Posts Tagged ‘ Submission ’

Being Thine with John Wesley

Let Wisdom use your life, and learn where to start with Proverbial Thought!

Regardless of where you stand in the theological and soteriological spectrum, John Wesley was an amazing man of God.

He helped, through this prayer, to remind us of Paul’s words:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV

May we all learn to submit ourselves completely to God’s perfect will!

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

1755, John Wesley

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 02/01/2015

Make your central focus the wisdom of God, and get started at Proverbial Thought!

Here it is:

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Hebrews 1:1-4, ESV

In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.
Ephesians 4:9-10

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:36

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. . . . And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption
1 Corinthians 1:22-24, 30

yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1 Corinthians 8:6

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:15-20

Here you are:

Central

what do we put our attention on
with so many things going on all around
with this world and all the hocus pocus
even Christians tend to lose their focus
in a world chock full of wickedness and evil
i want to make sure i keep Jesus Christ central
especially since all things were made through Him
and the Word itself says He is God s Wisdom
if He is Central to all of Creation
and God has called Him His only Son
should He not be our primary focus
should we not center our lives around Jesus
i refuse to put my attention anywhere else
for through Him i see everyone else
if Jesus is Central to all created things
my central focus will be the King of kings

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 11/16/2014

Never grow weary of seeking wisdom, and find some thoughts at Proverbial Thought!

Just for the record, I was a little busy and forgot to prepare one of my poems for last week. Oops!

You could say I was tired, and so it slipped my mind. There is something that it has become increasingly more difficult to forget: thinking about God. Even when I am so tired I can barely see straight or hold a coherent thought, I find my mind wandering to the Bible, God’s attributes, and simply talking with Him.

This has only come after years of deliberately – and very often with Heavenly reminders! – seeking our Lord and reading His Word.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you want to seek His face, to be filled with a passion for His Word, His presence, to the point of falling asleep while thinking of Him.

tired devotion

i am so devoted to You
that even tired i will praise
my last moment that i have
the last moment i am awake
i spend reaching out for You
i fall asleep as i pray
and i will continue so
each and every day
You deserve what i have
and i will gladly pay
You said to love You with all
my heart and mind and soul and strength
so i will do as You have asked
even tired i will do as You say
my praise You will receive
whether at work or at play
my tired devotion You will get
even if i come to faint

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/12/2014

Find the old wisdom with a new perspective at Proverbial Thought!

One of my favorite Michael W. Smith songs is Missing Person. That song was partly inspiration for this poem.

It occurred to me, though, that with just that song it can be easy to miss the point.

For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Philippians 3:8b-16, ESV

For a Christian who has grown stale, who feels like the passion and the power of Christ is gone, trying to get back to who we once were as a new believer is not the right focus. Our focus must always be on the One who changes us through His power and resurrection: Jesus Christ. Only then can we find that passion and power we once felt.

 

   finding the old new self

most of us believe in power
then get comfortable and stale
we then begin to look for
that faith that now looks so pale
we start looking for that person
whom we were when we were younger
perhaps there is a reason
we are unable to get there
we are trying so hard to
get back to who we used to be
that we neglect the full truth
and our focus is on “me”
we had that power at first
because we gave up our lives
realized that it took rebirth
and giving control to Christ
let us stop trying to find ourselves
and return to what can save us
through faith a grace from God above
manifested in His Son Jesus

Rediscovering “Rediscovering God with Downhere”

Rediscover wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

Three years and nine days ago I heard a song for the first time that I greatly enjoyed, so I shared it on my blog.

As I have been finishing my first summer as a Seminarian, I am officially beginning my teaching career (in Special Education with children with Autism), and I have had a jam-packed summer of travels, work prep, and simply getting things done.

It has been a little exhausting!

Therefore, I think it is a great time to bring back this song as a good reminder to myself, other seminarians, and all those who tend to work too hard and sometimes forget or neglect time with God (like pastors and other ministry leaders, teachers, and just about anyone else in Western culture). This is “Let Me Rediscover You” by the band Downhere (no longer together, but the lead singer of this song is now “Freddie Mercury” for the Queen cover band Queen Extravaganza).

Just listen to the lyrics and focus on God for about four minutes!

Let Me Rediscover You

Your spirit hovers over my waters
Your love burns longer than the sun
The skies of thunder echo your wonder
Your praises can’t be over-sung

The whole Universe is witness
To only a part of what you’ve done

So let me rediscover you
And breathe in me your life anew
Tell me of the God I never knew
Oh, let me rediscover you

You see my weakness, my pride, my blindness
You wield your power through them all
Of all the mysteries, still, the greatest to me
Is that you’re faithful when I fall

How can I say I know you
When what I know is still so small?

Let me rediscover you
And breathe in me your life anew
Tell me of the God I never knew
And let me rediscover you

Let me cry “holy, holy, holy”
(holy, holy, holy)
Let me awaken to your majesty
(waken to your majesty)
And see a glimmer of your glory
Let me abide in you

Let me rediscover you
And by your grace I’ll follow through
Reveal to me the God I thought I knew

Let me rediscover you
And breathe in me your life anew
Tell me of the God I never knew
And let me rediscover you

Oh, let me rediscover you
Tell me of the God I never knew
Jesus, let me rediscover you.

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things …

As the book of Proverbs is finally “all commentaried out”, go catch some of the final wise words this week at Proverbial Thought!

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
Psalm 119:37, ESV

I made a covenant with my eyes . . .
Job 31:1, NIV

A couple of weeks ago, I announced through Facebook that my wife and I were cancelling our Netflix and Hulu accounts.

This decision had very little to do with what we watch. We try to be rather discerning in what we watch because we do not want to let too many immoral and/or blasphemous things in our minds if we can help it.

Rather, the decision came after a comment made by one of seminary professors.

While working through the book of Acts, we were discussing whether Christianity was a threat to the Roman Empire. My reply was “Technically. I mean, look at when Paul got upset with the girl with the Serpent spirit and cast it out of her in the name of Jesus. The people who were making money off of her fortune-telling were suddenly out of a means of income.”

The conversation then focused on how Christianity messed with the economy of the Empire. This is because makers of idols, workers in pagan temples, and even tour guides around cities with temples would lose business throwing off the entire economy of entire cities if not the entire Empire.

Then the professor made this comment: “Imagine if Christians still gave up all of their idolatrous and ungodly pursuits. How many Christians pay for pornography in our society?

My initial thought was “I’m glad that is not us!” (Caitlin and me)

Then some conviction set in.

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that glorify sex and nudity?

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that mock or blaspheme Christians and God?

At first I tried to justify having these accounts:

How many Christian-based things do they show?

It is not like I watch those things!

Netflix especially comes in handy working in a school, for both my wife and me!

I found myself getting angry that I should have to give up something.

Why was I angry and finding such a need to justify my actions if I was doing nothing wrong?

More than anything, I needed to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

So, instead, I turned to my classmate and said “I am not very happy with the professor right now.” We then laughed about my silliness.

Most people I talked with about it went through the same justifications. A couple of them even said I was being too legalistic.

To combat that, a) I am not saying everyone needs to cancel Netflix and Hulu. This is a personal conviction. I certainly will argue for others to let go, because how much do we really need Netflix, Hulu, and television in general? This is especially true when we consider how useless most television is, how ungodly most television is, and how much God and Christians are blasphemed and mocked. b) We still occasionally watch TV. We enjoy being entertained as much as anyone, and not everything on TV is bad for us. c) We will still go to some movies (Speaking of which, The Lego Movie is rather fantastic in a purely entertaining vain!), for through this we might still be able to show Hollywood what kind of content we prefer while supporting some local businesses (or at least our friends who work at local businesses.

More importantly, though, is that we want to not only obey God in our lives but push others toward Christ by refusing to be a part in causing others to stumble:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

Everyone will be salted with fire.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Mark 9:42-50, NIV

We both felt that our continued subscription to these businesses supported content that could cause others to stumble or even be led astray. We would rather not have these forms of entertainment and be closer to Christ than have to have our conscience troubled if what we are doing is moral and godly. Christ and other people are more important than our temporary enjoyment.

How many things in our lives do we devote too much of our time and money to instead of focusing on loving God and people?

In our culture of instant gratification, pleasure, and stuff, how often do we unplug, sacrifice, and get quiet?

Resolutely Seeking Righteousness

Seek wisdom and get a taste through the words shared at Proverbial Thought!

For the past week and a half I have been talking about why I do not like New Year’s Resolutions.

Here are some reasons why:

1. Resolutions are more like wishes personal wishes for the future. If you really want to stick to your desired goal, it is better to write out specifically what you ultimately want to achieve, sub-goals for marking progress and getting encouragement to continue, and have a support team.

2. We tend to approach resolutions more as guidelines for looking responsible than actually being responsible with our lives.

3. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3, ESV)

Why is number three Proverbs 16:3?

Because, along with my first two reasons, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) We are always trying to do things we think are best for us, but we do not always seek God’s will for our decisions. Perhaps we fail at so many resolutions because we were trying to do something that either God has not ordained or in a way He has not ordained.

[“ordained” simply means sanctioned, permitted, or established]

Therefore, whether the resolution is to lose weight, change diet, quit smoking/drinking/some addiction, or anything of importance, it is best to seek God first. In fact, one of my favorite passages to quote about just about anything will help with this, as well:

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

And I couple it with this:

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

Whatever plans you have for this year, remember to always put Christ first. Seek out the will of the Father, act on His will, and always give thanks no matter the circumstances or results!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY!