Mind Over (earthly) Matters

 

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)


Life is not always kind, or even “fair”.  When external stress and pressures build up, it can be oh-so-tempting to  sink into an pattern of pessimistic thinking that only serves to pull us farther into a pit of depression.

It is true that some earthly situations are not easily resolved.  And others may never be exactly “right”, according to our own estimation.  But that does not mean there is no hope of a better future for the Christian…if not here, then when we enter eternity, for sure.

We can always choose for our thoughts to dwell in either our temporary sorrows or on the promise of a blessed forever home in God’s presence.

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In Pursuit of Happiness

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Matthew 6:31-34 (ESV)

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
This passage is what came to mind when I saw the quote…then realized that whoever shared the meme on FB had the same thought

Romans 5:7-11 (NKJV) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

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Image courtesy HUMAN COALITION.  I am borrowing it for non-profit, educational purposes 🙂

Engraved Invitation

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Luke 14:12-14 (NKJV) Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Mark 2:16-17 (NKJV) And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

John 6:35 (NKJV) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

Revelation 3:20 (NKJV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voic and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. ~ Jesus

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Jesus IS the feast. He has been given freely to revive us poor, blind, deaf and lame beggars.

Those of us who have been given access to His table should remember how unworthy we are as we graciously invite others to join us.

We have no right to close them out or simply toss a few stale crumbs at them.

 

 

 

 

Saved! (From more than just the consequences of our Sin.)

John 17:20-23 (NKJV)
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

 

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Image courtesy http://www.REVIVAL-LIBRARY.COM.  I am borrowing it for non-commercial, personal use.

Thoughts on Christian Culture 4: Testify

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Image property of Grammarly.  I’m borrowing it for non-profit, educational purposes 🙂

John 4:6-7, 28-29 (ESV)
(Please read omitted verses for essential context)

Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”

28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,
29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?


We all tend to talk freely and excitedly about the things that are most appealing to our hearts and minds.

Over time, I have become ever more convinced that “sharing Christ” should not be a learned, forced methodical activity.  Introducing others to our Savior should not feel like a burden, but a privilege. As we get to know Him better, offering His love to others should become more and more of a “natural” impulse, in the same way that a spring of fresh water simply flows down a mountainside.

Of course, there are times when some are not open to hearing, and God’s Spirit may direct you to keep silent rather than try to force-feed someone who does not believe (s)he is hungry.

But this type of restraint is subject to His discretion, rather than our own fear of rejection.

For God So Loved That He Gave…(John 3:16) (3)

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESV)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 

I believe that all matters of “human” wisdom derive their source from our Creator.  But in order to be true, any popular, pithy statement must be found compatible with scripture.  It is only within the context of God’s revealed truth that such observations can be considered valid.