Remain as you were: 1 Corinthians 7.17

“Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.”

1 Corinthians 7.17 NLT

Converts often mistake what they should change in their lives. Paul tells them that their circumstances are not what is important. His rule: Stay where you are!

Christians often think they can grow and develop if things around them would change. But what God wants to change are habits and attitudes.

#votd #1-Corinthians #change

How to change your bad habits

Here are five books suggested by one writer on how to change bad habits. Christians can probably learn a bit from these. The authors probably don’t understand how God works, but they do have a notion about how the mind functions.

“And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit” 2 Cor 3.18.

God provides us motivation, power, and support to practice the good works of Christ.

And there is the truth of repentance, which is the decision to, and movement toward, change, to stop practicing sin and live in holiness.

Christians have the best chance for change. We glory in Christ Jesus, who makes us children of God and sends his Spirit to transform us.

#habits #transformation #change #repentance

Hugh’s News & Views (Turning The Page)

TURNING THE PAGE

Swiftly we’re turning life’s daily pages,
Swiftly the hours are changing to years;
How are we using God’s golden moments?
Shall we reap glory? Shall we reap tears?

These poignant words were penned by Mrs. Roy Carruth and set to music by that grand old gospel preacher and song writer, Tillit S. Teddlie. The song appears in many hymnals used by members of the Lord’s church and is sung with much meaning.

On December 27, 2017 I turned a page on another year of life as I reached the heralded four-score years. I sometimes wonder where these eight decades have gone! I know that the Psalmist was right when he wrote, “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).

At midnight on December 31 we all turned the page on another year of life. What did we leave behind in the old year? What will we take with us into the New Year?

In the New Year, let us turn the page . . . Continue reading

#change, #hughfulford, #newyear

mm

(#170) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:21-22-Can this be saved?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 24:21-22: “My son, fear the LORD and the king; Do not associate with those given to change; For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin those two can bring?”

“Fear” here is used in the sense of “respect,” and since “there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1), then those who respect God’s authority will never set about to overthrow or disrespect “the authorities that exist.” This is clearly expressed in other passages, such as Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17. “The king” who was to govern over God’s people, however, was commanded by God, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). “The king” (representing the highest authority in government) should (1) read the God-given Scriptures; (2) respect their authority by yielding to their commandments; (3) not consider himself above the law! In other words, if a “king” wants the respect of those who respect God, he must show respect to God!

Those “given to change,” are the restless souls who feel the establishment cannot be right, any “new” way has to be better, and they, therefore, seek to “fundamentally change” whatever constitutional regulations that exist! Countries where this spark has been fanned into flames have burned their flags, ignored their constitutional laws, and been ruled by those who think themselves above the law! This is of the Devil, for this was the appeal: he made to Eve that caused the first sin (Genesis 3:1-19); in one of the temptations he made to Jesus Christ (Luke 4:1-13); behind the “cultural revolution” in the United States in the 1960’s and political upheavals since.

Those who do not “fear the LORD” nor “fear the king” are both destroyers whose disrespect for God and His authority always produce disorder, destruction, and damnation! This is change without hope! King David said: “Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies” (Psalm 40:4). Asaph wrote: “Have respect to the covenant; For the dark places of the earth are full of the haunts of cruelty” (Psalm 74:20). Jesus illustrated the disrespect the Jews had for God by the parable of “the owner of the vineyard” (God), and the “vinedressers” (Jews) in Mark 12:1-12.

God prophesied that Israelites would become so unfaithful in their Promised Land that God would let an outside people conquer them (Deuteronomy 28). That foreign nation was described very much like the “generation” that has arisen within the United States: “a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you” (Deuteronomy 28:49-51). Change the meanings of the words in language; make them intensely resentful of “the elderly” who have paved the way to a successful nation with sacrifices and blood; make them complete consumers with no ambition to work for profit to have to give to others; and who are so short-sighted and selfish they care not about the future “until they have destroyed you;” and you have an understanding of how a country can collapse! Though Deuteronomy was not a direct prophecy of our day and time, it surely paints a portrait of how any country can be destroyed!

“Who knows the ruin those two can bring?” This is a question some of us may be able to answer.
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#authority, #bible, #bible-study, #change, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #respect

Forever and a day

My heart grew heavy when I read that two evangelical missions groups will merge, “forming a body representative of 35,000 evangelical missionaries deployed in every country by more than 190 agencies and churches.” Why heavy? Would to God that the Lord’s church had so many, and in so many places!

• Over on the Forthright Press Facebook page, a poll asks which offering of FP you most read or visit. Pop over there right now and give it a click.

• A pundit and fellow (adopted) Arkansan gives his view of education in this quote: “In his preface to ‘Culture and Anarchy,’ Matthew Arnold said the purpose of education was to pass on ‘the best which has been thought and said.'” Would you agree with that? If not, how would you define the purpose of education. I remember that one Christian college defined its mission as “teaching how to live and how to make a living.”

• Just received an email from an old friend, a former editor of a poetry magazine who was kind enough to publish an item or two of mine. She is an essayist, poet, and painter. I love her style in all three. Check out Margaret Been’s Northern Reflections.

Change• How quickly time changes things! Take the image at right, for example. Not everybody will know the connection. Over time, we ourselves change, too. Inevitably, the body runs down and expires. But the spirit can go against this world’s deterioration and deepening corruption. When we attach ourselves to Jesus Christ, “the same yesterday, today, and forever,” we grow toward his perfection, into his image.

• I’ve plugged the distributed social network Diaspora* before, but here’s a site and chart that explains it very well and shows comparisons to Facebook and Google+. Come on in, the water’s fine!

• Last, a quatrain; let’s call it “Forever and a Day”:

Forever and a day, they say,
Clichéd hyperbole;
Some want it now, without delay,
I’ll keep eternity.  —JRM

#change, #education, #eternity, #journey, #missions, #time

The winds and tides assail us

• Any suggestions on how to budge a person out of indecision to obey the Lord? Said person gets a nearly weekly dose of the Bible, but no obedience is forthcoming, this after years of knowing the truth. Prayer, check. Occasional direct and pointed exhortations, check.

• Today’s New Testament reading is 2 Cor. 13, finishing up that letter. Tomorrow starts the gospel of John. One chapter out of the NT per weekday. Start with us on the gospel tomorrow, if you’re not following some sort of schedule for Bible reading.

• An elderly widower in the congregation lives alone in cramped, rented quarters, no family to care for him. What family he does have apparently does little to help him. He’s been battling cancer, and has developed a tremor in his hands and chin whose cause is as yet undiagnosed. Life is hard for many, not least, the elderly.

• The church here has cared for this brother, recently, in several ways, from making sure he gets exams and treatments, to providing some meals. He’s gone back to doing a few light, odd jobs, because he can’t stand having so much time on his hands.

• Life changes can happen fast. Sickness, retirement, widowhood, unemployment, estrangement, accidents. injury, war, natural disasters (that perhaps should be at the head of the list these days). How fragile is life! And how tenaciously we cling to it! Death is not natural, so what peace to know that Christ has given us what cannot be injured or destroyed by the vagaries of this turbulent world.

The winds and tides assail us,
On reefs our lives are wrecked;
Our feeble rowings fail us,
To save, preserve, protect. —
JRM


#change, #evangelism, #hope, #vagaries-of-life

God Is The God Of Absolutes

In response to today’s nudge regarding the character of God, I am posting an article entitled, “The God Of Absolutes”: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2007/11/30/the-god-of-absolutes/.

Even though the thoughts and whims of man are constantly changing, God’s promises do not change (Hebrews 6:10-20). We can count on Him to be with us in every situation and trial that we face (Psalm 23:4; cf. Isaiah 43:1-2).

“Time is filled with swift transition; Naught of earth unmoved can stand; Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand”: http://www.paradisepbc.org/singing/Hold%20to%20Gods%20Unchanging%20Hand.mp3

#absolute, #change, #constantly, #count, #god, #promise, #situation, #thought, #trial, #whim

A Precise And Clear Rendering Of Romans 12:2

The J.B. Phillips translation lends clarity to Romans 12:2:

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould [mold], but let God re-make you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed.”

#attitude, #change, #clarity, #lend, #mold, #phillips, #remake, #squeeze, #translation, #world

Daily Nudge: Apple cart — and news

In what way does Christianity upset the apple cart? You can understand that as you will, take it any direction.

News, besides what I mentioned about Harding. Strange story, that. And Sarah Palin speaks at Faulkner tonight, is that right?

#change, #nudge

Whenever we say no to one way of life th…

Whenever we say no to one way of life that we have long been used to, there is pain. But when the way of life is, in fact, a way of death, a way of war, the quicker we leave it the better.

Eugene H. Petterson, The Journey

#change, #pain, #repentance

If there is anything we wish to change i…

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.

Carl Jung, Swiss founder of analytical psychology (1875-1961)

#change, #child, #examine

“Everyone thinks of changing the world,…

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy

#change, #tolstoy

A meteorologist would love to have Elija…

A meteorologist would love to have Elijah as his helper, because when he prayed, meteorological changes happened (1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:42,45; cf. James 5:17-18).

#change, #elijah, #helper, #love, #meteorologist, #pray

Quiet here, busy or off for the weekend

Everybody go off to the beach today?

I’m working on my Portuguese language sites. About one of them I tweeted yesterday: “Feeling a tinge of sadness as I consider stopping or totally revamping a project of many years.” That’s my Portuguese devotional I’ve done since the late 90s. It has gradually declined in numbers, no response whatsoever from the subscribers when I ramped it up for two months then disappeared for a month (nobody noticed!), so I figure it’s time to shake things up. Though I’ve had some nice feedback since I announced that, in March, things are going to change. But probably not enough to justify keeping on as things are.

I mentioned to Larry last night that, with my major support ending in June, changes will be required in this corner of the world, both financially and in my ministry. So some things are going to have to go, others change, others shelved. Still getting a feel for that.

Just found a fantastic item on the Internet. Trying to figure out how it might be used for the Lord. That’s what happened with TFR when this WP theme popped up on the horizon. Just have to keep the eye open for an opportunity.

#adaptation, #change, #revamping

Everyone thinks of changing the world, b…

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Count Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist (1828-1910)

#change, #think, #world