No Authority Except

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Romans 13:1-2 – “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”  (NIV 1984)

Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”

George Washington – “It is impossible to govern the world without God. It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly implore his protection and favor.”

Abraham Lincoln – “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

John F. Kennedy – “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

Ronald Reagan – “America was founded by people who believe that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side.”

My Musings – Our country is not perfect.  These men, who rose to become its leaders, were not without their flaws.  But I would like to think that our nation was established and has been favored by God because of its ideals and the shared sentiments of men like these and the citizens they led.  My hope is that it would grow even stronger in these convictions.  My fear is that they are rapidly crumbling.

My Advice – Acknowledge God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirror Images

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2 Timothy 1:2-6, 13To Joel, my dear son. I thank God as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandparents and in your mother and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  (NIV 1978, A personalized paraphrase)

My Musings – Most of my musings over the past couple of years have come from a book of daily devotions that I wrote for my son when he graduated from college.  He had spent the better part of his life getting “educated,” and I guess I wanted one last shot at offering my advice before he launched off on his own, putting his education to work.  The above “personalized” verses from 2 Timothy was my last entry in the book, and my last musing from that book.

Originally entitled “A Father’s Devotions,” I have for some time now been referring to them as “A Dad’s Devotions.”  I also added a subtitle, “Reflections from God’s Word.”  Why the “subtle” change?  I think the following sums up my thoughts.

Dad & Father – “The main difference between a father and a dad is that father is biological; however, a dad’s relationship is emotional. Fathering is an act of nature, while, being a dad is all about nurture. It is much easier to become a father, many even do it unintentionally; however, it is much harder to commit to becoming a dad.(http://www.differencebetween.info)

I am Joel’s father. I grew at being Joel’s dad, or at least I like to think so.  Nature and nurture.

Devotions – 1) Love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person [as in a dad for his son], activity, or cause.  2) An act of prayer or private worship.

I loved the dual-meaning of the word and how it played into my writings to him.

Reflections – 1) A thought, idea, opinion formed, or a remark made as a result of meditation. 2) An effect produced by an influence [as in a dad on his son]. 3) The production of an image by or as if by a mirror.

I wanted to provide Joel with some thoughts, ideas and opinions to meditate upon, while in the process doing my best to be a positive influence.  Not to make him a mirror-image of me, but to allow him to grow in likeness to his Savior.

Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. Listen to your father, who gave you life [your dad who gave you nurturing]. (Proverbs 23:19, 22, NIV 1978)

My AdviceJoel believed my musings were worth sharing on my blog.  I hope you have liked and been inspired by a few.  Inspired to grow closer in relationship with our Abba (an Aramaic term for father suggesting familial intimacy – dad?) Father, by becoming more like His Son Jesus Christ, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV 1978).

How are you doing?  Are reflections in mirror as close as they appear?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything That Is Needed

2 Peter 1:3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We go through life thinking “if only we had this or that” we would have everything we need. Often, we get it and find that we “need” more, not realizing that as children of God we had all that we needed all along. (NIV 1978)

My Advice – Long before you went to college, you had everything that you needed for life. Just because you now have knowledge through a formal education, do not think that your need for increased knowledge of Him has been superseded or diminished.

While We Wait

Titus 2:11-12For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and Godly lives in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Some would say that grace gives us the freedom to live our lives in any way we see fit, whether worldly or Godly, because we are no longer under the law. Yes, we are no longer under the law, but God’s grace not only saves us (where the law could not), it teaches us to live Godly lives and say no to behavior that the law condemns (which the law could not).

My Advice – Allow God’s grace to not only save you (which it has) but to lead you to consistently live a Godly life. With God’s grace, you can “just say no” to temptation.

You Can Take It With You

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Job 1:21 – “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,  and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (NIV 1984)

My Musing – In reality, you can take it with you.  Not the possessions you might accumulate in this life of course.  You might actually die with these things possessing you instead of you possessing them.  Whichever is the case, you must relinquish them as you pass into eternity – whatever your final destination.  But there are some things that you can take with you.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:3-7)

What He has given us is not measured by the abundance of our possession or the wealth that we may happen to accumulate over a lifetime.  These may not even last our lifetime, and we certainly cannot take them with us.  But the above qualities can be ours, and we will take them with us into eternity.  How much the measure increases (1 Peter 3:8) in this lifetime, and how much we carry into the next life, is entirely up to us.  You see, “it’s not how much you [possess] but what you do with what you have [been given].”  So how full have you packed your suitcase?