1. “Stay in love with God. Do good and do no harm.” Reuben P. Job
2. Concentrate on virtuous things; they build good character, shape and color attitudes, and influence behavior.
3. Look for and graciously acknowledge the good in others.
4. Walk only the fence grounded in cement, and only to avoid the danger lurking on each side.
5. Do not befriend talebearers; they are not concerned with the common good.
6. When possible, be at peace with everyone.
7. Work hard, relish the comforts afforded, and rest often.
8. Forgive freely and always.
9. Accentuate and embrace the positive.
10. Keep faith in God.
Self-aggrandizement – the Antithesis of Godliness –
• creates discomfort, discord, and distance
• deliberately, but subtly, defames, discredits, and attempts to humiliate
• delights in having its way
• demands acknowledgment
• desires praise
• disrupts peace
• dispenses injustice
• insists on prominence
• plots to gain dominance
• refuses to be dismissed or ignored
• seeks confrontation and the spotlight
• is self-centered, self-promoting, self-serving;
• self-aggrandizement is the opposite of godliness
1. Practice the Golden Rule– “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
2. Do not judge others – “Do not judge, or you will be judged. For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Matthew 7: 1-2
3. Exercise love rigorously – “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” John 13: 34 – 35
4. Look for and focus on the positive – “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8
5. Shun evil – “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” 1 Peter 3: 9
6. Be kind – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
7. Let people know God cares about them – “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3: 15-17
a kind heart and a gentle spirit
asking for forgiveness, forgiving, and forging forward
creating and cultivating calmness
doing the right thing, even when it hurts
encouraging the disenfranchised, disheartened, and the downtrodden
getting comfortable with rising and living above the fray
practicing justice and supporting just causes
recognizing and acknowledging the value in and of others
rejecting that which is demeaning, demanding, and domineering
working for the common good
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8: 23-25)
The following summary is based on a sermon I heard earlier today. The sermon was based on the preceding text. I don’t recall the title of the sermon, the name of the church, nor the name of the preacher. But, I do recall the powerful message.
I stumbled upon the church while looking for a different worship community. I stayed because I didn’t want to be rude and disrupt the service by moving around. I am thankful that I stayed. The message I heard was the one I needed to hear. Praise God!
Sermon Summary– Sometimes each of us needs a second touch from God. For us to receive the blessing, God has to remove us from the distractions that hinder us from receiving spiritual wholeness.
Like the blind man in the referenced passage from Mark, it may take more than one touch from God for us to receive complete deliverance or healing. When we are alone with God and cognizant of his love, we are not afraid to confess that we have not fully received deliverance. We are free to confess, “I don’t see clearly, or I’m only partially free. Help me, Lord.”
God hears our admission, comes to our rescue without condemning us and gives us a second touch.
Halleluiah! Praise God for the written word, for powerful preaching under the unction of the Holy Spirit, and for second touches!!!
Thank you, Creator, for
Your amazing grace and the constant presence of your Holy Spirit
Advocates who work for justice
Artists who entertain and inspire
Power to overcome evil with good
Protection from things seen and unseen
Quiet spaces to rest and meditate
Songs that stimulate thought and touch the heart
Sweet sleep and days full of adventure
The diversity of nature, and the variations within each species
Time to reflect, relax, repent, and reform
Thank you, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of all life and giver of all that is good!
A little bit of biblical faith goes a long way (Matthew 17:20. It gives one the courage to stand for what is right, even when such a stand is unpopular (study the lives of the Apostles and other early believers).
Mustard Seed Size Faith –
- frees one to acknowledge his or her shortcomings and to trust God for help in overcoming those weaknesses (Mark 9: 21 – 24)
- releases one from the paralyzing grips of fear, guilt, and shame (Romans 8:1)
- is God-centered and concerned about restoring wholeness- physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being (James 2: 14 – 26)
- cares about the common good, not just personal gain (Colossians 3: 12)
- helps one remain focused on the power of God, not mired down by the problems of the present (Proverbs 3: 5 – 9)
- gives hope that there is light at the end of every tunnel (Psalm 30: 5)
- is a tool used to request deliverance from distress, protection from the powerful, and to uplift broken spirits (James 5: 17)
- wants justice for all (Micah 6: 8)
Thank God for mustard seed size faith!