November 12, 2003
Encouragement for Today
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 (NIV)
I was sitting in a restaurant with several other mothers when the subject of movies came up. Two of the moms had seen a film and the others were trying to decide if it was suitable for their teenage boys.
“Did it have any bad language?” Jean asked.
“I don’t know,” Candy replied. “I can’t remember. Maybe a little.”
“It had a lot!” Wendy exclaimed.
“What about sex scenes. Was there any of that in it?” Jean asked.
“No, I don’t think so,” Candy answered.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Wendy piped in. “Don’t you remember…...”
I thought, “Forget the boys. Why are you women watching that movie in the first place?”
The Bible says that the eye is the window to the soul, and so many times we allow the soot of the world to build up in our own souls that we can not see ourselves clearly.
Back in the days when lighthouses were fueled by oil, the old-time lighthouse keepers had to refuel the light’s flame with oil two to three times a night. But just as important as the oil supply - was the task of keeping the soot from building up on the glass. A mother whose children rise up and call her blessed must also keep the soot of the world cleaned off by washing the windows of her soul with the Word of God. (Ephesians 5:26) Billy Graham once said that women should first “cultivate their souls that in turn they may cultivate the souls of their children.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says it this way: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk to them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
Did you catch that the commandments are to be upon “your heart?” We first have to know the Word before we can teach it to our children.
Elizabeth George, in her book, A Woman After God’s own Heart, describes removing the soot as “the great exchange.” She says, “Away from the world and hidden from public view, I exchange my weariness for His strength, my weakness for His power, my darkness for His light, my problems for His solutions, my burdens for His freedom, my frustrations for His peace, my turmoil for His calm, my hopes for his promises, my afflictions for His balm of comfort, my questions for his answers, my confusion for His knowledge, my doubt for His assurance, my nothingness for His awesomeness, the temporal for the eternal, and the impossible for the possible.” That’s what I call a powerful window cleaner! And the good news is that as our souls are cleansed at the great exchange, our faces will be radiant with the glow of Christ!
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, I pray that You will cleanse me today. Wash away all the dirt and grime that’s collected in my mind throughout the day. Forgive me when I’ve looked at something that has been offensive to You. Give me the strength to turn my head and walk away and to flip the channel when I need to. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Re-evaluate the TV programs you’re watching. Are there any that are “smudging up your windows?”
Go back and read the account of King David’s adultery with Bathsheba recorded I Samuel 11.
What was King David’s first mistake?
At what point would have it easiest for David to walk away?
How many chances did David have to stop his downward spiral?
What was the result of his “looking” at Bathsheba?
What did Jesus say about the seriousness of what we look at? (Matthew 5:29)
Matthew 6:22, 23 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (NIV)
Luke 11:34, 35 “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.” (NIV)
Psalm 19:8 “The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”(NIV)
Psalm 101:31” I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” (NIV)
Psalm 199:37 “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” (NIV)
Wise Words for Moms by Ginger Plowman
Who Holds the Key to your Heart by Lysa Terkeurst
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes
Originally published Wednesday, 12 November 2003.