“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)
How are you today? Before I talk about Isaiah 26:3 specifically, I want to discuss some concepts that go with the verse. Let’s first think about having a “one-tracked” mind. Have you ever had a one-tracked mind? You know the sort, when you are hyper focused on something and right or wrong, once you have it in your head to do something a specific way, nothing can stand in your way.
I have experienced that before in myself and in others. I know that when I am focused on something that strongly, I can forget all that is around me. I could forget that I have water boiling on the stove or forget that my husband is in the room and not hear him ask me a question. Our brains are “funny” in that way.
Think about the “placebo effect”. If people believe enough, often sugar pills can help as much as the “real” medicine or cure for something. The mind is focused on the fact that it will work. It believes. It trusts that it will work.
Another thing to think about is the “power of thought”, especially the “power of positive thinking”. If we think positively, often times positive things happen. If we think negatively, often times negative things happen.
I find it interesting that we bring up these principles to encourage each other when we are down. We often believe these sentiments as true and good. We think we are doing good to encourage others with these things. And, many times, we do feel a certain amount of encouragement. They do seem to help us many times when we are down. Yet, these are worldly sentiment. None of it gives credit to God. None of it gives us what God can give us.
Now, let’s look at Isaiah 26:3 and ponder it a while. The first part of Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) reads, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace”. When do we need peace or think about needing peace? It is when we are troubled, anxious, frustrated, confused, angry, depressed, or scared that we need to be reassured that God can give us peace. We also need peace when we are sinful and do the wrong things. We may feel sorry, ashamed, or self-conscious. We need the peace of knowing that we are forgiven, wiped clean, and back on the right path. We need to know we are not in conflict with each other, with ourselves, or with God. This is the type of peace that God can offer. It is a peace in our heart, not just in our mind, that He loves us and will keep us safe. (It might not be a worldly safe at times, but it is a heavenly safe. It will be in His arms and not lost or out of His sight.) God’s peace is more than just a lack of fighting and turmoil. It is a heavenly peace that touches more than our mind and heart. It touches us deeply within in our spirit.
It seems to me that when we fear something, it is the not knowing or worry that we really fear. Often, I fear trying new things. It isn’t really the fear of trying new things that really bother me, it is more that I fear making mistakes, wasting materials, or getting into trouble. I fear flying. It isn’t really that I fear flying, but more that I fear crashing and dying. I fear dying, but it isn’t so much that I fear dying. It is more that I fear not knowing what it will be like or being afraid that I won’t be with God in heaven. (These fears come and go depending on how I am feeling. My mind knows that I have nothing to fear, because I believe in God and love Him. My heart isn’t always as calm as my mind. My spirit isn’t always at peace.) See how our fear can seem to be one thing but really another? God can help us. He can give us a peace, but not just any peace, a heavenly and perfect peace.
The middle part of Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) reads, “…whose mind is stayed on thee…”. That is the person who will get the perfect peace from the first part of the peace, the person whose mind is focused on God. That is why it is good to have some Bible verses committed to memory, so we can remember the inspirational and helpful words God gave us. It is the reason why we should be in the habit of praying about every little thing, so when we are upset it will almost be second nature to pray about it and to ask God for help.
Let’s go back to what I was saying earlier about being super focused on something. When we are super focused on someone or something, we get tuned in to just that person or thing. We tune out and sometimes even forget other things and people around us.
The more we focus on God, His Word, and His love for us, the more at peace we begin to feel. The more we do this, the more we yearn for a relationship with Him, and the more we grow to feel and understand these things more deeply. As we do that, the stronger and more real our peace becomes.
So, when we are down or afraid or have any number of negative emotions, we have two choices. We can focus on the fear and negative emotions or we can focus on God. Which would you rather do? Now, it might sound simple to just say, “Focus on God.” Well, it is not always that simple. It can be one of the more difficult things to do amongst some strong emotions and tumultuous situations. However, the more we do it, the more God will change our hearts, and the easier it will become.
The last part of Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) says, “…because he trusteth in thee”. If we didn’t believe in God, if we didn’t trust God’s love and faithfulness, we wouldn’t put in the time or the effort to get to know Him or to focus on Him. We didn’t believe that He could give us perfect peace. We wouldn’t love Him and yearn to be close to Him.
May God give you and may you accept His heavenly peace, my friends.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father and for wanting the best for us. Thank you for giving us your protection, comfort, guidance, and love. Help us to focus only on you. Help us to remember your words and promise of peace, especially in times of fear and tribulation. Help us to feel and accept your heavenly peace that you want to give us. I ask you this through Jesus, your Son. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Isaiah 26:3 (KJV):
*What does Isaiah 26:3 mean to me?
*What does “perfect peace” mean to me?
*How is God’s peace different from worldly peace?
*Have someone I know or I ever been super focused? What has it felt like?
*Do I trust God?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Isaiah 26:3?
*What other verses remind me of the message in Isaiah 26:3?
*What is God telling me right now through Isaiah 26:3?
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy the following posts on similar topics.
Now, it is your turn:
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray you are enjoying and finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you do, please feel free to share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with your friends and family. They may enjoy it and find value in it as well. Also, if you haven't done so already, you may want to sign up below and get the free gift as well. You will also receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox.
I welcome your thoughts, questions, comments, ideas, and requests. Please, feel free to comment below or contact me. Thank you and God bless.
“Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.”
Psalms 119:66 (KJV)
How are you? Today we look at a verse from one of the longest psalms and the longest chapter of the Bible. It also contains a topic of prayer about which I pray quite often.
I have read the Bible quite a few times. However, each time I learn something else. God uses His word to speak to us all. He has the same basic commandments for all of us. Yet, God does use His Word to speak a different message to each of us. He may also speak a different message to each of us each time we read His Word.
One would think that once we read His Word and study His commandments, that we would “know it” and wouldn’t need to ask for knowledge or good judgment. Unfortunately, that is just not true. We need to continually as for knowledge and good judgment. We are human and don’t always “remember” or follow through with what is right.
So, let’s take a look a Psalms 119:66 a little closer. There are three statements and topics in Psalms 119:66. Let’s start with the last part of Psalms 119:66 (KJV) which reads, “…for I have believed thy commandments”. If we don’t believe that God’s Word is the right way to live, if we don’t trust God, if we don’t believe that we are to do as God calls us to do, we might as well not ask Him to give us good judgment or knowledge.
Sometimes we may say that we believe, but our actions are different than our words. Our actions don’t match what is written in God’s Word. That has happened since the second human was created. Our nature of sin is the reason we need to pray the first part of this verse.
There are two main groups of people in the world, believers and nonbelievers. (There are also “on the fence” people.) Once we realize and admit, especially to God, that we are believers, than we can go on to the first two parts of Psalms 119:66.
In the second part of Psalms 199:66, the psalmist is asking God to teach him knowledge. To me, there are different levels of knowledge. When we learn math as a kindergarten student for example, we learn things like identifying numbers, adding and subtracting numbers up to ten, counting by ones and fives and tens, and the basic coins. Those are the types of things a kindergarten student can know and understand. Asking a kindergarten student to solve long algebraic equations would be wrong. No matter how much a kindergarten student tries, he or she couldn’t have the knowledge to solve such a difficult problem. The same goes with God’s Word.
Every time we read God’s Word, we may have a new understanding. We may have more knowledge and be able to understand it’s meaning a little better. Sometimes we go through the motions of reading God’s Word, but don’t take the time to take it in, study it, or pray about it. We may know God’s Word on one level, but not to the extent that we could with more study and prayer. We might know the words in our mind, but not know the words in our heart.
This brings us to the first part of Psalms 119:66 (KJV) which reads, “Teach me good judgment…”. As I mentioned earlier, it is one thing to know the difference between right and wrong, but it is another thing to actually follow through and do what is right. This is the part of the verse where we acknowledge the fact that we are sinners and need to ask God to help us good judgment often.
Satan has a way of giving us temptations and trying to get us to go down the wrong road each day. So, praying for help in having good judgment needs to be something that is continual instead of a one-time thing. The first time we pray, we might learn how to have good judgment when one problem comes up. However, we might not have the strength to make a good judgment the second time it comes up. We may also not know how to make a good judgment when a different problem arises.
To me, Psalms 119:66 is a prayer that we can pray always. Like other verses in God’s Word, we can learn something new from it as we grow in our faith, our relationship with God, our knowledge, and also grow in our abilities to do things such as make good decisions.
Each time we grow in knowledge and faith in God, we can know God’s Word on a higher level. We can know His Word and know the knowledge in our hearts as well as our minds.
Thank you for your precious Word. Help us to pray the words in your Word and seek the wisdom you want to share with us continually. Help us to have faith in you and trust in you always. Help us to not only know your Word, but also to reflect upon it in order to make good judgments. Give us the strength to do what is right and follow your Word and way for us, I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Psalms 119:66 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 119:66 mean to me?
*Why must we continually pray for knowledge?
*Why must we continually pray for the ability to make good judgments?
*What is the difference between judgment and knowledge?
*Do I trust God’s Word? Do I show it?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Psalms 119:66?
*What message is God giving me right now through Psalms 119:66?
If you enjoyed this post, you may like similar posts on the same topics.
Now, it is your turn:
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray that you find God talking to you through the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to share it with others, so that they might find value as well. If you would like me to address a specific topic or verse, please feel free to contact me. I welcome all comments, questions, ideas, thoughts, and requests regarding God's Word and growing our faith. Please, feel free to share prayer requests, testimony, and praise reports as well. And, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below so you can receive the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you. God bless.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
Proverbs 24:16 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations is on a topic with which we can all relate - - making mistakes. Being human, we all make mistakes. However, in Proverbs 24:16, we see that there is a difference in a way that our mistakes effect us based upon whether we are just or wicked.
Before we talk about Proverbs 24:16 directly, let’s talk about mistakes. We know that we all make mistakes. Our mistakes affect us in various ways. Often times, the affect depends on the size of the mistake, the consequences, and how we view mistakes. As usual, we might find that attitude has quite a bit with how mistakes affect us.
This is where attitude comes in. Are we righteous or are we self-righteous? There is a big difference in the two. Once we recognize this, then we can start understanding Proverbs 24:16 in a better light.
Righteous people are those who are believers and try to live a godly life. They try to do things with a heavenly view and according to God’s Word. Does that mean that they don’t make mistakes? No, not by a long shot, because everyone makes mistakes, even St. Paul who God used to do so much for the early church and to build the kingdom of God. For example, we might remember the words of Paul in Romans 7:15 (KJV), “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Like Paul, the righteous people can recognize and admit their mistakes. They don’t try to hide them.
Self-righteous people are the opposite. They either think that they don’t make mistakes or they can hide their mistakes. They might not be able to notice their mistakes or don’t want to admit their mistakes to themselves or others.
Now, let’s look at this through the words in Proverbs 24:16. The first part of the verse (KJV) says, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again”. Yes, even righteous God fearing people make mistakes and fall. Making mistakes and falling is part of the life of a human for both righteous and self-righteous people. And, Proverbs 24:16 shows us that we don’t just make one mistake in life. We make many. (No, I don’t think that seven is meant to be an absolute literal number.)
The encouragement of Proverbs 24:16 is the part where the righteous will “riseth up again” after their mistakes. Praise God! This is good news. I don’t know about you, but to me, it is a relief that my mistakes don’t have to define me. I am so glad that I can recover from my mistakes.
Sadly, this isn’t true for everyone. Not everyone who makes mistakes will recover. In the second part of Proverbs 24:16 (KJV) it says, “but the wicked shall fall into mischief”. Why the difference? It might not seem fair. Isn’t everyone treated equally?
We are all God’s creations and all have free will to follow His will or not. Yet, not all of us do. This is where the difference comes in.
As I said before, those who are righteous recognize their mistakes and admit them. When one can recognize and admit their mistakes, they can also repent and ask for forgiveness. God can then forgive them and the mistakes are wiped away. They are once again made clean. This is why the righteous can rise again. They repent and are made clean again through Jesus.
Those who are self-righteous or wicked don’t repent. They don’t see that they did anything wrong. They don’t ask for forgiveness. So, instead of changing their ways and getting back on the right track, they continue doing wrong. They move farther and farther away from God.
It is during times of meditating on God’s Word and pondering their meaning like this as well as self-reflecting on our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and actions, we can see whether God’s Word is rewarding us or convicting us.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for your love and guidance. Help us to have a righteous mind and heart. Help us to recognize, admit, and repent our mistakes. Help us to ask for forgiveness with a humble and contrite heart. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Proverbs 24:16 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 24:16 mean to me?
*What does righteous mean?
*What does wicked mean?
*How do I approach the idea of mistakes?
*What do I do when I make mistakes?
Note, if you enjoyed this post, you may want to read these posts on similar topics:
Now, it is your turn:
I am thankful that you are here. I pray God is using the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations to encourage you to read and meditate upon His Holy Word. I pray He touches your heart as you read it and are moved to self-reflect.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to others, so that others may find value as well. If you feel called to comment on a post, to testify about what God is doing in your life, or to reflect upon the words in a particular verse, please feel free to do so. I value your thoughts and hope we can encourage each other in God's Word. Also, I welcome thoughts, ideas, questions, prayer requests, and praise reports. Please, feel free to contact me.
Also, if you haven't done so already, you may want to sign up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith information in your inbox. (That will save you from remembering to search for the new post each week.) Thank you. God bless.
Do You Lack Hope or Strength?
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Psalms 31:24 (KJV)
How are you? Have you ever had a time when you just didn’t feel like doing anything? Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of your own way? Maybe you were ill or tired. Maybe you were depressed and uncertain about what to do. Maybe you felt lost or overwhelmed.
Often times when we feel at our worst, we don’t feel like we can do anything. It is during these times when we feel like we have no hope and have no courage. We may even feel paralyzed emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We may feel like we may not have an ounce of strength left and couldn’t lift even a finger to do anything.
Sometimes, it is a good thing to feel that low. Addicts say that they have to “hit bottom” before they are ready to quit and change. It isn’t until they know that they have to rely on God and the help of those who God puts in their way, that they come to accept and want change. If addicts still feel they can live “their way”, they are not ready to be healed. They aren’t ready to quit and to open up to God.
Whether you are an addict or just going through something very difficult and feel very low, it is then that we are called to be courageous. Can you imagine being courageous when you are at the lowest of lows? Doesn’t seem possible sometimes.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “God helps those who help themselves”? This saying reminds me of Psalms 31:24. Even though we are feeling low, scared, overwhelmed, ill, weak, or whatever the difficulty might be, we are called to take that baby step towards God. We are called to be courageous even though we may not feel it.
Why? Why should we be courageous in our lowest or scariest moments? It is easier to fold under, to complain, to back away, to sleep until we feel better, to push things under the rug and forget about them, or to just ignore them and hope they go away. Don’t you find those things easier than actually facing the problem and having courage?
Finding it easier to run away from the problem might be a great worldly technique, but it isn’t really the best technique. The best thing to do, what we are called to do is to take that baby step of courage in God’s direction. Be courageous and have faith that God is there for us. If we take that one simple step in having courage and relying on God, God will strengthen our heart. This is really good news. If we take one baby step towards God, He will take one giant step towards us.
Notice that Psalms 31:24 doesn’t say that God is going to solve the problem or cure us. There may be other verses with that sort of message, but this one isn’t one of them. No, it says that for those who have courage and put their hope in God, He will strengthen their heart. God will make us stronger, so that we can have the right attitude and get through the situation better.
There is another saying that helps us to understand Psalms 31:24. It is, “Attitude is everything”. We may have heard that a good attitude can go a long way in helping someone heal. For example, we can find that same sort of sentiment in Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) which says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
God knows how difficult it can be for us to be strong during difficult situations. He made us and he is all knowing. So, God gives us verses like Psalms 31:24 to encourage us to have that little bit of courage and rely on Him. He wants us to know that if we take that baby step, He will give us the strength we need to get through it.
Thank you for your love and compassion towards us. Thank you for being our loving Father. Help us to remember your Word and to have courage in our most difficult times. Help us to put our hope in you, even when we aren’t sure we have much hope left. Help us to know you will strengthen our heart, even when we don’t think we have any strength left. Help us to realize that we can rely on you during all times and to have the courage to take that baby step towards you. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Reflective questions for Psalms 31:24 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 31:24 mean to me?
*Of which sayings does Psalms 31:24 remind me?
*Of which other Bible verses does Psalms 31:24 remind me?
*What does it mean to strengthen our heart?
*What is God telling me through Psalms 31:24?
*Am I courageous during difficult situations?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Psalms 31:24?
If you like this post you might enjoy these other posts on hope, strength, and difficult times. Enjoy!
Now, it is your turn.
If you feel called to comment, I looked forward to reading your thoughts. Please, feel free to comment or contact me at any time.
Please, feel free to share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with your friends and family. If you find value in it, they may as well. Thank you.
Also, if you haven't done so already, you may want to sign up below to receive the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. (Please, remember you will have to confirm before you are on the list. If you have any trouble, please feel free to contact me.)
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s post is on friendship. Take a journey with me in pondering the meaning of Proverbs 18:24 and what friendship means to us. As with most verses in the Bible, there are many opinions as to the meaning in Proverbs 18:24. Considering that God speaks to us personally and sometimes has differing messages for each of us, it is sometimes okay to have differing opinions as to it’s meaning.
Do you have many friends or few? Are you someone who just seems to be surrounded by people? Do have many invitations to go here or there? Are you the life of the party? Are you pleasant to be around? Are you always cracking a joke? Are you the type who feels kind of awkward in the crowd and sort of sits on the sidelines? Do you enjoy being out with one friend? Are you the person everyone comes to when in need? Do you have any friends?
I am not trying to make you feel bad if you don’t think you have friends or good if you have more friends than you can count. I am hoping to just get you started in thinking about friendship, so we can better contemplate the meaning of Proverbs 18:24.
Next, what do you think it means to be a friend or to be friendly? Is there a difference? Does a friend give you what you want or what you need? Does a friend seem agreeable all the time to you or correct you when you are wrong? Does friendly mean courteous, flirtatious, kind, giving, joyful, helpful, or any number of other things?
Now that we are thinking about friendship, friends, and friendliness, let’s look at Proverbs 18:24 and some of the varying meanings I saw as I researched for today’s post. (I will just summarize them in my own words.)
Varying meanings for Proverbs 18:24:
*Having too many friends will spread you too thin and you won’t be able to be
a good friend to anyone, so it is better to have just one good friend.
*If you aren’t friendly, you won’t have any friends.
*Some friends aren’t really friends, but more of just acquaintances. There
are only a few true friends.
*Many people who we think are friends will lead us down the wrong path in
life, but there is a friend who will lead us down the right path.
*We can have many friends, but Jesus is our only true friend.
With these meaning in mind, what are your thoughts for Proverbs 18:24? Some of these meanings are similar. Some are quite different. There are even more options than this if you look for them.
When I was a teenager, someone told me that it is better to have a few friends that you can count on than many friends that aren’t really friends. I think that is sage advice. Could it be the meaning of Proverbs 18:24?
Now, let’s look at Proverbs 18:24 a little closer. The first part of the verse says, “A man that hath friends, must shew himself friendly”. (KJV) In most of the places I looked, people seem to take “friends” as meaning “many friends”. So, in today’s lingo, it might sound more like, “A man that has many friends must always appear friendly.” What do you think?
If we think of it in that way, we can see just how tiring that can be. I don’t know about you, but no matter how much I enjoy being with someone and doing things with others, there are times when I just need time for myself. I need time to unwind, regroup, and just enjoy the quiet. I need time to pray, read, and think. I enjoy doing things and being with people, but I also enjoy my quiet time too. If we have too many friends or get involved with too many things, we may not have time for that quiet time. We also may not have time to be a true friend to each and every person. It is especially difficult to be a friend and “be there” for others, when we don’t have time to “be with God”.
The second part of Proverbs 18:24 (KJV) says, “and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”. Is this second part talking about God or that special friend we have on earth, our best friend so to speak? That special friend may be someone different for everyone.
I think that no matter whether scripture is talking about God or about that special best friend in our life, God is always part of that special friendship. After all, a true friend wants us to be the best we can be and to follow God’s will for us. They care for our spiritual wellbeing as much or more than our physical and emotional wellbeing. They lift us up in prayer, care enough to tell us the truth whether it hurts or not, help carry our burdens, love us, show kindness, and inspire us to do better. Even if that isn’t meant to be God himself, it sounds like a godly person who is following God’s will. So, God is definitely involved.
I think verses like Proverbs 18:24 are good to get us thinking. We can all relate in some way, even if we all have unique understandings. We all want friends. We can understand that we need to be a friend to have a friend, although it isn’t always followed. Deep down, we can still understand it. Most of us have had someone we have called a best friend at one time or another. We understand that we like and enjoy being around that one special person a bit more than being with other people. That one person is special and holds a bigger piece of us in their heart than most people do. It is also a verse that can mean something different to us at different times. Some of our friendships change, get stronger and closer, or fade away. We need a different message at different times in our life.
As I think about it right now, to me, it means that it is good to be friendly towards everyone. However, we should really cherish the special friends who encourage us to be the godly people we are called to be. We should always make time for quiet time to be with God through prayer, reading the Bible, meditation, reflection, and even going out with that one special friend whom God gave you to help you be closer to Him. Don’t have so many “friends” that you don’t have time for what is important and you can’t be a true friend for each. Besides, if you have “many friends”, probably most of them aren’t true friends anyway.
It is great encouragement for people who don’t feel they have any friends or don’t have many friends. It is encouragement for those who lament over not having as many friends as their neighbor. It is caution about comparing ourselves to others who may have more friends. It may be food for thought about the way to be a true friend. It can be a way to inspire us to keep God as our best friend. It could be telling us not to get too stressed by having too many social engagements.
Thank you for your friendship, for your love, for your parental care, for the kindness you show. Thank you for your Word to inspire us, to teach us, and to encourage us. Help us to be a true friend to others and especially to you, for you are a true friend to us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Proverbs 18:24 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 1824 mean to me?
*What does being a true friend mean?
*Do I have a true friend?
*Am I a true friend?
*What does being friendly mean?
*Do I have many friends or few friends?
*Are all of my friends true friends?
*What can I do to be a better heed the words in Proverbs 18:24?
*What can I do to be a better friend?
*Do I cherish my friends?
*Do I have time to be a true friend to all of my friends?
Now, it is your turn.
I hope this post got you to thinking not only about Proverbs 18:24, but also what it means to be a true friend. I pray that you know what it means to be a true friend and to have a true friend. I pray that you have been able to experience both. And, if you haven't, I pray that you will experience it sometime soon.
I welcome your thoughts on Proverbs 18:24 and friendship. (Actually, I always welcome your thoughts that would further God kingdom, whether it is about the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, prayer request, ideas, suggestions, questions, etc.) Please, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, feel free to spread the value around. Share it!
Also, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. (Saves you from remembering to check the site for the new post.)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s verse is one that many people have heard or read and know quite well. With that being said, one would think that the message in Philippians 4:13 would seem pretty straightforward. However, in my research, that doesn’t seem to be the case. There are differing views as to what the verse really means.
I guess that some people use Philippians 4:13 as encouragement to make large leaps and bounds and to claim success in whatever they have in mind to do. However, others look at Philippians 4:13 as encouragement that God will give us strength to get through the hardships and rough times in life. How do you look at the words in Philippians 4:13?
St. Paul was writing this letter to the Philippians from jail. So, his circumstances were probably those of hardship, discomfort, loneliness, and even misery. Even though he was going through difficulty, he was telling the Philippians that he could do all things because Jesus was there for him and would give him strength. St. Paul knew he could endure anything with the strength that Jesus would give him. So, does that mean we have to be in dire straights in order for these words to apply?
I think Philippians 4:13, like most of God’s Word, is less about the circumstance and more about our heart and frame of mind. I think the most important thing to remember is that we need Jesus. Too many times, we want to take more credit than we deserve. We like to claim we are “self-made”. However, this doesn’t give the credit to God, where it is due. We can’t do things without God’s help. We wouldn’t even be alive without God. So, no, I don’t think we need to be in dire straights or in some sort of hardship to consider Philippians 4:13 as words of encouragement.
Although, I don’t think that we need to be going through hardship to find value and comfort in Philippians 4:13, I also don’t feel that we can use Philippians 4:13 as a free for all and to expect God to give us anything we want. I think our heart and mind, still has to be with God. What we want still has to align with God’s will. I believe we still have to come to God with a humble heart instead of feeling entitled. Like I said, I believe that the importance lies in our heart, mind, and attitude instead of in our circumstances.
Philippians 4:13 also implies that whatever we want or need, might not be easy to get. We wouldn’t need to be strengthened, if it wasn’t going to be difficult at times. This might not mean hardships, like sickness or imprisonment. It might mean that we are called to step outside of our comfort zone to do something in order to do what God has called us to do. It might mean that we need to work hard and have patience, even if we feel that we would rather relax and give up. It may also mean that we have to give beyond what we think our means might be financially, physically, emotionally, or even spiritually.
The comfort comes in knowing that whatever we are called to do, go through, or endure, God will strengthen us. He is with us. Jesus has been through similar. He was our ultimate role model. The Holy Spirit will remind us of God’s Word and how we will be strengthened. We just need to believe and listen to the Holy Spirit. We need to heed God’s Word. We need to rely on God and trust that He will strengthen us and help us through.
Even though it may seem like we are called to endure, go through, and give more than we can handle, we can take comfort in the words in Philippians 4:13. Christ will strengthen us and help us endure what we are called to do.
This is so encouraging! I praise God that He loves us and gives us this comfort! Now, if we can just remember it when we need strength. If only we can remember to rely on Him instead of giving up or trying our own solutions.
Oh Lord, thank you for your love and comfort. Thank you for assuring us that you will help us through as long as we rely on you. Thank you for letting us know that things might be difficult, but if you call us to do it and we rely on you, that you will be there to strengthen us. Help us to rely on you. Help us not to use our own strength and will, but yours instead. Help us to trust in you instead of finding our own solutions or giving up. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Philippians 4:13 (KJV):
*What does Philippians 4:13 mean to me?
*What is God telling me through Philippians 4:13?
*Can I just claim any success no matter what with the words in Philippians
*How can I better heed the words in Philippians 4:13?
If you enjoyed the message in this week's post, you may find this other post interesting as well.
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful that you are here. I pray that God is blessing you through the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you find it value in it, please share it with others, so God can bless them through it as well. Thank you.
If you feel led, please feel free to comment your thoughts, understandings, and feelings regarding God's Word or this post. Also, feel free to share your prayer requests and ideas about future topics as well. If you don't feel comfortable commenting below, please feel free to contact me.
Also, if you haven't done so already, please feel free to sign up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you. God bless.
“Train up a child in a way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
How are you? This week’s verse might be particularly important to parents and grandparents. However, if we believe that it takes a village to raise a child, than we can find meaning in the verse for all of us whether or not we have children. We may be teachers, childcare workers, aunts, uncles, supervisors, neighbors, and church members who have influence over children and people we see. After all, Proverbs 22:6 doesn’t say, “train up your child”, but “train up a child”.
I have to say, that I thought Proverbs 22:6 would be a relatively easy verse to ponder and about which to write. However, when I was preparing and researching the verse, I found many differing opinions on the actual meaning of the verse.
Some people take this verse as an absolute promise to parents that you train your child to have godly values and behave in godly ways, then that child will grow up to have godly values and behave in godly ways no matter what. Some people take the verse to mean that parents should start early in helping a child find his or her “direction in life”. This direction could mean spiritual direction, emotional direction, personal direction, vocational direction, financial direction, or any number of directions. Some feel that Proverbs 22:6 is talking about helping children find their learning styles, talents, skills, and interests early, so that they will be able to learn and live well according to their own God-given personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.
I have always thought of Proverbs 22:6 as not a promise, but encouragement to give a child a godly foundation and to be a godly role model. I thought of it as imparting godly wisdom through sharing God’s Word and discussing godly ways, so that the likelihood that the child will grow up with godly ways would be greatly increased.
I don’t think of it as a guarantee, because we can control how we act and feel, but we can’t control how others act and feel. As people in the world, especially as parents, we have high influence over the children in the world. We can encourage children, role model for children, teach children, and train children. Out of respect, love, intimidation, or force, we can usually get a child to do as we wish while they are young. Yet, do our efforts really guarantee that a child will grow up to be as we wish? God can certainly change hearts, if He is so inclined. However, God gives us free will. He doesn’t change our hearts unless we want it.
It is this free will and God’s willingness to change hearts is what probably makes this verse so important. Giving a child a strong, godly foundation, helps that child have the tools he or she will need to make life decisions and no matter how many times he or she may stray, he or she will still have the tools necessary to find his or her way back to God. Whether or not he or she chooses to use these tools is up to him or her. This is why we must do our part to train up children in a godly manner. Even if it doesn’t stick, there is still hope that they will come back. People can remember strong foundations, even if they wander from them.
I used to think that this Proverbs 22:6 just pertained to Bible study, manners, and godly living in general. However, I think there is something to be said in also considering more specific actions such as training children how to recognize and use their God given talents and skills. It could also mean training a child in a way that is unique to them, like through words, through doing and role modeling, or through visual means. It could also mean helping a child choosing a profession. People sometimes tend to do what they know already. For example, if a child grows up on a family farm, they may be likely to be family farmers when they grow up, especially if their parents teach them young to love the animals, appreciate the crops, and be responsible for chores early on.
Isn’t that what “training up” means? Doesn’t it mean to teach children right from wrong, godly from worldly, and to make the godly decision? God’s Word has to do with all aspects of life, not just where, when, and how we worship. Knowing God’s Word is a big part of being able to make godly decisions. And, we will have to make decisions in all aspects of our lives, our spiritual lives, our physical lives, our emotional lives, our academic lives, our personal lives, our business lives, our financial lives, and social lives. I now believe that this verse can envelope all these aspects of life.
Often, God uses verses at different times in our lives to encourage us in different ways. It isn’t unusual for a verse to mean one thing for us in one part of our life and envelope so much more in other parts of our life. Often things take on new meaning and new importance as we learn, grow, and mature.
You have put all your precious children on earth for us to encourage and train in your ways. Thank you for the honor and responsibility you have given us to parent and train the children you put in our path. Help us to do it according to your Word and your way, I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Proverbs 22:6 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 22:6 mean to me?
*What does train up a child mean?
*Do I think Proverbs 22:6 is a promise?
*If person strays from God, does that mean a parent didn’t do a good job
training a child up?
*If I don’t have any children is this verse still applicable to me?
*What can I do to better heed the words in this verse?
Now, it is your turn.
I have covered quite a bit in today's post. There is so much on which to ponder and meditate. If you feel led to leave a comment, please do so. I look forward to reading what you have to say.
If you find value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please consider sharing it with someone so other people may find value in it as well. Also, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to get the Faith Blog and other faith content delivered straight to your inbox.
“He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
Psalms 15:5 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are enjoying the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations. Today’s post is the last post of the series. If you haven’t done so already, please consider taking the time to read the previous posts by clicking on the links below:
As you may know, King David asks a couple of questions about who will be close to God in His tabernacle and on His hill in Psalms 15:1. Then, in Psalms 15:2-5, King David gives his answers to his preceding questions. In previous posts we have pondered verses 1-4 of Psalms 15. Today, we end the series and chapter by pondering the words in Psalms 15:5 (KJV), which reads, “He that putteth not out money to usury nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
Psalms 15:5 has three parts. Let’s look at the first part, which reads, “He that putteth not out his money to usury…”. (KJV) In my research, I have found that “usury” seems to take on different meanings to different people. In most cases, this first part of Psalms 15:5, seems to mean that one shouldn’t charge interest to the poor. This part of the verse seems to echo Exodus 22:25 (KJV), which reads, “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” Maybe King David took his answer from this verse. I am not sure.
In my research, most people seem to think that this statement is more about personal lending to the poor from neighbor to neighbor. However, I am not so sure. Wouldn’t it be important that the poor be able to get necessities such as food, drink, clothing, and a place to live without feeling the crunch of extra fees? Maybe there is something in the original text or biblical law that would explain this more fully. Yet, I am not a scholar, so I don’t really know what is meant. It could be one of those verses where God speaks different things to different people.
Questions that go through my mind are:
Who constitutes the poor? What level of poor is really poor? Does this mean the old and elderly, the crippled and disabled, or working poor who have trouble making ends meet? Does it include just loans from neighbor to neighbor or bank and business loans as well? Does it include loans for just the bare necessities or for things that would help people improve themselves as well?
What are your thoughts? Do you know of something that would make the answers to these questions more apparent? Or, do you think it is according to what God is telling us personally at the time?
I believe that the middle part of Psalms 15:5 (KJV), which reads, “…nor taketh reward against the innocent” is the clearest part of the verse. It seems pretty straightforward that we are not to take bribes against the innocent. God protects the innocent and doesn’t want any harm to come to them. One way of protecting the innocent is making it wrong to give or take bribes, to give false testimony, or to say anything that would falsely accuse or bring harm to an innocent person.
The last part of Psalms 15:5 (KJV) reads, “He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” To tell you the truth, this part of the verse brings up quite a few questions for me as well. For example, does “doeth these things” refer to using usury and taking bribes against the innocent or not using usury and not take bribes against the innocent? Does “doeth these things” refer to the things in Psalms 15:5 or the things in Psalms 15:2-5?
In my research, most people seem to translate the last sentence of Psalms 15:5 as those who heed the words and act like the people listed in Psalms 15 will not be “swayed” or “tempted” too far away from God. These people will be able to stand firm in their faith and have a close relationship with God, instead of being tempted away and losing faith. This could be what King David meant, although, I think there is another possibility. I think that “He that doeth these thing shall never be moved” could refer to those people who practice usury and those people who take bribes against the innocent. It could mean that such people, who would do such things, have cold hearts. It could mean that if they practice such things, their hearts will never be moved to compassion and love of another. Therefor, it might be difficult to be moved towards a relationship with God.
Before I wrap up the post, I would like to go back to King David’s questions in Psalms 15:1 (KJV), which reads, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” Some of us might read that and say, “The way to God is through Jesus. How come King David didn’t say anything about being saved by Jesus?” Well, we have to remember that Jesus hadn’t come to earth yet when King David was asking and answering these questions. Even if any of the prophets had foretold the coming of Jesus by this time, King David probably didn’t know the implications and truth about what that meant for our salvation.
Thank you for you infinite wisdom and love for us. Thank you for your Word, so that we have a path to you. Help us to understand your Word and take it to heart. Help us to act according to your will. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Psalms 15:5:
*What does Psalms 15:5 mean to me?
*What does “putteth not his money to usury” mean to me?
*What does “nor taketh reward against the innocent” mean to me?
*What does “He that doeth these things shall never be moved” mean?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Psalms 15:5?
*What other Bible verses remind me of Psalms 15:5?
Now it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your support and kindness. I don’t know about for you, but for me, Psalms 15:5 brought quite a few questions to mind. If you feel led, please feel free to leave a comment. We all learn from each other’s thoughts and prayers. Again, I encourage you not to rely on the word of others though, but to pray and put your trust in God’s wisdom. Rely on Him.
If you have found value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, I encourage you to share it with others. My hope is to plant seeds of God’s Word for many people to use in order to grow in their own faith journeys. I hope you will help me and help others to do that.
If you haven’t done so already, please consider signing up below to get the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. In that way, you don’t have to remember to look up the Faith Blog each week, because the link is sent right to you.
“In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”
Psalms 15:4 (KJV)
How are you? Today, we continue our journey in reflecting upon Psalms 15. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the previous posts to the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations by clicking the following links:
Let us remember that the words in Psalms 15:4 are part of the answers that King David have for his own questions he asked in Psalms 15:1 (KJV), which were “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
Now, with this in mind, let’s look at the first part of Psalms 15:4 (KJV), “In whose eyes a vile person is contemned…”. I think it is kind of human nature to dislike evil and cruel people, or at least their actions. For example, we may feel a sickening feeling or heart break for pets and victims who have been abused in some way. In turn, we may feel a contempt or hardness in our hearts about people who could do such things. I think when the “evil” involves violence it is easier for us to hold contempt in our hearts for the evildoer.
Yet, do we hold that same contempt in our hearts for evildoers, if the “evil” doesn’t contain violence? For example, idol worshipping is evil. It is totally wrong and against God’s will. God alone is the only one to be worshipped. So, do we hold contempt in our hearts for those who worship idols? Or, do we instead have a nonchalant, “live and let live” type attitude? Do we invite idol worshippers to our parties, to join us in business, or into our families, “as long as they don’t push their beliefs on us”?
We, as a society, seemed to be in a rut as far as NOT holding contempt in our hearts for immoral and evil actions done by others. It seems more commonplace to let everyone fit in, instead of standing up for your own beliefs. It seems more commonplace to enable people to feel entitled, instead of teaching them natural cause and effect of things.
Lessons such as, if you want to eat, you have to work, are going by the wayside. I am not talking about suffering the feeble, the elderly, the widows, and the little children to work when they aren’t able. I am not talking about people who choose to be housekeepers, stay at home parents, homeschool parents, and other jobs that society doesn’t always look upon as being jobs. I am not even talking about just the entitlement of food without earning it. It just seems that there is quite a bit of entitlement in this world that is enabled instead of discouraged or condemned.
It makes sense that if we are called to hold contempt in our hearts for doing bad, then we are called to also honor those who do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. Yes, we are called to honor those who “fear the Lord.” Again, I don’t believe that “fear” in this case means to be afraid of God in that we are afraid that God might do something mean to us. I believe it is a fear as in a reverent and respect for God’s holiness and His ability to give us natural consequences that we deserve and grace that we don’t deserve.
Just as it seems easy to hold contempt for the evil and violent people of the world, so it may seem easy to honor those who are good, loving, godly people. Yet, again, I am not so sure it is that easy. It may not be as prevalent as we may think. I am reminded of children being called “goody two shoes” or “teacher’s pet” in school for doing good or not following the mischief of the crowd.
We might think that oh, “kids will be kids” or “kids can be so cruel sometimes”. However, I believe that kids are not born this way. They are taught or conditioned to be cruel in a world that is full of cruelty. I don’t mean that kids are totally innocent and their behavior should be overlooked. I am just saying that I think if they were conditioned or treated to be kind always, than they would be less likely to be cruel and more likely to continue with “what they know and have seen” with that same level of kindness.
Even some adults, maybe because they learned it as children, talk about “do-gooders” as if doing good things was a bad thing. Instead of being honored as being God fearing, people who do good things are mocked as being bad.
The last part of Psalms 15:4 (KJV) reads, “He that sweareth his own hurt, and changeth not.” In my research, I have found many places, which state that this means to keep your promises, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it is for you. These resources seem to speak of this in a general sense. However, I am not sure if it means in a general sense or a specific sense.
Maybe it is the teacher in me, but it seems that if this statement is part of the same verse as the rest, it might be relating to the same topic. It might be reinforcing the fact that we are called to disdain the cruel and empower or honor the godly. Maybe we are called to swear not to enable the evil; swear not to befriend and be nonchalant about ungodly actions, so that we will not slowly learn the evil ways of the evil. After all, it is when we are passive and nonchalant about the sinful ways of others or ourselves, that we slowly condition ourselves to be more sinful. For example, if we don’t speak out and distance ourselves from those who act as if they are entitled, then we may soon start to act with that same entitlement. Maybe it is calling us to be godly no matter how much we are hurt, mocked, or threatened.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for teaching us the way to you. Give us understanding when we are confused about your Word or anything else. Give us the strength to disdain the ungodly as well as empower and honor the godly, no matter how difficult it may seem. Help us to keep our word and to be godly, no matter the consequences given us by the world. Help us not to be nonchalant and slip into the ways of the evil. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Psalms 15:4 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 15:4 mean to me?
*What does “fear of the Lord” mean to me?
*What does “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not” mean to
*Do I heed the words in Psalms 15:4?
*What do I need to do to better heed the words in Psalms 15:4?
Now, it is your turn.
As always, I encourage you to read the Word of God yourself. Don’t take my word of my reflection as your own. Pray and ask God to give you your own understanding. For example, the last sentence in Psalms 15:4 could mean that in a general sense, we need to keep our word no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it may be. Or, it could mean something else. Sometimes, God's Word is meant to speak one message to one person and another to the next. Sometimes, the meaning is meant to be the same to all. That is between you and God.
I welcome you to leave a comment anytime that you feel called. It is good to learn and fellowship with fellow believers. I look forward to your thoughts, prayer requests, comments, suggestions, or questions. Feel free to comment below or contact me. If you feel called to share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with others, please do that as well. I believe that it is good to encourage others to read and understand God's Word. I try to do that through the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations.
If you haven't already done so, you may also want to consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. It makes it easier, so you don't have to remember to click and look for the blog each week. The link it give to you each week by email.
“He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.”
Psalms 15:3 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are enjoying the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations. Today, we will ponder the words in Psalms 15:3. Last week, we pondered the words in Psalms 15:2 and saw how King David starts answering his own questions (which he posed in Psalms 15:1). You can read last week’s post here.
Like in Psalms 15:2, in Psalms 15:3 continues to answer the questions he posed in Psalms 15:1. In Psalms 15:2, King David lists some traits such people may have in order to dwell in the Lord’s tabernacle. These things include walking uprightly, righteousness, and truthfulness. In Psalms 15:3, King David mentions things in which those people are NOT. Let’s look at it.
Psalms 15:3 notes some things that we are not to do to our neighbor. However, the meaning of neighbor here doesn’t mean just the person who lives next door to us or even just in our own town. I believe the word neighbor refers to either all others. Maybe, at the very least, it means all other believers.
The first part of Psalms 15:3 KJV states, “He that backbiteth not with his tongue…”. So, we are called not to backbite our neighbors. What does that mean? I believe that backbiting refers to saying mean and cruel things, regardless of whether they are true or not about someone behind his or her back. No matter the true meaning, we can gather that it has something to do with saying not so kind things about others behind their backs.
In the second part of Psalms 15:3, we see that are not to do any sort of evil to our neighbors. Hopefully, we know this anyway. Yet, it is good to look at it as part of King David’s thought process here. If we brainstormed some specific ways to not do evil to our neighbors, we might come up with things like: not fighting others, not stealing from others, not cursing others, not cheating others, not causing harm to others, and not ruining any property or belongings of others.
In the last part of Psalms 15:3 KJV it states, “…nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour”. I am not quite sure what is meant by this part specifically. However, in my mind there could be at least two possibilities to the meaning. I think the first possible meaning is that we don’t scold or maybe join others in scolding our neighbors. We tend to want to be quick to point out the wrong that others are doing. It might be that King David is saying that it isn’t good to do point out the wrongdoings of others. The second possible meaning might be that we are not to take part in anything others are doing against our neighbors. Neither possibility seems very kind anyways, so we may want to steer clear of either action.
The bottom line that King David was saying in Psalms 15:3 is to be kind to others. We see that in so many verses of the Bible. God definitely calls us to love and be kind to others.
Thank you for loving us and showing us the way you want us to live. Help us to take your Word to heart and to heed it always. Help us to not only read your Word, but to ponder it and live it as well. Help us to be kind to our neighbors as you call us to do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Psalms 15:3 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 15:3 mean to me?
*What does backbiting mean to me?
*What does “doing no evil” to my neighbor mean to me?
*What does “taking up reproach against my neighbor” mean to me?
*What is the definition of “neighbor” in the verse?
*What message is God giving me with Psalms 15:3?
*What can I do to better heed the message in Psalms 15:3?
*About what other verses does Psalms 15:3 remind me?
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I hope you are enjoying the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations. If you find value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to share it with others. Also, if you feel called to write a comment, please do so. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I think it is nice to be able to share thoughts about God's Word and learn from each other. However, please, remember that your ultimate teachers are God's Word and God through prayer, as well as Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (We are not called to seek each other, like we are called to seek God.)
If you haven't done so already, please feel free to sign up below to get the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you. God bless.
“He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart.”
Psalms 15:2 (KJV)
How are you? Last week we pondered King David’s questions in Psalms 15:1 (KJV) which are, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” If you haven’t read the post yet, you can read it here. Think about those questions for a moment. What would your answer be to his questions?
This week, we ponder the words in Psalms 15.2, where King David starts to answer his own questions. So, the first part of King David’s answer to his questions in verse 1 says, “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart.” (Psalms 15:2 KJV) Let’s think about these words and let them really sink into our soul.
There are three parts or phrases in Psalms 15:2. I think the last one is easiest to address, so I will address it first. If we look at it, it says, “…and speaketh the truth in his heart.” One might think that means that King David is talking about someone who never lies to anyone and always speaks the truth. I think that is only partially correct. I think the words “in his heart”, makes the meaning a bit deeper.
Sometimes, we think we are telling others the truth, only to find out that we have been lying to ourselves. I think sometimes we bury the truth. Therefor, when we tell others something, we really feel that we are telling them the truth. Yet, it isn’t the case. It is just what we have been telling ourselves for so long that we know think it is the truth.
Or, maybe we only tell a half-truth. We only tell have of the story. We don’t lie about what we say, but we might withhold a small piece of information. We tell ourselves that it won’t matter. However, even if the other person never knows and it doesn’t make a difference to the other person at all, it still matters, because it matters to God.
It also matters to us, as Christians, because we are always seeking and finding God. That also means that we are constantly seeking and finding truth, because God is truth.
Sometimes “speaking truth in our heart” might mean to really reflect upon our beliefs, our words, and our actions and honestly telling ourselves and God how we are doing as well as assessing our strengths and weaknesses honestly. This can be difficult. Like I mentioned before, this difficulty could be from burying part of the truth for some reason. It could be from memory lapse, especially if we don’t reflect upon our actions regularly. It could also be from lack of understanding or discernment, which is another good reason constantly pray and read God’s Word, so God will give us the understanding and discernment we need.
I also believe that we can look at “speaketh the truth in his heart” a different way. So many times, we get in a rut or speak lies to ourselves, which sabotages our lives. We may go with the crowd or listen to common sentiment about what can and can’t be done. However, if we encourage ourselves with God’s Word, I believe that is also a way of “speaking the truth in his heart”.
Yet, Psalms 15:2 isn’t just speaking the truth. It isn’t just talking the talk, so to speak. It is about walking the walk as well. We see that we are called to live in truth as well as speak it in reading Psalms 15:2.
Now, let’s look at the other parts of Psalms 15:2. I have tried to research it, but I am uncertain of the distinction between “walketh uprightly” and “worketh righteousness”. King David may have had two different meanings in mind as he wrote this verse or maybe he just wrote two phrases with similar meanings to emphasize the importance of living a righteous life. I don’t know. (If you have comments, I would enjoy reading them.)
Maybe one phrase might have to do with being truthful, being honest, and having integrity in public life and one phrase might have to do with being truthful, being honest, and having integrity in personal life. To me, it seems that this verse is reminding us that it isn’t just what we do in public that matters, but what we do behind closed doors matter as well.
We are ALWAYS called to be righteous and do the will of God, doing right according to His will for us. We are called to not only speak the truth to ourselves and to others, but to live in truth with honesty and integrity as well.
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for giving us people through whom we can learn your Word and your will for us. Thank you for showing us the way to you, through Jesus and through your Word. Help us to walk in integrity, speak truth to ourselves and to others, and to do everything according to your will for us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Psalms 15:2 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 15:2 mean to me?
*Is there a difference in “speaking in truth” and “speaking in truth in your
*Is there a difference between “walking uprightly” and “working
*What message is God giving me through Psalms 15:2?
*Of what verse does Psalms 15:2 remind me?
*What are my answers to King David’s questions in Psalms 15:1? Are the
words in Psalms15:2 part of my answer? Why or why not?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so thankful that you are here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I encourage you to read God's Word, pray, and discern these answers for yourself. If you feel led, please feel free to write a comment so others can learn and ponder your ideas. Also, if you feel others would benefit from the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and feel called to do so, please share it.
Did you know that you can receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox weekly? Yes, you can. You can also get a free gift as my thank you for your kindness and support. If this interests you and you haven't already done so, please sign up below.
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
Psalms 15:1 (KJV)
How are you? Today, we are going to start pondering the words in Psalms 15 written by King David. When I ponder the words of the Holy Bible, I sometimes like to ponder what it was like for those in biblical times. What were they going through? What were they thinking? What did these words mean to them? Then, back to us today. What do these words mean to us today? What do they mean to me right now? Do you ever ponder such things as you read the Holy Bible?
In my research for today’s post, I found conflicting information as to the meaning of Psalms 15:1. Some thought that King David’s questions were about who would be in God’s presence in heaven. Others thought that King David were questioning who should be allowed in God’s tabernacle here on earth, maybe meaning God’s Holy tent. Maybe, King David was wondering who belonged in the inner room of the temple. What are your thoughts?
Maybe King David was looking for God’s help in choosing temple guards or priests. Maybe this was written during the time when King David wanted to build a temple; a house for God. Maybe he was wondering whom he should choose for which jobs? Maybe King David knew that not just anybody should be assigned to teach and pray within the tabernacle.
The questions in Psalms 15:1 could be real logistical questions for his current situation. However, they may have also been more theological in nature. Instead, King David could have been pondering the meaning of life so to speak. He could have been wondering what it takes to live in God’s presence eternally.
On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t need to be an either or answer. God could use the questions in Psalms 15:1 to get us thinking about what is needed to be a minister, a pastor, a servant of God here on earth AND what is needed to have eternal life with God. What are your thoughts?
Think for a moment about what YOU believe it takes to be a minister, a pastor, or a servant of God here on earth. Also, think about what it takes to go to heaven to be with God eternally. What are your thoughts?
Let’s look at what it takes to be a minister or pastor on earth. We can look to many verses in God’s Word that speak to how ministers and such are chosen. One such verse is Ephesians 4:11 (KJV), which says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” So, the simple answer about how ministers and such are chosen is that they are chosen by God.
Just as in Psalms 15:1, Ephesians 4:11 doesn’t give any specific traits or thoughts as to what it takes to be a pastor or minister of God. However, Ephesians 4:1 does take that choice out of human hands and puts it in God’s hands. I wonder if that is the answer that God gave King David as he prayed the words in Psalms 15:1. What do you think? I can imagine that as king, David felt a responsibility to choose “just the right person” to be in the tabernacle. However, I can also imagine our loving God saying, “Don’t worry so much. It isn’t your choice to make. I will give you just the right person.”
We as humans have a habit of taking on the world. We often will cause our own stress and take on things that aren’t even our place to take on. If we would only “give it to God”, our life would be much less stressful. We would be more at peace. Could that be the message that God is giving us through Psalms 15:1 and Ephesians 4:11?
I don’t know about you, but I can kind of relate to King David with this verse. Like King David, I believe that we are called to have questions and seek answers. I believe that we should bring those questions to God and rely on Him for our answers. This too, could be the message that God is bringing us through Psalms 15:1.
In all actuality, I feel that God brings us all different messages at different times through His Word, through prayer, and through others. I feel that we could read the same verse once one day and get one message from it and then read the same verse another day and get another message from it. I believe that you and I could read the same verse at the same time and get two totally different messages based on our own needs and circumstances. This just reaffirms that fact that we are called to have a personal relationship with God. What is God telling you through Psalms 15:1?
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for calling us to read your Holy Word and for giving us a personal message each time we read the Holy Bible. Help us to question the things of which we don’t understand and help us to rely on only you for our answers. Help us to know that you have our best interest at heart. Help us to realize that we should give things to you in prayer instead of trying to take on the world ourselves. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Psalms 15:1 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 15:1 mean to me?
*What message is God giving me through Psalms 15:1?
*About what other verse or verses does Psalms 15:1 remind me?
*What do I think King David was thinking when he wrote Psalms 15:1?
*What do I need to better heed God’s message to me in Psalms 15:1?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad you are here. I feel that at least one of the things I am called to do through the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations is to encourage people to read God's Word, pray, and rely on God for answers. It is easy to get caught up in worldly things. That is why I believe that we are called to stay close to God.
What are your thoughts? I believe that we can encourage each other and learn from one another. When one is down or confused another can pray and encourage and vice versa. I look forward to reading your comments.
If you find value in Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to share it with others. I pray that it helps people to look into their own lives and find ways to get closer to God in their own faith journey. Also, if you haven't already done so, please feel free to sign up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you. God bless.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
John 14:15 (KJV)
How are you? If you read last week’s post of the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, this verse may look familiar to you. Yes, I used John 14:15 as the focal verse as well. However, if you remember, I used John 14:15 to encourage Christians to have compassion and understanding for new Christians or almost Christians. This week, I will ponder the words in John 14:15 in the way that I normally do with the focal verse.
I believe that the entire chapter of John 14 is of Jesus’ talk with his apostles (and maybe some other disciples) about what is going to happen after his crucifixion. Jesus is reassuring his followers that “everything will be okay” in that they will see him again (John 14:3), even if others don’t and they will have a “Comforter” (John 14:16) after he leaves them.
I can’t even imagine what Jesus’ disciples were thinking and feeling during this talk. It seemed to confuse His apostles. Thomas (John 14:5) and Philip (John 14:8) both asked questions. I think if I were one of them, I would have thought that Jesus was talking in riddles. He was talking about things in the future that they didn’t understand. Can you imagine being an apostle back then and hearing all of this, not knowing what we know now?
Anyway, to me, it seems like John 14:15 is part of an agreement of sorts. Well, maybe more of a testimony of how Jesus and His disciples will be able to realize that they love and care for each other. Before that, Jesus states that He is of the Father and the Father is in him, and that anyone who believes in Jesus, will be able to do greater works than he has done (John 14:11-12). Then, Jesus goes on to say, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14 KJV)
I believe that Jesus was trying to tell his apostles in this conversation, that he loves them. He knew that they didn’t understand what he was telling them and didn’t know what was going to happen. So, he was trying to reassure them.
Within this conversation, Jesus tells his apostles what they can do to show their love. In John 14:15 (KJV) Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Have you ever loved some people and looked to them that you wanted to do extra well for them? Have you ever felt like if you could just do so fabulously that it would impress one of these loved ones, that he or she would know just how much you love him or her? I have felt that before. It was a childlike and inexperienced thought or feeling. It wasn’t a feeling that love could be bought. It was just a feeling of love and admiration from someone who was young and caring.
Maybe the words in John 14:15 could be likened to a close-knit family who wanted to keep up the family honor, so they did good out of respect and love for the family. The driving force for the action is love.
As I mentioned in last week’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, sometimes when we hear “If you love me, you will ______” it is a manipulation. The driving force isn’t love at all. However, when Jesus says it, we know it is out of love and truth. We know it isn’t out of manipulation or any alternative motive.
If we love Jesus, we will obey his commandments. Not out of obedience or law, but out of love. We will trust that he knows what is best for us and will only tell us what is good for us. Jesus will only tell us things that will lead to glorifying God and being with Him eternally. What are your thoughts? How do you show Jesus you love him? Do you obey his commandments?
Thank you for your infinite love. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to be our ultimate role model. Help us to remember that you have our best in mind. Help us to realize that the words in John 14:15 was spoken by Jesus out of love, not out of any sort of alternative motive. Help us to show our love of our Savior, Jesus, be keeping his commandments. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for John 14:15 (KJV):
*What does John 14:15 mean to me?
*Have I ever felt like I wanted to show someone that I loved him or her by
doing something extra special that you think he or she would know your
love for him or her?
*Have I ever felt manipulated by an “If you love me…” statement?
*Do I know that Jesus wasn’t being manipulative with this statement?
*Do I show Jesus that I love him by keeping his commandments?
*What message is God giving me in John 14:15?
*What can I do to better heed the words in John 14:15?
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I enjoy sharing God's Word with you. I pray that you use my little tidbits and ponderings to read God's Word for yourself and pray for understanding. I pray it encourages you to reflect upon yourself and do what you can to grow in your faith. God bless.
If you find value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends and family. Encourage others to read God's Word and pray for understanding. I also invite you to leave a comment. Give us all something to ponder and about which to pray, so we can learn together. And, if you haven't already done so, please consider to sign up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
John 14:15 (KJV)
How are you? This post is going to be a little bit different than usual. I am going to use this post to show how we may have to have a little extra compassion for those who may have trouble with reading the Bible and believing in God.
Before I go too far, I want you to know that I am not making excuses for nonbelievers or for those who don’t believe that the Bible is the Word of God. I am not trying to judge or condone anyone who may be in that situation. However, I think that we as Christians, if we realize what a nonbeliever or baby believer may be thinking or feeling, we can have extra compassion to encourage a person.
The way we act as Christians might make the difference in whether a nonbeliever or baby Christian might believe in the future. Our compassion or lack of compassion might determine how the person we meet feels towards our Lord in the future.
First, let me ask, what do you think of when you first read the words in John 14:15? I have to say that I am a seasoned Christian and one of my first thoughts were of manipulators who have told me things like, “If you love me, you would wear the outfit I like” or “If you love me, you would wear your hair the way I like” or “If you love me, you would do this for me”. Have you ever had people say things like that to you?
Don’t get me wrong, I am a seasoned Christian and know that Jesus is not trying to manipulate us by the words he spoke in John 14:15. However, for those who have had a more difficult life or aren’t a seasoned believer may not understand that Jesus’ words are not manipulative. He or she may relate the words solely on what he or she knows. And, if all he or she knows is manipulation and lack of love, then this may feel like more of the same to him or her.
So, why am I saying all this? Usually, I ponder the meaning of a verse to me. I don’t usually ponder what a verse is not. Don’t worry, I will ponder the meaning for John 14:15 next week. However, I feel called to write this post, because I think that the actions of Christians can sometimes have a strong influence on how nonbelievers or baby believers can react or believe.
Looking at Matthew 18:6 might help explain what I mean. Matthew 18:6 (KJV) says, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” I don’t think Jesus was necessarily talking about just children in Matthew 18:6. I think he was talking about any new believer. (For me, it also kind of means a nonbeliever that is kind of on the edge of believing as well.) Jesus doesn’t want us seasoned Christians to do anything that would discourage belief in him.
I believe this concept is one that is difficult for many of us to understand. Sometimes, we may discourage belief in Jesus or discourage others from wanting to be Christians without even knowing it. Sometimes, we act in a way that is ungodly and un-Christian without even thinking about it.
Now, let’s tie this into John 14:15. Imagine a nonbeliever or new believer who comes across John 14:15 and immediately thinks about all the manipulators in his or her life. Maybe some of the hurt from the manipulation and selfishness of loved ones is triggered from this verse.
Imagine that because of the hurt, he or she might say something like, “This is bogus. This isn’t God’s Word. And, if it is, He doesn’t sound very loving to me.” It might not be exactly like that, but he or she may have thoughts and feelings that we may not understand. The might seem understandable to them and they may be honest feelings to them. But, we know that their thoughts and feelings don’t reflect the true nature of God.
Our first instinct might be to be protective and defend our Lord. This may be all well and good, not that God needs our protection and defense, but often we may not do it with compassion or tact. This lack of compassion or tact is what gives nonbelievers or baby Christians the wrong image of God.
We may be called to disagree with the wrong feelings that some get from verses like John 14:15, but we are called to do it with compassion and by following Jesus’ example. We are to do it gently. Instead of getting our dander up and starting an argument over the real meaning of the verse, we may say something more understanding and compassionate like, “I can understand why you might think that. I have had people in my life try to manipulate me in that way as well. It can be a hurtful thing. However, with time, an open heart, and more experience, you will see that God is not a manipulator. He is not like the people who have said, ‘If you love me, you will do this or that.’ Give it time. Experience His love and revisit this verse later.”
There are other instances where we can be “better off drowned with a millstone around our neck”, but when I read John 14:15 I felt called to bring up how we are to be good role models and encourage others in their belief in God. It is important to stress that how we respond to nonbelievers and new believers may impact how they believe in the future. Starting an argument and speaking harshly can lead to more wrong thinking or disbelief and compassion can lead to a better understanding and a stronger belief.
What do you think? Can you think of a time when you have been in this situation either as the nonbeliever/new believer or as the seasoned Christian? What was your reaction?
Especially during disagreement, I think new believers or possible believers need to see God’s love through us. We can disagree with them and even correct their misunderstanding, but we can do it gently and compassionately, so God’s love shines through us.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for sending your beloved Son, Jesus, not only to be our Lord and Savior, but to be our ultimate role model as well. Help us to have compassion for others, especially for unbelievers on the edge of believing or new believers, so we don’t turn them off from your love and give them a wrong picture of what it means to be a Christian. Give us the strength, knowledge and courage in doing what is right when someone has a wrong picture of you and reacts badly to your Word. I ask this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for John 14:15 (KJV):
*What does John 14:15 mean to me?
*Have I ever had anyone say, “If you love me, you will…”?
*Have I ever been manipulated before?
*If I come across someone who has a wrong picture by the words in John
14:15, how would I react?
Thank you for staying with me this week. Next week, I will ponder what I think John 14:15 does mean instead of what I think the verse doesn’t mean. So, stay tuned.
Now, it is your turn.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. I know that this has been a little different, but do you know what I am trying to say? Have you been in this situation before? How have you reacted? Do you have thoughts for the rest of us on what we could do if we were in this type of situation?
Thank you for being here. I appreciate the kindness and support. I pray you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value, please share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with friends and family. You may also want to use it as part of a family or church family discussion. Help spread God’s Word and encourage others in their faith.
If you haven’t already, please consider signing up below to get the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
Do You Reflect the Love of God?
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
1 John 4:8 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s post is about love and knowing God. Before we get into 1 John 4:8, let’s put it in a little perspective. Earlier in the chapter John is warning believers that they may get many people telling them this or that about what to believe or do. However, as Christians, we only want to do and believe as God wills us. In a world full of sin and as many opinions as there are people, it can be difficult in choosing what to believe and how to go.
The next question is how can we even know what God’s will is for us if we do not know Him. Even some acquaintances might not know how to take something a family member might say or do. So, we that know the person might say, “Oh he loves me. It is just his way.” When we know the person, we understand their meaning. It is the same with God. We need to know God, which also means knowing His Word, in order to know His will for us.
Notice, that I haven’t even used the word “love” yet. Well, that is because I haven’t even gotten to the good part yet. I think it is easier to understand if we take it in bite size pieces, because this verse goes way beyond common words like “love” and “know”.
Now, let’s look at the words in 1 John 4:8 (KJV), “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” What does this mean to you? If we take it literally, I think it says that regardless of whether we call ourselves a Christian or not, if we don’t love and act in a loving way towards God, ourselves, or others, then we don’t really know God. To me, it is also saying that we aren’t close to God and aren’t right with God if we don’t have love in our hearts.
I think 1 John 4:8 warns us not only about other people who may not be of God, but also calls for us to reflect upon whether we are acting as God wills us. So, when we get advice, we can check it. If there is no love in it, then it definitely is not from God. If we don’t act in a loving way, then we are not acting in God’s behalf towards the world.
I think that 1 John 4:8 can be better understood if we take it in the light of Genesis 1:27 (KJV), which says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” To me, if we remember that we are created in God’s image, then we will be more apt to be able to discern whether we are acting in accordance with God, because God is love, among other things.
Figuratively, we can put a mirror up to a person (including ourselves), as well as what he or she may say or do. If the reflection is a bright sign that says, “love of God”, then he or she (or the message) is of God. If the reflection is just of a plain person or anything less than the “love of God”, then we need to be cautious and discern carefully.
Something else I would like to mention about 1 John 4:8 and maybe the most difficult thing; and that is we need to be careful about the definition of “love”. Love isn’t just saying, “I love you.” Love isn’t always a “fuzzy, feel good” feeling. Love isn’t always something that we want to hear. Love doesn’t always agree with us. Love can be stern and admonishing as well. Love is truthful, righteous, disciplining, forgiving, merciful, and compassionate. Love, especially God’s love and God Himself, entails so much more than a love that we humans can even imagine or comprehend.
I think that many in the world are confused about love. Our lack of understanding about love is where many fights begin. Some think or say, “If you love me, you will do this.” Then, if the person doesn’t do it, then people think that they are not loved. But, we can’t just dictate whether someone loves us based upon whether or not they do what we want. The yardstick is much different than that. Figuratively, the yardstick is what we see in the mirror. We are called to show the love of God to others. If someone holds a mirror up to us, then figuratively they should see that bright sign that says “love of God”.
However, 1 John 4:8 (KJV) says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” It is a negative statement. So, we aren’t talking about those who love, but those who don’t love. It is still the same yardstick though. Whether we are reflecting on ourselves or trying to discern whether what someone is telling us is from God or not, we still need to figuratively look in the mirror and look for the “love of God”. If we don’t see it, then the person (including oneself) doesn’t know God. He or she isn’t reflecting God’s love or image. So, we need to beware.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for giving us a yardstick in which to discern whether someone knows you. Thank you for your love. Help us to reflect your love to others in all that we do. Help us to discern the reflection of your love or lack thereof in others. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflection questions for 1 John 4:8 (KJV):
*What does 1 John 4:8 mean to me?
*What does love mean to me?
*Do I reflect on whether I love others and reflect God’s love?
*Do I hold others and the messages or actions of others up to the mirror to
discern whether or not they are of God?
*What can I do in order to heed the words in 1 John 4:8 better?
*What is God telling me in the words in 1 John 4:8?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad that you are here. I pray that the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations blesses you in some way. For those of you who don't know, I pray before I write it that God gives me the words to write, that they are His words and not my words, that He doesn't allow me to add, subtract, or change anything He asks me to say. I really hope and pray that I stay obedient to that prayer and God's message. In that way, I believe that God is blessing either me and/or one of the readers through the words in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. Is that person you? Are you being touched or called to do something through the words? And, as always, no matter what my words may be, I encourage you to read God's Word and pray for your personal understanding and message from God.
Not only do I appreciate your kindness and support, I also welcome your comments. I hope you will share your godly thoughts and understanding to encourage the rest of us. Thank you.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. Together, let's uplift others and grow the kingdom of God. God bless.
P.S. - If you haven't already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox.
P.P.S. - If you like this post on "love" and "reflecting God's love" and truth, you may also want to read this post.
“He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”
Luke 3:11 (KJV)
How are you? Not long ago, I wrote another post on sharing. You can read it here. That post was focused on how we sometimes tend to confuse “needs” and “wants”. Today’s post is about sharing, but with the focus on sharing from our excess.
In Luke 3:11 (KJV), it says, “He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; an the that hath meat, let him do likewise.” Here, John the Baptist is answering a question people have asked about what they must do. As we can see, the message is that we should give from our excess to those who don’t have all the necessities in life.
I believe the word “meat” doesn’t just refer to meat, but to all food and drink. John is talking about food that is a necessity. We need food and drink in order to live. It may be the same with “coats”. John may not be just talking about coats, but all necessary clothing. Clothing is a necessity as well.
Luke 3:11 reminds me of Matthew 19:21 (KJV) which says, “Jesus said unto him, If those wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Jesus’ answer maybe a little more drastic, but the message to be compassionate and giving to the poor is still the same.
One might ask, “Why doesn’t John tell people the same as Jesus did?” I believe there a couple of reasons. The first is that Jesus hadn’t yet started His ministry in the times of when John was speaking in Luke 3:11. I believe the second reason is that God likes to tell us things in baby steps as to not overwhelm us and so we can understand. People who came to John might not have been ready to hear that they must sell everything. God may have thought that they were only ready to hear that they must share from their excess.
I don’t know about you, but Luke 3:11 inspires me to think about what I have and what I give or don’t give. It gets me to thinking about how many of us have more coats and more clothes than they could possibly need and others don’t have all the necessities in life. Another thing I think about is that there is no mention of being asked by the poor for anything, only mention of giving to the poor. We are called to lovingly, graciously, and compassionately give to the poor out of excess in daily living necessities. We are called to take the initiative to ensure the poor at least have the necessities in life. What do you think about in reading Luke 3:11?
Do you think about how many pieces of clothing you have and how many people could use even one? Do you think of how much food you have and how much gets wasted while others struggle to fine any? Does your heart go out to those who struggle to just get the necessities in life? Do you even think about what that might feel like?
I pray that you are blessed by Luke 3:11 to reflect on what you have or need and what you can do to help those less fortunate. I pray we all take that time to not only reflect, but to do something about it, to compassionately and joyously give.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for caring for all your children, those who have as well as those who have not. Thank you for teaching us to give and share with others. Help us to be, not only obedient to your Holy Word, and give to others, but to give well with a loving and compassionate heart. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Luke 3:11 (KJV):
*What does Luke 3:11 mean to me?
*Does Luke 3:11 inspire me to reflect on what I have and what I share?
*Do I have more food or clothing than I need?
*Do I have more possessions and money than I need?
*Do I share with the poor and those in need?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so thankful that you are here. I enjoy sharing my faith and my thoughts with you. I encourage you to read God's Word and grow in your own faith. I welcome any comments and ideas you may have so that we can all be encouraged and grow in our faith.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. Encourage others to read God's Word and grow in their faith as well. And, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV)
How are you? Have you ever wondered why you are going through a difficult time? Have you wondered what you did to deserve such a horrible time? I pray that in these times, your discomfort turns to comfort, even if only through the words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Sometimes the source of our discomfort is obvious. For example, you touching a hot stove will result in a burn. We know this. We can understand it. It doesn’t help the burn, but at least we know why the painful burn is there. We did something not so smart and we are suffering the consequences.
However, sometimes things happen and we are not sure why. We are suffering with something and we are not sure the cause. What did we do? Why are we suffering? Did we do something that wasn’t so smart? Did we bring it on ourselves? Did Satan do it to bring us down? Is God punishing us?
At times, these things are good to ask, so that we can reflect on where we are at in our relationship with God. There are lessons we can use from self-reflection and it seems like the lessons come the most through our mistakes and hardships.
Although, the “why of it” might not be the best question to ask or even the view to take. Maybe we should be taking it as it comes and asking God for comfort and mercy. More than that, maybe we should be noticing and acknowledging that comfort.
One of the reasons I like this passage so much is that it is so comforting and it shows the compassion and love of our Heavenly Father. Now, that we have started wondering the reasons of why bad things happen and why we go through hardships, let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:3 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort”. We are called to praise God! As Christians, we know that and do that anyway. However, it is sometimes difficult to praise God during hard times. We feel angry or hurt during hard times, instead of thankfulness and the willingness to praise God. That is why I think we need to not focus on the hardship as much, but on God.
I think it is in “focusing on God more” that we will realize that God is our Heavenly Father, that He has mercy on us and comforts us. I think it is then that we can start blessing Him and praising His name, even during hardship, or closely thereafter, as Paul did. After all, this was written just after a time when he thought he would be killed and his daily condition probably wasn’t the best.
After being reminded of some very wonderful titles and traits of our Heavenly Father and being called to bless Him, we are reminded of some reasons why we should bless our Heavenly Father. Let’s now look at 2 Corinthians 1:4 (KJV), which says, “who comforteth us in all tribulation, that we may comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
To me, two of those reasons that we might not know about for our hardship might be explained in 2 Corinthians 1:4. Maybe one of the reasons that we have hardship is so that God can comfort us. I don’t mean that God causes hardship, so that He can some in like a knight in shining armor to rescue use and feel good about himself. It isn’t some sort of knight in shining armor syndrome. When God comforts us, it is the real thing. He comforts us as nobody else can.
God doesn’t want us to continue to suffer. He wants us to seek Him. We have seen this in Jesus’ personality and ways. We read in scripture how Jesus was compassionate towards those whom he met. We also see God’s compassion and mercy when Jesus says in John 16:7 (KJV), “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Like any loving father, our Heavenly Father, provides for us and comforts us.
I mentioned that there are two reasons for our suffering that can be found in 2 Corinthians 1:4. Again, I don’t mean that God causes suffering, just so that He can comfort us. He may let it happen, so that we can benefit from His comfort and learn from the experience. The second, to me, is that we suffer so that God can comfort us and that we then in turn can comfort others. We are to testify of God’s kindness and comfort for us, so that others can be comforted as well. We are also called to physically and emotionally comfort others, as God has comforted us.
In a way, 2 Corinthians 1:4, shows us that we are called to “pay it forward”. God comforts us, so we are called to comfort others. Then, they can comfort others, as God comforted them through us, and on and on.
Of what verse does the “pay it forward” aspect of 2 Corinthians 1:4 remind you? It reminds me of Matthew 6:12 (KJV), “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us examples of the good things that we are do. He treats us, as we are to treat others.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your love, mercy, and comfort. Thank you for showing us more and more the love for us. Help us to be thankful for the love, mercy, and comfort you provide. Help us to remember it and “pay it forward” during times when others are in need. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV):
*What does 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 mean to me?
*Do I praise and bless God in difficult times?
*Do I testify how God comforts me and has mercy on me?
*Do I “pay it forward” and comfort others?
*Of what other verses do 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 remind me?
*What message is God giving me through 2 Corinthians 1:3-4?
*What can I do to better heed the words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4?
Every once in a while, I like to remind you that I am not a biblical scholar. I didn't go to seminary. I am a Christian who loves our Heavenly Father. I read the Bible to know Him and to know His ways and what I am called to do. I encourage you to do the same. A devotion, such as I offer in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, is a great starting place to get used to reading and thinking about God's Word. It is also a wonderful place for more experienced Christians and Bible readers to read the thoughts of other Christians on Bible verses, and to offer thoughts of their own.
*If you want to read another post on comfort, you may also want to read this one.
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad you are here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and find value in it. I always look forward to your comments, ideas, and suggestions. I want to learn and grow in faith with you. So, please feel free to comment below. Also, if you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. "Pay it forward." Let others find value in it as well. Thank you.
And, if you haven't done so already, you may want to consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Get a free gift to help you delve deeper into God's Word as well. Thank you. God bless.
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
1 John 3:17 (KJV)
How are you? I am touched by the words in 1 John 3:17. What about you? If we all thought about these words and prayed about these words, and acted upon these words, the world would be a better place.
As Christians, we try to do what is right. We may go to church, worship God and speak His name. We may pray not only for ourselves, but for others as well. Yet, is that all we are called to do?
We are asked a very good question in 1 John 3:17 (KJV), “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” With the “old time” words and way of saying things, this verse, like many others in the Bible, may be difficult to understand. However, it is basically saying, “If we are rich or have more than we need and see someone in need, but don’t share, how can we say that we have God’s love in us?” Or, we can also change that to, “How can we say we are Christians, followers of Jesus, and believers, if we don’t share out of our extra wealth with those in need?”
Let’s think about that question a minute. Pray about it. If we are truly following Jesus, how can we not share what we have with others? Jesus was always having compassion on others, healing them, encouraging them, and giving the good news to them. Shouldn’t we do the same, if we are able? Isn’t that what “following” means? Is that what it means to be Christian?
I think part of our issue in not heeding the words in 1 John 3:17 is that we interchange the words “need” and “want” too much in our society. We talk about “needing” things that we really “want”. We might say something like, “I need to get some chips for the picnic.” Well, that isn’t quite the truth. The truth is that we “want” to get some chips for the picnic. We might say, “I need a new car.” Well, that isn’t quite the truth either. Even if we feel we need a vehicle, the truth is closer to, “I need something to get me to and from work or the grocery store. But, I really want it to be a new car.” Our society says “need” too often when “want” is really the meaning.
With our nonchalant use of the word “need”, how can we really tell when someone needs something or not? More to the point, how can we tell if we have more than we need, if we always say we need something when we don’t? I think this badly, overused, misrepresented use of the word “need” has made us numb to the real needs of the world; of ours and of others.
I think if we learn to use the word “want” when we really mean “want” and use “need” when we really mean “need”, God will be more likely to open our hearts to have the compassion we should for others. Even if we have never had a real “need”, we may start to understand that there are people who do and our compassion will tug at us until we do something about it.
It is then that we can realize that we have a closet bulging with more clothes than we actually where, when there are others who barely have clothes on their backs and don’t even have a closet. Maybe then, we will share.
In preparing for this post and reading 1 John 3:17, it tugged at my heart some. I hope that God continues the tug at my heart. I pray that He continues to convict me with this verse, until I am moved to a depth so deep that His loves comes pouring through me. I pray the same for you as well, if you aren’t there already.
Thank you for sending your only Son, Jesus, to be our Savior and our ultimate role model. Oh, Lord, help us to know the difference between “needs” and “wants”. Touch our hearts, so they are opened to the needs of others and your compassion can flow through us. Help us to have compassion on those in need, not only in word and prayer, but also in action. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for 1 John 3:17 (KJV):
*What does 1 John 3:17 mean to me?
*Do I use the word “need” when I really mean “want”?
*Do I think that the needs and wants confusion numbs us?
*What message is God giving me through this verse?
*What can I do to better heed the words in 1 John 3:17?
*Do I have any excess that I can give to those in need?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? Do you use "need" when you mean "want"? Why don't you think we give as much as we can to those in need? How do you think we call ourselves Christians and don't give to those in need? (I know some do give.) I would like to hear from you. Please, comment below to give us all something about which to think and pray. Thank you.
I am so glad that you are here. I appreciate your support and kindness. I hope you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value, please share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with your friends, family, and church. Thank you.
Also, if you haven't already done so, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Luke 6:38 (KJV)
How are you? In doing my research for this blog post, it seems that this verse is used to encourage people to tithe or give to a specific cause. However, I am wondering if that is the way this verse is meant to be spoken. In that use, the speaker is seeking something. Yet, in the way Jesus says it, the hearer is the one who will reap its rewards if followed.
I think God probably cringes when we use His Word for our gain. “Will you buy me a new car? The Bible says, ‘It is better to give than to receive.’ (Wink, wink.)” Can you imagine what God is thinking or feeling with this? Sometimes, the message isn’t just what we say, but how we say it.
About what does this verse remind you? At first glance, the “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” reminds me of measuring something for a recipe. When scooping flour with a measuring cup, you may think you have the correct amount, but if you tap the measuring cup against the counter the flour will settle and you will find that you don’t have as much flour as you thought. So, my mind thinks, “Jesus is saying that if I give the amount that seems full when I first scoop, I will get back the amount that looks like that amount after that amount settles and more is added to make it look equal. As a matter of fact, it will be more than that, because it will not only be that amount, but running over.”
The part that confuses me with this verse is, “shall men give…”. I know that if we do God’s will, He will reward us, if not in this life, in everlasting life. Yet, people don’t always return kindness with kindness or cruelty with cruelty. People are more apt to return like for like, but not always. What are your thoughts on that? Jesus must have had a reason to say “shall men give…”. Was it to say that “people are more apt to treat others in the same way others treat them”? Or, was there more to the message?
So, what is it that we are measuring? Some, think it is money. Remember the wink, wink? However, to me it seems to be a general rule of life for reaping and sowing. The verses prior to Luke 6:38 talks about not only money (Luke 6:34), but also things like mercy (Luke 6:36), judgment (Luke 6:37) and forgiveness (Luke 6:37) as well.
I think it is just like in gardening. If you plant peas, peas will grow or if you plant beans, beans will grow. I think it is the same with Luke 6:38, if you give money, you will get money or if you give cruelty, you will get cruelty. And, of course, if you give love, you will get love. Maybe that is what the last sentence of the verse means, “For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” If you give someone a pint of berries, you will get an overflowing pint of berries in return. If you give someone love, you will get more love in return.
It may seem strange that this works out, especially when humans are involved. I mean, we may know and believe that God will reward our love, faith, and obedience. But why would it make sense that “shall men give…”?
This is why I like to reflect and find other verses in which the verse reminds me. Sometimes God’s Word is difficult to understand unless we make connections with other verses. After all, God’s Word speaks about heavenly ways and we are used to hearing about worldly ways, so it may seem a bit strange to us at first.
So, why does it make sense that even men could repay like with like or even with more than given? Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” The Golden Rule, as we call it, tells us to treat others as we would want to be treated. I believe that speaks to the repay same with same, especially if kindness is given.
Matthew 5:40-41 speaks about not only giving, but also giving more. Matthew 5:40 says, “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Nobody wants to be sued, but whether we are compelled through the court or through compassion, I believe we are called to give even more than expected.
We are to ensure that we aren’t the person in debt, but the person who has given more than owed. In that way, we are called to follow Jesus’ example. He gave His life for us, even though He didn’t owe us anything.
Matthew 5:41 reinforces Matthew 5:40. It says, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” We are called to not only give of our earthly possessions, or of our emotions, but of our time and memories as well. We are called to spend more time with someone than even asked.
Like I said, it may seem strange, but even though this is not the way the world is, it is the way it was meant to be. God always calls us to give. God gave man a “help mate”. I believe it wasn’t just because He loved man and didn’t want man to be lonely, but also because He meant people to help one another.
Sadly, things are always as they “should” be, but that doesn’t take away from the truth. Truth is truth. The way God planned things is truth and the way they “should” be.
In the beginning of the post, I mentioned something about a message being not only the words but also how they are used. So, what is the message in Luke 6:38? I think the message is in the first word of the verse, “Give!” Don’t give because it is said in a sermon or because people ask you to give. Don’t give because you feel guilty or embarrassed. Don’t give because you are manipulated. Give because God calls us to give. Give out of compassion and love.
Thank you for your Word. Even though it may seem “strange” at times, because we are used to worldly words, help us to trust in Your Words and in heavenly ways. Oh Lord, help us to not only seek your Word and ways, but to share them in the spirit in which they were intended. Help us to honor you and praise you by following the example of your Son, Jesus, in giving more than we owe or are asked. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Luke 6:38 (KJV):
*What does Luke 6:38 mean to me?
*Does Luke 6:38 speak of worldly things, heavenly things, or both?
*What are we to give?
*Of what verses does Luke 6:38 remind me?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Luke 6:38?
If you are interested in "reap what you sow" posts, you might also be interested in this post.
Now, it is your turn.
Luke 6:38 is a large verse. It is quite a bit to take in. We may or may not understand it all. I would like to hear from you though. What are your thoughts and understanding of the verse? Let us all learn from and encourage each other in God's Word.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray that you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends, family, and church members. Also, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”
Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
How are you? Today, I want to talk about times when people have said, “Don’t touch this or you will be in trouble.” Or, maybe they said, “Don’t cross this line or you will be sorry.” Then, nothing happened. It is like bullies were warning us to get us scared, hoping that we wouldn’t call their bluff.
These bullies like to manipulate the truth to get others to do what they want. They want to mock others for being afraid of them. They want to keep us down, so they feel strong.
However, when people call the bully’s bluff, they may jeer at the bully, “I touched it. I touched it”, because they touched it and nothing happened. Or, they crossed the line and nothing happened. So, the bully is then mocked. The bully didn’t have the strength or courage to follow through with his or her threats.
With this image and frame of mine, let’s now look at Galatians 6:7. The first part says, “Be not deceived.” That is don’t be mistaken. God can definitely follow through with whatever He says will happen. God has infinite power. God does not trick or manipulate people to get His way. God tells the truth. God is truth.
The second part of the verse says, “God in not mocked.” In other words, God will follow through with whatever He says He will do. There will be no, “I touched it, I touched it,” from sinners who thought they got away with something.
We may “think” we are getting away with things, because our consequences don’t always come immediately. They come in God’s time, not in the time we always think they will come. For example, if we are told we are going to gain weight if we eat something and then don’t gain weight immediately, we may think that we got away with something. However, what we may not know is that it is probably working unseen negative effects on the body and we will end up gaining weight in the long run because of it.
Another example might be, if we smoke after being told it causes cancer and we don’t get cancer right away, we might feel like we got away with something. However, what we might not realize is that sometimes it takes time for the effect of the nicotine to take hold and the cancer to start. It might also be that the cancer is starting inside the body, but we can’t see it yet.
No matter what the unhealthy action and sin we may do, we must not think we “got away with something” if our consequences don’t come immediately. Our consequences may not even come during our time on earth, but we will be judged on whatever we do. Our consequences or rewards will come eventually, in this life or in eternity.
The last part of Galatians 6:7 (KJV) says, “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” When consequences don’t come immediately, we may forget or not believe that they will come. Yet, again, God doesn’t lie. He tells the truth and is truth. Even if we forget about them, the consequences are coming.
It may also be that the consequences are put to us in worldly terms, but the consequences are according to God’s law and not worldly law. For example, we may “steal something” and not get caught. So, we won’t go to jail and “pay” for the crime. So, we may think that we “got away with something”. However, that is worldly law. God still knows that we stole something and He will still give us His consequences.
If we do good things and follow God’s Word, we will reap the rewards He promises. On the other hand, if we sin and don’t heed God’s Word, we will reap the consequences He promises as well. Even if we don’t see the rewards or consequences in this life, we can be sure that we will see them in eternity. As it says in the beginning of the verse, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.”
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for the truth and direction you give us. Help us to heed your words and to remember that consequences and rewards are coming according to your Word, even if they don’t come in the time we may expect. We ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Galatians 6:7 (KJV):
*What does Galatians 6:7 mean to me?
*About what does Galatians 6:7 make me think?
*How can I relate Galatians 6:7 to a situation in today’s world?
*What do I need to do to better heed the words in Galatians 6:7?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad that you are here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I feel blessed to write the Faith Blog. I feel God has called me to do so. I pray before I write and trust God to give me the words and message that He wants written. I pray you are blessed by it also.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to share it with your family and friends. Also, if you haven't done so, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox.
I look forward to your thoughtful comments. Please, feel free to comment below or to contact me.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.