Category Archives for Christian Living

Lest Any Root of Bitterness Springing Up Trouble You . . .

I was prompted to write this post as I read a post that my daughter, wrote on facebook. The truth of the matter is we live in an unkind, cruel world.   I catch myself so often being unkind to the very ones I love the most.  Many times the Lord reminds me of the verse in Proverbs 31 .

Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

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In my heart I do kindness, forgiveness, love, encouragment

I have had to confess to the Lord that my mouth is not filled with kindness like it ought to be.  And though it may hurt when others are unkind to me, have I looked in the mirror?  How many times have I spoken sharply to my husband or to my children.  They should be the very ones I am the most kind to, but yet they seem the easiest to unleash upon.

As I think about kindness, I think about Jesus.  So much unkindness and hatred directed toward Him and He reminds us that it will be the same for us.  As a mom and grandmother, it really hurts when someone is unkind or hateful to my children or grandchildren. Often times it is those who are closest to us, those who claim to love the Lord,  yet they can be ugly, unkind, and discouraging in their words and actions.  I am sure many of you can relate to this.  And when it happens, if I am not careful, I can find bitterness springing up in my soul.  I pray often,  Lord forgive me for my grudges, put in me love, kindness, compassion, even for those who may be unkind to me (us).

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

I have four children, all who love Jesus very much and are seeking to train their children to do the same.  Praise the Lord for this!  What grace and what mercy!

  • No. 1 child has an inner city ministry, something very much needed everywhere!   He has been criticized, cut off, and cut down; I won’t go into any details, but basically, others thought he did not do it “by the book”.  This hurts me, probably more than him.  It is something I have to give to the Lord over and over.  This type of ministry has been his desire since he was a young boy – he loves the unlovely and most of all desires to give them Jesus.  Rather than looking at the unkindness, which is what the devil would like,  I need to concentrate on the blessings!   God is so good and He is working.
  • No. 2 child is very talented and skilled in the technology field.  How we praise God for that!   He has fixed up our electronic world many times over – more than we could ever repay.  He too has often faced unkindness as others “expect” things out of him.  He amazes me with his tactful and kind reactions.  God has blessed him and his family with a ministry in helping with music and children’s ministries as well a many other services at his present church.
  • No. 3 child has been a missionary in Brazil.  There have been attacks on his life to completely ruin him and take him out of the ministry.  Once again,  he has set an example by reacting in a godly way and leaving matters in God’s hands.  They returned to the field for a second term, but due to extreme health reasons came back to the states.  He and his family now serve as the general director of World Wide New Testament Baptist Mission.
  • No. 4 child does some blogging and she and her husband are involved in ministering to those in abusive situations. She has braved a chronic illness over the years while homeschooling 5 children. She stays true to the Lord.   If you read the facebook post, you will understand better why I am writing this.
    • This is pretty much a reminder to myself, that I need to daily look in the mirror and remember that I am a child of God and I need to reflect His characteristics, one main one being that of kindness.  I can always see the unkindness of others, but it is the beam in my own eye that I must first remove.
    • Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

    • Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

God is so good to me.  He is the ultimate example of kindness;  He sent His only Son, Jesus to die for my sins, and not for mine only, but for the sins of the whole world!   That just overwhelms me!   When I realize what He did for me, I am then able to allow Him to  take the unkindness and ugliness toward others out of my own heart.

Are you struggling with others who are unkind to you?  Are you finding roots of bitterness springing up in your heart that may be defiling many others around you?  Turn to Jesus.  Trust and obey His Word and find the blessings that only He can offer.

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Do you consider yourself a Prosperous Christian?

What is true prosperity?  Do you consider yourself a prosperous Christian?  God says that Joseph was prosperous even in bondage, even in prison, in all of his difficult circumstances – not just when things were going well. 

prosperity

It is obvious that Joseph’s  life followed Psalm 1:

1. He was blessed for not walking in the counsel of the ungodly…

2. His delight was in God’s law – he meditated in it day and night. (although the actual law had not been given, he still had been taught obedience to God’s commands.

3. He was like a tree planted by the rivers of water – his fruit came forth in the right seasons of his life. (there was fruit through every stage that God brought him through from prison to second in rule)  He did not wither; even in his hardest trials, he never withered.   EVERYTHING he did prospered.

4. He realized that God knew his way and was taking him along the path that was best for his life.

Psalms 1:1-6 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

There is a song with these words:

Delight, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will show you the path you’re to take
And when trials come and we trust in the Lord, He will show us that path we’re to take.

True prosperity is delighting in God’s Word and meditating on it.  This is what leads us on the right path of life.

  • May the delight of my heart and the hearts of my husband, children, and grandchildren be only in the Lord and in His law. 
  • May we delight in meditating therein, knowing that this is what brings true prosperity and will  lead us along the right path of life!  

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

 

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Sunrise, Sunset

How swiftly the days go by!  Sunrise to sunset, day after day!  The words to the song below a good reminder of how swiftly the days go by and that our lives are but a vapor.

sunrise sunset

Sunrise, Sunset

Is this the little girl I carried?

Is this the little boy at play?

I don’t remember growing older

When did they?

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow

the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tear

 

You may recognize some of the words above from the lyrics of “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof”.   As I meditate on this I am only prayerful that I can pass the following words of wisdom on to my children and grandchildren. May their lives count for eternity.

What words of wisdom
can I give them?
How can I help to
ease their way?
May their trust be
only in the Lord
Day by Day
Proverbs 1:7-10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

 My how quickly the days flee away. Now it has just Grandpa and Grandma Lockhart living alone in our house.  However, the Lord has blessed us with 21 grandchildren. I pray as the days go swiftly by, that I will pass on the faithfulness of our Lord from generation to generation.


 

Acts of Kindness–Do they transform lives?

A friend of mine recently shared some blessings that he experienced.  They were acts of kindness that we don’t see too often. Here is what he says:

On two different occasions this Memorial Day weekend, God used stranger to bless my family and I in ways that can only be described as uncommon.

On the way home from church Sunday, my wife suggested that we stop by and get a menu from a restaurant we had never eaten at before.  As we pulled into the restaurant parking lot, we decided to go ahead and get something to eat.  After placing our order, the children and I went for a walk around the parking lot while we waited. On the way back to pick up our order, a lady I had never seen before walked up to me and asked if I was a minister.  I told her no, but I was the Director of a local Pregnancy Resource Center.  She said, “The Lord told me to help you pay for your supper”  then she handed me seventeen dollars.  My family and I were amazed!

Then Monday, after a long hot afternoon of work, I had one project left on my list to complete.  I wanted to finish pressure washing my split rail fence.  I only had two rails to wash and then I was going to call it a day.  I got everything set up and ready to go and then realized that the pressure washer was out of gas.  Reluctantly, I loaded up the gas can and headed off to the store.  As I was beginning to fill my five gallon gas can the gentleman on the other  side of the island looked over and asked me what type of gas I was getting.  He said, “Is it regular?”,  I told him that it was;  then a most astonishing thing happened.  He took his nozzle and began filling my can.  As it turns out, he had prepaid too much and rather than go back in and get a refund, he decided to give the rest of his gas to me.  Again, I was amazed.

Needless to say, these two acts of uncommon kindness were a tremendous blessing and encouragement to our family.  

Uncommon Kindness?

How sad that acts of kindness are uncommon.  How different our world might be if there were more acts of kindness such as we read about here.  How many lives might be transformed if others could see Christ in us through simple acts of kindness!

People need to see us as Kind people.  We should reflect the character of our Lord for you never know when a simple act of kindness might bring a soul to salvation.  

 

Luke 6:35 …he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

1 Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; …

Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Romans 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

How many other verses can you give that speak about being kind.  Our Savior was the kindest person on earth.  He is a Savior of unfailing love and merciful loving kindness.  Do you know Him?


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The works of Moses and the Lamb – by Isaac Watts

How strong thine arm is, Mighty God, Who would not fear they Name! Jesus, how sweet they graces are! Who would not love the Lamb!

He has done more than Moses did, our prophet and our King; From bonds of hell he freed our souls, And taught our lips to sing,

In the Red-sea by Moses’ hand Th’ Egyptain host was drown’d; But his own blood hides all our sins, And guilt no more is found.

When thro’ the desert Israel went, With manna they were fed; Our Lord invites us to his flesh, And calls it living bread.

Moses beheld the promis’d land, Yet never reach’d the place; But Christ shall bring his followers home To see his Father’s face.

Then shall our love and joy be full, And feel a warmer flame; And sweeter voices tune the song of Moses and the Lamb

The above lines were taken from the book Hymns and Spritual Songs by Isaac Watts.  I am enjoying this book very much.  Such deep thoughts to meditate upon.  You can get a free ebook at Free eBooks by Project Gutenberg.  

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