Top 20 countries recently visiting Wisdomforlife

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65,117
 – United States
6,453
 – United Kingdom
4,255
 – Canada
3,011
 – South Africa
3,010
 – Philippines
2,834
 – Australia
2,596
 – India
1,378
 – Nigeria
1,269
 – European Union
1,008
 – Singapore
757
 – Kenya
671
 – Ireland
547
 – Ghana
542
 – Malaysia
523
 – Mexico
473
 – New Zealand
392
 – Hong Kong SAR China
383
 – Norway
349
 – Pakistan
337
 – Indonesia

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Overly concerned about offending others?

Don’t let these people set the agenda for your life and ministry.

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“Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” This was the question the disciples asked of Jesus (Matthew 5:12). I wonder how often they could have asked this question. 

Jesus’ answer is very direct and challenging – especially to those who are overly concerned about offending others.

He didn’t say, “Please tell them I am sorry. They must have misunderstood me. I didn’t mean to hurt their feelings.” Instead, he replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch’” (Matthew 15:13-14, NLT).

Jesus was unmoved by the concern that he offended the pharisees. Are we sometimes overly concerned about offending others?

Are there times when we should expect offenses and actually understand them to be a good indicator?

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Where is God when we suffer?

Without this perspective we will not experience God’s comforting presence in our suffering.

Wisdomforlife

cropped-images-75.jpeg“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Do you agree with these words?

It seems like a dark outlook spoken in a season of grief.

These are the words of the ancient patriarch, Job. But many echo his sentiment.

Many feel that life is short and full of problems.

Misguided thinking

Sometimes those who become Christians think that it should minimize their troubles. After all, we have God with us! God is for us! What could be against us? Should we expect God to protect us from hardships? Shouldn’t life be easier?

No. Being a Christian does not erase the challenges and troubles of this life

Jesus said, “In this world you shall have trouble” (John 16:33). Paul reminded new believers in Antioch that, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

Trouble and hardship cannot separate us from…

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Truth from a five year old

cropped-wisdomlife1.jpgMy 5 year old granddaughter never ceases to amaze me! She was in my office and picked up a book. She read the title, “When people are big and God is small.” She then asked me what it means. As I was trying to explain it to her, she said, “Pa Pa, it’s wrong because God is big and people are small.” I hope and pray she will always remember this.

Steve Cornell

 

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Don’t waste your ministry

We must make wise choices about those we devote time and ministry too. This post compliments the previous one about being Christlike.

It reminds us of the guidance of the Proverb that says, “Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser” (Proverbs 9:7-8)

Wisdomforlife

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6).

These are strong and difficult words for contemporary ears. 

The thought of purposefully refusing to reach out to someone is hard for Christians to understand. But Christians are in great danger when they refuse to be discerning; when they are unwilling to make proper judgments.



  • “It is easy to see how new danger arises. The disciple of Jesus has been told to love his neighbor as himself, and to love his enemies. He is to mirror God’s graciousness, the God who even-handedly sends his rain upon both the just and the unjust. He has been told never to adopt a judgmental mentality. As a result, he is in chronic danger of becoming wishy-washy, of refusing legitimate…

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What Jesus did not do

Being like Christ has a lot to do with what Jesus did not do.

One of the things I love about Jesus is his refusal to be defined by the prejudice that controlled so much of society.

The pressure to conform to social expectation is often a powerful deterrent to living a Christlike life. Why? Because living that life means (among other things) to reach out to and associate with the outcasts.

What will they think of me if…? Association with the “wrong” people can earn a label for you by self-righteous pharisees.

Consider what they said about Jesus.

  • “When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” (Matthew 9:11)
  • “….the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled” (Luke 19:7)
  • “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!” (Luke 15:1-2)
  • “When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!’” (Luke 7:37-39).

Loving human praise more than the praise of God

The pressure to conform were so powerful that even though “many people did believe in him, including some of the Jewish leaders, they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43).

Even a clash between apostles

  • Galatians 2:11-13 – The apostle Paul said, “when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision.  As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.”

Unexpected reversals

This same emphasis is found repeatedly in the teaching of Jesus. He exalted and honored the “wrong” people in the eyes of self-righteous religious leaders. On one occasion, Jesus said to these people, “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do” (Matthew 21:31).

Jesus’ teaching was disruptive to the expectations of human pride — the reversal of the expected. In His kingdom, power is found in weakness; the poor are rich; the least are great and the great are least; the first are last and the last are first; the proud are resisted and humble are exalted.

Question

Are we willing to risk being misunderstood, maligned, falsely charged and ostracized? This is a choice we will likely have to make if we want to live as Jesus lived.

A good word

“Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited” (Romans 12:16).

Steve Cornell

 

Posted in Christian life, Christian worldview, Christianity, False accusation, Following Christ, Jesus Christ, Legalism, Teaching of Jesus, Trial of Jesus, True Christianity?, Wisdom | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A song from a hurting heart

They say that divorce is like death. The pain is even greater when you’ve been forsaken by a spouse. The fears, regrets, guilt, anger, loss and loneliness can cycle through your heart for years.

My oldest son’s friend, Matt Rineer, knows this pain. Music is often a means that helps to heal the heart. Matt (as a musician)  works through his experience of  loss with the following song he wrote.

Posted in Comfort, Divorce, Divorce and Remarriage, Loss, Marriage, marriage problems, Music, Sadness, troubled marriage, Video, Wisdom | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment