Tuesday, August 30, 2016

“Faith is not a part of the Christian life …”

A thought by James MacDonald (2015-06-18) from his book, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (p. 171). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now that thought is not the whole thought.  That is what is called a grabber.  Here is the whole thought by James, “Faith is not a part of the Christian life … it’s the whole thing!”  That clears up what he is saying, doesn’t it?

He continues, “Faith isn’t like love and joy and hope. Faith isn’t something to add to your spiritual arsenal. Faith is the gun that fires the bullet! Faith is everything! If you can’t trust God; if you can’t lay hold of His promises, expect a lot of defeat in your life.”

He goes on, “The thing about faith is that you can’t tell by looking at a person how much faith he or she really has. Faith in a person is like water in a bucket— you find out how much is inside when you bump it. When circumstances bump you, you spill what you’re full of. What are you full of? If you’re filled with faith, then faith comes out. If you’re filled with doubt, and circumstances bump you, doubt comes out. God places regular tests of faith in front of His children.”

He later says, “It’s one or the other: faith or doubt. Bumps are going to happen. You will be tested. The purpose of the test isn’t just to reveal your faith; it’s also to refine your faith. God doesn’t test your faith so He can know how much is there— He already knows. He tests your faith so that you can know how much is there and see it grow. Every good thing God wants to give to us comes through the funnel of faith. He refines our faith because He loves us and wants to bless us more and more.”


So what are you full of, doubt or faith?

Monday, August 29, 2016

“Love bears the weight of misunderstanding, and it defends the heart.”

A thought by James MacDonald (2015-06-18) from his book, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (p. 159). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now usually when there is a misunderstanding we are very critical of the other person.  We want to set them straight.  But as 1 Corinthians 13: 7 says, “Love bears all things, believes all things.”

James says, “Love finds itself saying on a regular basis, ‘That’s not what she meant.’ It believes the best about the other person. ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s not why he did that.’”

James goes on, “When Jesus said, ‘Judge not lest you be judged,’ He was specifically dealing with motives. Of course, we have to judge actions. What we’re not to judge are motives. We don’t know why people do what they do.  Don’t ever say, ‘I know why she’s up there. I know why he does that.’ You probably do not. When you hear somebody criticizing someone you love, just say, ‘I don’t believe that, and I won’t believe it until I check with him myself.’  Love always believes the best about people. Love bears all things, believes all things.”

Do we do that?  Do we stand up for those we love?  Do we give them the benefit of the doubt or do we criticize them all the time?

It might be good for us to stop and answer those questions about those we love.


So how did you do?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“97 percent of life’s issues are minor.”

A thought by James MacDonald (2015-06-18) from his book, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (p. 154). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

We are dealing here with criticism and the need to replace it with love.  And the love chapter in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 13 can be summarized in the following statements: On the majors— action. On the minors— acceptance. In all things— love.  And James says, “97 percent of life’s issues are minor.”

He goes on to say, “By minors we mean personal preference, personality differences... It’s essential that followers of Christ be the most accepting, nonprejudiced, nonfaultfinding, noncritical people on the face of the earth. Again, 97 percent of life’s issues are minor: little irritations; the differences between me and you; and she-thinks-like-this-but-I-don’t-see-it-that-way, and he’s-a-little-different-kind-of-a-person-than-me, and no-way-did-he-handle-that-totally-properly.”

Now as he says, “Each of these is not an issue of right and wrong. We are different people, and we handle things differently. Most of the things that are breaking down marriages, that are breaking down friendships, and that are causing you problems with the person that you work for are not major— they’re minor things! In those contexts, love learns to accept the person with his failures. Love doesn’t deny the irritation; it simply recognizes that the one I love is far more important than my own desire to live an irritant-free life. On the majors— action. But on the minors— most things— acceptance.”

Such a good thing to remember and do. 


Don’t you see how that would make a major difference in our lives?