Friday, September 24, 2010

"Father Knows Best"

Have you ever watched the old television program, "Father Knows Best"? The black and white TV syndicated show from the 50's centers on the father in a family of five. The ensemble cast starred Robert Young as the father, Jane Wyatt as the mother, Elinor Donahue as the oldest daughter, Billy Gray as the son, and Lauren Chapin as the youngest daughter. Anyway, in the show, there were always lessons to be learned from the father.  He normally taught all of his children life lessons at one point or another and not necessarily at the same times either.

The same is true today! Our Father teaches us, His children, lessons in life. There are always lessons to be learned from Him. During our journey, He teaches us things we need to know for our individual lives. Some lessons are easier to learn than others. Then, there are those lessons that we may need to learn repeatedly until it sinks in.  Sometimes, we may be too strong-willed or independent... trying to do things on our own in our own way and in our own timing.  Other times, we may be just too hard-headed or hard-hearted to get it the first time around.  Therefore, we have to repeat the lesson for us to get it.  However, many times it takes us to get it; it will be re-taught to us.

One instance is when the children wandered around the wilderness for 40 years.  (Numbers 14:33-35)  Another example is when Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days.  The devil tempted Him during that time. Jesus went through a time of tests then. He also learned some lessons. However, He listened and learned what He needed to know and got out of there as soon as possible.  (Matthew 4:1-11)

A few of those lessons…

Jesus was obedient to His Father during this time of testing.  He was loyal and faithful to His Father's word.  Jesus used His authority and spoke to the devil at every turn.  

Through the times of trials and testing, we learn and grow more in Christ.  (James 1:2-4) We become more like Jesus in every way.  That is what our Father desires for us in order for us to fulfill our purpose in His plan.  (Jeremiah  29:11-13)  Our Father is strengthening and equipping us in these times.  Jesus is increasing, so we must decrease.  (John 3:30)

Therefore, let us listen to our Father.  Learn the lessons we need for our lives.  Allow Him to teach us our lessons.  Then, we can move on too.  That way, we can accomplish what our Father has for us in our lives.  In addition, it will be so much easier and better for us afterwards.  Afterall, our Father knows everything!  So, He definitely knows best!  


Father, help us to be more like Jesus in every way. Teach us our individual lessons and help us to be receptive to all of them. We do not want to be like the children who wandered around the wilderness for 40 years. Please help us to learn all of the lessons necessary for us to get out of our wildernesses, so we can be more like Jesus and also do our Father’s will for our lives. Thank you, Father, for teaching us and helping us all for your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name! Amen!

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where is Your Treasure?

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21, NKJV)

Where is your treasure? Where is your heart?

Are you more interested in people or possessions? Are you available for people in their time of need? Are you living superficially in this life? Do you want to have and keep all of the material things of this world? Which means more to you...people or things?

"but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:20, NKJV)

“...For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18, NKJV)

First, God desires for us to love Him! (See Mark 12:30) Then, love one another! (See John 13:34-35) Do you love people? Are you showing love to them?

How do you love others? How do you show love to them? Well, one way is to imitate the Father (See Ephesians 5:1). Also, walk in love as Jesus Christ did and gave Himself for us (See Ephesians 5:2).

Are you walking in love? Are you imitating Jesus Christ? Jesus gave of Himself! He gave people His time and other resources. He taught them lessons. He listened to them. He shared with them. He endured hardships! He suffered for righteousness' sake! Ultimately, He laid down His life for everyone (See 1 John 3:16)!

Which means more to you...people or material possessions like money?

"No one can serve two masters.  Either you will hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Matthew 6:24, NIV)

If you had a choice of helping a person financially or otherwise, what would you do? Would you keep the money or other material possessions for yourself? Would you help the person? Which is more important to you? Which do you really love?

God does not bless people with His resources in order to be selfish, self-centered, greedy, or hoarders. He has freely given, so we should freely give too (See Proverbs 11:24). He also loves a cheerful giver (See 2 Corinthians 9:7).

Our Father asks us, "If anyone has this world's goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him—how can God's love reside in him?" (1 John 3:17, HCSB)

Later, His instruction, "Little children, we must not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth; that is how we will know we are of the truth, and will convince our hearts in His presence, because if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things." (1 John 3:18-20, HCSB)

What will you do the next time someone needs a helping hand? Will you deny their request? Will you walk away? On the other hand, will you show the love of the Father? Will you show the love of Jesus Christ?

Afterall, the righteous are never forsaken and God's children are never begging for bread. (See Psalm 37:25) For God feeds, clothes, and provides for all of our needs. (See Matthew 6:25-33) Therefore, should not we do the same? If we are really imitating Him, should not we also do for others? Let us actually show His love to others in obedience to Him and from our hearts.

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are you like Martha or Mary?

Have you ever thought about this question before…

...are you like Martha or Mary?

Martha was busy getting ready and doing many preparations for Jesus' visit. Even when He got there, she was still busy. She was too busy to sit down and visit with Jesus.

On the other hand, Mary was just the opposite. She did not care to be involved in all of the preparations. She wanted to sit down at Jesus' feet and spend time with Him. She just wanted to be in His presence.

Which of these two women are you most like?  Are you like Martha?  Are you busy being busy?  Are you like Mary?  Do you take the time for others?  Most importantly, do you take the time for Jesus?

You may think or say...Oh, of course, I am like Mary! I spend time with Jesus! I want to be with Him!

How much of that is true though? Do you make the time to spend it with Him? Do you set time aside each day just for Him? Do you spend time in His presence?  Do you read the Bible…God’s word? Do you spend time in prayer?

Our Father God knows our heart! In fact, He looks at our heart while man looks at our outward appearance. (1 Samuel 16:7)

In addition, according to God's word, our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts! (Luke 6:45) Our actions follow our hearts’ desire!

When you love another person, you want to spend time with that person. You specifically set aside time for that special person. You look forward to the time when you can get together. You make it a priority, because it is important to you and the other person.

The same is true of Jesus. When we love Him, we want to spend time with Him. We make it a priority to be in His presence. The special time alone with Jesus is precious.

Jesus told Martha, "Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:42)

Our Father God does not want us to compare ourselves to other people. However, by just looking at these two women in the Bible, it does show some of the characteristics He desires of His daughters. Therefore, do not try to be like someone else, but do strive to take on the traits of Godly women...women who are spending more time with Him and becoming who He desires for us. Afterall, He only wants the best for us! We should also want the best for ourselves! By spending more time in His presence, we will become the best for Him and for us!

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Train a child..."

I have heard the old proverb..."Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV)

However, I was recently reminded, the extreme importance of this proverb.

When I was sitting outside and finishing my lunch in a shopping center area, I saw the mother of a little girl wanting to take a photo of her young daughter by a huge water fountain nearby. In and of itself, it seemed harmless.

Then, I got to thinking that the mother was exploiting her own daughter. As I watched them together, it made me feel sick. The mother, perhaps unknowingly or unintentionally, was training her child to "look pretty for the camera". It reminded me of this world's ways. This world views females as the weaker sex and exploits them in the media and advertising…treating them like a piece of flesh. Instead of thinking what it could be doing to her daughter, the mother was just thinking of what she wanted at the time.  It was not something good for the little girl and her overall well-being either.

I continued to watch the mother and young daughter together. The little girl appeared to begin getting into the short “photo shoot”. All of a sudden, she seemingly appeared to hike up her foot and knee in a model-type pose. I could not believe it! She looked like that she was only about 5 years old!

It somewhat reminded me of little Jon Benet Ramsay who was thrust into the media spotlight after her tragic death many years ago now. After her death, photos and video portrayed made-up little Jon Benet to look like a little woman. However, she was only a little girl in a lot of make-up modeling in beauty pageants.

What had this little girl in front of the large water fountain been taught? What had she been learning? Where did she learn it?

My guess is that she learned that type of behavior or pose from society...from this world's view of females...even at a very young age! With all of the suggestive-type marketing and advertising in magazines and on television, unfortunately, all girls...especially young impressionable ones...become accustomed to seeing it. They begin to think that kind of behavior is acceptable. They, in turn, learn to mimic the same type of behavior that they see as well.

Here is an example...

Have you ever played with a baby or a small toddler? What do they do? Every time, you say or do something, they try to say or do it too. At the time, you may think that it is cute or funny. However, every time you laugh at it, you are just perpetuating it. In turn, they learn to think that it is cute or funny. If there are no consequences for their behavior, they start believing that it is acceptable behavior...whether it is or is not.

It is very important to "Train a child in the way he should go..." (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV) Take it one step further, and train up a child in the way she should not go as well! Condemn the action, behavior, or sin that is not in-line with God's view of your daughter. Make sure that you do not condemn the child but the behavior. There is a difference.

You want your child to know God’s love and your love for her. At the same time, you want her to know the acceptable behavior as well. You do this by teaching your child God's view of her and His ways...not this world's view and its ways.

Get in God's word! Renew your mind! (See Romans 12:2) Learn His ways and His views of you and your daughter! Then train your child in the way she should go, and when she is old she will not turn from it. (See Proverbs 22:6)

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

“Who do you say I am?"

"Who do the crowds say I am?"  (See Luke 9:18)

‎"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"  (See Luke 9:20)

Jesus posed a few questions that day to his disciples. One particular question stands out though. He asked his disciple, Peter…

"Who do you say I am?"

It is a very important question too! Have you ever thought about it?

"Who do you say I am?"

Just think, consider, and ponder that question for a minute.

Who do others say you are? Who do you say you are? Who does Jesus Christ say you are? Most importantly, who does your Heavenly Father say you are?

You may say…Who cares what other people say? Correct? Well, that is the way it should be in this world. However, that is not always the case.

Many people care what other people think or say. It is human nature. However, God wants us to care less about what people in this world think or say and care more about what He thinks and says about us.

Admittedly, it is hard though, when you are bombarded with all kinds of audio and video in this world that sends out messages to the contrary. All of the media with its advertisements of what you should look like physically, what you should wear, what you should think, what you should say…

Unfortunately, society plays a huge part in us and in our lives. However, God wants us as believers to be in this world but not of this world (See John 15:19, 17:16; 1 John 2:15). That in itself is difficult at times unless you totally isolate yourself from the world. That, of course, is not very possible.

Even if it was possible, it is not good to be isolated from one another for very long. After all, God tells us not to forsake the assembling as some do.  We, as His children, need each other. We are not made to be separate from each other. We are all part of the body of Christ. In order to properly work together, we are dependent on one another (See 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

That is only one reason that it is so important to renew your mind is God’s word (See Romans 12:2).

Who do you say you are? Who does your Heavenly Father say you are? Who does Jesus Christ say you are?

‎"But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Peter answered, "The Christ of God." (See Luke 9:20)

Most importantly, who does Jesus Christ say you are?  After all, He is the Son of God!

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Where are you?"

But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"  (Genesis 3:9)

God asked this question of the first man, Adam.  Of course, He already knew the answer to the question.  For God, it really was a rhetorical question.  Afterall, God is all-knowing! 

However, He asked Adam this question in order for him to think about the answer.  It was to help Adam to acknowledge his physical location.  It was also to assist Adam in seeing and knowing his sin.

He [Adam] answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

And He [God] said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

Since the beginning of time, man has pointed the finger or blamed another person for his predicament.

The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."  (Genesis 3:10-13)

God has given every man his own will to make his own choices whether good or bad. Of course, also since the creation of humankind, there have been consequences of making our own choices without God’s leadership and guidance.   

"For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit."  (Galatians 6:7-8)

Therefore, the next time that God asks you this question, “Where are you?” Just be honest with Him and yourself! Acknowledge your location whether physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, or otherwise.  Realize that He loves you, and He wants to help you! Please allow Him to assist you in whatever way and in whatever area of your life!  He really does love you, and He wants the best for you!

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.