To Do Or To Seek

I was speaking to a neighbour recently, a lady who is not a Christian and who has endured overwhelming trials during her 93 years; yet she still looks 20 years younger than she is, choosing not to dwell on her problems but to just keep on keeping on as long as she’s still here. It’s a philosophy that sounds good on the surface, but the downside is the obvious fact that she is deeply wounded, has no peace, and all of her self-effort has resulted in a nice outward appearance that is nothing more than a mask. In our conversation she repeated the advice, often heard from believers and non-believers alike, “God helps those who help themselves.”  What a lie of the devil!!!

Oh, how the enemy must whoop and holler when we fall for that one—when we succumb to our to-do lists and the multitude of responsibilities that we never should have shouldered in the first place; when we think we have to fix circumstances or other people; when we fall into the trap of doing things just because nobody else will—all without first asking the Lord if we’re supposed to proceed.

In our continuing efforts to be self-sufficient and successful, how often we skim over Jesus’ instruction to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”  We may think we’re seeking after Him, but is He really FIRST on our agenda? Or, is our ministry, job or family our number one priority?  Does our relationship with Him infuse every aspect of our life? Do we pursue intimacy with God with as much fervour as we pursue all of the other things that we think we have to do?  Not likely.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:25-34).

== Written by: Barbara Parker (Standing In Faith Ministries) ==

I hope you were blessed. May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you and your family. Feel free to share and leave your comments. We would love to hear from you.

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Down In The Valley

Though I find myself walking,
Through this dark period of life,
I will not fear the enemy about,
For my Lord and His Word speaks
To my inner man, removing doubts

That seek to haunt my spirit.
I’m comforted and content today,
Knowing His divine righteousness
Consumes my wearied existence;
Therefore, I will firmly confess

My adoration of Christ, my King.
He lovingly accompanies my journey,
As I traverse the green pastures
Laid before me; He anoints my life
As I divinely seek to grow and mature

Under His sacred, Biblical precepts.
His ways and standard are set high,
So that… I’m continually dependent
On Him for all aspects of my life.
To His reign, I’ve given my consent.

The eternal promises, of His supply
To meet my earthly needs, are true.
In Him alone, I have placed my trust!
Going forward, I rejoice from knowing…
That His ways are righteous and just!

Author Notes
Loosely based on:
Psalm 23,118:137,145:17-18; Isa 55:8-9; 1 John 1:9
Learn more about me and my poetry at:

By Joseph J. Breunig 3rd, © 2014, All rights reserved.

Joseph Breunig, Author/poet
Reaching Towards His Unbounded Glory

...building the body of Christ.

Two Possibilities

Text: Romans 8:5-8

"Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Romans 8:5

There are two possibilities as Christians that will determine if we manifest the righteousness of God, depending on whether we walk according to the Spirit or according to the flesh. The difference is what you set your mind on, i.e., what you are thinking about all through the day, what is important to you. Is it the viewpoint of the flesh, which governs the thinking of the world? Or is it the viewpoint of the Spirit — God's viewpoint — on life? That is the determining factor — what you do with your thinking. Where you set your mind is going to make the difference.

What is the mind set of the person who lives according to the flesh? You only have to look around to see what that is. It is the natural viewpoint of life. People want to make money, because money provides comfort and conveniences that we would like to have. People want to have fun. People want pleasure, money and fame. People will give their right arm to gain influence and prestige. People desire to fulfill themselves. They want to manifest every capability that is within them. That is what the world lives for. And it wants it all now, not later. That is the natural point of view.

You say, "What's wrong with that?" There really is nothing wrong with that, unless that is all you want. If that is all you want, then it is very wrong. This is what the Scriptures help us to see — that there is another point of view, which is life viewed according to the Spirit. "Ah," you say, "I know what that means! That means you have to forget about making money and having fun and fulfilling yourself. All you do is go around memorizing Scripture and thinking about God all day long. You go around reciting Scripture verses and telling people what is wrong with their lives."

Many people think that is what we are talking about when we say that we are to have our minds set on the things of the Spirit. But, of course, if you see people like that, you soon discover that kind of life does not produce the results this passage tells us should be there. That is really nothing but another form of being run by the flesh — it's a religious form of it, but it is the same thing.

What does it mean, then, to have your mind set on the Spirit? It means that, in the midst of making money, having fun, gaining fame and fulfilling yourself, you are primarily concerned with showing love, helping others, speaking truth, and, above all, loving God and seeking his glory. The trouble with the world is that it is content with just making money, having fun, and fulfilling itself — that is all it wants. But the mind set on the Spirit desires that God be glorified in all these things. When your mind is set on the Spirit you look at the events of life from God's point of view, not from the world's. Your value system is changed and it touches everything you do. The important thing in seeking to fulfill your needs, is that God be glorified. That is what makes the difference. That is the mind set on the Spirit. It does not remove you from life — it puts you right back into it. But it does it with a different point of view.

I hope you are blessed. May the grace of the Lord be with you. Feel free to share and leave your comments.

Copyright © Ray Stedman Ministries |

...building the body of Christ.

O Lord, How Happy Should We Be?

O Lord, how happy should we be
If we could cast our cares on Thee,
If we from self could rest,
And feel at heart that One above,
In perfect wisdom, perfect love
Is working for the best.

How far from this our daily life,
Ever disturbed by anxious strife,
By sudden wild alarms.
O could we but relinquish all
Our earthly props, and simply fall
On Thy almighty arms.

Could we but kneel and cast our load,
E’en while we pray, upon our God,
Then rise with lightened cheer,
Sure that the Father, who is nigh
To still the famished raven’s cry,
Will hear, in that we fear.

Lord, makes this faithless hearts of ours
Thy lessons learn from birds and flowers:
Make them from self to cease,
Leave all things to a Father’s will,
And taste, before His lying still,
E’en in affliction, peace.

...building the body of Christ.

With God

Text: 1 Corinthians 7:10-24

"Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you — although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord's freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ's slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them" (1 Corinthians 7:21-24).

Paul is dealing here with the common problem of slavery in that day, and yet what he says is interesting. Basically, what he says is, "To be a slave or to be free is not the overriding consideration of life: it is what you are inside that counts." In the novel Roots, and in the television portrayal of that book, it was very evident that some of the slaves who were believers in Christ were much more noble, more loving, more compassionate, more understanding, demonstrated more integrity than their "free" masters. This whole passage calls us to the fact that that is the true freedom.

Paul is not denying the possibility that God may so arrange things that an opportunity for freedom is given. If so, "Take it," he says. Basically, it is a gift of God. Christianity, though it is revolutionary, it is not designed to be radically so. It is not a violent overthrow of systems of the past, but it is designed to free from within. This is what the apostle is saying. So if you are in a situation that is difficult to handle, and hard to bear, remember that is only external; it is only temporary and passing, and you can be free in Christ in a most beautiful and effective and influential way.

The key words in verse 24 are "with God." Regardless of what your situation may be, even if you cannot change it, even if it is a so-called "difficult" marriage, remember that God is able to meet you right where you are and to fill your life with love and joy and peace despite the struggles. The struggles themselves will help you do it if you understand them as God's choice for you. So, Paul says, "... do not become slaves of human beings." How do you become slaves of human beings? Well, you do when you conform to the world around, when you let the opinions of the world shape your judgments as to what you ought to be in marriage, or whether you ought to get a divorce or not. You are becoming a slave to men, instead of to the Lord, when you do that. When you follow after teachers in the church and think of one as being better and preferable to the other, you are becoming a slave of men. When you give way to the secular pressures to sexual infidelity you are becoming a slave of men. Do not become slaves of men, Paul says, but remain where you are, "with God."

Copyright 2014 / Ray Stedman Ministries /
I hope you are blessed. Feel free to share and leave your comments. May the grace of the Lord be with you.

...building the body of Christ.