Tag Archive: blessings and curses


The Jeremiah Factor

 

“5 Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord.

For he shall be like a shrub or a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

10 I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood which she did not hatch and sits on eggs which she has not laid, so is he who gets riches by unjust means and not by right. He will leave them, or they will leave him, in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool.”  Jeremiah 17: 5 -11  The Amplified Version

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I hate being sick.  I’ve been sick for the better part of 4 days now with a bad cold, bronchitis, or whatever it is.  I’m getting better and spiritually I know that by Jesus’ stripes, I’m healed.  But still, it takes some diligence to fight the good fight of faith, and when you don’t feel good, it’s just too easy to give up, quit, and give in to the illness…or even bad circumstances, whatever they might entail.  Perhaps more on this later….. in the meantime, I receive the healing You bought for me on the Cross!  Sickness, be hanged!

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I’ve had the above scripture on my heart for several weeks now and wasn’t sure where to go with it nor was there any clue as to what God wanted to say to us.  You may wish to go to the Bible and read the whole context, but for brevity sake, I’ve only included a small part.  But it starts out with God being pretty perturbed with the tribe of Judah and He is quite blunt about what will happen to them if they don’t get their act together and give up their sin.  He also makes the point that the human heart is deceitful, perverse and corrupt without God being the center of the human experience.  After all, any of us could attest to that.  All we have to do is watch the evening news and recognize that what used to be very infrequent, bizarre occurrences are now much more commonplace and not bizarre at all.  We’ve become accustomed to sin.  And much of the time anymore, we don’t even recognize sin as being sin.  “We’ve come a long way, Baby!” Lion Of Judah

Now, Judah was a very treasured tribe by the Lord, the one who eventually sired the Messiah, Jesus, the Savior of the World, The Lion of Judah, through Mary, a young teenage girl.  He loved His people.  The tribe’s very name meant “the praise of God”.  How disappointing must it have been to see His people acting like a bunch of out of control children.  And, as he mentions, nothing good ever comes from relying on the arm of flesh, our own human capabilities and skills.  When we do that, we stop relying on God, become filled with pride in our own selves and accomplishments, and eventually, we’ll fall on our faces in shame and disgrace after reaching what we think we wanted only to find out, we didn’t want it after all, or it wasn’t what we thought it would be.  We must recognize that He is the One who has given us all we will ever need to survive and thrive in this world, and that those skills, gifts and talents we have are to be used for Him.  For His purposes, to benefit whoever He directs us to help.

But notice in the middle of all the discipline God speaks out to Judah, He gives the encouraging words that let the tribe know that if they will turn from their sin and trust Him again, rely on Him again, He will bless them.  He still loves them, He still is there for them.  They have not been totally abandoned.  I don’t know about you, but if I were guilty of what they were guilty of, and I’m sure I have been at some point in thought, word or deed, I would want words of comfort and a “get-out-of-jail-free-card”. The Nativity

I guess basically, this section of scripture just speaks to me of the love of my Heavenly Father.  He sees and knows our very hearts, He disciplines us for being self-centered, selfish, prideful, and a whole host of other bad things, but in the end, He extends the olive branch. “I still love you, I sent my Son this Christmas Day so you would have hope.  Just trust Me, rely on Me, have confidence in what I have planned for you.  You will be blessed beyond your wildest imaginations.”

Yes Lord, I will trust You.  I will rely on Your strength, your grace, your mercy and favor to guide me through all of life’s struggles and trials.  Help me to trust You more and use whatever gifts you’ve entrusted to me for Your Glory.
 

 

 

What choice is he making?

Did you know that we are given many opportunities during each day to make a choice to do the right thing?  And, conversely, we have the same number of opportunities to do the wrong thing?  What determines whether we’ll choose one thing or the other?

God, speaking through Moses, said to His people after giving them an extensive list of things that would cause life or death said, ” I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live And may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days,  that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Deuteronomy 30:19, 20

God, in His ultimate wisdom, lets us choose which way we are going to go.   It doesn’t take much for any of us to see, after all these years, we’ve managed to make a pretty big mess of things in this world and in our own lives by making the wrong choices, even in seemingly little things!

Life is like a hurricane sometimes!

Life is like a hurricane sometimes!

But, still, He lets us choose.  So, again, what is it that makes us choose life over death, or death over life?  But I must digress…..

A few weeks ago, a good friend and neighbor of mine asked me to write about what I did, or thought, or what helped me to overcome the different difficulties that I’ve had in life.  He had discovered my blog and enjoyed reading it but wondered how the average person could experience the positive side of life, the abundant life as Jesus calls it, more completely.  How does a person get from being negative to being positive and enjoying peace, joy, and love more fully?

Well, I’m not sure there’s any one thing that I’ve done or thought to be quite honest.  But a lot of it does indeed have to do with how you think… and then, what you choose to do with the thoughts you think.  What you think about, what you meditate on, what you allow to roll around in your head for a long period of time and think about over and over again, will affect you either for good or bad.

A book titled “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale became such a worldwide phenomenon many years ago because it was not only a self help book but it contained concepts apparently people didn’t know about the power of our thought life.  But, some of those same concepts have been in Scripture for thousands of years.  For example, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.  Proverbs 23:7.  What you think about over long periods of time determines what kind of person you will become.  And, as if thinking wrong stuff in the silence and seclusion of your little brain isn’t bad enough, it will get down into your heart and then, out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks…good or bad.  Luke 6:45.

So, your thinkin’ gets increasingly more “stinkin’” and the next thing you know, it’s comin’ out of your mouth to affect you and others around you either positively or negatively!  (See Proverbs 18:21)

Like running water can cleanse, so the Word of God cleans our mind and helps us think right thoughts so we make right choices in life.

Like running water can cleanse, so the Word of God cleans our mind and helps us think right thoughts so we make right choices in life.

Well, to answer my friend’s question, how do I overcome, get through, keep on truckin’?  It starts with what I allow to take up residence in my brain.  Once I became aware that I truly do have the power and the God-given right to take authority over my thought life, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, I was more conscious of what my mind was dwelling on.  For example, rudeness, bitterness, anger, judgmentalism, unforgiveness, arrogance, sexual impurity, etc. all start as thoughts.

As I’ve grown and matured, I’ve been more successful in not letting any of them stay in my mind any longer than it takes for me to realize they are there.  Am I successful every single time?  I’d have to say no, unfortunately.  But, my success rate is so much better than before I learned about the power our thoughts have over our future.  The benefits of keeping my thought life clean and clutter free is amazing!  Just like keeping your physical surroundings neat and tidy, bed made, dishes washed and put away, laundry done and put away helps your physical and emotional self feel better, so does keeping your mind cleaned up.  I would suggest to you that the phenomenon of hoarding, for example, could be dramatically decreased if these poor people were thinking clearly.  Confusion in their minds translates into confusion in their physical living space and lives in general.  

OK, so how do you go about refocusing your mind and thoughts so you can make right choices for your life, you ask?  Philippians 4:8 has the answer.   “For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of  reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” 

If you follow God’s wisdom, you will be blessed and better able to handle the tough things that come up in your life and, if you have surrendered your whole life to God’s leadership through Jesus, His Son, you have the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to help you fight any battles that come your way!

God has given us a choice–we can choose to be happy, face life with a positive outlook, or, we can choose death and live in misery all of our lives.  There are plenty of other things that have helped me cope throughout the years—a deep, abiding desire to be obedient to the Will and Word of God comes to mind as a top priority in my life.

When our minds think right thoughts, we can enjoy God's Peace

When our minds think right thoughts, we can enjoy God’s Peace

But, for now, the battlefield that is in our minds, to choose death or life, is a critical subject indeed.  My future, your future, everyone’s future rests on what we spend our time thinking about, because the next step is to talk about it and then, eventually, act on what we’ve been thinking.  Depending on what we’ve lent our minds to, the actions may not be very good.

I encourage you to think about what goes on in your head, and, if you realize you are being negative and need to make some simple or drastic changes in order to think right thoughts, positive thoughts, be bold and take action!  A new, positive and much happier way of living is waiting for you!  Choose LIFE!!!!

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