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Satan

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #23: Proverbs 11:19–Talking too Much

 

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

 

My Favorite Proverbs:  The Danger of Talking too Much (Proverbs 11:19)

 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”

The devil must delight in the guilt a Christian feels when he or she suffers the consequences of words that should never have been spoken. This proverb simply says that if we want to sin more, we should talk more.  “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking” is a pretty good commentary on the history of humans. Read James 3:1-12. Verse five says, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!”  A book of cardboard matches can destroy a forest, and words can destroy relationships, break hearts, and destroy churches. One of the strongest verses in the New Testament is a warning about our tongues: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless (Ja. 1:26). This is serious and applicable to every one of us.

I suppose as we reflect on our lives there are few of us who have no regrets over things we’ve said. Oh, what we’d do for the privilege of taking them back—words spoken in anger or haste or ill will.  I’m so thankful for a merciful Father who “remembers our frame,” and that we are “dust” (Psa. 103:14).  Most of us need forgiveness for wrong words we’ve spoken.

For today, consider times we should be quiet and “restrain our lips.”

1. When our words to members of the opposite sex will somehow compromise our marriages.

2.  When we contemplate God.  “Be still and know that I am God” (Psa. 46:10).

3.  When we are frustrated with our spouses’ petty weaknesses. 

4.  When we know of bit of unseemly information about someone and are tempted to repeat it.

5.  When we feel pressure to tell a lie.

6.  When someone else is talking.

7.  When, for whatever reason, our emotions are not balanced and the chance of saying the wrong thing—which one is apt to regret later— is greatly increased.

8.  When it is time to listen. “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (Ja. 1:19).

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

Tonight’s short passage is 2 Samuel 11:12,13.

  1. After reviewing what happened in last night’s passage, explain to your children the next thing David did to try to get Uriah to go home to his own bed with Bathsheba. He got him drunk. Let’s notice a couple of lessons we learn from this idea that David had.
  2. First, it was a very bad idea. God is always displeased when men try to get other people to drink alcoholic beverages. Make sure that you emphasize that God is displeased when we put into our bodies anything that will cause us to be unable to think clearly and make good decisions. He does not want us to encourage anyone else to drink and he certainly does not want us to trick someone into becoming drunk. This is probably what David did here. He wanted Uriah to go home and he probably would have had him carried to his bed where Bathsheba was if he could have gotten him drunk enough. Turn to Habakkuk 2:15 and read what it says about a man who offers another man beverage alcohol. Do you think David was putting shame on his own glory? (He was a glorious king, but right now he was doing something shameful.)
  3. Next, it is important to show your kids the reason that David wanted Uriah to drink. It is because, when people drink beer or wine or whisky, etc… (my grandchildren call it booze), they do things that they otherwise would not do. They do wrong and loose things that they would otherwise be embarrassed to do. You might tell your children that sometimes people who are drunk take off their clothes in public or say things that they would be embarrassed to say if they were not drinking. Uriah had already shown David that he would not go down to His house when his men were at war. But David thought maybe he could get him to do it if he was drunk. David knew what we all should recognize. Drinking is wrong and dangerous because it makes us forget the way we want to behave and it makes us do things we would never otherwise do. Get each of your young children to promise you, at this point, that they will never in their lifetimes drink “booze” or beer or whisky. Ask your older children if they can remember any other time in scripture when someone did something very bad because he was drunk. Maybe they may remember Noah (Genesis 9) or Lot (Genesis 19) or King Ahasuerus (Esther 1).
  4. But David’s plan failed. “Do you think David is starting to worry that Uriah and everybody else will find out that he stole Uriah’s wife and took her to his own room and pretended that she was his wife? I think that David is probably having a hard time sleeping at night. I think he is worrying now that Uriah is going to know that he has not acted like a good man should act. What do you think David should do? David should repent”… (Remind them that repent means to change your mind and go a different direction)… “and tell God that he is sorry. Then he should tell Uriah what he has done and that he is sorry. Then he should tell Bathsheba that he is sorry that he brought her to his palace that night. Then he should tell his messengers who went to get her that He is sorry he asked them to do that. But instead, as we will find out tomorrow night, David just kept on getting deeper and deeper into sin.”
  5. Next, tell your children that the devil tries very hard to make us believe that drinking beer is a lot of fun. He puts smiling people drinking beer on billboards on the highway. In magazines, the beer parties look like everyone is laughing and having a great time. Make sure you emphasize that this picture is what the devil would like us to see. But the real picture is daddies who end up not being able to give their children the things they need because they have  spent all their money on beer. The real picture is people making very bad choices and hurting other people because they got drunk. The real picture is homes breaking up and the real picture is people getting killed in car accidents because people were driving drunk. Read Proverbs 20:1 to your children and talk about what it means. Google “beer commercials” and find one to show your children in which the devil is making drinking look fun. (You can probably find one about football or a pizza party or a celebration…whatever you think  would catch your children’s interest.)  See if your children can tell you some of the ways the devil is deceiving in the commercial that you chose. Encourage them to remember all of their lives that the devil lies when he tries to get people to drink.

Quote the KidSing rule: Do the right thing.

Pray with your children.

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: A Snake on the Porch

We live in the country. THIS week…A fat lizard greeting me inside my kitchen gate each time I come home, a fox and her three babies in the backyard, two chimney bird-nest smoke-outs, two mice caught in traps and an armadillo on Gurley Pike that I tried to miss, but just could not. (Those awkward things just cannot get out of the way, but I still will always have a little soft spot for them because of Rafaella Gabriela and Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla and Albert Andreas Armadillo, who found an aardvark in Schoolhouse Rocks!) When I picked up my mop wringer on my screened-in porch to find a suh-suh-snake, I’d just about reached my critter-quota for this week! (I’m only terrified of two kinds of snakes—dead ones and live ones.) This is the porch that’s just off both my dining room and my bedroom. The snake was lying just outside the door that I’ve left open on many a spring and autumn night. If I live in this house till my dying day, I will never sleep with that door open again—EVER! 

My faithful husband, who already had a lunch appointment, cancelled it and drove the thirty minutes home to decapitate and then discard the still-moving beast. 

I cannot figure out why I am so afraid of even non-venomous serpents. I don’t know why I thought of him last as I fell asleep at about one a.m. last night or why he popped into my head when I first woke up and lay there staring through the glass at that porch floor that will probably not ever get mopped again; at least not this year. 

Glenn tried to figure that out yesterday over lunch. “Did you have a big traumatic snake experience when you were little?” 

“I guess not except that time I was fishing with my grandmother and that snake slithered by us on the bank.”

“What did you do?”

“I climbed up in the bed of my grandfather’s pick-up truck, along with my aged grandmother, and yelled, with all of the volume I (we) could summon, across Hollis’s lake (My grandad always fished on the other side, probably exactly for the volume reason…) for him to come around there and “save” us, which he did….But I don’t think that was really traumatic, do you?”

My husband, ever the valiant and forbearing one, overlooking my reptile trepidation (really, phobia), said “Well, I think God, maybe, placed in us an aversion to the snake. After all, it was the snake in which the devil first came to tempt.”

Now that was very kind of him to give the fright that will haunt my dreams for several weeks now, a spiritual connotation, when, actually, I’m thinking all material…”You know, a condo downtown with a paved front yard might be better than this rambling old house in this forest,” … “A big and sealed screen door might be good beside our bed, here, even though the porch is already screened in,” … “ And could we caulk those porch floorboards?” 

But, really…I hope I can be as afraid of the Genesis 3 snake as I was (am) of that one Glenn killed out on the porch. I know Jesus already crushed his head at Calvary (Genesis 3:15), taking away his power over my purchased soul. But still…Jesus wants me to fear him. The serpent is still moving around in our world today (I Peter 5:8) . May I have a healthy fear of the snake that can kill both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28). May I call for reinforcements from the One who is stronger than I, when I find myself spiritually paralyzed by that serpent. And may I keep the door closed between me and that snake.  I don’t want to be asleep while that crafty (Gen 3:1) and venomous snake slithers into my house. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: “We Have Contained Them…”

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 12: French troops patrol around the Eifel Tower on January 12, 2015 in Paris, France. France is set to deploy 10,000 troops to boost security following last week's deadly attacks while also mobilizing thousands of police to patrol Jewish schools and synagogues. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) 

The U.S. quote of the week has to be “We have contained them”.  It was President Barack Obama speaking with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. The subject of this containment? ISIS. And this statement was made only a few hours prior to the multiple attacks and carnage that awakened Paris to the horrific reality that 128 innocent citizens had been killed by ISIS terrorists and scores of others wounded.

This is not a political post, but ISIS did not look “contained” as it lit up the city with ambulance and police vehicle lights and as civilians who could still mobilize literally ran for their lives to places they only hoped would be safe from the carefully planned and executed destruction last Friday night in Paris.

That’s the way it is with our spiritual enemy Satan. He is not the kind of enemy we can, with one blast of spiritual energy, soundly defeat and bury forever. Sometimes we think we’ve “contained” him and, if we do, that’s the very time he is able to do the most damage to us…claim the most spiritual carnage. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). If it was flesh and blood, we could kill it and win. It’s principalities and powers. It’s rulers of the darkness of this world. It’s spiritual wickedness in high places. Fighting the devil is a lot like fighting ISIS, only on a massively huge scale. He’s an enemy that we can’t pin down, in this lifetime. In fact, even more resilient than ISIS, the devil is always seeking whom he may devour.(I Peter 5:8). I can never, in this world, say “The devil is contained. He is no longer a problem for me.” In fact, when I begin to feel smug in his containment and in my abilities, that’s when He’s more likely to attack.  Thus Paul’s warning in I Corinthians 10:12: “Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” He (Paul) knew that even he, the chosen apostle, had to wrestle constantly to contain Satan—to keep him from reducing the fighting soldier to a “castaway” (I Corinthians 9:27).

Maybe the scariest part about the attacks in Paris for those of us who live on this side of the Atlantic is the statement often found on ISIS-related sites: “American blood tastes the best and we will taste it soon.”  I do not want to ever give an ISIS terrorist the satisfaction or impetus that comes with knowing that  Americans are fearful. But the obvious mood of America must now be, in spite of any words about containment, one of great trepidation. We are an obvious target and we pray that our leaders will find ways to protect U.S citizens from this evil.

The spiritual parallel is glaring. Christians are the target of our enemy, the devil. He is not spending his resources and time trying to tempt those who are already under his power. He wants the blood that is best. He wants those who have the blood of his arch enemy, Jesus Christ.

He wants you and me. He wants our marriages. He wants our children. He wants our money. He wants our time. In fact, he wants me to be routinely going about my life—to the soccer matches, to the restaurants, to the concerts—and even to worship. He wants my ears to be dulled to his blasts and my senses to be secure thinking his attacks are just “part of the noise” that is my everyday routine—until I am a part of the eternal carnage…until my life is done and his destruction has no reversal.

I do not know that the powers-that-be in America are always wise enough to recognize and deter the destructive power of ISIS and other terrorist organizations. But I DO know that my spiritual leader is wise and strong enough to have already ultimately defeated His enemy, Satan. The devil will not take down the kingdom of Christ. The gates of hell will not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:16). But Satan can still destroy people who are in that kingdom and he would like to sift us a wheat (Luke 22:31). It’s important to remember if you are in the kingdom, you are targeted by the devil. You have the blood that tastes best to his diabolical senses. Yes, he is powerful Yes, he is unthinkably evil. Yes, he is that roaring lion. But your Lion, the Lion of Judah  (Revelation 5:5) is stronger and has already won the war on terror with the Devil. So don’t be a casualty in a war that’s already been decided. Be strong and courageous. He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and discipline (II Timothy 1:7). Soldier on!