Tag Archives: choices

Genesis 4, 5, 6; Matthew 2

God gives me what I need, when I need it…including loving rebuke and discipline. I am reminded of this as I read Genesis 4:6-7.

God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” (MSG)

When Cain’s offering was rejected, he became angry. Cain’s countenance fell; in other words, he started grumbling and moping. God asked him why he was angry. He warned Cain that he had a choice to make: to allow negativity to rule over him OR to be the master of his emotions.

God shared with Cain a very important secret to a successful life-journey:  subdue, master, rule over, control, reign over, have dominion over…sin, especially that of negative thoughts and emotions, which lead to sinful behaviors.

I am given the same choice, the choice to conquer or be conquered. Recently, I’ve been walking in a literal minefield of negative thoughts and emotions, and more often than not, I am being blown to smithereens. I have been allowing sin to creep in little by little by allowing my circumstances to control my thoughts, actions, behaviors, attitudes…and it has been killing me slowly from the inside out.

Cain didn’t heed God’s warning and it destroyed him; his sin leading him to murder his brother. It destroyed mankind in the days of Noah; their sin resulting in the annihilation of the earth. It destroyed King Herod resulting in the massacre of countless innocent children. And it continues to try to destroy all of us still today.

I am so grateful that through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, He gives me the ability to stand against sin, to overcome those offenses and not allow sin to rule over me. I can lean on His strength and like Enoch, I can continually walk with God. I can call on Holy Spirit to help me maneuver through my circumstances and use them to bless His name.

I choose to heed the warning and choose to be a conqueror.

Yesappa, I repent for bowing my knee to offense and allowing the sin that desires to control my life, my heart, my mind, and my future to steal my joy and my blessings. Help me to be obedient to your warning to rule over the sin that wants to continually enter the door to my spirit. Thank you for standing with me always and forever. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

Sin is ready to attack; it wants to control – you must control it (ERV)

Sin crouches at your door; it desires you – you must master it (AMP)

Sin crouches at the door, eager to control you – you must subdue it and be its master (NLT)

Sin crouches at your door; it desires you – you must rule over it (NIV)

Sin lies at the door; it desires you – you must rule over it (KJV; NKJV)

Sin is ready to attack; it wants you – you must rule over it (NCV)

Sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you – you’ve got to master it (MSG)

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Filed under 66 Books, Genesis, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

Joshua 20-21; Acts 1; Jeremiah 10, Matthew 24

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this:  If the owner of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?  It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.”   – Matthew 24:42

I’ve been reading Stu Weber’s book Tender Warrior.  He devotes a chapter to the topic of Staying Power.  In it, he laments that men do not stand fast to their commitments.  They break promises, they leave their families, and they bounce from job to job.  In his book The Principal of the Path, Andy Stanley asserts that what we may see as discrete choices are actually connected steps on a path to our destination.  In other words, where we end up is very much a function of the path that we have taken.  Seems to make sense.

Both of these books, written by living models for manhood, point to a similar theme:  It’s vigilance in the little things day in and day out that result in a Godly life.  My spiritual maturity is the accumulation of the tiny steps I have taken toward God and the tiny steps I have taken away from God over the decades.

I can definitely see this in the rather mundane area of my health and nutrition habits.  By my calculations, I have lost about 325 pounds over the last 20 years.  Unfortunately, I have gained about 340 pounds over the same time period.   This has left me about 15 pounds overweight.  Short of cutting off a limb, I can’t lose 15 pounds in a day.  It will require vigilant effort day in and day out to get to the desired destination.

Jesus teaches us the same thing in Matthew 24.  As he discusses a subject as momentous as the Apocalypse, he notes that the wise servant will be found vigilantly tending to his daily responsibilities.

Lord, give me the staying power to be obedient to your will moment by moment.  It is my greatest desire to abide in you so that when you come looking for me you find me serving your purposes.  Amen.

Greg (gmd40187)

This post originally published July 14, 2010.

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Filed under 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament

Joshua 22; Jeremiah 11; Acts 2; Matthew 25

Choices and paths. Preparedness and action. Earlier posts came to mind when I read Matthew 25 this week. I thought about Dave’s reflection last Sunday about Matthew’s book being about choice and what we do with what God has given us when I read about the servants entrusted with the talents when the master went away (Matthew 25:14-30). And Greg’s thoughts yesterday of the servant tending daily responsibilities were the precursor to reading of the ten virgins, the lamp oil and awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13).

Choices and paths. Preparedness and action. These were the words that flavored the text as I read about feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:35-36.

Sometimes reading verses like these take me to a broader, global application–which is good. But when I considered the local, immediate involvement … the daily application of compassion and hospitality … opportunities to look into someone else’s eyes and glimpse Jesus–the sowing becomes the harvest.

A food gift to a new neighbor; a pitcher of ice water to the cable installers on a summer day; inviting a new mom to playgroup and cultivating a friendship; assisting a family struggling in a rough economy; caring for someone afflicted with a chronic illness; looking into the eyes of someone imprisoned who may feel forgotten and unwanted.

What am I doing with the talents God has given me? I could read these passages and feel condemned–or I can read them and see great possibility even in the smallest action.

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40.

I echo Greg’s prayer. Lord, give me the staying power to be obedient to your will moment by moment.  It is my greatest desire to abide in you so that when you come looking for me you find me serving your purposes.  Amen

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament