Whose approval are you seeking?

 

crown-of-life2

Hi everyone,

Yes, it feels good to receive approval, and be told how wonderful we are … by people around us.

But we must be very careful. It’s easy to become intoxicated by the praise and approval of our peers … and to become deceived … and misled by that intoxication.

We can quickly find ourselves being tempted to engage in undesirable thoughts, words and deeds to gain the “human” approval we … desire.  Do you recognize the hypocrisy?

And … we can just as quickly forget the “Godly” approval that we … need.  Do you recognize the tragedy?

The approval of man is fleeting … and the “reward” can be deadly. Jesus warned us plainly …

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Matthew 6:1

In blessed contrast, the reward for seeking the approval of God … is Eternal.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12

Make no mistake … we are not condemned for simply having desires … our desires are natural. But we must always measure our desires against our needs.

How do our Earthly desires get us in trouble?

Trouble comes when we allow one, or both, of two things to happen:

Our desire for the approval of man exceeds our desire for the                    approval of God.

Our desire for self-gratification exceeds our desire for                                    submission to God’s will.

My friends, we must control the pursuit of our desires. Our desires, although desirable … can lead to death.

Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.  James 1:15

The rewards, and consequences for receiving the approval of man vs.  the approval of God … are as far apart  … as life is from death.

no reward from your Father in heaven      vs.       the crown of life

So, I ask you … whose approval are you seeking?

Geoff

You’re perfectly imperfect … that’s perfectly perfect!

imperfect-2

Hi everyone,

I love the way Jesus would get right to the point sometimes …

For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Matthew 7:2-3

Why do we indulge ourselves in the unsavory practice of criticizing and judging others?  I believe it’s our vain attempt to assign imperfection to others … to place them beneath our own feelings of imperfection.

What foolishness!  We can never become bigger … by making others smaller. We simply reduce all of us.

“When we see something, or someone as imperfect, it is a reflection of our limitations, not theirs.”  Dr Steve Maraboli

Besides, such behavior clearly shows that we’ve missed the point. We are supposed to be imperfect. And that’s OK.

In fact, it’s necessary … if we are ever to become perfectly perfect.

If we were already “perfect”, we wouldn’t need God. And then we’d miss out on the true perfection that comes only through Him working within us … to make us … perfectly perfect.

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one   John 17:22-23

We should gratefully accept  our imperfections, and weaknesses.  We need them … they are the fertile soils from which God grows our perfection.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.                                         2 Corinthians 12:9

My friends, please endeavor to cease to look for the “speck” in other’s eyes. Rather let’s joyfully give thanks for our “planks”.  God uses each and every splinter to make us perfectly perfect!

Geoff

Hard, ain’t it hard …

life-is-hard

Hi everyone,

Yes indeed , life is sometimes hard … very hard … ain’t it?   I’m not revealing anything new here … we all know first hand how hard life can be. We live it everyday.

In fact, Jesus Himself told us quite plainly …

In the world you will have tribulation John 16:33

Jesus certainly experienced tribulation while He was here on Earth. His most intensely painful moments of the “hardness of life” came in the last few hours of His life.

Pause and try to truly imagine the “hardness” Jesus had to endure in those tortuous hours.

Recall … Jesus spent three years … let me put this in perspective for you:  60 minutes in each hour … 24 hours in each day … 365 days in each of three years … That’s 1 MILLION, 576 THOUSAND, 800 MINUTES … of healing, forgiving, restoring, and loving people He met.

Yet …  in His last few hours … how did they repay Him for all those moments of His loving kindness?

So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!”  Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!”  Mark 15:13-14

I can’t imagine the agonizing emotional pain of rejection the “human” Jesus endured … AND … the soul-wrenching pain the “Divine” Jesus had to endure during His separation from His Eternal, Heavenly Father.

And we think life is hard?

Hold on … I didn’t complete the John 16:33 quote …

but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

In other words, for us … it ain’t over till it’s over … and it ain’t over.

Jesus is with each of us … every minute of every day.

Recall another thing He told us …

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

Even when we’re in the “valley of the shadow of death” …

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Yes my friends, life can be hard at times. But it is never impossible.

If we stay the course, and not lose faith … our Eternal destiny is beautiful beyond our wildest dreams …

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.  Psalm 23:6

Is it just me … or does life suddenly not seem so hard?

Geoff

 

 

 

The wonder of you …

you-are-wonderful

Hi everyone,

Earlier this evening, I was listening to an old Elvis song … “The Wonder of You”.  And I wondered … have any of you ever wondered … about the wonder of you?

You’re actually quite wonderful … you know?

More importantly … You are uniquely wonderful. There has never been … does not exist now … or ever will be … anyone just like you!

From the beginning of your existence … you’ve been wonderful!

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.  Psalm  139:14

Actually … that’s a very revealing verse. Consider this: Your soul is the eternal part of you … it goes to Heaven with you … and it knows the truth very well.

Whereas … your body and mind are earthly, temporal … they end here.  They don’t know the truth.

However … since your body and mind are the things that live with you now … wouldn’t it be nice if you were to consider them to be wonderful too? After all, in this life … your body and mind are you!

Let’s face it … life is better when you believe you’re wonderful … so I’m going to try to get you to believe that you’re wonderful … because you are!

Here’s proof of why I know you’re wonderful …

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13   (John was quoting Jesus)

I’ll put that verse in perspective for you.  Jesus, the Son of God … your Creator …  the One through whom all things were created (John 1:1-3)  happily laid down His life (John 3:16) … so that you could have Eternal life with Him.  Therefore … without question … it is certainly reasonable to think that He thinks you’re pretty darn wonderful! You’re not just His friend … you’re His beloved creation!

Yes, in the course of our lives, it is completely, and humanly-reasonable to have moments of doubt, fear and feelings of self-worthlessness.

However … it is NEVER reasonable to believe any words or thoughts that contradict the truths of God.

God said you were wonderfully made. That settles it … you are wonderful!

So my friends, I pray that as you go through each moment, of each day … you will see and appreciate how God is revealing to you … the wonder of you!

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! Psalm 139:17

Geoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

God's Words of Love and Wisdom for You