Exceeding Great Reward

Working with autistic children has definitely been interesting, and I am enjoying it for the most part. One thing that I have learned is that it’s important to have the right reinforcers or rewards in motivating the kids to want to work.  Trix cereal works great with one of my kids. I tell him “sit down”, he sits in his chair, and then I reward him with a few of those sweet, round morsels. Another boy I work with likes “surprise” reinforcers. I will bring something for him inside a brown paper bag and say “first tie shoes(or whatever skill we’re working on) and then, surprise.” He is usually very compliant in doing what I ask so that he can get his reward. These little reinforcers need to be changed up from time to time, because if they are not, most likely the child will come to the place of SATIATION.  He’s had his fill of Trix, talking books, paddle balls, peek a boo, etc. and therefore is no longer motivated to want to work.

I was thinking about these things and how they can apply to our relationship with God. Did you know that there are rewards in living for God? Psalm 103 mentions a few of them.

 

 

 

Psa 103:2

 

 

 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Psa 103:3

 

 

 

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Psa 103:4

 

 

 

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Psa 103:5

 

 

 

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

In the book of Genesis, we can read the first time the word “reward” is mentioned.

Gen 15:1

 

 

 

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

God is not only the rewarder, but He is also the reward too! What a privilege it is to be able to have a relationship with Him, to be able to pray and worship and actually feel His presence! There is nothing else like it in the whole world. I wonder what would happen if every single time when we prayed we felt God’s presence? Could we get to the point where we grow so accustomed to feeling the presence of God when we pray or enter into the house of God that it suddenly doesn’t mean anything to us anymore – where we have reached spiritual satiation? We can just take it or leave it? I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone through seasons in my walk with God where I am worshipping Him with all my heart and trying to serve Him to the best of my ability, but I don’t feel a thing. It’s like the heaven’s are brass, and God is a million miles away.  Sometimes I wonder if God allows this to happen so that we will not take Him for granted.  Whatever the case, I don’t ever want to get to the place where serving God, praying, reading His Word, feeling His presence and just plain living for Him becomes “old hat.”

Isaiah 9:6 speaking of the coming Messiah(Jesus) tells us that His name would be called “wonderful”.

Wonderful………………..full of wonder.  May He be so full of wonder in our eyes that we can never, ever get enough of Him!

 

 

Big Boys Do Cry

Yesterday, I was having a discussion with someone very close to me about the subject of men that can cry. In our society, this is something often viewed as a flaw or weakness. Men are supposed to be tough and strong and have a backbone like a sawed off log. I don’t believe this is the case though when it comes to having a relationship with God. Whether we’re male or female, God really can’t do anything with us until we come to Him in brokenness. There are many Scriptures that bear this out.  Here are a few for consideration.

 

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.   Psalm 34:18

 

 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.   Psalm 51:17

 

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.   Matthew 5:4

 

James4:8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

4:9  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

 

Later as we were talking, the name of a particular individual was brought into our conversation. It was noted that this guy is definitely not a sissy. He enjoys doing the typical things that are associated with men, but when it comes to being broken in the presence of God, he is not ashamed or afraid to cry. I really appreciate this quality in a man. Maybe I’m just weird, but there is something about seeing a man break down in the presence of God that just makes me break all over again too.

 

Here are a few quotes I found about brokenness that I really liked. May God bless our churches with more men that are not ashamed to come before the Lord with a broken spirit!

 

“True prayer is born out of brokenness.” Francis J. Roberts

 

“God will never plant the seed of his life upon the soil of a hard, unbroken spirit. He will only plant that seed where the conviction of his spirit has brought brokenness, where the soil has been watered with the tears of repentance as well as the tears of joy.” Alan Redpath

 

“The kingdom of God is a kingdom of Paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.” Charles Colson


“Deliverance can come to us only by the defeat of our old life. Safety and peace come only after we have been forced to our knees. God rescues us by breaking us, by shattering our strength and wiping out our resistance.” A. W. Tozer

 

 

 

 

 

There Is A Way To Stop Worry!

There is a way to stop worry,

cause that awful beast to scurry.

Prayer and God’ Word are the key,

to make your worry monster flee.

  Don’t let emotions get in a flurry.

There is a way to stop worry.

If things are looking dim,

cast your every care upon Him!

  If we will muse on God’s true Word,

we can know and rest assured.

There is a way to stop worry,

restore hope that’s become blurry.

  If we will make it a matter of prayer,

every burden, trial and care.

We will find out in a hurry.

There is a way to stop worry.

  Written 8-21-07 

  Philippians 4:6 (AMP)  Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 

  1Peter 5:7  Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Ps. 55:22. 

 2Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;    

Water Baptized In Jesus’ Name

nicks-baptism.jpg

This is Nick getting baptized in Jesus’ name.  He is the man I wrote about in the we have a dream post.  I dedicate this poem to the memory of Nick and to all who have ever had the wonderful experience of having their sins washed away in baptism in the wonderful, saving name of Jesus!

 

Water Baptized In Jesus’ Name

 

Repentant sinner

willing and obedient

surrendered and submitted

wholeheartedly following

Scriptures holy

sins are remitted

past buried

transgression all erased

cleansed, renewed

washed, sanctified, justified

Jesus’ name called

baptized

I am

baptized

called name, Jesus

justified, sanctified, washed

renewed, cleansed

erased, all transgressions

buried past

remitted are sins

Holy Scriptures

following wholeheartedly

submitted and surrendered

obedient and willing

sinner repentant.

 

1Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  

1Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  

Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem.
 

 

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  

Romans 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  

Colossians 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  

Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.  

 

My Pardon

As I read the historical account below, I couldn’t help but think of the gracious pardon I received over 25 years ago.  Mine was not from President Lincoln, but the King of Kings granted me forgiveness for my sinful rebellion when I came to him in true repentance.  What a wonderful gift to be truly forgiven!  It brings to mind an old chorus.

Sing, o sing,

of my Redeemer.

With His blood

He purchased me.

On the cross,

He sealed my pardon;

paid the debt

and set me free.

American Minute with Bill Federer

December 8

On this day, DECEMBER 8, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced
his plan to pardon those who had been in the Confederacy. He wrote:

“Whereas it is now desired by some persons heretofore engaged in
said rebellion to resume their allegiance to the United States…

Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do
proclaim, declare, and make known to all persons who have, directly
or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion…that a
full pardon is hereby granted to them and each of them, with
restoration of all rights of property…upon the condition that every
such person shall take and subscribe an oath…to wit:

“I, ____ ____, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that
I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the
Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States
thereunder, and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully
support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion
with reference to slaves…

and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all
proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion
having reference to slaves….

So help me God.”