“Children are an inheritance from the Lord.” Benjamin, Brandt, and John William.
What a gift!
Amazon.com has used copies of my book, Old Paths For Little Feet. That might
help you save a little money if you don’t have a copy. Just type in Carol Brandt at search.
Don’t forget you can download chapters from my unpublished book about leading teens
(or yourself) into thinking skills that will help with Bible study. The download is free.
Just clink the link on sidebar: Old Paths For Little Feet. It will take you to CarolBrandt.net.
Hope this will help someone on a tight budget.
Spring in Florida May 15, 2008
Spring here is so much fun. I grabbed a roach off the kitchen counter last night; I use a paper towel, of course. This is after paying the bug man $59 on Monday! And just now I glanced thru the slates of the window shutters to see a black snake gracefully gliding along a branch. He is always welcomed because he hunts rats. We all thrive here together. And of course, today is beach day for my collie and I, and he is very impatient to get going. But, I wanted to leave you with something to think about…
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:11-12).
To be earnest is to be serious and persistence. You can’t be lazy about seeking assurance of your salvation. No laying back and saying “Well, I looove Jesus!”
“But, what about your last post?” someone writes.
Thinking about its meaning and applying the Bible can be confusing sometimes, remember? What is clear is that God declares us righteous enough to be His child if we “have” Christ Jesus. That gives us such hope..spiritual life now and forever. But, we can’t sit back on our laurels and do nothing, becoming slow and dull of hearing. Instead, we need someone to watch. Someone who patiently and persistently keeps on believing and hoping. Who are you watching? I watch my friend, Lei Brady. I read Christian biographies.
Jake is nipping at my heels. Off to the beach! Remind me to think, and to be persistent and serious about the hope I have in Christ Jesus.
(Thanks for the unpublished comments of encouragement. I don’t have pictures of me all dolled up. This is Benjamin (oldest grandson) and I during one of his “swim” lessons.)
Reassuring Our Hearts, Part 4 May 14, 2008
The Bible can be so confusing! Sometimes it seems to contradict itself. Maybe after all the Mother’s Day stuff, thinking your way thru some biblical principles will be refreshing for you…. I’ve been dealing with “old age” medical problems this week so I could use a little refreshment myself.
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him” (I John 5:1).
“Whoever has the Son has life: whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (I John 5:12).
Actually, these two verses aren’t very confusing. God must work in your heart and mind in order for you to believe that Jesus is THE Savior, Your Savior. If He is yours and you “have” Him, then you have life. Spiritual life forever. If you “have” Him, then you have His perfect righteousness to fall back on even when your own heart and mind condemn you and whisper doubts.
That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’ But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his (Abraham’s) sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4: 22-24).
Bank On This
“Whoever has the Son has life…” not shall have life. In a sermon preached on July 20, 1884, Charles Spurgeon points out this present tense of spiritual life. It is not just that we will go to heaven. It is having spiritual life (and therefore, Christ’s righteousness) right now.
So if your Christian character doesn’t measure up too well or the whispers come back about that one great sin of yours, bank on this: Whoever believes in all that Jesus is and all that He did HAS eternal spirituality.
The Apostle John wanted you to joy in assurance that you have Jesus’ perfect life to bank on. But, he didn’t allow that to be an excuse for sin.
“…and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him” (I John 5:1).
Love everyone who believes in Jesus!!! “It can’t mean that can it? That’s not even possible,” we retort. “How confusing and unassuring can you get?” someone might sadly say.
Cling To Jesus
When you see your own sin and failure in a verse like this, you have to come back to your belief in Jesus. Hold fast to who He is: fully God, fully man. Rejoice in what He did: sacrificed His perfect life for you. Seek to love others as you would like to be loved by not stealing from them, or lying about them, or wishing you had what they have, or being involved sexually in some way that affects them, or killing them. Love is all really very plain and just common sense; not very mysterious at all (I John 5:2-5). But, Oh how we mess up! And need to fall back on the righteousness of Christ. He loved perfectly and God puts that to our account.
The biblical principle here is that loving other Christians is a mark of faith. It is evidence that we have believed. Loving shows us that God is working in our desires and we have Jesus and spiritual life.
But when we fail miserably, what we have left is Our Savior, the Lord Jesus, and His righteousness. It is all about loving Him and leaning on His work. In the end, when doubts assail and our sins assault, clinging to Jesus is all we have left. Learn to apply all of this to your heart. Little by little… It may take a lifetime. The process is very reassuring. Clinging to Jesus no matter what is the most reassuring of all.
Unpublished Comments May 1, 2008
You can ask me a question via the blog’s comment. WordPress lets me decide whether to publish a comment or not. So you can just put “Private Please” and I will not publish your question or comment. But, I can answer you at the address you put in.
Remember the purpose of this blog is to think about what the Bible says and what that means. So your questions are welcome even though I don’t have all the answers.