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We interviewed one mom who has challenged her young children to memorize 100 scriptures. Read one to find out how they did it and why.
Cari, tell us about having your children memorize 100 scriptures:
What motivated you to do this? Why was it important to you? What did you want the outcome to be? Did you wish to accomplish more than just memorizing? As a mama, I worry about how much time I have left with my children to teach them and to prepare them for the world. I want them to have the tools and the wisdom that they will need in life to combat temptation and doctrinal error. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were bringing my eldest child, Savannah, home from the hospital, and now she is nearly 9 years old. I know that all I will have to do is blink and she will be headed off to college. What will happen when I’m not there to guard her against false doctrine? What will happen when my children are out on their own and faced with temptation? Will they be prepared? The psalmist said in chapter 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” How do I prepare my children? I must put the word of God in their hearts!
How long did the whole project take? How old were your children when you started? Will you continue on past 100? We have been memorizing scriptures for well over 2 years now. Avery was probably 5 and Savannah, 6. I will probably wait until Grayson is at least 5 before I start with him. We learn one new verse every week, starting on Mondays. I write the verse on a notecard and make them say it daily, along with the ones that they’ve already learned, so that they do not forget them. They must also tell me where the verse is found. We do this Monday thru Friday, like any other school subject, and then take a break on Saturdays and Sundays. We do, however, do this thru the summer as well. We are definitely continuing past 100.
How did you introduce each scripture? My kids really like the flashcard system. On Mondays I introduce the new verse that they will be learning, along with where it is found, and usually by Thursday or Friday they have it well-memorized.
What did you require of them? (Did you require them to be able to tell you the whole verse and the book and chapter/verse numbers? Did you require that the verse be exact word for word? To tell you what the verse means or is in reference to?) Yes, they must be able to tell me the entire verse word for word, along with the reference. I usually do my best to explain the verse to them. I realize that sometimes their depth of knowledge or understanding of the verse will not be the same as an adult’s. As they grow and mature, their understanding will mature as well.
Once it is memorized, did you require them to tell it to you again later? Can they now tell you all 100 verses? How long in one sitting does it take for one child to tell you all 100 verses? Yes, they currently have 103 verses memorized, and they are required to tell me all 103 (along with the references) daily. On a rough day, it usually takes each child about 30 minutes to get thru them.
What version/translation of the Bible did you use? Any specific reason as to that version/translation? We usually use the NKJV or the KJV. Sometimes Savannah’s Bible class teacher will assign her a verse to memorize, and I think she likes for the kids to memorize using the KJV, so that’s what we do for those verses. When her Bible class teacher assigns her a verse, then that’s the verse we work on for the following week.
How did you motivate your children in this? Did you ever get into a battle of the wills over memorization and how did you handle it? When we first started memorizing scriptures, I told my children that when they reached 50, I’d reward them by taking them to Chuck E. Cheese. They apparently thought this was a very good deal, because they did not require much more motivation than that. We kept all of our flashcards in a notecard box with Chuck E.’s picture on it. Once we reached 50, I made good on my promise. Over the summer, my children really wanted to go to Six Flags. I told them that Six Flags was rather expensive, but once they had memorized 100 verses, I would take them to Six Flags. When Six Flags opens in March, we will be taking our first trip there! Somedays my children aren’t so enthusiastic about saying their scriptures. On those days, Avery entertains herself by saying her scriptures with a foreign accent or even singing them at the top of her lungs. Although I think she is well aware that this drives me absolutely crazy, I try not to complain HOW she says them, just as long as she says them!
Did you ever get stuck or “fall off the bandwagon”? What did you do to get started again? The mere thought of them forgetting all of their scriptures after we’ve put that much work into learning them pretty much keeps me on the bandwagon.
Not everyone is good at memorizing, did one child have an easier/harder time than the other? What did you do to help the one struggling? I used to tell Avery that she was allowed 3 hints. Once her hints were used up, that’s all she got! This motivated her to think hard until the very end, and then usually she’d get down to the last 3, grin, and say, “Okay, I need my hints!” (I’m pretty sure that she really DIDN’T need them, but I gave them to her anyways.)
What scriptures did you chose for them to memorize? How did you go about choosing scriptures? I started out trying to find scriptures that would pertain to their youth or that they could easily relate to…”Let no one despise your youth…” (1 Timothy 4:12) or “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11), “Children obey your parents in the Lord…” (Ephesians 6:1-3),”Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” (Eccl. 12:1) “Do all things without complaining or disputing.” (Philippians 2:14), “And be ye kind to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32), etc. Sometimes I make them learn a particular scripture just so they can get a Biblical definition of something. (Q: What is “truth”? A: Thy word is truth. (John 17:17). Q: What is “death”? A: For as the body without the spirit is dead…(James 2:26) etc) Sometimes we learn verses regarding the plan of salvation, and sometimes we just learn verses that the Bible class teacher assigns. Sometimes the preacher quotes a scripture that I find rather profound, so I scribble it down in my Bible and when I get home I stick it in the “scripture box” for the kids to learn later. They’ve probably memorized more verses out of Proverbs than any other book. Once we started this whole process of memorizing scripture, I started requiring them to write down any familiar scripture that they heard the preacher use in a lesson, and then after the lesson was over they had to go and inform the preacher that they heard him use it, and then quote it to him. I cannot begin to emphasize how beneficial this has been to my children. They are more in tune with the lesson, and they know that if I hear the preacher say a verse that I know they know and they miss it, then I’ll know that they weren’t paying attention to the lesson! They get so excited when they hear the preacher quote (or even reference) a verse that they know! It’s my hope that this not only helps my children, but that it also encourages the preacher to know that they weren’t goofing off or coloring pictures during his sermon, but instead were paying close attention to the lesson that he worked hard to prepare.
Another thing that my children are fond of is a “game” where I ask them a question and they have to answer me with a scripture. And Sometimes we discuss various Biblical topics or even various religious ideas in our home where the scripture memorization has proved beneficial. For example, once I was explaining to my children that not everyone who claims to be a Christian believes that baptism is essential for salvation. Naturally my children began to object to this idea, so I told them, “Well, don’t give me your opinion, tell me where the Bible says that!” They went thru a mental list of their scriptures, and started spouting off Mark 16:16 and other scriptures that they know pertaining to baptism. This is where they start to learn to apply what they’ve memorized. Sometimes I will ask them, “What should I do if I need wisdom?” and they will answer, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). Sometimes I will ask them, “How many faiths are there?” and they will respond with Ephesians 4:4-6. I think this little exercise helps them to reason and to “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11)
What would you say to other parents that are considering this challenge? I would tell them that in the process of trying to “train up” their children, they may just find that they are training their own minds as well! It’s as simple as one verse a week, and it requires nothing but a Bible, a pen, and some notecards. It’s well worth the effort!
Can you share some of the scriptures you have memorized? Or a list to help us get started?
The list of scriptures is as follows (in no particular order):
1 Corinthians 15:33,
1 John 5:3,
1 John 4:15,
1 Timothy 4:12,
2 Timothy 2:15,
2 Timothy 1:7,
2 Timothy 3:16-17,
1 Samuel 12:24,
Psalm 23 (6 verses),
Psalm 100 (5 verses),
1 Thess. 5:22
1. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God ; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love…. if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us…. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4: 7-8, 12, 19
2. “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also ; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” Luke 6:27-32
3. “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another ; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor ; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13: 8-10
4. “ For you were called to freedom, brethren ; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Galatians 5: 13-14
5. “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” 1 john 3;17-18
6. “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar ; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 John 4; 20-21
7. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love ; give preference to one another in honor ; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord ; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. ” Romans 12: 9-14
8. “Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 14
9. “ So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience ; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone ; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:12-14
10. “ And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” 1 Thess. 3:12-13
11. “ And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,” Hebrews 10:24
12. “ Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 1 Peter 1:22
13. “ Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4;8
14. “Let love of the brethren continue.” Hebrews 13:1
15. “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1Timothy 1:5
16. “So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these ?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord ; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord ; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things ; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:15-17
1. “AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.” Mark 12:30
2. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments…”He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:15-21
3. ” …Abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love ; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9b-10
4. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome 1 John 5:1-3
5. “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” 2 John 1:6
6. “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2: 4-6
7. “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed.” 1 Corinthians 16:22
8. “Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.” 2 Corinthians 2:8
9 “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2: 15
10. “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Luke 16:13
11. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” Jude 1: 20
12. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children ; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2
13. “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.” Ephesians 6:24
14. “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thess. 3:5
15. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
1. “God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
2. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
3. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
4. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
5. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you;” John 15: 9a
6. “ We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1John 3:16
7. “ And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved ), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” Ephesians 2:1-8
8. “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7
9. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4: 9-11
10. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him” Ephesians 1:4-9
11. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 1John 3:1
12. “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith ; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Eph 3:17-19
13. “but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance ; and perseverance, proven character ; and proven character, hope ; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
14. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
5 Reasons to Share FWNL with Other Women
1. Encourage Other Women
2. Spread God’s Word
3. Share God’s Love
4. Shine God’s Light
5. Help FWNL Grow as a ministry
5 Ways to Share FWNL
1. Share your copy of FWNL
2. Tell someone about our website: FWNL.org
3. Add friends and family to our mailing list
4. Mail it out to your community
5. Use FWNL as part of your outreach (such as welcome baskets, or women’s jail ministries, etc.)
Priscilla is one of my favorite Bible characters. We don’t know a lot about Priscilla (also called Prisca), but what we do know leads me to believe that she really loved the church. One interesting thing to note is that she and her husband, Aquila, are always mentioned together. In Acts 18:1-3 we are told that Priscilla and Aquila allowed Paul to live and work with them when he had first come to Corinth. Paul was well known for his persecution of the church in the early days, so this hospitality and openness from Aquila and Priscilla is truly something to take note of. This friendship grew to the point that Aquila and Priscilla willingly risked their lives for Paul. We don’t know what it was exactly that they did, but Paul thanked them for it in Romans 16:3-4. It is not often that we would risk our life for acquaintances but for the friends we love the most we would. Also, when Paul chose to sail to Syria, Aquila and Priscilla chose to travel with him. Once in Ephesus however, Aquila and Priscilla stayed behind, while Paul traveled on to Jerusalem and back. While in Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla did what they could to grow and encourage the church. We are told in Acts 18: 24-28 that they met a bold and fervent man named Apollos who spoke only of John’s baptism. Aquila and Priscilla “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” They didn’t debate him or publically humiliate him, they lovingly and gently took him aside and corrected him. And Apollos went on to firmly stand for the church and teach for the Lord. We know they made other efforts to encourage, grow, and serve the church because in Romans 16: 5 Paul sends his greetings to Aquila and Priscilla and “the church that is in their house”. They are opening their home so that the church would have a place to gather. We don’t exactly know what they gathered for or how often but we can speculate that it was for worship, Bible study and probably meals and other events. We also know Aquila and Priscilla, and the church that was in their house had concern for the church in other cities because in 1 Corinthians 16:19 they sent their greetings through Paul back to the church in Corinth. Which means we could also infer that while they lived in Corinth they had been very involved with the church and did what they could to help Paul grow the church there. Paul ultimately calls them “my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.” Romans 16:3
So we can see that Priscilla loved a missionary enough to be open to him in spite of his past, host him in her home, and risked her life in defending him and the Faith. She loved individual souls enough to teach them gently and encourage them to be bold for the Faith. And she loved the church enough to open her home to them at the very least on a weekly basis, if not a daily basis. And she didn’t just love those near her but those far away as well.
The question for us today is how can we be more like Priscilla? Can we serve more faithfully beside our husbands? Can we be more encouraging to our missionaries? Can we be more active in teaching others with gentleness and love? Can we more often bring the church into our homes? No matter who we are or what stage of life we are in, couldn’t we all be more like Priscilla? May you be blessed with the energy and zeal to serve as Priscilla did.
It may seem like nothing is going is changing on FWNL because the front page has not changed. However, there is a lot going on in the “PAST”. We are uploading posts from previous issues and dating them to corrispond with the time they were published. So if you take a little time to research the “PAST” you will find a host of new posts. May you be blessed and encouraged by these articles rather you are reading them again or for the first time.
We have also created a new page titled “UP and COMING” that tells what we have planned for the FUTURE, Lord willing. You can find upcoming themes and article submission dates as well as some other areas in which you could be a part of FWNL. Please check it out.
May you all have a blessed day!
Hello Sister! Now that you are walking in the light free from your cage, it is easy to often feel we have to do it all on our own. But God knows that we need encouragement, instruction, and companionship in order to be faithful Christians.
From the beginning God has longed for mankind to love him. He has wanted them to separate themselves from the world and honor him. He started by creating a separate group, the Israelites, but they failed him often turning to idols and evil ways. Through Christ, however, God created a new gathering of His people, the body of Christ. And we have the choice of being a part of it or not being a part of it. By going through the “water gate” of baptism, you are choosing to enter His body. (1 Cor. 12:13) Christ has freely given you his body. First, He gave you his body on the cross. And then He created a new body for you to be a part of: the church. (Eph 1:22-23)
Where would we be without the church? New marriages often suffer, new parents are often nervous, widows/widowers are often lonely, people who lost a job are often depressed. How much more so if you don’t have a group of people who can lift you up? God knows how much we need each other. Romans 12: 15 tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Going through difficult times, such as depression, loss of family, loss of a job, etc., are so much easier to bear when we have our church family. And by the same token, weddings, new babies, new jobs, etc. are so much sweeter, joyful and even less stressful when we have our church family. Even the bonds of blood family are deepened when we share the Lord and his mercies.
Knowing that I have a gathering full of women that I can call and seek advice from when I am struggling through life as a wife, mother or Christian is comforting. I imagine that if I were a widow, it would be a huge comfort to know that if I needed something, I have full gathering of people to call on; that somebody would come help me. Knowing the strength, peace and friendship I receive from the church, I have such a hard time understanding why someone would choose to not be a part of it.
Christ calls us to be an active body part: the hand that serves, the ear that listens, the mouth that teaches, or the shoulder to cry on. Romans 12 says “We have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ… Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” We each have a place in which to serve. 1 Corinthians 12:18 says “God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.” And Ephesians 4: 11-12 says “He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” Notice that the reason he gave us different jobs was so that we, as the body, would be well equipped for works of service and that we together might build up the body.
Often we hear (said in a deep voice, of course), “DO NOT FORSAKE THE ASSEMBLY.” (Go on. I know you want to giggle). This comes from Hebrews 10: 24-25. But let’s look at these verses more closely. “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” We are to stimulate and encourage each other. How do we do this? By not neglecting to meet together.
We can look to the first Christians in Acts 2 as an example for us. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” They met together, served together, worshiped together, prayed together, and gave to those who had a need so that they as individuals would be strengthened and the body of Christ would grow in number and maturity.
We often say “time to Go to church” but more accurately we should say “time to go be with the church.” Being a part of the church is more than just filling a pew on Sunday morning. It is lending a helping hand when others need it. And it is calling on others when you have a need. It is about being mentored by older women and in turn mentoring the younger women. It is about fellowshipping with each other over meals and birthday parties. It is about helping each other grow stronger in our faith and our knowledge. It is about coming together to worship our Lord as one body with a united voice. It is about coming together to feast at the Lord’s table. We are called to be one whole complete fitted-together body; not a divided, broken or scattered body.
Some people forget that they have to be attached to the body in order to be a part of the body. If someone has an accident and they cut off their fingers, why do we rush to the hospital to get those fingers put back on? Because if we don’t they will cease to be a part of the body. The severed fingers will die because they are not fed by the blood. The hand where the fingers once were will have to be stitched up. Sadly the hand, though it may work well, will never again work to its fullest ability because of the loss. Same goes with the church. My grief although is more for the fingers than for the injured hand. Because the fingers are lost, dying and now useless. When the body goes to heaven, the fingers will not go, because they are not attached to the body. I fear that too many “fingers” out there, dismembered from the body, believe that because they were once baptized or because they still believe in God, that they are ok. 1 John 1 7 tells us “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Based on this scripture, can we not also infer that if we “do not” walk, we “do not” have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son “does not” cleanse us?
It has been said that life is in the blood, when referring to the physical body. It is also true of the spiritual body. Col 2:19 indicates the spiritual body is nourished by the head of the body, which is Christ. Therefore if you are not attached to Christ’s body, you do not have his blood. If you do not have his blood, you have no life and your sins are not covered. How then can those severed fingers claim that Christ’s blood covers them, when they are not attached to the body?
I find this thought amazing: though today’s earthly surgeons cannot replace a finger after a certain amount of time or damage, Christ, the great healer, can. Just as he physically repaired the man’s ear in Luke 22:51, He can bring those dead lifeless fingers back to the body and restore them completely. There may be a time of healing, cleansing and rehabilitation, but eventually they can be fully and completely restored.
So it goes beyond the basic need of companionship, we cannot survive without the body of Christ. And though you have the option of leaving the group at anytime, I don’t understand why anyone would. It makes absolutely no sense to me. Why would you walk away from God’s sweetest blessings? The blessings of spiritual family, of being renewed by the blood, of being nourished by Christ, and of fellowship that encourages you in your walk with God. Because by leaving you are choosing to leave the blessing and grace that are extended to those in the gathering.
Please, join me, and your brothers and sisters, in Christ in strengthening Christ’s body both with your presence and your work.
by Amy Ellis
Originally printed in the Fall 2011 Issue V4N3
Part 1 – The Cage and The Door
Part 2 – Walking through The Door
Part 3 – Living in the Light
“The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth.”
2 John 1
Do you realize that the book of 2 John is addressed to a lady? I didn’t realize this until just recently. I want you to read through the whole book (don’t worry it is only 12 verses) imagining that it is addressed personally to you. John obviously knew the recipients of this letter very well and wanted to encourage them. How does reading this book in this way encourage you?
Some scholars think that the “lady” might be a reference to a church and the “children” a reference to the members of that congregation. Read through the book again. How does this change your perspective?
On the following page is a short 3 day study of 2 John, I hope you are edified and encouraged by this study.
May you have a blessed day!
“And now I ask you, Lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments…” 2 John 5-6
John wanted to encourage this lady by reminding her of the basic commandment to love one another. I don’t think that she had stopped doing this…John just wanted her to continue loving and to love even more. Now how is it that we do this? By walking according to God’s commandments. God knows what is best for us and what is best for others. So if we follow God’s commands, we will be giving others the best of ourselves and the best of God. To do this, you must love with your whole self (Luke 10:27) and sincerely (1 Cor. 13). Let us honor God by loving him through obedience, wholly and sincerely.
May you give and receive lots of love!
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the father, in truth and love.
2 John 3
How many of us would reject grace, mercy, peace, truth, and love if it was offered to us on a platter? The great thing is that it is offered to us. And the sad thing is that many people reject it everyday.
I hope that your day/week/year will be blessed with grace, mercy, peace, truth, love, and much, much more. I also hope that you share these blessing with others. Show them how much they need it.
May this be a time in which we serve the Lord wholeheartedly and in turn receive His rich blessings.
Grace, mercy, peace, truth, and love to you all!!
“Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.” 2 John 8
Before you start this devotional, you need to read
2 John 7-11.
John commends this lady and her children for the good work they have been doing, but John also sends a strong message: WARNING, You are at risk!! First, He says do not lose what we have accomplished (walking in truth and Love). You have a reward waiting. Don’t Quit. Don’t Stop. And most importantly don’t be fooled by those who teach against Christ. John wants this lady and her children to be on guard and to protect their souls and reject those who do not teach the truth (verse 10). Who are these people? “Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.” (verse 7) Do not associate with them even to the point of not saying hello. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do in order to protect our souls.
Now remember that we are supposed to balance this with love. We are to love the lost and those who don’t know the truth. And reach out to them. Consider Matt. 10:14: The apostles were sent out in pairs to take the good news of Christ to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:7) They were to go out in love and compassion with self-less giving. But if that city rejected them, the apostles were to “shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matt 10:14) Luke and Mark continue this statement with “as a testimony against them.” Those who reject Christ and his truth are to be in turn rejected. We reject them so that we will not lose the reward that is waiting for us.
May you be watchful for false-teachers. And may you receive your reward in full!