How Narrow is Narrow?

The Bible teaches us “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

How narrow is the way?

I recently heard a sister testify how her grandmother was shown a vision of a narrow path.  And the path was so narrow, she could not walk the path with her feet side by side.  She had to walk the path, putting one foot in front of the other.

I believe the path today and tomorrow and the day after………….. and so on………….. is still that narrow.  It’s going to take a close walk with God, to make it to Heaven.

We can’t walk with the world and make it to God’s Heaven.  For the way of the world is a broad way………..”For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”



O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard………..

I listen to songs that I’ve recorded over the years during church services.  One in particular, I could listen to over and over again.  The entire recording is beautiful, but the first 10 or so seconds at the beginning, is my favorite part.  The singer begins,    “I’ve been standing, looking down a narrow road…………”  In the background, I hear a man say, “LORD, I praise you!”

It is absolutely one of the most tender and loving expressions of praise I’ve ever heard.  Every time I hear this, I could just cry and cry.

I thought, Lord do I praise you enough?  Not just when I’m at church, but when I’m out and about……….  Do I praise you when  others are near, or do I hold back?  Do I sincerely praise you for all that you’ve done for me?

I praised Him today, for a special reason.  I thanked Him today, because He’s faithful.  I worship Him today, because He shed his precious blood and gave His life so that I might live.

If you search the Bible for the word, Praise, you’ll find many occurrences of this particular word.  Here are just a few………..

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.

And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

While I live will I praise the LORD.

Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

 



It’s A Pure City

I was reflecting on a conversation I had recently about Heaven.

Heaven is a beautiful place where we will go if we live our lives acceptable before God.

Only the pure in heart will see God.  Everyone will stand before Jesus, but unless your heart is clean and pure, you’ll not make it in to God’s pure city.  The Bible confirms this in Matthew, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

What’s an unpure heart?  An unruly tongue is one example:

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

The Bible teaches:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The conversation I mentioned above centered around the comment……. “Some Christians have bitterness in their hearts.”

God’s pure city is only for the pure in heart.  Bitterness in your heart will not be allowed in God’s Heaven.  A backbiting tongue will not be allowed in God’s Heaven.  Anger will not be allowed in God’s Heaven.  Envy will not be allowed in God’s Heaven.

I often ask God to show me anything that shouldn’t be in my heart; for I want to make it right.  If I’ve said or done anything that offends a brother or sister, I want God to reveal that to me.  I want to beg for their forgiveness and God’s forgiveness.

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Good people, we’ve got to keep ourselves unspotted from God and the world.  There’s no shame in asking people to forgive you for your wrongs.  If there’s anything in the heart that should not be, ask for Gods help.  He will reveal that which is not right and ask Him to show you the ways to making amends and peace.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

 

 

 



Maker

Tonight, I began to reflect on the last couple of days where some of the ladies from the church met in Amish Country.

What beautiful country it is around this area.  I thought, Lord, you are the Maker of all this.

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”



Cowboys and Indians

As Nicholas and I were chatting tonight, he said to me, “Mom, I don’t have enough Cowboys.  When my Cowboys and Indians battle, the Indians will always win because they out number the Cowboys.”   I love the innocence of children………

What a wonderful opportunity to teach him about God and how God will always fight our battles.

I said to him, “Nicholas, do you know that God can not be defeated, no matter the battle?”  I went on to tell him that there’s no battle too big for God and if we have God as our commander, we’ll always be victorious.  He’ll lead us in our battles, He’ll direct our paths, and He’ll defeat the enemy.  But, we’ve got to let Him lead and trust in Him.  Now, this doesn’t mean the victory is how we imagine it will end.  God’s ways are not our ways, but in the end, there’s a victory.

I was thinking about David and the story we all know so well of Goliath.  How Goliath could not be defeated.  Until, God intervened.

“And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle isthe LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.  And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.”

But there’s more to this story of David.  Before David went to slay the giant, Saul armed David with his armour.  But David hadn’t proved Sauls armour, therefore David went to battle without Sauls armour.  David slew the giant with a sling and stone.

Often times, we forget how powerful God truly is when it comes to battle.  We think we’ve got to arm ourselves with “weapons”, and we fail to trust in God.  We’ll seek the advise of this person, or that person.  We’ll ask a friend or a family member for advise.  We’ll imagine in our minds…… this is what I’ll do or maybe if I do that…………the enemy will be defeated.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with seeking advise from an elder, or someone we trust.  But, God’s got all the answers and sometimes we seek Him last, instead of first.

David did not require Sauls armour to defeat Goliath.  Nor, did he consult anyone for advise.  He needed God………”but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.”

Just the mere mention of God and demons tremble;  the devils also believe, and tremble.

Are you in a battle?  Sure you are.  We’re all in a battle.  Some are in multiple battles of the flesh or spirit; perhaps both.  The most important battles we’ll ever face are our spiritual battles.  But, the only assurance we have in victory is when we allow God to command our battles………

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”

 



River of tears

As I was praying for someone tonight, I saw a river of tears.  A vivid picture in my mind, that showed the person, standing and a river of tears flowing to the beautiful throne of God.

God knows and He cares about all the burdens in this life.  He even told us to cast our cares upon Him, and let him bear the burdens and ease our load.

I’m glad that I have a Father in Heaven that knows my every need, even before I ask.  A dear Brother in the Lord wrote a song, “Leave It In His Hands” which is so beautiful and true.

Dear Lord please help me to leave things in your hands.  You said if I would trust you, even though I can’t understand.  You said you knew my needs, even before I would ask.  You said if I would trust you, you’d bring them to pass.

Psalm 56

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.  Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.  In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.  Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.  They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.  Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.  Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?  When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.   In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.  In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.  Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.  For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?



Time

Time is quickly passing us by.

As a child, time was so slow, it seemed.

As an adult, time seems to have quickened and what used to seem like 1 hour, now seems like a minute.

It seems as thought I just brought my daughter home from China and picked my son up at the airport from South Korea.

However, it’s been 9 and 8 years ago…………..

“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”




‘Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”