Friends sharpen each other


One of my favourite Bible verses is from Proverbs 27:17. In the NLT it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

This is talking about the way we build each other up and encourage each other as friends as we go through life. 

As we read the Bible and discuss it, as we pray together, as we meet together in church, we encourage one another to trust God, stay the course of faith, and be the best version of ourselves.

I have had a number of friends over the years who have encouraged me and sharpened me up. None more so than my wife Larissa. 

Each day we talk about the things of God, life, family, ministry and our hopes for the future. God is always front and centre. He is entwined in all of our plans and our discussions. 

It is in these times that both Larissa and I are encouraged and we sharpen each other. We inspire each other to live more wholeheartedly for God and lay our lives before His throne.

I am so thankful to God for the people He has placed in my life to encourage me and sharpen me up. I am especially thankful for my wife Larissa and the many God centred conversations we have had over the years.

I am also thankful for the conversations that we are yet to have.

Who have you got in your life that sharpens you? Who is in your life that you can sharpen? I think that is worth reflecting on today.

God Bless,

Dave
 

How do I know I am saved?

Last night my wife, kids and I were talking about being assured of our salvation. We talked about verses from the Bible that assure us we are saved and going to spend eternity with God.

Here are the verses we looked at…

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

John 1:12 – Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

1 John 5:13 – I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Romans 10:13 – Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Hebrews 9:28 – Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

These verses tell us that because of my faith and trust in Jesus that we are saved. We are adopted into God’s eternal family  because of what Jesus has done for us.

It was a good discussion and a good reminder to have verses memorised about this subject.

God Bless,

Dave

 

A really nice Fathers Day card

Yesterday my youngest daughter gave me a Fathers Day card. At the time she couldn’t find one she liked so she waited. I am glad she did.

This is what it said on the cover…

Father

Today I thank God for…

Your life
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way (Psalm 37:23)

Your legacy
The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him (Proverbs 20:7)

Your love
The good man brings good things out of the good things stored in his heart (Luke 6:45)

On the inside it said…

For who you are,
and all the ways you’ve
blessed my life,
I celebrate you with
joy in my heart
Happy Father’s Day

It melted my heart because as a daddy these are the things I strive hard to be for my kids. I am a very blessed man.

God Bless,

Dave

Romans 8:28 and our miscarriage

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” We experienced this to a newer deeper level recently.

Several months ago my wife Larissa fell pregnant and we were really excited. As our girls were getting older we were looking forward to having another baby.

Then we went for our first scan at nine weeks. The look on the Radiographers face said it all. The baby had not progressed past the 7 weeks and 2 day mark. There was not movement or heartbeat. Things did not look good. We went home and prayed for God’s will to take place. Not our will, but God’s will, as it is ALWAYS better.

We went back to the Doctor and had some blood tests and another scan which confirmed the baby had died. We prayed again and asked for guidance. After getting all the information we prayerfully decided to let things happen naturally and waited for a miscarriage. We did not want to have a “procedure” and take medication to hasten the outcome.

The miscarriage took about four weeks to happen. In this time we waited, trusted God and prayed. It was a time when we didn’t understand why this was happening, but we trusted God and Romans 8:28.

The strange thing about this whole process was that it was a sad time and a very spiritual time at the same time. We grieved the loss of our child, but we felt very close to God. His presence was very strong and it felt like He carried us the whole time.

As we were open and honest about this process as we were going through it, we found that there are a lot of women who have experienced the same thing. Many women have spoken to us privately and told us of this happening once or twice to them. They were able to help us and we were able to help them.

Another great thing was the people who rallied around us to pray. We felt the prayers of our local church and our Christian friends. We felt carried through the whole process. It was like we were in a plane flying above the storm clouds. Yes we had our moments, but most of the time we soared high above. It was incredible.

While we don’t fully understand why this happened we trust God does know. He has a bigger and grander plan for our lives than we can ever fully understand. We do not know the future, but we know Who holds our future and He is an amazing awesome wonderful God.

God Bless,

Dave

 

 

31 Proverbs in 31 days

My wife and I finished our Proverbs 31 challenge today. I really enjoyed reading through the Book of Proverbs with her. It was great to read and talk about a book that is full of so much wisdom.

I think the thing I enjoyed the most was hearing Larissa’s insights into the various passages. She has read the Book of Proverbs many times, so she has picked up a lot of good stuff over the years. It was also good to start our day together in the Word of God too!

Tomorrow I am going to start re-reading the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew chapters 5-7. I am going to read one heading a day in my New Living Translation study Bible that I got a few weeks back. I am looking forward to the readings and the footnotes.

If you would like to join me in reading the Sermon on the Mount, you can find it here on BibleGateway.com. As usual I will share any insights I find here on my blog.

God Bless,

Dave

The 31 day Proverbs challenge

This month my wife and I have been reading through the book of Proverbs together. We have been reading through one chapter a day as it has 31 chapters.

We read it first in the New International Version (NIV) which my wife uses and then we read it in the New Living Translation (NLT) which I use for my devotions.

We then look at the different words used in each others version. Comparing them to try and get the full meaning of the text.

We then look at any footnotes that the versions have. My NLT study Bible has lots of footnotes that are almost like a small Bible commentary.

I have really enjoyed this month so far. It has been good to discuss the Bible with my wife and draw from each others knowledge and understanding.

Perhaps next time there is a month with 31 days you could do the same with your husband or wife?

God Bless,

Dave

There are no mistakes when it comes to kids

I was recently talking to someone whose parents told them they were a mistake. The person was told that the parents didn’t want to have another child and they came along as a mistake. As you can imagine they were not really happy to hear that news.

As I shared with the person I told them that there are no mistakes in God’s eyes. I wanted to let them know that God was involved in their creation and that God chose them even though their parents might have thought it was a mistake.

Here are some of the Bible verses I shared with them…

Job 10:8-12 – You formed me with your hands; you made me,…You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care.

Psalms 139:13-16 – You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous–and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Isaiah 49:5 – And now the LORD speaks–he who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring his people of Israel back to him. The LORD has honored me, and my God has given me strength.

Jeremiah 1:4-5 – The LORD gave me a message. He said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.

As you can see from the above verses, God is intimately involved in our creation. He is right their shaping us in our mothers womb. Job 10:8-12 tells us He is right there at conception…at the very first sign of life.

If you feel like you were a mistake or you have been told you were. Know that God knew you before you were born and it was part of His purpose that you are living right now. There are no mistakes in God’s eyes when it comes to kids.

God Bless,

Dave

Training our kids in the way to go

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 that we should, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it”.

This verse gives us great encouragement to really nurture and teach our kids the things of God. It makes the promise that if we do, they will continue on in their faith.

Here are a few ways we are trying to train our kids in the things of God.

1. Modelling – we try our best to model the right way to follow Jesus in front of our kids so they can learn how to do it themselves.

2. Teaching – we show our kids what the Bible teaches on different subjects in a practical way so it is easy to live it out.

3. Encouragement – whenever our kids do something well we try to encourage and positively reinforce what they are doing.

4. Correction – we give them constructive criticism to correct the behaviour in they are doing something wrong.

5. Benefits – we show the benefits of living the way God wants us to live and that it makes sense to do so.

6. Love – we let our kids know how much we as parents we love them and just how much God really loves them.

7. Purpose – we show our kids that God has made them a certain way to do certain things in this life and that we should seek out God’s will for our lives.

8. Developing – we are helping our kids to develop their own faith and relationship with God. We want them to have their own personal faith and to relate to God in a way that is meaningful to them.

At the heart of this training is a desire to pass our faith on to our kids. As parents we want to be faithful to God and His Word and to prepare them to be the best they can be and to make a positive impact of the world around them.

God Bless,

Dave

Peter’s mother in law healed

In Matthew 8:14-15 we see an interesting healing that involved the Apostle Peter’s mother-in-law. It says…

“When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him”.

This healing was just after the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus healing a number of people of leprosy and the healing of the slave of the Roman Soldier.

The thing I like about this healing is that it was not a public healing to show that God’s power was with Jesus. It was a private healing to restore Peter’s mother-in-law to health. Jesus saw she was sick and brought healing.

This simple healing can give us confidence to pray for our own families in times of illness. The healing power of God is not just available to crusade type events to bring people salvation. It is also personal and for the ones closest to us.

God Bless,

Dave

Free booklet for new Christians

Hello all,

I have added a new booklet to my main website today. It is titled, “A new beginning: Setting a solid foundation for your new life in Christ”.

It is a simple booklet that I have written to take my kids through and I thought I would share it for other parents or new Christians too.

It touches on some of the basic things required to become a strong Christian. Some of the topics are the Bible, prayer, church, serving God, sharing your faith with others and being assured of your salvation.

It includes a number of Scriptures on each topic, some reflection questions, a simple prayer and some Bible memory verses. It also has a page that helps people begin a relationship with Jesus and find salvation.

If you would like to check it out you can find it here – DiscipleshipBooklet.pdf

God Bless,

Dave