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Showing posts from June 7, 2015

Most Important

We live in a fast paced society and alongside of many who are trying to match its speed. There are those anxious to keep up with their neighbors, the Jones, and those seeking a meteoric rise to fame through the arts, sciences, positions in business, or status in society by birth or wealth. When we examine the hearts of these so bent we find pride and presumption as the missteps in their pursuits. They undervalue other people, the sense of community and cooperation, and overvalue self's abilities and desires. They forget the essential ingredient of all truly great persons, humility. Their heart drives them forward to be great, unique and praised. This is exampled clearly by children who are placed on pedestals, given more than any could desire and thrust on to stages for which they are not prepared. They make foolish decisions that lead them into much pain. Where should we be as true believers in Jesus? David responded to this situation by saying, "I have stilled and quieted…

Refining

When I was in college I worked at a foundry for aluminum, brass and bronze metals. I saw the men in asbestos garb pouring over the heating metal, skimming off impurities and finally readying the metal for pouring into molds. This was the process to make all matter of metal tools and parts for other industries. Solomon said, "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart." (Proverb 17:3) He refers here to the refining of silver and gold which is deep in rocks. The process involves breaking up the rock for access to the valuable metals. Then, placing the rock in a crucible, a fire proof pot, for the purpose of removing unwanted impurities. As the fire heats the pot, dross would float to the surface. This was removed and then greater heat was applied bringing a new layer of dross to the surface. As many as seven times this process would be repeated all the time purifying the wanted metal to a higher percentage. And how would the refiner know t…

Inviting Your Help

I am in the midst of a great adventure and I am inviting you to join me. In my recent reading I have been challenged to identify the attributes that I associate with each person of the Trinity. This is an aid to helping me understand my view of each of the Persons and I am asking you to do the same. Here's what you do: Space out the names of Father, Son, and Spirit on your paperReview the attributes I have listed below and place them underneath whichever Person of the trinity you identify them with.Send your completed page (lists under each person) to me at Richard@themattesongroup.comI will collate and when all done send you back a Today's Word with all our preferences joined together. (your name will never be revealed) Here are the attributes:  (this is not a list of theological attributes so don't worry about that, just use what is present here, and then add a final attribute that you think should have been mentioned but wasn't and whi…

True Conquerors

What is more valuable, to take a city because you are a great warrior, or to control your own emotions? Seems like a no-brainer that the warrior is more valuable. He is capturing a city. He is fighting hand to hand. He ends up the victor after a gruesome battle. He directs other men to fight along with him and they too end up with spoils for their labor. Okay…all that is true but the answer is not the warrior but the person who controls his own emotions. Solomon wrote, “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) Controlling your emotions and the tongue that expresses them is here seen as better than being a warrior and conquering a city. Why? The warrior battles for a short time and then revels in his victory but the self-controlled man battles every day for all his life to conquer and persevere over his own nature. One author has said, “Though valor is commendable yet to be our own master is far more glorious for …

Temple Inside

Often in Scripture there are descriptions of designs that God has directed man to create. The Tabernacle had specific directions down to its metals, cloths, lengths and widths. Here is a curious one. "On the walls all around the Temple [that is Solomon's Temple], in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers." (1 Kings 6:29) These three and no others are to be everywhere present on the walls of each room. These three were chosen for specific reasons. Why? For that we have to look at each one in detail. The cherubim were one of three spiritual beings (angels, seraphs, and cherubs). God is enthroned between cherubim (2 Kings 19:5). They are defenders / protectors of God's holiness and they praise God continually as they surround Him. Palm trees (date palm in the Bible) have a single stem, with no branches, and rise straight up, steadily gaining height as they growth. They bear a crown of large and graceful feathered-shaped leaves …

Work

There are simple yet profound principles laid before us in the Bible about life. One of these relates to work. Solomon, the wisest of all men both in his time and now, said, "The laborer's appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on." (Proverbs 16:26) I believe the number is around 93 Million at this point. These are those who are given money without being required to do anything for it. Out of these there are those who through circumstances beyond their control do need this assistance. The church at its beginning in Acts did choose seven men to make sure widows and more were given daily food. But the present "welfare state" is feeding millions who are able to work but choose not to. They live off the "goodness" of the governmental tab. But is it really "goodness?" Work provides for us more than just an income. It provides pride (of a good type); a confidence that we can take care of ourselves. It allows us to believe in ourselves and …