Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bond-servant vs Slave

2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:1
bond-servant:
• one who gives himself up wholly to another's will, 
• is used with the highest dignity in the NT, namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ's authority as His devoted followers
• are those whose agency God employs in executing his purposes: 
• properly, someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own

Bond-servant vs Slave

Is there a difference between a bond-servant and a slave? 
I think the major difference is attitude. A bond-servant is one who WILLINGLY wants to serve another. It's a choice of actions and attitude to want to be under the authority and submission of another. 

When you think about it, we all are under the authority of someone. "Not me! I answer to NO ONE!" 
Well, you may think that, but that's not true. For each action and word spoken portrays exactly who you are serving. Your loyalty may be to a group, or individual, or a ideology. The point is that your actions, words, and attitude reflect who has influence over you. 

The difference between a bond-servant and a slave is attitude. A bond-servant wants to do exactly what is asked and required of him. The bond-servant is willing to give up his desires to do the will of another out of respect and love. 

What does God require? 
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), and to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]? Micah 6:8 (AMP)
Bond-slave. 
gives himself up wholly to another's will, who willingly live under Christ's authority as His devoted followers. 

Willingly live under God's authority. 

Am I willing? 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thinking Effects Everything: Of Good Report

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 

I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "of good report".
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—of Good Report

Whatever things are of good report.

Good Report: sounding well; uttering words of good omen, speaking auspiciously: things spoken in a kindly spirit, with good-will to others; praiseworthy, commendable

Praiseworthy. Commendable. Spoken in a kindly spirit. 

First and foremost, does my speech reflect a "good report"? Do I promote praiseworthy and commendable and good-will to others in my speech? Or I am prone to slander, back-biting, gossip, and/or hateful words? 

Words are a reflection of the heart. What you are thinking about is what resonates from you. So, if I want my speech to be "of good report", than I must be thinking about things that are! 

Praiseworthy. Commendable. Spoken in a kindly spirit. 

Think. Ponder. Meditate on..... things of a good report. 
And for that to be true, I must also work on making sure that I'm not only thinking on, but my speech is promoting it so that others hear things that are —of good report! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thinking Effects Everything: Lovely

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 

I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "lovely". 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—Lovely.


Whatever things are lovely.

Lovely: properly, worthy of personal affection; hence, dearly prized, i.e. worth the effort to have and embrace (used only in Phil 4:8).

Worth the effort to have. 

Effort: exertion of physical or mental power: something done by exertion or hard work. 

How badly do I want it? Am I wiling to work for it? If it's dearly prized, than yes! 

I was reminded of a great opportunity I had in September 2012 of being on the Pit Box during a NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway. Living with chronic pain, it took ALL the effort I had to attend and enjoy the day. The pain was extreme, but it was an amazing day. The experience of enjoying the NASCAR race from the Pits was worth the effort to embrace that day. 

If something is lovely, then we will go beyond our normal efforts to achieve it or get it. Think, ponder on things that are lovely. How many times to I settle and allow things that are easy to fill my heart, mind, and life. How many times do I choose the easy road, and ignore the things that are lovely—simply because it will take more work an effort? 

Think, ponder, allow to fill my thoughts—on things that are lovely. Only things that are worth the effort to have and to embrace. 

What is of worth to me? What am I wiling to work for? What is lovely? What do I  consider a prize worth having? 

Worth the effort to have—lovely. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thinking effect everything - truth!

Thinking effect everything. 

I've been studying that fact the past few weeks. Yesterday, I had a good reminder that "Thinking effects everything." is a true statement. 

If I begin the day, with a positive outlook, the day goes much better. I am better equipped to handle situations that arise. 

If I begin the day, with a negative outlook, the day continues to be overwhelming, nothing goes right, and when situations arise, I handle them the wrong way, and the day ends up with a pity party with me feeling miserable. 

Thinking effects everything. 

There are some things that are out of my control. However, I can control my thoughts—and those control my attitude. 

So, what kind of day do I want to have:
1. A positive and enjoyable day.
2. One filled with resentment, frustration, and overall misery. 

I can't control the circumstances, but I can control my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. And if I find myself in the need of an attitude adjustment—the quickest way it to refocus on God's Word and truth, either by reading the Bible, or listening to music (filled with truth). 

Thinking effects everything. 

I will choose to think on......
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Remember 9/11

September 11, 2001

Remember.

I remember exactly where I was. I remember calling my sister, and my parents. I remember not knowing if my brother was able to get out of DC ok. I remember the helpless feeling. I remember the unbelief of what I saw on TV. I remember..........

Today, September 11, 2016, we once again pause to remember, reflect, and pay respect to those we lost and all the heroes of 9/11.

Remember.

As I was thinking about what took place 15 years ago, and look at our Nation today, I realized that many have forgotten, and many never knew for they hadn't been born. Sadly, the unity and patriotism that was so evident on that 9/11, fifteen years ago, has diminished.

Remember.

As I was reflecting on 9/11 and the need to remember, I realized that throughout Scripture, God tells us to remember.

I thought of the impact the crucifixion had on those who where there. The sights, the sounds, the smells of the days leading up to the crucifixion and the days following. Their fears. Their questions. The uncertainty of it all.
We hold communion "in remembrance of Me (Christ)". Christ doesn't want us to forget what happened and why.

I was not at the crucifixion, but it had a profound impact on my life. For without the death of Christ, I would be lost in my sin and forever separated from God. No, I was not present on that day, but I never want to forget what God and His Son, Jesus did for me.

Remember.

As I take time to remember 9/11/01 and 9/11/12 (Benghazi), I need to also take time to remember that God is still God. He is the One in whom I place my trust. I do not know what my future holds here on earth, but I do know where I'll spend eternity. God provided the only sacrifice that would pay for my sin and I have placed my faith and trust in God, and God alone.

Remember.

Remembering is to have significance. Remembering is to have an impact in my life. Remembering—what am I remembering today?

9/11........remembering those we lost and all the heroes who stepped forward to make a difference.
Each day..... remembering the One who gave His life, so that I can have eternal life.

Remembering. What are you remembering?