When There is a Test in School There is Prayer

As Long as There Are Tests, There Will Be Prayer in Schools

 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

 

I loved my job as a teacher. It was thrilling to see the fear on kids’ faces when I gave a surprise quiz. They looked like they had just been hit by lightning. They began to sweat and tremble. I had my red pen in hand as I handed out the tests. I wanted them to see the pen that was going to be marking all over their papers. I knew I had power, and I was enjoying it.

Of course, this is not true. I never surprised kids with tests. As a matter of fact, I told them way ahead of time when a test was coming. I even told them where to find the answers. Life is tough enough without trying to hide the answers to tests.

That is the way it for Christians. They know where to find the answers. God does not try to hide them. God has told us way ahead of time what the answers are. He has told us what is going to happen. All we need to do is have faith. We need to look forward to it happening.

You should be studying for the final test now. You can’t just cram for it at the last minute. You don’t know when the last minute is. It may be before you finish this page. The Bible has all the answers to any questions you may have about God.

We need to spend each day studying and preparing for that day. There is only one test you have to pass, but it is pass/fail. There are no average scores or not so good scores—you either pass or you fail.

Fear not, my friend, the only question on the test is: “Do you believe in Me?” Yes and no are the only choices. There are not hundreds of questions that take hours to answer. You just kneel down and pray, “Father forgive me and I believe in You.”

Then you are ready to go home to be with God, and you never have to take another test for eternity.

Is this a hard task for you? Do you have too many “toys”—or other things to distract you—on this earth? Would you rather not think about eternity just yet? Do you have plans for yourself that do not include God? Have tests always had you running in fear? Do you shiver and quake when the word “test” is mentioned? Do you not have time for prayer?

Read John 3:16, and know that God loves you more than words can describe. He loved you so much that He gave His only Son to die just for you.

Think of the test questions that Jesus had to go through. The Pharisees kept trying to trick Him with questions to show that He wasn’t really the Son of God. They wanted Him to fail the test.

“Should we pay taxes?” “Is it OK to heal on the Sabbath?” “Why do you protect a prostitute?” Even on the cross He was asked, “If you are God, why don’t you save me and yourself?”

Jesus was not afraid of questions. He knew that His heavenly Father was there for Him. He knew that all the questions led to the cross. They all had a purpose: to fulfill His prophecy.

Even though I am retired from teaching, I still try to learn. I read many books on Christian living. I read the Bible to keep growing. I am 68 years old and will never be too old to study for the final test. I am ready for it because I’ve done my homework. I found the right answers.

 

If … you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with

all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 4:29

 

Further adventures

How about you? Are you ready for the final test? Are you sure you’ll get the diploma of eternal life? Will you graduate into the heavenly kingdom? If not, crack open the Bible and get at that study. Confess your sins, and accept God’s gift of salvation. You are only a prayer away from God. He is waiting for you to pass the test and rely on Him for knowledge. Then you will be at the head of the class. The angels will be waiting for you to hand you your diploma, congratulating you with: “You passed the test!” You will be an honor student with eternity to enjoy your Savior.

 

Something to ponder

Isn’t it funny when you find something you thought you had lost only to realize it was there all the time?

Will you Still Need me; will you Still Love me, When I’m 65?

Loved the Wedding; Invite Me to the Marriage

—God

 

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,

and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:33

 

For the past several decades, weddings have been held in churches. That is a good place to start a life together. The minister talks about loving each other and establishing a Christian home. All things seem to be in place.

It is always a beautiful thing to observe—two people holding hands and making vows of everlasting love. The mothers of the bride and groom have tears in their eyes. Some dads wonder when the ceremony will end. The newly married couple can’t wait to head out on their honeymoon. The reception is a real celebration. Everyone is happy, and the day ends.

Then what? The next day is a new day, and it is the first day of a young couple’s new life together. Decisions have to be made together. They go everywhere together. They are now a team that will last forever.

Eventually the scene changes a little. Both spouses find they need some time alone, but they’re afraid to say so. Resentment can build and they may feel like the walls are closing in on them.

It’s sort of like going to church on Sunday—and then there is Monday. What do you do then? What do you do with what the pastor said in the sermon? How do you make it practical—something you can use all week?

Often the message is soon forgotten, and nothing happens to make Monday any different. We sit and listen to the advice and sermon points on Sunday, sometimes even nodding our agreement, and then we ignore them on Monday.

The advice and promises that are part of the marriage ceremony are vital to the ongoing relationship with a spouse. But during the actual ceremony the bride and groom aren’t listening to the advice. Instead, they’re trying to remember the words they have to say, or they’re worrying about their hair or how they look or if there will be enough food for the guests.

They go into their life together, winging it, flying with no parachute. Marriage does not have to be an on-the-job training situation.

Does this ring a bell? Do you remember your wedding day? Was it all about listening to the advice the minister gave you, or was it about making sure you sliced the wedding cake just right? Maybe it was making sure the photographer took one more picture.

We’ve all been there. It is an exciting, wonderful, important, stressful, nerve-racking day. It is the day we dream of all our lives, and we want to have all the memories forever.

But as you go on with your lives together, what happens next? Is the same spark there five years later? How about ten years later? We are supposed to still love when the wrinkles come and the fire is not as hot.

Have you agreed on how plans should work out, or have you agreed to disagree?

Getting married is one of the most important decisions we make in our lives. If we plan to live a lifetime together with our spouse, shouldn’t we talk to a minister ahead of time? Wouldn’t it be good to seek out what God has in mind? Marriage counseling to learn more about a future spouse would also be in order.

These things may seem obvious, but you would be amazed how many people do not do any of those things. Some feel it is more fun to run off to Reno to get married. Others decide to live together and not even get married.

God loves for us to be happy and have companionship, within the context of His will. He believes in marriage. That is why He wants us to make sure we’re making the right choices.

Running off and getting married on a whim is like putting all our life’s earnings on a blackjack table and hoping to get a 21. The chances of that happening are slim and none.

I agree that a marriage often does work out in spite of the odds. All I have been saying is pretty harsh, but just like putting all our money on a blackjack table, the Reno odds of a successful marriage are pretty dim too. Does a 50% chance seem acceptable for you? Some surveys say that as many as 50% of marriages fail when they do not have a foundation of premarital counseling that includes having plans for the future in place.

God needs a prominent place in our marriages. We need to let Him be our advisor as we plan for the future. He needs to have a special rent-free place in our hearts. No bargaining. No yearly leases. He needs to be a year-round, full-time resident, helping marriage partners live a life full of love and understanding for each other.

There should always be three people in a marriage: you, your spouse and God. The three of you make an unbeatable team.

 

Marriage should be honored by all.

Hebrews 13:4

Further Adventures

“Will you still love me? Will you still need me, when I’m 65? That song rings in my ears many times when I look at my bride. She has been with me through the storms, and the good times. Do we have nothing but beautiful rainbows everyday? That would be backwards wouldn’t it? You need a little rain to bring on the rainbow.

That is what a marriage is like. You have days when you laugh and have fun with your spouse, but there are other days when you have been hurt by that same spouse. You feel unwanted, and dejected. That is when you should buckle down and really work hard at your marriage. Your spouse is not your enemy. They may be angry at the moment, but they still love you, and by sitting down and discussing the hurts and dejections you feel, the rainbow will come out again. The key is to still love your spouse with all your heart, when they are starting to show age with wrinkles.

 

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny how much easier it is to forgive than to hold a grudge?

(Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.)

 

Running From God Only leads to a Dead End

 

 

If You Are Going the Wrong Way,

God Allows U-Turns

 

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,

that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

Acts 3:19

 

Time is always ticking away! In my home we have a battery-operated clock that makes a loud ticking noise for every second of the day. The clock had been right at my computer desk and I could hear it as I worked. It made me think that my life was slowly going by. What have I done with my life? My life was ticking away, and I could see (and hear) each second go by.

The clock got moved into the utility room, but not before its cadence of marking time prompted me to do a “bed check” of my life. Bed checks are something that all military people understand. As you sleep, the barrack sergeant comes through and makes sure everyone is in bed—to make sure everything was OK.

So now every day I do a bed check to see if I am OK. It is so easy to “slide” if I don’t constantly check up on myself.

We tend to get all fired up about our commitment to God, even go to the church altar for prayer. We have a close encounter and are very happy. Life is good and we’ll serve God forever.

Then we get very busy and miss a few Sundays at church. Bible study gets scheduled on the evening all of our friends get together to play Bunco or go bowling—or whatever. We rush out of the house in the morning and collapse into a chair when we get home at night. There’s just no time for reading the Bible and praying.

Eventually, we fail “bed check.” We get wrapped up in our own world and get in touch with God only when there is a crisis. He will still be there to help, but our lives have lost their real meaning. We have allowed ourselves to go into a spiritual twilight zone.

Time is ticking away. There is no way to buy it back. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. But as long as God gives us another breath, it is not too late to turn around and get back into the loving arms of God. Our God is an awesome God. He loves us very much, and He will be there to accept us in whatever state we have allowed ourselves to lapse into.

As we get back into the center of His love and try to walk in His path, we will have done a spiritual U-turn.

 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

 

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Luke 15:7

 

Further adventures

Do your own bed check. Think about the direction you are going. Do you need to make a U-turn? God allows you to get back in His love any time you want to seek Him more. His love is everlasting. He never forgets you. He never turns His back on you. After all, He even knows every hair on your head doesn’t He? Make that big turn and drive (or dive) into the loving arms of your heavenly Father.

 

Something to ponder

Isn’t it funny that if we confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just enough to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong?

(Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. Cahpter 43)