Fear of the Lord

Today I want to share the post I wrote last week for PhilanthropyFashion.com on the Fear of the Lord. I hope you enjoy it! Blessings, Misty

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As women today, we can be consumed with how we look, and fight the aging process tooth and nail, but if we look at Proverbs 31 we learn that our beauty, charm, and favor will diminish with time, but what makes us praiseworthy is that we fear the Lord.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.” -Proverbs 31:30

[ctt template=”2″ link=”H20GV” via=”yes” ]The woman of Proverbs 31 is one who fears the Lord.[/ctt]

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I am acrophobic! Acrophobic comes from the Greek: ἄκρον, ákron root, meaning “peak, summit, edge” and φόβος, phóbos, which means “fear.” I have an irrational fear of the edge or precipice. I am not afraid of heights per say, but I am absolutely terrified of the edge of almost anything. Anytime I am more than two inches off the ground I get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It doesn’t matter if I walk upstairs in my own home, I can’t get near the railing and look over. It practically undoes me. I get the same feeling if I have to sit in the balcony area at church, or when I visited GTNP or the Grand Canyon. I have an unhealthy fear of the edge, and I am frightened by it. Is this the kind of fear the woman in Proverbs 31 has?

What does it mean to fear the Lord?

Moses exhorts the Israelites to get their hearts right in Deuteronomy 10, and we learn several things in the passage about the fear of the Lord.

 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12

From this verse we four important things the Lord requires of us.

Fear God – We often think of fear as being afraid, but we are not to be afraid of the Lord. Fearing God doesn’t mean that we should be scared of God, instead of the meaning of fear in these verses is awe and amazement of the Lord. We should stand in wonder toward the Lord with respect and honor! Our God is truly awesome! Because He is awesome, we are to be bold in our faith. In fact, in 2 Timothy we learn that we are not to have a spirit of fear. “I have not given you a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Walk in His ways – We are to walk humbly with God. Micah 6:8 says that “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” God despises the proud and the haughty.  He wants us to be in constant communication with Him as we go about our daily life. When we spend time with Him and in His word, he shows us what to do and where to go. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.” -Psalm 119:105

Love Him – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” – Deuteronomy 6:5 God loves us so much that He sent His one and only son to die for us, and in return, He wants our love. He doesn’t require it of us, but his hearts delights in our affection for Him.

Keep His Commands – Do what He tells you to do and follow His commands. Just like it pleases us when our children obey us, God wants us to listen and follow Him.

What else does the Bible say about the fear of the Lord?

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In the book of Proverbs, we learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Proverbs 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”  -Psalm 111:10

When we combine our knowledge of the things of God, with wisdom we apply God’s word to our lives. We will have a healthy fear of the Lord. We will see Him as a loving Father that we do not want to disappoint, but we will also stand in amazement of who He is. If we want to be truly beautiful and praiseworthy Christian women, then we should begin by standing in awe of God.

If we want to be truly beautiful and praiseworthy Christian women, then we should begin by spending more time in the Word of God, and devote our lives to prayer and praise Jesus.

 

If Pain is What it Takes

Recently, I had a pretty major surgery and woke up groggy and hurting in the hospital bed. My nurse handed me a morphine pump for pain. Anytime I began to experience any pain I could push the button and get relief. As I laid in my hospital bed unable to move, I played praise and worship music and prayed continuously to God.

Later, I began to think of all the times in my life when I cried out to Jesus for rescue. When I came to the end of myself and knew I needed a Savior, or when death came calling to those closest to me when I broke both of my arms or during the excruciating pain of childbirth. Many times in my life I have cried out to Jesus, and He has always been there to comfort me and guide me through the storms of life.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”118dX” via=”yes” ]There is something about times of pain that cause us to cry out to Jesus![/ctt]

David, who was a man after God’s own heart cried to God on many occasions. I especially like what we can learn from Psalm 86.

A Prayer of David.
Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. – Psalm 86

In this prayer, David knows his spiritual condition and need, but He also knows the only one who can help him. He cries out to God for help because He knows God will answer Him because He knows that God loves Him and will forgive him.

As a mother, I want to protect my children from pain. I don’t ever want anything bad to happen to them, and I don’t want them to fail. My husband in his great wisdom, always tells me to let them make mistakes, to let them fail. My instincts as a mom are to protect my boys from harm and from pain.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”Eh0_I” via=”yes” ]If pain leads me to Jesus, then why would I want to keep my children from experiencing pain?[/ctt]

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.                        – 3 John 1:4

If the storms of life and suffering associated with them are what it takes to cause my boys to cry out to God and put their faith and trust in HIM in their time of need, as much as it breaks my mother’s heart I want the Lord to have His way with them.

I love the lyrics of Bring the Rain by Mercy Me. There is a stanza that says,

“Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there’ll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain”

Whatever it takes Lord. Bring the Rain or the pain, just don’t leave me the same.

 

 

Wisdom for My Son as You Graduate

My eldest son Jacob graduates Magma Cum Laude from the Honors College at Houston Baptist University this May with a Pre-Law degree! I can’t believe how quickly time has flown. It seems like only yesterday he began college, and all those years of homeschooling are now a distant memory. Here he is pictured below the first week of school.

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All incoming freshman have to wear their HBU beanie the first two weeks of school, and students in the Honors College must also wear a colored cape that Jacob decided to wear as an ascot. He looks so young in this picture. What a difference four years makes. Especially, when boy meets girl. Pictured below is Jacob and his fiancée Jane.

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I can’t believe my baby is graduating from college and getting married!

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My son,

As you graduate here are a few things I want you to know.

  • Follow the Lord with all your heart. 

My prayer for you is Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

If you Trust God and have unwavering faith in Him, no matter what circumstances come your way in life He will show you what to do and where to go. Be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and allow God to direct your steps.

  • You are never alone. 

Jesus is always with you, and he will never leave you nor forsake you. Your Dad and I will always love you and you will always be our little boy no matter how old you are.

Remember, that you are your brother’s keeper. God has given you a tremendous blessing as the firstborn son. Your brothers look up to you, never take that responsibility lightly.

Remember the Parable of the Faithful Servant found in Luke 12:48 ESV,

“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.”

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  • Let wisdom be your guide. Always remember the instruction of your Father and the truth of Proverbs 4 that you memorized as a boy.

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.

FullSizeRenderWhen you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. 

Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. 

For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

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But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness they do not know over what they stumble. My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

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  • Let Love be your Guide.

Follow the Golden rule and always be kind and loving. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Even when others are not kind to you. Love the Lord with all your heart and love others, because that is why we are here.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40 ESV

Son, know the Lord has a special plan for your life that only you can fulfill. If you seek Him, You will find Him, and He will be your guiding light all throughout your life. I look forward to this next season in life and I pray that you will live an abundant life with all that the Lord has for you!

 

Inspiration for Mothers

“ALL THAT I AM or hope to be I owe to my mother.” – Abraham Lincoln

Happy Mother’s day to all of the moms out there. There is no other name on earth more precious than MOTHER! From rocking babies to kissing boo-boo’s, Mothers, we have a tremendous duty and responsibility before us to love and nurture our children and to train them in the way that they should go.

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Mother, do you know that you have the ability to change the world by raising your young people to love the Lord with all their heart, mind and soul! Countless generations are affected by the prayers of a righteous mother. When you teach your child to pray, love Jesus and serve others, you never know how God will multiply that mustard seed of faith.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”bOk4e” via=”yes” ]The child that challenges you today could be a world changer tomorrow![/ctt]

I have read countless stories of great men and women throughout history and the impact their mothers had on them. For instance, Abraham Lincoln’s mother impacted the Kingdom of God and future generations because she taught her children to pray, love and seek Jesus.

Referring to Sir Issac Newton, Jabez Burns says in Golden Thoughts of Mother, Home, & Heaven the following.

“But Newton, though not blessed with learned parents, possessed a devout and Christian mother, whose sole aim and study was to sow the seeds of piety and virtue in his mind, and whose tender care preserved to us, under God’s blessing, one destined to be the glory of his country, and his race.”

[ctt template=”2″ link=”LA7U2″ via=”yes” ]Moms, what you do matters![/ctt]

I know that wiping noses, changing diapers, scrubbing toilets, teaching, training, carpooling, and doing laundry are not glamorous jobs, but what you do in your homes and for your family has eternal consequences. How you raise your children today is more critical than ever before! The world needs the light of Christ to shine boldly and brightly through our children even more as our world grows ever increasingly dark.

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Mother, your children are watching you. Be careful about how you live, because your little eyes and ears are always watching and listening. Children do what you do, not what you say. For example, if you tell your kids not to do something, but you do that very thing, they will perceive you as a hypocrite. For example, if you tell your kids not to smoke, but you smoke. Your words must line up with your actions.

Moms, be careful to make wise choices. Do your children see you praying and reading your Bible? Do you pray with your children? Do they watch you serve others? You will provide a nurturing home for your children when you live your faith out in front of them, day in and day out.  “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 11:19 ESV

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My husband’s mother was an incredible example to me as a young wife. Read more about her influence on me in 5 Things Gigi Taught Me.

When my boys were young, we were a part of our church’s homeschool group, Harvest Christian Schools. Galatians 6:9 was the scripture our group was founded on, and over the years it has brought me so much hope.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.- Galatians 6:9 ESV

So hang in there momma. Keep up the good work! What you do matters.  You will reap a harvest if you don’t grow weary and don’t give up.

Have a Blessed Mother’s Day!

 

Hope for the Future

On April 9th, my first devotion for Philanthropy Fashion was published on their website Philanthropy Fashion Blog.  I would like to share it with you here today in case you missed it. See my original post on Hope for the Future at PhilanthropyFashion.com and be sure to check out the rest of their site while you are you there!

“Each of us has a capacity for God and an ability to relate to him in a personal way. When we do, he brings to us pardon for the past, peace for the present, and a promise for the future.” – Ralph Bell

Whenever life doesn’t seem fair, remember God doesn’t miss a thing! He sees everything that we go through. He knows each detail of our lives. Trust Him. His plan for you is good. Aren’t you so glad that we can believe that the Lord has good plans for us? He declares to us in Jeremiah 29:11 that we have hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” 

[ctt template=”2″ link=”cxv20″ via=”yes” ]Our hope comes when we put our faith and trust in Jesus.[/ctt]

In the book of Matthew, Jesus invites us to come to Him. 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus begins with an invitation, and He invites us to come to him. He wants us to know Him. He desires a personal relationship with us because he loves us. As we come to Jesus weary and heavy laden with the problems of our world and with the guilt of sin, we exchange our burdens for the gracious gifts of a loving Savior. When we confess our sins and cast our cares upon Him, we trade that heavy weight of sin for love, peace, forgiveness, grace, hope, and all of the gifts of the Spirit. This exchange makes our burden light. In Jesus, we have peace and rest for our weary souls because of what He did for us on the cross of Calvary.

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As we approach Easter, it is my prayer that you will draw near to Jesus and experience afresh his great love for you. If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, that you would humble yourself before Him and embrace His Great love for you. Cast the cares of this world and the weight of sin at the foot of the cross. Let the blood of Jesus cleanse you from sin so that you may walk in the newness of life that Christ freely offers.

For those of you who are believers, my prayer for you is that your love for your Savior would grow stronger each day. I pray that you would hunger and thirst for Jesus like you never have before and that you would pursue Him with renewed passion. As you fall more in love with Jesus that you would pour out the love of our Savior on those all around you who so desperately need Him.

Praise the Lord that when we place our faith and trust in Him, we have the hope of everlasting life, and because of that we have a bright hope and a future.