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Showing posts from August 14, 2016

Commit

It is difficult to see beyond what is right in front of our face. We have daily problems that are both personal, work related, and involve national interests, but keeping our eyes, and minds, concentrated on these is not what God wants us to do. The psalmist felt this struggle and addressed it by saying, "Do not fret…or be envious…trust in the Lord and do good…delight yourself in the Lord…commit your way to the lord…be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him." (Psalm 37:1-7) Being anxious about bad people or situations will not help us. This is not saying that we ignore them and do not confront their evilness. It is saying that that cannot be the focus of our lives. Instead, we are to focus on the Lord, placing our trust and delight in Him. If these were the only actions we were to do then we would miss the best of what can be learned from these verses. Trust and delight is only the beginning of the process, because the real action happens when we commit our way t…

Discrimination

We all are confronted with this action. The word "criminate" means to accuse of a crime (as in incriminate); to condemn or judge. The prefix "dis" is used to show separation or apartness. So to "discriminate" is to set apart through judgment. Paul spoke much about this to the people at Corinth. They had lived lives of discrimination, pushing others down to advance, declaring themselves to be special, and yet God had brought them all together into salvation. Thus Paul spoke to the process of removing partiality from them. He emphasized the necessity of each for the other and used the human body to illustrate. Each part was indispensable to the whole unit. The feet, intestines, heart and brain were all important to the proper function of the body. He said, "those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with s…

Flee

When is it the right time to flee? Policemen and firemen run toward calamity for the purpose of saving people and dousing the danger. Cowards run away because they are filled with fear. So, when can a righteous person be assured it is the right action to flee? Paul tells the Corinthian Christians to "flee from idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10:14) An idol itself has no power, it is just a piece of word, metal or rock, but reverencing it gives it power in your mind over your life. Paul stated that "the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons." (10:20) Idolatry is designated throughout scripture as a diversion of the honor and sacrifice that is due God. It doesn't matter what it is, it matters what it does. It takes us away from honoring God and that should never happen. Paul also told these people to flee sexual immorality. He said, "All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he wh…

Tempted

We all need encouragement in our daily walk with God. It seems our old nature likes to exert control whenever possible. It is regularly searching for fulfillment of its desires and as James said, "each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." (James 1:14) There is enticement that comes from outside and there is desire to do it coming from within us. That creates quite a mess and discouragement in our inability to overcome. So, here is that encouragement we all need. "God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)  God is the One on whom we must rely instead of trying to defeat our sin nature by our sin nature. That seems impossible…and is. God is trustworthy because He controls what temptations we experience. See Satan's discussions with God about Job in Job 1-2. Now I did not say that He creates the temptati…

Secret

We don't often speak of secrets, that's why they remain secrets. There have always been secret arts and secret societies. Secrets are desired by many to be revealed and unmasked to prove that they were not special after all, like the Wizard of Oz who was not all-powerful but just a man with some mechanisms. Paul spoke of a secret he had learned when he said, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." (Philippians 4:12b) Paul had a diverse life of ups and downs. He lived in humble circumstances, had been hungry and thirsty in more than a daily way, often suffered the lack of normal comforts, but also knew plenty. This made him consider circumstances irrelevant to soul-sufficiency. In every circumstance as well as in all circumstances generally he had learned intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually what was necessary to be content in that moment and circumstance. He said his ability to be content was not lodged in or creat…