PLANS FOR THE FUTURE.

Trying to live as one in this world, instead of one of this world is not easy. We can easily get caught up in our busy earthly lives and schedules. Our plans for our future on this earth, what we’re going to buy next, or how we’re going to remodel. None of it matters. 

My wife and I are going through our third renovation in our century home. We did the first floor when we moved in, 3 years later we completed the second, and now we’re doing our kitchen. Renovating old houses in our neighborhood is very popular, everyone is doing it. But I feel so conflicted. Yes our house was a rental/student house and a bit of a disaster, so it definitely needed some help. And it will be beautiful when it’s finished. But at the same time, I don’t want to spend all our time and energy making our “home” on earth perfect, when it really doesn’t matter at all. Yes, it’s where we’re living now, and just because we won’t be here for eternity, doesn’t mean we should go live in the dump until then. But I just don’t want to get attached. Believe me, I want our house fully renovated and finished as much as my wife, maybe more (so there’s no more work to do!) But, when it’s done, I want to try to have my main focus on the future. I want to learn to not want, and to be content with what I have.

It’s so easy in the western world to fall into wanting and attaining everything, because it’s so easy to get whatever we want, whether we have the money or not. Materialism is a very dangerous monster, and it’s being thrown at us everyday, on the radio, T.V., movies, magazines. Now I have done my fair share of wanting and having. From the latest electronics, video games, newest cell phones, to pimping out cars. But I think I have a pretty good handle on it now, but it is a daily struggle. Just the other day I switched our cell phone plans to a much much better deal, way more options for much less money, good right? After it was all switched, I almost asked if they had any deals on phones so I could get the new blackberry. Why?! Oh right, because everyone has it and I want it too. Good news is, I didn’t ask! All this crap we obtain on this earth is all trash and will fade away with this earth. It is the treasures in heaven that we need to focus on and bringing the good news to the people of this world. Now I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t have nice things in this world. If my phone breaks, or stops functioning properly, I’m not just going to say ” Oh well! ” and toss it. I will need to buy a new one, and I will. But I’m not going to wait in line for the newest iPhone so I can have the first one, and pay an insane amount of money for something smaller than my hand. We need to control our wants, and turn them into needs. Plain and simple. Sure, we’re human and 99% of us will never be able to completely rid ourselves of our want. And that’s OK. If you really want something, and have worked hard for it, and saved for it, I don’t think there is anything wrong with obtaining that item, no matter what it is. Just remember the bigger picture.

Try to remember that this week as you watch T.V. or walk through the mall. Or as you’re sitting with your wife after a nice dinner, planning your future. What is it you want in this life? Plan it all out as one of this world would. And then when you’re done, and you’ve planned your life, all the way to what you’re going to do with your retirement, ask each other how much of that aligns with God’s plan for you. Now change your plans. You may be up all night.

-PRL

 

GOOD DEEDS.

Learn to do good deeds with no strings attached, or rewards in mind, besides the reward of other’s happiness. Try to learn to desire making others happy over making yourself happy. This is not to say to put your own happiness on the back burner and focus solely on other’s happiness. But to have a servant’s heart, so when you do good deeds and make others happy, it makes you happy. Practice this until it becomes who you are.

-PRL

CHANGE.

Try to constantly have change on your mind. With every decision you make, any thought you have, think about who you are, and who you want to be, and then make your choice.  If you can master this, who you want to be will slowly become who you are.

-PRL

TEMPTATION.

A Good Man does not waver. When temptation rises a Good Man needs to stand his ground, recall his scripture and defeat Satan.

I believe there are evil works at force in another realm, as well as all around us, that affect us daily. There is a battle of good and evil going on and it affects our lives for better and for worse. We Good Men need to be strong when evil is at our doorstep. Jesus is our example of this. In Matthew 4, he sets Satan straight and sticks his ground as a Good Man.

” Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ” If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. ” Jesus answered, ” It is written: ‘ People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. ‘ ” 

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ” If you are the Son of God, ” he said, ” throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. ‘ ” Jesus answered him,  It is also written: ‘ Do not put the Lord your God to the test. ‘ ” 

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ” All this I will give you, ” he said, ” if you bow down and worship me. ” Jesus said to him,  Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘ Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. ‘ “ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. “

What an example! Let us think of Jesus as we are tempted. Be strong, remember who you are, and what you believe. And make evil back away from your presence. In Jesus name, Amen.

-PRL

THE HUMBLE MAN.

A Good Man is a humble man.

Imitating Christ’s Humility

” Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ” – Philippians 2

Let us try to live in Jesus’ image, as a humble man.

-PRL

TONGUE TAMING.

A verse on tongue taming.

” When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water. ”
— James 3:3-12

How can we tame this tongue full of poison, set on fire by hell? As it is written ” No human being can tame the tongue ” but if we are aware of it’s power we can work toward taming it daily, even if we will never fully achieve it. Jesus says in Mark 7:20

What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come.

Therefore, when we sin with the tongue, it is because of evil on our hearts. We need to have God on our hearts, and try to flow fresh water from our spring daily, and keep evil at bay. Keep this in mind this week and weekend as you are using your tongue. Don’t let your tongue bring praise and curses. Who likes drinking salt water anyways?

-PRL

See my Blog ” MURDER. ” for more on using our words for good. https://manofhonourproject.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/murder-2/