Satan’s penetration of our mind goes deepest with temptation near and God far away. When God doesn’t help and pleasure beckons. That’s the time the Holy Spirit reminds us to hoist “the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” Ephesians 6:16.
Like Jesus after 40 days and nights without food, our eyes may be dimmed but they can still flash with spiritual defiance at Satan. Like Joseph, even when physically weak or emotionally burdened, we can be spiritually potent. In the crucible of temptation, God’s word expects to prove us pure gold in his sight, not Play-dough in Satan’s hands.
When personal fortunes plummet, and it seems useless to continue being faithful, God expects from us the same high-class morality Jesus, Joseph and every apostle exemplified. God’s PERFECTION never reduces his expectations of us; it does activate the potency of the Holy Spirit to INCREASE our MATURITY in thought and behavior.
We may never fill any great role in God’s Kingdom, but we can be great Christians in God’s Kingdom! As Acts 6:14 stresses, it’s the kind of people God seeks from us, not the type of responsibility we bear for or service rendered to him.
We may witness to the lost without result. Nevertheless, we have fulfilled our role as Christians, since it’s the Holy Spirit’s role to convince, convict and convert the lost. Fini
Since God’s word teaches us right from wrong, never make another person’s wrong our standard of right.
Since God’s word always, and our particular feelings never, determines acceptable morality, never sacrifice his eternal word for momentary pleasures.
Capitalizing on whatever light God shines in our minds activates his grace in us. With only patriarchal moonlight as illumination, Joseph’s faith in God lifted him above his losses and sorrows. How many of us, living in the blinding light of Jesus, who “brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, II Timothy 1:10, equal Joseph’s faith in our adversities?
Our response to adversity or catastrophe determines its ultimate impact on us. Allow that Joseph had difficulty accepting his new, degraded status. That he scoured his mind raw wondering WHY it happened! And so on....Yet...faith in God remained stalwart in him—empowering him to accept punishment for being true to God instead of receiving favored-servant status by surrendering to a fallen woman.
Yet, 13 years later, he rose from prison warden to second in power to Pharaoh! How many of us, after we exit whatever adversity or catastrophe we endure, can claim equivalent spiritual victories? Stronger personal faith in God? Stronger resisting temptation? Stronger against doubt? Stronger against comprising the Gospel, etc.? - More to come -
Albert Schweitzer visited Charles Widor in Paris. Widor served as organist in Saint Sulpice. Himself a master of music, Widor had composed ballet, comic opera, symphonies and chamber music. Webster’s Biographical Dictionary, 1570.
Yet, after hearing Schweitzer play the organ, Widor admitted his superiority. He also admitted that Bach’s choral preludes baffled him. The good Doctor explained that they could be understood only by the choral texts. Hearing each explained, Widor finally began to understand Bach. Reader’s Digest, Biography, 445.
He also wanted Schweitzer to write down all he could about the choral preludes, to be used as a teaching tool of other organists. All of this has significant implications for all religious leaders vis á vis Jesus. End Part I
Yesterday, Thursday on June 21, Summer began. The longest day of the year. One of the longest waits in my life. Nearly 5 hours at DMV—the most broken of all government bureaucracies. Just to get the right to drive Californian streets and freeways. Does it make sense? You wait 4 ½ hours--wait now...standing around...passing the time...talking with others equally immobilized by government. Then, after 4 ½ hours, you take a computer test that took 3-4 minutes! Does that make sense to anyone but a government employee? And I heard one of them complain over the DMV’s procedures. He also said only the people can change them. The DMV won’t listen to their employees.
Then there’s illegal immigration into America. Illegal, understand...outside the law, understand...breaking the law, understand. And liberals think America should welcome people who flout the law—when even law-abiding immigrants bitterly criticize those who ignore regulations just so they can flee poverty-stricken countries.
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Which leads to a last thing that make no sense. Why should America be the country that serves as an excuse for Mexico and nations farther south NOT to make changes in government policies to keep people there? The Roman Catholic Church is the enemy of its people. They callously allow the leaders of their nations to keep most of the money in the oligarchy, including the church curia! Because the Catholic Church won’t make changes to improve the daily life of its people, is America obligated to protect the Church from its own wickedness? Does that make sense to any but a liberal Democrat, Mexican aristocrats and the Roman Catholic hierarchy?