God Can Build The Family

God Can Build The Family
By Bayless Conley

Earlier we have looked at Psalm 127:1-2 which says,

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.

The Hebrew word for house in verse one can actually be translated family. That is one reason why the next few verses (3-5) read like this,

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

If you have sat up late, worrying about your children or your family, you need to know that God can turn things around.

Trust Him to build and protect your family. Do your part, but look to Him for guidance and strength. And trust Him to do what you cannot do.

He can cause your "arrows" to be effective against the enemy instead of wounding your own heart.

May you be happy with your quiver of "arrows," and may God be glorified in your family.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

"Nothing influences the quality of our life more than how we respond to trouble." -Erwin G. Tieman

The Process of The Press: Producing The Oil of Gethsemane
by Crystal M. Sorrells

The olive is symbolic of wisdom, abundance, and strength. In the eyes of the Father, every believer is a single olive on His flourishing olive tree in the midst of His blossoming olive grove. He is remarkably particular about each and every olive that matures on His meticulously cared for olive tree. The olive tree, from which the olive grows, is a blessed tree that flourishes in the stony and arid soil of the Mediterranean Sea. This tree bears its fruit under unfavorable conditions of drought, strong winds and high temperatures. It is a tree known for its longevity and productivity. The olive tree itself represents knowledge, peace, health, power and beauty.

The olive oil produced from the olive requires special attention to bring about the best possible quality and taste. Great care is needed at every stage of its life span from the olive grove to the final consumer. Likewise is in the Kingdom of God, the Father carefully prunes us and takes special measures to grow us as mature fruit that will develop; at the right momentum at the right time and in the right season. The processes that an olive has to undergo, to be served as olive oil on the most prestigious and lavish banqueting tables of the land, is the same process the Father causes us to endure to perfect us into mature sons ready to be served to His Body.

In ancient times, the process of extracting oil from olives was grueling work. The olive harvesters would take sticks and beat the trees to knock off the mature olives from the trees. After selecting those olives that would continue in the process of becoming oil, the olive stems and other twigs or leaves are then plucked from the olive. The olives are washed clean to remove dirt and other harmful substances that could take away from the quality and taste of the oil made. The olives are then placed in stone pots and smashed beyond recognition with a stone pestle and then human feet would smash the remaining pulp. Warm water is added to help it become a thick mash. The mash is placed into a man-made press to further extract the treasured oil.

As you can see, olive oil production is labor intensive.

With our heavenly Father, this task is certainly a labor of love! After the process is completed, this splendid oil is poured into a beautiful vase, prepared solely to contain this precious, painstaking balm. Does this process sound familiar to you? As we go through times of transition, we often find that we, like the olive, undergo the identical process. The Lord will, at some time during our journey with Him, begin to transform our lives into fragrant oil in which He unquestionably takes great pleasure. During this transformation, we may feel as though we have been ripped from our source (the olives are beaten off the trees) and it can certainly feel as though pieces of our soul are being ripped away (as the olive leaves and stems are plucked away).

In seasons of transition, there will always be a cleansing that occurs. Have you gone through a season of tears? Is God doing a very deep work of deliverance within you? Is it causing your soul to respond with gut wrenching tears and life changing repentance (the olive undergoes the same washing and cleansing process)?

Now come the really hard part of the process...our breaking.

The transformation begins to draw closer as we become broken before the Lord. The Father gives us many opportunities to humble ourselves and become broken before Him. We must be careful during this process that we humble ourselves and allow ourselves to be broken. If we resist at this juncture, we could cause the Rock to fall upon us and break us into powder (Matthew 21:44); causing an inability to produces the precious oil. As we become mash in the hand of the Father, He will add the warm, clean water of the Word to us and begin to extract from us the sacred oil, which is our anointing. He then pours us out into beautifully crafted vessels that He has hand-fashioned to carry this gloriously fragrant oil; to be poured out, rubbed in, and smeared upon His Body.

As we are transformed throughout this process, from olive to oil - keep this in mind. It is in the process of the press (Gethsemane) that our own death and resurrection take place!

BridgeBuilders Ministries International of Grand Rapids, MI USA

This is a very beautiful song by Kathryn Scott on her "We Still Believe" album. We never outgrow our need for the Father.

The lyrics:


With ev'ry breath, with ev'ry thought
From what is seen, to the deepest part
I offer all that I've come to be
To know Your love fathering me

Father, You're all I need
My soul's sufficiency
My Strength when I am weak
The love that carries me
Your arms enfold me
Till I am only, a child of God

With ev'ry step on this journey's walk
And wisdom's songs that the soul has sought
I give myself unreservedly
To know Your love fathering me

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