Sunday, December 5, 2010

Too Earthly Minded, No Heavenly Good

About a month ago I was at a business meeting for work. My boss handed out a sheet of paper that had several questions to answer like, "What is in a Ahi Steak Salad?" or "When was the last time you degreased the walls?" The last question was, "When was the last time you feel you went out of your way to serve at Don Juan's?" There were many answers to that question like doing someone else's job, coming in on the day off, and staying late to mop floors, but when those were discussed I started thinking about if those things were really above and beyond the call of duty.
As a little girl my mom would designate cleaning days. She would tell me that I was on her clock, to a certain extent, an employee. She taught me that anything that I was asked to do during that time should be done immediately, well, and without complaining. If by dinner I had not completed those allotted tasks, I was expected to continue working until bedtime and finish them the next day.
As an employee I can apply these same principles. Anything my shift is required to complete should be done before we leave. If this means helping a co-worker, picking up a shift, or staying late to do chores, it is a requirement. It is my duty to do it well. When I signed the line and clocked in for the first time, I was agreeing to give my bosses my time to do with as they pleased. Nothing that was asked of me during that time was outside of my duty. Living up to their high standards is part of the requirement.
This realization enabled me to apply this to my Christian walk. When I accepted Christ as my Savior, I agreed to live up to His standards until He clocks me out. He gave me a guide book, so I can learn His requirements and live up to His standard. This means that I need to actively apply everything He commands in my life and actively resist everything I am called to prohibit. While this task is daunting, He gives me others to help me, the Holy Spirit to guide me, and the ability to live up to His standard. All the rest of the time I have is His. He died for me, so that I might live. As it ays in the Old Testament, " A Life for a Life." It isn't a suggestion it is a job requirement.
Some say that living like this would make a person so heavenly minded they are no earthly good. I disagree. A real and dangerous issue in Christianity today is the rise of Christians who are messing around and not doing their job. In the Bible it says that if we don't take care of it, God will step in and "clock them out early." We all need to be reminded that we are living on His time and we should also be wary of becoming Christians who are too earthly minded that they are no heavenly good.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Living Life Proverbially - Continued

Last time I began the key themes in Proverbs with Fearing the Lord

2) Pursue Wisdom - Proverbs 1:2, Proverbs 2:2
- Don't Follow Sinners - Proverbs 1:10-12
- Calamity will come if you do not - Proverbs 1:27-30
- Those who listen will be safe - Proverbs 1:33
-If you seek her, you will find her - Proverbs 2:3-6
- Wisdom is more precious than jewels - Proverbs 3: 13-20
-Keep Wisdom with you always - Proverbs 3: 21-23
-Prize her - Proverbs 4:4-8

3) Listen to your parents' teaching- Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 3:1, Proverbs 4:1-2
- Do not be wise in your own eyes - Proverbs 3:7-8
- Do good always, at any time - Proverbs 3:27-28
- Put away deceitful speech - Proverbs 4:23-24
- Obey your parents - Proverbs 6:20
- Be guided by your parents - Proverbs 6:21-23

These are only a few of the themes in Proverbs, but still it takes a lifetime to apply them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Living Life Proverbially

We often hear, " A penny saved is a penny earned." or , "A closed mouth catches no flies.". Proverbs have been used in every country in every era and the best ones are carried on for generations. Proverbs are universal statements that contain advice on how to live. As they say, "A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs."
But we are not of this world, Christians, it says in Hebrews, "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." As "nomads of the earth" we have a complete set of proverbs to live by. We are given by Solomon thirty-one chapters of principles to learn. Unfortunately I do not think that we take them to heart as we should. I found forty life principles in the first six chapters. While I will not share all forty, I would like to share the themes the principles rest upon.

1) Fear the Lord - Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 3:7
- He is your shield and protector - Proverbs 2:7-8
- Trust in the Lord - Proverbs 3:5-6
- Give God the first of all you have - Proverbs 3:9
- Do not reject His discipline - Proverbs 3:11
- There are seven things the Lord hates - Proverbs 6: 16-19
- Pride
- Lies
- Murder
- Malicious Heart
- Desires Evil
- False Witness
- Contentious One

The Proverbial Challenge:
Try living up to the standards of Proverbs. Once we know these things we can't ignore them. It is hard, but who said being a Christian was easy?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coming of Age

Lately, I haven't been as good about blogging. From life decisions to jobs and looking for scholarships I haven't had much time to read or pretty much do anything. Somewhere in the midst of it all I lost a my focus on the big picture and forget to apply what I have learned in the last few years to life now. You would thing after reading as many coming-of-age and advice for life books as I have I would at least know what to do, but apparently everyone has to live it for themselves and learn that pursuing God is the only way to live. He has a plan and He will guide me. I just need to trust Him and be patient. I know that even if what I want now falls through I can trust Him with my future and live life laterally.
Hopefully, I will be blogging more often. I just picked up a George McDonald Treasury and the Manchurian President to read. Also I am reading Proverbs right now and listing all the principles to live by. I can't wait to share all of this with you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Short Break: Righteousness and Complacency

Lately I have been led to really pursue righteousness for a Christian this might seem pretty self explanatory, but I was surprised at how difficult it is to move out of the complacency in some areas of my life. I realized the things that were keeping me from Christ were not what I was doing, but what I wasn't doing. I wasn't spending enough time with HIm, I wasn't renewing my mind daily, I wasn't focused on HIm. I started thinking about how I would begin a good relationship with someone and realized that I would make room for some one I really cared about, I would go after them and not stop thinking about them. It says in Matthew 5:6, " Blessed are those who pursue righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of God." My prayer right now is that I will have the strength and perseverance to continually pursue something I will never fully grasp in this life.
In Deuteronomy it says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. In 1 Timothy it says, "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Paul had poured out himself until all that was left was God and His grace. That is all that deserves to control my life. How about yours?

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Man Is Only As Good As His Thoughts: Genesis 6:5

" The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the face of the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" - Genesis 6:5

It says in many places in the Bible that sin originates in the mind. As men we are just as capable of sinning with our thoughts as we are of sinning physically in some cases even more so because we forget that there is an ever present Watcher who knows our thoughts. In Christ we are called to hold our thoughts captive to the Word and love God with all our heart soul mind and strength bending every wayward idea to Christ's standard. In the time of Noah these men were constantly dwelling on evil causing their words and deeds to become increasingly evil to point where, "seeking to become wise they became fools exchanging the truth of God for a lie worshipping the creature rather than the Creator" (Rom 1: 22-23)
Because of man's fallen nature he desires evil; there is no good in him. As Christians we must not allow ourselves to be led astray by those who should be led to Christ. Our thoughts can be held captive by Christ or the World and we must fight to "work out our salvation with fear and, trembling for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work His good pleasure."
(Phil. 2: 12b-13)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Am I My Brothers Keeper?

Cain's arrogance in chapter four of Genesis is covering up the guilt for the murder of his brother. Thinking he can fool God he tries to blow Him off with a sarcastic retort about whether or not it is his (Cain's) job to keep track of Able. God calls Cain on it telling him what he has done and cursing him to the life of a nomad.
But this all roots from Cain's rebellious spirit. Earlier in this chapter Cain's sacrifice is rejected because he does not present the Lord with the right offering. The offering here shows that Cain's heart was not in the right place. God calls for obedience to His commands. At this time it was a lamb for an offering symbolizing the coming Christ. Cain gave his first fruits instead. As a result of this rejection Cain became angry with Able because God favored him for obeying Him. Thus, Cain killed Able.
It is interesting to note that although Cain was bothered when he was asked where Able was, there is no sign that he was just as disgruntled when God told Him his sin. Don't we do the same? Can't we be just as hypocritical? We are bothered by the inconvenience of responsibility, but at the same time are taught by the culture that sin is fine and to be expected making it all the more difficult to be in the world, but not of it.