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Showing posts from September 14, 2014

The Greatest Challenge

There have been many challenges to the heart of men: challenges such as the building of the Golden Gate Bridge over a dangerous waterway, the raising of the Empire State building to be the tallest in New York, the creation of a vessel that could travel to the moon and back, the challenge of winning a war or conquering the invisible world of disease, or breaking records in Olympic competition. These all push people to greater heights and feats of glory. But, being in control of yourself without being conceited or provoking and envying another is difficult if not impossible. Serving one another in love as expressed in the statement "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Galatians 5:14) is the greatest challenge. It crosses ethnicities, borders, languages and cultures. We cannot do this as believers except through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. We are challenged by the Apostle Paul to "live by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16), and be "led by the Spirit…

Parents

It is the natural course of life for a parent to age and as they age to move into a different relationship with their children. In the dependent state, the child was challenged to obey his/her parents but now that child has become an adult, making their own decisions; a different challenge is given to them. Solomon directs a child to honor their parents. He says, "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old." (Proverbs 23:22) Paul said it this way, "Honor your father and mother." (Ephesians 6:2) Isn't it true that a parent's wish would be to still be heard and not despised? To be listened to instead of ignored and to be reverenced rather than despised. Love and reverence are the backbone of honor and reveal themselves through the acts of listening and not despising. I can't give any better illustrations of honoring parents than Charles Bridges did in his commentary on this verse so here it is: Consider "…

Reliance

On what do you rely? What is it that you depend upon; have confidence in? There are several suggestions given in Psalm 62. One is man. We can place our trust in a man, i.e. a president, a business owner, a politician, a governor, even a pastor. These seem to have the power to take care of us but ultimately fail us. They might be evil inside covered by a benevolent exterior. They might be charismatic and yet lack wisdom. "Altogether they are less than a breath." (Psalm 62:9) They are insufficient as our reliable source. Okay, if not a man then what else? You could trust in oppression or robbery. Being so bad that everyone gives you what you want. Pushing everyone down and lifting yourself up; fulfilling your own needs at the expense of others. One who is good at oppression or robbery may think that he can trust in or rely on this for himself. That is a vain hope for the oppressed will rise up; those robbed will revenge themselves. Well if not man, if not oppression or robber…

Learner's Heart

How many of us buy something that needs to be put together and yet don't use the directions that come with it? I know that I am guilty of this. I think I know what to do. I think I can do it on my own. This same thought process happens in our hearts related to instruction as we mature. We think we have learned enough and don't need more instruction; however there is something to be said for one who directs his heart to keep on learning. Solomon, a very wise man, said, "Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge." (Proverbs 23:12) "Apply" means to concentrate on, to devote to diligently. And, it is to happen inside us, at our heart, the central place of our being. If the heart is ready to receive instruction then the ears will be open to it. Those who refuse to be instructed are arrogant and become increasingly out of touch with change happening right in front of them. As a result, they become out of date and left behind. Our desire…