“Bad Company & Politics” November 24

 

Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals

Bad company corrupts good morals. That is true of friends, advisers, co-workers, business partners, spouses, and anyone else with whom we spend a great deal of time. It’s true in our personal lives, in our work lives, and Proverbs tells us, even in politics.

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 39 & 40
Psalm 132.10-18
Proverbs 29.5
James 5.1-20

 

Bad Company & Politics

 

Proverbs 29.5:

Bad Company Corrupts Morals & Politics

 

“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.”

The king represented their system of government. Romans tells us “bad company corrupts good morals.” That is true in politics, as well as, in our personal lives. Let’s pray that our president-elect, politicians and other leaders would surround themselves with godly counselors.

But we also need to be wise in our personal choices of friends and associates.

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6.14).

Bad company corrupts good morals

We can’t always choose our co-workers, but we can be wise about how much time we spend with them during breaks and after work. We can be careful not to listen to gossip, complaining or advise from those who are ungodly.

If we’re already married to an unbeliever we need to fill our hearts and minds with God’s truth and seek to love them biblically while continuing to be salt and light. If we’re single we should only date someone who would be a godly spouse.

We need to choose our friends wisely. It’s not that we should never spend time with unbelievers, but our closest friends should be those who love God and will speak truth into our lives not tell us what we want to hear all the time.  Continue reading

“Are you under God’s umbrella of protection?” October 28

 

Are you under God's umbrella of protection? - What is God’s "umbrella of protection" and how do we stay under it? How, also, do we put ourselves outside His protective authority? And how does the Church itself act as an umbrella of protection for its members?What is God’s “umbrella of protection” and how do we stay under it? How, also, do we put ourselves outside His protective authority? And how does the Church itself act as an umbrella of protection for its members?

How does this apply:

  • Within the Family
  • In the Church
  • In Our Nation

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 41 & 42
Psalm 119.89-96
Proverbs 28.2
2 Timothy 1.1-18

 

Are you under God’s umbrella of protection?

 

Jeremiah 41 & 42 & Proverbs 28.2:

Umbrella of Protection for a Nation

Interestingly our verse in Proverbs today is 28.2:

“Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; but by a man of understanding and knowledge right will be prolonged.”

John MacArthur says, “Unrighteousness in a nation produces political instability with many vying for power …,” on the other hand, “Wisdom promotes social order and long rule.”

We see that truth in operation here in Jeremiah 41 and 42, and in the following chapter. Ishmael sees an opportunity to seize control and is shortly overturned himself by Johanan. But, because he lacked righteousness and trust in God, Johanan soon leads the people to ruin.

There is also a beautiful picture of God’s willingness to protect His people in chapter 42. When the people were in a desperate situation, they turned to God, asking Jeremiah to intercede for them and seek His wisdom. But when He provided it, they were unwilling to listen.

The place of protection was where God had placed them and commanded them to stay. But since it didn’t make sense to them, they left and went their own way, only to be destroyed as we’ll see in the next chapter.

Remember 9-11? After that horrible tragedy people flocked to churches, but few actually made the life changes they needed so they could truly live under God’s protective authority. And as a nation, we have totally rejected the spiritual lessons we should have learned.

What can we do today? If you remember much of our reading in the historical Bible books, God would often show mercy on the whole nation because of a godly leader or one who turned to Him in times of trouble. In a democratic republic like ours, let’s pray He gives us the wisdom to make the wisest choice possible and that we listen.

But what about on a personal level, how do we either stay under God’s protective authority or leave and go to Egypt? Continue reading

“Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety” + LINKUP

 

Overcoming Fear, Worry & AnxietyWelcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety: Becoming a Woman of Faith and Confidence by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

 

Aging parents, health concerns, rebellious children, financial worries, safety issues and more. For many of us, they can lead to increasing fear, worry, and anxiety ranging from mild to paralyzing.

As believers we know we should trust God rather than be fearful and worried, but the peace we desire and God wants us to have, seems elusive.

We know the answer lies in our relationship with Christ, but sometimes we need practical advice on how to break those old habit patterns. Elyse reminds us:

[Jesus is] the only one who intimately knows all our thoughts and fears. He’s the only one who is able to deliver us. That’s because He’s faced the greatest of all fears for us—the fear of death and separation from God— and He’s come through victorious. The Bible teaches that one reason He left heaven and came to earth was to “deliver those who through fear…have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread” (Hebrews 2:15 TLB).

Our fears are like chains around our hearts—they paralyze, entrap, and enslave us. But Jesus Christ holds the key that can unlock and banish all your fears. He’s able to do this because His love is more powerful than your fears. It’s His plan to teach, encourage, and transform you into a person who trusts Him— even in the face of your deepest worries and anxieties. He doesn’t promise to make you perfect here on earth, but He does promise to work mightily in your heart now and will ultimately, in heaven, completely free you from every fear.

She goes on to help us identify the source of our fear, worry, and anxiety. Then through careful application of the Scriptures and personal examples, her own and others, she helps us:

Cast all [our] anxiety on him because he cares for [us] (1 Pet. 5.7).

Blessings,
Donna

 

Quotations taken from:
Fitzpatrick, Elyse. Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety. Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

You can get a copy of Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety or shop for other resources here.


 


IF YOU ARE A BLOGGER, IT’S TIME TO LINKUP!

IF NOT, CHECK OUT THE GREAT POSTS LINKED BELOW!

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Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word, parenting, marriage, homemaking, organization and more. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they are family friendly. Remember this is a Christian site. I would love it if you link back in someway and share the linkup on social media. I pin many of your posts on my “Mondays @ Soul Survival” Pinterest board as time allows.  Continue reading

The Jesus Code: Have you let fear or loss of focus derail you? + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 14 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

This week’s question: “Should such a man as I flee?” (Nehemiah 6.11).

Nehemiah had what may have been considered a cushy job in Babylon, but he had a heart to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls that had been destroyed and were still in ruins.

He started out well and after six weeks he was closing in on the finish line, but when the end was in sight, an enemy sought to derail him. Hawkins writes:

Sanballat— Nehemiah’s longtime nemesis— and his deceitful friends made a final attempt to derail him. They sought to trick him into a meeting that was designed to get him off on a side street. “Come, let us meet . . . in the plain of Ono” (Nehemiah 6: 2) was their invitation. 

Many of us have gotten off on a side street. Sometimes in our careers or perhaps in our marriages. And other times in our ministries. We started out with a great plan or goal, but the enemy came along and distracted us.

Nehemiah, however, refused to get distracted. He sent Sanballat a message, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (v.3).

When Sanballat realized he had failed to distract Nehemiah, he tried another tactic: the threat of danger. He sent a secret informer who said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you” (v. 10).

But Nehemiah responded, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” (v. 11).

The author goes on:

In contrast to Nehemiah’s perseverance, we live in a day when we see a lot of men and women fleeing, running out on responsibilities and opportunities and away from risks. This escapism takes all kinds of forms. Too many wish with the psalmist, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (Psalm 55: 6). Guess what? You don’t have any wings! You can’t just fly off. You can’t run out every time things don’t seem to go your way.

How about you? Have you allowed yourself to get sidetracked? Do you need to refocus on the purpose you had when you started your blog or other ministry? Do you need to recommit to your marriage or some other endeavor? Is there some area where you have let fear or escapism take over?

Let me know in the comments.

Next week’s question is: “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14.14)

Last week’s question: “Why are we sitting here until we die?” (2 Kings 7.3). Read it here.

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Blessings,
Donna

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

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I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking Mom2Mom Linkup
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Testimony Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Women with Intention
Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy
Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

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“Recognizing the Process of Sin”

LIVING BETWEEN THE ALREADY & THE NOT YET – Part 3

 

process of sin

 

Several weeks ago I started this series, “Living Between the Already and the Not Yet.” “The already” is who we are in Christ and have been since the day that He saved us. The “not yet” is who we will be when we stand before Him faultless, in other words, when we are like Him.

The first post was “5 Ways God Finishes His Work in Us” based on Philippians 1.6. In it I said that God is progressively changing and growing us as we learn to:

  1. Count it all joy when we encounter tests & trials.
  2. Accept His discipline.
  3. Keep the two great commandments.
  4. Overcome evil with good.
  5. Trust in His sovereignty.

In the second post, I talked about “Responding to Difficult People.” We all have one or more of them in our lives, whether it’s a child, a family member, a spouse, a co-worker or someone else.

I used a simple counseling diagram we call the “Y-chart,” to demonstrate how responding God’s way results in peace and blessings and how our load in life gets easier. But when we respond our own way, it results in tribulation and distress (anxiety, fear, worry, stress, depression) and life gets harder.

 

RECOGNIZING THE PROCESS OF SIN

In this post I’m going to talk about the process of sin: how it works, why we fall into its snares, and how we can avoid it.  Continue reading

October 28 “An umbrella of protection & handed over to Satan”

umbrella How do we stay under God’s “umbrella of protection”? How do we put ourselves outside God’s protective authority? And how does the Church itself act as an umbrella of protection to its members?

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 41 & 42
Psalm 119.89-96
Proverbs 28.2
2 Timothy 1.1-18

Jeremiah 41 & 42:

Umbrella of protection

Interestingly our verse in Proverbs today is 28.2:

“Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; but by a man of understanding and knowledge right will be prolonged.”

John MacArthur says, “unrighteousness in a nation produces political instability with many vying for power …,” on the other hand, “Wisdom promotes social order and long rule.”

We see that truth in operation here in Jeremiah 41 and 42, and in the following chapter. Ishmael sees an opportunity to seize control and is shortly overturned himself by Johanan. But, because he lacked righteousness and trust in God, Johanan soon leads the people to ruin.

There is also a beautiful picture of God’s willingness to protect His people in chapter 42. When the people were in a desperate situation, they turned to God by asking Jeremiah to intercede for them and ask for wisdom, but they were unwilling to obey God. The place of protection was where God had placed them and commanded them to stay. But since it didn’t make sense to them, they left and went their own way, only to be destroyed as we’ll see in the next chapter.

Remember 9-11. After that horrible tragedy people flocked to churches, but few actually made the life changes they needed so they could truly live under God’s protective authority. And as a nation, we have totally rejected the spiritual lessons we should have learned.

But what about on a personal level, how do we either stay under God’s protective authority or leave and go to Egypt? Continue reading

October 27 “Guilt, anxiety and paranoia” & LINKUP

fear paranoiaGuilt and anxiety can be God’s early warning system to keep us from hardening our hearts and doing things that can harm ourselves or others. But when we refuse to heed those warnings, they can morph into paranoia and a continued downward spiral of sin.

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 39 & 40
Psalm 119.81-88
Proverbs 28.1
1 Timothy 6.1-21

 

Jeremiah 39 & 40:

The faithfulness of God in hard times

What a sweet testimony to the faithfulness of God! When the city was defeated, Nebuchadnezzar gave orders that Jeremiah was not just to be spared, but to be given a ration and told he was free to go anywhere he wanted to go!

We get so concerned about how the economy or some political change will affect us. Instead of standing firm for truth in the face of adversity and evil, we compromise, worry, and put our trust in other gods, like government, to save us. Instead of voting for candidates who are morally right we vote our pocketbooks (who promises me the most?). We lie to get unemployment benefits. Or we compromise our values in the work place, the classroom and the marketplace. Continue reading

February 16 “Defending the faith”

Defending the faith

Could you defend what you say you believe? Do you ever pretend you’re not a believer because it’s inconvenient or embarrassing? Have you ever said my faith is a “personal thing” when you had an opportunity to “give a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3.15)? Do you ever hold back when it would mean taking a stand or speaking up? I know I have.

Today’s Readings:
Leviticus 3 & 4
Psalm 23
Proverbs 9.1-6
Matthew 27.55-66

Leviticus 3 & 4

The messy business of sin

Before we talk about defending the faith we’ll discuss our Old Testament reading.

The primary theme in Leviticus is holiness. God is holy and He has commanded us to be holy just as He is (1 Pet. 1.14-16).

The need for holiness is attested to by the complicated systems of sacrifices and offerings. The animal sacrifices made temporary atonement for the sins of the priests and the people.

And what a “messy” and costly business the sacrificial system really was.

But then, I’m reminded that sin itself is “messy” business! Think of all the messes we make in our lives: our friendships, our marriages, our families, our finances, and every area of life. It’s not always “pretty” and our only remedy is Christ. When we see our complete failure to be holy and understand that He died as the perfect Sacrifice for all who believe and receive, we can exchange His righteousness for our sin.

But sometimes God has to allow our choices in life to bring about their natural consequences (Gal. 6.7-8) before we’re willing to see our need for Him.

Even as believers, he allows a certain amount of hardship in our lives. Not because He’s spiteful or unloving, but because He is our Father and we are His children. Like any good father, He trains and disciplines His children precisely because He loves us! Continue reading

January 26 “Persecution, prejudice & the evidence against you”

Evidence

What is one major root of prejudice and how does it relate to what’s going on in our country today? Where do you stand on the major issues involved?Would there be enough evidence against you to prove that you are a true believer?

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 1 & 2
Psalm 15.1-5
Proverbs 4.25-27
Matthew 17.1-27

Exodus 1 & 2:

Abraham, Joseph … now Moses

Now we begin another adventure into the Word of God! God is getting ready to raise up Moses. Remember, “… whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15.4).

When we study the life of Abraham, the Father of Faith, it can help us know and trust in the faithfulness of God to keep His promises. The Scripture says Abraham, “Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be’ ” (Rom. 4.18).

In Joseph we saw a picture, a shadow, of Christ, the Son who was willing to lay down his life for His brothers, to forgive though they caused His suffering. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5.8).

Now, through the life of Moses, we’ll begin to see more of God as our Deliverer—the One who sees our bondage and hears our cries and “in the fullness of time,” His perfect timing, He delivers us. We’ll talk more about this in the days to come. Continue reading