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Showing posts from February 21, 2016

Light and Truth

Have you ever gone into a dark room and not turned on the light? Most of us upon entering such a room would immediately search for the light switch. We know that light will help us to find our way or find something for which we are looking. Lighthouses have been around for thousands of years. Their original purpose was as a navigational tool to locate the land mass and reveal entries into safe harbors. They later became known more as warning signals of reefs and promontories (land masses the jut out over an expanse of water). The psalmist under the pain of life cried out for God to "send forth your light and your truth let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell." (Psalm 43:3) He needed light for his soul to navigate. He needed light for assurance, location, and as a warning of danger. But he doesn't stop there, he also asks for truth to accompany light in guiding him. Truth is a revealer, too. It calms the voices around us t…

Respect

Most, if not all of us, have disrespected our parents at some time or another. Many did this during our teenage years when our souls were seeking independence and searching for our own identity. We pushed back from them in an attempt to better see who we were. The Ten Commandments of Exodus 20 can be illustrated by the hinge that you see on every door. The hinge has three parts to it: one side attaches to the frame of the doorway, the other attaches to the door. Both of these are essential but not complete. The pin that runs down through the matching edges of the two sides links them together so they perform their original purpose, to swing the door to close or to open. So, in the Ten Commandments there is one side that teaches us how to love God. These are the first four commandments. Then there are the last five commandments which teach us how to love our neighbors. That is why Jesus could answer the question, "Which is the greatest commandment?" He said, "To love t…

Compassion's Reward

To be compassionate is to be empathetic towards another. This is not sympathy for that recognizes another's pain and walks away from it. Neither is it over-identification which takes another's pain on as yours. Empathy is to recognize another's pain and to come alongside them as they experience it. It is to bear with rather than abandon or take over their pain. David has learned a lesson about empathy. He says, "Blessed is he who has regard of the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble." (Psalm 41:1) Several ideas are present in this initial statement. One, there is blessing set aside for those who "regard" or respect and have compassion for those who are weak. Two, the Lord delivers such a person in their own time of trouble or weakness. And three, it does not guarantee no "times of trouble" it only says he will be delivered. This deliverance is the first of six rewards. Second and third is he will be protected by the Lord and the L…

The Fountainhead of Life - Life Series #8

Water is anessential ingredientto life. It has what the body cannot produce on its own. If you lack water, you lack life. Try living in a desert without it. It will kill you. An adult human body is made up of 57% water. A fountainhead of water would be the original source; the spring that feeds the stream. The fountainhead of water is developed by Ezekiel in a vision he saw of water "coming out from under the threshold of the temple." (Ezekiel 47:1) This was the temple at Jerusalem, which is the only ancient capital that wasn't located on a river and in that parched land a dependable water supply was essential for life. So, what he sees is the fountainhead; a trickle of water flowing out from under the throne of God and on under the eastern gate of the city and then south. He measured it four times as it steadily became deeper and wider until he could swim in it. It refreshed the Dead Sea bringing  life to that salty and forsaken body of water covering the location of S…

Pride's Power

When have you been forced by your own words and by peer pressure to do something you knew was wrong? What was the result in your soul? “Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous man…The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.” (Mark 6:20, 26) Here is a person caught in their own pride. Herod “feared John” he even protected him from harm because he knew him “to be a righteous man.” And then the crowd came to Herod's birthday celebration. There were high officials, military commanders and leaders of Galilee present. Herod was captivated by the daughter of his unlawful wife Herodias and made a pledge to her as a reward for her dancing before the crowd. The girl went to her mother, Herodias, and was told to ask for the head of John the Baptist. Herod was not able to weigh properly the difference between saving a righteous man, pleasing his step-daughter, and backing off on his promise in f…

Integrity

Listening to the CD set, The Art of Influence, by Chris Widener, I have heard Bobby Gold, a mythical character and millionaire, speak to Marcus, the young graduate of business school about the "science" and "art" of business. "Science" is the numbers in business but "art" is the development of influence in business. Bobby explains his four golden rules of influence as: Live a life of undivided integrity.Always demonstrate a positive attitude.Consider other people's interest as more important than your own.Don't settle for anything less than excellence. Bobby says, "Who you are is the most important part of influence." Over 3,000 years ago Solomon felt the same way. He said, "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out." (Proverbs 10:9) Integrity is a word used every day as tons of concrete are poured into forms and around steel bars. If the concrete does not have int…