we should not be living in habitual sin.

Friday, March 4, 2011

1 John 3

1 John 3 tells us how to love one another as sisters and brothers in Christ and continues to admonish us to righteousness.

"Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous." 1 John 3:7

Here John is reminding us not to be fooled by the Great Deceiver, not to follow the ways of the world and think that we can "get away" with living in sin. God calls us to perfection, to be constantly maturing and walking with Him.

John also defines love for us as children of God...

"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." 1 John 3:16

Again, he is calling us to strive for righteousness in that Jesus laid down His life for us, we should do the same for others. Note he does not say we should "be willing to lay down our lives", he says we "ought to lay down our lives". God calls us to put aside our own desires and needs and live for Him and for others.

John ends this chapter with another one of God's many promises...

"Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." 1 John 3:24

Friday, February 25, 2011

1 John 2

1 John 2 contains instruction on how we are to go about walking in the light. At the end of 1 John 1, we are instructed to confess our sins. 1 John 2 goes on to tell us how to continue to walk in the light after we have confessed our sins.

"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1

To walk in the light we must:

1) Keep His commandments. "Now by this we know Him, if we keep His commandments." 1 John 2:3

2) Love one another. "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him." 1 John 2:9-10

3) NOT love the world. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

4) Be cautious of the Antichrist/false teachers. "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour." 1 John 3:18

5) Live in purity. "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him." 1 John 2:29

Thursday, February 24, 2011

1 John 1:8-10

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

We are sinful by nature, but God is willing to forgive if we just confess our sins. This is important because John also tells us in this chapter that refusal to acknowledge sin not only makes us a liar, but God.

Father God, help me to recognize the sin in my life and confess it to You. Let me always strive to live without sin, but let me confess what sin is in my life so that You may cleanse me of it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1 John 1:1-7

I am starting a study of 1,2, & 3 John. Today I read 1 John 1:1-7. Two key verses stuck with me...

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:6-7
God wants us to fellowship with Him as well as with other Christians, but we must be walking in the light-meaning pursuing a maturing a growing relationship with Him through the study of His word and prayer. God knows our hearts, we cannot just "talk the talk". He requires full commitment from us to walk in the light with Him, not just on Sunday or Wednesday, but daily. Every moment of our lives should be spent walking with Him in the light, looking for ways to glorify Him in our daily lives.

Lord, thank you for sending Your Son to cleanse us from all sin through His death on the cross. Lord, let me honor that gift by walking in the light and avoiding the darkness and all the temptations therein. Help me diligently guard my heart against the lies of the Enemy and know that all good, all light, comes from You. -Amen

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Home

"Every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." -Proverbs 14:1

What are the ways I can build my house?

-have a joyful attitude about my housework

-have a plan and schedule to keep my house clean and efficient

-have kind words for my husband and children

-obey God's word

What do I do to pluck it down?

-get frustrated with the children and respond in anger

-skip housework because I am tired or have over-scheduled my day outside the home

-be inconsistent with my personal devotion time

"She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not of the bread of idleness."-Proverbs 31:27

Laziness is a big part of plucking my house down for me. I have often chosen to watch TV instead of do the dishes, take a nap instead of cleaning the bathroom, go to bed early instead of folding and putting away laundry.

God has given women a wonderful gift and responsibility of being the keeper of the home. He expects us to give that task all we have. Working outside the home (as I do) does not lessen the importance of the task of keeping my home and does not reduce the amount of responsibility I have in doing so.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

My devotions this week have focused on the actions of a Christian and how those actions effect others and reflect on Christ.

"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." -1 John 3:18

I often say that I have good intentions but poor follow through. But this verse makes me think, how good are those intentions without the follow through. It's nice to think about calling someone to check on them or just try to cheer them up, but if I don't actually do it, how does that person know I was thinking about them? God wants us to care for one another, not just talk about it. I am challenging myself this week (and ongoing) to think of ways I can let my friends and family know I care for them. I am also challenging myself to follow through!

"Fathers provoke not your children, lest they be discouraged." -Colossians 3:21

This verse brought many questions to mind for me...

How do I speak to my children? (not always kindly and gently)

Do my words edify or belittle them? (too often, the answer is belittle)

How can I do better to be tender, loving and respectful of my children? (stop taking out my frustration on them, take a deep breath and count to 10 before I respond in anger)

Again, I am challenged to make my home a quiet and cheerful place. A place my children are comforted and encouraged, not discouraged.

Love & prayers to all!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


So I am catching up on my "Chaos to Calm" series as I was out of town Monday and Tuesday. Days 16 & 17 definitely convicted me, focusing on self-discipline and exercise. I have always struggled in these two areas.

I will be honest, I read the devotions last night after a not so great evening, and all I felt was depressed and overwhelmed. I feel like I can barely hold it together, now that Rick and I are both working full time. The laundry is piling up, the house is messy, paperwork is falling behind. I am also, again, challenged by the juxtaposition of my role as breadwinner versus my desire to be a godly wife and mother (by the way-if anyone figures out how to do both well, please let me in on your secret!).

But this morning I read about Abigail, who eventually became a wife of King David. Before she was married to David, she was married to Nabal-a man who was less than an ideal husband. Nabal was rude, crude, and disrespectful to those around him, which surely included Abigail. However, she still managed to be gracious, wise, frugal, and compassionate to others-all of the characteristics I desire and feel that I lack! She did not let her situation control her and prevent her from being the woman of God she was called to be!

So today, as I start to feel overwhelmed once again by life's circumstances, I will remember Abigail and her refusal to let her life's circumstances stand in the way of her relationship with God.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Serving Others

I am catching up on my "Chaos to Calm" series at this week and the focus has been on looking outside ourselves for satisfaction, finding joy in serving our husbands and children and those around us.

Growing up, I often heard that I had a "low self-esteem" and lacked "self-confidence", that I needed to "learn to love myself before I could love others." This is just more evidence of the humanistic, self-serving society we live in today, and is completely contradictory to God's instruction to "die to self".

Three key Bible verses struck a chord with me this week...

"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil." -Proverbs 31:11

For my husband to trust me, he must know that I am putting his needs and concerns first and foremost in my life. This trust requires self-sacrifice on my part to show my husband that his money, home, children and other important things, are safe in my care.

"As I have loved you, so you should also love one another." John 13:35

Loving one another as Jesus loves us requires absolute servitude and self-sacrifice. Jesus paid the ultimate price, death on the cross, because of His love for us. There are not many circumstances in which we can die for a friend or loved one, but we can show the love of Jesus by serving them with our time, devotion, prayer, and support. This, too, requires that we put others before ourselves; sometimes even those are not friends or loved ones. God does not say " you should love your friends and family", He says "love one another", everyone we are in contact with falls into that category!

"My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies." Song of Songs 2:16

While it is important that your husband trust you with his finances, his home, his children, etc.; it is also vitally import to a healthy marriage that he trust you with his heart, his love, and his physical needs. Your husband needs to know that he is the love of your life, always. Often in marriage, life can get in the way of affection and romance; but, God calls us to maintain a healthy balance by caring for our husband's needs in this area as well. Showing affection, even when we don't always feel like it, is an important part of respect and submission in marriage and leads to a healthy and happy home. This also requires, at times, that we put aside our selfish excuses..."I'm too tired", "I have a headache", "I am angry at something that happened today"...and focus on the needs of our husband, rather than ourselves.

This week I am definitely challenged to focus outside myself, I will be making and effort to make my husband my #1 priority after God.

Love & Prayers!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chaos To Calm

I have started an online devotional at called "From Chaos to Calm". It has been quite a while since I have blogged about my Bible studies, namely because I have been inconsistent in my reading and studying of God's word.

I am starting off 2011 with a renewed spirit and determination to grow closer to God through the study of His word. I thought a good way to do that would be to share my thoughts on the daily devotional I am doing through the "From Chaos to Calm" series. We are actually on Day 11, so I will just give a brief overview of what I have learned and what I have accomplished as well as where I continue to fall short!
One of the most important things I have learned is that DAILY, CONSISTENT, QUIET time in God's word and prayer is NECESSARY to a calm household! And it needs to be FIRST thing in the MORNING, not sometime during the day when I manage to fit it in!

Reading God's word and seeking His guidance in prayer should be like getting dressed every day...I wouldn't go to work with no pants on, so how can I start my day without first preparing my heart and mind for the challenges that lie ahead during my day.
Going out into the world each morning is like going into battle without any armor, I have no protection against the arrows of "bills", "deadlines", "car pool", "laundry", "meetings", "traffic", and so on that the world throws at me throughout my day. By taking time in the morning to settle my heart and mind on God, it helps me keep my focus on Him no matter what comes my way.

Other areas that we have discussed have been regarding our treatment of our husbands, how we respect (or disrespect them), how we submit (or don't), and how we can change our bad habits into good. While I know I have made some significant improvements in this area in the past few years, I can see that I still have far to go and many changes yet to make!

I am excited to share this journey from chaos to calm with you!