A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Why did Paul address this?  At that time, the world had rejected the one true God.  Heathens had turned to idols instead, and as a result, the most horrific sins were part of everyday life.  The Jews had not done any better – they largely ignored Paul’s messages and practiced the ideology that if it feels good, do it.  Sin is no respecter of persons and is more of a human thing than a Gentile versus Jew thing.  None of us can stand before a just God, boasting about how righteous we are.

Sometimes a passage comes along that I need help to explain fully – this is one of those.  Please take time to watch this video.  Let’s understand the term THE LAW – which I think means the law of Moses.  Well – take a look at this.

Mere law by itself has no cure for the sinful condition of man.  Heaven had the only remedy for the sin of man – the gift of the sinless Christ Jesus, who freely offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin on behalf of all who, through faith, are willing to receive the redemption provided.

In our day and age, not all law is based on God’s Word – most are, but not all.  A Christian will follow God’s law before man’s law – but keep in mind the greatest command God gave us was to love.  I can’t imagine that love will ever be outlawed. It would be so sad if it was – and scary.  We embrace the good and shun the evil because it’s what makes God happy.  We’re law-abiding in society because it’s right, but we mind God because we love Him.

Most of man’s laws are good and in accordance with God’s Word, so we uplift and enforce them.  We definitely believe in God’s laws and will obey them.  🙂

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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JULY IN THE KANSAS SKY
Back on the first day of Summer, I saw a post on facebook that said, “The first one to criticize the hot temperatures is going to get smacked after the awful winter we just survived!” I had to laugh because let’s face it… it’s just plain HOT outside! So, yeah – go ahead – SMACK me!

Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while. – Kin Hubbard

That’s not a bad little song to get stuck in your head, is it? For once the phrase GREAT GAIN means something positive! I usually use that phrase to mean I’ve over-indulged on food again. In that case, the GREAT means a large amount, which is not something good – **sigh**.

The apostle Paul had a few words of instruction on the subject of contentment:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. – Philippians 4:11-12

While I suppose we could certainly apply that instruction to something as basic as weather conditions, it’s probably meant to be applied to more personal matters. He speaks of situations rather than conditions. This is one lesson that I must admit I’m still learning and I may be learning for the rest of my life. I don’t like to want for anything. As I get older, however; it becomes clear to me that much of what I think I want is not what I need. Usually in time I realize that the things that I think are necessities are not things I need.

So today I would challenge all of us to re-examine our list of necessities. How many of those things can be moved to the want list? You may be surprised how many things you really can live without and still be quite content. Oh, and as for the weather… yes, I will be content – and run in to enjoy the wonderful air-conditioned house just as often as I can!   😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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LOOK AHEAD

The Apostle Paul… I look forward to meeting him one day in heaven! He is the one who wrote the great word pictures in the Bible. The life of a Christian is like a race, and there is a prize at the finish line. It almost makes me want to go out and try to run. Hey, I said almost!

It’s my guess that Paul was a fit person. I imagine he must have been a runner. He certainly knew how to get people excited and enthused about Christianity. He knew how to be a leader with diplomacy and tact. Even when he had to clamp down on some of the churches, he did so with the love of Christ in his heart. Every letter included Christian compassion and brotherly watch care.

We are encouraged to look ahead and leave our sorted past where it belongs – in the past. If we try to drag the past around with us it can only do one thing – weigh us down. We need to give the past to God. He knows what to do with it. He will throw it into the sea of forgetfulness and never remember it again. I wish I could forget my past as completely, don’t you?

If I could forgive and forget as well as God does, wouldn’t that be wonderful? How much faster would I run without the extra weight? How much further could I run if I didn’t get winded as easily? Would I be a better witness for Christ if I was free of the weight?

I’m encouraged by what Paul says and I will try to leave the past in the past and run with a renewed strength and purpose from my heavenly Father. Then one day, I can say along with Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
– 2 Timothy 4:7

That’s really what it’s all about.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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IT PASSETH UNDERSTANDING

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:10-13

The Apostle Paul learned the secret of being content. Living in complete contentment results in measureless blessings on your life. Some people refer to this as growing old gracefully, and while contentment is a grace, it’s much more than that. It’s a necessity for those who follow Christ.

Would you be willing to let go of all your stuff and be completely reliant on Christ? If the answer is “yes”, then consider yourself contented in Christ. If the answer is “no”, however, you are more complacent than contented. There is a huge difference between the two. Anyone can exercise complacency, resigned to the knowledge that they are poor in a physical sense – and it often times results in poor self-image and depression. Being complacent is basically to give up and give in. If you are complacent in your life – you really just don’t care about anything or anyone.

Contentment means there is a deep underlying JOY in all circumstances. It’s when you have the knowledge and faith in your spirit that God is in control and will take care of all the bumps in the road. Contentment says that even though you may be poor, you are not adopting the attitude that all is lost.

Contentment… is not just being satisfied with where you are.  It is knowing God’s plan for your life.  – Lee Ellis

If you see God’s Hand working in your life, leading you through, it strengthens your faith. Complacency does not involve a real knowledge of anything and certainly does not engage faith. Complacency is a downer, but contentment lifts you higher! You begin to think about your circumstances in a better way. God’s way. Wanna grow old gracefully??? Try contentment instead of complacency. There’s the secret – contentment is a grace. 😉