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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wonderfully Made with Unique Experiences

What in the world?

My Houstonian husband and I were recently sitting on an airplane flying from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Sibenik, Croatia to attend a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary of a friend of ours whom we met in Lagos, Nigeria 18 months ago. While I am not a jet setter by any means, I am learning how to maneuver around some awfully big airports!

GERMANWINGS Airline in Split, Croatia
 
Over the last three years, the Lord has graciously provided multiple 'unanticipated experiences' for me - Experiences I never would have dreamed possible 3 years ago. I came face to face with a cheetah. I have traveled to the top of a mountain in a cable car. I have lived in Nigeria. I have even had the opportunity to tour through Makoko - a slum on stilts located in Lagos, Nigeria - in which only members of the Nigerian Field Society area allowed to enter.
 
Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria
A SLUM on Stilts - 250,000 residents

 
Looking back over time, my adult life changed from a stay-at-home mom to a high school librarian to a “world traveler.” At least that’s how I felt sitting in seat 6B on that German Wings airplane which was about to land in a former-socialist country which was formerly part of the now-divided Yugoslavia.

I tell you this because we are all unique in and of ourselves and in our experiences.

We have different:
  • Abilities
  • Accomplishments
  • Adversities
  • Anxieties
  • Appearances
  • Assignments
  • Attention Spans

And these are only unique distinctions from the letter A. We also come from different nationalities, speak different languages, possess different genetics, adhere to different political beliefs, encounter different upbringings, and have been subjected to different spiritual experiences.

When pondering the enormity of our uniqueness, I recalled King David’s words in Psalm 139:13-16. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Here we can see that we are all different because we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by our Heavenly Father." We are who God designed us to be US!

While each person lives in a world with some similarities, like sharing the sun, moon, stars, and oceans, we graciously have been given different experiences so we can do the works intended by our heavenly Father for us to do. Someone once asked me, “Why do you think you were led to live in Nigeria for two years?” My response was, “I think that God wanted to teach me some things, and being in Nigeria was the only way He could do it.” This response was rather shocking as they were expecting me to say, “money, a change of pace, or ‘I have no idea.’”

Street Scene in Lagos, Nigeria

 
God allows people to go through different experiences with the express purpose of growing them into who He wants them to be and to prepare them for possible unseen ministries opportunities. However, it is up to us whether we take advantage of these opportunities or not. We can be prepared and open to accepting the experiences God places in our lives, by living a life pre-prayed up and filled with Scripture to guide us unto His opportunities for us.

Along with our God-given opportunities, Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Special care must be taken as we speak about our tomorrows, because God is the one who sees the big picture of our lives, and He is the one who can change plans mid-stream in job assignments, health situations, or family needs.

We should live our lives looking and praying to understand that God knows what He is doing in any situation and/or experience we encounter. Look at various Biblical characters. Paul, Rahab, and even Jesus came from totally different backgrounds and experiences, but they were all used to fulfill God’s purposes.

Sometimes following the Lord’s leading is to test our obedience. Abraham went up the mountain to sacrifice his son Isaac only to be shown that God was testing his obedience and then He provided a sacrificial ram.

Once I really psyched myself up and put myself in my parent’s shoes – one at a time. In my mind and on paper, I imagined and analyzed their life. I looked at the background they were raised in, their heritage, their sibling order, their parent’s occupations, where they grew up, where they went to school, what size cities/towns they lived in, and more. It was an amazing adventure for me to understand their experiences and see how even God used their experiences to affect my experiences.

If you are up for an interesting activity, get two sheets of paper and label one page “Mom” and one page “Dad” and start writing. My experiment looked something like this, but much more extensive. Once you have done this, we are in a much better position to understand why we and others act like they do and why we might experience situations where others do not.

Mom
  • Youngest of seven children;
  • Immigrant parents from Italy;
  • Catholic;
  • Raised in small town in Vermont;
  • Scared of birds;
  • Moved to New York City as young adult, etc.
  • Loves to cook, etc.
 Dad
  • Raised as an only child;
  • His Dad – Jewish;
  • His Mom- Presbyterian;
  • Grew up near New York City;
  • Was in the Army;
  • Loves to read, etc.
  • Ivy League education, etc.

If you take this challenge, I’d love for you to share your insights at pattilondagreene@gmail.com or in the comments section on this blog.

Throughout life, we encounter both good and unfortunate experiences. It is hard sometimes, but we need to be grateful for both experiences. Psalm 16: 11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Our experiences make up the path of our lives. While rejoicing when things are good is usually effortless, it is very easy to become bitter through our unfortunate experiences. Life brings us joyous occasions and not-so-joyous occasions. Psalm 118:24 exhorts us to look at each day as being the day that the LORD has made. “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” While we don’t rejoice in our sadness, we can rejoice because God knows what He is doing. We rejoice because he will be our sustainer through both our good and bad experiences. We should try to evaluate each experience through the eyes of God.

To put it in a nutshell, let’s decide daily to see our experiences through the eyes of Jesus. Let us remember that our experiences will not be like the experiences of others – they are unique to us - because we are unique. Let us remember that through ALL of our experiences, God has our best interests at heart. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Sibenik, Croatia overlooking the Adriatic Sea

 
And, if you find yourself pinching yourself because you find yourself on some random plane flying to a country you have never been to, ask God to show you the purpose of the experience! There is one even if you don’t see it now.

God Bless You and “Carpe Diem!”

Patti

Bible Verses:
So, then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians6:10

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John16:33

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1Peter 4:19

Prayer:
Jesus, let me see the opportunities that you have placed in my life as experiences sent from Heaven. Let me see them as opportunities to partake in what you are providing for me. Lord, as I look at the experiences of others, please don't allow jealousy to seep into my heart. Let me not covet their experiences, but be looking with open arms to accept and enjoy the experiences you have put into MY life. Let me see life through your eyes and your eyes only. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study

[Second edition books will be out shortly. If you would like to order one of these books, email me and I will arrange one to be mailed to you as soon as possible.]
To comment on this post, go to the blog at http://plgreene.blogspot.com/2015/08/wonderfully-made-with-unique-experiences.html and scroll down to the end of this blog. To receive an e-mail alert whenever a new blog is posted by author, either fill out the “Follow by Email” feature on the blog, email your email your address to the author below, or join my RSS feed. If you “Follow by Email,” you will receive an e-mail from FeedBurner. You will just need to open that email and confirm your subscription. To send an email to the author, email pattilondagreene@gmail.com. Website: www.PattiGreene.com


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Speck and The Log: Matthew 7:1-5

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

As I pondered these verses, so many questions came to my mind.
  • Why is it we can see the faults of others, but we can’t see our own faults?
  • Who is supposed to tell me what my logs are – my kids, my husband, my parents, You God?
  • And how is that done? Is there an appropriate way to show me my faults?
  • Is there an appropriate way to show others their faults?
  • How should I prepare myself to hear bad news about myself?
  • Why do I feel the need to judge others for their faults?
  • Where does humility come into play here?
  • What if I perceive another person is in danger? Is it alright to tell them what their speck is?
  • What if they have a “log” in their eye? Why doesn’t the Bible talk about getting a log out of other people’s lives – only specks?
  • How do I get the log out of my own eye?
  • Am I a hypocrite?
  • Have I ever really prayed for God to show me my log?
  • Do I really want to hear what He might say?
  • Why does Jesus say speck and log versus specks and logs?
As you can see, these 5 verses brought a lot more questions to my mind than there are verses.  And if I thought beyond the few minutes it took to come up with these questions, I could probably double the amount of questions that came quickly to the top of my head.

Pondering these verses, there are three subjects to consider: Judging others, our brother’s speck, and our own log. It is not addressing our speck or our brother’s log. While I am not a theologian, I suspect that speck and log are used in the singular vernacular because the Lord may want us to only concentrate on one speck or one log at a time. But, a theologian scholar would be best able to answer that question as my cursory research into Bible commentaries and ‘Google’ gave no answers. As for this article, the word speck and log will be used uniformly throughout. In addition, Strong’s Concordance defines a brother as a member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian.

JUDGING OTHERS
Preceding the verses about specks and logs are 2 verses about judging.

Jesus states, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew7:1-2

But, on the other hand, in Galatians 6:1-2 Jesus declares, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

These verses sound rather paradoxical, don’t they? On the one hand, we are told not to judge others, but then we are told, we should keep others accountable. What Jesus is saying is before we judge (condemn or confront) others, we must first repent and become clean ourselves.

But how are we to do it?

  • After our repentance;
  • After our cleansing , and
  • With a spirit of gentleness.
For example, it would be very hypocritical if we tell someone not to have an affair, but we are in the midst of having one. First repent of our sin, cleanse ourselves, and then and only then might we have the opportunity to restore someone else, but only in the spirit of gentleness. 

WHY WE JUDGE OTHERS
Many reasons abound as to why we enjoy judging others and take secret delight in seeing the speck (fault) in our brothers. We can blame it on human nature: the fact we like to revel in gossip, pride, or anger to name a few.

Often, when we judge others, it is a form of justifying ourselves and our own actions. A fine example of this type of justification is seen in Luke 18 between the Pharisee and the tax collector.

He [Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' Luke 18:9-13

SPECK AND LOG
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3-4

Log on the streets of Brussels, Belgium
Photo Credit: Copyright GreeneFamily

Different versions of the Bible call a speck a “mote” or a “speck of sawdust” while a log may be called a “beam” or a “plank.” No matter what synonymous term is used, a speck is defined along the terms of a minor fault (comparing it to something that might fly into your eye) and a log is compared to a beam which could support an entire building.

If you are like me, you might see “specks” in your children, spouse, so-called friends, bosses, co-workers, and even people you don’t know like public speakers or preachers. I even hate to admit it, but there is a newscaster who really bothers me because she tilts her head back and forth in both directions.

It is amazing what we do with our perceived faults/specks of others. Sometimes we do nothing; sometimes we hastily burst out their faults to them or to others; sometimes we hold our thoughts in and let the annoyance grow and grow; and sometimes we pray about it. And, through our meditation and Bible reading we ask the Lord what, when, if, and how God wants us to deal with another without being an unrighteous judge!!! Many times, we are just seeing a reflection of us in others and God is using that annoyance/fault/sin to show us our log.

 
A SPECK HURTS
Think about how you feel when you get something in your eye. Eye doctors know that even small objects in someone’s eyes can cause scratches or abrasions on a cornea. While usually just rinsing your eye can alleviate the symptoms and discomfort occasionally these small objects can cause an infection and/or possibly cause one to lose their eyesight.

Our son once experienced extreme pain in his eye. He tried driving to work, but had to turn around and come home within a mile. He couldn’t see, the pain was excruciating, and he couldn’t even keep his eye open. This eye problem became an emergency situation calling for immediate treatment. Pain, attentive parenting, excellent doctors, and medicine remedied our son’s situation in time. His eyesight was restored. Because our son was sleeping in his contacts and thus, not following the suggested “rules” for contact wearers, he put himself in harm’s way. ­­­


An Eye
Photo Credit: Copyright GreeneFamily


When we do not follow God’s Biblical “rules” set forth in the Bible, we can easily and quickly get ourselves in a position where a speck needs immediate attention. And possibly, the one who has already taken the log out of their own eye is the one to come to their rescue. If we told our son that he was responsible for his eye situation and that he put himself in this dire situation, but didn’t offer any solutions to help him, his life could have changed dramatically. This is sometimes why God will call others to confront people about their speck expeditiously – because it could be an emergency situation and God does not want our condition to worsen.

OUR LOG
Let’s now talk about our own log. Remember, our log is like a big beam – something we have a hard time seeing ourselves. Confronting our log is painful.
Many times we don’t even think about what log we have in our own eyes. I read once that when you want to really know what log you have in your own eye, you should ask someone close to you – someone who would be totally honest with you.

So, I tried that as I was writing this article. I asked my husband if he would tell me what log I have in my life. His immediate response was, “Just one?” Not exactly what I was expecting, but as he pondered how to answer me, he couldn’t quite pinpoint what to tell me on Day 1. But, when I asked him again the next day, he gave me an answer after he prayed about it. Honestly, I was shocked at his answer. I never thought of myself in the word he described. However, I asked him with a full desire to know. Now, I have a new area to research and pray about. Hopefully, this revelation will help me to become more and more the person God wants me to be.

We usually don’t think about the log in our own eye. While I have read Matthew 7 multiple times, I am not even sure I have really thought my log until I started writing this article. Some might not want to confront your log because it might because it might cause us to change, disrupt our lives, confront our sin, and/or recognize our own pride.

PREPARE YOUR HEART FIRST THROUGH PRAYER
Praying will prepare our heart in case the Lord wants to use us to help with someone else’s speck. When we pray, we receive God’s love and grace. We will be taught to “judge righteously” in love and humility. What happens when we prepare our hearts first? Praying will help us to:
  • Identify our log/sin [God will show us if we have an honest heart to know.]
  • Humble ourselves [We do not want to confront with proud heart.]
  • Confess the log/sin He shows us. [We want to help others with a clean heart.]
  • Gain wisdom. [We will be able to discern if the Lord wants to use us to offer to a solution to their problems. It may be we are only called to pray.]
  • Judge righteously. [Only help when we can see our brother’s speck through Jesus’ eyes.]
We are not perfect; but our willingness to be clean vessels for God does not go unnoticed by Him. We might be called to speak out to others about their speck, but only after the log is out of our own eyes. It is not love to criticize others and call attention to their faults without being sure our log has been laid at the feet of Jesus.

Matthew7:5 sums it up adeptly when it says, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Bible Verses:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 ESV

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father. Please give me wisdom as to when to open and close my mouth. Let me cleanse myself so I will only talk to help and edify my brothers and sisters in Christ. Let me not judge others un-righteously, but in righteousness. Allow me the opportunity to minister in love and gentleness. Show me my sins so that I can be cleansed. Let me minister to others in love and gentleness through your Holy Spirit. Take the log out of my eye, so I can be your servant to others.  Amen.

Blessings Always,
Patti

Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study

To comment on this post, go to the blog at http://plgreene.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-speck-and-log-matthew-71-5.html and scroll down to the end of this blog. To receive an e-mail alert whenever a new blog is posted by author, email your email to the author below. You will receive an e-mail from FeedBurner. You will just need to open that email and confirm your subscription. To send an email to the author, email pattilondagreene@gmail.com. Website: www.PattiGreene.com
 
 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Choosing a President: Psalm 72

Choices are everywhere for everything under the sun. You go to the store and you decide what bread you want: whole wheat, grain, barley, oven-baked, or rye. You decide between vacationing in the mountains, a remote island, or a busy city. You pore over hair styling magazines to see if you want a pixie, a shag, a French twist, or even hair extensions. Some decisions are easy and some are not quite as easy – like choosing the next President of the United States.
 
So many candidates - So many choices!
Brookwood Flowers, Brookshire, Texas
Photo Copyright: GreeneFamily
Let’s assume you are wondering how to choose a candidate worthy to be our next president. The first U.S. Presidential debate is over. You had the choice to watch it or not. You have the choice to whom you liked and whom you didn’t. Soon, you will have the choice to vote or not to vote. You may be the silent type who keeps your voting history to yourself or you might be one who purposely visits the nearest candidate headquarters to pick up yard signs, bumper stickers, and buttons to advertise your choice.

Many extremely important and volatile issues will face our next leader. Many issues that faced other countries have now infiltrated into the United States of America. Global issues that previously did not affect us now have an impact on us.

Psalm 72 suggests that a leader should be one who:
  • Judges the people with righteousness;
  • Judges the poor with justice;
  • Defends the cause of the poor;
  • Gives deliverance to the children of the needy;
  • Crushes the oppressors;
  • Delivers the needy when he calls;
  • Pities the weak and needy; and
  • Saves the life of the needy (redeems their lives)
Some commentaries say Psalm 72 was written by Solomon himself. However, most commentaries believe it was written by an older King David as a prayer for his son Solomon and for his future leadership as King. Regardless, this chapter is a prayer for Solomon and his reign and Kingdom, it is also a prophetic look toward Jesus’ reign in future times.
 
But, what else did both Solomon and Jesus do consistently and purposely? They prayed. Unfortunately, towards the end of King Solomon’s reign, he fell into idolatry and disobedience. But for the majority of his life, he prayed for the welfare of those God allowed him the privilege of leading.

While we should pray for our government leaders, I am convinced that we should also pray that our government leaders be Bible-reading, praying people themselves. Something we might want to consider as we evaluate all the candidates and who the next leaders of our country will be.

Abraham prayed. And through his prayers, he received guidance and direction. King Hezekiah prayed and through his prayers idolatry was destroyed. He also prayed for his health and God restored 15 more years to his life. That is a powerful testimony for prayer.

Prayer can change the course of history, of cities, and nations. According to E.M. Bounds in The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer, Bounds states, “Prayer and the divine providence are closely related . . . Prayer brings God’s providence into action. Prayer puts God to work in overseeing and directing earth’s affairs for the good of men.” And because of this I am praying for a “Praying President.”

Let’s lift up all the candidates in prayer and seek God’s wisdom and guidance as to a new leader. Let’s pray for our leaders and future leaders as they will shape and govern the affairs of this world. But, more than that, let’s pray for a President, who fits the mold of Psalm 72 and who is dedicated to prayer and praying for God’s wisdom as he leads our nation and faces issues, such as, education, foreign policy, immigration, energy, healthcare, homeland security, social security, and more.
 

Narrowing Down the Choices!
Regents Park-Queen Mary's Garden [London, England]
Photo Copyright: GreeneFamily

 Let’s seek a future leader that:
  • Has proven himself/herself;
  • Has shown evidence of God’s preparation for the office of Presidency; and
  • Will pray consistently and fervently to the Mighty God.
As for me, I am praying for a PRAYING PRESIDENT! How about you?

Bible Verses:

And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.
1 Kings 9:3 [ESV]

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 [ESV]

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
James 1:5 [ESV]

Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, as we seek to pray for Your person to fill the office of President of the United States, give us wisdom and discernment. Let us listen to candidates with Your ears. Let us see with Your eyes. Allow us understand the issues that will affect ourselves and Your will upon the earth. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Have a blessed day.
Patti
 
Bounds, E.M., The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. 1990, (p. 213, 216).

Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study

To comment on this post, go to the blog at http://plgreene.blogspot.nl/2015/08/choosing-president-psalm-72.html and scroll down to the end of this blog. To receive an e-mail alert whenever a new blog is posted by author, email your email to the author below. You will receive an e-mail from FeedBurner. You will just need to open that email and confirm your subscription. To send an email to the author, email pattilondagreene@gmail.com. Website: www.PattiGreene.com

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Compromising

We live in an age where compromise is all around us. Compromises are made daily in the areas of values, morals, ethics, relationships, and belief systems. Compromising in areas God has warned us about can, and most often does, lead to disastrous consequences in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21
Cape Town, South Africa; Copyright: GreeneFamily
 
In The Danger of Compromise, Pastor Greg Laurie says, “Have you ever heard the story of the guy who could not decide what side he wanted to fight for during the Civil War? He put on the coat of the North and the trousers of the South, and guess what? He got shot from both sides. This is what happens to the compromiser, the person who tries to live in two worlds. It is one miserable life.”

Bernie Madoff, founder of the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was convicted of fraud and of operating a Ponzi scheme that is well-known as one of the largest investment scandals in the history of the United States. He defrauded many investors of billions of dollars. Madoff was convicted and sentenced to 150 years in prison. His small compromises, which eventually became huge compromises, led to investors losing their entire life-time savings. But on a personal level, the consequences were even higher. His wife left him. His son Andrew died of cancer while blaming his cancer relapse on the stress caused by his father’s fraud. His other son, Mark, committed suicide by hanging himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. Madoff lives with the regret that both sons never forgave him for his corruption. We would be wise to recognize that our compromises/sin will always affect other people – even our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

It is imperative that we be attentive to the Lord in all areas of our lives and strive to be consistent and mature in our actions. We can see in the Bible how some believers led impeccable lives and were devoted to God until small compromises/sin affected the life that God intended for them to have.

Solomon was a righteous and Godly King until his later years when corruption overtook him. Solomon even asked God for wisdom above worldly possessions. He went from fully trusting God for his life and kingdom to worshipping idols in the form of wealth and power in his latter days. Notice that Solomon continued worshipping God while loving many foreign Gods and burning incense to paganism. This led to God’s anger against him. Solomon is known today as the godly king who compromised. He did not keep God’s commandments and the Bible states that Solomon did turn away from the Lord.

In 1 Kings 11:1-13, the Bible says:
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen. And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite.”

If compromising can affect Solomon, a king who was originally so devoted to God, it can happen to us also. Even good Christians can compromise. Usually it occurs very subtly. We get wrapped up and ensnared - unaware until our compromising goes from a little compromising to continual compromising. However, it can be avoided by being attentive to the Lord in all areas of life. By daily giving Him our lives, we can avoid compromising/sinning. This is where daily praying and daily Bible reading come into play. But, we aren’t perfect. Jesus knows that, so when we do find ourselves in little lies or little compromises, we need to ask for forgiveness and for help to change our ways immediately.

Our friendship with the world can take the form of materialism, popularity, sex, and more. Compromising can affect our marriage, our spiritual life, our relationships with our children, and our business relationships. Unfortunately, we are sometimes the recipient of someone else’s compromises. Even then, we need move forward structuring our life around God and His provisions for us. He will rescue us and sustain us during these times.

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In the Old Testament, Daniel, and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are examples of those whose strong beliefs did not allow compromise in their lives. They refused to bow down to the gold statue set up by Nebuchadnezzar even with the threat of being thrown into a fiery furnace. [Daniel 3:1-15] They trusted in the God who was sufficient for all their needs and a God who rescued them.

Let’s ask for God’s help this week to be believers that walk in Biblical standards. Let’s not be believers who only want to get into Heaven and be thought of as good people. Let’s truly get our relationship with Christ on solid ground, so we can live daily in His presence trusting that God will help us when we are weak.

Bible Verses:

Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.
1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
Jeremiah 6:16 ESV

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness.
2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV

Prayer:

Lord, give us power to praise and love you always – to the end of our days. When we compromise, show us immediately, so we can get back on track quickly. Prevent us from causing damage to others through our actions. Help us not to damage our Christian witness through our actions. Let us walk with you daily through our prayers and Bible study. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Patti
  • Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study
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