Philippians Three

I was spending some time with the Lord today and I thought He might have been leading me to Phil., chapter three.

Paul starts out reminding us to rejoice in the Lord. When horrible things are happening, it may feel hard to rejoice, yet Paul wrote Philippians while in prison.

One of my favorite sections of Scripture is Phil. 3:12-14.

Php 3:12, (KJV),  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

How often I need to let go of the things in the past! Just lately I got thinking of something I wish I hadn’t said, and this Scripture reminded me to let it go. I confessed it to the Lord, it didn’t cause any damage. Sometimes it’s important to leave things alone and consider that we are not perfect yet. When other people lament over their parenting practices from years past, I often tell them, “You did the best you could at the time.”

These are people I know, people that cared about their children.

People that continually try to improve their parenting skills and their own characters may need to cry out to God for help as they interact with their children, but after the fact, if they goofed and they apologized to their child and tried to keep from repeating their wrong behavior, I say, with Paul, leave it in the past.

It does no good to beat ourselves up. If we’re stuck in a mode that is harming our family members, we’d better get help and remove ourselves from the situation if things are escalating.

That’s why I don’t believe in Evolution. Men and women are not animals; we are human beings not subject to instincts. We can make choices. Humans reason and worship God. Animals do not. Humans can control themselves and seek to know God.

Well, if you haven’t read Philippians, it is a great book of the New Testament. The Bible is a book that never grows old. The more I read it, the more I see things I never saw before.

May God bless you.

Wisdom From Above

The book of James, like the book of Proverbs is considered a book of wisdom.

Since man has wisdom of his own, and there’s two supernatural sources of wisdom – the evil one and the good – God, I really appreciate James 3:17 (NASB). But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

James 3:14-16 says, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

When I’m trying to discern if an idea is from me, from God, or from the demonic I love having guidelines. James 3: 17,18 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Years ago I learned when making a difficult decision to finally trust peace or the lack of it when deciding between options. Other steps help:

  • Pray first
  • Seek wise counsel
  • Gather facts
  • Weigh the pros and the cons

Having done all of that, if you’re still in turmoil, then take time to picture your action and check your inner most being for peace.

I don’t always remember that admonition from many years ago, but maybe it’s become a part of me for major decisions.

I’ll never be perfect and trying to be perfect all the time can make life difficult for us and others. Sometimes we’re more willing to give grace to others and expect too much from ourselves. A couple of years ago I planned on spending the better part of a week with my sister-in-law while my brother was out of town. Due to a series of mishaps, in the midst of fatigue, I changed my mind.

She was gracious, but I felt bad for changing things around. I felt unable to continue staying there because I kept getting lost on the drive home from a writers’ conference. It was so weird. Not that I got lost, but at the frequency of it. My GPS threw me off a few times due to the mountains, I found out later.

Well, if you struggle with making the right choice sometimes, like I do, I hope these tips I’ve picked up over the years help you. I learned to make decisions when I’ve caught up on my rest when I can after I visited my relative.

May God bless you big time!

Forgiving God

Totally Forgiving God - When it Seems He Has Betrayed You ebook by R.T. Kendall

A retired pastor at our church started a Bible study last week based on the book, Totally Forgiving God by R. T. Kendall, copyrighted in 2012 and published by Charisma House, Lake Mary, FL.

It’s not like God is capable of making mistakes because He is perfect. With our human thinking, we can’t understand why He made mankind with the ability to act in an evil manner.

This author brings up lots of things to think about. God is perfect but He allows things we can’t fathom. Forgiveness always releases the person doing the forgiving from bitterness and depression and stress and sometimes a devastating illness.

Thelma Wells spoke to a large gathering of women in Syracuse, N.Y. I was privileged to attend with over three years ago. She related about an offense she carried against three women at her church. Not the details of the hurt, but how a really good friend approached her.

She told Thelma something to the affect that Thelma may not want to hear this, but she thought God wanted her to forgive these three ladies.

Thelma wasn’t ready to hear her at that time, but the friend brought it up again later. When she finally took action to forgive the women, something happened.

Thelma had been battling a life-threatening illness that puzzled the doctors. Suddenly, she began to heal and that didn’t make sense to them either. After a total healing over a bit of time, she decided to let the doctor know about her act of forgiveness and that God had healed her!

She wrote a book with many anecdotes and lots of Scripture entitled, Don’t Give In, God Wants You to Win. I also purchased the DVD to show at our church. Harvest House Publisher, Eugene, OR published both items and they were copyrighted in 2009.

She is a great speaker, if you ever get the chance to hear her, I think you’ll be blessed.

Well, tomorrow is a full day and once again, it’s after midnight, although not far past midnight. So may God bless you and keep you in the palm of His loving hand.

“God is love,” 1 John 4:8a (CEV).

Don't Give In God Wants YOU to Win!

Blessed Are the Merciful

Mat 5:7 (TLV) “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”

 

Jesus speaks of mercy, a subject He and the Father know well.

After I pondered this verse, then I read Mary’s praise of God in Luke chapter one to her cousin, Elizabeth in the King James Version of the Bible:

Luk 1:46  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

Luk 1:47  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

Luk 1:48  For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Luk 1:49  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

Luk 1:50  And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Luk 1:51  He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Luk 1:52  He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

Luk 1:53  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

Luk 1:54  He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

Luk 1:55  As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Mercy is a pardon when I deserve a punishment. Kind of like grace, I think. Grace is undeserved merit. So, since Jesus is merciful to us, He wants us to be merciful to others. He took on our punishment so we’d be okay in the Father’s eyes. He wants us to be kind and forgive others, merciful.

As we sow, so shall we reap, it says in Galatians.

Gal_6:7 (KJV) says: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Gal_6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Gal_6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

It’s not easy to be kind and merciful and forgiving when others are being just the opposite, but if we ask Jesus to help us, we can do it. It makes our world a better place, and others may come to Christ if they see us obeying God’s commandments. I know I’ll never be perfect this side of heaven, but when I seek to obey Jesus, He gives me joy.

I remember being really mad at my children and deciding I would not punish at the moment so the punishment was not overly harsh. When it came time to punish, I’d be apt to take them on my lap and explain why I was so mad. Then when I felt they understood, I’d say, “Don’t do that again!”

It took me a while to learn how to discipline. I learned a lot over the years and wish I’d learned sooner rather than later. Thank God that He is all knowing and there is no learning curve with God’s parenting skills. There’s a song out that says, “He’s a good, good Father…It’s Who You are…And I’m loved by You, it’s who I am, it’s who I am…”

I love that song, sung by Chris Tomlin. I’ve also heard it sung by Casting Crowns, excellent as well.

Our merciful, loving God, perfect, absolutely perfect!