En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘integrity’

Starving at the Father’s Table!

Posted by Scott on May 3, 2008

from The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” –John 21:15

There is today no lack of Bible teachers to set forth correctly the principles of the doctrines of Christ, but too many of these seem satisfied to teach the fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely unaware that there is in their ministry no manifest Presence, nor anything unusual in their personal lives. They minister constantly to believers who feel within their breasts a longing which their teaching simply does not satisfy.

I trust I speak in charity, but the lack in our pulpits is real. Milton’s terrible sentence applies to our day as accurately as it did to his: “The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.” It is a solemn thing, and no small scandal in the Kingdom, to see God’s children starving while actually seated at the Father’s table. The Pursuit of God, 8.

“Lord, I trust I’m not being critical, but it seems to me that there are more and more churches where people are starving at the Father’s table. I sense the lack in our pulpits of which Tozer speaks, and pray that You might bring a refreshing. Amen.”

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-From A Dad: Devotional For Dads/Psalm 119:1-8 One

Posted by Scott on November 29, 2007

All of us dads have times in our lives when we feel like we are being chased and persecuted by our enemies.  It does not matter how spiritual we seem to be or our devotion to God…the enemy will attack without notice.  Sometimes it depresses us, causes us ulcers, gives us a headache that seems to never go away, drives us to anger, and at other times it creates in our minds a sense of helplessness.  Psalm 119 has been instrumental through my trials and tribulations as I long to experience the fullness of God Himself and deal with each issue that thrust its way into my life.  In my in-depth look into the heart and mind of God I have found a place of solitude that surpasses anything I have experienced in my life.  In the midst of praying through Psalm 119 a divine devotion has grown from the fertile ground that God placed His word in….my heart!

I will share with you on a daily basis the verses and devotion that God so poetically engraved into the soul of my being.  I encourage you to glean from the passages and testimony the encouragement, instructions, promises, and restful peace that is found there.

-Day One-

Psalm 119:1-8 (1599 Geneva Bible Translation):

Blessed are those that are upright in their way, and walk in the Law of the Lord.” 

-Those are blessed that keep their conversation and ways without hypocrisy.  They are not blessed who think themselves wise by their own judgement with no regard for God’s wisdom.  Nor is this blessedness for those that think themselves with a certain kind of high holiness.

“Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and seek Him with their whole heart.”

“Surely they work none iniquity, but walk in His ways.”

-These are under God’s rule and embrace no other doctrine but His.

“Thou hast commanded to keep thy precepts diligently.”

“Oh that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!”

-Here David is acknowledging his imperction, but he desires that God reforms his life and conforms it to God’s word.

“Then should I not be confounded, when I have respect unto all my commandments.”

“I will praise thee with an upright heart, when I shall learn the judgements of thy righteousness.”

-True religion stands in serving God without hypocrisy.  In God’s precepts is His perfect righteousness.

“I will keep thy statutes, forsake me not overlong.”

-David refuses to be tried by these temptations, however, he fears that he may faint if God does not aid him in his troubles in time.

_________

Integrity is a hard characteristic to develop, but our joy is found in the law and instruction of the Lord.  This integrity will be challenged on a daily basis by our enemies.  As we are obedient to His commands and search diligently for Him with our whole heart we will discover Him in ways we never could have imagined.  Sometimes in prayer I find myself groaning from the depths of myself that I did not know existed.  This groaning comes during times of great distress and even in times of deep depression.  The Holy Spirit takes those groanings to the very throne of our merciful Majesty in heaven and turns it into words that God will understand and has been waiting to hear.  Psalm 34:18-19 (NLT) says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, He rescues those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one.” When we are at our lowest point and groanings begin to growl out of our mouths from our hearts that are broken, God is there to rescue us and pick up the pieces of our lives that have been left shattered in the wake of the storm.  The Lord tells us that we will encounter many troubles…it does not give us an option in that.  However, He will rescue us from each and every trouble…guaranteed!  It will be according to His graciousness and richness, but whatever way God chooses to rescue us will be the best way and we can all rest assuredly in that.

As a father of 10 children I find that I must stay the course and not compromise with evil doers or compromise my integrity for anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect by any means and fail daily, but the goal is to stay on course and correct known mistakes immediately.  No amount of money, wealth, or instant gratification is worth lowering my standards for.  Praise Him always and rejoice in the Lord.  We will not be disgraced no matter what people may try to do to us as long as we keep His commandments and word.  It has been my goal daily to consistently be a reflection of principles of my heavenly Father.  So, as always I ask the Lord not to give up on me even though I may fail from time to time.  I cry out daily for new mercies, so I can make it through another day.  I am guaranteed that He keeps His promises always.  Jesus has told those of us that are weary and heavy hearted to place all our cares upon Him and take His rest.  So, rest in the peace that God will give and believe that He will see you through.  We will never know the depths to which God may draw His peace, rest, encouragement, rescue, wealth, healing, and more from…He has already charted a trail for us to follow in His word and I intend to do my best within the power of the Holy Spirit to stay on that trail…bumps, cliffs, trees, tall weeds, beast, and all.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-From A Dad: Saving the Boys! Proverbs 2:1-11

Posted by Scott on October 20, 2007

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  To save our boys we need to give them excellent role models to immolate.  Once they are given the proper role models they will then know how to have a good marriage and how to be a good father.  These are the fathers of tomorrow we are raising, guys.  As a dad I need to be a strong biblical role model for them.  My boys need to see me as their dad reading his bible, praying, serious at times, laughing at other times, helping other people, serving, living according to the bible, doing what is right even if it is a hard choice, and so on.  I deal with speed, stops signs, seat belts and red lights all the time when the kids are in the car with me….this is an area I am working on….ha…ha…ha!

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”           -Proverbs 2:1-5 NIV

We as dads have such a short time with these boys.  To bring them up to be strong respectable men.  My oldest son is 14 years old.  He thinks himself to be a man and ready to make manly decisions.  As much as I would like to think he is ready I know he is not.  So, with the 4 years I have left I have alot of training sessions to work on with him.  As his dad I must instruct him in the ways of the Lord even if he does not seem to listen.  I cannot beat it into him, but God’s word must be presented to him every chance God gives me.  I found the other day five goals to saving our boys by Steve Farrar as their father it is my job to model for them the importance of:

*knowing and obeying Jesus Christ

*knowig and displaying godly character

*knowing and love my wife

*knowing and loving my children

*knowing my gifts and abilities, so I can work hard and effectively in an area of strength, rather than weakness and contribute effectively to the lives of others and have a little fun at the same time.

“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”           -Proverbs 2:6 NIV

If I as these boys dad will be faithful to God’s word and fill my boys up on His word I can rest assured it will not return void when they are adults and have families.  He guards the path of the righteous and protects the trail of those faithful to Him.  Our boys need to hear this often.  We need to remind these boys of God’s divine hand upon their lives and that He is working His plan in their lives.  For most boys now days they never hear that God even cares for them much less that He has a plan for their lives.  Proverbs 2:10 tells us that “wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”  It is this “pleasantness in God” that us dads need to desire for our boys to understand and experience.  If they can have a deep loving relationship with Christ early on, they will have a fighting chance as a successful father and husband in their adult years.  Without the Lord in the very center of their being they have no chance.  Success is defined here as raising upstanding kids and staying married to the same gal for all their lives….does not matter about the money, homes, cars, or retirement accounts.  All that matters is that when we enter heaven and our sons and daughters enter heaven God can say of us “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  If that is not our goal for ourselves and our kids, then what other goal could we have?

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

 

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