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Archive for the ‘Thought for the Day / Quotes’ Category

When an issue has been dealt with, God throws the offense into the sea of forgetfulness (Micah 7:19), whereas we tend to store our offense in a can on the stove, so we can use the residuals in the preparation of dishes we might want to serve at a later date.

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19th century poet, William Blake observed that, “we become what we behold”, and while that is not a direct quote from scripture, I would argue that the biblical text certainly supports that conclusion.  Throughout the scriptures there are numerous references to our “eyes”, both what we behold (i.e. fix them on), and the lens through which we view things.  New Testament believers are exhorted to fix their eyes on Jesus (Heb.12:2), to stay focused on the eternal (i.e. unseen) things (2Cor.4:18), and to meditate on what is true, and noble, and lovely, and …(Phil.4:8). 

As Paul prays for the believers in Ephesus, he links the condition of their eyes and their hearts, praying that the Lord would open the eyes of their heart (i.e. understanding) to the riches of God’s Kingdom, calling, glory… (Eph.1:18).  The Psalmist prayed similarly, “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!  Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways (Psa.119:36-37)”, and in Proverbs we hear the Father’s exhortation, “Give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways (Pro.23:26).”

The converse of these exhortations are warnings like, bad company corrupts good character (1Cor.15:33), and that if your eye causes you to fall, it is better that you gouge it out (Matt.18:9, Mark 9:47).  To some degree, the sin of covetous is rooted in fixing our gaze on things that God hasn’t ordained for us, and allowing them to penetrate our hearts.  In such instances, our vision becomes tainted, and our ability to discern truth becomes impaired.  The Psalmist repeatedly mentions “haughty eyes” (Ps.18, 101, 131), while Peter speaks of “eyes full of adultery (2Pet.2:14)”.

Undoubtedly, the most substantial scriptural tie to the idea that what we behold, we become, is found in 2Cor.3:18, which says, “But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

In light of these truths, an honest evaluation of what we have fixed our eyes upon would seem to be a prudent step.  Jesus warned, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt.6:22-23)”

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Growth is not the measure of a “successful” ministry.  Weeds grow relentlessly, but they don’t produce nourishing fruit.

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I must confess that I’m not all that interested in money.  It’s not that I don’t have a need for money, or that I don’t see the importance of it, it’s just not something I want to spend a lot of time thinking about.  To be sure, things like interest rates, and compound interest, and Stock Market fluctuations can significantly impact the quality of my day to day life, and my long term future, but I really have no desire to spend the time or energy on tracking trends, buying and selling stocks, and/or managing my investments.  Fortunately, there are guys who know all about that kind of thing, and for a certain percentage of my income, they can do this for me.  As long as I have what I need to make it through the day, and I can feel secure about my long term financial goals, I don’t really need to get involved in all the details.

Unfortunately, this is similar to the approach that many take with God.  We want what God might bring to both our day-to-day life, and to our afterlife, but we’re not really interested in getting all bogged down with things like studying the scriptures, or praying, or trying to have a relationship with an invisible being, so we leave those things to the professionals (e.g. Pastors, Prophets, Priests…).  We show up periodically, get a few encouraging words, contribute a percentage of our income, and hope that our investment was sufficient to secure our eternity.  (Matthew 7:14 & 23)

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When they’ve really pushed you to the edge & you find yourself hoping they’ll just say something, so you can put them on blast. That isn’t a demon’s voice trying to provoke you into some unwanted confrontation.  It’s your voice inviting the demon into the situation / relationship.

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The “Good News” of the gospel is not about the coming storm, it’s about the hope that we have in the midst of rough weather.  If no one is asking about this hope we ought to have (1Pet.3:15), maybe it’s because they don’t see any evidence of it.

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The understanding that apart from Him we can do “nothing” (John 15:5) is meant to drive us toward surrender.   While the revelation that through Him “all things” are possible (Matt.19:26) is meant to facilitate our transformation.

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We tend to view 2Chronicles 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 I will hear…) as a call to prayer, when it’s actually a call to repentance.

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“Beware of Crusades”

(i.e. Battles fought in Jesus’ name that He did not call us to)!

It is a trap for zealous believers

(e.g. James & John-Luke 9:54, Peter-Matt. 26:51, Saul-Acts 8:3).

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At this point in the journey, I’m less likely to ask God to change my circumstances, and more apt to pray that He sustain me in the midst of them, ultimately working them to my good.

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