Monthly Archives: October 2013

Is Your Daughter Really a Princess?

Some of our little girls are quite attracted to the idea of being “princesses” — showing off their shiny tiaras, scepters, and colorful robes while pretending to rule over others. Parents often encourage this type of thinking in their adorable daughters as they see them play the role convincingly, relishing the power and dignity of their royal position. While most parents don’t really expect the little ones to grow up to reign over an earthly kingdom, could it be that God really does want our daughters to be princesses?

We know from the Bible that God always wanted a royal people who would not allow sin to reign over them like the rest of the nations.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5, 6).

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 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; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy (1 Peter 2:4, 5, 9 ,10.).

By using this description of being “royal,” He intended for us to reign over the sin that knocks at the door of the heart every day (Genesis 4:6,7). Instead of taking the easy road of spiritual slavery like “everybody else does,” we take the road less-traveled where we do not allow sin to rule over us because we are able to reign with Jesus in spiritual places over sin. It is a tragedy when a person can no longer control what he sees with his eyes or what he puts up to his mouth with his hands. Our children were meant for the royal life of victory over the Enemy, not the way of slavery because sin got in the front door and took over the entire life!

In order for our daughters (as well as our sons- Proverbs 31:1-9) to learn to be real princesses and princes, we must teach them non-conformity – “My son, if sinners entice you, do NOT consent” (Proverbs 1:10). No one becomes a princess by following the peasants. We must “be not conformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our minds so that we may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). The road to reigning over sin is the way of humility and service to others, just as Jesus has already shown us how He lived here victoriously to return to Heaven triumphant over sin!

Yes, after looking at God’s plan for us and our children, you will see that it is the Will of God that our daughters and sons rule over sin in their lives. May our daughters be able to trade the little plastic tiara for the eternal and incorruptible crown of life and a place at the Right Hand of God in Heaven with Jesus! May our boys trade in their toys for strength over sin and a voice to help others! Friends, let us be sure that we exemplify the royal life of a child of the King so that our children can follow in the footsteps of eternal victory in Christ Jesus!

Thomas W. Woody
~ P.O. Box 148, Brighton, IL  62012-0148

I Have Seen God

It happened on one of our tours of the Bible Lands some years ago.  There is usually very limited rainfall in the Judean desert and down by the Dead Sea, but on this particular day there was an unusually torrential rain.  Our tour bus was traveling southward along the west side of the Dead Sea.  Water from the desert wadies was pouring over the cliffs on our right.  We were near En Gedi when we came to a place where the flow of water had actually cut away the road service and left a channel perhaps a couple of feet deep and a few rods wide.  Before we left that area, a magnificent rainbow appeared over the Dead Sea, and I saw the wondrous beauty of the handiwork of God, the sign of the covenant between the Almighty God and the creatures of earth.  I saw the glory of God!

I have never seen God or the glory of God in the same way that Moses did when he was in the cleft of the rock and the hand of God obscured his view until God had passed by, and then he was permitted to see God’s back.  Moses was not permitted to look upon God’s face, and we cannot now look upon God’s face.  Oh, but I have seen God in so many ways.  Even as the sweet psalmist of Israel proclaimed, The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.”

When our children were still quite small, we lived a mile or so from town away from the town lights.  At different times on pleasant starlit nights, I would take the children out into the night and talk to them about the stars and the wonders of God’s creation.  I repeatedly drew their attention to the position of the stars and showed them how if they should ever get lost, they could tell their directions by the stars.  We constantly reminded them of who made it all.

I recall a day many years ago when I walked across a pasture of my father’s farm with two little nephews about old enough to start school.  We talked about God and how mighty and powerful He is.  As we walked along, a perfect object lesson appeared before us.  A train passed by just beyond the other end of the pasture.  Both of those nephews are now deceased, but I recall the younger one saying, “God could even pick up that train.”  Truly out of the mouth of babes shall come forth praise if we adults will but teach them to think in terms of reverence toward God.

Whether it be a drop of dew on a petal of a rose or the massive expanse of the Pacific, a tiny ant carrying a crumb or a lumbering elephant, a babbling brook or the mighty Mississippi, a tiny ant hill or a towering mountain peak, should we not see God in all these things?  Let us never be guilty of worshipping the creation, but let us fervently worship the Creator.  His handiwork is all around us.  My heart aches for those who are too blind to see Him in everything around them.  We like Solomon of old can see beauty in everything if our focus is proper.

Perhaps everyone has heard the little story about the little boy who saw a sign that an unbeliever had written on a wall declaring, “God is nowhere.”  The child corrected the message by simply separating the last word so it read “God is now here.”

Can you look on the innocent face of a baby, or at the beauty of a flower, or at the waves of ripened wheat in a giant field in Kansas, or the corn fields of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, or the clear water streams that flow from springs here in southern Missouri, or at a doe and her fawn in the woods, or whatever is around you and not see God behind them all?  Are you among those who see only those things that are visible?  I remember Paul writing about not just looking at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.  God has blessed us with sight, but there is also a great blessing in insight.

When you hear the patter of baby feet across your floor or see children gleefully romping and playing in the yard, or when you advance in age and your children lovingly do for you those things you can no longer do for yourself, are you not reminded that they are a heritage from the Lord?

Does a cloud in the sky cause you to reflect on our Lord’s ascension or perhaps on that glorious day when He shall come again?  Can a mother give birth or an acorn grow to be a tree without God?  How did the oil, the coal, the gold or even the water get into the ground?

Matthew recorded Jesus saying Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”  We think of this verse as primarily referring to our being with God in glory after this life is over.  John tells us in the Book of Revelation we shall see the face of God, but I think in a lesser degree it can well apply to the here and now.  If our hearts are attuned to the things of God, we can see Him everywhere.

It warmed my heart recently when my son, now a grandfather himself, in reminiscing concerning his childhood told me that a memorable impression that I made in his youthful mind was that it seemed to him that I saw God everywhere.  I’m sure I made many mistakes as a father, but perhaps I did one thing right.  Oh, that all our children might be taught to seek the Lord in all things!

I realize I have been blessed with some opportunities that many of you have never shared.  Among the most pleasurable experience of my life were those experiences I had while traveling and teaching in the Bible Lands.  Like my dear Savior, I walked by the Sea of Galilee and talked to fishermen there.  I have knelt and prayed in Gethsemane.  I walked the Via Dolorosa, from where Pilate’s Judgment Hall once stood, to Calvary.  No, Jesus was not there in flesh and blood form the times that I was there, as He had been 2000 years ago.  I did not see three crosses at Calvary with my Lord suffering on the center cross, any plainer then than I see Him each Lord’s Day when we observe the Lord’s Supper, but yes, believers can see Him if their minds are right.

I recall standing at the east window of a hotel room in Jerusalem and watching the dawn lighting the eastern sky one Lord’s Day morning.  In my mind, I went with the women to the empty tomb, and with Peter and John I saw the grave clothes lying there.  With Mary, I saw Jesus standing there by her.  I have been on the road to Emmaus.  The two disciples saw Him and talked with Him but like so many people today, they did not recognize Him.  Thomas was not convinced of the Lord’s resurrection until he saw the Risen Lord with his own eyes. Learn to see Him now through eyes of faith.

The day is coming when every eye shall see Him as He comes in the clouds, but if you cannot see Him well enough to believe in Him now and obey His word, if you wait until that day when He comes with all His mighty angels, it will be too late for your salvation.  See Him through the pages of God’s Word from Genesis to  Revelation. See Him in all the wonders of the creation around you.  In Him we live and move and have our being.  Open your eyes and see the Lord.

Thomas D. Dennis
~ 207 W. Hunter Dr., Nixa, MO  65714-8432

Troubling Times

I t would be interesting to know how many generations have reached a certain point that they say, “We live in troubling times.”  I imagine that it may have been said by every generation since Adam.  It seems that as we mature into adulthood, we are able to have enough history to use our wisdom to try to predict the future.  As a result, many in the younger generation often do not see the danger that appears to be hiding around the corner.

While I do not want to be someone who is pessimistic about the future or one who cries “The sky is falling” when it is not, we should do our best to be aware of what is going on in society and prepare for it.  I have read many stories in the news lately about individuals and businesses that have found themselves forced to choose between the teachings of the Bible and the conclusions of society.  I would like us to take some time, not to discuss the specific issues, but to consider how we should respond to the challenges we may very well face in the near future.

One of the first things we should consider is finances.  Many times we are concerned about these moral challenges, and they can cause us to compromise our beliefs.  We may think that if we don’t give in “a little” we may lose our job or not get that promotion.  Paul warns “those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).  God has plans for us, and they do not include compromise with evil.  The more we put confidence in our wealth, the less trust we are placing in God to provide.  We very well may lose that job or not get that promotion, but God will reward us for our integrity.

The next thing we must consider is just how important are the things of the world to us.  In Luke 21:34, Jesus says, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and cares of this life, and that Day come upon you unexpectedly.”  If we are looking forward to the day when we leave this world to enter the next, then the only time the things of this life become important is when they affect our salvation.  Jesus warned this could happen in the parable of the sower.  He explained the seed planted among the thorns as “he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).  Worrying too much about this world can cost us dearly in the next.

We also must consider who we trust for truth.  Paul told the Corinthians “my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4).  Putting our trust in faulty human logic and its limited understanding will lead us down the wrong path.  However, God has shown us His wisdom and power in so many different ways and has never failed.  We need to put all our confidence and trust in Him.

There are two accounts in the Bible where Jesus calms a raging storm, Matthew 8:23 and Matthew 14:22.  Both times Jesus is with individuals who panic when the sea gets rough.  The winds are blowing wildly, the waves are threatening to capsize their boats, they are afraid for their very lives, and there is nothing they can do about it.  This sounds very similar to how we can feel if we let the events of life become overwhelming to us.  We can feel like situations are compounding against us, like the forces of Satan are winning the battle, and there is nothing that can stop them.  However, just like those men in the boats, we sometimes forget about the power of God.  All Jesus had to do was speak and the storms were passed.  How powerful the words “Peace, be still” can be when spoken by the Son of God.

When we become overwhelmed with the direction society is taking, when we are concerned about the consequences of standing for the truth of God, when we are tempted to wonder if the wisdom of the world might have something to offer us, we must remember “Peace, be still.”  God has the ability to calm all the storms in our life and will reward us for our faithfulness to the truth of His word.  As long as Jesus is in our boat (in our lives) and we are trusting in Him, we have nothing to fear.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39).

Doug Twaddell
~ 711 N. Broadway, Beloit, KS  67420