SISTERS IN FAITH

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GIRLFRIENDS IN GODFor The Wife: Our Wells Run Deep & Our Cisterns Are Full

By Tia McCollors

Sisters in Faith

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. – Proverbs 5:18-19

There is no justification for adultery. In Proverbs 5, Solomon warns of the perils of being seduced by an adulterous woman, saying among other things that although her lips drip honey, she is as bitter as wormwood. But there is a remedy for this danger. Solomon advises a man to drink from his own cistern and to draw from his own well.

As Christian women our wells should run deep. Our husbands should be able to turn to us for water when he thirsts for physical, spiritual, and emotional renewal. He will find joy in the wife of his youth as she keeps herself appetizing to his eyes and doesn’t allow her spirit to grow old. Cisterns hold water for later and living waters continuously flow for life and healing. Don’t let the water set aside for your husband grow stale.

Practical Application: Men are visual creatures. It’s a husband’s delight to see that his wife takes care of herself. It expresses her self-confidence and also boosts his ego when people compliment on her beauty. Don’t take your husband’s presence for granted. Small things make a big difference.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that my husband will turn to me when he is thirsty. Help me to keep a well full of water that will renew, revive, and heal his hurting places.

Tia McCollors is a wife and mother who loves to encourage women to wear their faith like a designer label. Information about her inspirational novels and devotions can be found at www.tiamccollors.com.

John Piper Devotional

John Piper

WHAT IT MEANS TO BLESS THE LORD

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! (Psalm 103:1)

The psalm begins and ends with the psalmist preaching to his soul to bless the Lord—and preaching to the angels and the hosts of heaven and the works of God’s hands. The psalm is overwhelmingly focused on blessing the Lord. What does it mean to bless the Lord? It means to speak well of his greatness and goodness.

What David is doing in the first and last verses of this psalm, when he says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” is saying that speaking about God’s goodness and greatness must come from the soul.

Blessing God with the mouth without the soul would be hypocrisy. Jesus said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8). David knows that danger, and he is preaching to himself that it not happen.

Come, soul, look at the greatness and goodness of God. Join my mouth, and let us bless the Lord with our whole being.

A Faith Without Fruit is a Fatal Faith

THE PLAN

Do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. JAMES 2:20–26

A faith without works is not simply false and futile; worse, it is fatal. James bluntly called it “dead.” No pulse. No vital signs. No heartbeat. Only a fatal silence. That so-called faith is DOA, dead on arrival.

James went so far as to call the person without faith “foolish,” a word that describes someone who is an impostor. On other occasions in the New Testament, that word is translated “empty-handed” or “empty” (Mark 12:3; Luke 1:53). James’s point is plain: people who only talk faith but don’t walk with accompanied good works lead an empty life because their faith is not alive and working. Their faith is dead.

Abraham had a genuine faith that resulted in good works. He was put to the test thirty years later when God instructed him to take Isaac, his only son, and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah. Abraham obeyed God completely, and the writer of Hebrews memorialized it for all time: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac . . . concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:17, 19). Thus James rightly asked, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?” James went on to say that Abraham’s faith was “accounted to him for righteousness.” In some translations we read credited for righteousness. In Greek this is an accountant’s term meaning that we take a payment from someone but enter it into someone else’s accounts received ledger. Like yours—like mine—Abraham’s spiritual bank account was empty. We were all spiritually bankrupt. When Abraham trusted in God, God made a deposit in his account. Abraham didn’t work for it; he couldn’t earn it. Our righteousness is imputed to us, given to us by God Himself, deposited into our account on the basis of our faith in Jesus our Savior.

After presenting a faithful prophet as evidence that saving faith is revealed in works, James turned to a former prostitute: “Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?” Abraham had a reputation of morality, but Rahab was known for her immorality. As a Gentile, she was outside the Jewish covenant, not inside. She was rejected from society, not respected by it. Yet James introduced her with the word likewise: in the exact way Abraham found grace, so did Rahab. The two of them walked different paths, but they—like us— arrived at the point of salvation in the same way: by faith.

Rahab’s life certainly wouldn’t have led anyone to expect her to arrive at a saving faith. But before the spies went to Jericho in anticipation of the conquest of the promised land, Rahab had heard how God had been with them, parting the Red Sea and enabling them to defeat the Amorite kings, and she put her faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Her hiding God’s messengers and later hanging the scarlet thread of salvation out her window did not earn her salvation. These acts were the simple responses of one who was living by faith. As the writer of Hebrews confirmed, “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31).

In these two illustrations, a revered prophet and a reformed prostitute were both declared righteous on the basis of their faith, and theirs was a faith that worked. True faith always pro-duces fruit. And that’s why, in the great roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11, each person is introduced with the phrase By faith—and that phrase is followed by a specific act of obedience. Our faith in God is not real unless it moves us to action.

Content drawn from The James Code: 52 Scripture Principles for Putting Your Faith into Action.

Redemption through His Blood

Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

 

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NASB95)

If you’ve been following these devotionals, you know that I have argued that the personal pronouns “we” and “us” are a reference to God’s chosen nation, Israel. So, Paul’s word that “we have redemption through His blood” is specifically to the Jew. While the theological truth is valid for Jew and Gentile, the word Redemption has a specifically Jewish connection. The word literally means “separated by ransom.” The ransom is “His blood” and was paid to the Law, to which the Jewish sinner was indebted because of law-breaking. In a sense, when we get a speeding ticket, we purchase our freedom from the law by paying a ransom to the law. The payment required by the Law of God was blood.

Why is this redemption specifically Jewish?  Because the Jew was the only person under the jurisdiction of the Law. The Jew was ransomed, the Gentile was purchased (Acts 20:28), and both by the blood of Christ.  Hebrews 9:13 says that the death of Jesus Christ was “for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant.” The only people on earth committing sins under the first covenant were those who were under that covenant: the Jews. But Gentiles are also in need of justification. Prior to the death of Christ they were “without hope in the world” because the first covenant was not for them. Christ redeemed the Jew and purchased the Gentile, through His blood. Both the Jew and the Gentile, if saved, can rejoice in the fountain filled with blood.

In His Grace;

Dr. Randy White

For more solid Biblical teaching, including a daily radio broadcast
from Dr. White, please visit Randy White Ministries.