READ THIS FIRST

I am told that the truths that I share sometimes come across a bit too curt. Not that the truths shouldn’t be firmly held, but when I share them verbally my tone and expression and responses to the listener allow me to share the truth and the balance of grace at the same time (please listen to some of my audios for examples).

Whatever today’s topic, the full balance always involves the the following sweet coatings on the sometimes distasteful pill of truth of:

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

1. You are not alone, Dr. Verle Bell joins you as the chief of sinners and in no position to judge your worth, dignity, security, future, or God’s ability to help you.

2. There is Hope!

3. If you are a saved child of God, you have worth, strength, and hope just because. You can’t lose it or increase it, you have them just because Jesus died for you and loves you.

4. There are no have to‘s for us but there are a lot of sure-would-be-nice‘s. These blogs are to help you grab ahold of all the sure-would-be-nice’s God has for you in the present.

5. If you never change, grow, fight the good fight, etc, You are still a winner, for we are more than conquerors- we forever remain in his love!

Stop to think, how many people have passed through this world without confessing with God that they are a sinner in need of salvation, asking for that salvation based on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Since we have, as a result we are now immortals. The rest is just icing on the cake.

Now read on to get your share of the icing!

If you ask Him nicely, He might even let you lick out of the icing bowl, just as my Mom did when I helped her in the kitchen as a boy.

the HEART of the problem

My pastor invited the men of the church to show up early Saturday for mutual encouragement and asked us to read THE CALVARY ROAD by Roy Hessian. He paired us up to pray for each other and call each other and discuss what the Holy Spirit brings up from our reading.

The chapter seemed to suggest that there should be a difference in what we say and do as a result of a relationship with God. True, but my problem is that my saying and doing naturally LOOK godly.it is the inner chatter that is the problem.

You see, I was born “nice”. I spent my youth pondering  the Word of God and making a good show of living up to it in my own strength. I was pathologically nice! I chose the co-dependent road of trying to earn my worth and security by cleaning my room and never needing a spanking and helping around the house and getting good grades. My payoff was not great I was invisible and totally ignored. The way of works never pays well.I came to believe that, when I pleased others and was helpful — then I was nothing and nobody, but if anyone was mad at me –then I was less than nobody and that was worse.

Now, I thank God for grace where I am somebody because God says so and my sombodiness does not need to be maintained.

I realized that I need to focus,  not on just doing things God’s way outwardly, but on talking in my heart in a godly way, on the inward chatter. For man looks on the outward but God looks on the HEART.

There are many who just live in sin and deny the truth. Then there are the Pharisees who acknowledge the right way and tell everyone else to shape up but do little themselves. I am  talking to the ones who acknowledge and act according to the truth but still are filled with judgement and negative inner chatter.

For as a man thinks,ponders, imagines, ruminates in his heart–so is he!

Yes, when the inner man is godly, there will be outward change, but it is possible to do things in ways that look godly to others, yet still have the wrong motive, saying ” Lord Lord have I not visited the prisoners and fed the hungry and given drink to the thirsty in your name? So don’t You owe me a seat at Your banquet table?”   NO! Depart from me you are working iniquity I don’t know you, Jesus replies.        Am I secretly ruminating on the unfairness of everything, and thinking, “why don’t others join in or appreciate as they should, and “can you believe those others, how can they be that way?, what are others thinking about me? How can I make them agree and change.” (I’ve always found that I get most upset when I try to bless others with God’s truth and they refuse to be blessed–pretty crazy huh? No skin off of my back if they don’t change. They are the ones in trouble, I should hurt for them, not be upset at them. After all, God will reward me for trying)” etc.etc.      Now I have learned not to wait till all my inner chatter is godly before I go obey. It seems to be enough to realize and admit to God that my inner chatter is pretty messed up but what the proper thinking would be and to ask Him to bless my feeble efforts despite my inner mess. The devil suggests that to obey when our HEART is imperfect would be hypocrisy so we should wait and try to fix the inner mess.      That is the ultimate impossible works orientation.       Hypocrisy is doing things to look good or gain approval of men or gain worldly advantage without seeing the behavior as godly and right on it’s own. If doI admit God’s Ideal reasons, and that mine are imperfect but then obey because it is right–that is righteousness not hypocrisy.

For example, when I talk to a bunch of new people, such as at a church, part of me wants them to appreciated my effort so that I can feel a twinge of self earned worth and significance.  However, I know that the right reason is that God wants to impart His healing truths to them through my yielded members. So I say, ” Lord please bless my sharing to the welfare of your people and I freely acknowledge the warring inner chatter and that Your ways are right.”

GIVE THE LORD YOUR VALENTINE

GIVE ME THY HEART

Psalm 9:1I will praise thee O Lord, with my whole heart                                                        Psalm 13:2How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?
Psalm 4:4Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon the bed                                                                                                                    Psalm19:8The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart:
Psalm 19:14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 27:8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
Psalm 51:10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Psalm 66:18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Psalm 90:12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Psalm 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalm 138:1I will praise thee with my whole heart:
Psalm 139:23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Proverbs 3:5Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Proverbs 4:4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words
Proverbs 4:23Keep thy heart with all diligence;
Proverbs 7:3Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
Proverbs 10:8The wise in heart will receive commandments:
Proverbs 14:30A sound heart is the life of the flesh:
Proverbs 15:15All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
Proverbs 16:23The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Proverbs 20:9Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
Proverbs 23:7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
Proverbs 23:26My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
Proverbs As ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
Proverbs 28:26He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:                                                   Ecclesiastes 8:16When I applied mine heart to know wisdom,
Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:10 I the Lord search the heart,
Lamentations 5:17For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim.
Daniel 1: He purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself
Daniel 10:12 Fear not, Daniel: for thou didst set thine heart to understand,
Daniel 11:12And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
Hosea 7:14And they have not cried unto me with their heart
Joel 2:12Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Joel 2:13And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God
Malachi 4:6And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Matthew 6:21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Mark 11:23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Luke 2:19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 6:45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good
Luke 10:27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
Luke 12:34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 21:14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
Luke 24:25Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe
John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Acts 2:46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Acts 4:32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:
Acts 11:23Who exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
Acts 13:22I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart,
Acts 16:14And a certain woman named Lydia whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things
Romans 1:24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Romans 6:17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Romans 10:8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Romans 10:9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
Galatians 4:6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Ephesians 3:17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
Ephesians 5:19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Ephesians 6:5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Philippians 1:7Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart;
Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Colossians 2:2That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love,
Colossians 3:15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Colossians 3:16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:22Servants, obey in all things your masters in singleness of heart fearing God;                                                                                                                                                          Colossianas 3:13To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God
2 Thessalonians 2:17Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
2 Thessalonians 3:5And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
1 Timothy 1:5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
Hebrews 3:8Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Hebrews 3:10Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
Hebrews 3:15While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 10:16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Hebrews 10:22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
Hebrews 13:9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
James 4:8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
James 5:8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
1 Peter 1:22 see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 Peter 3:4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1 John 3:19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
1 John 3:20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
1 John 3:21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
HEART: MY INNER CHATTER, MY SILENT PONDERING,WHAT I REALLY THINK: GIVE IT TO GOD!

IT’S OK but WHAT A MESS WE MAKE

My favorite cartoon is Calvin and Hobbes. He was imagining the world after the monster under the bed had eaten him and left a pile of bones. He quotes his parents as saying “And still, it was fitting that as he was this world a-quitting, he should leave another mess as he went out.”

Most pastors will agree that it is the “messy” children, the ones who cause a lot of trouble, who go on to do great things for the Lord. It isn’t just that they, “grow out of it” but that God loves and uses passionate people but these are the ones who also make a mess as they proceed.

I once pastored a church that had wonderful facilities for children but hated it when it was used to minister to children because they always made such a mess.

We are so terrified of doing things imperfectly that we don’t do much at all. I am alway fascinated when asking people to name the Great Lakes, that they would rather say “I don’t know” then venture a guess. When they then ask what the lake was, and I tell them, they say, “I was thinking that.” You will always have a better chance of serving God and the kingdom if you try messily than if you don’t try at all.

Look at our ancestors Adam and Eve: messy messy but God went ahead and started this whole thing knowing they would mess it up. Must have thought it worth doing anyhow.. Noah by faith saved the world but they got drunk. Moses had a terrible temper and would often get overwhelmed and suicidal. David had one of his best friends killed in order to cover up his own sin. We make the mistake of printing biographies, of people used by God to do great things, which portray them as flawless. THEY ALL MADE MESSES! Now if God could use them despite deliberate sin, fear, and less deliberate stupidity; maybe he could use us despite shyness or stuttering or physical weakness or appearance issues or lack of education or knowledge. I say jump in and make a mess and learn as you go.

I am always talking to myself in these blogs and am thrilled if others can relate. I know that I need to serve God to the best of my ability but not to put of doing blogs or posts until I feel that I have mastered the art, have all the theology perfect, the perfect examples, the perfect length.

As I have mentioned before, I was not raised by others but raised myself. All of a sudden I found myself with children and no model of how to do this important job. If you asked my children, they would tell you that despite many “messy” shortcomings that, overall, they had a decent childhood. This would be by the grace of God and my knowing that I didn’t know and being open to feedback..

We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 God loves to use our messiness to emphasize WHO gets the glory.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of honor but some to dishonor. 2 Timothy 2:20 I grew up in India and our house was full of all kinds of vessels. The ugly cheep ones were the most useful and needed!

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves even to think correctly but God! 2 Corinthians 3:5,6 The greatest and probably most valuable types of humility is to learn to not lean on our own understanding. Feel shy, can’t talk don’t know how to pray eloquently? Great God gets extra credit and glory when you obey because everyone will know He did it! I just can’t understand the christians who  are so full of pride that they won’t read scripture or pray in Sunday school classes for fear the quality of their performance will be judged by others. It probably will! But so what? Do it unto the lord. 

God does not call many wise,  mighty, or noble. Instead, he calls you and me: weak, base, despised, nothings. Why? So no man should glory in his presence. But we are in Christ Jesus who is our wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. So let’s show Him off by jumping in messily and imperfectly to show off what He can do with nothing. I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling, that your faith should not stand on mans wisdom but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1: 20-2:5

I often re read these blogs after I have published them and see typo’s or better ways to word them. Still, if I waited till I felt they were perfect–you’d never get a blog. I had a student once studying psychiatry who was already a radiologist but had to quit due to perfectionism and now was failing psychiatry. He could pass the test but was useless to anyone else because he was trying to be perfect. Don’t compare! The Bible says all comparison is foolishness. 

I once went to a week long seminar on being a perfect everything. Feeling overwhelmed, I imperfectly skipped and afternoon and wrote out what it would take to be a perfect (according to my messy best) father, husband, friend, worker, church member etc. There simply wasn’t enough time in the day and the scriptures say Psalms 127 “let it go and get a good nights’ sleep. So I jump in and do it messily, leave to outcome to God and try to learn as I go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINDFULLNESS: MY MIND FULL OF HIS MIND

The devil loves to grab a delicious worm and stick his hook into it to spoil it. That doesn’t mean that the worm is no good. In like manner the new age people like to take one of God’s good ideas and twist it to the point that we faithful followers of Jesus are leery to grab and use it.

MINDFULLNESS comes to mind. What does the Lord say about this? Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. What mind was that:

1.Well, not hanging on to rights and becoming what it takes to minister to needy hurting helpless people. Philippians 2:5.

2.A mind always stayed on God. Isaiah 26:3

3.A remembering mind, remembering that God’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great, and God is my portion (my inheritance my field of endeavor) Lamentations 3:21-24. That there is only one God who will keep all his promises and His advice will stand. Isaiah 46:9-10

4.Love the Lord thy God with all thy mind.  Matthew 22:37 My favorite pen is called “pen again” because the inventor came up with the idea at age 14 and couldn’t produce the product till his 20’s but was always talking about the idea. Another friend said, ‘”you’re not talking about that pen again are you?” We should be accused by our friends, “you’re not talking about God again are you?” In all your ways seek to know God more and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6

5.Let the events of life cause us to call the mind the words of Jesus. Just as He used scripture to combat temptation, so should we, carrying around in our mind the truths. Mark 14:72

6. Don’t displace the God mindfulness with worrying about food clothing shelter, the past, tomorrow’s needs. Don’t be doubtful. Luke 12:29

7.Have a mind prepared and eager to filled with MORE of God’s ideas. So many people want to know “how much of this do I have to put up with to get all the rewards I crave?” Acts 17:11

8.Have a humble mind. (Do you remember my definition of humility? That’s right: freely admitting my limitations and not clinging to rights while resting in who I am in Jesus. Acts 20:19 Romans 12:16

9.Have others in your life who are aware of your mind focus and help put you in mind of godly things. Romans 15:15

10. Passionate mind: willing to give, fervent for the welfare of saints, ready mind, a mind focussed forward on ministry opportunities, a sound mind renewed by the word.

11.Be like minded by hanging with people whose minds are fixed on the Lord and His word and not on picky divisive does and don’ts. Philippians 4:2

12.. Gird up the loins of your mind by hoping to the end for the coming of Christ. Who for the hope that was set before Him. (Relationship and marriage with you and me) endured. I Peter 1:13

Remember that God knows everything that comes into your mind and will help you with gaining a clean and clear mind is you confess the inner thoughts. Romans 12:2 Hebrews 8:10 For as you think in your heart so are you. Ezekiel 11:5, Proverbs 23:7 We are to put off the old mind and put on the new and be renewed in the spirit of the mind. Ephesians 4:23 We need to keep in mind the things God has already shown us and not be alway re-learning the same focus we learned before. It is OK to move from Obedience 101 to Obedience 201 but not keep relearning 101.Philippians 3:16 Let your pastor and other godly people put you in mind of the practical truth. Titus 3:1

He will keep you in perfect peace by,(at your request) helping you keep your mind stayed on Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GLORIOUS GODLY GLEE

The joy of the Lord is my strength. A couple of weeks ago we had a young lady baptized at our church. She was so short that she almost floated when she tried to sink into the water. I think that she was about 7 years old. When the pastor asked her if she had received Jesus as her savior and Lord, she almost whooped with joy, declaring yes! yes! with a huge smile on her face and joy beaming out of her. I thought of the verse that unless we become as little children we can not enter into the kingdom. (By the way I can recommend getting saved early and living your life focussed on the Lord.) I was 5 when I realized that I was a sinner in need of salvation and asked God the father to forgive me for Jesus’ sake. I find that I don’t have to use life energy fighting with doubts about Him, although I still struggle with doubts about me.

Remember that the fruit of the Spirit are usually expressed most gloriously when they occur in contrast with the situation and the usual human response:

Loving the unlovely, joy in the midst of loss and struggle, peace when attacked on every side. patiently ministering to the impatient, gentle with the rough, kind to the mean. The scripture says that we do grieve but, unlike the heathen, our grief is full of hope.

So I am not suggesting that we always feel fluffy joy, but it wouldn’t hurt our witness if our joy showed on our faces more often. A smile doesn’t mean that there are no problems in our life, it means that we value the person we are passing because they are God’s children, so make their day and pass on the joy with a smile. Lift up the hands that hang down. Research shows that making our bed, putting on clean clothes, enjoying our breakfast, standing up straight and smiling, focussing on doing the little we can; these go a long way to helping us function. The religious people look miserable in order to get extra honor for their piety. We are to be joyous and smile at those we don’t know, not just our friends. We need to sing hymns and joyous songs even when no one is listening, making a joyful noise unto the Lord in our hearts.

The young girl being baptized could have focussed on the poor planning about the depth of the water, or been worried about being in front of the whole church and let shyness spoil her joy. Instead she let herself be excited about her Jesus and her salvation and the chance to witness.

 

GOD’S GIFT-irritating people?

Ecclesiastes 9 a lot. “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou loves all the days of the life of thy vanity, which He hath given thee under the sun:for that is thy portion( thy field to develop, thy labor).”

The scriptures can be easily misapplied. Peter pointed out that Paul had written some tough things that people had twisted. The devil often leads us to a definition that is slightly twisted,can’t be applied or  would lead to disaster. For example, he will define forgiveness as not having any leftover pain and as not setting any limits on those who hurt us. Well that isn’t correct and would not work. So too, he reminds us that we are to turn the other cheek and walk the second mile, which he defines as letting others abuse us. He loves to get us to believe our only choices are to obey God  or to set limits and not be abused but have God mad at us.

If you are in a troubled relationship you will tend to receive two types of advice, ” you made your bed now lay in it”, or “dump the bum and move on.” Is there a godly third alternative allowing God to assertively grab ahold of a situation by  having us respond in such a way that we grab ahold of what is happening.

Turn the other cheek is for, (When attacked by surprise, the other expects us to counter attack and defend and is ready with the next move. ) In order to grab the situation we need to roll with the punch and say something such as, ” I appreciate your concern that I grow and become more healthy, more like Christ, and that you have come to me directly. I will give your advice a lot of thought and get back to you on how I apply it. Do you have any suggestion from your own experience that would help me?” (First throw out the worthless scum and the hopeless case part but consider the rest and find some way to apply it and report back.) When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Walk the second mile is for, (When another has the power to force you to do what you would rather not, but it isn’t sin), then choose to do even more, boy does that make them wonder if there might not be  God working in you.

What trips me up the most, is when the other talks all godly and goes to church and quotes scripture and even talk about their walk with god but none of it shows in their actions towards me or others in their life. How does one assertively grab ahold of that situation.

Hudson Taylor he was always loosing his cool with fellow missionaries who were not taking the warfare seriously. He was right in his judgment but not in his attitude. He needed to assertively grab ahold of his own walk with God and invite the others to join in. No one, not even a spouse or pastor has the right to tell you what to think or believe or to not obey God.  Like Daniel, we may need to purpose in our heart to do things God’s way and then cop a good attitude. Like Pilate’s wife we need to voice our concern once and then drop it,  move on focussing on God and ministering to those around us. Bless them that curse you, do good to them that despitefully use you, give to them that are in need especially to enemies. Work enthusiastically for rotten bosses and don’t bad mouth.

I remember a wife who had married an alcoholic and was always quarreling with him to be more godly, leaving the radio on christian stations and leaving tracts around the house. When she quit and just ministered to him, without nagging, he let her develop a ministry for women in the church. He still wasn’t saved but that was between him and God not between him and a nagging wife. DON’T TRY TO FIX THE OTHER, instead thank God for his intentions in giving you this labor–His precious gift that will rack up more treasure in heaven and glory to God than anything else you do.

Live joyfully with all God has given you for this is your field of labor given to you by God.

BE SELFISH! GOD LOVES AND REWARDS THE PROPERLY SELFISH!

No man ever yet hated himself or his own body but loves it and protects it.

“Oh yeah?” you say, “What about suicide or cutting yourself, or trashing your health with alcohol or excessive work?”

If you look deeper into why people do these things, it is never for the welfare of others, because it doesn’t help anyone else.  It is done to give oneself relief, distraction from even greater pain, get oneself out of current misery. Suicide takes our own pain and multiplies it by 10 and shares it with everyone we know and with all those God intended to bless through our lives, who will now lose out.

This is the second great commandment that we love our neighbor as ourselves! I have found that those who mistake humility for self loathing, and never let God or others meet their needs, often try to bless others and feel love for others but invariably cause havoc in the other’s life if they try to love on them. For how can we love an invisible God if we don’t practice on people we can see, and how can we love on people we can see if we don’t assume that their needs are the same as ours and that what meets our needs might meet theirs? ( Yea I know that is a run on sentence but you know Paul had a few himself.)

God uses this truth of seeing myself as God sees me, worth of love, to motivate me to greater love of others. So aught a man to love his wife as his own flesh because he who loves his wife loves himself. He does what is best for her and loves her because they are one flesh. So what is the SELFISH thing? Doing what is best for us not what we want. Freedom is the power to do what is best. Slavery is doing what our whims and flesh tell us we want. If we truly understood what was the best way to see to our own happiness and future, we would wind up being perfectly godly. You see, the thing that is best for you is to follow the law of love and seek the best interest of those around you.

When I was in the Air Force, God called me to seek the welfare and good reputation of my boss and to help advance the career of those working under my authority and to seek the healing of those entrusted to my care. — And I wound up with the Airforce commendation medal!

So seek your best interest: love your spouse, love your children, love your neighbor, do good to those who despitefully use you, pray for your enemies to be blessed, cry “father forgive them for they know not what they do”, work to make your boss look good especially if he is “froward” , give to them that ask, if you have two coats share with others, gladly let your life spend and be spent for others, when attacked–reply “thank you for your feedback and concern, I will consider your concern and do you have any suggestions on how I might improve?, when controlled-do even more that you are required, give with a gleeful heart, don’t let your right hand know the good that your left hand has been up to and vica versa and your father in heaven will see and reward. LAY UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURE IN HEAVEN! Can you imagine anyone sinning to get more treasure in heaven? Ludicrous! Don’t forget to DELIGHT IN THE DOING and savor in advance the reward to come.

They gave children a candy bar and told them that if they did not eat it and would wait a while they would get two candy-bars. Many children could not wait but those who did received two and also had wonderful lives full of success while the others flunked out and wound up in lives of crime and failure. Continue reading