Pondering Proverbes – Proverbs 4:23

 

Above all else, guard your hear, for it is the wellspring of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23

We guard many different things in life – our money, our family, our pride. But, there is one thing that we sometimes forget to guard: our heart. When we let the things of this world pollute our lives and our heart, we can no longer shine His light to others the way God wants us to.

 Some of the ways that we can keep our hearts pure is by listening to music that pleases God, watching appropriate things, reading books that doesn’t use foul language, and spending time with people that will point us to Him.

And, I know I seem to say this every time, but in order to keep our hearts pure we need to be, daily, in the word of God as well as praying. How can we shine His light and pour out His love the world if we aren’t, daily, renewed by the Spirit?

3 Reasons Why We Need to Learn About Missions

 

Missions. This is a word that we hear only once in awhile at most churches. We might have a missions conference for a few weeks once a year where we will talk about what God is doing throughout the world, but we don’t hear about it much more than that. So is it important that we learn about missions? And, if so, why is it important?

1. It is God’s Heart

God loves the Nations. It is His mission that they know and glorifying Him. This is His heart – that we may know His love and grace through Jesus Christ and thus glorifying him through our thoughts, words, and actions. 

2. It is God’s Mission for the Church – Thus Our Responsibility

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20a

So, if this is God’s heart (and He has given this mission to His church) we, as a church, should not shirk this responsibility that God has graciously entrusted to us.

Think of it this way, God has given us, imperfect human beings, the opportunity, challenge, and ability to carry out part of His perfect plan for the world. What an amazing and huge privilege!

If this is His mission for us, it should be at the forefront of our minds – not stuffed in the corner to be pulled out every year when missions conference time comes around.

3. We Need to Know How to Accomplish This Mission

Now we know that missions is God’s heart and He has gifted us with this responsibility, but how are we supposed to do something without knowing what it is or how to do it?

Are we all supposed to go across the world and tell people about Jesus? What exactly is missions anyway? What can I, as a student or young person, do? I can’t just drop everything and leave!

No, not everyone is called to leave their home and preach the gospel around the world. Maybe, some of us will go when we graduate, but most of us will stay and serve the Lord where we are.

Even as students, there is plenty to keep us busy! We can learn about God’s mission for the world and pray for those who have never heard. We can also encourage those who are on the field by praying for them, by sending them letters of encouragement, and by welcoming them when they return, making them feel at home, and by listening to what they have to say when they come to visit.

Also, as a side note, we can learn from and be encouraged by the missionaries who have lived and worked on the field. It is amazing to see the ways that God has used them for His kingdom. My faith has been strengthened and my vision renewed every time I talk to missionaries.

I want to challenge you today to not just walk away from this post and forget about it. I want to challenge you to learn about God’s great plan to glorify Himself through missions and to pray for those who have not heard the gospel and are living in darkness.

 

Pondering Proverbs – Proverbs 3:3

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart. ~ Proverbs 3:3
As Christians, we need to let the love of Christ permeate our lives so that others can see Him in us. We need to bind them (His words) around our necks – every day being in the Word of God and letting it change us. Also, we need to write His Word on our hearts by memorizing it and meditating on it. Then, we can, through Christ, love others as He has loved us.

Pondering Proverbs – Proverbs 2:6

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;” ~ Proverbs 2:6

Today, where do we, as a nation and as individuals, look for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding? Too often, we go to our friends, to Google,  or to Siri, to everything except where we need to go. This verse tells us that we need to go to God and His Word. He is perfect, so we can trust Him to always be true and right. He’s loving and we know that He will always do what’s best for us and what will bring Him glory – even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. 

 
 
 
 

Pondering Proverbs – Proverbs 1:33

 

But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. – Proverbs 1:33

At first glance, Proverbs appears to be a ‘do this and this will happen’ type of book. Well, in a way, it is. But, in other ways, it isn’t. It is not guaranteed that if you follow the Lord, your life will be perfect. We’re actually guaranteed the opposite.

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:12

“‘If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours…'” ~ John 15:18-20

However, through those hardships, if we trust God and remember that He knows what is best for us, we don’t have to live in fear. Not because we don’t have struggles, but because we trust in Him who loves us dearly and is more powerful and wonderful than we can ever imagine.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

 
 

Introducing Pondering Proverbs

So, I’ve been away for way too long from this space. Lots of schoolwork and story writing can do that!  However, I’ve also been working on a great new series called Pondering Proverbs

I am super excited for this new series and I hope that you will be too.  So, let’s find out what Pondering Proverbs is going to be like. 

WHO: I wrote the devotionals to accompany Proverbs.  They are meant for me and for YOU.

WHAT: One (in some cases two) verse(s) from a chapter in Proverbs and a short devotional about them.  The first week’s verse will be from the first chapter, the second week’s verse from the second chapter, etc.

WHEN: Once every Tuesday for thirty-one weeks

WHERE: Right here! At For His Great Name.

WHY: Proverbs is such a wonderful book of wisdom.  I feel like we sometimes just skim over as we read the book…proverb after proverb after proverb and we don’t always (or at least in my case) take the time to stop and think about what God is trying to teach us.

HOW: Through the internet, but, if you want to, you can email me any question and/or comments at alyssa@forhisgreatname.org and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

I hope to see you all here next Tuesday for our first verse!

 

 
 

C.S. Lewis Quotes – #5

If you have missed any of the previous quotes, you can find them here.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.  C.S Lewis Quotes – #1

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one. C.S. Lewis Quotes – #2

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. C.S Lewis Quotes – #3

He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less. C.S. Lewis Quotes – #4

 

So, what is humility? Well, C. S. Lewis will help us think about that …

Reflections: I really like this quote because it reminds us that to be humble we don’t need to make ourselves look bad or tell ourselves we’re awful. It just doesn’t work that way. 

Being humble means that we change our perspective of life and it is a process. As we become more like Christ, we slowly stop always looking inwards and start to look outwards, watching for ways we can help and serve others instead of ourselves. 

C.S. Lewis Quotes – #4

We have already looked at these so far:

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.  C.S Lewis Quotes – #1

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one. C.S. Lewis Quotes – #2

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. C.S Lewis Quotes – #3

Today, we get to think about this quote… 

Reflections: This thought brings me so much joy. How wonderful it is to know that Jesus died for me – to save me from my sins. And, He loved me to the point that He would die just for me. Thank You, Lord!

Remembrance of those Days – the 4th of July

On the 4th of July, we grill out, visit family, and go swimming. But, we need to remember why we celebrate.

I wrote this poem, Remembrance of those Days, as I was thinking about what God has done for us and what a blessing it is to live in the United States of America. Also, I was reminded what a great sacrifice was given so that we might be free – made by the early Americans and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Remembrance of those Days

What a wonder that they did.
Oh, those men from long ago.

They fought as they were led
By the leaders of our land.

They did not run in fear,
But trusted in God’s mighty hand.

They guarded what they held dear – 
 Truth, and liberty, and freedom.

They willingly gave up their life
So that we might come
And worship freely – no fear of strife.

We take this time to celebrate and remember
Our freedom, our country, our God.
For it is by Him only that we are here
To love, to serve, to glorify His name.

C.S. Lewis Quotes – #3

Earlier, we looked at our first two C.S Lewis quotes:

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.  C.S Lewis Quotes – #1

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one. C.S. Lewis Quotes – #2

Today, we will focus on this one… Reflections: God’s glory is wonderful and it is greater than anything we could imagine. We can glorify God with our actions, but we can not take away from that glory in any way. 

When we sin, we displease God. When we decide that we want to go our own way and worship ourselves or anything other than God, we hurt His heart. But, it does not mean that we make God any less glorious or any less beautiful. 

 God is still God. Like the quote said, there is nothing we can do to make Him ‘less God’ or to lessen His glory.

For His Great Name
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