Verses to Live By

When I was a young father, the burden of my responsibility for our four children often weighed heavily on me, making it difficult to go to sleep at night.  

During that time I came across some verses that enabled me to rest in the Lord’s provision and protection.  I’d like to share them with you.

  • The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord.  Proverbs 21:31
  • What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.  Psalm 56:3
  • The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and is safe.  Proverbs 18:10
  • I will both lay me down in peace and sleep; for thou Lord only makest me to dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8
  • The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them.  Psalm 34:7
  • Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.  Joshua 1:9
  • Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  Isaiah 41:10

The verses quoted above from Psalms and Proverbs are general statements of truth that are available for all believer’s benefit.

It is important to understand that many of the promises in the context of Scripture are addressed to specific individuals. The references quoted from Joshua and Isaiah are two examples.

We cannot claim these promises as our own unless there is a general principle or truth taught throughout Scripture common to these promises and therefore available to all believers.  

In Joshua 1:9 God promises that He will be with Joshua wherever he goes.  The New Testament promise from God to believers is; I will never leave thee nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5b).  Believers can therefore claim Joshua 1:9, because God’s promise to Joshua is also His promise to all believers.

Isaiah 41:10 has a similiar parallel to Philippians 4:13 where Paul declares; I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Claiming promises in the Old Testament, which were made to Israel concerning the possession of lands, borders, etc, and applying them to your present day purchasing decisions is improper Bible interpretation, and is pulling verses out of context. Don’t be surprised if you regret decisions made under such circumstances.

 

It’s Time…..

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which was planted;

A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace……Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

…..But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying,  Abba, Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ……Galatians 4:4-7

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.  Hosea 10:12

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.  Revelation 1:3

For he says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”  Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. II Corinthians 6:2 NKJV

“The Prayer of Cyrus Brown”

The proper way for a man to pray, said Deacon Lemuel Keys, 

The only proper attitude is down upon his knees.

No, I should say the way to pray, said Reverend Dr. Wise,

Is standing straight with outstretched arms,

And rapt and upturned eyes.

Oh no, no, no! said Elder Slow, such posture is too proud.  

A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.

It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in front,

With both thumbs pointing to the ground, said Reverend Dr. Blunt.

Last year I fell in Hodgin’s well head first, said Cyril Brown,

With both my heels a stickin’ up, my head a pointin’ down; 

And I done prayed right then and there, best prayer I ever said,

The prayin’est prayer I ever prayed, a standin’ on my head.

                                                             by Sam Walter Foss (1858 – 1911)

To Love and To Forgive

Love is a choice.  God is love.  He is without sin.  God is never wrong.  His choices are always right.  He is always perfect and true.  We are not.

In Scripture, God makes the statement; I have loved Jacob but Esau have I hated.  The simple difference between the two brothers is God’s choice.  God chose Jacob over Esau.

Jacob, as crooked and self-serving as he was, still recognized the spiritual value of the birthright that belonged to Esau as the firstborn.  Esau despised his birthright.  He sold it for a bowl of stew.  God chose Jacob to receive His blessing.  God loved Jacob.

Forgiveness is something that can only be given to the guilty.  If you’ve never done anything wrong, you will not able to experience forgiveness.  When God forgives, He removes our sin as far from us as the east is from the west.  He remembers our iniquity no more.  If we know God, we are to forgive.  He that cannot or will not forgive, will not be forgiven.

At another time and in another place, not long after becoming a Christian, God gave a young man an opportunity to help a friend and neighbor.  This new Christian had just come home from work one evening when he encountered a friend and neighbor coming from his parked vehicle.  The neighbor was crying.

Knowing something was not right and being concerned for him, the young man asked what was wrong.  His neighbor shared with him a gut wrenching story.

The neighbor’s “best friend” had called the neighbor’s wife and told her that she was the one he had always loved.  Foolishly she agreed to meet him at a motel.

Overcome by grief and guilt, she confessed to her husband that evening what she had done.  Enraged, he had ripped off his wedding ring, thrown it at her and left.  It was then that the young Christian met him outside.

The young Christian had no counseling experience.  Having just gotten right with God himself, the only thing he knew to tell his neighbor was that he should forgive his wife.  After what seemed to them like hours of walking up and down the road, the neighbor finally decided that he would forgive her.

In the days and weeks following, there was never a happier couple with their little one.  The neighbor took his wife and child, moved to another part of the country and their family grew.

What made this possible?  Well, they were both Christians.  She made a terrible mistake, but she could not continue in it.  He was devastated, but he was able to forgive as he had been forgiven.

They both chose to do the right thing.  She chose to repent and confess, even though it was a terrible thing to acknowledge.  He chose to forgive and to love her even though he was devastated by her actions.  God can and will bless obedience and faith.

Incidentally, the young Christian’s neighbor later told him that when they met outside the apartment that evening, he had just put a gun in his car, and he was going to visit his “best friend”.

God likely saved a man’s life that night, as well as a father, a marriage, and a family, with her choice to repent, and with his choice to forgive.

Love never fails.