Allowing myself to be dominated?

This text just struck me in a fresh way… especially the last clause:

“”All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭ESV)

This shows me in a clear manner that it is up to me to keep myself from being controlled by the things of this world. To do this I must run daily to the throne of grace. May God have mercy.

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Remember that he, who we serve…

… is eternal, he is beyond, he is Jesus and is God, the Son…

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As you read the Bible…

Look not only for what it says about humanity, and God’s interaction with humanity.

Look also – look purposefully for – those truths, reminders and instruction about the greatness of God!

As we focus on the greatness of God, we will see the bigger picture of him, his power, his holiness, and his mercy.

Then we can lay down our needs and trust him in all circumstances.

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thinking lowly about yourself is not the same as humility

I’m prideful.

I think too highly of myself. (This is no revelation to those who know me well.)

Firmly aware of this battle (see Rom. 7:25-8:1), I meditate regularly on Romans 12:3.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (ESV‬‬)

In a recent teaching through this text I noted that we often struggle with looking at ourselves incorrectly. Afterward, a physician present in that teaching pointed out to me that there are many people who struggle with being down on themselves (commonly called, perhaps, poor self esteem). Some even confuse thinking about themselves with humility. It’s not.

If we think about ourselves with “sober judgement” we will not think of ourselves too highly or too lowly. As CSLewis put it, the humble person will not think of herself at all. The humble person is too busy thinking of God and others.

The disciple who is growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (through training the heart and mind) is thinking more and more about God and less about herself.

As I grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, I may realize how valued I am by God. I can find my identity in my loving Father. My identity will come not from what I do, or what people think of me, or in the guilt and shame I may be carrying from childhood.

God loves and values you, dear fellow disciple. We don’t have to measure up. We just need to run to him. Remind yourself of that, think of yourself less, and think of him often. He loves you as you are, unconditionally. I hope we will deepen our understanding of this wonderful truth.

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trusting God in our profession

A successful businessperson admitted her fear of not maintaining her volume of sales. A headmaster admitted a similar fear of not maintaining student enrollment. The leader of a charity was afraid of a drop in donations due to new tax law changes. Students fear bad grades. Athletes fear a losing record. Parents fear for their children’s well being. The list goes on and on.

Fear, it seems is all around us. It is also a valuable indicator for the disciple’s life.

Generally, when I fear, my focus is on a problem. I should say my focus IS the problem. Because when my focus is ON the problem, it is misplaced. My focus is more helpfully placed upon God.

Two verses:

…What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor. ‭4:7‬b)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Col. 3:2)

When I realize I am wrestling with fear or anxiety (not exactly the same) about circumstances, it is most helpful to use the fear as a reminder, an alert, or reminder.

First: All I have is from God anyway, so I need neither a big head nor a fear of failure.

Second: When I discipline myself to keep my focus on God regularly, he, as my focus, relieves me of my fear… because in my fallen state, fear is inevitable.

As I focus on him, my faith increases. As my faith increases, my heart and mind are freed to work at my profession with freedom and joy as I do my best and then…

trust him for the result!


A longer list of texts I use for meditating when I find myself afraid in circumstances is HERE.

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Entering 2020 with fresh reminders no

There’s nothing new in what I’m posting here. But it’s a fresh reminder to us from one of the clearest younger thinkers about the Bible, Matt Smethurst of the Gospel Coalition.

How not to read your Bible in 2020:

1. Don’t overextend.

2. Don’t do it alone.

3. Don’t just do it whenever.

4. Don’t live as if Paul lied.

5. Don’t turn a means of grace into a means of merit.

Here’s my brief explanation:

How not to read your Bible in 2020:

1. Don’t overextend.

If you’ve had trouble keeping up with plans that have 4-7 chapters a day, try a plan that has 1-2 so you can be faithful.

2. Don’t do it alone.

Get serious about sharing your observations from reading with your fellow-disciples.

3. Don’t just do it whenever.

Set a time and have a place for your daily reading, it really helps.

4. Don’t live as if Paul lied.

Apply the text (even Leviticus is written to encourage us*) to your heart and mind so you can live it in your life.

5. Don’t turn a means of grace into a means of merit.

You don’t get points with God for your devotions, Jesus earned your salvation for you. We DO get closer to our holy and loving Father as we abide in his word.**

Matt’s entire helpful article with broader and clearer explanation is here for the clicking.

* Recently a guy came up to me and asked “What encouragement can I find in Leviticus?” Fortunately, I had just finished or was near my annual reading of Leviticus and had been reminded of this: Just as God cared about intricate details in the law, he knows and cares about the intricate details of my life. Even the most detailed plans about the tabernacle were important to God. Therefore he cares about you and me!

** I view my Bible reading as a means of encouragement, reminder, and preparation. It encourages me forward to follow Jesus. It reminds me of my sin and his holiness. It prepared my heart and mind to pray. Keller noted in a sermon this past fall “Petitionary prayer only works if you understand the father child relationship.” As I read and meditate on Scripture I’m reminded of my Father’s mercy and love. I’m invited to his loving lap on the throne of grace.

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Consider…

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