Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her.
Both of them had an affection for Naomi, and therefore set out with her upon her return to the land of Judah. But the hour of test came; Naomi most unselfishly set before each of them the trials which awaited them, and bade them if they cared for ease and comfort to return to their Moabitish friends. At first both of them declared that they would cast in their lot with the Lord's people; but upon still further consideration Orpah with much grief and a respectful kiss left her mother in law, and her people, and her God, and went back to her idolatrous friends, while Ruth with all her heart gave herself up to the God of her mother in law. It is one thing to love the ways of the Lord when all is fair, and quite another to cleave to them under all discouragements and difficulties. The kiss of outward profession is very cheap and easy, but the practical cleaving to the Lord, which must show itself in holy decision for truth and holiness, is not so small a matter. How stands the case with us, is our heart fixed upon Jesus, is the sacrifice bound with cords to the horns of the altar? Have we counted the cost, and are we solemnly ready to suffer all worldly loss for the Master's sake? The after gain will be an abundant recompense, for Egypt's treasures are not to be compared with the glory to be revealed. Orpah is heard of no more; in glorious ease and idolatrous pleasure her life melts into the gloom of death; but Ruth lives in history and in heaven, for grace has placed her in the noble line whence sprung the King of kings. Blessed among women shall those be who for Christ's sake can renounce all; but forgotten and worse than forgotten shall those be who in the hour of temptation do violence to conscience and turn back unto the world. O that this morning we may not be content with the form of devotion, which may be no better than Orpah's kiss, but may the Holy Spirit work in us a cleaving of our whole heart to our Lord Jesus.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
1 Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the LORD silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the LORD are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, LORD, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
Psalm 78 (excerpt)A maskil of Asaph.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock,
that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths,
lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him,
they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful;
he forgave their iniquities
and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
and did not stir up his full wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
a passing breeze that does not return.
Proverbs 26 (excerpt)
18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”
20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.
23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.
25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor
rather than one who has a flattering tongue.
Proverbs 29 (excerpt)
5 Those who flatter their neighbors
are spreading nets for their feet.
6 Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words! (1 Thes 4:16-18)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Definition of ENCOURAGEMENT
1: the act of encouraging : the state of being encouraged
2: something that encourages
Related to ENCOURAGEMENT
Synonyms: boost, impulse, goad, impetus, incentive, incitation, incitement, instigation, momentum, motivation, provocation, spur, stimulant, stimulus, yeast
Antonyms: counterincentive, disincentive
Definition of ENCOURAGE
1 a : to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope : hearten
b : to attempt to persuade : urge
2: to spur on : stimulate
3: to give help or patronage to : foster
— en·cour·ag·er noun
Synonym Discussion of ENCOURAGE
encourage, inspirit, hearten, embolden mean to fill with courage or strength of purpose. encourage suggests the raising of one's confidence especially by an external agency
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thinking about my post last night (which was pretty late, I was tired, and wish I would have thought it through more), I have decided to do a biblical study on encouragement. I really want to know what God says about it. So I will be putting my read-through-the-Bible-during-quiet-times on hold, and concentrating on encouragement passages.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I've been thinking lately about encouragement. Being unemployed and needing it is an interesting place to be. I've found that people either tell me that they've been praying for me or they try to fix my problem by giving me advice on job searching, thinking of ways to help me financially, etc. The former is great, the latter is not so helpful* (see below for more about that, here's a preview - it's not so great if that's all you get).
8do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
9where your fathers tested and tried me
and for forty years saw what I did.
10That is why I was angry with that generation,
and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.'
11So I declared on oath in my anger,
'They shall never enter my rest.' "
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
I think from now on I will seek to encourage others in the gospel, in the hope of their salvation, using God's word and pointing to them how He works.
Think I will be looking into encouragement some more. Stay tuned...
*I do want to stress that offering to help is great! But I thing that sometimes it's just easier for us to offer solutions to a problem, instead of maybe giving more of ourselves for someones spiritual good. I think a balance of both is good. Personally I'm getting more of this kind of help, and would really appreciate more encouragement for my heart.
**Psalm 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purpose of his heart through all generations.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
***The answer is the hazards to my heart.