Guarding Your Heart

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Proverbs 4:23Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We need to be alert to actions and thoughts that are contrary to our hearts. No matter how insignificant that they may seem. Because eventually they will pollute our hearts. Changes in the heart will almost always affect what you think, how you act and who you are (wellspring of life). It may be a slow process (like erosion) but changes in the heart are harder to correct.

My Advice – Do not kid yourself by thinking that you can brush up against sin and not become entangled. You cannot simply just have a bite, because one bite calls for another. Avoid situations that you know are wrong but are tempted by. Stay away, turn around, flee from them.

Corrective Lenses

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My Musings – Sometimes, perhaps more often than we care to admit, we view life through the lens of worldliness.  We may think we are seeing clearly, but we are only seeing a distorted view of what God intends.  We do not necessarily adjust as quickly as we might like (or as God might like) to seeing things through our Father’s lenses.  As we grow in Christlikeness, however, seeing through the worldly lens becomes blurrier and the seeing through the Father’s lens become clearer.  But even then we can only see a poor reflection in this life.  When we at least see Him face-to-face, we will no longer need corrective lenses.

My Advice – Look through the Father’s lenses (the Word, prayer, worship, fellowship, etc.).

 

The Beast

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THE BEAST FROM THE SEAAnd I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (Revelation 13:1b-10)

The Coming of the Beast, Second Person of the Unholy Trinity – The Greek word used here for Beast means wild beast. Man becomes beastly when he severs himself from God, in whose image he was first made. World leaders and powers seeking their own glory, and not God’s, are represented as beasts. A classic example was Continue reading “The Beast”

Despising Discipline, Resenting Rebuke?

Proverbs 3:11, 12My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Usually we do despise it, crying out “God, why are You doing this to me?” Rather we should be asking, “God, what do You want me to learn from this?”

My Advice –  I trust that you do not despise your mom and me for the times we had to discipline you as you were growing up. You may not have liked it at the time, but perhaps now, you see them as acts of love. View God’s discipline the same way whenever it comes your way. His motives will be purer than ours ever were, and backed by a love that is even deeper than ours is.

The Dragon

THE DRAGONAnd the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. (Revelation 13:1a)

Enter the Dragon, First Person of the Unholy Trinity – As previously discussed, Revelation 12:9 identifies the dragon as Satan.(1) At one time the highest of God’s angels, he tried to usurp the throne of God and capture the worship that belongs only to God (Matthew 4:8–10). “I will be like the Most High” reveals his basic strategy, for he is an imitator (Isaiah 14:14; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15).(2) He aspires to the position of God the Father, the first person of the Trinity.

Stood on the Shore of the Sea – Literally upon the sand, using the same word that is used for the innumerable multitude in Revelation 20:8.(3) The phrase foreshadows what is about to come, the summoning and coronation by Satan of the beast from the sea, the anti-Christ.(4) At least one commentator insists that “stood on the shore of the sea” means across the ocean. The commentator connects this with the beast arising out of the sea (the nations, or more specifically nations arising from the geographic area comprising the ancient Roman Empire). Of course, only one nation is comprised of such nations and settled across the ocean – the United States.(5)

Power, Throne and Authority – The dragon will give the beast from the sea his power, throne and authority and he will work through this beast. Satan claimed that he had this power when he tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:9; Luke 4:6) and Christ called Satan the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).(6) Since the dragon bestowed his power on the beast, the beast will share many of the dragon’s characteristics.(7) This new world ruler will use his position to exercise “authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (Revelation 13:7). He will be worshipped by all who do not belong to God (Revelation 13:8). Satan, who has always yearned for the worship and the place belonging to God alone, will seemingly achieve that goal on earth through the counterfeit Christ (anti-Christ) who will rule in his name.(8)

Up Next – The Beast from the sea.

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Continue reading “The Dragon”

Discipline and Prudence

Proverbs 1:2-5For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (NIV 1978)

My Musing – This book has valuable information for both the simple and wise. You are never too simple to learn these lessons and never too wise that you do not need them.

My Advice – You would do well to make this a book in your Bible with pages that are unusually worn. The advice is timeless, practical and true. Consult it often. No matter how wise you think you’ve become, always be willing to listen.