Pearls of Wisdom As Christians, we are here to serve the Lord, not the other way around I am certainly not against all television ministries, but an unguarded look at Christian TV might make you think that Christianity is all about getting the best life you can. Some falsely lead you into thinking that having…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2020/07/06/were-here-to-serve-god-pow/
Are you putting something off that you know you ought to be doing?
For instance, have you been putting off your regular dental checks? you may not have toothache right now, and perhaps you just don’t have the time to visit the dentist or want to face the expense at the moment.
Perhaps your car has been making an unusual sound, the occasional whiff of smoke, or even the check engine light has come on. Yet, you have not found the time to visit the Mechanic.
Maybe you knew about a hole in your roof, yet the summer has stretched out before you without a drop of rain in sight.I will fix the roof later, you think, but later never comes. While later may not have come, if you live in the UK, the rain certainly will!
Turning to spiritual matters, perhaps there is a sin or bad habit in your life that you know you need to be rid of.
Maybe you have felt the Lord leading you to pick up your bible more often, or to kneel down in prayer more frequently. later, you think…
My advice to you today is to fix the roof while the Sun is shining! Because you never know when a raincloud may form.
Don’t put things off that you know you need to do now. Do not wait until it is too late!
When the toothache comes or the car breaks down in the middle of the road, you will wish you had taken the necessary steps in advance.
Likewise, when the storms of life hit you, and they will, you will regret not having a firm grasp on your Bible or not having spent more time with the Lord in prayer.
The ultimate example is to put off making a commitment to Jesus Christ as your saviour and Lord.do not put this off dear reader! Get on your knees today and commit your life to Jesus! Do it now, while you can, for later may not come.
Take my advice today, fix the roof while the Sun is shining! And have a great day
Do you ever feel like you are bothering God? Perhaps you have a need – a small one – and you look at all of the problems in the world and think, “This is too little for God…”
More likely perhaps, you believe that you ought to be able to handle this “thing” whatever it may be, and yet are struggling. I should be able to do this, you feel, and the Spirit urges you to ask God for help. Yet your pride stops you. You might not say the words exactly, but somehow feel like to ask God for this little thing is just plain silly.
I recall a story of a Bible teacher struggling to play a particular sport. Every move they made seemed to go wrong, and they felt a nudge from the Spirit to ask God to help them. They dismissed it, thinking “God isn’t interested in me playing this game…” But the leading persisted, and so, they prayed. “God, please help me play…” And their game improved dramatically.
When we have real problems in life, we do tend to take them to the Lord. If it is bigger than us, we know to pray to the One who is bigger than it all. Smaller matters of life though, we try to handle on our own. We think that trivial matters are too little for God. The truth is though, everything is little to God!
When you serve a God who is infinite in nature, all-powerful and beyond our comprehension; you begin to realise that every need you have is miniscule in comparison. To put it simply; God is big, and there is nothing above Him. Given that, our greatest need is but a minor thing to Him.
I do not want to speak ignorantly here, and realise that anyone reading this might be facing really difficult problems. Perhaps you are unwell, or someone you love is. Maybe you have lost a job, a home or worse a child. These are truly awful things, and I am not trivialising them today. God cares about what you care about. If it means something to you, then it means something to Him. When my youngest daughter tells me about the intricacies of the book she is reading, or the imaginary game she is playing, I do not see it as beneath me, but instead show interest in what she cares about. Likewise, our earthly trials may seem world-ending to us, and perhaps they are from our perspective, yet God – our Heavenly Father – loves us, and cares for our needs.
My point, then, is not to trivialise our problems, but to instead hold them up against our immeasurable God. A candle can light a room and burn your hand, yet if you hold it up to the Sun in the sky, you may barely be able to notice it. in the same way, your problems are very real, but are nothing next to our incredible Father.
This may not be the most theological of Bible posts today. It may not consider justification by faith, hermeneutics or apologetics. Still, I hope it encourages you!
Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Ephesians 3:20 WEB
Familiar words these may be, but do not let them pass you by. God our Father can do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond all that we can ask or think! That should astonish us! That should humble us! That should throw us to our knees in prayer!
Nothing is too big for God! Nothing! In fact, everything is little to Him!
Marriage is about two imperfect people becoming well practiced at forgiveness
I heard a quote of this kind a while ago, but unfortunately don’t know the original author. My version above is a paraphrase, and I am certain you get the idea!
When married, a couple will inevitably let each other down. It is rarely deliberate, and few want to cause distress or harm. Sometimes needs or wants on one side are misunderstood by the other, and not met, and other times those needs are clearly communicated and yet go unfulfilled. Mistakes are made in tiredness, anger or grief, and sometimes words are spoken which are not intended. I am perhaps no great student of people, yet I have never seen a marriage where this isn’t so. Marriages are hard work and yet absolutely worth the effort.
What is true of marriage is probably also true of all relationships, to a greater or lesser degree.
No matter our differences, there is one thing that is true of us all – not one of us is perfect. Each of us is born a sinner, live in a broken world and often think of ourselves more than we ought. It is rather a miracle that any marriage or relationship works out at all!
People stay together when they forgive one another time and time again. When we stop forgiving, resentment can build and ultimately destroy the relationship.
There are, of course, times when a relationship comes to an end. This is sad, and we can reduce the chance of it happening by willingly and freely forgiving each other for our shortfalls. (Of course, if there are serious issues such as abuse, then forgiveness is no magic wand to wave and repair all the hurt overnight. In such case, more help is required)
How good are you at forgiving your spouse, friend or family member? How often have they had to forgive you in the past? Practise makes perfect, so they say, and as long as you have people in your life, you will have plenty of opportunity to forgive.
Forgiving is not easy, no matter how often we do it. It does not undo hurt or pain, and it does not make bad things good. It is a choice. If, like me, you find it hard to forgive at times, then ask the Lord to help you and remember how wide and deep His forgiveness is for you.
The more you have, the more you have to take care of.
This Pearl of Wisdom challenges us to really think about what it is we want.
We might say we want a bigger house, but do we also want to clean all that extra space? Do we want to pay the higher electricity or gas bills that go along with it? Do we really want the large mortgage or rental payments too?
We might say we want that promotion at work, but do we also want the longer commute that goes with it? We want the pay increase, but do we want to deal with the responsibility and associated stress?
The more we have and want, the more we have to take care of, pay for and devote time to.
I am not suggesting you become a minimalist, unless that is what you want, but I am asking you to carefully consider what new things you buy or what additional responsibilities you take on.
The Bible warns us to count the cost before we begin, and that is good advice! Putting it another way, try not to get caught up in the excitement of a new purchase or liftsyle choice without first thinking about all of its implications.
The good thing about this advice is that it can also be applied retrospectively. It is not just about what you take on in future. If you have failed to count the cost in the past, biting off more than you can chew, you can make changes now. Admittedly that’s harder if you’ve bought a house, as selling up and downsizing is no small decision. If you have bought items of furniture or a car even that is just too much to handle right now, you can sell them on or even give them away. You might lose some money in the deal, but you may gain peace. Peace is worth more than gold.
Before we commit to anything new, let each of us consider whether we really do want it. What we have needs looking after, and if our time is already stretched, adding to that to-do list will not help.
Are you on the verge of a decision – big or small – and need to consider this? Does your diary, bank statement or cluttered home scream that you have more on your plate than you can handle? Only you can make the change.
Are you ever guilty of running ahead of God? I know I am!
There have been times when someone has asked me to do something, or I have made a commitment in some way, but did not first check it with the Lord. I went ahead and made my plan, and only later thought to ask God if it was what He wanted for me.
Rather than seeking the Lord for His guidance in what we are to do, we make our own plans and then ask Him to bless them as if they were His own.
The truth is though, God does not have to bless your plan. He does not have to finish anything He did not start. We have no business going somewhere or doing something, and then just expecting God to make it right.
#God does not have to bless your #plan. He does not have to finish anything He did not start #Wisdom #Bible #Christianity
Instead, we need to make our plans in prayer, putting them before God and ensuring He is in the plans we make.
Paul was instructed to preach the Gospel, and he made plans to do so. In Acts 16, the Spirit of the Lord prevented him from entering Macedonia, and so he diverted his course. Imagine what would have happened had he just ignored the prompting of the Spirit and went anyway. Only God knows what would have happened to him!
If we go against God’s plan for us, then we will end up in trouble. If we do that, there is no sense in getting angry at God for not rescuing you. There are times when I tell my children not to do something. It may be to not touch the hot stove, or not to climb on something they shouldn’t. If they choose to ignore me, they could end up burning themselves or falling.
Don’t simply do whatever you want and expect or demand God makes it work. Rather, seek Him in all you do, and He will make your paths straight.
God’s number one goal is NOT to make you comfortable
Some Christian TV channels are great, but not all of their content lines up with Scripture. You do have to be discerning. If you tune in to the wrong show or preacher, you might be misled into thinking that God’s number one priority is to make your life comfortable, easy and problem free. Not to burst your bubble, but this is not so!
God’s primary concern is His own glory.
God’s primary concern is His own glory. #Christianity #Bible #Jesus
If it were anyone else, that would be considered self-indulgent and self-centred. For God though, it is not. He is the only One truly deserving of all praise, honour and glory.
That is not to say that God is uninterested in you, or in what is happening in your life. Far from it! He wants good things for His children, as any Father does. Yet God does not run the universe on the basis of your comfort. The choices God makes are driven by what will bring Him the most glory. And rightly so!
For us, whatever we do or do not do, let it be done for the glory of God!
Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (WEB) #Bible #Glory #Jesus #Christianity
I know that probably isn’t the most uplifting piece of wisdom you’ve ever heard, but it is true! Death is not something we should spend our entire lives thinking about, but it does happen to us all and we need to be prepared for it.
We tend to avoid thinking about it if we can, and otherwise take a herd mentality to cope with it. What I mean is this:
It won’t happen to me, I’m too young
It won’t happen to me, I’m fit and healthy
It won’t happen to me, I’ve got the money to pay for excellent health care
It won’t happen to me, I’ve got longevity in my genes
It won’t happen to me, I live in a safe town or neighbourhood
Death is random however. While any one of these factors may reduce the risk of death in your life, the fact is neither money, nor age, nor healthy living can ever stop death from coming to us all sooner or later – and I pray it’s later!
I once heard of a serial killer who seemingly had no profile of victims he attacked. That made him one of the more terrifying examples because no one was safe. If he only targeted young women, then older women and men would feel “safe.”
Each of us must come to terms with our own mortality. Just as each of us have been born, each of us will one day face death.
For the Christian, death holds little fear. When our time comes, we will step out of our earthly bodies and into the presence of the Lord. There we will remain for all eternity.
Whether you are young or old, healthy or sick, rich or poor; you do not know when your time on Earth will be up. Do not gamble with your eternal future. Set it in stone right now by putting your faith in Jesus Christ.
You do this by simply asking Him to be in charge of your life, asking Him to forgive you of the things you’ve done wrong, and by starting to live your life following Him. If you make that choice today, please do get in touch as I would love to celebrate with you and give you some pointers.
Do not put off thinking about death, as unpleasant as it may seem. Life is temporary, but eternity, well, it goes on forever!
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog over the last month. This week however my time has been extremely limited and I have not written nearly as much as I would have liked. Can you relate?
I do not want to make a habit of putting up older posts but i’ve written a fair few articles over the last three years and some of the newer followers may not have seen them all. When I simply cannot write something you for whatever reason, I will try to share an older post here for your enjoyment.
To be perfectly honest, I get frustrated with myself when I cannot carve out the time or headspace to write. If you’re anything like me, then you put enormous pressure on yourself to deliver! It just so happens that I was flicking through some older posts and found this one.
It is about using our time for the benefit of others. Now that is a good use of time!
For those who are not familiar, every so often I put out a shorter post which I described as pearls of wisdom. I tried to offer a nuggets of wisdom and a few thoughts to go alongside it. These have proved popular so I do hope you enjoy this particular one below.
If you can spare a prayer for me at the moment, then I would truly appreciate it. Life is good and I cannot complain. We have a number of things going on all at once so I would value your prayers so that I can keep God at the centre of it all. And ideally, find some time to write!
Refusing to confront someone’s sin, is refusing to love them.
When we see a Christian brother or sister dabbling with sin, or worse, tangled up in it, it is the loving thing to do to gently point this out to them. Ignoring the issue will not solve the problem. By not confronting them, we are not valuing them enough to say something. It is like someone crossing a road and not seeing the truck heading their way… if we do not cry out to warn them, then how can we possibly claim to love them?
Sin is not just dangerous, it is deadly. One of the main reasons we do not confront sin is because often we do not take it seriously enough. In my truck illustration above, the danger is very real. The danger of sin is no less real, but somehow we don’t recognise it as such.
One reason for not confronting others about sin is because we are afraid of how they might react. This is understandable of course, but if done in the right way, and by someone who truly cares, we must hope and pray they are mature enough to receive.
We also do not confront sin because we feel unworthy to do so. We look at our own lives and recognise the sins we struggle with, and therefore conclude we have no right to speak into another’s life. This is likewise understandable. You do not have to be perfect to help someone with sin, but you do have to be humble.
Before I close, I do want to add that this does not give you the right to walk about your church, pointing out all the sins, mistakes and issues you see. Going around looking for things to confront people about is certainly not loving. As someone once said, “You are not Holy Ghost Junior!” Let God do His perfect work in others, and yourself too.
If you live life with others for long enough, sooner or later you will encounter sin in their life. This is not negative, but a fact of our fallen reality. Be ready to carefully and respectfully direct them away from sin and its consequences. Be prepared for others to love you in that same way.
When it comes to sharing our faith with others, most of us feel pretty inadequate. We often let fear overrule us, and do not seize every opportunity as we should. We are not perfect. Most of us want to tell others about Christ, but are not always sure of the best way to go about it. Fear of rejection may stop us even trying.
I want to try to take some of the pressure off of you today. It is vitally important we tell others about Jesus, of course, but it is not our job to convict, convince or persuade them. Our job is to witness to the truth, and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work.
Instead of trying to win every argument, and feeling like we have to get everyone to pray the “sinner’s prayer,” just bring someone one step closer to Jesus.
Coming to faith is a journey, and while we may want to be the one to bring them over the finishing line, it might be our job to cheer them on halfway through the race. To put it another way, you do not have to supply all of the jigsaw pieces. It may be your role to give them one piece, answering just one question they have. It may not complete the picture for them, but it certainly will help.
I am sure there are people in your life you want to share Christ with. Don’t try to do God’s job for Him, but instead just move them one step closer to Him. What might that look like for you? Is it a prayer? Is it to answer a question they have? Is it just to display Christ in your own life so they can see Him plainly?
Whatever it might look like for you, take a step of faith today. You may not see instant results, but rest assured God’s word does not return to Him in vain.
Even the dimmest, most tiniest of candles can cast a great light in a dark room.
Are you the only Christian in your family? How about your place of work? Your school perhaps? It can feel extremely tough to be the only one with Christian beliefs or values. It can be lonely, and each day can feel like a slog or struggle.
But don’t give up!
If you really are the only Christian in that setting, then you are the only source of light that this dark place has. If you give up and extinguish your light, then it truly will be a dark place.
You may feel as a tiny candle trying to hold back the darkest of nights, but even a nightlight draws people in. God has placed you in the exact place you find yourself for that very purpose. Be the light of the world! Be a candle! Shine your light and draw others to Christ.
When you feel alone or weary, tell the Lord and seek His refreshment. Focus on those around you who no doubt need to hear of the love of Christ. Show them that love which you have received from Him. It may change their life, not just for the here and now, but for all eternity!
Have a blessed day, and be a candle in whatever way you can.