So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
Up until the time of Jesus, Socrates and other great thinkers had summarised ethical conduct in one statement. Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you. It's in the negative, it focuses on what you must NOT do. If you don't want someone to hurt you, then don't hurt them. If you don't want someone to lie to you, then don't lie to them. Sounds good, right? There’s a problem with this kind of philosophy though, it allows you to withdraw. Had the Good Samaritan we spoke about yesterday followed this line of thinking, he could have walked past the bleeding man on the side of the road with a shrug of his shoulders that said, “That's not my responsibility. I didn’t rob him. I didn't hurt him. It's not my problem, so I'm moving on.”
But then Jesus comes along in Matthew 7:12 and makes the most revolutionary ethical statement about how we are to live our lives every day. There is a huge chasm between the negative statement, “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you,” and the positive statement, “Do to others what you'd want them to do to you.” The positive statement doesn't allow us to withdraw. It puts us on a proactive stance. If you think of a way you'd like a person to treat you, then you proactively treat them that way.
Can you imagine what kind of world we would live in if people lived out Jesus’ words? Selfishness and self-centeredness would be a thing of the past. Everyone would be a servant. However, we live in a world that teaches us to look out for ourselves, to get as much as we can by giving as little as we can. We live in a world that teaches us that ‘what's mine is mine and I'll keep it’. A servant’s heart teaches that ‘what’s mine is God’s and I’ll share it.’
Prayer: Heavenly Father, it’s so easy to get caught up in the selfishness of the world. Teach me to proactively treat other with kindness, respect and love. Amen
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him . Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people." (Colossians 3:17, 23)
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)
I was thinking . . .
In a recent interview, Amy Grant said that several years ago she was on her way to get on a tour bus when she went by to see her mother who had Alzheimer's disease. As she was leaving, Amy said, "I've got to go sing, mom." Her mother said, "you sing?" Amy said, "Yes. I sing and I write songs." Her mom asked about the kinds of songs she sings and if she would sing for her.
Then, as Amy was walking out the door, her mom called after her. "Hey, would you do me a favor?" Amy said, "Yes, what?" And her mom said "when you walk out on that stage, sing something that matters."
It seems that Amy Grant’s mom, though not even in her right mind, was on to something. If you’re going to sing, sing something that matters. I’ve been thinking a lot about that statement the last few days. It has struck me that since God is right and life is a vapor, we all have a very limited amount of time on this planet. So it seems that while we’re here, we might as well make it count.
If you’re going to preach, preach something that matters.
If you’re going to teach, teach something that matters.
If you’re going to write, write something that matters.
If you’re going to work, do some work that matters.
How many people are just meandering aimlessly through life, wasting precious time, and doing nothing that really matters? All the while, there is a great big world out there with incredible opportunities for someone who is willing to invest the time and effort to do something that matters.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean everyone has to do something big or famous. Some things that matter are small and little-known. But they still matter. They matter to family members and to friends and even to strangers. Most of all, they matter to God.
Amy Grant’s mom was right. If you’re going to sing, sing something that matters.
"Seek from the book of the Lord, and read..." Isaiah 34:16
There are books, radio programs, and numerous talk shows that urge us to take a look at who we are and then change ourselves by our determined will.
Have you tried all that information and yet you're still discouraged by repeating the same old habits?
God has a plan for us that goes beyond our abilities. It's something supernatural. It comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who supernaturally changes us where we can't change ourselves. As a bonus to that faith, He promises us victory over death, and eternal life. If you really want to help yourself, look beyond yourself to the only One who can save you and give you the ultimate victory--Jesus Christ.
Jy sou dink Paulus was te geestelik volwasse om neerslagtig te wees. Klaarblyklik nie! Die hoofapostel en leier van die kerk het ontmoediging, stres, rusteloosheid en selfs vrees ervaar. "Toe ons in Masedonië aangekom het, kon ons geen rus vind nie. Op elke moontlike manier is daar druk op ons uitgeoefen: van buite - aanvalle; van binne - vrese." (2 Kor. 7:5 NLV). Vervolgens word 'n paar maniere genoem waarop God vir ons troos en bemoediging stuur:
1) Hy bemoedig ons deur Sy teenwoordigheid. "Mag... God ons Vader - Hý wat ons liefgehad het en wat ons deur Sy genade 'n ewige troos en 'n goeie vooruitsig gegee het - mag Hy self julle harte vertroos en julle sterk maak in elke goeie daad en woord." (2 Tess 2:16-17 NLV). Dit is God se aard om met ons te wees, ons te troos wanneer ons treur (Matt 5:4), wanneer ons gebroke is (Ps 147:3), wanneer ons bedruk is (Ps 145:14), wanneer ons bekommerd is (Jes. 41:10) of wanneer ons siek is (Ps 41:3).
2) Hy troos ons deur Sy Woord. "Onthou die beloftes aan U dienaar, want U het my laat hoop. U belofte laat my weer lewe, dit vertroos my in al my ellende." (Ps 119:49-50 NLV). 3) Hy troos ons deur ons gebede. "Toe ek na U geroep het, het U my gebed verhoor en my nuwe krag gegee." (Ps 138:3 NV). 4) Hy troos ons deur gelowige vriende. Paulus skryf: "...God... het ons... opgebeur deur die koms van Titus..." (2 Kor. 7:6 NV). Kyk uit vir diegene wat troos bring en oefen om ander te troos.
Sielskos: 1 Tim 4-6; Luk 9:37-45; Ps 42:1-5; Spr. 19:12-14
Effect change within your heart and soul in order to be the best person
you can be
The Bible says: "Whatever state I am, therewith to be content. You are
Recognize and acknowledge that fact and be happy with what you have.
Relish your solitude and quiet time
Don't feel guilty about it, revel in it. Your mind, body and spirit
Be of a giving nature, but don't be self-sacrificing.
Helping others nurtures the soul; giving of yourself until you spent
Learn to forgive yourself and others.
Letting go of blame frees you to discover the true blessings of your
Keep it simple
Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.
Don't strive for perfection.
It's not possible to achieve. Instead, strive for excellence. All you
can do is your best.
Bring down the curtain on drama.
Simplify your life by vowing to stop turning minor upsets into major
Taking care of yourself does not make you self-centered, it makes you
No God, No Peace
Know God, Know Peace
On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door
of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this,
I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten
years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
And God saw that it was good.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people,
do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year
The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long
time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"
And God, again saw that it was good.
On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the
field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves
and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you
a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty
years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed that it was good.
On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play,
marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."
But, the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my
twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back and
the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."
So, that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play, and
enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to
support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to
entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the
front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you.
There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing
it as a public service. If you are looking for me, I will be on the
After seeing all the coverage for the birth of the "royal baby", I was reminded of a story I read years ago about Queen Victoria's visit to a local paper mill.
"Queen Victoria once paid a visit to a paper mill. Without knowing who this distinguished visitor was, the foreman showed her the workings of the mill. She went into the rag-sorting shop where employees picked out the rags from the refuse of the city. Upon inquiring what was done with this dirty mass of rags, she was told that it would eventually be made into the finest white writing paper. After her departure, the foreman found out who it was that had paid the visit.
Some time later, Her Majesty received a package of the most delicate, pure white stationery, bearing the Queen's likeness for a watermark. Enclosed was a note saying that the stationery had been made from the dirty rags she had recently inspected."
This story illustrates Christ's work in us as well. He takes us, filthy as we are, and makes us into new creatures. After receiving Jesus, we are spiritually different from what we were before, just as pure white paper is radically different from the filthy rags from which it is made.
"Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)