Newsweek’s “The Myth of the Perfect Mother” Cover Image
In today’s DBR (Daily Bible Reading) we read about a sin that leads to death. What could that sin possibly be? We get a glimpse of what he is talking about in the final verse of the entire book of 1 John in the last chapter and last verse. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. As you are reading the full text, this verse seems sort of out of place. Sort of like a, “Let’s stick this thought right here because I don’t know how to end my letter.” Oh, my friend, that could not be further from the truth. The last verse is the sum of all the parts of the Book of First John. Take a look at what A. W. Tozer says in Knowledge of the Holy.
“That God exists for Himself and man for the glory of God is the emphatic teaching of the Bible. The high honor of God is first in heaven as it must yet be in earth. From all this we may begin to understand why the Holy Scriptures have so much to say about the vital place of faith and why they brand unbelief as a deadly sin. Among all created beings, not one dare trust in itself. God alone trusts in Himself; all other beings must trust in Him. Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust not in the living God but in dying men. The unbeliever denies the self-sufficiency of God and usurps attributes that are not his. This dual sin dishonors God and ultimately destroys the soul of the man.”
Unbelief is rooted in idolatry. Not just any idolatry of external things and trappings but idolatry of the worst kind: the worship of self. The usurping of God’s attributes and placing them unrightfully on yourself is paramount to Grand Theft and punishable to the full extent of the Law: eternal damnation in Hell. Wow, that’s not you! Or is it? Can you do it all, have it all, be it all? We women are great at that. Fitting it all in, becoming so busy and great at all we do, because after all, God calls us to be excellent in whatever we do. In the end are you just relying on your own strength? Little children, keep yourselves from yourselves!
1 John 5:16-21
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. ~ 1 John 5:16-21 (ESV)
Today my Dad taught me a lesson. One that he has taught me over and over again my whole life but for some reason today was a little different. We set out to go to dinner tonight with my husband and my son. We were leaving a little late and I had a schedule to keep, plans that my Type-A insidiousness would not want hindered. My husband needed to go to the bank before we went to dinner, and being the good dad that he is he let Jacob, our son dictate the restaurant. BJs it was. But my husband turned right, when BJs and the bank was left. I quickly corrected him and said he needed to go left. He said politely back that he wanted to go to the regular bank. But, here I was, in my own mind rightly correct, and on my own self-serving agenda. So, in true “Jenny” fashion (only my husband calls me Jenny so don’t get any ideas, because remember, I am Type-A) I snapped back that the bank was FULLY in the opposite direction and that there was a perfectly good ATM machine right next to the restaurant. And really, we were just going to use the ATM machine at the actual bank too so what is the difference? He shook his head, kept his cool, and instantly took the next U-turn he could and therefor I got my way. I instantly regretted the whole thing and wanted to stuff back all my disrespectful words. But I couldn’t. I messed up. I know my husband and he usually has good reason for why he does what he does and he definitely is not a time-waster or someone who allows inefficiency. I should have known better. Also, if you back up to every other time I insisted on my way and he caved over the past 10 years I was consistently wrong and he was consistently right. I don’t even mean by a percentage. I mean 100% he was right every time even though I thought, at the time I was 100% right.
God teaches me over and over again to SUBMIT to my husband. Even on the small decisions. But again, I sat in the car making things worse by apologizing and begging him to turn around and go to the actual bank. He did not. He continued in the direction I asked him to go. So, here is God’s (my Dad’s) lesson. We get to the ATM and there it is. A big red OUT OF ORDER sign. OF COURSE!! Thank you Jesus! I am WRONG once again and my husband is RIGHT. I should have just kept my mouth shut and trusted in my husband’s ability to lead our family. The reason today was a little different was not in the lesson itself, but in the surrounding circumstances. I kept going even after I was clearly hit over the head yet again with a lesson. Telling him this and that and chirping in his ear becoming that drip, drip, drip that every woman claims they are not but secretly hopes they are not but wonders if they are. What is wrong with me! I do the things I hate and the things I want to do I do not do (paraphrased from Paul’s writings). I was tried back-to-back-to-back tonight with my lack of self control, my lack of being able to keep my mouth shut, and ultimately my lack of humility. I considered a muzzle but in reality I needed to repent. Not only to God for breaking several of his laws but to my husband. I reaped some pretty hefty consequences tonight which I fear came in the form of blessings withheld which makes me sorrowful to no end. Only by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit can I be made perfect in this. Yet I still long for the day when the pain and frustration we go through on this earth will be but a small fragment of a distant, barely remembered memory like mentioned in our DBR today in Isaiah 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.”
Thank you, Dad that I am a work in progress and one of your attributes is patience, especially with a control freak Type-A like me. I know there is a perfect soul somewhere inside this massively corrupt body and I can’t wait to meet her some day soon!
Isn’t the status quo interesting? People will do anything just to keep their lives as they are even if it is wickedly messed up. Change scares most people. Oh the sadness and compassion Jesus must have felt towards the people in the town that asked him to leave because he was messing up their economy. Lord, help me have your compassion towards the people in my life who reject you! Reading: Matthew 8
Join me in Today’s Daily Bible Reading!
What a beautiful read in Genesis today of the would-be sacrifice of Abraham’s only son! Oh how Abraham must have felt yet he still obeyed. It is written so plainly but I know, as a parent, the agony he must have went through let alone the possible and probable damage done to his relationship with his son and wife. His son Isaac was a longed-for only son for 100 years. Could you imagine trying to have children your whole life and never having any. I know of friends who have tried for 10 years and then gave up. Abraham and Sarah then miraculously conceive when they are old and beyond the age of conception. One child. Can you imagine the energy and uplifting of that one child? The celebration over this miracle baby? And then Yahweh asks the impossible of Abraham. What faith in Yahweh! Yahweh, I pray that I too would have that kind of faith in you. Even just a small percentage. Help me to always trust that you will provide, always, in everything!
I am not ashamed! When I am persecuted I rejoice. When I am put down for my faith, I abound in joy for the privilege. My Savior is worth every bit of pain and suffering. What we go through today is nothing compared to what Paul went through let alone what Jesus endured for us. I count any persecution as a crown that I can wear with pride.
DAILY BIBLE READING LINK FOR OCTOBER 25, 2013 Pastor’s Note: Today we read of God’s use of natural disaster to carry out discipline on his wayward people. We also learn an important lesson about the “lying prophets” who want to … Continue reading →
DAILY BIBLE READING LINK FOR OCTOBER 24, 2013 Pastor’s Note: Today’s Old Testament reading is prompted by Jeremiah’s reasonable question regarding what is happening to Judah. The Lord takes him to school on the divine covenants of the sacred nation. … Continue reading →
I was thinking it would be a great fashion statement to wear a mini electric chair around my neck. I’m thinking of getting one with diamonds on it. Have you really ever thought this through? When did the cross become a symbol of fashion or a thing in-and-of-itself to be worshiped? They are everywhere and on everyone. Some people wear it as a symbol to show their affiliation but it has drastically lost it’s meaning. Some people place mini alters in their homes with a cross as the center piece. Who exactly are they praying too? Catholics want a dead Jesus hanging on it to remind they of what he endured and Protestants want it empty to represent his resurrection. Atheists want it extra large to represent their mockery of it while Agnostics wear in it’s latest sideways fashion just to fit in. Somewhere along the line in history, the cross became detestable to God. It has become a Baal, an idol that we worship more than the One who died on it. Let’s take a step back today and really consider what the cross represents and try to de-desensitise ourselves to it.
“Learn not the way of the nations,
nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
because the nations are dismayed at them,
for the customs of the peoples are vanity.
A tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
DAILY BIBLE READING LINK FOR OCTOBER 23, 2013 Pastor’s Note: In his admission of the pain he feels over the indictments he is commissioned to deliver, Jeremiah shows us why he is sometimes called the “weeping prophet.” Speaking the truth … Continue reading →
“My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me.” – Jeremiah 8:18
When is the last time you felt that way toward someone? When someone you love is going down the wrong path, or better still consider someone you dislike who is going down the wrong path. Do you stop and pray for them with true compassion or do you say “Well, they deserve what they get.” I look at how stiff necked these people have always been yet Jeremiah rightly reflects God’s heart. He is saddened to the point of a sick heart. I pray that the Holy Spirit would convict me every second of every day to have His compassion and patience for those I love and give me an extra heaping of that same compassion and patience for those I dislike.