"A penny for your thoughts" is a phrase we have heard for
years. But how about some thoughts on a penny?
Just for something different I thought I would put this in. It can be
used as a devotional or as an object lesson. I will just give you the
bare bones outline and you can flesh it out yourself. First give everyone a
penny. There are seven types of Lincoln Pennies. The first one was minted in
1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birthday. Look first at the
1. Image - Lincoln - Gen. 1:27 - So God created
man in his own image. Remember when Jesus asked Peter whose image and
superscription were on the coin he found in the fish's mouth? When he
replied Caesar's. Jesus said, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that
are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's. Since we are created in
God's image, we are beseeched in Rom. 12:1-2 to yield ourselves unto God
which is our reasonable service.
2. Date - the coin was minted so many years after Jesus Christ was born. Why
do we date things from Christ? Why not Lincoln? Christ was and is God. His
birth began a new era in the world.
3. "In God we trust" - Do we? This was part of the foundation of our
coountry. Trust is believing in, resting upon, acting upon. Do we really
believe what He says in His Word? Unbelief is the worst sin both for
unbelievers and for Christians.
4. Liberty - If we can say "In God we trust" then we too have liberty. We're
told to Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you
free. Lincoln freed the slaves. Jesus frees us from bondage to sin - sets us
free. If Christ therefore shall set you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Turn the penny over.
5. "E Pluribus Unum" - one out of many. As children of God we are this - a
part of the body of Christ - made up of all true believers. When the body is
complete He will return.
6. One cent - portrays value. What is our value. We are one "sent" from God.
As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. Every Christian should be a
missionary - a sent one to tell others about Jesus Christ and his death on
the cross for our sins.
Hope you may be able to use this. It works very well. God bless each of you.
Is Your Burden too Heavy?
Some time back in teaching through Numbers I was delighted
to find some terrific spiritual truths tucked away between all those names
and numbers. All Scripture truly is profitable. One thing that stood out was
the administrative principles of organization. God is a God of order. He
assigned places for each family to march and to pitch their tents. He also
delegated various tasks to each of the three Levitical families who made up
the priesthood to transport the tabernacle and all its vessels.
The sons of Gershon were responsible for bearing the curtains, the
coverings, the door hangings and the hangings of the curt and all the cords.
The sons of Merari were responsible for the boards of the tabernacle, the
bars, the pillars and silver sockets with their pins and cords and
The sons of Kohath had the privilege and responsibility of bearing the most
holy things: the ark of the testimony, the table of shewbread, the golden
candlestick, the altar of incense and the brazen altar, along with all the
essential utensils and instruments.
In Numbers 7:3-9 we find that there are covered wagons in Scripture. Did you
know that? Two wagons with four oxen were given to Gershon and four wagons
and eight oxen were given to Merari, but "unto the sons of Kohath he gave
none:" At first glance that doesn't seem right. However, if you read
carefully you will see that those who had to transport the heaviest objects
were given more wagons. The sons of Kohath didn't need wagons, they were
given the privilege of carrying the holy things on their shoulders.
There is so much more I could add here, but for brevity's sake we will just
make the obvious application. When your load is too heavy for you to carry,
God will give you a wagon. He will never give you a heavier burden than you
can carry. If your strength is gone and you feel week, he will strengthen
you. Read the entire account beginning in Numbers 2:47-7:9. It will be a
blessing I am sure.
Older Women - Teachers of Good Things -
We will bring this section to a close with this lesson on the remaining
things that God told older women to teach to younger women. They are to be
"chaste," speaking of purity of mind and heart. A Christian wife is true to
her husband in mind and heart as well as in action.
In Unger's Bible Dictionary he says in the Greek it means "dedicated hence,
holy, clean. In scriptural sense (1) freedom from impure thoughts,
imagination, or desires. Phil. 4:8; 1 Tim. 5:22. "Pure" 1 Peter 3:2; spoken
of God (1 Jn. 3:3, James 3:17), (2) pure from illicit sexual intercourse 2
Cor. 11:2, Titus 2:5".
"Keepers at home" - this in no means is a put down of women who are working
outside the home. There are some women who are stay at home wives but are
not good keepers at home. Our homes should be a haven for our husbands to
return to. It doesn't have to be spotless and look like a museum, but should
be orderly and comfortable. There are many things that older women have
learned through years of experience that can be shared with the younger less
experienced wives. How to be prepared for unexpected guests or ready for any
unforeseen emergencies. We need to keep our home picked up at least so we
are not embarrassed if someone drops in.
Her home is her castle and in 1 Timothy 5:14 she is told to "guide the
house." A wise husband allows his wife to manage the affairs of the
household for this is one of her ministries. I heard of one husband who was
always telling his wife what dishes to use for company, in which rooms to
entertain, what to have, etc. Regrettably, this couple is now divorced.
We are to teach them to be "good." This has nothing to do with good versus
bad. There is no moral or ethical idea involved. Many time in Scripture this
word is found translated as "kind." Not the superficial kindness that might
be shown by a neighbor bringing a welcome gift or visiting someone in the
hospital. Even the unbelievers do that. In fact they put us Christians to
shame sometimes with their kindnesses. This is the "kind: we find in Eph.
4:32 "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even
as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." It is that tenderhearted
forgiving spirit that comes from being filled with the
Holy Spirit. That forgiving spirit is often needed in a marriage
"Obedient to their own husbands." I don't know why some women get all upset
when we talk about this subject or about submission. Do you believe that
Jesus is as much God as God the father? Of course. If God the father saw fit
to place a "head" over Christ as it says in 1 Cor. 3:11 "But I would have
you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is
the man; and the head of Christ is God," why should we be upset that God
places a head over us?
I think we have pretty well covered this is some of the previous studies
about differences, etc. So I will not labor this point. Do notice it says to
our OWN husbands. They are the ones we are responsible to not any other men.
To close, look at the reason that this needs to be taught. "That the word of
God be not blasphemed." So it is very important that we older women seek to
instruct the younger women in each of these things. Young women, find an
older roll model or mentor who can help you in these areas.
The Lord bless each of you who read this. If there are some areas you would
like discussed or any suggestions, I would be glad to receive them
- just send me an email.
Older Women - Teachers of Good Things -
I think for the next few months we will see what God has told "aged" (I
prefer mature!) women to teach to younger women. In Titus 2:3-5 we have
God's specific prescription for a syllabus which women are to teach to other
women. There will always be someone younger or less mature than you are
whatever your age.
However, before we can teach anyone anything, it is necessary that we set
the example. In verse 3 God says, "The aged women likewise that they be in
behavior as becometh holiness." In 1 Timothy 4 we are told that "bodily
exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things" and
in the preceding verse we are told to "exercise thyself rather unto
godliness" We are also instructed about our appearance: "that women adorn
themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with
braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
but (which becometh women professing godliness ) with good works."
I Tim. 2:9-10
This reminds me of the verses in 1 Peter 2:3-5 addressed to wives, "whose
adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of
wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man
of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek
and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." These
passages in no way teach that women are not to have their hair done, nor to
wear jewelry, nor expensive clothing, or else it would also be saying not to
wear any clothing!! What is being emphasized in both passages is to put the
emphasis on the interior decorating of the soul rather than the outer
decorating of the body.
I certainly think Christian women should look their very best. I remember
Dr. Harry Ironside saying one time in response to a question about makeup -
"A little paint makes any old barn look better!". It is true that "God
looketh on the heart" but man has nowhere else to look but on the outer
appearance. I'm afraid I have seen a good many women that would not enhance
Christianity to unbelievers.
But it is our attitude that speaks louder than appearance. We need to "Let
the beauty of Jesus be seen in us". We are not to be judgmental. We are "not
given to much wine". I will not even discuss that here. Personally, I don't
think believers have any place for any amount of wine, except it should be
for health reasons as Timothy suggests. But that last phrase, "teachers of
good things" is where we will place the emphasis.
This is all introductory. We will take each word of the instruction and see
briefly what God wants us to teacher younger women about. Do your own study
on this passage and see what you come up with. Especially interesting is a
study of the word "discretion" in the book of Proverbs.
Until next month, may the Lord richly bless each of you.
Ps. Thank you so much for all of you who have
prayed for me during my recent hospitalization and illness. Thanks to your
prayers and the Lord's loving kindness I am up and kicking again -- just not
quite so high!
Older Women - Teachers of Good Things -
We introduced this passage of scripture from Titus 2:3-5
in the previous article.
This is the course description for what older women are to teach to younger
women. In the preceding verse the aged men are instructed to be " sober,
grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity in patience." In verse 3 the
word "likewise" is used indicating that the women are to have the same
qualities as the men plus some additional ones. The emphasis is on
"teaching" - teachers of good things. Experienced godly women are usually
When we see the word "sober" we think of the antithesis to being drunk, but
this word goes further than that. Dr. Warren Wiersbe says that the word
teach in 2:4 is related to the word translated temperate in 2:2 and probably
should be translated "that they may train by making sober-minded".
"Temperate" describes an attitude of mind that leads to prudence and
self-control in life. It is the opposite of frivolity and carelessness that
are based on ignorance. The older women are to help put within their hearts
and minds the right spiritual and mental attitudes.
"To love their husbands". To many young women today this sounds like strange
advice. They say, "I wouldn't have married him if I didn't love Him!"
Remember that our customs and cultures are different today. In Bible days,
most marriages were arranged. They hardly knew each other much less loved
each other. They had to learn to love their husbands and who better to teach
them than the older married women.
However, even in our day there must be things that an older married woman
has learned and experienced which can and should be shared with younger
women. Otherwise, God would not have instructed the older women to teach
them. My husband often says "Happy marriages don't just happen, they are
worked at". After 56 years of marriage, I would have to agree. We are still
still working at it!! Hang in there! It is well worth the effort.
We have already discussed some of the ways we can love our husbands in the
articles on the basic differences and needs of men and women. So I won't go
into much detail here. Remember we are to meet their needs of admiration,
reverence and encouragement. In Prov. 14:1 "Every wise woman buildeth her
house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." There are some
things that we all at times may do which would be classified as pulling our
own houses down, such as criticizing our husbands (especially publicly),
comparing them unfavorably to others, trying to control them, chastening
them. Even if they should do something wrong, it is not our job to condemn
then. That belongs to the Holy Spirit alone.
May we strive to be the virtuous woman of Prov. 31:10-12, "Who can find a
virtuous women? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband
doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will
do him good and not evil all the days of her life."
Older Women - Teachers of Good Things -
In examining the agenda God has laid out in Titus 2:2-5 instructing older
Christian women in what we are to teach younger women, we come to the third
thing: "to love her children". This is another thing like "to love her
husband" that at first glance we think is unnecessary. All mothers love
their children we feel. However we may not understand what all in involved
in the kind of love God is talking about. I am going to abbreviate some of
this to keep from being too lengthy. I will sort of outline the main things.
Responsibilities of mothers:
- To love our children Titus 2:4-5
- To discipline our children Eph. 6:4
- To train our children Prov. 22:6 -
spiritually Isa. 28:9-10
- To teach our children Ezek.16:44 - by example - socially
All children have basic, fundamental needs:
- Affection - to love and to be loved - unconditional love
- Acceptance - for self, not based on good behavior or grades
- Attention - recognition/admiration
- Achievement - accomplishment seen
The Christian psychologist Dr. Clyde Narramore offers these distinctions
between discipline and punishment. We often punish our children and call it
||To inflict penalty - revenge
||On past misdeed
||On future correct deed
||Growth toward desired behavior
||Breeds fear, resentment, guilt
I think this chart is self explanatory and may be something you can use
along with the following definitions:
Five steps to Effective Discipline
- Instruction - Eph. 6:4 - Direction - good and bad actions
- Reinforcement - remind of instruction and penalty of disobedience
- Correction - ultimate goal - wrong attitudes and actions made
right - continue spanking until will is broken.
- Restoration - a way to right wrongs
- Reassurance - express love and concern - disciplining should be
We should discipline with love, consistency and self-control. Someone
said the secret to animal training is patience, perseverance and praise. I
think it would work with children too. I wish I had known all this when my
children were young. There is a little booklet called "Under Loving Command"
(first published as "Children - Fun or Frenzy") by Al & Pat Fabrizio,
published by Sheva Press, P. O. Box 183, Palo Alto, California 94302 that I
think is one of the best things I have read about training children. I don't
know if it's available, but sure wish I had it
fifty years ago!!
"There is a distinction between training and teaching. Many of us are
teaching our children the way they should go, but are neglecting to train
them in the way they should go. The dictionary gives the meaning of the word
train..."to mold the character, instruct by exercise, drill, to make
obedient to orders, to put or point in an exact direction, to prepare for a
contest. This is what God wants us to do with our children.
We are all training our children in some way...either consciously or
unconsciously. When we ask our child to do something, we are training him to
wait until we have told him twice before he obeys...or until we have raised
our voice...or until we have threatened him. We can train him to obey
immediately when we have said it once in a normal conversational tone."
One last thing deals with a need not mention above in the heart of children
- security. The best thing you can do for your child is to love your child's
father and show it openly. The worst fear in children's hearts today is that
their parents will divorce. They see it all around them. So parents, love
each other as well as your children and show it.