“If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” – Gen 4:7
In Genesis 4, we read of the story many remember about Cain and Abel. These brothers each had their respective skills. Cain was a man who worked in the fields, while Abel tended to flocks. Each had his job and both gave onto the Lord. But the bible says that Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil, while Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.
When you first read this passage, you might think of the items Cain and Able brought simply as their tithes and offerings right? I sort of did myself at first. But I now believe this is really about their heart, attitude and motive in all areas of their lives. I’m going to raise my hand acknowledging fault with being caught in the same boat as Cain in many ways with my motive and attitude toward life probably not being fully committed to God.
This bible passage left me asking once again: Who is first in my life? Is it God? Really??
Right now, I want and desire for it to be God so very bad… but what does my life look like if we broke it down day by day? I wake up on an average week day, up and running my life in every direction that deals with my wife, kid, family and business. If we take a closer look at our lives on this micro level, it becomes more about ourselves, doesn’t it? By time I’ve committed all my brain’s resources into my business on most days, I’m usually running to grab my daughter at daycare, to rush home and join my wife in unwinding through the tasks of dinner, house chores and getting ready to shut down and do it all over again the next day.
So I’ve gotta ask: Are we prioritizing a God first mentality in our homes? Is your motive to first thank God for the breath of life you have when you first awake? If not, then when you open your eyes, give thanks to Him for your rest and your waking up once again! Don’t jump out of bed ungrateful. I’m sharing this blog post with you, but in many ways I’m speaking to myself here. I can often jump out of bed, dealing with my daughter and thinking about all the tasks I have that day for work and off I go… no thanks to the Lord and Savior, whose grace and mercy is the reason I have life, love, a home, a wife, a child, a business, health and on and on.
This leads me to my 2nd question: What are our day’s wishes? Are our wishes that we be obedient to the word and will of God? If not, then we need to get up each day reading the bible to gain understanding about His instructions for our lives and how He wants us to pursue our lives throughout each day. You or I couldn’t just show up to our jobs each day without directives from our boss, right? We don’t just do what we feel like… we usually have a role and responsibilities that we must accomplish as part of a bigger goal for our companies each day. If we don’t do them well and consistently, we’d get fired!! So how can we go about doing God’s will without first getting instructions from God and figuring out not just what He wants but how He wants us to do our jobs as His servants? We’ve got to set aside time each and everyday (preferably at the start) for reading the word and praying (and communicating) with God. Then we gotta go out and get practical with the word, applying it throughout our lives.
As the verse at the top of this post says, we’ve got to become masters over our sinful nature. That only happens by allowing God to be the master of our time and lives. (please stop here and read Romans 6:16-23). If you and I don’t control this sinful nature, it will control us. Please take control today of your attitude and motive and be confident that they are in line and acceptable to God.
What is it that makes you really really happy?
There are many things I enjoy, but I’m not certain they really make me ‘happy’. At the core of it all I realized a truth that is worth noting.
I can’t be happy with someone or something, unless I myself am happy with me first!
DID YOU GET THAT? Lemme repeat…
I can’t be happy (and this goes for you too) with anything or anyone in my life, unless I am happy with me first!
I say that because I can think of times past where I was genuinely unhappy with myself. Even as recent as Spring of this year, I fell into a funk I couldn’t find my way out of… nothing seemed to be going as I had planned and I became unhappy with myself and nothing else seemed to bring me out of it.
I even went so far as to stop my weekly inspirational emails for the first in a couple years, because inspiration for me came from feeling inspired and I was the furthest from that at the time (btw, thanks for all who inspired me to get the heck out of that dip and get back to the happy Stephen you all know and love 😉
So incase you are in a valley right now and trying to get other ‘things’ or people to cheer you up and make you ‘happy’, know that you got to get right with you first. Be happy in knowing that you are a blessed being. You are love(d). You are alive. You opened your eyes today and have the same opportunity as does everyone else. We all were given the same 1,440 minutes today to make the most of our time in this day. Don’t allow life’s past disappointments, fears, challenges and pains hold you back any longer.
My pastor said something this weekend, that too often we await a zap from God to make us happy in an instant… but reminded me of the truth, that the miracles often happen in the journey. Despite whatever uphill battles, stress, disappointments are in the way right this minute, just be happy that you’re still on your pathway to where God is leading you. Be happy that you’ve still got the grace of time to see your way out of those issues and trust that you will see even more miracles unfold in your life.
I’m happy! I’m oh so happy with me. And as a result, I live to pour out that happiness in my wife, my daughter, my family and you, my friends.
So as that tune from the 80s or 90s goes…. Don’t worry, be happy now!
1. INNOVATION is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation. Peter Drucker
2. Perhaps our originality manifests itself most strikingly in what we do with that which we did not originate. To discover something wholly new can be a matter of chance, of idle tinkering, or even of the chronic dissatisfaction of the untalented. Eric Hoffer
3. CREATIVITY is thinking up new things. INNOVATION is doing new things. Theodore Levitt
4. The INNOVATION point is the pivotal moment when talented and motivated people seek the opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams. W.Arthur Porter
5. The greatness of art is not to find what is common but what is unique. Isaac Bashevis Singer
6. Create your own method. Don’t depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you. Konstantin Stanislavisky
7. Create your own method. Don’t depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you. Mark Twain
8. Innovation is the creation of the new or the re-arranging of the old in a new way. Michael Vance
9. When there is an original sound in the world, it makes a hundred echoes. John A. Shedd
10. One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea. Walter Bagehot
This week’s inspirational deals with our Faith:
… Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Faith is your response to the promises of God for your life. (God says, “I will lead you.” Faith responds, “I will follow.” God says, “I will feed you.” Faith says, “I will eat.” God says, “I will meet your need.” Faith says. “It is done.”) Faith is never a leap into the dark, it is always a based upon the firmest of foundations, The Word Of God. The person who really walks in faith never walks through life blind. He always knows what is ahead
Have a blessed week!
I really think more MUST be said and more help offered by the christian community, to aid men, women and children in overcoming this fast growing epidemic. If we do not control this and fast, we’re likely to lose our children’s generation to this exponentially growing disease!
I’m urging all pastors, disciples and christians to give your all to attack this NOW. We can no longer sit by and allow this to grow without pouring energy into fighting this!!
2 Timothy 3
Godlessness in the Last Days
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
This isn’t just a problem for non-believers. Stats I found show this being a huge problem in the church, among believers. I’ve even heard some pastors recently mentioning this being a problem among pastors and church staff:
53% – Promise Keeper men who viewed pornography in the last week
47% – Christians who said pornography is a major problem in the home
How do we begin to tackle this? What can we do to share God’s word about this with other christian brothers and sisters?
I gathered the stats shown in this post from these two sites: http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html and http://unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/14-shocking-pornography-statistics/