2 Corinthians 7:8-10 – Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it–I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a while–yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Sometimes we hurt the people we love when we point out errors to them. But if it is the truth, and if it is done in love, like Paul, we need not regret it. The hurt will last only a little while, but the result of repentance restores not only their relationship with you, but with God.
My Advice – I am happy to give you advice, even if some of it hurts a bit, if it keeps you on the right track or helps put you back on the right track. Accept my advice for what it really is, a labor of love and concern for my son.
Psalm 145:18 – The LORD is near to all who call on him. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – At times, He seems distant to me, most likely because I have distanced myself from Him, not because He does not want to be close to me. At times, my prayers seem to go no further than the ceiling, but that does not mean that He is not listening. At times, I feel so empty of Him, but that does not mean His Spirit has departed from me.
My Advice – If you feel the same at times, ask yourself what I ask myself – “who moved?” Like the prodigal, we may have fallen, but we can “fall back.” We can return. Like the prodigal’s Father He’s watching for our return.
Zechariah 10:6-10 – “I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them. Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. I will bring them back.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Sometimes (often) we go our own way. We wander among the worldly (distant lands) and forget the ways of God. God will allow us this freedom, but He remains in our hearts (we survive). Eventually we remember Him and desire to leave our worldly lifestyle. Out of His great compassion He brings us back and restores us.
My Advice – There will likely be times when you wander in “distant lands” and do not walk with God. Always remember that you cannot wander so far that His arms cannot reach you to welcome you back. You will find that the first step of the return journey may be real hard. But once you take that first step, demonstrating your willingness to turn back, God will carry you the rest of the way.
Hosea 5:4 – Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We cannot return to God if we are holding onto deeds that are pulling us away from Him. We have to let go, so we can turn around.
My Advice – Hold onto things of this world loosely. Do not let them turn into deeds that will prevent you from having fellowship with God.
Ezekiel 18:23 – “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the Sovereign Lord. “Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their wicked ways and live?” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – There are two ways we can turn from sin. One is to first fall into sin, then later repent (turn back from). The other is to be confronted by sin and to refuse to give in (turn away from). To turn away is better than to turn back, but God is pleased when we do either.
My Advice – Make it a goal of your life to please God.
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)
In Congress, July 4, 1776 – The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, Continue reading “Revolutionary Declarations”
2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – The world keeps getting worse all the time. We would like to blame the worldly for the problems our country faces. But we cannot. The responsibility rests squarely with those called by His name: Christians.
My Advice – Be humble, not arrogant, boastful or proud. Pray often, do not be a stranger to God. Seek His guidance rather than the counsel of those that the world consider wise. Do not follow the ways of the world, but rather go in the opposite direction. Do these things and you can be confident that God will hear, heal and respond.