Thursday, May 27, 2010

O God Hear My Prayer

              Psalm 4:1-5 quoted below is a portion of one of the Psalms of David.  King David was a warring King, but a man after God’s heart. As I use his words, words given to him by God, I am using God’s Word to define this devotion, “…O God hear my prayer ” I use these Words daily for my own prayers.  On this day, I plead to God that He will hear our prayers, prayers for our men and women who are standing in harms way to defend us back home, (defending our freedom.)
              On this day, we find so many who are disrespectful of our Veterans, and all those who have died defending our Constitution and our Freedom.  (People who gather to disrespect the Memorial Service of a Soldier who died giving them “the right to defame him and his family,” and doing it under the flag of God.)
              This Memorial Day is a day we as Americans have set aside to honour those who have died defending our rights, our freedom, and our rights to be stupid. Yet, to many this is just a “cut loose weekend,” the end of school, the beginning of summer, vacations, pool parties, Bar-B-Q time, just a good time for all. 
              For Sharil and I, it is our wedding anniversary weekend.  Yet the importance of our honouring those men who have given all, their family, their children, and ultimately their lives, remembering them is more important than a wedding anniversary.  (Which is very important.)  There is a saying that goes something like this, “There have been two defining forces in the world willing to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  Jesus died for your soul and the American Soldier died for your freedom. 
              This week, remember why you have the time to play, as “one of our boys” may be taking a bullet for you.  He is giving his all.  Take time out of your day and beg God to hear our prayers. Ask Him to protect our soldiers, (those who are protecting our right to worship, and our freedom,) and to keep their families from harm.  As we are a nation that is stepping away from God, beg Him to give us new Godly leadership, leadership that will follow Him.

2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

              This is God’s process.  It must begin with our heart, a heart that knows God and His only Begotten Son Jesus, and a heart full of repentance, sorrow, and a willingness to pray.  Seek Him and turn away from your iniquities.  So, what are you going to do this weekend?  Our scripture asks us to “…put our trust in the Lord. Have you done that?  Can you put your trust in Him?    

Bro John R. E Chastain

Psalms 4:1-5  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.  (2)  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.  (3)  But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.  (4)  Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.  (5)  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Our Salvation

              When I read Exodus 15:2 quoted below, and I put it together with Memorial Day, I started pondering Salvation and our Soldiers.  (I am using the word Soldier to be inclusive of all men and women serving in ALL Armed conflicts.)  I know each Branch of the Services have Chaplains, but most probably not of the mindset of, “Once Saved Always Saved.”
              My concern is that those who are doing battle may not have the assurance of their Salvation.  They may be listening to a false prophet who tells them they can lose their Salvation, daily, hourly.
              Consequently, it is so important for us to get our children in church at an early age, and teach them the rudiments of Salvation.  Our children must know before they get into the trenches that regardless of what the day brings, Heaven will be their home.
              Whether or not our children go to war, they will be in “trenches” and “warring” with the devil all their lives.  The devil will interfere with their married life.  He will interfere with their children.  He will interfere in all aspects of their lives.  The devil is that roaring lion Peter speaks about.

(1 Peter 5:8)  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

              Our children need to be taught how to do battle with the devil.  We would consider it unconceivable for us to send boys out to do battle, with their lives at stake, without the proper training.  Yet, when our children finish high school, we send them off to a secular college, without the training and expect them to survive. 
              As fundamental, independent Baptists, we are to lead our children, and guide them in all aspects of life training.  Nevertheless, the fundamental problem is that we no longer lead our children they lead us.  Our government, “The Village” is taking over the raising of our children.
              We must get back to the fundamentals of teaching our children scripture, and teaching them the value of Salvation.  We must teach them the Eternity of God’s great and amazing gift of Eternal, Everlasting, and Forevermore Life so they know without a doubt where to turn when the devil shows up at their door.  They need to know to read their Bible, and know how to pray.  Have you taught them?

Bro. John R. E Chastain  

Exodus 15:2  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

Precious In The Sight Of The LORD

      Today, this day before Memorial Day, as we recognize our Military Men and Women who have given their lives for their nation, I again am reminded of my Father, 1st Lieutenant R E Chastain.   My Father, was not a Medal of Honour recipient.  Yet, his record shows seventeen Air Medals and seven Distinguished Flying Crosses.  So he ranks above many.
      As his son, I would never want to tarnish my Father’s name, and  I will not.  He died so my sister and I could live in a free nation.  He was career Army.  He did not intend to leave the Army.  These men need recognition, and we as a nation, regardless of our convictions on war.  The Men and Women who have lost lives in those wars have allowed us the freedom to have personal convictions regarding war.
      As a Pastor, I am torn between being a Patriot for my country and being a Servant for God.  I know I am allowed to be both, however, my being a servant for God MUST come first.  There are days when my Patriotism seems to over-ride all I can think about.  Folks do understand that is wrong.  God should be prevalent in our hearts by the hour, regardless of what we want to do.
      As we celebrate and memorialize our fallen Men and Women, we must understand they each died for one nation, our nation, yet Jesus died for all nations, and man-kind. 
      On Easter Resurrection Day, we come and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, yet that is why we come to church every Sunday, to celebrate His death and resurrection.
      While you are turning those ribs over, or when you are placing that wreath on a loved ones grave stop and thank Jesus our Lord for dying for you, and especially the fact He arose and will come again for you someday.

Bro John R. E Chastain

Psalms 116:12-19  What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?  (13)  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.  (14)  I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.  (15)  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.  (16)  O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.  (17)  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.  (18)  I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,  (19)  In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Would Jesus Do?

              Reading John 14:8-11 quoted below, we are told that “[God] he doeth the works.   So since Jesus tells us, “…I am in the Father and the Father in me,..” then we as Christians can answer the question, “What would Jesus do?”  It is obvious from the verses quoted below that He [Jesus] would do the Will of the Father [God].
              Our job as a Christian is to emulate the Lord Jesus and do as He did while walking here on earth.  The only way for us to know what He did is to read our King James Bible faithfully, and be under the teachings of God.

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

For us to grow in faith, we must be hearing the preaching of God’s Word, along with our studying of His Word.  Jesus didn’t study the Word because “He is the Word.”  Jesus would and always will do the right thing regardless because “He is the Word.”
              I am a sinner saved by God’s Grace, Jesus.  As a saved person heading for Heaven, I always try to do the right thing; yet, in many instances I fail, sometimes badly.  When I fail, the only thing I have left is to apologize to anyone I may have hurt, and ask my Lord Jesus to forgive me “one more time.”  There is always a possibility of being forgiven “one more time.” 
              In terms of your salvation, without it, tomorrow never comes.  Therefore, we know what Jesus would do.  “What about you?”  As a Christian are you ready to start working on doing the right thing, or is that going to be put off until tomorrow?  Have you considered your reward?
              If you have never accepted Jesus, then accept Him now.  God has never asked great things of men and He has never put a burden on anyone who could not bear it.  All He has asked of anyone is to believe on His only Begotten Son, Jesus.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Confess Jesus in your heart.  Believe God has raised Him from the grave, and God will save you.  Salvation happens when you confess Jesus in your heart.  Then confess Him to others.   Let them know Jesus has just saved you.   

Bro John R. E Chastain

John 14:8-11  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  (9)  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  (10)  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.  (11)  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

God Is A Merciful God

            The scripture verses below tell us most assuredly that IF you and I seek God, we will find Him.  The problem, generally speaking is the latter portion of verse 29, which states, …with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
            We give our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren all of our heart, and all of our soul, but God takes the back seat.  We come to church, we pay our tithe, we pay our offerings, but when it comes to our heart, it usually goes home with our soul.
              Yet, when tribulation comes, and we are in that deep valley, whether it is financial, spiritual, or depression, we call on God for help, and in some cases promise Him our heart and our soul.  Yet, when the prayers are answered, God has done His portion of our bargain, and it is time to pay the piper, we usually pay with lip service.  “As soon as I can get some bills paid, as soon as I…” We put more conditions on our side we always seem to have another excuse.  We forget what we promised God we would do, and we just go back to our lives as if there had been no change.  God did His part, yet, we walked away.
            However, our scripture tells us if we will follow in obedience, He will not forsake us.  Why?...because, “…thy God is a Merciful God;…”  Though you walked away, broke your promise to Him, He will not forsake you.  God has made a covenant and He will not break that covenant.  Why again?  “…thy God is a Merciful God;…”
            God sincerely loves us, He gave His only begotten Son for us.  He wants our soul in Heaven with Him.  God is long suffering, patient, and waiting for us to remember our promises.
              Go to Him on bended knee and ask for forgiveness, but do it with a true (sincere) heart.

(Hebrews 10:22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

            Decide in your heart to change and become more diligent in your walk with God.  We all must understand it is you and I who must change. God will not, because He cannot change.  It is up to you, but He will extend mercy to us as often as we ask.

Bro John R. E Chastain

Deuteronomy 4:29-31  But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.  (30)  When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;  (31)  (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

We As Christians

            The scripture verses below remind us of our direction in our life.  We as branches of Christ should be fruitful, or we will be taken away.  As a Christian, we are expected to be fruitful.  We are expected to ask others to accept Christ as their Saviour just as you have done.
            Can I say, there are no exceptions. “If” you are a Christian and Jesus the Christ is your personal Saviour, you are a branch.
            As a “Branch,” we are all involved with our Religious Survey, and I believe this Religious Survey is crucial to the life of this church.  Regardless of the outcome, we as individuals, and as a Church we are being fruitful.
            This Survey is Step Three of a multi-faceted plan to strengthen your heart and build your Faith.  Step One was when you were strengthened in belief by reading your Bible, and defining the King James Bible as the Word of God.  The Second Step was defining “Missions” as the core of our Church. 
            There are many more steps and chores that must be completed: learning to be faithful in Church attendance, learning that tithing is required, learning, learning, and more learning.
            We as Christians must realize that to retire from Christian service isn’t a good thing.  God tells us in these verses below that He will take away un-productive branches.  I believe He is telling us we can be called home short of a full life here on earth when we fail to respond to His call to produce.
            Wellington is a farming community, of farmers that know about growing crops.   You and I are the tillers of the ground for God.  Our job is to turn the soil and seek the lost, gather them to the flock, teach them and let the Holy Spirit convict their hearts, and then teach them, to plow and turn that soil for more lost souls.
            Jesus came and turned the soil for you.  He sought you in the bars, in the gutters, in homes where no god lived, nor where there was no hope.  He gave you Hope and eternal life.  Give to those who have no hope and help them gain their eternal life.

Bro John R. E Chastain

John 15:1-4  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  (2)  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  (3)  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  (4)  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Must I Do?

              Reading Acts 16:27-31 quoted below, I am reminded of Paul’s exclamation when he fell to the earth in the presence of Jesus.

Acts 9:6  And he [Paul] trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?…

Both the Jailor and Paul were a bit perplexed.  We see that the Jailor received instruction from Paul and Silas.  Isn’t it amazing how God can change a heart from questioning to knowing? 
              I have Paul’s question written right above my computer monitor, so as I work, I can recollect the day I picked myself up and had the answer to that question.  I still ask the Lord Paul’s question “…Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”  It seems I cannot go a day without asking the Lord this question.  Some days the answer is given quickly and clearly, other days I am unsettled about what to do.  I know not to “tell” God what I must do, but sometimes I think He wants me to make suggestions, to see where my pride is located.  I know He knows, but those suggestions help me, (through the Lord,) to get myself located.  Our pride is a fiendish devil, which will misdirect us, and make us think we allowed God to make the decision.  How wicked we are. 
              Knowing my situation, what about yours?  Do you ask the Lord for directions daily?  Do you have a handle on your pride?  All these questions are questions you must ask yourself.  No one else can know the answer to these questions, with only one exception, that is God Himself.
              As a Christian, when we ask the Jailor’s question of the Lord, we must consider the “do’s” of Christianity.

Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

The first “do” of a Christian is to be in Church when the Church assembles.  Another “do” is tithing with a “cheerful heart.”  Another “do” is to pray for one another and to read and study your Bible.  We as Christians are to Glorify God first, and these “do’s” are the first steps in “…Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
              So where do you stand with the Lord? Are you sacrificing your time, your heart, your mind and your might to the Lord?

Deuteronomy 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Bro John R. E Chastain

(Acts 16:16-27)  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.  22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. 27  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If God So Loved Us

            In the scripture 1 John 4:11-14 quoted below, (v 11) is addressed to the brethren.  However, though it is a statement, it leaves us with a question.  The question is the simple, yet, complex word “if.”  We are told in: 

(John 3:16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

That God loved us so much He willingly gave His only “begotten” Son to die on the Cross, so I could have Salvation, that eternal life with Him.
            Our scripture below also tells us “…if we love one another, God dwelleth in us...”  If we have accepted Jesus through the love of our hearts, we ought to love one another.  It all has to do with our heart.  If we have accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour, then He dwells within us.  We know by faith our Salvation is real.  I cannot feel the Holy Spirit that God has given me, yet, I know I have Him within me.  That I know again by faith.  The Holy Spirit is real and He does dwell within me.
            Based on this knowledge, the Holy Spirit guides me. The Holy Spirit helps me to dodge those fiery darts.  He also helps me love the unlovable.  He helps me reach out to those who are lost and need  Christ in their lives.  We must testify that God has sent His only Begotten Son to rescue us from the fiery hell.
            When we look at this set of scriptures we must also know that all that is said must be placed within your heart, with true sincerity.  As our cover states God “…hath given us of His Spirit.” to those who sincerely have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour,  nothing more, nothing less.

(Hebrews 10:22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

            Draw near to Him, with a true (sincere) heart.  It is required of us, we cannot be born again with a flippant heart.  It must be real.

Bro John R. E Chastain

(1 John 4:11-14)  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Just Do It

            In 2 Corinthians 6:2-10 quoted below,  in (v 2) we are told,  “ is the accepted time…  We are also told “…now is the day of salvation.” 
     Had you been here Wednesday evening and heard Bro Huntress preach from Hezekiah, Chapter 3, ;-) you would have heard him preach on “Just Do It.”  It seems a title just seems to float around, because that is the title of my Message today from John Chapter 2. 
     However, now seems to be the word of the verses.   It is “now” the day for each of us as Christians and those who are lost to realize our future.  We need to get ourselves into motion to understand that “…the accepted time…” has come.
     As a Christian, it is the time to put our salvation to work.  God gave us eternal life, He wants us to be obedient to Him, and to do His will.  Our salvation isn’t just to sit and listen to the Preacher.  God expects us to work out our salvation by doing.

(Philippians 2:12)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed,… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

     This is not work to earn salvation, but work because we have been given salvation.  Just Do It.

Bro John R. E Chastain

(2 Corinthians 6:2-10)  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3  Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Children of God

              When I read the verses below, the phrase “…the children of God…” is what came to my mind.  It seems like maybe there would be other things, but what I am circling around to is all the blessing, all the persecution that happens is still all about “…the children of God…” 
              When I started writing this, I had no idea where I was going, but I knew it had to be about us, to those of us who have accepted Jesus the Christ as their personal Saviour.  It always comes back to us, those who are attempting to keep on doing right for God. 
              One of the news stories this week was about a football player shot and killed by his mistress.  Now do understand I do not know if either is in Heaven, nor do I know they are in Hell.  I do know they are in one place or the other.  This man left behind a wife and four children.  It appears his adultery [sin] finally found him out.
              As a child of God we do not have the liberty to step into sin, and be excused [not forgiven, excused] for violating God’s commands.

(John 14:15)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

              If we feel the liberty to covet, to gamble, or step into adultery, and play with alcohol and / or drugs, can we answer Jesus, and tell Him we really love Him.  So many people we have talked to claim a love for Christ, yet their life style and their walk doesn’t match their talk.
              Do know that the profession you made claiming Jesus may be a lie.  If you do not have the presence of the Holy Spirit, can’t figure out a good reason to come to church, feel no need nor desire to worship God something is wrong with you.  Do understand, you are the only one who can do something about it.  Make the decision to change.  You can turn your whole life around.  If, by searching your heart, you realize you have made a false profession, now is the time to correct that error.  Accept Jesus now He will accept anyone who calls upon Him as Saviour.

(John 3:16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

              This whosoever, is anybody, regardless of their current life style, or their past.  If you will believe, you will receive everlasting life with Christ.  You will be saved from hell.  What are you going to do?

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Matthew 5:9-12  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  (10)  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (11)  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  (12)  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

From Dust We Came

              When I read the verses below, my mind went to those who tout the “Big Bang Theory.”  When I stop and think for just a moment, and maybe for an instant put my “old worldly cap” on, and try to think as I used to, you know what?  I cannot do it.  I, as a worldly person never subscribed to that theory, because I knew it was a theory.
            Some might not know what “theory” means.  It is the evolution of man’s thoughts when he can no longer answer the question rationally.  That is my own definition and others may disagree.  (However, there are more than a couple trillion things, maybe more for which I have no answer.)
            One answer that I cannot comprehend: if we were created by a “Big Bang,” then how was everything put in a logical order?  A “Big Bang” is disorder.  Do you remember the Murrow Building in Oklahoma City?  That “Big Bang” caused chaos, not logical order.
            Another thing I cannot fathom: how does a “Big Bang” happen out of nothing?  If, as the evolutionist theorizes we are an evolution, then where did it start? 
            Another thing that bothers me, if we are evolved out of monkeys, where is the evidence of the continuing evolution?  I mean, today we ought to be able to see a one-quarter man, three-quarters monkey.  How about a half-and-half being. (Would it be a monkey man or a man monkey?)  There is no logic to any of this “Big Bang” evolutionary thinking. 

(Romans 1:22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

              God tells us He made the heavens and the earth.  He also tells us He formed us.  It is logical order.  How is conception created out of mass chaos?  Why do we have one planet orbiting contrary to the other planets’ orbits?  Because God balanced the system to work so we could live.  He knew all that had to be done to create us, and He did it logically and in order.  There is neither chaos nor confusion from God.                                                                   

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Genesis 2:7-9  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  (8)  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  (9)  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Call Her Blessed

              Reading Proverbs 31:28-31 quoted below, we see the value of our Mothers, our wives.  As a husband, I am certain my appreciation for my wife and her endeavors is not what it ought to be.  I imagine if we could ask our children and grandchildren, we would likely find Mother’s are appreciated more as we age, than were in our youth.
            I know I have appreciated my Mother more since I married. After having children, it dawned on me how much my Mother had directed and guided me (mostly against my will).  She was “always” asking me, “What would your Father have said?”  I was in my forties when I finally grasped the notion that it was my Mother, and not my Father (he died in Korea at an early age,) that gave me my grounding, my foundation.
            As I reflect on my wife and consider her “Motherhood” and how she directed our daughters, (raising them without the LORD,) it was “Momma” who kept them on track, it was “Momma” who gave them advice.  “Dad” was always gone on this job or that job, but their “Momma” was always there.
            A Mothers work, (with her children,) is never done.  The constant concern over her children’s welfare, their health, and their wealth never ends.
            It is hard for me, as a husband, to write about Mothers without talking about my wife.  Our verses tell us to call our wives “blessed” and to praise them for the fruit of their hands.
            I know some who have not had a Mother to raise them, (but they have had a surrogate Mother,) who filled in and did the best she could.  She should be as honored and praised as any Mother.
            Stop and consider what your Mother has done for you.  Then, ask yourself, “What have I done for my Mother?” 
            I cannot talk to my Mother anymore, but I do have a place for her in my heart.  Honor your Mother.  She deserves your honor.                                                                         

Bro John R. E Chastain

Proverbs 31:28-31  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.  (29)  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.  (30)  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.  (31)  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Bulletin Devotion for May 09, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Mothers Of My Life

              As I write this article, my mind has considered the “Mothers Of My Life.” My Mother was not a Godly woman as I was growing up.  Her philosophy was, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Despite her guidance, I did more of the latter than the former. 
              However, I had only been married a few months, and I suddenly realized that she had wisdom I had never seen before.  Not until my Mother was in her late 60’s did she conquer her life, finally with her Salvation and later her Baptism. 
              The second Mother was my Mother-in-law.  Neither Sharil nor I knew of anyone else who prayed for us during the days we so desperately needed prayer.  It was only a few weeks after she died that I quit drinking.  About five years later both Sharil and I got saved.  I believe these were answered prayers.
              Both of these Mothers had a lasting effect on my life.  However, the greatest influence they had was on my wife, the third Mother of my little story.  I, in nearly 48 years have watched Sharil mature.  I watched her seek God, and watched her “attempt” to influence me with God.  I watched her mature, and struggle to become a Pastor’s wife.  (I watched her grow in the Lord.)
              These three Mothers were direction in my life; they had more influence on me than any other did.
              Some of this influence came after the fact. I appreciate both my Mother and Mother-in-Law much more today than when they were living.  That is something I am sorry about that I never got it right with them before God called them home.  (I will one day see them again, and I pray I will be able to let them know the love I have for them both.)
              Today, my wife, and the Mother of our children, has my direct influence.  She pushes my thoughts; she tells me when my direction is drifting.  She is my wife, my counsel, my friend.  Outside of Christ Jesus, she is all there is.
              Then I think of the Mothers of this congregation, (consider their impact on the men in their lives,) how they have affected their sons and daughters, and how they have affected their children because of their Mother’s influence on their lives.       
              Men, today is that day.  Before it is eternally too late, talk to the Mothers in YOUR life, and thank them for their direction and their influence.

Bro. John R. E  Chastain 

Proverbs 31:26-30  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  (27)  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.  (28)  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.  (29)  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.  (30)  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Dear Mother

      A few months after Sharil and I married, I noticed something about my Mother.  She seemed to be getting smarter by the day. I also noticed that in my Mother–in-Law Mrs. Wanda Curtis.
      It seems as we grow up, and as we start stretching our wisdom, and noticing how thin it is getting, those around us who have been around the block before us are suddenly wiser.  I am certain when Sharil became a Mother, all that had happened to her while she was carrying our baby was exciting and burdensome.  In her thoughts, this was the first time for anybody.  Terrie’s baby book is complete, while Nora’s is just the opposite.
      Just as the verse below depicts, time and energy is required, and now with two children, most of what is going on is old hat.  Now she listens to other Mothers who also went through the same experience.
      The hard part of all of this is our parting, when we would really like to just sit down, talk, and ask the questions, which now will remain unanswered, until that day we are re-united in spirit and love.
      Today is a day we Honor our Mothers.  It is a day we may choose a few timely minutes to reflect on Mom.  Men praise your wives who have given you your children.  Children praise your Mother, your Grandmothers, all of your Maternal past. They are what made you.  Bless them.

Bro John R. E Chastain

Proverbs 31:26-30  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  (27)  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.  (28)  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.  (29)  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.  (30)  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.