Who to please?

Every day we wake up there are people we seek to please. We want our family to be pleased. We want our boss and co-workers to be pleased. We want our friends and acquaintances to be pleased. No matter what we do, we should understand that it is impossible to please them all.

At the core of the Christian’s understanding is the reality that God is the only One whose approval we must seek. He is not only our Creator and Savior, He is our Judge. The early disciples knew that and lived accordingly. Therefore Paul wrote, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

via Daily Lift – November 08, 2017 – GBN Daily lift

This is more of a problem for some than for others. Some societies seem to have a greater need to please other people. Still, even the most independent types must face it.

The emphasis on God as Judge is right and proper. We must never forget that we must eventually stand before him and answer for our words and actions in this life. The decision to please God above all others will determine whether or not we enter into heaven.

We must not be contrary toward others for contrary’s sake (see 1 Cor 10.32-11.1), but seek to please others that they may be saved and also desire to please God.

#devotionals #God #Judge #please-God

Which struggle would you swap yours for?

Have you ever felt that your personal struggle, temptation, or challenge is especially burdensome? Perhaps you feel your thorn in the flesh is unmentionable. You might consider it more shameful, embarrassing, or onerous than the burdens that others bear. You keep it to yourself, instead of letting other saints help you with it.

Or maybe it weighs upon you so much that you speak of it incessantly. It follows you constantly, like a thick cloud of oppression. It keeps you from experiencing the full joy of God’s presence.

Did you ever ask God why you struggle with this thing instead of something else? Would you swap your burden with someone else’s? Do you wish you didn’t have to deal with this particular difficulty? You’re not alone. Continue reading

#corollaries, #struggles, #temptation

A shooter in the Iuka…

A shooter in the Iuka MS hospital’s emergency room killed himself this afternoon. He had threatened to kill people in the hospital. My mother-in-law is in a room there. No information yet about his identity or motives. Iuka is my wife’s hometown.

#violence

The place of knowledge

“… gnosis [knowledge] becomes the ability to discern faith’s requirements. In effect, knowledge becomes the means by which faith’s convictions are transformed into effective practices (see 2 Cor 8:7; Phil 1:9; 2 Pet 3:18).

—S.J. Kraftchick, Jude, 2 Peter, p. 96, commenting 2 Pet 1.5-7

#faith #knowledge #2-Peter

Like the Lord

I think this was written sometime around my birthday, last week. It appears not to have been posted anywhere, so here it is for the appreciation of those who love the art of poetry.

With love in the heart, we’re like the Lord:
His patience working powerfully in us,
His faith is ours, in the fullness of God,
His tender touch our gentle tool—
This Man of men, bringer of mercy.

#poetry #love #discipleship

Total Eclipse

Not everywhere is light eclipsed:
A few believe that God exists,
Fewer still do all his will,
But human sight is short and dull,
The moon of ignorance is total—
Nearly—Christians must be ever vocal
With news of glory—darkness reigns;
To expel it, only the voice of saints.

JRMatheny

#poetry #eclipse #light

New sister in Christ requests prayers during painful growth process

Our sister in Christ, Karen D., has been a frequent reader and commenter here on TFR for many months. She mentioned to me that she wanted to make a comment asking for prayer, and I offered to post her request as a separate post. It is below. Let’s keep her in prayer as she works ever toward the truth.

I have started to think of TFR as part of my spiritual family, and I want to be honest with you. Don’t know if that’s right or not, but that’s where I am.

TFR has been a vital part of my Christian growth this past year. I have read almost every article, and applied many things to my spiritual life that you have written. But the truth is I really need your prayers right now. I need your wisdom, fellowship, and guidance to help me. I’m feeling insecure and not very spiritually strong. Continue reading

#intercession, #prayer, #spiritual-growth