Warning!

These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
1 Corinthians 10:11 (NIV)

I am going to start with this verse : “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31. Then it continues…”Do not cause anyone to stumble…1 Cor 10:32. These verses near the end of the same chapter as the above PerspectiVerse.

Compassion. Wisdom.
How you act impacts those around you. As in a previous blog post, I wrote of Nabal and how his actions and mindless words, brought about consequences including his own death and his wife happily marrying the very man he insulted. Are we truly aware of our actions? Should we not consistently be checking our hearts against God’s living word … and through our relationship with Him, in prayer … including listening to His leading?

Are we truly aware of the consequences our lives have on those around us? The Nabal’s of this world…fools … they think only of themselves. They do not have wisdom.. wisdom … wisdom. Who has wisdom but God? Yes,  we can have wisdom..but often those of us who think we are wise…are the one’s who need to keep learning. My mother used to say … “Once we think we know it all.. that’s when we better be careful.” …That’s when we do things that we might regret. As the Bible says “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” (Proverbs 12:15). Another says …”Victory depends on having many advisors” (Proverbs 24:6b NLT)

Let’s be aware of those around us, of their lives. Let us not treat each other as though “my life is the only one that counts”…or “you can learn from me… I know best”. That also means, be discerning for yourself. Some people you need to walk away from. If “Victory depends on having many advisors” (Proverbs 24:6b NLT) .. then be aware of who you are speaking to. If your many ‘advisors’ are not aligned with God’s word… then you might want to let go of a lot of what they are saying… or better yet…replace them with wise and godly people in your life. Look for counsel from those who encourage your faith and walk with God. Proverbs 12 –  a great chapter to learn about wisdom .. and the lack of it.

You have one choice … to be obedient to God, or not. God loves you. There is none as wise and omnipotent as Him. Diligently seek Him.

If we are truly walking in alignment with Christ, we should see the fruit of the Holy Spirit produced in our lives.  … “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galations 5:22-23

Look for these fruits from your “friends”, and wise counselors. Are they exhibiting them? If they are lacking, be wary…look elsewhere for guidance…as the Holy Spirit leads you. Be led by the Spirit and be wise. Be careful who you are listening to. 

And if you are not expressing these fruits…then spend more time with the Holy Spirit. Ask for God to increase these things in you. The journey is not easy, but definitely worth it!

As the verse after the PerspectiVerse describes… “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)

Thank you, Lord, for Your guidance. Your Word has so much for us to glean from it, and time in Your presence is so wonderful! May we drink deeply of Your love and wisdom! Amen.

Psalm 63

Psalm 63 (NIV)
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

1You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

2I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

9Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.

11But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Help Us!

These men have been very good to us, and we never suffered any harm from them. Nothing was stolen from us the whole time they were with us.
1 Samuel 25:15 (NIV)

This is the story of David, Nabal and Abigail. This single chapter … tells so much..

1 Samuel 25 (NLT)

Abigail is a wise woman who acts to cover her husband Nabal’s terrible actions, so that many lives are saved. She wisely undoes in action, the mess that his words created.

After Abigail sorts out the terrible situation that is unleashed by Nabal’s rude words, she can’t even tell him because he is drunk when she gets home from saving his and everyone else’s lives.

When Abigail finally tells Nabal in the morning, he has a stroke, and within 10days dies as his heart stops.

Imagine. A life noteworthy in the Bible for such terrible and unnecessary actions. His wife Abigail is remembered for her beauty and wisdom. But Nabal is remembered in a way that David is pleased when Nabal dies, and even says that God has avenged the insult he received from Nabal. David is glad that Nabal is dead, and then after asking Abigail to be his wife, she seems pleased to accept!

Wow. What end are we coming to? What will you and I be remembered for? Wow. Just wow.

And… if you have ever been treated as David was, by a Nabal … just recognize what is in store for the “Nabal’s”[meaning ‘fool’] of this world.

Be at peace. Keep your peace. Let the Lord avenge the insults that come your way. Keep your head up and act in kindness. Like Jesus did, on the cross. The goal is to act in love towards those who are unkind and rude. Each of us knows how it feels to be treated unkindly, even when we have been kind and upright in our deeds. Let us practice responding in love to those who are unkind and act unnecessarily rudely!

Dear Lord, may I never be remembered as Nabal .. .a fool. May I always check my actions with the Holy Spirit. And be accountable to Your wise counsel. Amen!

Love Towards Hard Hearts

Psalm 95 (NIV)

1Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

3For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

6Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice, 8“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah [quarrelling],as you did that day at Massah [testing]b in the wilderness, 9where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’
11So I declared on oath in my anger,‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

 

Heavenly Father, may we remember to keep our hearts open towards You. Heal our hearts, and may we exhibit the fruit of the spirit in everything we do in our lives. Amen!

Do not be Afraid!

Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.”
Daniel 4:19a (NIV)

The rest of the verse states : Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!

As I read this I am reminded of the dreams many of us have for our own lives … and how we can be terrified by them. Terrified, quite an extreme word. But I think the dreams that we hesitate before stepping towards, shock us to the point of …really.. this? Which is quite silly, because God knows who we are and what we can handle.

God has His plans and His purposes, and if He has placed the dream in you then you can know that it is possible. Even if you don’t understand it.

The dream that Daniel (Belteshazzar) had to interpret, was King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. He was summoned .. and as the King put it “Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.” (Daniel 4:18)(NIV)

When God calls you .. or when you are summoned  … it is time to take responsability. He trusts you, and believes that you are to be part of the solution that is required.

So, Step Up to the Plate!

Endurance

Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
Hebrews 12:3(NLT)

Chapter 12 follows the faith chapter (Hebrews 11) which ends describing how the people of faith received righteousness, but not all that God promised mankind.  Verse 13: “All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.” Then Verse 39: “All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised..”(NLT). Then, this chapter (Chapter 12) begins describing how our eyes and focus should be on Jesus so that we might endure. These first three verses of chapter 12 highlight endurance, as well as what to leave behind, and what is the reward set before us.

Hebrews 12: 1-2 (before PerspectiVerse)
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

3 : Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;c then you won’t become weary and give up.

This last verse suggests that by thinking of Jesus and what He endured, your mental strength will increase and that will help you to endure and conquer as He did! He took on the weight of the world’s sin.. . and was separated from the Father. Find an interesting article about the agony of this separation from God, at the Billy Graham site.

So the way this is speaking to me is that in life we endure much. There will always be something negative or something to pray about in our personal lives or in a friend’s life. Then we read in James 1:2-3, Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. See also, Romans 5:3-4.

As we grow in endurance, then there is more joy … and things seem easier than if we were weak.

If we do as the Word says, then we can learn, grow, endure, become stronger.This endurance is a great thing … it is a foundation or support as we move through life. For example, in running a race, the longer the race you want to run, the more your body must be able to endure. If you are hiking in the mountains it will take more strength and endurance than walking across the street to the park. We can develop this endurance, and sometimes just by going through life with our heads up this can be shaped in us, but oftentimes it is a choice. Back to the choices again as in my blog post to Choose Well 😉 .. if growing your endurance is a great thing ….something to be joyful about, then we should be looking for ways to joyfully endure.

Wow. This is going to be an exciting year!

God bless! 🙂

I’m excited about this!

Lord, thank you that You have the vision and understanding of where each person is at and what we can go through. That You have already seen the endurance training that is necessary for me to get to where You want me to get to, in this life. I hope to accomplish much this year, to grow, learn and endure with joy. In Jesus name, (ónoma), Amen.