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  1. Referring to our bodies as the temple of God allows us to reflect on how truly important it is to treat ourselves with care, dignity and respect. The passages from the Old Testament reveal to us that the same sin that plagued those generations (idolatry, sexual sin), plagued the early church, as they plague us in our present time. The good news is that our God doesn't change; His promises stand true for all time.
  2. I believe that Paul shared his struggles 1. To show others that spreading the good news is worth anything that life can possibly endure and that bringing others to Christ brings more joy than hardships can bring pain. 2. The joy of the life to come far outways the tribulation in his present life. I have seen, in my own life, times that my complaints were so petty; it had to take the visual of real tradegies for me to open my eyes to of how little the little things were.
  3. To walk by faith and not by sight is to believe in the Word and God's promises. We do not see God but through the beauty of His creation, yet we know that it belongs to Him. We never met Jesus face to face but believe unconditionally that He is our High Priest, our Savior. It is easy for a non believer to say they do not believe because they cannot see. They see through their eyes of flesh that can only see death. I know that sometimes I can look at my circumstances and that horrible spirit of fear starts creeping in. I pray that my faith take over, that I know full well this spirit is not of God. I read of His promises that He is with me, He will never leave or forsake me. I pray for my faith to be so strong that the storms come and go, and I hardly knew they were even there.
  4. The thought of approaching the Judgement Seat of Christ should always be in the back of our minds so, on that day we can hear those words we long to hear, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'
  5. Our bodies are compared to tents because they are perishable; there here for just a short while (a wave in the ocean, a vapor). If we truly considered 'our house not made by hands' we would be relatively unconcerned with the burdens of everyday life. We would be far more concerned with the great commission than all other things put together. What a great day that will be when I don't have to direct my energy to kill my own will, but only be concerned with heavenly things!
  6. The truth that Paul seeks to communicate in the analogy of the treasure in a pottery jar is that the vessel, though containing the treasure that is great, is corruptible and will only last a short while. The clay pot represents us in our mortal human existence and the treasure represents the eternal Word of God with all it's great truth and power. The parodox is in the truth that the power of God and His plan for salvation lives in us. We our only the vessels that hold the truth; it's not about us.
  7. Though Satan has blinded people's eyes from the truth, there is hope if they choose to listen to the Spirit that lives in each and every one of us. They can listen to the still, small voice, which is the voice of God leading and guiding them. It is our job to speak the Word to unbelievers (I am guilty of 'shying away' from speaking the truth 'plainly.' With many I know that are hostile to the truth, I have been able to speak scripture that pertains to the discussion and pray for the Spirit to work in them) We can pray for the perishing and wait for His power to show. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to believe the truth or deny it.
  8. Questionable ethics and ministry practices hurt Christ's work in that many see these types of practices and think lowly of Christianity. There is nothing more vulnerable than a person looking for answers and finding trickery and deceit. Paul tells us to turn away from secret and shameful ways. If we use no trickery and do not change the teaching of God, speak plainly, then others will see what kind of people we are.
  9. I believe that Moses' face glowed because he sought the glory of God. He had true faith that it would be revealed to him, and it was. He could not be in the presence of the true and mighty God without it showing. He covered his face as not to scare the people; I believe that he wanted to be able to talk to the people in a way that they would listen from the heart, not out of fear of him. I can't really say why Moses face glowed except that God is well, God and He chooses who He uses to show His glory on this earth. The people had just come out of a 700 yr. slavery. They probably still had a 'slave mentality' and were used to doing what the master (Moses in this case) required of them. They feared Moses when the evidence of the presence of God was shown in him. They could not see themselves as ones that could seek the glory of God on their own; they missed the point of worshipping God for who He is, not just fear of consequence. We know from scripture that Joshua and Caleb believed in God's promises and were the only ones out of the group to reach the promised land. Their face never revealed their faith, but their true faith had reward. Today, the Spirit lives in each and every one of us. We have the freedom to listen to His voice and seek His will for our own lives.
  10. It is much easier to tell people of Christ who wonder, want to hear the Word that will make them a believer. They are open to the Word and want confirmation that Christ is truly the way, the truth and the life. For those who believe that they are their own god and have true power over their lives, the task is not as easy. The only thing I can do is to pray for them, to pray for the Spirit to give me the words that will, in some way, give them something to think about. Some need spoonfuls, some can only manage a crumb at a time. Ultimately, it is only the Holy Spirit that can bring around change in hearts. I confess, I sometimes only throw out a crumb at a time because it seems that this is all they would be willing to swallow. I will continue to pray for boldness, for myself and for all the saints that the Mighty Creator will use us, inspite of ourselves.
  11. Satan takes advantage of our unforgiveness because he knows full well that it destroys our spiritual lives. Unforgiveness brings resentment and misery upon ourselves, as it gives others power over us. We see ourselves according to others standards instead of God's. We waste so much of our time being angry and defending ourselves from their judgement. I like the way Joyce Meyer said it, "Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die!" We must try to see ourselves the way that God sees us. Though we probably could not fully comprehend the esteem He wants for us in Him, our faith in His Word gives us the answers we need. Jesus told us how important forgiveness is in Matt 6:14-15. 'For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will you Father forgive your trespasses.' How do we do this? In Matt 5:44, Jesus gives us the answer; ... bless those who curse you ... pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. By faith, we pray for them, even if our prayers start with, 'help me change my heart!' The Spirit is always willing to help us reach spiritually higher places.
  12. Lord it over - to me, this expression means that one holds over your head that they are in control. They have the authority to say what is right and wrong. Micromanaging is a practice of looking over someone's shoulder to make sure that they do their job to expectation. This practice can be demeaning to the 'good worker' who can resent that someone feels that you would not do your job with excellence unless they are standing over you. If you have a worker that isn't working to expectations, micromanaging can give you insight as to how to direct the worker to improve. Laisse faire leaders want to give everyone what they want. They are easy going. The problem is that the work itself usually has gaping holes and objectives are compromized to please everyone. The dangers of arthoritarian leadership is tyranny. Those in complete authority do not have to take other views in consideration. They may flex their authority to achieve their own objective. We have seen too often how this type of leadership leads to mistreatment of others. Weak leadership tends to water down goals and procedures to accomodate the requests of the workers. This is really no leadership at all. This compromises the intergrity of the mission at hand.
  13. Paul seems to know, and attempt to teach us, the mystery of prayer. He holds prayer as the factor that has saved him, believing their requests directly impacted his deliverance. Prayer changes things; Jesus said, "if two of you on earth agree about something and pray for it, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." (Matt 18:19) All the apostles believed in the power of prayer and wrote of it's importance. (James 5:15-16, Phil 4:6, 1Thes 5:17-18) I thank God that He sometimes shows us a glimpse of the impact our prayers have; it may be through healing (spiritual or physical), guidance in a decision, a needed resource; a confirmation that He listens and answers. A glimpse of His power is all I need to pray boldly and believe wholeheartedly that prayer changes things!
  14. It seems that crisis always leads us to God. When our nation suffered a great tragedy, for the first time in a long time, many came together to pray and help each other. At a time of vulnerability, we reach for our Creator; the myths that we are self sufficient vanish as we see a glimpse of our own inability to know what is best or even our own mortality. As we are humbled by our lack of ability, as we search to know more of God through His Word, we can learn to rely on Him to help us. There is great peace and joy in knowing that the God of the Universe will give you His protection and guidance when you seek Him with your whole heart. Pride is nothing when having a glimpse of the Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. We only PUT pride into our work and relationships to bring honor to our great King.
  15. I find great comfort in His promise that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. When I am going through hard times, I seek diligently the lessons He would have me learn. As He confirms in my Spirit what He would have me do, I can gain further peace and exhiliration in my relationship with Him. Even if I don't get it right the first time, I can confidently continue my persuit of His path for my life, knowing that He is rooting for me; His guidance is forever before me. I can encourage others to seek God's will for their own personal lives, conveying the good news that His plan is so much greater than anything that we could think of on our own. Denying our own will leads to true peace. Faith in His love is eternal.
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