Lessons Learned, Pitfalls Avoided

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2 Samuel 11:1-4,14-15In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite? Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”  (NIV 1984)

2 Samuel 12:7-9Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.”  (NIV 1984)

2 Samuel 12:13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – David was not where he was supposed to be.  He was supposed to go off to war with his army, but he stayed at home.  In his idleness (boredom), he ended up being where he should not have been and seeing what he should not have seen, which led him to do what he should not have done.  One sin (adultery) led to another (murder).  Yet,  [God] testified concerning him: “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22, NIV 1978)

How can this be?  Surely not because of his sins (they were horrible),  but because of how he responded when confronted.  No excuses, no shifting the blame and no denials.  Confession and repentance. Like David (maybe not as bad as David), we all make mistakes (sin).  Of course it is always better for us not to sin in the first place.  Often we can avoid sin by being where we should be and not where we should not be (if Eve did not want to eat the “apple,” why was she hanging around the tree?).  But when we do sin we need to respond like David.  There may be consequences (there were for David and Bathsheba – their child conceived in sin died), but our sins will be “taken away.”  For, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9, NIV 1984)

My Advice – We all heard the sage advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Prevention can mean avoiding idleness.  Making sure we are where God wants us to be.  When we know the “fruit” is forbidden (and we do), not hanging around it.  Nonetheless, whenever the inevitable sin occurs (and it does not “just” occur), recognize that we “are the man (or woman)” and respond appropriately.

If He Repents…

Luke 17:3If your brother sins rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We like the part where we get to rebuke, and we are quick to do so. But when it comes time to forgive, we would rather maintain a grudge. This should not be.

My Advice – Always be willing to forgive sincere repentance, no matter how badly you were wronged. Just imagine what it would be like if God had been unwilling to forgive.

Still A Long Way

Luke 15:20 – “But while he was still a long way off, his Father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; He ran to His son, threw His arms around him and kissed him.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – The first thing to note is that the Father was expecting the son’s return. He was looking for Him. The second thing to note is that the son did not have to meet his father all the way or even halfway. While he was a “long” way off the Father ran to meet him. Finally, the Father welcomed the wayward son back.

My Advice – Do not be hesitant to move back towards God, believing that you are unworthy to be called His child. He is watching for you and will run to meet you with outstretched arms.

Disciplined With Justice

Jeremiah 46:28 – “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – God is gracious to us, even when we are disciplined. The ungodly around us (“nations”) He may completely destroy because of their refusal to accept His Son. But we are His children. He will correct us when necessary.

My Advice – Accept the Lord’s discipline, whenever it comes, as a privilege of being a child of God.

Turning Away or Stirring Up?

Proverbs 15:1A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Responding gently does not mean that we have to be a doormat. But it does show that we value relationships, peace and reconciliation over rights, strife and pride.

My Advice – You will have many opportunities to respond harshly to others. But even when you are wronged, and may be justified in answering harshly, try a gentle response. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how often this turns enemies into friends rather than affirming their animosity and how well it maintains rather than damages relationships.

Wasting Away Again

Psalms 32:3-5When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning. Day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity…and You forgave the guilt of my sin. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We think that by keeping silent the guilt will go away. Instead, we groan and waste away. We think God will relent in time, but His hand grows heavier. We think we can cover it up and God will not see. Better to confess and expose the sin, secure God’s forgiveness, and move on.

My Advice – There is nothing to be gained by being stubborn and not confessing sin. Deal with it quickly and decisively. Until you do, you will be miserable. When you do, God will forgive you and bring you relief.

Whatever Happened to Sanctity of Life?

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INTRODUCTION

Pro-Choice – A political view that believes abortion should continue to be legal and accessible. Pro-choice is not necessarily pro-abortion, but merely being in support of a woman’s having the option available (Urban Dictionary).

Pro-Life – Advocating the legal protection of human embryos and fetuses, especially by favoring the outlawing of abortion on the ground that it is the taking of a human life (The Free Dictionary).

THE BASIC FACTS OF LIFE – THE ABC’S

Abortion – The termination of a pregnancy after, Continue reading “Whatever Happened to Sanctity of Life?”