Why do I feel the way I do?

The posture of the mind determines so much about the character of an individual’s life. To succeed in conquering disabling emotions, I must somehow get myself to cease to see a situation in one set of terms and see it in different terms. I must re-posture the disposition of my mind.

Wisdomforlife


Families_of_emotions_06apr19b“Human life is fundamentally a life of the mind. The posture of the mind determines so much about the character of an individual’s life.”  (Spirituality and Human Emotion, Robert c. Roberts).

Scripture locates spiritual change as transformation of the mind: Roman 12:1-2; II Corinthians 4:16-18 Ephesians 4:22-24 – “attitude of your minds”  “posture of your mind”

Construal—Concern—-Emotion:

As we consider our theme, my word for the day is “construal.” 

Construal: a way of viewing or a perspective on a situation, experience, or person. To construe something is to choose a way of understanding it. It is “a posture of the mind” toward something or someone. It involves an interpretation of the meaning of an experience or an event.

When I ask, “How do you construe things in this situation?” I want to know how you view, interpret, or understand things. Although we often appeal to feelings as a basis for perception…

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You thought you were serving God

ImageIs it possible to wrongly think you’re serving God’s purpose when in reality you are serving selfish purposes? Is it even possible to wrongly apply Scripture to validate yourself?

Yes.

  • Jesus predicted, “…the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God” (John 16:2).
  • This was the case in the crucifixion of Jesus. Isaiah wrote, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by Godstricken by Him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). 

Think about it

Be very sure you’re doing the actual will of God before you act or speak and think you do so on behalf of God. Do not twist or wrongly apply Scripture to convince yourself that you’re serving God in your application of it. God have mercy on those who do these things. 

We set ourselves against God if we wrongly convince ourselves and others that God prescribes something exactly the way we choose to do it when it is actually not His will. Make sure you are VERY careful students of God’s word if you’re using Scripture to justify such actions.

Steve Cornell

 

Posted in Bible, Church discipline, Church Leadership, Elders, elders in the Church, Interpretation of bible, Leadership, Local Church, Pastors, Scripture, Wisdom | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A denier called back to duty

Interior10Peter denies Jesus three times

  1. The servant girl on duty asked Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” Peter replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself (John 18:16-18).
  2. Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
  3. One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow (John 18:25-27).

The resurrected Jesus appears to peter (John 21:3-17)

“I’m going out to fish,” Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Peter questioned three times by Jesus

  1. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
  2. Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
  3. The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Peter speaks to his fellow elders many years later

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…” (I Peter 5:1-2).

God isn’t finished yet!

Steve Cornell

 

Posted in Church Leadership, Discipleship, discouraged, Doubt, Elders, elders in the Church, Failure, Jesus Christ, Life of a pastor, Pastors, Teaching of Jesus, Wisdom | Leave a comment

5 Truths about God I need to remember

16681-shutterstock_901130231. God’s ways are not our ways – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
2. “God mocks proud mockers” (Proverbs 3:34)
3. “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (I Corinthians 1:27-29).
4. God’s mercy is shocking. “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy… Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (I Timothy 1:13,15-16).
5. God restores His servants – I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). “In that day you will say: ‘I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me” (Isaiah 12:1). “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. ‘In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer’” (Isaiah 54:7-8).“…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). “Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful” (Jeremiah 31:4). “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11). “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).

learning to rest in our God,

 

Steve Cornell

Posted in Blessed by God, God, God's Patience, God's Heart, God's Love, God's Will, Seeing God, Seeking God, Walking with God, Will of God, Wisdom | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Some pray and die….”

Should we give up on prayer when God doesn’t answer as we hope and expect?

Wisdomforlife

“I tried prayer. It didn’t work!”

Have you ever heard this complaint?

All who take prayer seriously sooner or later struggle with unanswered prayer.I’ve struggled with it.

Should we give up on prayer when God doesn’t answer as we hope and expect?

According to a recent survey, 87 percent of Americans believe that God answers prayer and 29 percent say they pray to God more than once a day. The more prominent requests include prayers for health and success, and strength to overcome personal weakness. 51 percent do not think God answer prayers to win sporting events. After events like the Super Bowl, I am sure more are convinced he doesn’t answer such prayers.

When God doesn’t seem to answer 

C.S. Lewis suggested that, “Every war, every famine or plague, almost every deathbed — is the monument to a petition that was not granted.” Even Jesus shared in the agony of unanswered prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane…

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Just let me die

Suicide calls are up during Covid 19. Headline news. Many Americans feel lonely, anxious, and depressed during coronavirus pandemic.

It might surprise you to know how many people just want to die.

Wisdomforlife

Is death the solution to our troubles? Sometimmes I am tempted to think about it this way. 
It might surprise you to know how many people just want to die.
This life is tough and can send us into a state of despair.
You’re not alone if you’ve been despondent to the point of wanting to die. I’ve been battled this feeling! 

Consider four people in Scripture who wanted to die:

1. Moses  (Numbers 11:13-15)

Wearied by the tough assignment of leading the children of Israel, Moses asked God to put him out of his miseries, to perform (so to speak) what Moses saw as a mercy killing. 

“Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! If this is how…

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Robin Williams’ most uncomfortable role

Robin Williams was unique. Many people seemed to live inside him. He made so many laugh –  yet his death was so tragic.

Wisdomforlife

Robin Williams was unique. Many people seemed to live inside him. He made so many laugh yet his death was so tragic. 

It’s tempting to think that Robin Williams would have been lifted out of despondency if only he had read all the Twitter comments praising his amazing career as an actor and comedian. This would not be a safe assumption. And it could lead to unnecessary guilt for those who were closest to him.

Words of affirmation and encouragement that lift most people are strangely distant and impotent to those gripped with depression. When lost in despondency people feel unable to shake an outlook of despair no matter what others say to them. 

Robin Williams was transparent about his battle with depression and his efforts to self-medicate. It’s sad to see anyone overcome by such despondency.

It appears that the man who played so many characters faced his greatest…

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Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?

Working through disputable matters in a way that promotes unity.

Wisdomforlife

“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.” (Romans 14:1, NLT)

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The words, “what they think is right or wrong” is a translation of  εἰς διακρίσεις διαλογισμῶν. Another translation renders it: “passing judgment on disputable matters” (NIV). The ESV translates, “not to quarrel over opinions.”

This phrase introduces us to a category that feels uncomfortable. Are some issues or opinions disputable matters and therefore reserved to personal conviction?

Yes! And these issues are not to be obstacles to Christian fellowship, that is, — to receiving one another. This means (among other things) that we must not argue over such matters.

How can we know what issues belong to the category of disputable matters?

Obviously, in the context of Romans 14, issues like food choices, special days and drinking wine are treated as disputable and…

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Can we earn God’s forgiveness?

ask-question-1-ff9bc6fa5eaa0d7667ae7a5a4c61330cWe must understand that we cannot earn God’s forgiveness by forgiving others. God’s forgiveness is based on His mercy and grace. Yet Scripture teaches that God expects forgiven people to forgive others (cf. Matthew 18:23-35; Ephesians 4:32). Those who have received mercy must show mercy to others (Luke 6:36). In this sense, God’s forgiveness of our sins is the basis for our forgiveness of others.

To those who have been forgiven, Jesus gives an urgent warning about the consequences of withholding forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25). We will never forgive others to the extent that God has forgiven us.

This is the point Jesus makes forcefully in Matthew 18:23-35

The parable of the unmerciful servant

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents (“Some recent estimates suggest a dollar value of twelve million; but with inflation and fluctuating precious metal prices, this could be over a billion dollars in today’s currency.” D.A. Carson) was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii (a hundred denarii represented a hundred days’ wages for a foot soldier or common laborer. Yet the amount is utterly trivial compared with what has already been forgiven him, Ibid.). He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Think about it

“Those in the kingdom serve a great king who has invariably forgiven far more than they can ever forgive one another. Therefore failure to forgive excludes one from the kingdom, whose pattern is to forgive.”

“Jesus sees no incongruity in the actions of a heavenly Father who forgives so bountifully and punishes so ruthlessly, and neither should we. Indeed, it is precisely because he is a God of such compassion and mercy that he cannot possibly accept as his those devoid of compassion and mercy. This is not to say that the king’s compassion can be earned: far from it, the servant is granted freedom only by virtue of the king’s forgiveness. As in 6:12, 14-15, those who are forgiven must forgive, lest they show themselves incapable of receiving forgiveness” (D. A. Carson, Expositors Bible Commentary, v. 8, Matthew).

Steve Cornell

 

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Power of forgiveness

It is reported that when Thomas Edison and his staff were developing the incandescent light bulb, it took hundreds of hours to manufacture a single bulb.

One day, after finishing a bulb, he handed it to a young errand boy and asked him to take it upstairs to the testing room. As the boy turned and started up the stairs, he stumbled and fell, and the bulb shattered on the steps. Instead of rebuking the boy, Edison reassured him and then turned to his staff and told them to start working on another bulb. When it was completed, Edison demonstrated the validity of his forgiveness in the most powerful way possible. He walked over to the same boy, handed him the bulb, and said, ‘Please take this up to the testing room. Imagine how that boy must have felt. He knew that he didn’t deserve to be trusted with this responsibility again. Yet, here it was, being offered to him as though nothing had happened.

Nothing could have restored this boy to the team more clearly or more fully.

Those who struggle with forgiveness find it hard to hear the words of Jesus where he said, “… whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions” (Mark 11:25). Would God actually withhold forgiveness from you if you do not forgive your offender? When the church prays the Lord’s Prayer, do you catch yourself mumbling through the words, “Forgive us our trespasses as we also have forgiven those who trespass against us”? How could you possibly forgive the person who hurt you so deeply?

Reflect on this

  • God described himself to Moses as, “… compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin”  (Exodus 34:6-7).
  • The Psalmist prayed and said, “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness” (Psalm 131:3-4).
  • In his prayer for the exiled nation of Israel, the prophet Daniel said, “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” (Daniel 9:9).
  • Through the prophet Isaiah, this is what God says, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25)
  • Reflecting on the greatness of God’s forgiveness, the prophet Micah exclaimed, “Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?  He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.  He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19).
  • It was through Jeremiah the prophet that God gave the promise: “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). 

Steve Cornell

 

 

 

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