Monday, June 24, 2013


"Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality" (Romans 2:7).

We all grow physically weary, but do we sometimes grow spiritually weary of doing good and wonder what's the use? Do we become weary when we try again and again to teach someone, and there is no response? Do we become weary when we seek to encourage an unfaithful Christian to turn back in obedience to God, and this falls on deaf ears? Do we become weary when we do good deeds which seem to be rejected?

God understands and left us these words of encouragement.

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:9-10).

"But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good " (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

Jesus understands this weariness. After Jesus fed the four thousand with only seven loaves and a few small fish, the Pharisees began to dispute with Jesus. Testing Him, they requested a sign from heaven. Read what Jesus did. "But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, 'Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation' " (Mark 8:12).

Perhaps Jesus felt the same frustration we also feel at times. If we are not careful, this frustration can cause us to grow weary of doing good. However, if we desire the Christian reward of eternal life, we must patiently continue doing good. "Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality" (Romans 2:7).

Allow God's word to give us encouragement in reaching the reward given only to faithful Christians.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint " (Isaiah 40:28-31).

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord " (1 Corinthians 15:58).

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls" (Hebrews 12:1-3).

We must keep our thoughts on Jesus and all He did for us, lest we become weary and discouraged and miss our eternal reward in heaven!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Last week as I read Psalm 23, I realized just how far from the "still waters" I had gotten. I had allowed myself to become very stressed and discouraged because of health issues my husband has been experiencing for several weeks. As a result, my endurance and peace were shrinking, and I understood it was necessary for me to make some changes in my heart.

I allowed the phrase, "He leads me beside the still waters" to sink deep into my mind to remind me of the peace I so desired. I began to picture in my mind walking beside a still body of water and how peaceful this would be; but this is only a temporary peace based upon outward circumstances. True calmness and peace comes only from the Lord, no matter what the outward circumstances are at any given time.

"He leads me beside the still waters" continued to stir up my mind, and then I understood. I must allow myself to be led by the Lord. No, He will not literally take my hand and lead me; but I must cease trying to control things and simply trust in His strength and be lead beside the still waters of His peace.

The outward conditions may remain the same for a while longer; it may become better, or it may become worse. Whatever the outcome, if I continue allowing the Lord to "lead me beside the still waters," then I can again rejoice in the Lord because "He restores my soul."

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (Psalm 23:1-6).

Monday, November 19, 2012


"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised"  (Proverbs 31:30).

If God is love and compassion, why does one need to rejoice in the fear of the Lord? One fears a cruel and oppressive ruler. Does this describe God? These are questions one may ask concerning the fear of the Lord.

Certainly, God is not cruel or oppressive! Since there is no doubt about God's love and compassion, we can also understand God is fair and just. Therefore God will never change what He has said in His word, the Holy Bible.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

In Hebrews 1:10-12 we are reminded the earth and the heavens are the work of the Lord; that the Lord is the same and His years will not fail.

What rejoicing because of this fact that the Lord God will never change! Therefore, neither His promises, nor His commandments will change!

A part of obeying His commandments is this: we must fear the Lord.

The proper fear of the Lord involves respect, reverence, awe. It also involves understanding that when we do wrong (when we sin), God has the right and the power to punish us. So we must understand, not only His great love for us, but also His power.

This godly fear causes us to understand how love and obedience are joined together.

1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."

Hebrews 12:28, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."

Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all."

Rejoice in the fear of the Lord as you rejoice in keeping His commandments!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

Christians are commanded to proclaim the praises of God. This is one of the "works" that Christians MUST do to remain pleasing to God. However, praise to God cannot be determined by feelings. Satan seeks to deceive all into believing that anything that pleases people will please God. God’s word does not teach this idea.

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" (Colossians 2:8).

To please God, praise of God must be done ONLY in ways God has authorized in His word.

Serving God is one means of praising God. Please note this service must be acceptable to God. "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).

Another means of praising God is with the lips. This may be in words spoken or sung, but only by speaking or singing what is truth according to God's word can we truly praise God with the lips. "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15).

Christians must also praise God with their actions. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Christians are praising God by committing their bodies as a spiritual sacrifice to God. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).

Christians must grow "to the glory and praise of God." Consider Philippians 1:9-11, "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."

Christians, rejoice and fulfill your purpose! "Then a voice came from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great'" (Revelation 19:5)!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


"Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people" (Psalm 9:11).

"Sing praise to the LORD, You saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name" (Psalm 30:4).

The Jews, living under the law of Moses, were commanded to "sing praises to the Lord." In the book of Psalms, there are at least 30 times when the phrase "sing praise" or "sing praises" is mentioned. Those Jews understood this command.

Today, no one is commanded to live under the law of Moses. This law was nailed to the cross at the death of Jesus Christ: "having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14).

The law of Moses is spoken of as a tutor or schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, but none are under that tutor now. "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (Galatians 3:24-25).

Therefore, those who belong to Christ (Christians) are to obey Christ's law (commandments). "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2);  and certainly Christ's law includes singing praises to God.

"Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord
" (Ephesians 5:19).

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16).

Read again, carefully, those commands. Did you notice any mention of singing with a mechanical instrument? Did you notice any mention of some individuals humming, while others sing? Did you notice any mention of clapping while singing? Did you notice anything else to be added to the singing? NO! Christians are commanded to sing and make melody in the heart, to sing to the Lord with grace in the heart. The heart is the instrument to be used when obeying the command to sing praises to God today.

Whatever we do today must be done in the name of, by the authority of the Lord Jesus, with no additions, deletions, or substitutions. "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17).

Let us rejoice and sing praises to the Lord, but let us also remember to do this exactly as Jesus Christ has commanded!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012



"Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart"
(Psalm 37:4).

To delight is to please greatly, something in which we take great pleasure. So how do we delight ourselves in the Lord? Allow God's word to teach us how.

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2).

"I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word" (Psalm 119:16).

"And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love" (Psalm 119:47).

"Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments" (Psalm 112:1).

These verses, and numerous others, teach us to delight in God's law, His commandments.

If we delight in God's commandments, what will this delight cause us to do? It will cause us to OBEY His commandments. "I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8).

The opposite would also be true. "To whom shall I speak and give warning, That they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, And they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; They have no delight in it" (Jeremiah 6:10).

If God’s word brings us no delight, it will be a reproach to us. We will scorn it. Isn’t that what we do when we refuse to obey what God has commanded?

There are many other ways we can delight in the Lord. For this time, we will mention only a few of these.

God desires to be our comfort, and this should bring delight in the Lord. "In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul" (Psalm 94:19).

Delight in praying to God. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

As we grow in delight in the Lord, we also should be growing in the proper fear and reverence of the Lord. "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).

Are we rejoicing because we truly delight in the Lord?

Monday, January 23, 2012

By Dena Ivie
If you are like most people, you need "reminders" on a calendar, sticky notes, or smart phone to help you stay "on track" with what you need to know and do. God, in His great and all-knowing wisdom knew we would need reminders if we were going to truly know Him and obey Him. Therefore, we should never cease to be thankful for and to heed His reminders given to us in His word!

Yes, even those established in the truth need to be reminded.

2 Peter 1:12-15, "For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease."

Peter, by inspiration of God, stated again this need to remind.
2 Peter 3:1-4, "Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.'"

Because God created us, He understands we are "a forgetful people."   Again and again in His word, God reminds those who are His exactly what He requires.

The following scriptures are only a few reminders in the Old Testament. There are many, many more scriptures that could be included in this list.

Numbers 15:40-41, "and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God."

Deuteronomy 8:11, "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,"

Psalm 119:16, "I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word."

Proverbs 4:5, "Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth."

Also in the New Testament, there are many reminders, lest we forget.

Jesus commanded in Luke17:32, "Remember Lot's wife."
Why do you suppose this command is important? As we think of Lot's wife (Genesis 19:15-26), we are reminded God is serious about obedience to His words!

Jude 5, "But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe."

1 Corinthians 4:17, "For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church."

2 Timothy 2:11-14, "This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers."

Why is he preaching on that again?" The next time you hear someone make such a statement (or maybe you say it yourself), remember how much we all need to be reminded to do exactly what God says and then rejoice in the reminder!

"But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does"  (James 1:25).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Know How To Be Truly Blessed and Rejoice!

Ask how one is blessed, and you will receive a plethora of ideas. Answers might include good health, happiness, family, wealth, friends, a good job, great accomplishments, retirement, ability to travel, and on and on. None of these things are wrong, unless we allow them to come before God (Matthew 6:33).

Everywhere Jesus went, He was continually teaching (Mark 10:1) and doing good (Acts 10:38). On one occasion of teaching, a certain woman from the crowd spoke up, calling the mother of Jesus blessed.

Luke 11:27, "And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, 'Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!'"

Some feel nothing can make one more blessed than having a child (of any age) doing good things. Certainly this is a reason for earthly happiness. However, we need to consider Jesus' response to the statement made by the certain woman.

Luke 11:28, "But He said, 'More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!'"

Think deeply on Jesus reply,
"More than that..."

More than good health.........more than earthly happiness.......more than one's family.........more than wealth........more than friends.........more than a good job.........more than retirement..........more than travel...........more than great accomplishments...........more than anything else!

If we desire to be truly blessed now and also in eternity, then we MUST HEAR AND DO as the word of God commands as Jesus said in Luke 11:28. Then we can truly rejoice!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rejoice In The Narrow Way!

Jesus said:   "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

The world says: "We are on different roads, but we will end up in the same place."

Will all really end up in the same place? Jesus said no! He said there is a wide, broad, spacious way that leads to destruction (eternal destruction in hell), and there is a narrow, strait, difficult way that leads to life – a life devoted now to obeying the commandments of God and finally life eternal in heaven.

Consider another scripture: "Then one said to Him, 'Lord, are there few who are saved?' And He said to them, 'Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able'" (Luke 13:23-24).

Does the one narrow way mean there is not room in heaven for many? No, there is room for all who will obey God’s commandments.

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

God wants all to be saved, but not all will choose to the narrow way. To be saved and enter heaven, one must choose to obey God's commandments.

Entrance to heaven is only through the narrow way.

The broad way, the way to destruction, is the way of the world which says there are many ways to heaven.

Which way will you choose: God's way or the world's way?

Are you on the way of many or the way of few?

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it"  (Matthew 7:13-14).

Only if you choose God's way – the narrow way – can you rejoice in the Lord!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rejoice for Faithful Brothers and Sisters In Christ

"For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth" (3 John 3).

One cannot be faithful without walking in God's truth. Certainly, we should rejoice over those who walk in the truth. We should encourage and pray for these to continue in faithfulness.

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy" (Philippians 1:3-4).

Read the four chapters of Philippians, and you will see the joy Paul had for the faithful brethren in Philippi.

"Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved" (Philippians 4:1).

These faithful brethren were Paul's joy and crown, his prize, in the figurative sense. He was encouraging them to stand fast in the Lord, which would bring even more joy. Just as Paul felt great joy, so also should we feel great joy over Christians who are like-minded and are striving to be of one accord, walking in God's truth.

"For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ" (Colossians 2:5).

"For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith" (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10).

"Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand" (2 Corinthians 1:24).

This same rejoicing was felt for the faithful Christians in other places. What a great example this should be for Christians today.

Let's always rejoice and encourage faithful brethren who are walking in the truth!