En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘guys’

Holiness A Way of Life…For the Authentic Believer!

Posted by Scott on September 16, 2008

A couple of mornings in my quiet time I was reading and studying through the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11:1-40 and continuing on into chapter 12 as well.  Something interesting was shining through each verse and my awareness of God’s strong calling for us men to return to a holiness the world has not seen or heard of for centuries…these men of old lived by a faith in someone that was unknown in that day and time and unseen…the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  These early faithful fathers considered a strange life to be worth more than all the wealth in the world.  Many were willing to sacrifice everything they had in order to follow the commands of God.  We must ask ourselves if we are willing to give up our wealth, our job, our golf game, our constant trips away from the family, our social life, and so on in order to be obedient to call of God on our lives.  Not many are willing, but some are.

All these people spoken of here were living out their faith in God and the coming Messiah at the time of their death.  They did not waiver in their faith.  They desired to be holy and not compromise their holiness for anything less than their very best for God.  Each one of them considered themselves to be strangers or aliens while on earth.  They had not conformed to the world’s way of living…they stayed the course.  These men and women understood their role as being made after the image of God. 

Any of us that are today striving to live our lives in holiness, set apart for the service and work of God our Father must ask ourselves if we are really walking in faith daily?  We live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth in the way of safety, security, freedom to worship as we please and where we please and even the ease of life.  However, conformity to the world is even easier here.  It is much easier to live as everyone else does.  It is much easier just to go along with what everyone else is doing.  Send the kids to public school that teach them to be everything but a holy Christian, so you don’t have to answer those questions that homeschool parents get asked.  Put the kids in every sport and activity known to man so they don’t have be pressured by their peers at school or church..just conform to the world’s way of life and it will be much easier.  Remember, only have two children…if you have a boy and a girl you now have the “perfect” family…I mean you must know better than God how man kids you can handle…us guys we surely know what is best for our families, God just pushes us out here and kind of lets us go in all directions and hopes we end up where He planned.  Play golf every weekend because your buddies do and they might laugh at you for being a “family man” if you did not join them.  Guys, it is much easier to just conform to the ways of our society than it is to live a holy life…we must admit this to ourselves.  Now, guys you you know all that sounds absurd, but that is how many Christians live and wonder why they have no impact for Christ.  Let’s stop and think about the early Christian’s and what they went through for the cause of Christ.  Stop and think about your life and whether it is pleasing to our heavenly Father who has told us to be “holy”.

“…others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned[a]; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…”  Hebrews 11:35-37

These early Christians were our examples of how an authentic Christian should live.  The difference Christ has made in our lives should be obvious to those around us.  It could lead to beatings, ridicule, imprisonment, torture, etc., but in our society today most likely just very opinionated people lashing out is what will happen.  How may of us are willing to live in holiness with a threat hanging over our heads, because of our faith.  The Scriptures tell us that “the world was not worthy of these.”  Can this be said of you and me?  Are we living such a life that we are willing to take the jeers from others including other so called believers?  Are we willing to be an alien in this world to the point of being taken to court over it or even imprisoned for the Christ sake?  These are serious questions we all must ask ourselves.

Holiness was worth going through some of the most horrible torture the world could think of to many of the early Christians.  Moses regarded disgrace for the sake of the coming Messiah of greater value than all the treasure in all of Egypt.  Rahab was willing to risk her and her families life to assist the godly men of God.  Enoch was rewarded for being the one who pleased God and was taken away to heaven without experiencing death…holiness was evident in his obedience to God’s word.  He understood that it was impossible to please God without being obedient to Him.  Noah built the ark in holy fear of God who commanded him to build it.  Each of these people and many more were considered holy before a perfectly holy God.  They understood the risk, but also believed in the reward…God Himself!

To be disciplined by God is to be loved by God.  He must sanctify us before He uses us and He is disciplining us to experience in His holiness.  These hardships and disciplines are brought upon us to produce a holy righteousness and a peace that surpasses the masses understanding.  In this quest for holiness, God intends on training us so that we can share in His holiness.  He intends the bride of Christ (the Elect, the Sheep, the Chose ones) to be holy when He returns.

In conclusion, this life is worth living only if it is lived out for God and Him alone.  Everything we do in this life should be for the glory and honor of our most holy God.  Our holiness is important to God in pointing the way for others to an authentic faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  We must ask ourselves a question each and everyday…what am doing today that is showing my holiness before our almighty God?

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”   -Hebrews 12:14

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

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Can I be frank with you men?

Posted by Scott on September 10, 2008

I have been away studying through some great Bible studies the past several weeks.  Over this time politics has really become volatile and the true church is not as visible as it once was.  One observation over the years and especially this year I have listened to men especially Christian men whine, groan, and moan about wimpy stuff.  Today, Christian men are so feminized they complain about the littlest things and whine about things they should be embracing as a man.  The men are now acting like the females while the women are acting like the men.  It is really a messed up world we live in.

Areas I hear the wimpiness coming through for instance is from Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican Convention.  Come on guys, she did not take some things far enough, but was gracious yet “manly” in her address.  She could have said some truthfully nasty things about the opposite side, but refrained.  She was firm on her convictions as us men are suppose to be.  She was combative to challenge the other side like us men are suppose to do.  She spoke the truth unabashedly as us men are suppose to do.  If Sarah Palin is elected as the VP, it is an indictment on us men for failing to rise up and be the men we are called to be.  We are to be tougher.  We are to be unabashedly truthful in all things.  We are to be firm about our convictions.  We are to be supportive of life from the moment of conception and not bat an eye when telling others our convictions.  It is us men that are to live with integrity all the days of our lives so our kids can see this in us and glorify our God.  This great nation is in need of men that hold to the truth, integrity, and convictions that Sarah Palin has exhibited, but He cannot find any, so He will raise a woman up to accomplish this.

Men, we must get a grip on this life.  It is not easy nor did God ever promise it would be.  We must stop worrying about what the Muslim will think about the truth from God’s Holy Word when presented.  We must speak the truth to them without fail.  We must not shrink back into our shell because of some arrogant atheist point of view…a lost person cannot understand the things of God.  Their intelligence is no match for the wisdom and knowledge of God.  Men must take back their children from the government run schools.  If you want your children to grow up in a godly manner then stop sending them to the most ungodly institutions for instruction.  If we want to raise the next generation to honor our God and bring Him glory then you will have to spend more time with them developing a Biblical World View rather than letting the world develop a secular world view.  This will not come about if you give “Caesar” over 40 hours per week with your children teaching them everything but Biblical truth verses your 5 to 6 hours per week talking about everything else and maybe the Bible…if Romans are teaching them then do not expect them to turn out to be anything but Romans.  Our children need to be indoctrinated on the Scriptures not science and social studies.  Our children need to know the Word of God from beginning to end rather than evolution and that two married men can make up a family.  I am tired of hearing these wimpy Christian men with tales between their legs whining about a woman being a bit too rough on a liberal or the preacher in the pulpit is speaking about the reality of hell too much so his friends will not want to come to church.  Either return to being a man as God made you or stop calling yourself a man.

“He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil-this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.  His bread will be supplied and water will not fail him.”   Isaiah 33:15-16

Guys, the calling is back to righteousness.  God wants us to be a holy and righteous remnant for Him when He returns.  It will not matter how rich you are, what legacy you have left if righteousness and holiness were not a part of it.  At work we need to strive for righteousness.  Do not listen to the nasty jokes.  Be a blessing to those around you looking out for your fellow man rather than yourself.  Be in communion with God all day long whether good time or bad.  are you building your home on the mountain fortress as a refuge based on the Scriptures?  Is your faith growing daily as God stretches your faith with events of life you could not imagine?  Is your life a breath of fresh air to God and those around you?  Does your family think of you as a godly man or a work driven person striving for riches?  How much time do you spend with your wife and kids on a weekly basis compared the amount of work you do?  These are tough questions only for real men….if you are wimpy and whiny right now just reading this then you may not want to read further.

Men, read this next passage very carefully.  Read it over and over.  Understand that this is still in effect today as it was when it was written a few thousand years ago.  Read as though your life depends on it, which it really does.  Read it to your children and to your wife.  Read everyday until it becomes so en-grained into your mind you will never forget it.

Deuteronomy 6:3-19 (New International Version)

3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.

 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

 13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.

One final blast here.  Notice that we men really do not accomplish anything, it is God who accomplishes the success through us for His glory.  We can be a great part of life for our families, friends and most of all-God  We are tools used by the Master to accomplish His greater perfect will.  So, men this is gut check time.  I pray that all those reading will be prompted to step back and take a hard look at their lives to see if you are really being the man you are suppose to be or just whining, wimpy, feminized followers of the world’s secular system.  I have to give myself a gut check often as well to make sure I am “maning up” rather than “wimping out”.

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

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Breaking the Silence of the Morning!

Posted by Scott on March 24, 2008

Have you ever gone through a period of time not knowing what to pray?  Deep from within yourself your body groans and aches for an answer from the Lord or even to come up with words to express your heart to God, but those words just do not come about!  I think almost everyone that is honest about their spiritual lives experience this at different times in their lives.  This very morning was such a morning for me.  As I woke up early in the darkness of the morning still looking for God to answer several prayers yet today I just did not feel I knew what to pray, ask for, or even meditate on.  In the way the Lord usually takes my inner hurts and springs forth life in me, He showed me a chapter in Psalm that continues to sustain me through some of the darkest hours, loneliest days, and still of nights.  The following passage was such a joy and direct answer to prayer I wanted to share it with you. You can certainly read it in whatever version you wish, I included two versions as I usually study from several different versions in order to fully take it all in…I don’t like to miss anything from God’s word.  May you enjoy it and may it take your breath away if you have been looking for direction, answers, words, and for our Lord to break His silence in your life.  May the God of this very hour be honored by the reading and sharing of His holy word!

  

Psalm 20 (The Message)

A David Psalm

 1-4 God answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
   Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
   Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
   Exclaim over your offerings,
   Celebrate your sacrifices,
   Give you what your heart desires,
   Accomplish your plans.
 5 When you win, we plan to raise the roof
      and lead the parade with our banners.
   May all your wishes come true!

 6 That clinches it—help’s coming,
      an answer’s on the way,
      everything’s going to work out.

 7-8 See those people polishing their chariots,
      and those others grooming their horses?
      But we’re making garlands for God our God.
   The chariots will rust,
      those horses pull up lame—
      and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

 9 Make the king a winner, God;
      the day we call, give us your answer.

Psalm 20 (NIV)

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
       may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
       and grant you support from Zion.

 3 May he remember all your sacrifices
       and accept your burnt offerings.
      
Selah

 4 May he give you the desire of your heart
       and make all your plans succeed.

 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
       and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
       May the LORD grant all your requests.

 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
       he answers him from his holy heaven
       with the saving power of his right hand.

 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
       but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

 8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
       but we rise up and stand firm.

 9 O LORD, save the king!
       Answer [a] us when we call!

May this chapter of scripture be a blessing to all who read and meditate on it.  God’s never ending blessings upon us today!

“Heavenly Father, we humbly pray that You will teach us to draw upon Your well of spiritual water, to know that every demand made upon us as husbands, dads, and men is a direct demand made upon You as well, and Lord, we know that as these demands pile upon us You are ready to live Your life through each of us in all situations and at last to magnify Your grace.  AMEN!”

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

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Praying through Difficult Times…Psalm 5!

Posted by Scott on March 5, 2008

Guys, if you are like me praying can be difficult to do sometimes.  I mean, just to set down with enough time to effectively pray from our heart and mind.  Many times just finding the words to say can be difficult as we are down or depressed.  As easy as many preachers and teachers will tell you praying is, it is not that easy sometimes.  Throughout the past several years I have found it fruitful to spend a great deal of time studying and meditating on the Psalms.  This is especially true after studying about the life of David so intensely over the years.  Before David was on the throne, he spent numerous years fighting his enemies, running from them, stressed out over his situation, in trouble, in constant song and prayer, but all the while growing in His faithfulness to God.

Praying for our families, job situations, friends, our health, the health of others, and even our enemies can be a task if we desire to pray effectively.  This morning, a pattern became clear to me in my plight to pray effectively and purely before my God.  This is not true of every single time we are to pray, but I can imagine most dads, husbands, or men in general are much like me and are dealing with such a load on their shoulders that the simple opportunity to pray seems like one more piece of luggage upon their back.  The chore of prayer I speak of has nothing to do with our love for God, just our state of being…I still love my Lord more today than I ever have in my entire life and cherish what I am learning from Him.  If this is you, listen closer.

As David prayed throughout Psalms it started many times with a deep groaning, agony or a plea for God to hear his cry (prayer).  “O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God…” Have you ever sat down to pray really not knowing what to say, but just from the bottom of your gut this growl or hurtful groan came up?  This is the depth agony that I am speaking of here…that deep groan which was many times holding back tears and shaking as it came forth.  You and I may think we said absolutely nothing, but God heard it loud clear.  He understands exactly what we are going through.  He knows exactly what we said even though we do not know what we said.  Understand He put His only Son here on earth, to be watched over by a very young couple, in a world He knew would be hostile towards His Son, a couple that was not sure why this came about on them, and eventually this world or society would e so hostile it would kill Him.  So, do not think that God does not understand what we go through as a dad, because He really understands sacrificially. 

There has been numerous mornings that I have gotten out of bed at 5 am in the morning from a restless night of sleep as something was bothering me or (I hate to admit it but) something was worrying me.  As a dad of 10 children I can fill that weight of responsibility all too well jump on my back early every morning.  However, I have learned to take this load with me to the place I pray, meditate and study in God’s word each morning so that I can unload it there on my Lord.  He wants it, so I try to leave it with Him.  Guys, I am as human as anyone else and must admit that I am not 100% successful in leaving my sorrows, my load, my cares at the cross each day.  I find myself tying a string to it and dragging along with me although I was suppose to leave it with the Lord.  This is just a part of life that we must continually battle and fight through. 

As I continued to observe David’s prayer here in chapter 5 after he groaned and pleaded with God in his struggle David simply states  “Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly.”  This is exactly as we should do.  Once we have spilled our guts to God and unloaded that pile of junk that was clinging to our backs, we need to be confident in our God to go about our day knowing in the back of our minds that God will answer our prayers in His time.  What joy, peace and rest we can obtain if we can practice our faith this way. 

Other quick observances in Psalm 5 that are tremendous to me starts with the fact that God hates sin as it states “He cannot tolerate the slightest sin”.  So, we need to deal with that first and foremost each day.  Now, for those of us who are repentant of our sins daily we can trust in His unfailing love…always, trust Him to be our guide…always, trust He will show us which way to go…always, trust He is our refuge…always, trust He is our protector…always, trust that God is our shield…always, and trust that the Lord blesses the godly…always!

So, as you go about your day today remember you can trust in the “always” of God and those deep groanings you have had lately in your prayers or even as you are just going about your day really do speak volumes with God.  He is listening and God is looking in the hearts of men all over for those willing to groan before Him and then listen expectantly for His answer.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

 

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-Private Moments in the Morning Are Priceless!

Posted by Scott on September 17, 2007

I know that us guys struggle with a private moment anytime of the day, but especially in the mornings.  Around my house I have to get up no later than 6 am in order to have several minutes of quiet and private to read God’s word, a book that I am reading, make the coffee, and so on…some mornings that is not early enough.  My mornings have become one of the most priceless parts of my day. 

In order for me to prepare to go into spiritual battle each day, I as a dad, husband, and citizen must spend some of my morning in God’s holy word.  The put on my armor, so to speak.  If we are seeking God’s heart and favor on our lives and families lives, we will encounter a fierce battle(s).  This will be daily and in some cases hourly.  Our adversary, satan, does not intend that we rest or have time for God’s word each day.  This creates around us a hard shell that he has a hard time penetrating.  Without our battle gear on each day, the flaming arrows of our enemy would render us useless in battling this world between good and evil.  In Ephesians 6 the Lord speaks of what kind of armor we need to put on:

The Armor of God

 10Finally, (S)be strong in the Lord and in (T)the strength of His might.

 11(U)Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the (V)schemes of the devil.

 12For our (W)struggle is not against (X)flesh and blood, but (Y)against the rulers, against the powers, against the (Z)world forces of this (AA)darkness, against the (AB)spiritual forces of wickedness in (AC)the heavenly places.

 13Therefore, take up (AD)the full armor of God, so that you will be able to (AE)resist in (AF)the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

 14Stand firm therefore, (AG)HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING (AH)PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,

 15and having (AI)shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;

 16in addition to all, taking up the (AJ)shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the (AK)flaming arrows of (AL)the evil one.

 17And take (AM)THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the (AN)sword of the Spirit, which is (AO)the word of God.

 18With all (AP)prayer and petition (AQ)pray at all times (AR)in the Spirit, and with this in view, (AS)be on the alert with all (AT)perseverance and (AU)petition for all the saints…

-NAS Version 

As we guys strive to find that private moment or moments during our day just remember that it may take days or weeks to find it, but if we are seeking for that time with our Lord, I believe He will help us find it.  I prefer the mornings as Christ did, but I truly believe it is whenever you can carve out that time sacrificially that really counts.  There is no magic in what time of day it is, but a tremendous amount of spiritual power awaits you at whatever time you can get alone and in the quiet with our Lord.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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