Friday, August 10, 2012

Consider: The Golden Rule RJD #20


“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31(KJV)

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

               Luke relates to us that Jesus told his disciples to: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

               Matthew tells us Jesus’ words a bit differently: ”So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. . . .”

               Both passages deal with our interactions with others. Bible commentator Matthew Henry spoke of this passage as being a way to extend justice or love, as if their circumstances and ours were reversed.

               The authors of disciplines for the inner life relay new information to me; “We hear of the modern version- Do unto others but do it first- but the words of Jesus were given to a select group of people, those we were empowered to keep them—God’s people.”

               I find this thought enlightening. Jesus gave this rule to those whom He loved and trusted but evil man has perverted His meaning.

               Matthew’s rendition of this rule gives us another factor to look at. He says, “So in all things/everything . . . .” His words tell me I can’t apply this principle when I wish but I have to employ it in every waking moment of my day –in every situation in which I find myself.

               When I do live by this principle I believe I model God for those around me. I have a story about my experience with applying the Golden Rule to my life. I will share that with you soon.


UPDATE: I still have times when I fail to live by the Golden Rule. But I find myself more cautious when I feel like saying things in a harsh way. I still have some trouble with flippant remarks that come out of my mouth. But I am still a work in progress; God’s not finished with me yet.  

Llilnking up to:beneaththesurface-dawn

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

God’s Always Guiding

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”

Psalm 73:23, 24 (NIV)

This is from a psalm of Asaph, a Gershonite Levite choir leader. Twelve of the Psalms have been assigned to him. Gershon was a son of Levi.

Asaph had gotten discouraged by the wicked people always prospering.  Once he entered God’s sanctuary. He repents of his ‘attitude’ and makes the statement that is our focus passage.

“. . . I am always with you. . . “This statement speaks of Asaph’s commitment to the Lord. Peter told Jesus that he’d never leave Him but he denied the Lord three times.  Peter got right with Jesus. In today’s world, we have times where we fall short of God’s standard and we have to ask for His forgiveness. Even when we accidently stray from God, he is there to accept us back.

“. . . you hold me by my right hand.” When young people are dating, they sometimes hold hands. When an older person is unsteady on their feet, a companion will hold their hand while walking. When a parent with young children walks with them, the parent holds the children’s hand as they go from one place to another God does the same thing when He asks us to follow Him.

You guide me with your counsel. . .” God speaks to Asaph and imparts wisdom to him. With Asaph being a worker in the house of the Lord, I believe he and God had many occasions in which God talked and Asaph listened. Even today, we have times where we seek his counsel and, in order to hear what God tells us, we have to listen.

“. . . afterward you will take me into glory.” This is Asaph’s statement of faith. He knows God will do as He has said.  As 21st Century disciples, we need to remember that our final destination is with God in heaven. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review “GRANT” by Mitchell Yockelson

               Mr. Yockelson relates the story of Ulysses Grant by focusing on his family life, his business failures, and his military life.

               Jesse Grant, Ulysses’ father, had a great concern about his son. How was Ulysses going to make his living? The main thing that interested Ulysses was horses. Jesse submitted an application to the United States Military Academy on behalf of his son.

               Ulysses really didn’t care for the school. At one point, when there was talk of discontinuing the academy, Grant’s saw himself eventually becoming a professor of mathematics. But the Academy did continue.

               After Grant graduated, his first posting was in St. Louis. A West point friend lived in the area. The friend had a sister, Julia. The way he courted her was interesting.

               Grant got sent to the southwest during the Mexican War. After the war ended, Grant resigned his commission and sought work in various civilian jobs. He and Julia married. He struggled to make a living for his growing family.

               Abraham Lincoln entered office in 1861. April 10, Fort Sumter was fired upon by the Confederate Army. Two days later, Grant heard a speech by a local lawyer in his then hometown of Galena, Illinois. The attorney relayed his belief that the circumstances of the attack on Ft. Sumter was beyond politics. Rather it was a question of nation or no nation. Grant decided he needed to go back into the Army.

I found this book interesting in the fact that, contrary to the way history has portrayed him, he learned to stay away from alcohol. Just this one fact makes me want to be sure I am not judging people I meet.

                Mr. Yockelson enlightens me as to how horrible the Civil War actually was. The subject matter and the way the author presented it kept me reading and coming back for more.

               The information was presented in chronological fashion, giving details of each the battles in which Grant’s men fought.

I recommend this book to anyone who has any of the following interests: Civil War, Life of Presidents, and 19th Century living, also Military History.

I received this book free from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, throught Book Sneeze for an unbiased honest review.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...