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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
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      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

How Do You Deal With Family and Friends Who Have Asked You NOT To Present The Gospel To Them Again?

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I have witnessed to my birth father and stepmother several times over the years, but they have asked me to NOT present the Gospel to them again unless they bring the subject up. This is an uncomfortable situation for me, as I still try to present the Gospel to them in the way I live my life in front of them anyhow. I don't discuss the Lord with them unless one of them brings the subject up. So, how would YOU handle this situation? 

I will be visiting my birth father and stepmother for a few hours on Friday, and I plan to once again ask my father about his belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. He has brought the subject up several times over the past few months, and this past Sunday morning he called me because he believes he is very close to death. The doctos say he could go at any time. Am I doing the right thing? I feel that the Lord is leading me to speak to him again, as this may be the last time I get to see him and speak to him face to face. 

Thank you in advance for your answers.

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You know your family best. Some need a continual silent and soft approach and others may need a direct to the point reality check but all need it done in love. Praying God will give you wisdom to when and how to minister as he leads you. 

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7 minutes ago, SureWord said:

That's a tough thing to answer. You got to go with how God leads you that's all I can say. 

Thanks, @SureWord. I appreciate that vote of confidence. I truly believe that this is my last opportunity to reach my father, and possibly my stepmother. If they were to come to know Christ, it would be so much easier to reach other members of my family on that side. I watch their lives, see what they post on FB and in other places about their lives, and it breaks my heart. I'm so thankful that the Lord saw fit to have me raised by my mother and adoptive father. Though my adoptive father wasn't perfect by any means, he did make sure that we were in church learning about Jesus Christ. Of course, that didn't happen until I was nearly nine years old, but after he came to know Christ, he tried his best. My birth father said this past Sunday that he was thankful that he hadn't raised me, because he truly believed that I would have ended up like his other children. He doesn't speak to any of his other children now. It truly is a heartbreaking situation. 

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1 minute ago, BrotherTony said:

Thanks, @SureWord. I appreciate that vote of confidence. I truly believe that this is my last opportunity to reach my father, and possibly my stepmother. If they were to come to know Christ, it would be so much easier to reach other members of my family on that side. I watch their lives, see what they post on FB and in other places about their lives, and it breaks my heart. I'm so thankful that the Lord saw fit to have me raised by my mother and adoptive father. Though my adoptive father wasn't perfect by any means, he did make sure that we were in church learning about Jesus Christ. Of course, that didn't happen until I was nearly nine years old, but after he came to know Christ, he tried his best. My birth father said this past Sunday that he was thankful that he hadn't raised me, because he truly believed that I would have ended up like his other children. He doesn't speak to any of his other children now. It truly is a heartbreaking situation. 

How you ever considered having someone else witness to your parents? They may respect someone else. I know my parents still think I'm 12 years old and never listen to anything I say.

Mark 6:4- But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

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1 minute ago, SureWord said:

How you ever considered having someone else witness to your parents? They may respect someone else. I know my parents still think I'm 12 years old and never listen to anything I say.

Mark 6:4- But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

I certainly have tried to have others go to my parents to witness to them. They turned these people away, and on several occasions met them at the gateway to the property with guns and rifles. Pop isn't/wasn't a man most people would want to mess with. He was a marine, and had run for sheriff of Harrison County, Indiana several times. He never won, but people definitely knew who he was. A very rough character. Now, as far as respecting what I say or present, they have no problem with that. They always treat me like an adult...probably because I didn't re-establish communications with my father until I was 23 years old. It had been nearly 9 years since I had talked to him at that time. The only reason I had seen him in the earlier years is because my grandfather was dying and had asked him to find me and bring me to the hospital. My uncle, my dad's older brother, called my grandfather and threatened him, and he got ahold of my adoptive father and told him what was going on. At that time, my adoptive father, who had gone through something similar in his youth, gave me the decision on the matter, and supported me fully in my decision to go and meet my paternal grandfather before he died. We are NOT a close family by any means.

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1 hour ago, BrotherTony said:

I have witnessed to my birth father and stepmother several times over the years, but they have asked me to NOT present the Gospel to them again unless they bring the subject up. This is an uncomfortable situation for me, as I still try to present the Gospel to them in the way I live my life in front of them anyhow. I don't discuss the Lord with them unless one of them brings the subject up. So, how would YOU handle this situation? 

I will be visiting my birth father and stepmother for a few hours on Friday, and I plan to once again ask my father about his belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. He has brought the subject up several times over the past few months, and this past Sunday morning he called me because he believes he is very close to death. The doctos say he could go at any time. Am I doing the right thing? I feel that the Lord is leading me to speak to him again, as this may be the last time I get to see him and speak to him face to face. 

Thank you in advance for your answers.

There is always a lot of emotion between family members. Perhaps someone from outside the family would receive a more positive response. Is there a hospital chaplain or someone else that could talk with them?

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2 hours ago, Bouncing Bill said:

There is always a lot of emotion between family members. Perhaps someone from outside the family would receive a more positive response. Is there a hospital chaplain or someone else that could talk with them?

They've had a visit from a friend who's in the ministry, and then someone whom I didn't have any knowledge of. Both of these were met with great resistance at the gateway to the property. See my response above to @SureWord

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3 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

I certainly have tried to have others go to my parents to witness to them. They turned these people away, and on several occasions met them at the gateway to the property with guns and rifles. Pop isn't/wasn't a man most people would want to mess with. He was a marine, and had run for sheriff of Harrison County, Indiana several times. He never won, but people definitely knew who he was. A very rough character. Now, as far as respecting what I say or present, they have no problem with that. They always treat me like an adult...probably because I didn't re-establish communications with my father until I was 23 years old. It had been nearly 9 years since I had talked to him at that time. The only reason I had seen him in the earlier years is because my grandfather was dying and had asked him to find me and bring me to the hospital. My uncle, my dad's older brother, called my grandfather and threatened him, and he got ahold of my adoptive father and told him what was going on. At that time, my adoptive father, who had gone through something similar in his youth, gave me the decision on the matter, and supported me fully in my decision to go and meet my paternal grandfather before he died. We are NOT a close family by any means.

Well, not to sound cold, but you've done what you could, bro. All you can do now is pray for them.

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19 minutes ago, SureWord said:

Well, not to sound cold, but you've done what you could, bro. All you can do now is pray for them.

You didn't sound cold at all. My wife and I both have about come to the conclusion that the Lord is going to have to deal with them in a different way. I just hope it won't be too late. Eternity is long, and I don't want to even consider the possibility of my family going to the devil!

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56 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

They've had a visit from a friend who's in the ministry, and then someone whom I didn't have any knowledge of. Both of these were met with great resistance at the gateway to the property. See my response above to @SureWord

I am sorry. I know this is a painful situation for you. Please do not feel guilty. You tried and your care. 

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On 7/15/2021 at 9:40 AM, BrotherTony said:

I have witnessed to my birth father and stepmother several times over the years, but they have asked me to NOT present the Gospel to them again unless they bring the subject up. This is an uncomfortable situation for me, as I still try to present the Gospel to them in the way I live my life in front of them anyhow. I don't discuss the Lord with them unless one of them brings the subject up. So, how would YOU handle this situation? 

I will be visiting my birth father and stepmother for a few hours on Friday, and I plan to once again ask my father about his belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. He has brought the subject up several times over the past few months, and this past Sunday morning he called me because he believes he is very close to death. The doctos say he could go at any time. Am I doing the right thing? I feel that the Lord is leading me to speak to him again, as this may be the last time I get to see him and speak to him face to face. 

Thank you in advance for your answers.

Brother Tony like probably most people on here I can certainly relate to your situation.

My father and younger brother both seem to have no interest in salvation whatsoever. When my mother and laws brother died to my surprise my father called me. This is a man who isn't good  at showing emotion or expressing feelings but on this night he was hurt and looking for a reason these terrible things happen.

That was the only chance I've ever had to talk about Jesus with him and his mind was open hoping my faith could make sense of a tragic death. I embraced the moment and shared the Gospel without holding anything back. His heart was being pricked for answers and I tried my best to answer them biblically.

I don't know if that night had any spiritual effect on my father because like I said he just doesn't discuss things like that. He's getting up there in age and pray with all my heart that at some point he has surrendered his life to our Lord and Savior.

While my father would probably fall into the agnostic category my brother and his wife consider themselves Pagan followers of the Norse God Odin. My brothers Facebook profile picture says "I'd rather be a wolf of Odin than a Lamb of God". Despite my brothers beliefs he has never been hostile towards mine but his wife made it very clear to me once that "my Christian God" wasn't welcome in their home. My brother and I hardly see each just from being busy with life but it makes it nearly impossible to talk about the Lord when his wife is there to counteract. My brother has always been my best friend and we were closer than most siblings could imagine so it breaks my heart to not be able to reach him with the Gospel.

My mother used to attend church many years ago but it was a Church of God (Anderson, IN.) congregation that is Wesley- Arminian in theology and do a poor job at presenting the Gospel because their beliefs have slowly allowed progressive and social theology drastically change the message they started out with. I have never seen my mother pray or even read the Bible...not once. She doesn't talk about her faith but when she does her beliefs are not biblical or severely distorted. The problem with talking about the Gospel with her is that she thinks she already knows everything and as long as she's a "good person" heaven awaits.

I wish I could help by giving you advice about talking to your family but I unfortunately have the same problem myself. It's easier for me to walk up to complete stranger and start a conversation to purposely be a able share the Gospel, but my family just refuses to talk about or in mom's case has made up her own view of the bible and not open to other interpretation.

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2 hours ago, Disciple.Luke said:

Brother Tony like probably most people on here I can certainly relate to your situation.

My father and younger brother both seem to have no interest in salvation whatsoever. When my mother and laws brother died to my surprise my father called me. This is a man who isn't good  at showing emotion or expressing feelings but on this night he was hurt and looking for a reason these terrible things happen.

That was the only chance I've ever had to talk about Jesus with him and his mind was open hoping my faith could make sense of a tragic death. I embraced the moment and shared the Gospel without holding anything back. His heart was being pricked for answers and I tried my best to answer them biblically.

I don't know if that night had any spiritual effect on my father because like I said he just doesn't discuss things like that. He's getting up there in age and pray with all my heart that at some point he has surrendered his life to our Lord and Savior.

While my father would probably fall into the agnostic category my brother and his wife consider themselves Pagan followers of the Norse God Odin. My brothers Facebook profile picture says "I'd rather be a wolf of Odin than a Lamb of God". Despite my brothers beliefs he has never been hostile towards mine but his wife made it very clear to me once that "my Christian God" wasn't welcome in their home. My brother and I hardly see each just from being busy with life but it makes it nearly impossible to talk about the Lord when his wife is there to counteract. My brother has always been my best friend and we were closer than most siblings could imagine so it breaks my heart to not be able to reach him with the Gospel.

My mother used to attend church many years ago but it was a Church of God (Anderson, IN.) congregation that is Wesley- Arminian in theology and do a poor job at presenting the Gospel because their beliefs have slowly allowed progressive and social theology drastically change the message they started out with. I have never seen my mother pray or even read the Bible...not once. She doesn't talk about her faith but when she does her beliefs are not biblical or severely distorted. The problem with talking about the Gospel with her is that she thinks she already knows everything and as long as she's a "good person" heaven awaits.

I wish I could help by giving you advice about talking to your family but I unfortunately have the same problem myself. It's easier for me to walk up to complete stranger and start a conversation to purposely be a able share the Gospel, but my family just refuses to talk about or in mom's case has made up her own view of the bible and not open to other interpretation.

I will certainly be praying for you and your witness to your brother's family. 

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