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Wisdom for the Day

Perfect is impossible and is bound up in pride.

Are there earthly goals that you just have to achieve before you die and go to heaven?  Then you are telling God that the things of earth are better and more important that what He has prepared for you in heaven.

Impatience is always an expression of entitlement.

If you think you have enough wisdom and resources to manage your life, you are delusional.

The only competition a husband and wife should be in is to out-serve each other.

Dissatisfaction is one of the most destructive emotions we can have.

It’s sad that it usually takes becoming poor yourself to finally show compassion to the poor.

You are NOT one possession short of happiness and satisfaction.

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“Rise up, O men of God”

“Rise up, O men of God”

I heard this old hymn recently and I was struck by the first verse:

“Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
to serve the King of kings.”

A.W. Tozer wrote

“What we think about when we are free to think about what we will – that is what we are or will soon become.”

How many of us are caught up with “lesser things”?  I know I deal with this.  I get so caught up (either on purpose or by default) with stuff that just doesn’t matter, has no bearing on anything eternal.  I waste time on frivolous thoughts and activities.  YouTube, for example,  is a brain sucker and time waster.   Hours of it,  no matter how educational (that’s what you watch on YouTube, right?) is still a waste of time, a lesser thing, a non-essential to the Kingdom thing.  I don’t do Facebook, but I understand that it is exhibit A of lesser things, where lesser things are the main thing.

Here are some questions on “lesser things” that hopefully will be thought provoking for you:

– Is the amount of time you think about (and spend time and money on) your hobbies, shopping and sports truly really wisely spent or are they in the category of “lesser things”?

– Are the good things you are dedicated to just not really so important, in the eternal view of things?  Are they something Jesus would recommend for you to think about, to do, along these lines:  “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things”?

– Are your idle thoughts about most everything else except Jesus?  When your thoughts wander, do they go to the incredible God you serve, and the inscrutable Mercy He has shown you, and to His abundant undeserved Grace?  Are we taken up with Jesus, His person, His love and the sacrifice He made for our salvation?  Do we think about our sin and how we need to repent and be living Holy lives for a Holy God? Or do your thoughts wander to the inane, inconsequential, often profane, non-eternal things?

– When you wake up in the morning, are your first thoughts not worthy of One Who’s sins have been forgiven by the precious Blood of Jesus?

– Have you really given your all to serve God or are you serving yourself?

– What does your credit card statements reflect about your priorities: are they lesser things or the greater things of God?

– Are the books and magazines you read part of the world’s system, designed to lure you away from God, or are the words that cross your eyes uplifting you, causing you to hunger and thirst for righteousness?

– Does your browser history show that you are dedicated to righteousness or folly?

– Are the text messages you send uplifting, pointing others to God as the Source of all wisdom and knowledge and power or are they about the inane and frivolous and trite, “lesser things”?

–  God said you are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,  and with all your strength, and with all your mind.”  With what goes on in your heart, soul, body and mind, have you really given all to Jesus?

– With our hands raised and eyes closed, we sing, “All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give.”   Really?  Or was that just a bald face lie in the face of God to impress others and make us feel like we are dedicated believers and followers of Jesus?

– Are we in the church today pursuing the lesser things of buildings, calendars, status, numbers and image management? Are we pursuing the furthering of the Kingdom of God, in our time and budgets, giving “heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings”,  or are we pursuing our own little kingdom?

For if we truly sang, “Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things” and took Tozer seriously, with sincerity in our most private inward being, in spirit and in truth, then our lives would look a lot different than they do today.  Most of what we think is important would fall away, and only Jesus and the things of God would become important.

We would pursue upward thoughts, be passionate for God’s Word.  Our first thoughts in the morning and our last thoughts at night would be thoughts of God.  We would seek out those who have like minds, so we can think God-thoughts together.  Our gatherings would be God-centered, prayer-centered, Scripture-centered, and not for our comfort and “felt needs”.   We would become dedicated to the most important ideas and things in life, the things that God wants us to think, and we would become an oddity to our friends and neighbors, because we would no longer think, look or speak like them.  We would be dedicated to the eternal issues of life, to the things that transcend our short time here.  We would become sober-minded, not caught up with the latest fad, the latest styles, the latest personality.  We would become people who “live on purpose”, instead of living haphazardly, or living vicariously through others.  We would live as if eternity matters, and our mantra would be “the world has nothing to offer”.

Is that what we see in the Christian culture today or are we caught up with the inconsequential, lesser things?   Is that what you see in your life?

May we truly be done with lesser things, and with all our being, embrace the most important things.  We will find that life will finally have meaning, and we will have the satisfaction that our lives are a part of something God-ordained, something bigger than ourselves, something lasting, something eternal.

 

Wisdom for the Day

Because the cure is so painful, radical and life changing, a person must be absolutely convinced they have cancer before submitting to the cure.  So it is with sin.  JP

Self fulfillment is not the chief end of man, and is the least, on any long list of lofty goals one might want to achieve in this life.  JP

For the true believer, there will be a noticeable change in what one loves and fears.

We can either take the safe path or follow God.  Very rarely are they the same.

When God asks you to do something, you can think yourself right out of it.

You have to be ministry before you can do ministry.

Would you still worship God for Who He is if there were no benefits for doing so?

Woodworking Tips and Tricks…How to open a can.

This seems so small a thing but I think it’s worth passing on.

When I was an apprentice (a very long time ago),  I was going to open a putty can with the corner tip of the putty knife.  Seems like an appropriate thing to do, since you are going to use putty and you have a putty knife in your hand.  A journeyman gently corrected me that if I continued with my present action, I would promptly break off the tip of the knife.  To properly open the can, you use the side of the putty knife up towards the handle where it’s thicker and won’t break.

I have gone through gallons of putty (in pint cans) over the years and have never broken a putty knife  opening a can, thanks to that kind journeyman.  Now if you can’t find your putty knife or are opening a can of stain or paint, a chisel is the tool to use….No?  I thought chisels were the go-to tool of choice for opening cans, substitute screwdriver, and general all around pry bar….maybe the journeyman should have clued me in on those too.  But then maybe he did and I wasn’t listening.  Apprentices have a habit of doing that.  Especially young, last-born apprentices.

Of course if you do break it, they make a great scraper that can be ground to whatever shape is needed; it’s really hard steel and works great.

A note on putty knives:  by two.  Buy a real flexible one for putty and a stiff one for taking things apart.  I just used a stiff one taking off glue blocks on a table I am working on.  It is so thin, it slides between the two pieces of wood and gently pries them apart.  It shears the glue line and most of the time makes a clean break, unlike using a chisel, screwdriver (another great use for a tool…) or just banging on it with a hammer….

 

Wisdom for the Day

Even a torn, dirty and wrinkled $100 bill has intrinsic value.

There is not enough gravitational mass in the people, things and circumstances of your little solar system to help you hold it all together.  Only God has that power.

Running the universe is way above your pay scale.  Relax; God’s got it all under control.

Nobody can truly repent in secrecy.

One of the most courageous prayers a Christian can pray is, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Christianity is the only religion where one innocent person pays for the sins of all the rest.

Good people don’t go to heaven, and the harder you try, the more guaranteed you won’t go there.

If you think you only need God’s strength for the hard times, you are sadly mistaken.

Am I trying to manage other people’s perception of me?  It’s a battle that can’t be won.

 

Quotes from Books…Gods at War by Kyle Idleman

More quotes from the book Gods at War, by Kyle Idleman.  Convicting book.  Buy it.  Read it.


People spend their lives worshiping a god that takes away everything and leaves nothing.

What you think about ultimately has a lot do with which god will win the war.

What roads am I building or reinforcing in my mind?  Where will those roads lead?

[Sex is] a beautiful gift and a tyrant of a god.

What looked like pleasure was actually poison….”freedom” really meant destruction.

When the gift causes us to worship the Giver, we discover the Giver gives us His gifts all the more abundantly.

Our cultural obsession with entertainment is essentially a surrogate religion.

Wisdom for the Day

If it’s actually logically possible, is it faith?

Big falls always start with little trips.

Urgent is rarely important.
Important is rarely urgent.

Are you living a two dimensional life in a three dimensional universe?

For the Christian, worry is a pointless hangover from a former way of viewing our lives.

If you want to achieve something you’ve never done before, then you got to do something you’ve never done before.

Most of the time, you have to give up something good in order to get God’s best.

The further you get from the boat, the closer you get to Jesus.

There is a huge difference between these two sayings:
This world has nothing I desire more that Jesus.
This world has nothing I desire besides Jesus.
If you can only say the first one, then you have a divided heart, where Jesus gets the largest piece of the pie.