..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Proverbs 3:3-4

Proverbs 3:3-4 (KJV)  3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3-4 (NIV)  3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3-4 (YLT)  3 Let not kindness and truth forsake thee, Bind them on thy neck, Write them on the tablet of thy heart,
4 And find grace and good understanding In the eyes of God and man.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
let loving devotion - חֶ֥סֶד (ḥe·seḏ) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2617: Kindness, piety, reproof, beauty
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon adds kindness (especially as extended to the lowly, needy and miserable), mercy.

or faithfulness - וֶאֱמֶ֗ת (we·’ĕ·meṯ) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 571: Stability, certainty, truth, trustworthiness, reliability

God shows us mercy and therefore we should show mercy to our fellow man. We should extend the grace that has been extended to us. God has been faithful to us and we should be faithful to Him and to our fellow man.

Mercy and love are a part of God's Nature. Because God is the initiator, the mercy He gives is gracious, unmerited, undeserved. We are recipients of His mercy. He has mercifully provided a way of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. He loved us enough to provide a way of escape. We do not deserve a relationship with God but He made the way for us to have a relationship with Him! When we are aware of God's mercy and love towards us, we respond in love towards Him and we become channels of God's mercy in the church and to the world.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible
The two elements of a morally perfect character:
(1) "Mercy," shutting out all forms of selfishness and hate.
(2) "Truth," shutting out all deliberate falsehood, all hypocrisy, conscious or unconscious.

1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Ephesians 5:1-2  1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, 2 and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.

1 John 4:7-12 (NIV)  7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Have you ever thought that God is merciful in not revealing all our sins at one fell swoop? I think if I saw my sins and the evil in me and around me, I would think I couldn't be saved. If He revealed the truth without mercy I would probably blow my brains out and end in Hell because I couldn't handle the truth. On the other hand, if God extends mercy without revealing truth, we might not understand how much we need Him and the seriousness of our situation. We might go to hell in a handbasket, cosseted and spoiled literally to death. For the right results, truth and mercy go hand in hand. God knows just how much truth to reveal to lead us to His feet in surrender and repentance. He knows just how much mercy to show so that we aren't overwhelmed and destroyed by the truth but rather run to Him for salvation.

In this world we must show mercy but we also must show truth. If we are so "merciful" and loving someone may not realize their need for a Savior. They may go to hell because they never saw the need of salvation. They think they are just fine without Jesus. But if we are so truthful we end in being harsh and severe and people will reject our message of the gospel. We need godly wisdom to know when to extend mercy and love and when to be truthful. We have to be faithful to God and present the truth, but we must also be faithful to God and extend mercy and grace.

How do we write these on the tablets of our heart? How do we bind them as a necklace around our neck?

There can be things written in our heart that are good and things that are bad.

Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

2 Corinthians 3:3 It is clear that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NLT)  31 “The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD.
33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the LORD. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the LORD. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”

Of King Rehoboam it is said: “And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD” (2 Chronicles 12:14).
Ezra, on the other hand, “had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it” (Ezra 7:10).

Prepare your heart to receive the Word of God. As much as it lays within you, be open minded to the Word. Of course, the Holy Spirit is within you to help you understand. But He must have cooperation with you which means you must be receptive and willing to learn about God through His Word.

Read the Word. Sounds so simple but we must take the Bible out and open it and place our eyes on the words and read it. You can't learn it by osmosis. You may have a Bible in your home but it does no good if you don't ever open it. Pray before you read and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand it.

Listen to the Word. That means going to church, listening to it on TV or radio, listen to it like you would a podcast on your smart phone.

Write the Word. Rehearse scripture by writing it out. For instance, when you do your daily devotion and read the Bible, pick a verse and write it out in your journal. Then write it in your own words.

Meditate on the Word. Think about it and how it may apply to you or to situations you are aware of.

Memorize it.

Pray it. Read your scripture. Pray about it and pray it.

Sing it. There are plenty of scripture songs you can learn on Youtube.

Read it outloud so that you are reading it and hearing it.

How do you apply the Word? How do you show others the Word has changed you? I.e. how do you wear it like a pendant around your neck so others can see the Word and to remind you of the Word?

When you read the Bible (with prayer and a receiving heart), something natural happens. There are going to be changes in you. It's natural fruit that occurs when the Word is planted in your heart and watered with your careful attention. You don't have to force yourself to be kinder and gentler, it happens because of the work going on in your heart.

Others should be able to see the difference just like they see a new necklace you are wearing. The Word in your heart is shining out.

  • Have you ever read the Bible all the way through from Genesis to Revelation? I encourage you to do that. When I was a young girl, my parents gave me my very own Bible. But it was a King James Version and I tried to read it but couldn't get past the first few chapters. My mind was not educated and mature enough to be able to interpret that old English. Then, my Aunt gave me a Living Bible when I was a teenager. I was able to read it and understand what it was saying. I read it from cover to cover. Then I got a New American Standard and read it from cover to cover. Then I got a New King James Version. Each time I was more mature in my ability to comprehend what I was reading. I love the many translations we have now! But my advice is to start with one of the easy-to-read translations or paraphrases (like the Living Bible, The Message, Contemporary English Version). Read it all the way through. Don't get bogged down in details and questions. You'll come back to that later. Right now you are getting the big picture and developing that base. Then go back and read it again but in another translation. Go to classes, get books on subjects you are concerned about, and begin the lifelong process of learning the Word of God.
  • Do you make time to read the Word every day? Even if it's just a few verses in a devotional, that's better than nothing. See it like taking a spiritual vitamin for your spiritual health.
  • Have you ever thought about how engraving it into your heart makes it a part of you? Can you think of other things that seem to be bone deep in you? That's the way the Word should be.
  • Why would this affect your relationships with others? Why would this give us favor and understanding with God and man?
  • Is your heart hardened so that God's Word can't be written on it? Do you have a heart of stone? God can change that.

  • Have you ever been two-faced? Where you tell God one thing but tell people something else? Repentance leads to forgiveness and mercy. How can you turn this around in your life and be faithful and loyal to God as He has been to you?

  • Can you understand why mercy and truth should go together?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Proverbs 3:1-2

Proverbs 3:1-2 (KJV) 1 My son, forget not my law;
but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life,
and peace, shall they add to thee.

Proverbs 3:1-2 (BSB) 1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments;
2 for they will add length to your days,
years and peace to your life.

Proverbs 3:1-2 (NLT) 1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
2 If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.

The instructions in chapter 3 consists of a series of six four-line exhortations in which the second line of each exhortation mentions a reward or benefit.

To exhort is to earnestly urge someone to do something, to advise and admonish.

In these verses the writer affectionately ("My son") speaks and exhorts the reader to remember and obey what he is being taught.

This isn't a "Do what I say..." command.

Imagine a child, "Mommy, I want some candy."
"No, you can't have any. "
"But Mommy, I want more!"
"No, you will do what I say."

We aren't talking about obedience to a parent, but obedience to God's commands. We are to be obedient to our parents, but this means more than that. Solomon didn’t mean “my law” in the sense of his own personal decrees, but as God’s word.

There is a process to education. We have to provide a base for a child to build on. Teachers will teach by giving you information and knowledge. A student must memorize facts and principles. But it shouldn't stop there. Memorization is easily forgotten if the student doesn't apply the knowledge and use it to build his education. Once you have a base, the student can build on that base. For instance, every child needs to learn how to read and write. They need to learn basic math and science and history. From there, they need to learn good study habits and research skills. If they have these basics, and access to more information (like a library or the Internet), they can almost teach themselves. And, once they have the base and know how to build on it, they will begin to apply it. My Mother used to say we have to have a velcro wall (base) for ideas thrown at it to stick.

I didn't just learn how to turn on a computer first. I learned by seeing a bigger picture first. Once I knew what computers were capable of, I was interested. Then I went to the beginning and learned how to turn on a computer, how it worked, the basics. With my bigger picture, and with the technical know-how, I've been able to integrate my computer into every area of my life and taught myself what I needed to know to complete a task I knew the computer was capable of doing.

This is why taking children to church is so important. They need to be taught the basics of God's Word and salvation. If they aren't taught, they don't know. If they don't know, they don't have a sticky wall for godly admonitions to stick to. If a child has no concept of God, Heaven, Hell, sin, salvation then why tell them to share their toys? Why admonish them not to cheat at school? Why instruct them not to lie or steal? Why tell them not to bully the neighbor's child? You are merely forcing a child to "do what I say" without having given them the base of a sticky wall of information about God and His commands. They will forget the "do what I say" commands because they don't understand why. It doesn't make sense to them because they don't have that base.

The Teacher here indicates he is teaching the student the basics about God and His commands ("do not forget my teachings"). But it goes beyond just memorizing the commands. "Let your heart keep my commandments". Memorizing words are external and can be forgotten, but inscribing those words on your heart is internal and permanent. It means something to you and changes your life and actions. It becomes a part of you and of who you are.

We have to learn God's Word to start with. But we must internalize it for it to become a part of us and to result in changed behavior. Changed behavior is just an external fruit of what is going on internally in your heart.

People can feign obedience to God's commands but their heart is not changed.

Have you ever driven at the speed limit but fussed and fumed inside because you felt like you were going too slow? You keep to the speed limit so you won't get a ticket and your insurance won't go up. But if it was up to you, you'd be doing 90 miles an hour. That means you have obeyed the law externally but it hasn't changed your mind about speeding. You only do it because you have to, not because you want to. You get something out of it by obeying the law (you keep your money, your license, your car, your ability to go where you want to go). But, let's say you were speeding one day and you got into a terrible accident. It killed a person; you were terribly injured; your car is a total loss; you can't afford another car; your insurance has skyrocketed, if they will insure you at all. The next time you get in a car, you are very cautious and you stick to the speed limit because you never want to experience something like that again. You have not only learned the speed limit but WHY there is a speed limit and you've experienced the results of speeding. It's now internalized and the natural result is being very careful to stick to the speed limits and drive cautiously. You don't do it because of the speed limit sign or because you might get a ticket. You do it because you want to do it. Your whole perspective has changed. You learned the hard way that it's not worth it.

So how do we learn God's Word and internalize it so we naturally obey it? Not forced obedience but obey it because we want to. First we need a bigger picture. Second we need to learn the basics. Third we need to apply it and internalize it and build on it. We should be getting all of this by going to church and by reading the Bible. To internalize it, we need to be going to God's Word and reading it every day, praying that the Holy Spirit within us will open our eyes and help us understand what we are reading. We need to meditate on it, think about it, journal it, draw it, sing it, speak it. And then we will do it. It will come as natural fruit, not as forced obedience.

The Teacher gives a promise, "If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying". Does this mean that if you learn and obey God's Word, you will live a long life that will be peaceful, satisfying and prosperous? Not necessarily. God often uses adversity to teach us. But it means life will be easier here and, best of all, your eternity will be with Him and you WILL live forever and will be at peace, satisfied and prosperous.

Revelation 21:3-4 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

  • Do you have a base knowledge of God and His Word?
  • If not, how can you determine to get that base?
  • How can you build on your base? How can you internalize the Word?
  • How do you learn the best? Have you applied that to learning the Word?
  • Have you attempted to provide a base for your children to understand God and His Word?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Natalie In Her Mother's Makeup

Our niece, Jenny, has found a makeup line that she LOVES! If you are interested in it, check it out at her Maskcara site. You can join her Facebook page to get tutorials on how to use it HERE. Anyway, her youngest, Natalie, got into her makeup this week. Here is the digital scrapbook page I made of the photos.

When Jenny saw Natalie, she was afraid her makeup would be all used up but it was only little fingerprints in it and no big loss. She took a photo of her makeup compact to show the fingerprints. I used those photos to make the left side of the circle. I tried to use the colors in the makeup compact as well as the colors in the photos of Natalie. Since it was a mess, I used the spray. I used the hand mirror and makeup jar as a nod to the makeup. I used daisies because Nattie is so fresh and natural. She was only trying to imitate Mommy so I used circles as though she was focusing on her Mom but the circles are off kilter because she messed up. I used Jenny's Facebook story as the journaling. I always use their full names and dates when journaling on a scrapbook page.

Proverbs 2:20-22

Proverbs 2:20-22 (KJV)  20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Proverbs 2:20-22 (NKJV)  20 So you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21 For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.

Proverbs 2:20-22 (NIV)  20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Proverbs 2:20-22 (CEV)  20 Follow the example
of good people
and live an honest life.
21 If you are honest and innocent,
you will keep your land;
22 if you do wrong
and can never be trusted,
you will be rooted out.

Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts.

Hebrews 6:8-12 (NLT) 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
So - לְמַ֗עַן (lə·ma·‘an) - Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 4616: Purpose -- intent

you will follow - תֵּ֭לֵךְ (tê·lêḵ) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

in the ways - בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ (bə·ḏe·reḵ) - Preposition-b | Noun - common singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

of good men - טוֹבִ֑ים (ṭō·w·ḇîm) - Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

and keep to - תִּשְׁמֹֽר׃ (tiš·mōr) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to

the paths - וְאָרְח֖וֹת (wə·’ā·rə·ḥō·wṯ) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 734: A well-trodden road, a caravan

of the righteous - צַדִּיקִ֣ים (ṣad·dî·qîm) - Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6662: Just, righteous

but the wicked - וּ֭רְשָׁעִים (ū·rə·šā·‘îm) - Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7563: Wrong, an, bad person

will be cut off - יִכָּרֵ֑תוּ (yik·kā·rê·ṯū) - Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3772: To cut, to destroy, consume, to covenant

and the unfaithful - וּ֝בוֹגְדִ֗ים (ū·ḇō·wḡ·ḏîm) - Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 898: To cover, to act covertly, to pillage

{will} be uprooted - יִסְּח֥וּ (yis·sə·ḥū) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5255: To pull or tear away

the upright - יְשָׁרִ֥ים (yə·šā·rîm) - Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3477: Straight, right

will inhabit - יִשְׁכְּנוּ‪‬‪‬ (yiš·kə·nū-) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7931: To settle down, abide, dwell

and the blameless - וּ֝תְמִימִ֗ים (ū·ṯə·mî·mîm) - Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8549: Entire, integrity, truth

will remain in it - יִוָּ֥תְרוּ (yiw·wā·ṯə·rū) - Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3498: To jut over, exceed, to excel, to remain, be left, to leave, cause to abound, preserve

After reading through the different translations and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it would be a good idea to stop here and try writing these 3 verses in your own words.

Here is my version of Proverbs 2:20-22:
With purpose and intent, you will walk in the ways made by good men. You will follow their course of action to do what is good. You will guard and pay attention to the well trodden paths of the just and righteous men who go before you. The wicked will be cut off and destroyed and the unfaithful, who act covertly, will be uprooted and torn away. The upright will settle down and dwell in the land and those who live their lives in integrity and truth will remain in the land, excelling and abounding.

Psalm 17:4-5 (BSB)  4 As for the deeds of men— by the word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. 5 My steps have held to Your paths; my feet have not slipped.

Psalm 17:4-5 (NLT)  4 I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. 5 My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.

We are to be wise enough to know the difference between good people and bad people, and make a deliberate choice to follow the example of good people. This saves us much heartache on this earth and prepares us for Heaven where we have stored up treasures and rewards. 

Of course, we must realize no human being is faultless, sinless and perfect. We ultimately must follow the only One who was sinless, Jesus Christ. A human being can disappoint us, let us down. Christ never does. He came to give us the example of a sinless man, one who completely trusts in God. And we follow Him. 

But there are people we can learn from. People who can mentor us in godly ways. People who can be good examples. "Come let us serve together."

There are plenty of people who don't mind being a bad example and who desperately want you to follow in their footsteps. "Come, let us sin together."

It is up to you to make a wise decision as to who to follow.

I was very blessed to be born in a family of believers. My parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, great aunts and great uncles, cousins, siblings... all were Christians who really tried to walk a godly life. When I was with family, I was taken care of, loved, and had good examples. I never had to be afraid of them. They were never violent, drunk, abusive, drugged or thieving. I was never molested or beaten. They spoke lovingly to me and took good care of me. I had a LOT of good examples to follow and I have learned so much from them about God and how I should live in a way that is pleasing to God. I learned how to love God from them. I cannot thank God enough for my family!

Maybe you have had a good family but you haven't really thought about it or been thankful for them. There seem to be a lot of young people who don't seem to appreciate the good family they have. They seem to think their family is just trying to get in the way of their having a good time. Their family is just an obstacle in their path of self destruction and they resent their family. They just want their family to disappear so they can do whatever they want. I pray, one day, you will realize how blessed you have been to have a family who loves you and would try to save you from self destruction. They aren't trying to smother you, but are trying to protect you, provide for you and lead you in a better way. You are their responsibility and they love you enough to try everything to help you. I have seen drug addicts despise their families because their families get between them and their drugs. I have seen girls and boys despise their families because their families get between them and their bad and destructive friends. I have seen young people despise their families because they get between them and a destructive love relationship. I've read about real people who have killed their loving parents and/or siblings in order to get rid of them so they can be with whoever they wanted to be with or do whatever they wanted to do. See my book review on Runaway Devil.

Maybe you didn't have a good family. Maybe your family only taught you suspicion, deceit, rebellion, thieving, violence, sexual perversion. I personally knew a family who lived life like this. The only money they made was from stealing, selling drugs, prostitution, fake lawsuits, etc. They lived a life of violence, jail, drug and alcohol addiction. Their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren followed in the same paths. They don't know any different.

But there are better ways. There are better people. Maybe other family members, a pastor, church members, friends, teachers, co-workers, neighbors. Always keeping in mind that no human is perfect, is there not someone you can emulate and who could disciple you in the ways of God? Of course there are, so find them. Watch and observe. Then befriend and, finally, ask them for advice. Join a good Bible study group of peers, or a Sunday School class. Again, human beings are going to be in different stages of spiritual growth and you want someone who shows some spiritual maturity. But no human being is going to be sinless, that's an unreasonable expectation. No human can live up to perfection. But there are those whom you can learn from and who can be a good influence on you. If someone lets you down, please remember Jesus Christ will never let you down. He is the only One you can put complete trust and faith in. A human being still has a sin nature that tempts them. Jesus Christ is the only pure and perfect One and we should put our trust in Him and Him only. We can learn from others, but only in so far as they point us to Christ. We all know of pastors who have fallen into some grievous sin. I remember the first time I encountered this and it shook my faith. How could a pastor, whom I had looked up to and learned from, do something like that? But I learned from that experience too. They are human like me. I shouldn't have put them on a pedestal and had unrealistic expectations. I should trust in Jesus, not a pastor. I did learn a lot from that pastor and I'm grateful I did. But his fall didn't destroy my faith in Jesus. It drove me to Jesus.

The last verses in Proverbs chapter two, tell us the wicked will be uprooted from the land. In studying Revelation, I learned God will create a New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem and only the saved will be there for eternity. Those who are not forgiven and saved through Jesus Christ, will end up suffering the Lake of Fire for eternity. We are not righteous and blameless because of good behavior. We can never be good enough. It's why we need a Savior! We are righteous, blameless and upright only because Jesus cleanses us and give us His righteousness! My parents were wonderful people who were Christians. But they could not forgive me and clothe me with righteousness. My pastor cannot. My friends cannot. Only Jesus can! So, I am saved and living in the New Earth for eternity because of Him! But I will be there and the unsaved will not.

This is an eternal decision. It has repercussions throughout the rest of your life and your eternal life. Hell is not a big party filled with your drinking buddies where you can do anything you want. This is serious. Hell will be one of eternal regret and knowing you had a way of escape but you chose not to take it. Because of your choice, you suffer eternal punishment. It doesn't have to be that way. Take your way of escape through Jesus Christ! God loves you and wants you and there is no sin that Jesus can't, or won't, forgive!

My parents

  • Have you identified bad examples in your life? How have they influenced you? Have you gotten into trouble because they influenced you? What kind of trouble have you experienced because you listened to people who were bad influences?
  • Have you found people who have been a good influence on you? Who have supported you and encouraged you to walk in good paths?
  • If you haven't found some good mentors, are you looking for people who will help you do good things? Where are you looking?
  • Have you been let down by someone you thought would be a good mentor?
  • If you have, you are not alone. How has it affected your relationship with God? Has your faith been shaken or strengthened?
  • As a Christian, have you sinned? Are you perfect? Have you never let someone down? Do you expect others to forgive and give you a break? Then you must be willing to forgive the one who let you down and adjust your unrealistic expectations. If you expect perfection, you are setting that person up for failure and therefore your disappointment.
  • As a Christian, haven't you sinned, repented and asked Jesus' forgiveness many times? Of course you have and you should. And Jesus always forgives and cleanses. Therefore, try to allow the person who disappointed you the same grace. They may have repented and asked forgiveness, or God will lead them to that point soon. Be willing to extend grace just as you would expect grace extended to you.
  • Have you been a good example for your family and friends to follow?
  • Have you ever discipled someone (family, friends, church friends, co-workers)? A disciple is one who imitates and learns from a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ. All of life points to Jesus Christ and we need someone who points us to Christ and leads us in seeing Jesus everywhere and in everything. Are you that kind of person? If you only commiserate with someone in the dumps, you aren't discipling, you are commiserating. If you are showing love and telling them God loves them, you aren't just commiserating but discipling. There is a difference.
  • Thinking about your relationships at home and in the world, how can you be a good example and more of a discipler? How can you point them to Christ? How can you help strengthen their relationship with God?
  • Are you the budding new Christian? Or are you the mature Christian who is helping the newbies?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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