Tag Archives: tax

Keep Up Your Guard

 

keep your guard up

From: Our Daily Journey

Deuteronomy 4:1-9
But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! (Deuteronomy 4:9).

Read James 1:22-24 and see why it’s important to keep your guard up by your obedience to God’s Word.

When do you tend to let your spiritual guard down? What will you do to renew your commitment to God’s Word and remain alert for dangers to your faith?

A young man and several friends drove to a ski resort, went through a gate that contained warning signs about the dangerous condition of the slopes, and started snowboarding. On the second trip down the mountain, someone shouted, “Avalanche!” but the young man couldn’t escape and perished in the cascading snow. Some in the media severely criticized him for being a novice, but he was actually an “avalanche-certified backcountry guide.” An avalanche researcher said that seasoned skiers are most likely to be seduced into faulty reasoning. He said, “[The young man] died because he was lulled into letting his guard down.”

As Israel was preparing to go into the Promised Land, the Lord wanted His people to keep their guard up. So He commanded them to listen to and obey all His words (Deuteronomy 4:1-2). And in case they had trouble obeying, Moses reminded them how God judged those who disobeyed and blessed those who obeyed (Deuteronomy 4:3-4). Remembering this history would be the motivation and basis for their unconditional obedience. At every turn, they needed to examine themselves and keep watch over their inner lives (Deuteronomy 4:9). This would help them avoid external spiritual dangers as well as inner spiritual apathy. But this wasn’t just for them; it was also for future generations. Obedience to God’s standard would be the key to future success.

It’s fairly easy for us to let down our guard and be lulled into a state of forgetfulness, apathy, and self-deception. So it’s essential for us to offer God a fresh commitment to obey all of His Word. Let’s renew our knowledge of the Scriptures and our commitment to them and let’s wisely leverage opportunities to pass them on to the next generation.

 

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day (Gen. 32:24).

Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray.”

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes–“men (aye, and women too!) wondered at” (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:90), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be “they saw no man save Jesus only.”

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

If chosen men had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done.

 

The Impoverished Ministry of Jesus

From: My Utmost For His HIghest

Where then do You get that living water? —John 4:11

“The well is deep”— and even a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! (John 4:11). Think of the depths of human nature and human life; think of the depth of the “wells” in you. Have you been limiting, or impoverishing, the ministry of Jesus to the point that He is unable to work in your life? Suppose that you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1). Would your response be to shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is too deep, and even You can’t draw up quietness and comfort out of it.” Actually, that is correct. Jesus doesn’t bring anything up from the wells of human nature— He brings them down from above. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering only what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and also by saying, “Of course, I cannot expect God to do this particular thing.” The thing that approaches the very limits of His power is the very thing we as disciples of Jesus ought to believe He will do. We impoverish and weaken His ministry in us the moment we forget He is almighty. The impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus for Him to be our comforter or our sympathizer, but we refrain from approaching Him as our Almighty God.

The reason some of us are such poor examples of Christianity is that we have failed to recognize that Christ is almighty. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment or surrender to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying, “Of course, He can’t do anything about this.” We struggle to reach the bottom of our own well, trying to get water for ourselves. Beware of sitting back, and saying, “It can’t be done.” You will know it can be done if you will look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness runs deep, but make the effort to look away from yourself and to look toward Him.

One Day Drudgery Will End

 

  • (pictures of drudgery and toil)

Taking the Initiative Against Drudgery

From: My Utmost For HIs HIghest

Arise, shine . . . —Isaiah 60:1

When it comes to taking the initiative against drudgery, we have to take the first step as though there were no God. There is no point in waiting for God to help us— He will not. But once we arise, immediately we find He is there. Whenever God gives us His inspiration, suddenly taking the initiative becomes a moral issue— a matter of obedience. Then we must act to be obedient and not continue to lie down doing nothing. If we will arise and shine, drudgery will be divinely transformed.

Drudgery is one of the finest tests to determine the genuineness of our character. Drudgery is work that is far removed from anything we think of as ideal work. It is the utterly hard, menial, tiresome, and dirty work. And when we experience it, our spirituality is instantly tested and we will know whether or not we are spiritually genuine. Read John 13. In this chapter, we see the Incarnate God performing the greatest example of drudgery— washing fishermen’s feet. He then says to them, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). The inspiration of God is required if drudgery is to shine with the light of God upon it. In some cases the way a person does a task makes that work sanctified and holy forever. It may be a very common everyday task, but after we have seen it done, it becomes different. When the Lord does something through us, He always transforms it. Our Lord takes our human flesh and transforms it, and now every believer’s body has become “the temple of the Holy Spirit”

 

 

And every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (John 15:2).

A child of God was dazed by the variety of afflictions which seemed to make her their target. Walking past a vineyard in the rich autumnal glow she noticed the untrimmed appearance and the luxuriant wealth of leaves on the vines, that the ground was given over to a tangle of weeds and grass, and that the whole place looked utterly uncared for; and as she pondered, the Heavenly Gardener whispered so precious a message that she would fain pass it on:

“My dear child, are you wondering at the sequence of trials in your life? Behold that vineyard and learn of it. The gardener ceases to prune, to trim, to harrow, or to pluck the ripe fruit only when he expects nothing more from the vine during that season. It is left to itself, because the season of fruit is past and further effort for the present would yield no profit. Comparative uselessness is the condition of freedom from suffering. Do you then wish me to cease pruning your life? Shall I leave you alone?”

And the comforted heart cried, “No!”
–Homera Homer-Dixon

It is the branch that bears the fruit,
That feels the knife,
To prune it for a larger growth,
A fuller life.
Though every budding twig be lopped,
And every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf,
Be lost a space.
O thou whose life of joy seems reft,
Of beauty shorn;
Whose aspirations lie in dust,
All bruised and torn,
Rejoice, tho’ each desire, each dream,
Each hope of thine
Shall fall and fade; it is the hand
Of Love Divine
That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks
With tenderest touch,
That thou, whose life has borne some fruit

May’st now bear much.
–Annie Johnson Flint

 

Live so That …
Wendy Blight

From: Crosswalk.com

“He died for us so that we will all live, not for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose from the dead.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 (The Voice)

As I stood in the kitchen of our new house, gut-wrenching loneliness swept over me. My heart ached for all that was familiar. Doubts plagued my mind. Had we made a mistake? Did we really hear God? Was this really His plan?

We had just moved from Dallas, Texas to Charlotte, North Carolina, but moving had not been on our original agenda. It meant leaving an amazing circle of friends, a wonderful church family and great jobs. But we both felt God calling us away from Dallas, away from all that was comfortable and familiar. In fact, He orchestrated circumstances in such a way that we could not not move to Charlotte. But it was still unclear why He brought us here.

Although Jesus was clear about His mission, I wonder if He experienced similar sensations of loneliness and heartache as He left all that was familiar to follow God’s plan.

Jesus willingly consented to His Father’s plan and did the incomprehensible. The One who was rich in everything became poor, making Himself nothing. He assumed our debt of sin and paid it with His very life so that you and I could become beloved children of God.

And His sacrifice, when accepted by us, gives us not only new life but also a new role in life!

Our key verse from 2 Corinthians teaches that Jesus died so that we will live … not for ourselves but for the One who died for us. And when we read a bit further in 2 Corinthians, verse 20 clarifies our role: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors …” (NIV).

Ambassadors are connectors. They connect the lives of those they represent with the lives of those in their sphere of influence. And to be effective, the chosen appointees must live so that people are drawn to and find favor with them and those they represent.

Friend, we too are ambassadors. We are ambassadors appointed by Christ, not by a nation or an organization. God intentionally placed us on this earth to live for Him.

What a privilege and honor to be hand-picked by God to live fully engaged lives in this generation, in our communities, in our neighborhoods and in our families so that He can use us to shine His love and light!

It took time, but I came to understand that God had not abandoned me years ago when we moved. He intentionally placed me in that home and neighborhood to be His ambassador. He brought friends into my life who invited me to my first Bible study. He gave me an insatiable hunger for His Word that led to teaching and writing Bible studies. He continues to open doors for me to speak and write for Him.

God had a plan that day in the kitchen that I could not see. And He faithfully equipped me through the years so that I could live out that plan … so that I could impact my sphere of influence and represent Him well.

Will you join me in being an ambassador? Together let’s invite God to help us live a so that life … a life that truly makes a difference for the Kingdom of God.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your amazing grace … a gift that gives me new life. Help me to live a “so that” life, one that pours out Your love and grace. Equip me with all I need to be Your ambassador. Father, I want to represent You well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Finishing Well

    • Vous pouvez maintenant lire ce site dans votre langue. Il suffit d’aller touche à traduire. Merci.  Vous pouvez utiliser le bouton Google translate ci-dessus également.

      Теперь вы можете читать этот сайт на вашем языке. Просто зайдите кнопку, чтобы перевести. Спасибо.   Вы можете использовать кнопку Google Translate выше, также.

      Usted puede presionar el botón de traducir o utilizar el botón de Google Translate arriba para leer Simposious.com.

      _________________________________________________

      Finishing Well

      From: Our Daily Journey

      2 Timothy 4:1-8
      I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful (2 Timothy 4:7).

      Read Acts 20:24 and note the second half of the verse. How are you living out what Paul was striving to do?

      What are some things you need to change in order to finish well for Jesus? How did He model what it means to truly finish well?

      Finishing well. It’s an idea we typically reserve for those approaching the last few years of life. But as a wise, older man (now with Jesus) once pointed out to me, finishing well is not simply for the elderly. In fact, it’s the choices we make now—years before we say our final “goodbyes”—that will help determine how we complete our years on earth.

      The apostle Paul was a man who finished well. In his last days, he was arrested and sentenced to death for boldly proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Knowing the end of his life was at hand, Paul wrote these words to Timothy, a young man he had mentored: “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

      To Paul, finishing well began long before he penned his final words. It commenced more than 30 years earlier, after his personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9).

      The years after Paul’s dramatic conversion were not easy. The book of Acts tells us that he encountered shipwrecks, beatings, prison time, religious opposition, painful personal conflicts, and more. But, by God’s power and strength, he finished the task he started as he traveled throughout the Roman Empire (Acts 20:22-24). He said, “My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:24).

      Take it from Paul, the time for finishing well doesn’t start at the end. It begins now!

Tattletale

 From: Get more strength. eu
“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34We all remember the neighborhood tattletale—not the most popular kid on the block! He or she took great delight in exposing deeds we were trying to hide.Unfortunately, our tongues play that much-despised role in our own lives. Jesus said that we speak “out of the overflow of the heart” (Matthew 12:34). In other words, our speech often tells on us, revealing the attitudes we would rather not have others know about.My friends who practice medicine tell me that certain sicknesses produce terrible breath; and so it is with sinful hearts. Paul vividly describes sinners in Romans 3:13: “Their throats are open graves,” venting the smell of death.I recall the day when I spouted off to my kindergarten teacher. I can’t remember what created the crisis, but I do remember telling my teacher to “shut up.” I then promptly left the room and headed home. As I walked down the block, I noticed that my mother was working in the backyard. I stopped dead in my tracks. What would I tell her? My options were before me. I could face my mother; face the teacher; or walk alone into the big, cruel world.I chose the least of the three evils and went back to school. My teacher met me at the door, took me by the arm, and marched me to the restroom, where she washed out my mouth with soap!It was a never-to-be-forgotten lesson. But to be honest, I needed more than a mouth washing. I needed a heart-wash. My little 5-year-old rebellious spirit had shown up in my mouth. And if we aren’t careful, the attitudes we have as adults will show up there as well. Anger, pride, fear, sensuality, and a host of other sins we harbor in our hearts will eventually show up in the words we say.In essence, all talk is heart-talk. Groom your heart to grow in Jesus, and your words will show it. Neglect your heart, and your very own tongue will tattle on you every time.
Inspirational stories about helping others 
Three Stories From: Inspirational stories. euA man was driving his car, when he saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road. He saw that she needed help. So he stopped his Pontiac near her Mercedes and got out.He smiled, while he was approaching her, still she was worried, as nobody had stopped for hours. Moreover, he did not look safe, as his appearance was so poor and shabby. He could see, how frightened she was, so he tried to calm her: „ I‘m here to help you, don‘t worry. My name is Bryan Anderson“.The tire was flat, so he had to crawl under the car. While changing the tire, he got dirty and his hands were hurt.When the job was done, she asked how much she owed him for his help. Bryan smiled. He said: „If you really want to pay me back, the next time you see someone, who needs help, give that person the needed assistance. And think of me“.A the same evening, the lady stopped by a small cafe. That place looked dingy. Then she saw a waitress, nearly eight months pregnant, wiping her wet hear with a towel. The waitress had a sweet friendly smile, although she had spent on her feet the whole day.The lady wondered, how someone, who has so little, can be so kind and giving to a strange. Then she remembered Bryan.The lady had finished her meal and paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress went to get change and when she came back, the lady was gone. She left a note on the napkin: „You don‘t own me anything. Somebody once helped me, just like now I‘m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, do not let this chain of love end with you“. The waitress found four more one hundren bills under the napkin.

That night the waitress came home earlier. She was thinking about the lady and the money she left. She was wondering, how the lady could know, how much she and her husband needed it? Especially now, when the baby will soon arrive. She knew, that her husband worried about that, so she was glad to tell him good news. Then she kissed him and whispered „Now everything will be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson“.

Inspirational stories about kids 
A long time ago I worked as a volunteer at a hospital. There was a little girl, who suffered from a serious disease. The only chance for her recovery was a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, since he had experienced the same disease and had miraculously recovered. Thus he had the needed antibodies to struggle with this illness.So the doctor told about the situation to the boy and asked him, if he is willing to give his blood to his sister. He hesitate only for a moment, then the little boy took a deep breath and said: „Yes, I will do this, if it will save her life“.During the transmission his sister was laying in bed next to him. The boy looked at her and smiled, but gradually his face became pale and his smile faded. He asked the doctor with a trembling voice: „Will I start to die right now?“The little boy thought that he would have to give all his blood to save the life of his beloved sister.—A little girl was decorating a box with a gold wrapping paper to put it under the Christmas tree. Money was tight, so the girl‘s father punished her for wasting almost all roll of that expensive paper.However, the next morning the girl brought the gift to her father. „This is for you, Daddy“ – she said. He opened a box and found it empty, so he became angry again. „Don‘t you know, that when you give someone a gift, it is supposed that there would be something inside it?“ – he said severely.The little girl looked at her father with tears in her eyes. „Daddy, this box is not emply, I filled it with my kisses, all for you“.The father was stunned. He felt so embarrassed that could just put his arms aroung his little daughter and beg for her forgiveness.

For many years of his life the man kept that golden box near his bed. Wherever he felt sad and downhearted he opened the box and thought of love that the little child had put into it.

Each of us have been given a present of unconditional love from our childrens, family, friends and God. It is the most precious possession that anyone could hold.

Inspirational stories about working hard 
George was a driver and he spend so much time at his work, that he could hardly have a meal together with his wife and three children. In the evenings he attended classes, seeking to get knowledge, that one day would help him to find a better paying job.George‘s family often complained that he is not spending enough time with them, but his only answer was „I am doing all this for you, I work hard to provide my family with the best that I can“.Soon after George had passed his exams, he received a good job offer with a salary, which was significantly higher that he had before. So now George could provide his family with more expensive clothes, some luxury items or vacations in foreign countries. It was like a dream come true, but family still did not get enough attention from George, as he continued to work very hard and often he did not get to see his family for most of the week.Time passed and George‘s hard work paid off, he was promoted. He decided to relieve his wife from domestic works, so he hired a maid. He also decided that their flat is not big enough for their family and they need a more spacious one. Thus he needed to work even harder and, moreover, he continued his studies, so that he would be promoted again. George worked so hard, that sometimes he even had to spend his Sundays with his clients instead of his wife and children. And again, whenever family asked for his time and complained that they do not spend enough time together, he answered, that he was doing all this only for them.Some time later George was promoted, so he could buy a spacious house with a beautiful view. On the first Sunday evening at their new home, George told his wife and kids, that now he decided not to take any studies and work not so hard, so that he could spend more time with his beloved family. The very next morning George did not wake up.