Strong to the End

1 Corinthians 1:8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We rely on our own strength too much to combat temptation. We are not strong enough in our own strength, but more than strong enough if we rely on God’s strength.

My Advice – Do not think that you are too weak to resist temptation, too weak to be obedient. God will keep you strong if you ask Him too.

By Renewing Your Mind

Romans 12:2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – How do we renew our minds and thus be transformed? By allowing Godly thoughts to fill our minds rather than worldly thoughts. This is done through constant prayer, diligently reading His Word and through regular Church attendance and involvement.

My Advice – Don’t believe that you have to conform to the world’s pattern of success and pleasure to be satisfied and happy. Allow God to transform you from the will of the world to His will. It will not disappoint you. You will find that it is good, pleasing and perfect.

 

The Renewal

BEHOLD I MAKE ALL THINGS NEWThen I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2)

The Renewal – The end of Revelation is often described in terms of Continue reading “The Renewal”

No Separation

Romans 8:38-39I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – What can cause God to stop loving a Christian? Absolutely nothing, not now, not ever.

My Advice – Never believe that you’ve done something that has made it impossible for God to love you. Nothing can separate you. Never believe that you were saved in the past but you’ve done something since to change that. Neither the “present nor the future” can change that.

Adversity Into Advantage

Romans 8:28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – This verse does not say that all things will be good for God’s children (the “called” who love Him). It is certain that they will not. But it is also certain that “in” all things God “will” work for our good. God turns adversity into advantage.

My Advice – When you are going through a rough patch, don’t let it get you down by focusing on the trouble. Instead, start looking for the good things that God is working out for you through the trouble, it will give you a lift.

 

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.

The Great White Throne Judgment

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GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENTThen I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)

The Throne – This Great White Throne apparently differs from the throne that is mentioned more than 30 times in Revelation beginning with Revelation 4:2. Earth and sky fled from His (the one sitting on the throne) presence, and there was no place for them.(1) It is a great throne, because Continue reading “The Great White Throne Judgment”