Consider biblical wisdom…

“A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29:7, 11, 14, 18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/2th.3.5.esv

http://bible.com/59/pro.29.7,11,14,18.esv

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neglecting your best friend…

Remember ‘BFF’? Is that, as they say, still a thing?

Thinking about friendship in Augustine and Lewis lately, these words struck me this morning…

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” ‭‭John‬ ‭15:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Considering all He has done, is doing and will do for me, He is, no doubt, the best friend I could ever imagine.

But when we’re out of touch with someone for a while our connection can wither. In our relationship with our Lord, let’s be diligent to maintain our connection. He said “abide in me.”

Open the Scriptures, pray, abide.

Drink in the nourishment of The Vine.

Daily.

You’re gonna eat aren’t you? Then take spiritual nourishment as well! Nourish your friendship with Jesus.

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The impact of programs …

…generally lasts no longer than the banner announcing them.

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Regularly moving our attention away from the evaporating world around us to things above…

We live in a very distracting time. Paul did too.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/col.3.1-2.esv

Consider this challenge: begin your day with at least 3 chapters of Scripture each morning.  Try three chapters a day from this plan: http://bible.com/r/P

(I go through this once a year to supplement the McCheyne plan.) The Essential 100 gives a great reminder of God’s faithfulness to us. 

If you’re struggling to “get something” from your reading, try reading more. The longer time in God’s word will give your heart and mind a chance to shift from this world to Him. In my life, I’ve experienced that it happens when we read more. Then our prayer becomes more meaningful as our heart and mind are tuned in. One more thought, if you use the ESV, or a translation that has audio, listen as you read. By listening and reading, I’ve seen things following someone else’s speed and cadence that I would have missed. 

And remember you only need to do this on the days you plan to breathe. 

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storm warning and perspective 

Working at my desk yesterday, I heard thunder. I looked at the radar on my phone and saw this…


“Whoa, that must be right outside!” So I stepped out and this is what I saw…


The power, the height, the awesomeness of this cell…

But that’s all it was, a blip on the screen. Compare it to the radar map again.


It’s an orange dot on a zoomed in map. It could not be seen from out here…


See, it’s all perspective. Our loving Father who created the whole deal is greater and more powerful than this universe. 

And He loves you. 

He cares for you. 

What do you have to fear with such a powerful Father as he? 

What?

So change your perspective toward God. Read your Bible. Pray. Make time to let Him be the basis of your perspective. Fear not.

But you really only need to read your Bible pray on the days you plan to breathe.

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it is human to fear, it is normal; but for lovers of God, we have answers…

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 ESV)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. [14] For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14 ESV) but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (B 1:33 ESV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 ESV)

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. [8] He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV)


The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; [23] they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, [18] yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. [19] GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19a ESV)

[34] “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)


“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7 ESV)

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. [17] For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, [18] as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)

Fear can be a window into areas of unbelief in our life. If, as you have read through these Scriptures, you have allowed God to bring you faith, ask Him to show you which areas of your life you need greater faith: money, your family, success, possessions, relationships, your image, etc. as Jesus said: 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)


NOW… Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,… (Ephesians 6:13-18 ESV)

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The yearning heart of a disciple-maker: for fellow disciples’ growth!

“For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:8-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/php.1.8-11.esv

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