Our Need for Improvement

Our Need for Improvement

This article is a reminder for each of us to focus upon our own, individual need for improvement rather than to look around at other people’s failings. 

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  (Mt 7:3)

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  (Lk 18:11)

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  (Joh 8:7-9)

As human beings, we have a tendency to look at other people and compare ourselves to others.  Most of the time, we do that when we want to see ourselves as “not being so bad.”  Other times, we look around at the circumstances of other peoples’ lives and we feel jealous.  It is not good to compare ourselves to others; it is what the Bible would term as foolishness.

As the verses shown above demonstrate, we should never focus on other people.  (2 Cor 10:12)

Also, there are a number of Scriptures instructing us to avoid comparing ourselves.  (Exo 20:17; Mt 7:1-2; Joh 21:22)

Rather, we should focus upon Jesus Christ and yearn to follow in His footsteps.  As we focus upon Christ, He will shower us with His love and encouragement.  He will give us a purpose and a plan for our lives, as well as all of the grace and mercy that we will ever need to fulfill that plan.  (Jer 29:11; 32:19; Pro 16:4; 19:21; 1 Cor 2:9)

Let us trust the Lord Jesus to transform us in His own way, in His own time.  We are His workmanship, and He will see the work through to its completion.  (Eph 2:10; Phil 1:6)  Just trust Him and trust His plan for you!  God bless you.

God, Our Savior: Our Hiding Place

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.  (Ps 119:114 ESV)

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.  (Ps 27:5 NKJV)

You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.  (Ps 31:20 NKJV)

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.  (Ps 32:7 NKJV)

A pavilion is another word for a tent, chamber or building.  Through these Bible passages, the Lord is:

  • Teaching us,
  • Making promises to us, and
  • Encouraging us.

The Lord is teaching us to run to Him and to His Word when we are in need, in poor health, or in trouble.  He is reminding us to lay all of our troubles and concerns at His feet; and to trust Him to deal with each and every one of them on our behalf. 

The Lord, through these Bible verses, promises to:

  • Be our safe haven,
  • Shield us and hide us from trouble,
  • Set us high upon a rock, far from strife and evil words spoken against us,
  • Save (deliver) us from trouble, and
  • Surround us with songs of release and freedom from and victory over all evil.

Last, but not least, the Lord is lovingly encouraging us to put all of our faith and trust in Him and in His Word.  He wants us to be steadfast and unwavering in our faith in Him. 

God wants us to remember that He cannot and does not lie!  (Num 23:19; Tit 1:2)  Trust the Savior today.

A Good Name

A Good Name

What exactly is a “good name”?  It means having a good reputation, or being known as a person with a good character.  The Bible speaks most favorably about having a good name.

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  (Pro 22:1 NIV)

Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.  (Pro 3:4 NIV)

A good name is better than fine perfume . . . (Eccl 7:1a NIV)

Ecclesiastes asserts that a good reputation is better than fine perfume!  Does that surprise you?  Let’s think about this for a little time.  Your good name is all about your integrity—your very character.

When people hear your name, what do they think about you?  Do they associate your name with timeliness, honesty, and hard work?  Or do they think several negative things instead?

Here are some valuable reasons why a good reputation can be considered better than riches.

  • A good name provides steadiness – A person with a good name means that there are positive character traits the person has. When you’re known for having a good character, it causes other people to trust you and to want to deal with you.  Trust is a stabilizing factor in life.  In business, people will want to hire you or affiliate themselves with you.  In personal life, you will have many trusted friends who will remain friends.  A person with a good character is easy to love.
  • A good name is endless – Think about the many people in history that are spoken of in our time with respect and awe. A good character stays behind when we have gone ahead into eternity.  Once we have lived our lives and passed on, what kind of legacy will we have we left behind?  How will our children, our family and friends remember us?  If we followed Jesus’ example and lived our lives by faith, we can be assured that we will have made a positive contribution to our world.
  • God bestows loving favor on those who have a good name. – When a person has a good name (a good character), they receive the favor of God and man. (Ps 84:11; Pro 3:1-4; 33-35)  People enjoy interactions with those who make them feel good and who interact honorably with them.  People will love you for your honesty; they will appreciate your work ethic; and they will respect your sense of integrity.  When a person of good character is assaulted, their friends and associates will choose to defend and protect them.  People love to unite together to help a person with a good name. 

It’s good to stop and take stock, occasionally, of the state of our reputation.  Is it in good shape?  If not, there’s still time to make changes in your life in order to repair your good name.

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.  Whoever assails you will fall because of you.  (Isa 54:15 NASB, emphasis added)

The Lord is declaring Himself as our protector and defender in this verse!  What a promise—what a breathtaking gift!  He says this many times in various ways in the Bible.

Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.  (Isa 41:11 NASB)

For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.  (Isa 49:25b NKJV)

Contend means to resist, oppose, or challenge.  The Lord says that when someone opposes or challenges one of His children, HE will be the One to deal with them.  Not only will He save us, but He’ll save our children. 

These are wonderful, powerful and precious promises to rely upon.  Don’t think that they’re only in the Bible to encourage us and to reassure us.  They are provided to us as weapons of our spiritual warfare!  (2 Cor 10:4; Eph 6:17 NKJV)

The Bible teaches us that the Word of God is living and powerful—active.  It goes on to say that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, able to perceive (detect) the thoughts and purposes of a person’s heart!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 NKJV)

Use the Word of God as the weapon that it truly is.  Meditate upon it; speak with the Lord about it; and let Him know that you not only believe it but you depend up it to come to pass in your life.  Believe the Word and stand upon it by faith.

Your faith and trust in Him and in His Word will please the Lord as well as improve your life immeasurably.

God Satisfies Us with Good Things

God Satisfies Us with Good Things

. . . for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.  (Ps 107:9 NIV)

Psalm 107 is a song of praise to God for His many blessings.  He gives food and drink to the hungry and thirsty.  Praise God!

The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10)

When we focus upon the Lord and upon His promises to us, and ask Him to provide what we need, believers will receive answers to prayer. 

. . . who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free. . .  (Ps 146:7)  The Lord feeds and delivers all those who trust in Him.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  (Mt 5:6)  Those who crave God’s spiritual blessings shall be filled or overwhelmed with them thanks to the salvation that God has supplied through Jesus.

He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.  (Lk 1:53)  We can trust that when we are hungry or needy for God’s help and deliverance, He will faithfully meet all of our needs through our Savior and Lord, Jesus. 

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.  (Ps 103:5)  By God’s generous hand, believers can retain youthful vitality like the eagles. 

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11) This verse insists upon the goodness of God by stating—unequivocally—that there is NO GOOD THING that God will deny to or withhold from the upright. 

If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, then you are justified by the blood of Jesus and you qualify as “upright”!!  These precious and reliable promises are for you.  Hallelujah!

Yield to the Lord

Yield to the Lord

The Lord reminds us to “submit to Him” which means to relinquish or hand over control of our lives to Him.  This can be a real challenge for us to do while we live on this earth.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Pro 3:5-6 NIV, underscoring added)

Let’s look at several more passages from the Bible in order to get a clearer picture.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  (Pro 16:3 NIV)  When we commit our actions to the Lord, we place them in His hands and trust Him to:

  • Bless these actions;,
  • Bring Himself glory through them; and
  • Uphold our plans.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.  (Isa 30:21)  This passage reminds us that the Lord leads us and guides us by the voice of His Spirit.  He will bless us and prosper us as we yield to Him, and obey His voice..

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.”  (Isa 48:17)  The Lord wishes us to defer to His leading and guidance; and as we do, He will cause us to prosper.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  (1 Cor 10:31)  In accepting God’s will for our lives by being obedient to His leading, we will actually bring Him glory and honor.  This is the goal to which we have been called.

A believer who will bow down in humility before the Lord, responding with submission and yieldedness to His guidance, will be blessed greatly by the Lord.

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”  (Lk 11:28, underscoring added – see also Jas 1:25)  Our obedience to God is blessed.

A New Thing

A New Thing

God is always working in the world.  He loves to do a “new thing”! 

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  (Isa 43:19)

Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.  (Isa 42:9)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  (2 Cor 5:17)

. . . to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.  (Heb 12:24)

God’s new thing will ALWAYS be better than anything that has gone before.  When His plans for one of His people changes, the reason is to improve the plan!

Our God is a God of love, mercy and truth.  He is patient and full of goodness.  God is eternal, self-sufficient, all-powerful and He never changes!  We must learn the nature of our God, and once we do, our faith in Him will be deepened and secure.

Since God knows everything, we can trust that His new thing will also serve the best interests of everyone concerned.   Get on board with God’s new thing!