Friday, May 22, 2015

Life of continual improvement

Why don't people want to operate in a life of continued improvement? 

I see people falling into these categories: 

  1. They see no need for improvement. They are fine just the way they are.
  2. They are insecure and don't want people to think that they need to improve.
  3. They are prideful and don't want people to know they don't know as much as they put off.

Which category do you fall into? Or do you see more categories? I am sure there are more.

I think I regularly fall into the first one at first and then slip into second one once there is no way around avoiding number one. Meaning, it is too obvious to everybody else that I need to improve in this area (the elephant in the room). 

The reassuring thing about being a Christian is knowing that once God starts a work in you, he will finish the work (unlike my many attempted home improvements).

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Far from being an approved worker, will I ever attain it?

A self examination of my undisciplined life...

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)

I would have to say that the studying is my most prevalent discipline in my life. I daily run for God's Word thirsty. 

I am ashamed to say that I only spend an hour of my morning in prayer before the Lord. Then I turn to Scripture reading and study. And I return here frequently throughout the day until I get home and the wife and kids go to bed and then I am back in the Word reading it until my eyes cannot stay open any longer. My heart echoes the words of Psalm 18, "I love you, O Lord, my strength."

Another spiritual disciple where I engage in and look forward to every week is corporate worship. I see this as a covenant renewal with the body of Christ where we set aside a whole day for worship and fellowship and building one other up for the ministry.  

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV)

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

So I would have to say Scripture Reading & Study, Meditation on Scripture and Worship get the most of my attention. While fasting, prayer and solitude get the least amount of attention. 

I have a long ways to go in my spiritual disciples. Thinking about the spiritual disciplines that I have neglected has made my heart heavy because I know how self-satisfying my flesh is. Why I would rather withhold having quite time with the Lord in favor of satisfying the flesh is beyond me. I must turn to the Father and repent. Peter's words spoken to Simon the Magician are needed for me today.

Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. (Acts 8:22 ESV)

Verses That Guide My Life

Always Be ready to teach and preach.
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2 ESV)

Study the Word before you teach and preach.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)

Growing in Christlike virtues give me increasing confidence that I am saved.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1:10 ESV)

I need to love my wife and be constantly reminded of it.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25 ESV)

Loving God and teaching my children to love God and His Word are important to me.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)

My duty is to fear God and keep His commandments.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Salvation So Great and Free

I was about 16 years old. Our church was having a revival preaching week. Brother Wilkins was bringing the gospel message. The person who brought the most people to revival would be given a new bible. At this time I did not own a bible and really wanted it. So everyday I invited all my friends and family to the revival preaching and I asked my parents to come with me. Everyday my parents would tell me "no". Then later that week my dad was driving my brothers and I to school and he apologized for having to live in the hotel room and having to drive an ugly broken down car. Without missing a beat, I told my dad that it is okay. We have Jesus and that is all that matters. Little did I know that my dad drove home crying that morning after dropping us off at school. 

On Friday I asked my dad again about coming to church so that I could win a bible. God softened his heart and he accompanied his family to church. During the middle of the service my dad got up and walked out. My heart was broken; he did not even sit for the whole thing. After the service was over I had heard that my dad was looking for the pastor and I have to admit that I was a little afraid. I thought oh my, he is really mad. But God was working on my dad. Outside of the church building I saw my mom and dad crying while they talked to the pastor. That night my dad and mom were saved. My dad has since passed on (2002) but my mom is still walking with the Lord and learning to trust in Him daily.

Well I won that bible and gave it to my mom to keep and study from. She still has it to this day. That event would be forever etched in my memory and highly prized. It was the night that God brought salvation to my family and changed things forever.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Honesty Test

How Honest Are You?
Have You Ever…
1. Cheated on a test in school?
2. Misstated facts on a resumé/job application?
3. Called in sick at work when not ill?
4. Taken office supplies from your company for personal use?
5. Shifted blame to a co-worker for a mistake you made?
6. Taken anything valuable from your company—merchandise, money, software—for personal use?
7. Sneaked into a movie or concert without paying?
8. Munched on a food item while grocery shopping and not paid for it?
9. Been undercharged or received too much change from a cashier and not told him or her?
10. Found some unidentified thing of value (jewellery or cash) and not turned it in to the police or to the lost and found?
11. Taken home towels from a hotel or silverware from a restaurant?
12. Downloaded music from an Internet site and not paid?
13. Switched price tags to get a lower price for something you wanted to buy?
14. Not declared to customs the full value of your purchases after a trip abroad?
15. Accidentally damaged an unoccupied car (scraped or dented it) and not left a note with your contact information?
16. Cheated on your tax return (not declared income, or overreported deductions)?
17. Lied to a family member or friend about their appearance to avoid hurting their feelings?
18. Parked in a handicapped parking space when you weren’t entitled to?
19. Lied to your spouse about the cost of a recent purchase?
20. Driven more than 20 mph over the speed limit or gone through a red light knowing you had little chance of getting caught?
21. Lied to your spouse or partner about your relationship with another person?

How do you stack up against our survey respondents? (Due to rounding, numbers don’t add up to 100%.)
High Honesty
(1 to 8 yes’s): 48%
Moderate Honesty
(9 to 16 yes’s): 49%
Low Honesty
(17+ yes’s): 4%