Brought Down or Rising Up?

img052 (4)

Proverbs 24:16 –  [F]or though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (NIV 1984)

Seven musings to inspire us to rise again and not be brought down.

Billy Graham – “Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.”
My Musing – The fact that we all make mistakes is not an excuse to repeat them or wallow in them.
Rick Warren – “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
My Musing – We are only prisoners if we choose to be, because Christ has set us free.
Colin Powell – “There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
My Musing – Like Paul, we need to press on.
Abraham Lincoln – “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”
My Musing – What could be more dangerous than being content with our failures, with our life of sin?
Barack Obama – “The real test is not whether you avoid failure, because you won’t.  It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it.”
My Musing – We may not be able to avoid failure, but we can avoid situations that lead to failure.  If you don’t want to eat the apple, quit hanging around the tree.
C. S. Lewis – “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.” — C. S. Lewis
My Musing – A steady upward progress is often difficult to measure except in retrospect,
Winston Churchill – “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”
My Musing – Unfortunately we often keep going back to the same old tree.
My Advice – As Christians, our eraser (confession and repentance) that will always outlast the pencil (our sins).  But that does not give us license to sin.  And what a mess all those eraser crumbs can leave.  To obey is better than sacrifice (asking for forgiveness).

Who You Going to Please?

1 Thessalonians 2:4-6We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts…God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – It seems we live our lives trying to please everyone but God, when pleasing Him should be our first priority. This does not mean that we don’t try to please others (or ourselves) it is simply a question of priority.

My Advice – Live your life to please God first, not yourself or anyone else. You’ll be surprised how pleasing it will be to you too.

Flight and Fight

Screenshot (365)

1 Timothy 6:11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Here’s a novel thought.  How about accepting responsibility, playing by the rules, listening to your critics (they just might be right) and telling the truth.  There will be no need to redefine success or try again.

My Advice – Know when to fight and know when to flight.

Screenshot (255)

 

Hollow and Deceptive

Colossians 2:8, 20See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ…you died to the basic principles of this world, why as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch! (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Eve found out that even just a taste caused her, and all generations thereafter, to be slaves of sin. We’ve been set free by the blood of Christ, yet we continue to taste the world’s “pleasures.” Paul asks why, because we no longer have to submit to Satan’s deception.

My Advice – Sift carefully through the things that people try to get you to buy in to. They might sound good on the surface, but if they are inconsistent with the Word do not handle, taste or touch.

You Know His Voice

Galatians 5:16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – A battle is being waged within us. A skirmish that is not necessary, because the war has already been won.

My Advice – The Spirit lives within you. Listen to Him. You know His voice. He is the feeling of uneasiness you feel when faced with certain choices, the sense of unrest when you’ve made the wrong choice and the feeling of peace when you know that you have.

What Is Truth?

Screenshot (352)

Isaiah 5:20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (NIV 1984)

Jack Ryan: You’re going to jail, pal!
Ritter: [seeing Ryan holding a piece of paper] What is that? What is it you think you have there?
Jack Ryan: You broke the law.
Ritter: You are such a Boy Scout! You see everything in black and white!
Jack Ryan: No, no, no! Not black and white Ritter, right and wrong!

Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 film based on the book of the same name by Tom Clancy.

2 Timothy 4:3I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (NIV 1984)

Turner: Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 film about a bookish CIA researcher who finds all his colleagues dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

John 18:37Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV 1984)

Pontius Pilate: “What is truth?”

From the trial of Jesus Christ, circa 33 AD.

My Musings – If there was any time we needed Continue reading “What Is Truth?”

Stand Firm

1 Corinthians 16:13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – God gives us the strength and courage to stand firm in the faith. But we can become careless and let down our guard, resulting in a fall.

My Advice – No matter how much opposition you encounter to your faith in God, do not let it move you. Stand firm. Have courage. Be strong. God is with you.