Archive for July, 2012
Some of the most profound thoughts in the world can be expressed with very simple words. Jesus was with God in the beginning. And Jesus was God.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasings in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Let us work today to be sure that everything that we say pleases God. Then let us work so that everything that we think in our heart pleases God.
He knew that the asker already knew the answer, so to deflect blame and redirect the intent of the original question he asked one of his own. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” And since that time, Cain’s question has been repeated over and over by people who do not want to be responsible for the influence they have had on the actions of others.
Jesus said we are to be salt and light as well as His witnesses to those around. We are responsible for those around us, responsible to help each other avoid those things that would separate us from God Almighty.
Paul, the Apostle, included that idea in the 5th chapter of his second letter to those who lived in Thessalonica, in what is now Greece. He wrote:
And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (v. 14, 15)
From Cain to Jesus to Paul to us, we are responsible for each other. We are our brother’s keeper. But, and this makes all the difference, we are to hold each other accountable to the teachings of Jesus as members of a family, wanting the best for each other.
Accountability is not difficult when those monitoring it and those who are experiencing know and understand that it’s being done of their betterment.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes!
What do you think?
Where is the line between personal responsibility for someone’s own actions and yours as a friend and brother?
What happens when you intercede and you are told to “butt out and mind your own business?”
What gives you the right to interject yourself in someone else’s life?
“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6)
The story of Nehemiah shows how important it is to have God’s blessing. But it also shows us how important it is that people decide to roll up their sleeves and work. Rather than sitting around waiting for God to bless us, we need to put our hands to the task, expecting God to make our work prosper.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. (Isaiah 11:4)
Take time to think of the glorious things God has done — and is doing — in your life today. Then tell someone about it.
“Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” (1 Samuel 2:3)
When we compare ourselves with other people, we can feel pretty important. But when we compare ourselves with God, we realize that humility is the only proper attitude.
Find an older person to talk to today. They will appreciate it, and you will learn from it.
“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”” (Matthew 19:13–14)
How do you see children? As a nuisance? A bother? A necessary evil? The disciples didn’t think they were important enough to interrupt whatever Jesus was saying and doing. But Jesus thought otherwise. He saw children as the very essence of what he was looking for in his followers.
Above all, my brothers, do not swear — not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and you “No,” no, or you will be condemned. (James 5:12)
Do you mean what you say? Does you word matter? Can people trust you? Live with so much integrity that your word is not a reflection of your character only, but also of God’s character.
In 2006, Forrester Research found that Internet users expected a page to load in four seconds or less. In 2009, the same group found that user expectations had changed; now people expected a page to load in less than two seconds.
Google did some research using their search engine. They intentionally slowed down the responsiveness of their searches to see how users would react. Facing delays of as little as 100 thousandths of a second, users changed their behavior and did fewer searches. When the delay was increased to 400 thousandths of a second, the overall impact was 8 million fewer searches per day. (For a bit of perspective, keep in mind that the average blink takes about 400 thousandths of a second)
Of course, the Internet isn’t the only place where people are impatient. One study found that most North Americans won’t stand in line for more than fifteen minutes. Many believe the old adage that says “Time is money,” and they don’t want to waste more time than they have to.
We live in an impatient, fast-paced world, where we want everything done immediately, if not sooner. We don’t want to wait. We don’t want to slow down. We don’t want to be patient.
And it’s killing us. Stress-related health issues are reaching epidemic proportions. The need for speed is hurtling us toward the grave.
Maybe we need to listen to these words from the book of Psalms in the Old Testament: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
Be still. Be still and know that God is God. Stop. Wait. Listen.
God doesn’t always respond in four seconds or less. While we won’t have to stand it line, we may have to wait much more than fifteen minutes. The Bible says that for God a day is like a thousands years and a thousand years like a day. We can’t rush him, nor give him a deadline. But he will answer. He will respond. He will save.
All we can do is be still. Be still and know that he is God.
Stop. Be still. And let God be God of your life.