Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reverence & honor for God & Man

 Then spake Y'shua again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. -John 8:12
 Recently I have been considering the idea of honor. Reverence goes hand in hand with honor. Years ago as I studied Scripture I was particularly edified by Bathsheba's reverence for David. It says in  1Kings 1:16  "And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king..." She showed him reverence. He was not only the King at that time but he was her husband.
 Unfortunately he was her husband due to his sinful yielding to temptation. Bathsheba's original husband died in battle because King David purposely put him on the front lines so he could pursue his covetous desire for her. King David was in transgression of the Just One's Law of Love. Nevertheless, a prophet was sent to him, & he was rightly chastened of God for his transgression. God's law is love & it is certainly not loving to covet your neighbor's wife.
Since Bathsheba's husband was dead she was no longer bound by the marriage covenant; thus King David could rightly have her as his wife.  It is an encouragement to me to read that she had a reverence for her husband (King David). She showed him respect & honor. These are two words that are greatly lacking in action in this time we are living in. I am 40 years old & I was taught to respect my parents (to a certain degree & the elderly). A majority of the children that have been raised by my generation apparently are not being taught these profitable acts. When a wife respects her husband, the two of them can teach the children to respect them. They can also teach them to have respect for those who are aged among them such as: Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, older cousins & siblings & adults in general. Touching on these thoughts can easily get us in a ball of tangled yarn so to speak. What I mean is, that so much in life is connected to these basic principles & has an effect on many aspects of life.
It seems that the lack of respect for husbands, has created a lack of respect for wives, which has created a lack of respect in children for their parents, which I believe is also linked to a lack of self respect through-out society. You can see the lack of self respect in the way people choose to walk around in public. I have seen a dad & his son wear pj's to the grocery store ( some may think this is cute...) this teaches children a sense of carelessness. "Let's not care what people think of us walking around in bed clothes" and thus you have women with the same attitude walking around in  something that should only be in the bedroom. 
I understand the mentality of not wanting to care what others think, but in order for that thought process to really be sound it needs to be influenced by what is just, good & honorable. Such as: "I do not care" (i.e. will not be stopped/hindered by the thoughts of others) what people think about the fact that I am choosing to wear modest attire when everyone else here is walking around in bathing suits, "I do not care..." that they are staring at me as I stop to talk to this homeless person that smells & looks awful (not all homeless people smell & look awful, I am just making a point); "I do not care..." that people give me unkind looks because I veil my head out of  reverence for God & man.

What we often see today is a lack of respect for self & others; many say: "I DON'T CARE!" (who also lack sound reasoning for their lack of care) ...what people think about me having purple & green hair, 2 nose rings & a tattoo in the middle of my forehead! ..."I don't care if people can see my breasts in this see-through shirt, or this v-neck shirt that reveals all but my nipples. "I don't care that when I bend over my pants fall below my bum-crack & everyone sees it. "I don't care what people think about me being tattooed from head to toe & that I hardly have any clothes on." I don't care"
what people think about me turning up my stereo so the whole neighborhood can hear it. "I don't care" if everyone on Facebook see's SELFIES of me in my underwear. "I don't care what people think of my public display of intimacy with my "partner"/friends/same gender. The list could go on  & on. Many could read this & go off  madly lecturing their justifications for these vile, irreverent, public displays. "Don't judge!" The truth is when we look in the mirror of the Law of true liberty & we see the prior things mentioned in our lives, we have already been judged by ourselves. We condemn ourselves when we choose things contrary to virtue & light. But with Y'shua there is hope through repentance. Y'shua (Jesus) said (as recorded in John 3:19"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."  He also says as recorded in Jonh 8:12  "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
God's ways are light & life. They bring true liberty. We can say, "I don't care" & continue to display dark actions, Or, we can be free from the care God wants us to be free from, repent, & shine the light.

We read in 1Corinthians 11:3  "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." This is the Apostle Paul sharing with us the light he received from God. This statement of his clearly sets forth God's ordained order for life on earth. This order is good & those who abide in it will prosper. Anyone who takes an honest look at the history of society can clearly see the more the general public has forsaken this order the more chaos has prevailed. Society has become like Nineveh; a people that know not their left hand from their right. They are taught that evil is good & good evil. So much so that it is common to hear the exclamation, "Wicked!" when people like or esteem something.

I think I have shared this before...for those who have not considered this... God created fish to be able to live & breathe under water. He designed them with special qualities that enable them to be able to live in water. He also created birds that are able to fly. Birds can do things that fish can do, & fish can do things that birds can do; for example eat & rest. Yet, if a fish was able to be unsatisfied  with what it was created to be & tried to be a bird, it would terribly fail & eventually die. The fish wasn't designed to breathe as a bird does. And vice versa. You can apply this to women who are (I believe rebellious & influenced by a base society )to be discontent with who they have been created to be. As a fish has wonderful abilities that it would be ridiculous for it to be discontent with, so does the woman. 
To have man in reverence as our lord & guide in this world is not a thing to war against or despise!!! As a matter of fact this rebellion has much to do with the awful state of our present society. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. (1Samuel 15:23 "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry..." You do not have to be a witch to cast a spell over people. Rebellion will have the same effect. Have you ever heard your child make excuse for their bad behavior by telling you their sibling does it? "But, Johnny does it!" Do not be influenced by rebellious women to dishonor your husband. When women learn to respect men & their husband (if they have a husband) there will be a good effect in their life. Young women who show respect will be a light to siblings & others who see they abide in Truth & order. Married women will be a light to their children who will in return respect their dads. Respect, reverence, honor, go hand in hand and make for peace in the home & in society.
The Law of Liberty teaches us to honor: Father & mother (Matthew 15:4), the old (Leviticus 19:32), widows (1 Timothy 5:3) ...Honor all (1 Peter 2:17)
We need to have honor for all things created, people, and even animals. Respect for the living. Respect for life.
How do we honor our husband?
Unfortunately many of us were raised without an example of a mother who had true reverence for her husband. Some of our mothers may have had more respect for their husbands than others. Yet,sadly many do not have their biological parents raising them at all. Many lack godly role models. We need to labor to restore this to the future generation. For those of us that desire to labor for God's kingdom a very important need is for respect & reverence & honor to be restored among families. Mother's & wives, you  may not realize what a high calling you have & how much the future will be effected by your choice to reverence your husband or not. The way you choose to interact with your husband will leave a lasting impression for generations to come if the Lord delays His coming.
I myself have miserably failed in this area, but I will not make excuses for my bad choices. I want to redeem the time and lay a hold of this forsaken virtue that many women of old possessed such as Bathsheba. I am thankful for the few women of our time that shine as precious jewels as they sincerely honor their husbands. They should drive us to emulation, in the sense that we should earnestly desire to attain/imitate the virtue they display.

A Heart that Sees husband as lord 
Consider this:
Ephesians 5:21-24  "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.   For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.   Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."
The chapter goes on to say how husbands need to love their wives. They have their part and we have ours. However, our part is not contingent (dependent) on whether or not they are doing their part. If we love truth & want to please our LORD in heaven who created us all, then we will seek to reverence our husbands as we would want to reverence the LORD. If you have a husband who is not obedient to the faith I believe your relationship with him will be bettered & possibly healed if you remain faithful to honor, reverence & respect him. I believe we can experience greater peace & joy even in hard circumstance when we are being faithful to fulfill God's will in our life. It is His will for women to honor men and reverence their husband's as lord.
 If you are single you should seek to honor your biological dad; even if he is not a believer. If you are without a dad honor a grandfather, or godly men, if you are part of a fellowship. You should also honor your mother. There are many people we can practice this virtue of showing honor to. The more we exercise ourselves in honoring others, the more natural & a part of our character it will be. Honoring someone can simply be: looking upon them with respect, not interrupting their conversation, asking for their input in decisions you are making & respecting their input. Of course if they are not seeking to be Christian their input may not be something you should follow; but you can still hear them out and share the truth with them in love as to why you'd prefer not to heed to their counsel.  All who live godly will suffer persecution, & some times that persecution comes from loved ones (2Timothy 3:12  "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." ) Those who will be as Christ, & called by His name should not expect to live comfortably in this world. There is a cross to bear. The reward of eternity in peace with the true God who suffered on earth & knows our infirmities is worth the pain of the cross in this temporary world. 
As for the married, we can apply the same as the single would but with our husbands. Although, the difference would be, a need to obey your husband.[Obedience to anything that isn't contrary to God's will; God would not have you obey your husband if it meant stealing, killing, lying,and such like things.Read Acts 5 where Sapphira was judged when she lied as her husband had.]
 We should seek to do our husband's will even when he is not at home to oversee. Our hearts desire should be to fulfill the will of our husband. To prefer his will above ours, because we were created to be his helper, not he ours. Many husbands do help their wives and this is good. But we must not burden/manipulate the husband into being our servant. A godly husband will naturally desire to serve his wife in that which he sees as good & profitable. We need to cleanse our hearts of the worldly mindset of living happily ever being served by prince charming in a cute home with a white picket fence. That is not what Christ has called us to. Unfortunately many who profess Christ have painted this picture & shamed the name of Christ. We need to remember, in order to honor God we must honor the husband. Godly joy will fill our hearts when we surrender to a life of servitude. All of God's creatures are servants. We have all been created for God's pleasure. And peace comes when we do what we were created to do. The husband has a big responsibility in serving his family by seeking God & Truth making sure his family is fed & clothed & washing them with the Word of God.
Consider Genesis 3 :
 Adam & Eve were created & given a perfect world. They were given simple & reasonable instructions to follow. Due to the fact that we are created with free will (for the sake of not being robots & especially for the sake of True Love). Love could not be love if there was no choice/free will involved. It is when we freely make choices that True Love has meaning. The consequence of their sin: Genesis 3:16  "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." One man states, "She shall be subject, but it shall be to her own husband that loves her, not to a stranger, or an enemy: the sentence was not a curse, to bring her to ruin, but a chastisement, to bring her to repentance. It was well that enmity was not put between the man and the woman, as there was between the serpent and the woman."
Approach your husband as you would imagine approaching God the Father. I believe the heart would have a healthy, holy fear. Not a light & careless attitude. Discern the time with your husband, is this a good time to share this thought, or concern, or blessing, etc.? Be ready to deny yourself & wait until the time is right for him. When the husband is respected as the head of the wife, God is still God. We must keep God as our first love. We can look to our LORD in heaven throughout the day. Speak with God in our hearts. He fills what the husband can not fill. Honoring husband as Lord does not diminish God as Lord.

Do You Speak to Your Husband as You Do to the Children?  
This is a big "no, no" so to speak. Have you ever witnessed this?  A wife that corrects or scolds her husband as she does the children is very unseemly. Especially when she does it in front of children. How can they possibly respect a man that gets scolded just like they do? And if they are teenagers, beware of the disrespect it will breed in their hearts for you & your husband. We must learn to approach our husbands with great respect & honor. We must tame our hearts when provoked by grievances that would cause us to speak out of season to our husband. When Bathsheba had a concern to voice she came to her husband & bowed to honor him. She did not allow herself to carelessly approach him. She didn't place her hand on her hips, and say "What are you doing! Do you realize what is going on?!" It seems to me there was more restraint in old times when speaking in general, that we lack in our present time. Her conversation with her husband was well thought out. She wasn't rash with her words. James a disciple of Christ sheds light on our path when he says, James 1:19  "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:" 
I believe if we were slower to speak this would help us to speak with respect.
 It is hard to imagine a wife in our times bowing to her husband. I am not suggesting we need to actually bow in body but rather to take on the mind that would do such a thing. Sarah, Abraham's wife called her husband Lord 1Pe 3:4-7  "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.   For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:   Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife,..." 
God is good & right in His ways. 

Do You Shame Your husband?
It seems to be a common error for women to get together & make light of their husbands faults & or imagined faults. Beware & guard the tongue when it comes to exposing your husband's deeds to others. Even if it is in a sincere desire for help or prayer. You can request prayer for hardships without exposing the issue.

In closing:
 I hope you will be encouraged to examine your heart in these areas (Respect for others). DO  Not be discouraged when you see your failures. Rejoice that God has opened your eyes to see your need & start putting into practice what you know to be the good & right way to treat others (regardless of how others treat you). Honor the Father in Heaven by honoring others.
"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;"- 1Peter 3:1 
                 "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light."   Psalm 36:9 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

I don't have a problem blessing mother's on a day the "world" wants to honor mother's. 

" And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women" Luke 1:28

One of the most Blessed Mother's of all time was the one who was found favored by the Creator of all, & chosen to bring forth the promised Savior of the World. God trusted her to be a handmade to the Lord: to nurture him in both spirit & body. God is a mystery. But He is not so mysterious that He is estranged from the feelings of our infirmities "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews4:15
The man born of a highly favored virgin was not just man but God also. He was not just God, but man enough to feel pain & sorrow, as we also feel pain & sorrow. Yeshua was the name Mary was instructed to call Him. The word Yeshua refers to salvation & His power to save. Save from what? Save us from making the same mistakes over & over again. He came to save us from willfully sinning (Yes, we have free will. The creator was wise enough to create us uniquely with free will & not as robots). He also came to save us from the power of death & the enemy of our soul.

Mary had her set of challenges raising the King of Glory. Though He was the first born of her womb He was yet a mystery to her. She sorrowed when he was a young teen & she lost sight of Him. "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. ...  And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them." Luke 2:48 & 50
Mary was a woman born of man as we also are. God chose her to be a mother of the Great King. I was not there in her time so I can not tell you why He chose her; but I believe it had to do with this: "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." Luke 1:38
She responded in faith & meekness. She trusted that what the angel told her was the will of God & she did not contend or fight against it but meekly accepted it. This must have been a challenge. She was a virgin who was soon to be mysteriously pregnant. That was not a light matter in her time (and should not be in our time either). There would be much shame & false accusation for her to face. But God had ordained this for her; so she chose, by her own free will, to accept it. She bore the humiliation.
We too are faced with challenges in life as mother's, as women. The important & favorable thing for us to do is embrace what God has allowed in our life with meekness. I have been often reminded of meekness. Please refresh yourself with the post I did on meekness by clicking here. Meekness is something we all must earnestly strive to consistently have in our lives. I have had my days of failure; but I do believe practice makes perfect. We can be perfectly whole/complete with God. With God nothing is impossible ( "For with God nothing shall be impossible."-Luke 1:37 ) Many make an excuse for their falling short by saying that no one is perfect. But that is not what the Savior of the world said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." -Mathew 5:48
  "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."-Mathew 19:21
"The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master."-Luke 6:40
"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."-John 17:23

Notice 3 out of 4 of writers of the Gospels specifically sighted Yeshua telling us, to either be perfect, or that we can be perfect. I point this out
because I believe that if we truly want to be perfect, we will endeavor by our free will, to practice it until we perfect it. Just like people do with non spiritual things: basketball stars & other athletes, amazing surgeons...
This is something people do not want to acknowledge because it makes them without excuse & accountable for their own failure. It really should put the fear of God in us, which is the beginning of wisdom. When we have a holy, clean fear of God we are motivated to labor for that perfection He requires of us. He is not requiring us to make a basket if we are asked to throw a basket ball, He is not requiring us to preform intricate brain surgery where a slip of the hand is life or death. I believe what He desires of us is a sincere & dedicated love. A love that will motivate us to keep laboring to respond without irritation, without fear, with out anger without malice, without selfishness & pride to the daily issues of life. A love that keeps us from being weary in well doing. A love that is perfected by dedicated practice. God have mercy & grant us the perfection of Holiness.
We believe Father, help our unbelief. Father, You are a rewarder of them that diligently seek You.
 "Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger."-Zephaniah 2:3

Mother's, be not weary in well doing. Consider Mary, the Mother most blessed among Mother's, who bore the promised One, raised Him up, & watched Him grow & do miracles, become a man & be stripped, mocked, spit upon & crucified of ignorant men. Follow her example of meekness, humility, trust, faith, hope & unfailing love.