Comfort in suffering | 2 Corinthians 1-11

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2 Corinthians is regarded   as the 2nd letter to the Corinthians but many believe it is the 3rd possibly even the 4th letter written to the church @ Corinth. Many Bible scholars and teachers believe Paul had written up to 2 other letters to the church at Corinth and 1 of the letters is even mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:9.Corinth at this time was much like America today, full of sin, pride and idolatry. In the Greek The name Achaia means; Grief or trouble.

The Church at Corinth was full of grief, trouble and it was a divided church. In this letter Paul gives a great snapshot of exactly what an early church looks like. Many in the church followed different teachers, some would say they were of Paul, while others would say they were of Silas or Timothy. This is very similar  to today how we have many different denominations and teachers; Baptist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Calvary etc.

It is believed by many that Paul wrote this second letter due to the bad reaction to the 1st letter. Many in the Corinth church at this time challenged Paul and his Apostleship. At times and in certain groups there was a heavier focus on the messenger instead of on the message and on Christ Himself.

In this letter Paul gives a very in depth look not only into the church but into his own personal life and walk with the Lord. In the opening text Paul wastes no time getting right to the heart of the matter.

In vs 3 Paul says; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

I think it is important to point out that Paul refers to Jesus Christ as Lord, I think sometimes we get in the habit and thought that Lord is His 1st name and Jesus Christ is His middle and last name. The truth is, His name is Jesus..His title is Lord And His office is Christ, the anointed one.The Messiah. Just like The Apostle Paul, Paul is his 1st name and Apostle was his title. Both Lord and Apostle though they are vastly different are both a title appointed solely by God. Paul points this out in his salutations to start the letter to ensure the Church at Corinth knew from what authority Paul spoke with. Paul states “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” As stated earlier many in the church at Corinth were not fully bought into Paul and the authority from which he spoke. Paul early on in this letter has set out to set the record straight and capture the church’s attention, Paul was chosen by God, God had sent (apostle means sent out) Paul to preach the gospel to the Greeks.

One thing about Paul we must remember is he was an Orthodox Jew and the Pharisees of Pharisees. Paul in the early years of Christ’s ministry hated Him and sought out to kill His followers. Due to Paul’s background he deeply felt he was best suited to preach the Gospel to the Jews, the only problem was the Jews didn’t want him(sometimes it is like this with family , friends or loved ones. You want to lead them to the Lord but they just won’t listen to you and it takes someone else from the outside..so frustrating)..more importantly God had a different path/plan for Paul and it was with the Gentiles.

Have you ever thought you knew God’s will better than God does himself? Your praying, reading, listening and one day you walk into that place or situation you get this stirring up in your spirit and you say to yourself..not now..this isn’t the right time… I haven’t prayed enough,read enough or this is not on my terms or “my people”. Or maybe thought ; I need a bigger office, My house should be in this place, my kids have to attend that school, we want to shop at that wegmans? I think at times with the Corinthians Paul felt the same way (minus the part about Wegmans)Paul was an Orthodox Jew and he wanted to preach the Gospel to the Jews but continually as he tries to minister to them what do the Jews do? They stone him! God had to close a door so that he could have Paul where He wanted him to be..with the Gentiles. I am certain at 1st Paul was frustrated and so it is when we finally come to the end of ourselves , get out of the way, let God be God it is then that the Lord takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. God time and time again chooses the worst, the weakest and the least likely to succeed and does something AMAZING. Look at Paul before Christ he was Saul the Destroyer once commissioned by Christ he is now Paul (little one)the Apostle. God gives us all so much Mercy and Grace!!! Mercy is not getting what you deserve , where grace is getting what you don’t deserve.

The word comfort that is used here in these verses is the same as Christ used when he said he was going to send the Comforter;

  • John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Parakletos), that He may be with you forever.”
  • John 14:26 “But the Helper (Parakletos), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
  • John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Parakletos) will not come to you; but i I go, I will send Him to you.”
  • 1 John 2:1 “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate (Parakletos) with the the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

The Greek word is Paraklyseis and the origin word is Par -ak-lay-tos which means a helper, defender, intercessor and advocate, in the Greek this word Parakletos was used when speaking of the Holy Spirit.

The father is our comforter, the Holy Spirit is our comforter and Jesus is our comforter. Isn’t it beautiful that through our sufferings and via our comfort it enables us to comfort others and imitate our father, the Spirit and Christ? He is letting us emulate Him and it is my belief that our Father in heaven gets great pleasure in seeing His creation emulate Him.

This reminds me of my son and I working out in the yard. Just the other day I was out in the yard with my chainsaw cutting down this pine tree. My son was out with me (at a safe distance of course) and he had his little plastic saw and he starts it up like a chainsaw, makes the noise of the saw and starts to pretend to cut smaller already fallen branches. He has emulated me ever since he could walk and I have always gotten a really big kick out of it. What’s also very special is that because he emulates me so often that now he just loves to work and do chores, working has become his nature..Comforting others should be a part of our nature as a follower of Christ (Being a helper, advocate, comfort is apart of Christ’s nature). It should come to us naturally, as we are filled with the Spirit and rooted deep in His word we should want to do it and not for ourselves but for our Father who comforts us.

Isn’t it WONDERFUL that we have an advocate with the Father and that we have the opportunity and privilege to emulate our Father?! So for all of us God doesn’t always chose the easy way, but he chooses His way which is the best way and he has sent us a helper to guide and comfort us.

Here is a quote I really like from Greg Laurie; “A Christian is like a Tea Bag, you don’t know what it’s made of till it’s in hot water.”

 

Through suffering God seeks to fortify us, make us Holy so that we might be more like Christ. When you look at the world and even the church there are many teaching theories like; Your best life now and blab it and grab it. These theories are not biblical truths if they were then what about every saint in the bible? Why did they have trials and go through pain?  See; David, Job, Paul, Joseph

There is a purpose in the pain. Paul writes later in 2 Corinthians 4:17; “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”

I love Matthew Henry’s commentary on this scripture; “let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure.”

Give diligence to make your future happiness sure. To be diligent is to be intentional in all that we do and to give our full effort. Praise the Lord that as a believer in Christ we are filled with the Holy Spirit whom not only comforts us but helps us in our walk including suffering(s). The future spoken of is all we have, because today..the now is fading quickly (James 5:14 “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”) , our future is in eternity and we will be worshipping our King forever. Revelation 7:11-12 “” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever Amen.”

I love Paul’s exhortation in Verses 9 and 10;

9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

No matter what you are going through just remember our God raises people from the dead! This reminds me of something the psalmist wrote; Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

He delivers us out of ALL afflictions…including the last affliction DEATH!

People can try and argue the scriptures but they cannot argue a changed life. Paul shares in this text that he had suffered but that in suffering/affliction he was blessed by the Lord with great comfort. This then allowed Paul to comfort others, our God is a God of Multiplication.He blesses one so that in turn he can bless a whole nation, how GLORIOUS is our God!

 

In closing I have a few questions for you to ask yourself;

  1. Is it not true that everyone is going to suffer and go through trials in this life, the saved and the unsaved?
  2. In your suffering do you not seek comfort?
  3. Do you not seek refuge?
  4. Do you not seek peace?
  5. When you are in a difficult time in your life do you not want help?
  6. When your back’s against the wall and you are being persecuted don’t you need an advocate?

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have this along with an assurance that you will spend eternity with Him. By Christ dying on the cross we have received the comforter and this great assurance. If you have not accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour then today is the day of salvation. He is speaking to you now, it is His heart that he might help you and save you from this world and yourself. All you have to do is confess Him as Lord and repent of your sins and you too can be comforted and have the assurance of an eternity without pain, suffering, sickness and death… God loved you so much that he sent His only begotten son to die on the cross for you, for me and our sins to then rise again 3 days later to then ascend to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father so that we could have fellowship with the true and living God and he could be our advocate.

He Reigns | 1 Corinthians 15:20-34

Who is on the throne in this world and in your life?

Who is on the throne of your heart?

Is it things, yourself, your kids, maybe your spouse
Maybe it’s yoga, or maybe even your circumstances have begun to rule over you?

The questions I seek to ask and answer today is;
Does He Reign? In your life? Over the world? Over your addiction? Over your illness?

See it is my belief that we must let God reign over every aspect of our life if we truly wish to walk in complete fellowship with Him. We must worship Christ as the GOD MAN and as our King , He must Reign and we must glorify Him.

Jesus died for you, for me so that he might be seated at the right hand of the Father. He is the propitiation for our sins, He took our place. He wants to rule and reign in our lives so that He can advocate for you to the Father as well as do battle with the enemy on your behalf.

Let Him Reign.

I think there are a lot of people who have the idea that the reign of Christ over the world will begin when he returns and puts all his enemies under his feet.

I believe our text today will clearly prove Christ reigns presently.
I have broken this down into 3 points and then an application.

Let’s start with our points:
Points

Christ was raised from the dead and the first fruits of the harvest in Him all shall be made alive. VS 20-23
Christ was in fact the first man to be resurrected. Many will say ;”well what about Lazarus was he not brought back from the dead?” Yes he was, but he was resuscitated back to His same body and life. Lazarus would go on to die again one last time. Jesus was resurrected into a new and glorified body and this body will never pass away.
Christ is the first fruits of the harvest. The day after the sabbath was the day of “offering of the first fruits of the barley harvest” Jesus was resurrected on the very day after the sabbath.
A first fruit is a sample and a guarantee of the harvest to come. Everyone who believes in Christ or is asleep in Him is assured a resurrection of life from death like Christ. Only a deity, a king someone who actively reigns and has reigned can make a guarantee like this.
Just like the song we sing; ”Worthy is the lamb who was slain, worthy is the king who has conquered the grave.”

He must reign until he has put all His enemies under His feet. VS 25
Notice in this text it states He must reign until. This tells the reader (us) that he is actively reigning and has been reigning.
Isn’t this what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18? “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” In other words, I am the rightful King over all the peoples of the earth. I have triumphed over the devil and the powers of darkness on the cross (Colossians 2:15). Now you are my ambassadors. Go and call people everywhere to turn from sin and to accept me as King.
The Reign of Christ is now and present. Take heart in knowing that Christ is and will fight for you and he is moving in the world today. He is actively engaged in destroying every power and authority and His is our king!

All things are in subjection under his feet.
All things are in subjection under His feet. Why? Because HE REIGNS, HE is the KING, He is fully God yet fully Man! Fully God =Titus 2:13 “Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” And Fully Man = Matthew 4:2 “And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” He is not just any man, He is THE MAN, our Lord, our God, our Saviour, Our King!
David puts it this way; “You make Him to rule over the works of Your hands; you have put all things under His feet.” Psalm 8:6
Jesus told the disciples; “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18 All authority is His that means HE IS IN CONTROL…HE REIGNS..ISN’T THAT AWESOME?!

Does this God reign in your life? Is he Lord of your life?
If so then This should give us great hope. Our God Reigns, He has overcame the grave and He aims to put every enemy under His feet because all things are in subjection to Him.
In vs 31 Paul states ;“I die everyday” Death is at work in us via Adam but Life is at work in us via Christ.
Where there is death, there must be life…

Has anyone ever planted a seed in between wet paper towels and watched it grow?
At home we are doing this to show our 1 and 3 year old how a seed grows. For several days we kept looking at the seed in the paper towel and the container and I will tell you at first it’s this ugly little brown seed, days went by and there was nothing new to see. I was thinking to myself this will never work but just then something happened. The seed opened up and split apart and a beautiful greenish white plant began to grow out of the broken seed. This fascinated me so I looked up this whole process and It is called “Germination” without getting to in depth I Will sum it up ; The seed must break open and die before it grows … Death is the beginning of life for a seed.
So it is with Christ and in our very own life;

Throughout our life we will taste these little bits of death; doubt, fear, anger, addiction, sickness all of which are a derivative of sin and entered in via Adam.
If we have faith and a relationship with Christ. If we believe he died, was buried and then 3 days later rose from the grave then;
Through all of these God restores us, he resurrects us and has victory in our life.
These victories are intended so that we might be more like Christ and that he might be glorified in and through us.
We are actively engaged in a battle between life (Christ, victory, grace, mercy) and death (sin and failures)
Remember this that Christ is on the throne and he reigns over all things. Don’t let the enemy rip you off and lead you to believe that
Quote:
A quote from Ray Stedman;
Life is a continual experience of life coming out of death of pain leading to joy.
These little bits of death will never end within this present time until we die then death will be destroyed for us.Until then He reigns, the victory is His; “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 This word perseverance has been translated to spiritual strength, oh how we should long to have spiritual strength. As we go through the battles of life/trials in life we leave little bits of our flesh on the battlefield and it is then that Christ grafts himself into us to replace what was lost. We must submit to his Reign, His lordship so that he might be glorified; Jesus prayed in John 17:1-5; “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

In the end is when we will be with Him and we will be resurrected in our new bodies, we will then truly have life and how glorious it will be to worship our king for ever.

No Fear.

FEAR2

Fear is something we all deal with and it can easily control your life. As I began to put this post together I searched the web to see what are the most common things people in America fear and this is what I found;

 In 2014 Chapman researchers polled 1,500 Americans and asked them what they were afraid of

 Here are America’s top “personal” fears, as ranked by the Chapman poll:

1.Walking alone at night
2.Becoming the victim of identity theft
3.Safety on the Internet
4.Being the victim of a mass/random shooting
5.Public speaking

 I pulled this information from huffingtonpost.com and I found another part of the article very interesting;

“Overall, the survey found that one major component of fear was a lack of information.”

 What information did they really lack? Answer, The Gospel of Jesus Christ! But wait a second, do you mean to tell me that Christians don’t have fears?

Just like sins Christians still do have fears. It’s what we do with that sin and those fears that set us apart from non believers.

As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to repent for our sins (Acts 3:19, 2 Peter 3:9, Matt 4:17) . That is to agree with God that it was wrong, then turn away from that sin and not live in it (1 John 3:9). So with fear why not do the same thing? Why not bring your fear to the Lord (bring it into the light) and pray that he would take it away. Then ask the Lord to forgive you for not trusting in Him (1 John 1:9). See when you shine a light in the darkness it is no longer dark. Not only is it not darkness anymore but now it is light. Now that once dark place is filled with light and therefore it is a usable or functional space. The same is said for our fears for they too are darkness (2 Timothy 1:7). But once we confront those fears with prayer and trust in the Lord it changes to light. Now that portion of me or my life can be used for the Glory of God (Acts 26:18)!

 

Let’s look at the apostle Peter for a moment for I truly appreciate his example. Did Peter love the Lord, did he walk with Jesus Christ, did he know the truth and was he a disciple of Jesus Christ? The answer is yes (John 13:36-38) to all of these questions but he still denied him 3 times when asked if he knew Jesus (John 18:15-27). Now with all we know to be true about Peter then why would he deny the one he loved so much? It was because he was afraid of what would happen to him if the high priest found out he was with Jesus. Now Peter would 3 days later see the risen Christ and would then go back to the very same place in Israel to preach the Gospel of Christ. He would do this without fear and later was martyred for his faith. Now the question is why was he afraid before the crucifixion but not after he saw the risen Christ. I believe the answer is because after Christ died Peter had received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-47). It was wonderful for Peter to walk with Jesus but now Jesus was truly dwelling inside and apart of Peter (Acts 5:3-4). The closeness of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us in any and all situations in this life (Romans 8:26-27, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). If we submit to the Spirit it will not only lead and guide us it will also bring great joy and glory to Christ!

Here is how Christians can best deal with America’s top 5 fears:

  1. Walking alone at night : You are never alone for God is with you. (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 28:20).
  2. Becoming the victim of identity theft : our identity is in Christ (John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5, Colossians 2:9-10).
  3. Safety on the Internet: Be a good steward, act with integrity and resist the Devil (Ephesians 6:11, Proverbs 19:23).
  4. Being the victim of a mass/random shooting: God will protect you and is sovereign (John 14:1-3).
  5. Public speaking: The tongue is wicked and must be guarded (Colossians 4:6, Luke 12:11-12).

 

Ultimately we need a Saviour and He is Jesus Christ. He loves you and like any good Father He wants what is best for you.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

 

In His Love,

  Anthony

The Bible Application (Review)

Gods word is enough and all we will ever need. There are some great resources out there that will help to grow in and understand God’s word. God uses many methods to reach the lost and edify His body. The question is are we leveraging these resources to help us grow in the truth and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour? The resources I am reviewing my Wife or myself personally have or do use.

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The Bible application is for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Blackberry or right from your computer. This application has helped me to learn so much about God and His word. This application is truly fantastic, some of my favorite features are; multiple versions of the bible (KJV, NLT, NKJV, ASV and many more), the ability to bookmark/highlight verses, notes section and my personal favorite is the many reading plans. Reading plans are basically daily devotionals that are based on many topics and written by many different authors. The daily plans typically have devotional content written by the author along with supporting scripture. Some of my favorite reading plans are; Soul Detox, Satan’s lies and Gods replies, 15 days in the word with John Piper, Toward a fearless tomorrow, experiencing Gods renewal and Hearing God speak just to name a few. I would recommend creating an account/profile so all of your bookmarks, highlights, notes and reading plans are backed up. This way you can use the application across multiple devices like your smartphone and tablet. Also if you ever get a new device you can log back in and start where you left off! I would also like to share that this application does have a bit of a social aspect to it. If you create a profile people you know can add you and if you allow them to they can see your highlights, notes, bookmarks and if made public your reading plans. To me this is extremely useful and encouraging. We are called to fellowship and edify one another and this is a positive way to do so. I love how friends can even comment on your bookmarks and highlights.

Click the link below the choose what type of Smartphone or Tablet that you have and click download.
The Bible App Download Link

Enduring trials

Trials are a way of life because we are born in conflict. In our earthly birth there is great pain and trauma for the baby and the mother. So it is the same when we are born again.

So the question is how do we best cope or deal with trials?

To endure trials we must have faith in God. To have faith in God we must know and believe His word. That means we believe God when he says; ” and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Also, we must know and find comfort in the fact that our God is sovereign Psalm 135:6

I believe one of the most helpful texts we can look at on this topic is found in the book of

James 1:2-12 NET

“My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways. Now the believer of humble means should take pride in his high position. But the rich person’s pride should be in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a wildflower in the meadow. For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away. Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.”

Through trials God seeks to test our faith and therefore bless us.

If we look deeper into the text, God gives us the recipe for enduring trials.

1. We must be Joyful. In verse 2, we are told to have joy. Now how do we have joy during a trial? Simply by trusting in the Lord. Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Just trust in Him and He will fill you with joy.

2. We must Pray. In verse 5, we are told “But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God.” How do we ask God for something? We ask through prayer. So if you feel weak, pray for strength. If you don’t understand, pray for wisdom.

3. We must have Faith. In verse 6 God says; “But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind.”

Have Faith in the Lord that He is good and will bless you. What is Faith? Hebrews 11:1-3 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.  For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible.”

To believe God also means to submit to his promises. So submit to the Lord today, be joyful, prayerful and have faith in Him.

I hope this helps you to look at trials differently, as it has for me.

Trials

Trials can be extremely difficult to endure. Sometimes it feels as they will never end and that you are all alone. But these are both lies from the enemy and if we continue to believe them we will continue to be tormented. Like Jesus trials will be a way of life for us as believers;”Either you are entering a trial, in the midst of one, or one has just ended” – Ray Viola

Let’s look at what God has to tell us about trials:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

The great news is that God will never leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Every trial is an opportunity to grow and our victory is secured in Christ Jesus! We must stand on God’s truth and walk in faith if we are to overcome the fiery trials in the flesh.

Are you facing a formidable challenge today? The Lord has said; “I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:27. Notice how God uses the word anything; “Is anything too hard for me?” God is the creator of everything. So therefore within his creation (which is everything He created the heaven and the earth Colossians 1:16) nothing is beyond his ability or control. What you are or will be going through is neither to large or to small for God.

Jesus told the disciples; “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 Isn’t that beautiful, we as His created being have limitations but the God we serve has none. Therefore “God makes the impossible possible” (Luke 18:27). This should be a great comfort to us as believers. God is telling us; you will come to the end of yourself, but that is right were He will meet you. We must humble ourselves before the Lord and admit that we need him.

Our Blessing from Heaven!

My wife and I wanted to have children and we prayed for years that the Lord would someday bless us with children. When we prayed for children, we promised the Lord that we would raise that child according to His will and for His Glory. In January of 2013, the Lord blessed us with a healthy baby boy and we knew immediately that he was a gift from God (Psalm 127:3). Since Joseph was born, we have made sure that he knows God and that we honor our promise to him and God. As Christians, no matter what it is that we are going through in life, we have to look to God’s word for instruction. If we look to God for instruction, have Faith and obey His word, our Father in Heaven is sure to Bless us.

In Proverbs 22:6 The Lord instructs us to;

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Here is some helpful commentary on this verse;

  • “Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour.” – Matthew Henry
  • “Train—initiate, or early instruct. the way—literally, “his way,” that selected for him in which he should go; for early training secures habitual walking in it.” – Jamieson-Fausset-Brown
  • The verb translated “train” (chanak) means, first, “to put something into the mouth,” “to give to be tasted,” as nurses give to infants food which they have masticated in order to prepare it for their nurslings; thence it comes to signify “to give elementary instruction,” “to imbue,” “to train.” The Hebrew literally is, Initiate a child in accordance with his way.

Since Joseph was a newborn, my wife and I have been praying with him before meals and at bedtime. We will say a prayer and afterwards we all say amen. Joseph has always said “may men” or has made a similar sound/noise that sounded like amen. Today at lunch while we were eating, Joseph kept closing his eyes and was talking/babbling. After doing this for a little while he looked up and said “may men”. My wife and I looked at each other and said “he’s praying!” It was in that very moment that my faith grew.  By raising Joseph for the Lord, as a gift from heaven, we are not only honoring God but we are also obeying God. Obedience to God comes by faith in God and faith in God comes from grace from God.

I found this awesome quote from John Piper:”God’s grace is given to enable obedience, and faith is the way we rely on that grace, and so obedience is the fruit of that faith.”

As I was writing this post I had an epiphany; faith leads to obedience and obedience leads to deeper faith. This was something I knew empirically. Now I know it experientially and it blessed me deeply. This brings me back to the beginning of the post and that children are a blessing from the Lord. Our children are gifts from God, like salvation that is undeserved but is given to us freely because of God’s great love for us. It is my hope and prayer that you would see and enjoy all of the many blessings God has breathed into your life. Have Faith through your trials. God is with you and wants to bless you more. Continue to honor God and obey his word, for He is willing and able to bless you!

Psalm 127:3 “Children are a gift from the Lordthey are a reward from Him.”

 

 

Just like me.

3-crosses

 

Like me this site is a work in progress.
See Philippians 3:12:
“Not that I have already attained this–that is, I have not already been perfected–but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me.”

Just like St. Paul I haven’t arrived yet nor been perfected. I long for that day when I see Jesus and I am given a new body in heaven.

Also please see 2 Timothy 4:7-8:
” 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”