Tag Archives: Desires of the flesh

To will being present in us but to do it not always evident

Looking at today’s reading we do find the apostle Paul who laments not understanding his own actions, even acknowledging that he even comes to do things he more than not likes.

Romans 7:15 (RNKJV)
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

English: Apostle Paul in the apse

Apostle Paul in the apse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How often do we notice we have done something to some one else what we hate ourselves.  When we loo at our actions we can even see that we sometimes do the very thing we hate, but that we also sometimes have the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.

Romans 7:18 (RNKJV)
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

It can well be that the will to do good may be present with you and me, but how often we do not have to admit that in us there where more stronger elements that hindered us to do the right thing. We must admit that our flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:41 (RNKJV)
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We know we do have to do good. We do know that we have been given an example and that we should follow him, who gave his life for us. We do know that Nazarene asked his followers to go out into the world and to preach the coming Kingdom of God. But much too often we are too afraid to open our mouth and tell others that we are following Jesus and trust his judgement and look forward to his and his heavenly Father’s Kingdom.

That fear for what people might think lets many not dare to talk about God and His son.

We are confronted with our “will” and our “performance” and must confess they are not in line with each other and often not in balance to.

We must be aware that first of all we must recognise that we can  either live according to the flesh setting our minds on the things of the flesh, or go for the things we might perhaps not see so clear and live according to the Spirit setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, believing what the Word of God brings to mankind black on white and not according human doctrines.

We should know that a lot of people prefer to hold on to human traditions, having the different feasts, not in accordance to God’s feasts. There are lots of people who prefer to hold on the ‘stories’ or ‘tales’ about parts of our body that might go to other places when we die. Lots of people love to have someone else to blame for the faults they do themselves. They like it to shift the guilt from themselves to a demon, they call Satan. They think by doing so they will be found less guilty. Others love to use that figure and places of torture to frighten others, so that they can keep power over them or can have them join their community, where fear preaching is the core business next to the entertainment they try to offer to please people, instead of spending more time to the Bible writings.

Lots of people want to find a church which can bring them worldly pleasures, nice songs and something exiting, like thriller stories, tales about places where people shall be tortured for ever, though they are the lucky ones that can escape because they are saved and should not worry. They love to hear that they do not have to do any work any more and that they can sleep on their two ears.

The majority of people prefer to set the mind on the flesh, not willing to know that it is death, whilst setting the mind on the Spirit shall be life and peace.

When we do know that even a called one of Christ knew the difficulty of what was going on in his body, we should have hope.

Romans 7:18 (RNKJV)
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

We should know that we are better to leave the world for what it is and be not afraid to tell it how we go for the sent one from God and putting our trust in God. There is no “life and peace” until we develop a spiritual relationship with our Lord. Those who do this are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

In case we do trust God and feel it more important to live according to His Will instead of living according to the will of the people around us that we shall find it easier to live without fear, with at a spirit of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 (RNKJV)
7 For יהוה hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

With that spirit Jehovah has given us we can move mountains. Setting our minds on the by Christ renewed relationship we are “set free” and experience the reality of the Proverb,

Proverbs 4:18 (RNKJV)
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

When you find that we are living in dark days please do see the light provided by the Most High and try to take others with you too on the right path of the righteous, being prepared for the day when Jesus is going to return.

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Preceding articles

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Facing our existence every day

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

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Additional literature

  1. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  2. Not or well Ashamed of the gospel and admitting to be a God loving person
  3. Today’s thought “Ability to see that God is not dead” (May 12)
  4. Today’s thought “Blessed people …” (July 27)
  5. Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28)

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That what dwells in man

Converting to Christianity to have all problems solved is not the solution, like some might hope or think.

Though a conversion may help to bring lots of solutions to many problems. In the knowledge that we have to live with our lusts of flesh we can imagine how sin dwells in us. we should know that in us (that is in our flesh) dwells no good thing; for to will is present with us; but how to perform that which is good, we might find not.

We may know what we should do but therefore we do not yet manage to do what we should do.

We may know the Law of God and the Law of man, but like with many governmental laws there are laws we do not take so serious or just put aside because they do not sooth us at that moment. Law of sin is in many people’s their members.

Then you should ask yourself who shall deliver you from this body of death.

“I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but, with the flesh, the law of sin.”

Let us not forget that we can help each other to walk in the Spirit, so that we shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that we cannot do the things that we would.

 

Sex and Drugs and Jesus Christ

Sex and Drugs and Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let us now look at the works of the flesh — this good flesh — for we are asked now to believe that the flesh is a good thing. This is one of the most abhorrent features of this heresy. Here are the works of this good flesh:

“Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (vs. 19-21).

It is only those who sow to the Spirit that shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Those who sow to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. The flesh is weak, unclean, and sinful.

Now, what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God has done, in sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh. Let us consider this. What about this likeness? Moses informs us (Gen. 5:3) that Adam begat a son in his own image and likeness. You would not say the word “likeness” means that Seth was, in any wise, different from Adam.

There is the word, “image.” Suppose the word “image” had been used in this remark of Paul’s: “sent His Son in the image of the earthy nature,” we should then have had this argument — “Ah, you see it is only the image; it is not the nature itself.” Whereas, what does Paul say concerning ourselves in 1 Corinthians 15:49: “We have borne the image of the earthy, and shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Shall we say we have not borne the earthy? Do not we bear the earthy? Yes. Therefore in apostolic language “earthy” and “the image of the earthy” mean the same thing. Upon the same principle, sinful flesh and the likeness of sinful fiesh mean the same thing. And we shall find that the same they are.

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Preceding articles

Different kinds of “things not seen”

Glued to the flesh

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Glued to the flesh

When converted to Christianity so many think they do not have to worry any-more about their acts, with the idea they are saved for ever. They know they are weak and in a certain way they should come to recognise that they are glued at the fleshy body.

Chaos in Flesh

Chaos in Flesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In The New Life, page 39, John Marshall wrote

There are only two states of existence before God:

the flesh and the spirit, darkness and light, death and life. The unbeliever walks

“according to the course of this world . . . according to the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience . . . fulfilling the desires of the flesh . . . and are by nature the children of wrath”.

This is a truth which must be courageously faced. However good, in the worldly sense, however gentle or loving, the unbeliever isdisobedient to God — and it is He who judges, not we ourselves. That is why Paul wrote:

“Do not unite yourself with unbelievers; they are no fit mates for you. What has righteousness to do with wickedness? Can light consort with darkness? Can Christ agree with Belial or a believer join hands with an unbeliever? Can there be a compact between the temple of God and the idols of the heathen? And the temple of the living God is what we are” ( 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, N.E.B.).

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9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

The Catholics may have started their Lenten Season and try to lessen what they normally would eat and cut in entertainment activities. When we look around us we may find a few people who want to take the time to go over to a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.

Many religious observances have fasting in their program.

You should know that it is not bad to have every year some cleaning of the body and mind. Also in the house many may do a Spring cleaning. Abstinence from food or drink or both may be done for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes. All over the world we can find peoples taking abstention which may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent. Fasting has been promoted and practised from antiquity worldwide by physicians, by the founders and followers of many religions, by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.

Since at least the 5th century bce fasting has been used therapeutically. The ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicine, Hippocrates recommended abstinence from food or drink for patients who exhibited certain symptoms of illness.

Beit Hillel is located in Israel

Northern district, Mevo’ot HaHermon council, moshav Beit Hillel

Detail of the Knesset Menorah, Jerusalem: Hillel the Elder teaching a man the meaning of the whole Torah while he stands on one foot

In almost every rabbinic book we can find mention of 9 Adar as a fast day. Though we must admit that during the last 2,000 years, not many Jews actually observed it. According to tradition, 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, the two great schools of thought during the Mishnaic period, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law. The 1st century Jewish scholar Shammai was the most eminent contemporary, an important figure in Judaism‘s core work of rabbinic literature, the Mishnah, and the halakhic opponent of Hillel, the highest authority among the Pharisees (predecessors to Rabbinic Judaism), founder of the House of Hillel school for Tannaïm (Sages of the Mishnah) and the founder of a dynasty of Sages who stood at the head of the Jews living in the Land of Israel until roughly the fifth century of the Common Era.

Hillel was the head of the great school, at first associated with Menahem the Essene, who might be the same Menahem the Essene as the one mentioned by Flavius Josephus in relation to King Herod, afterward with Shammai, Hillel’s peer in the teaching of Jewish Law. The family of Jesus Christ also belonged to the Essenes.

Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai were both disciples of Shemaya and Avtalyon as well as the last of the Zugos. (The five generations of Zugos were Jose ben Joezer and Jose ben Jochanan, Joshua ben Perachiah and Nitai HaArbeli, Judah ben Tabbai and Shimon ben Shatach, Shemaya and Avtalyon, and Hillel and Shammai.) Both were fearless upholders of the Torah’s honour, standing up to Herod and brooking no mockery of Judaism.

Due to increased Roman persecution, Hillel and Shammai their disciples were unable to analyze new situations as deeply as Jewish scholars once could. As a result, the emerging scholars broke off into two schools of thought, known as Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel or Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, and wound up disputing more than 300 cases. This beginning of large-scale argumentation (machlokes) is viewed by the Talmud as a sad diminution in Torah scholarship, which, due to the lack of clarity, had drastic results for the Jewish people.

At first the scholars personally treated each other with great love and respect. But according to various sources 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law, killing as many as 3,000 students in the fighting which should have been avoided.

We can take 9 Adar as a cautionary tale. There is a timely and pressing need to examine how the model of machloket l’shem shamayim (dispute for the sake of Heaven) between Beit Hillel, which produced 14 generations of great leaders, spanning nearly 400 years, and guiding the Jewish people through some of their most difficult times, and Beit Shammai devolved into a Jewish civil war. The lesson from that occasion is that

if we don’t work to resolve conflict peaceably and in a way in which everyone walks out stronger and the community is strengthened,

notes Nurit Bachrach, director of Mosaica: The Center for Consensual Conflict Resolution.

9Adar9 Adar, may be looked at as a day we should recognize the urgency to impart skills for constructive conflict to future Jewish leaders and therefore the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution has therefore chosen this day to be the international Jewish Day of Constructive Conflict (machloket l’shem shamayim), dedicated to both the study and practice of Judaism and conflict resolution.

People need to have their minds open for different thoughts. They should always try to negotiate with those of other opinions and should always remember that all people are creations of the Most High, in His image, which we should show respect.

As in any community there may be different thoughts or different schools. All created in the image of God should respect the others around them. We also should know that nobody can know everything, but God. We as fallible human beings shall have to try to work things out. God has given us time to do that. He also has given His Word and His Law, which we remembered this last weekend. That Torah or Written Law should be our guide. We should follow those instructions.

There are 18 ways you or your organization can participate in your home, workplace, synagogue, school and community, recalling the 18 matters over which the conflict erupted.

Traditional Fast Day Customs (Minhagim)

  1. Fast (ta’anit)
  2. Fast from destructive speech (ta’anit dibbur)
  3. Contribute (tzedakah)
  4. Self-reflect (teshuvah)
  5. Pray (tefilah)
  6. Cook/eat (se’udah)

 

Learn/Teach (Talmud Torah)

  1. Write
  2. Study/Read/listen
  3. Give a dvar torah (words of Torah)
  4. Teach
  5. Announce/share/tell
  6. Create

 

Be a Rodef Shalom for the Day

  1. Sign/Create a Rodef Shalom Agreement (Haskamah)
  2. Greet others as a rodef shalom
  3. Be a rodef shalom in your own conflicts
  4. Be a rodef shalom for others in conflict
  5. Be a rodef shalom by facilitating a constructive conversation
  6. Invite a professional rodef shalom

 

On this day it is also important that we do think about the reason why we received the Torah and how we should use it as a guide to construct our life. If we want to be a Child of God we should behave like one. As children of God we do have to feel like brothers and sisters of each other, respecting and loving each other, trying together to please our heavenly Father.

When we treasure our friendship with the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, we should strive to please Him in every aspect of our life, including our thoughts. Preparing ourselves for the coming period, living up to Erev Pesach or 14 Nisan on Monday April the 10th in 2017 and hoping to have a joyful Pesach the next two days days, we may take the coming days to think how we can better our life and cleanse our inner soul. Fasting, or trying not to be tempted by certain things we so love, is a good way to train our self.

Everybody has to work at himself or herself to come to have “a pure heart”. This has to happen by focusing our minds on what is chaste, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (Ps. 24:3, 4; 51:6; Phil. 4:8) Granted, Jehovah makes allowances for our imperfect nature. He knows that we are prone to improper desires. But we do have to recognize that it saddens Him when we nurture wrong thoughts instead of doing all we can to reject them. (Gen. 6:5, 6) Therefore let us remember those squabbling studious Jewish followers of Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai, and make sure that we do not fall in the trap of discussing so much smaller things that they grow above our head into something which would bring us to fight and do something against the Will of the Most High.

Going up to the days of Pesach we can take time to meditate on the Word of God plus His Works and to reflect on our way of living. It can be a good thing to avoid being tempted to eat or drink certain things we love, and to stand still by those who were going day in day out through the desert, hoping to find the promised Holy Land soon. We too still have our hopes on the Holy Land and look forward to see it coming to a time of peace. We therefore should take enough time to consider what it is what God wants and to come to accept that Jews, Christians and Muslims should all be partakers of that Holy Land. In the end all the world should know that the Kingdom of God shall be the place for all lovers of God, no matter from which school they came of from which denomination they were part of. Jerusalem shall be the capital of God’s Kingdom here on earth and there shall be place enough for all those who want to do the Will of God.

Doing the Will of God should be our aim. To do that Will of God we may only worship One True God and keep ourselves away form all sorts of heathen rites and traditions. So, if you want to fast, do it, but do it with a pure heart, not mixing with pagan traditions and keep your thoughts chaste or spotless. An important way to show our complete reliance on Jehovah is by making our fight against unclean thoughts and staying restraint a matter of prayer. When we draw close to Jehovah in prayer, he draws close to us. He generously gives us his holy spirit, thus strengthening our resolve to resist immoral thoughts and remain chaste. Let us these days remember that and let peace grow in our hearts and share it with others around us.

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Preceding articles

Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!

From the Ramadan into the eid

Your Future

7 Ways To Become A Better Christian

Reactions against those of the other sex

Glimlach raam naar je ziel

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  3. Gone astray, away from God
  4. Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day
  5. First mention of a solution against death 7 Human sacrifice
  6. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  7. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  9. Lenten Season and our minds and hearts the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live

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Other related articles

  1. The other way around?
  2. A Moment of Bliss
  3. Lent
  4. Day 0 – The Preparation, The Mission
  5. Catholic-Judeo Spirituality of Fasting: It’s all about squealing with joy
  6. Why Catholics Observe Lent Uniquely
  7. Daily Mass: Fasting for God. Catholic Inspiration
  8. Lent is Here and I’m Late Posting This!
  9. Five Reasons Not to Observe Lent*
  10. What Did You Give Up For Lent?
  11. Fasting For… (3.4.2017)
  12. Meditation on Lent: Good Gifts
  13. Lent – An Invitation to Joy
  14. Facebook Fast
  15. Soul Food: Lent Temptation cakes
  16. Begone, Satan!
  17. Why is Fasting So Difficult For Me?
  18. Day 3 Fasting & Abstinence: Good Read
  19. Lent Day 4: 3/4/2017
  20. Day 4 Fasting: Day of Temptations
  21. Taking the Other Seriously
  22. What Does God Really Want From Us this Lent?
  23. The Unbiblical Nature of the Lenten Season!
  24. March 2017 Fasting Log
  25. “Why Do You Fast?”
  26. My Fast is Finished but God’s Not
  27. It is well with my soul
  28. Lent Day 5: 3/5/2017
  29. Day 5 Fasting & Abstinence: Blessed Sunday
  30. Healing crisis
  31. Fasting Opens Us Up
  32. slob days
  33. Fasting Echoes Joy
  34. Lent 6 ~ Fasting to Repair and Restore
  35. Lent Day 6: 3/6/2017
  36. Day 6 Fasting: Adjustment Over
  37. 1029
  38. 100 days to Ramadan
  39. Aiming for an outstanding Ramadan The holy month of Ramadan this year is going to start at the end of May.
  40. Targets for Ramadan
  41. Daily News Egypt: Twitter reveals increase of users’ activities in Ramadan
  42. Fasting Tips for New Muslims
  43. When Is Laylatul Qadr?
  44. Praying Maghrib and Esha in Jamaat in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  45. Prolonged Du’a in Sujood and Tashahud in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  46. Doing Good Deeds in The Last 10 Blessed Days of Ramadaan
  47. Tips for The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  48. “Better Than:” The Spirit of Fasting
  49. Detox

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Reactions against those of the other sex

Lust in the Dust

Lust in the Dust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you’re genuinely born of God, you’ll be growing to be an overcomer as you deal with the temptations around you — the world, the flesh, and the adversary.

When becoming a Christian you decided to become a child of God and to live according His statutes. You have put your old life aside and made the decision to take on an other life, one in accordance to God’s Law.

As a Christian you should try to please God and have your thoughts focused on the right things.

According to 1 John 5:4,

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

The word overcome implies a struggle, getting over something. that what is not easy, that what tempts us, that what can bring us from our position and get us on the wrong path. Also having the wrong ideas like Peter had, can make us being called ourselves an adversary or satan.

Human race is a weak one. And men are for sure not the strongest of the humans. In many religions that is taken in consideration. In some Muslim cultures it goes so far that they say women have to hide their contours and faces for men, because otherwise they would tempt them too much and man is not able to be counted for his deeds in such instances.

In our western culture you would think men and women would respect each other. But still too often we hear stories of men going too far and taking women as a subject or just an object to be used. The previous posting is a good example of this.

"Idle Thoughts", 1898

“Idle Thoughts”, 1898 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It can well be when a man sees a woman that his mind goes off dreaming and fantasying. The same for women, when they see certain men, they also can have their thoughts going into fantasy world. In such circumstances it is important that we know how far we can have our thoughts linger away. For sure our physical reactions may not bring the other person in shyness or quandary.

Being confronted with ‘toppling thoughts’ we should come to our senses and remember the lesson about the eyes and fornication. We may look at the other sex, but how and how long we look in which way makes a difference

We’re faced with an adversary whom we must overcome. Our adversary is identified in 1 John 2:14 as the wicked one:

“I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.”

John went on in the next verses to say:

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. . . . For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-17).

Life has to offer a lot of lust. Daily we can be confronted with lust and temptation, of all sorts. How we cope with it is important.

You may not be victorious over every temptation every time, but you’ll make progress in gaining more victories and losing less battles as you grow stronger in Christ and in the power of the abiding Word of God.

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Preceding article: Part of a great team but also of gender discrimination

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Find also

  1. Because men choose to go their own way
  2. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  3. Satan the evil within
  4. What others think about the tree of knowledge of good and evil
  5. Object of first woe
  6. Gainsayers In Apostolic Days
  7. A look at materialism
  8. Material gain to honour God
  9. Summermonths and consumerism
  10. Savouring pictorial entertainment
  11. Belonging to or being judged by
  12. Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God
  13. Temptation in matrimony
  14. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  15. The Cares of Life
  16. Wondering
  17. A love not exempting us from trials
  18. When the wind blows hard on a tree
  19. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  20. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  21. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  22. Signs of the Last Days
  23. Salvation and Righteousness
  24. Hebraic Roots Bible 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee fornication and be joined to our Master
  25. Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality

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Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

In the previous articles we have spoken about the world clinching to material wealth like velcrostrips hoping to have all luck in the world.

The materialistic desires have conquered the world. Those who know were they come from and Who they should honour do know they should not give their love to material things.

15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world.+ If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him;+ 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh+ and the desire of the eyes+ and the showy display of one’s means of life*—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. (1 John 2:15, 16)

In the articles we also could see how many love to be moulded by this system of things. (Romans 12:2) The worldly desires have run high in our society, but at other times people also fell for those distractions and attractions.

It Conquered the World

It Conquered the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The love of money or the desire to amass riches and possess material things can corrupt the heart, leading a Christian to do things that go against God’s will. A few have become dishonest at work, have cheated others, or have even stolen money or objects that do not belong to them.

Lots of people do have many things of which they want to boast of is this. Lots of people also do think man is full of wisdom and that they have ‘most’ wisdom’. They do not want to look into their conscience which might bear witness. They are full of fleshly wisdom.

Material pursuits may bring on anxiety. For example, some complicate their lives by living beyond their means. Others have been enticed by get-rich-quick schemes and risky financial investments. For others, secular education as a means to attain financial success becomes a snare. The Bible warns: “Those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and ruin.”

However, those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation+ and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires,+ which plunge men into destruction and ruin.+ 10 For the love+ of money is a root+ of all sorts of injurious things,*+ and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.+ (1 Timothy 6:9, 10).

Essential to not being drawn into a materialistic way of life is cultivating the ability to distinguish between right and wrong when making decisions. This ability is developed by regularly partaking of ‘solid spiritual food belonging to mature people’ and by ‘having our perceptive powers trained through use.’ (Hebrews 5:13, 14) Making sure “of the more important things” when setting priorities will also safeguard us from making wrong choices.

And this is what I continue praying, that YOUR love may abound+ yet more and more with accurate knowledge*+ and full discernment;*+ 10 that YOU may make sure of the more important things,+ so that YOU may be flawless+ and not be stumbling+ others up to the day of Christ, 11 and may be filled with righteous fruit,+ which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.+ (Philippians 1:9,10,11).

A materialistic life-style can blind us, leaving little or no time for spiritual pursuits.
How can we examine ourselves and avoid being ensnared by such a life-style?
We need to consider prayerfully how and to what extent we can simplify our life. King Solomon of ancient Israel said:

“Sweet is the sleep of the one serving, regardless of whether it is little or much that he eats; but the plenty belonging to the rich one is not permitting him to sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12)

Does taking care of unnecessary material possessions consume a lot of our time and energy? The more we own, the more we have to maintain, insure, and protect.
Could it be to our advantage to simplify our life by freeing ourselves of certain belongings?

Lennon (right) performing "All You Need I...

Lennon (right) performing “All You Need Is Love” with The Beatles in 1967 to 400 million viewers of “Our World”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We think life can much be easier when not loving the material things and not focusing on the world and its worldly life.

On the other hand, by cultivating a healthy fear of displeasing Jehovah, loving justice, and being determined to hold a good conscience, we show that we love “purity of heart.” That love moves us to continue to “conduct ourselves honestly in all things.” (Hebrews 13:18)

18 Carry on prayer+ for us, for we trust we have an honest conscience, as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.+ 19 But I exhort YOU more especially to do this, that I may be restored to YOU the sooner.+ (Hebrews 13:18

When we act uprightly, honesty can result in a fine witness.

Emilio, an Italian Witness who works as a driver for a public transport company, found a wallet containing 470 euros ($680, U.S.). To the surprise of his colleagues, he handed the wallet to his supervisor, who later gave the wallet to the person who had lost it. Some of Emilio’s colleagues were so impressed by his conduct that they became interested in the Bible and started to study. As a result, seven people from two families have accepted the truth. Yes, behaving honestly from a pure heart really can move others to praise God.Titus 2:10.

Materialism may not seem to be an issue of loyalty, but it is. Do we trust in Jehovah’s promise to provide what we really need?

33 “Keep on, then, seeking* first the kingdom and his righteousness,+ and all these [other] things will be added to YOU.+ 34 So, never be anxious about the next day,+ for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.  (Matthew 6:33-34)

Let [YOUR] manner of life be free of the love of money,+ while YOU are content+ with the present things.+ For he has said: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.”+ (Hebrews 13:5)

Rather than striving to obtain at any cost some of the “better” things in life that are presently beyond our reach, can we do without them? (Read Philippians 4:11-13.) Are we tempted to forgo theocratic privileges in order to get what we want now? Does loyal service to Jehovah have first place in our life? Our answers will largely depend on whether we are wholehearted in our service to God or not.

“It is a means of great gain,”

wrote the apostle Paul,

“this godly devotion along with self-sufficiency. For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”—1 Timothy 6:6-8.

In a revelation to the apostle John toward the close of the first century, the glorified Jesus Christ delivered a message to the congregation located in Laodicea, Asia Minor. It was a warning message against materialism. Though materially rich, Laodicean Christians were bankrupt spiritually. Instead of continuing to walk by faith, they allowed material possessions to blind their spiritual vision. (Revelation 3:14-18) Materialism has a similar effect today. It weakens our faith and causes us to stop ‘running with endurance the race’ for life. (Hebrews 12:1) If we are not careful, the “pleasures of this life” can smother spiritual activities to the point that they are “completely choked.”

14 As for that which fell among the thorns, these are the ones that have heard, but, by being carried away by anxieties and riches and pleasures+ of this life, they are completely choked and bring nothing to perfection.+ (Luke 8:14).

Time ran out for the world of Noah’s day, and it will run out for the present system of things. The apostle Peter assures us:

“Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.”

Neither the symbolic heavens — wicked governments — nor the symbolic earth — mankind alienated from God — will survive the heat of God’s burning anger. Indicating how we can prove ourselves ready for that day, Peter exclaims:

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah!”—2 Peter 3:10-12.

A key to spiritual protection is contentment rather than the use of this world to the full and the enrichment of ourselves materially. (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 Timothy 6:6-8) We as such do not have to look so much at the world of mankind or the kingdom of mankind but at the world of the Kingdom of God. When we walk by faith and not by sight, we find joy in the present spiritual paradise. As we partake of nourishing spiritual food, are we not moved to “cry out joyfully because of the good condition of the heart”? (Isaiah 65:13, 14) Moreover, we take delight in our association with those who manifest the fruitage of God’s spirit.

22 On the other hand, the fruitage+ of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law.+ 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus impaled* the flesh together with its passions and desires.+ (Galatians 5:22, 23)

How vital that we find satisfaction and refreshment in what Jehovah provides in a spiritual way!

Some questions we do well to ask ourselves are:

‘What place do material things occupy in my life? Am I using the material possessions I have to live a life of pleasure or to promote true worship? What brings me the greatest satisfaction? Is it Bible study and fellowship at Christian meetings, or is it weekends away from Christian responsibilities? Do I reserve many weekends for recreation instead of using such time for the field ministry and other activities in connection with pure worship?’

Our regularly attending Christian meetings and sharing in preaching the good news are included among the necessary acts and deeds of godly devotion. May we perform them with heartfelt devotion to God while we wait patiently for Jehovah’s great day. Let us “do [our] utmost to be found finally by [God] spotless and unblemished and in peace.”—2 Peter 3:14.

Walking by faith means that we keep busy in the Kingdom work, with full trust in Jehovah’s promises.

58 Consequently, my beloved brothers, become steadfast,+ unmovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord,+ knowing that YOUR labor is not in vain*+ in connection with [the] Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58).

+

Preceding articles:

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

For The Love of Stuff

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Watch out

Thought of the day: We want more, i want more, but why is that?

Mini-MAX-malism: A Bigger Approach to Less is More

Less… is still enough

Less for more

The Art of Doing Less – Your Time is Finite

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

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Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Greed more common than generosity
  3. Some one or something to fear #2 Attitude and Reactions
  4. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  5. Some one or something to fear #4 Families and Competition
  6. Struggles of life
  7. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  8. Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression
  9. Daily portion of heavenly food
  10. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late!
  11. How should we react against the world
  12. A call easy to understand
  13. Followers with deepening
  14. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)
  15. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  16. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  17. Count your blessings
  18. God should be your hope
  19. Always set a place in your life for the unexpected guest
  20. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  21. Be a ready giver
  22. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  23. Bearing fruit
  24. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  25. What’s church for, anyway?
  26. Making church
  27. Meeting – Vergadering
  28. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  29. Gathering or meeting of believers
  30. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  31. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  32. Breathing and growing with no heir
  33. Breathing to teach
  34. Reasons to come together
  35. God won’t ask
  36. Communion and day of worship
  37. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment

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Further reading:

21 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters

Watch out

Expectations have to be build on hope, believe and faith. Without believe in him or herself a person shall not be able to get somewhere hoped so easily.

Believing in yourself is the first requirement to get forwards. Having a positive attitude and willingness to dream is the second requirement to get somewhere. Every human being shall have to face difficulties. It is how he or she can cope with it which is going to influence his or her life in the positive or negative way. Going through quite a lot of struggles even can make somebody stronger, more resistant. What is important then is ‘to never give up!’

Others may consider you to be a clown, a swaggerer, a dreamer, or a loony or stupid one. Let no negative reactions stand in the way and go for what you want to achieve. Without dreams nothing can be build up.

If things would not go how you want it, you should try to adjust them so that they can work for you. No matter what you try, how it works out, how negative reactions may be, keep trying, keep going forward trying to pursuing your dream.
Whatever happens try to see the positive in it and always be ready to pursue your happiness. That is the positive lesson in our life where we should keep at.

There always have to be motivation to may the dreams work, but some kind of realism is also necessary to not fall to deep in a well. We always should be careful not pursuing our goal out of greed or lechery. Leering at something materialistic can bring us in a spiral where we do not have an eye for the human thing and spiritual matter. A person can become overtaken by the power of money by the desire to have financial gain, more than spiritual gain.The desires of the flesh can break a person instead of building him up to become a better person. We always have to be careful where we want to set our priorities in life.

Today we can find more people who love wealth and modern gadgets? Wealth has become their biggest motivation. when they are young it may be working very well, and they can love it to swim in their fulfilling dreams of material wealth. But what about their spiritual wealth? Are they interested in that also?

It is not by going to have the latest model of phone or pc tablet a person is going to find the real luck and staying happiness. Soon the phone shall be an old model and the person shall be feeling again not so happy because he has not the newest model any more.

It is good to see and to know you need your “best friends” for ever, around you, because they will be there at the more difficult times and they shall be ready to catch you when you fall down. Because each person has to grow up and learn things by falling and standing up again. And that last bit is very important. Never to get so frustrated that you do not want to get up any more. Everybody can mess up things. To start over again is what you have to dare. Do not stand still by what happened, but get up to try again and go every-time in a new adventure.
You have to keep believing in your dreams and aspirations, no matter what negative things may happen or others may say. But never forget also to be realistic and be taken in account others around you. Never go over death bodies to reach your goal and always stay honest to make it come true.

The biggest difficulty to conquer when trying to build up a financial wealthy life, shall be the ‘sharing bit’. Without willing to give also to others, without allowing others also to have part of what you have, no real happiness shall come into your life. Around the corner shall always be the material egoism and the avarice, which by some even can turn in the acquisitive and stingy. We always should be careful not to become so greedy or money-grubbing. That is not going to bring happiness, though it may be very attractive at a young age. the jealousy of others can also bring bullying with it, making you feeling so alone, being cast out. And people do need other people.

By changing yourself to fit in for others it never is going to work. A person has to stay his Own. You have to believe in yourself, accept yourself for who and what you are. Without the love for yourself you can not give the right love for the other. Also be sure that in case the others only would become your friend because you changed yourself to their way of thinking, than they would not be the right friends. Good friends are those who are willing you for what you are and respect your own personality, your real ‘I’.
Adapting to people is not the right way and shall not bring the solution. Trying to impress people is what many today try, with their gadgets, their capital gain, their way of clothing and their loose way of living. Presenting their world better than it really is. Look at so many Facebook postings which try to present ‘the would like to be’ people and would like to be ‘friends‘. Always try to stay your own self, being honest to yourself and being honest to others, respecting them, also if they do not fit your plan or dreams, or would not agree with your personality. By time they will turn by and get to know your true self and shall come to respect you too.

Without dreams, hopes and aspirations no new worlds can be build, so keep dreaming, keep going forwards, and above all always stay positive.

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Please do find also:

  1. Greed more common than generosity
  2. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  3. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  4. Gender connections
  5. Within despair
  6. Preparedness to change
  7. Getting fate in your change to positiveness
  8. Helping to create a Positive Attitude
  9. With Positive Attitude
  10. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  11. Your struggles develop your strengths
  12. Pain and Suffering is inevitable but Misery is optional
  13. Your struggles develop your strengths
  14. When discouraged facing opposition
  15. Begin your day by, Living your positive attitude
  16. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  17. How we think shows through in how we act
  18. Don’t be the weakest link
  19. Be a ready giver
  20. 30 things to start doing for yourself – #6 is vital.
  21. Count your blessings
  22. God should be your hope
  23. Always set a place in your life for the unexpected guest

+++

Other articles of interest:

  1. Celebrating diversity by looking the same?
  2. Gender Roles & Self Sacrifice
  3. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
  4. Positivism and The Quantity Theory of Money
  5. If you’re afraid to do it, do it afraid.
  6. Positivism for Millennium 3

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  • Global education and the ‘American Dream’ (universityworldnews.com)
    Put most simply, the ‘American Dream’ is the belief that everyone has a reasonable chance – although not a guarantee – of achieving success through means under their own control. It is the assurance that personal qualities such as hard work, frugality, honesty and self-discipline can make for a good life, however you (or I) may define that.
    +
    Poorly conceived, however, global education, like the American Dream itself, can overemphasise the pursuit of material wealth and leave learners ignorant of how systemic and structural inequalities in most, if not all, societies frustrate so many dreamers and so many of their dreams.
    +
    The recent movement by some scholars to calculate the gross domestic happiness of a country, in contrast with a simple financial measure, both expands the universe of goods constituting success and allows for cultural variety within this expanded universe.Other cogent criticisms of the American Dream focus on the socio-economic and institutional obstacles to the achievement of success by disadvantaged or disenfranchised groups, which may include women, racial, ethnic or religious minorities, the poor or their children.

    From this perspective, the American Dream offers a false promise of fair and equal opportunity to achieve success by ignoring the many ways in which the social order fails to recognise and reward merit.

  • What is your dream job ? (beautiful69.wordpress.com)

    Most people I know have a dream. In fact, I’ve asked hundreds, if not thousands, of people about their dream. Some willingly describe it with great detail and enthusiasm.
    Others are reluctant to talk about it. They seem embarrassed to say it out loud. These people have never tested their dream. They don’t know if others will laugh at them. They’re not sure if they’re aiming too high or too low. They don’t know if their dream is something they can really achieve or if they’re destined to fail.

  • A Journey Toward Your Goals (robertjrgraham.blogspot.com)
    Too many of us assume if we just have a larger goal in mind and work towards it then success will follow. Well, guess what?! This rarely works in practice. All of us have dreams, but to be truly effective at goal achievement we need to focus on the path toward the goal and let the ultimate dream be our motivation.
    +
    Set realistic goals. This doesn’t mean that you should not aim for the stars. However, keep a realistic state of mind, taking into account your level of talent and capabilities, as well as, your individual situation. If you presently don’t possess the talents or qualifications to reach your goal, make sure that one of your short-term goals is to acquire some of those skills so that you can reach your long-term goal.
  • Sebastiano Serafini 030 – Dream a little every day – (sebastianoserafini.wordpress.com)
    In order to live our lives without limits we must be willing to never let our imaginations die, and we must never forbid ourselves from dreaming at least a little bit every day. Without our dreams we have nothing in our lives to reach for or to go after.
  • 10 Habits Of People Who Follow Their Dreams (theunboundedspirit.com)
    People who are true to their purpose and are really successful didn’t always get there because they had the financial means to do so or were just lucky enough to have been brought up in a confidence boosting environment. There are actually a few common habits that have helped them get to where they are.

    People who are true to their purpose and are really successful didn’t always get there because they had the financial means to do so or were just lucky enough to have been brought up in a confidence boosting environment. There are actually a few common habits that have helped them get to where they are. The best part is that these are habits that anyone can attain! – See more at: http://theunboundedspirit.com/10-habits-of-people-who-follow-their-dreams/#sthash.lfFd7SzI.dpuf
  • Greed is Wrong, But What About Wealth Itself? (palamas.info)
    Is it morally wrong to pursue wealth? The question was asked because both of my conversation partners had heard from different priests that in fact, yes, the pursuit of wealth is wrong. Christians especially, we are frequently told, should not seek to become wealthy but focus our lives on more noble goals.  On the one hand I agree with this. Wealth is not an end in itself and to make becoming wealthy the sole, or even central, goal of one’s life is not compatible with a wholesome human life much less the Gospel. While granting that working to become wealthy simply for the sake of becoming wealthy is immoral, does this mean that is it morally wrong to pursue wealth? In other words, it is sinful to want—and so to work to become—wealthy?
  • Virtuous egoism (profitableandmoral.com)
    Egoism is virtuous because it makes possible the achievement our long-term well-being and happiness without initiating physical force on others. The moral justification of egoism is that it makes it possible for us—who don’t have automatic knowledge about the goals we should pursue and about the means to reach them—to achieve our values in the long-term: to survive and to be happy. It is a moral code for living and flourishing.
    Starting from the premise that the pursuit of self-interest is moral and necessary for our well-being and happiness, Ayn Rand identified seven egoist virtues—principles that define the actions required to achieve long-term self-interest: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, and pride. Rand and others have written much about these virtues, so here I focus only on rationality, the primary virtue on which the others rest. Rationality guides us to use reason—to adhere to reality through observation and logic—as “our only means of knowledge, our only judge of values, and our only guide to action.”
  • Chasing Your Dreams (landeniv.wordpress.com)

    “Go after your dream, no matter how unattainable others think it is.”

    “Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.”

    “It’s not enough to dream your dreams. You’ve got to pursue your dreams.”
  • Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams (sarahcolevaondemand.wordpress.com)
    Every day you are faced with a choice and that is, do you pursue your dream with determination and zeal or do you sit and wait for that dream to materialize by itself?  I believe in taking action steps every day in order to be a participant in the realization of our dreams.
  • Pursuing the Guyanese dream (guyanatimesgy.com)
    Hundreds of Guyanese are now in a position where it is possible for them to pursue the Guyanese dream, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances, ethnicity or political beliefs.The Guyanese dream refers to a situation in which nationals possess the ability to access equal opportunities to work and recreation. It also refers to the ability to achieve prosperity and a higher standard of living through hard work and determination.

    The Guyanese dream is founded on the principle of a realistic society where there are high levels of religious, political and social tolerance. It contemplates a situation where a largely mixed, plural and diverse cultural and ethnic society can co-exist with little or no conflict.

Anthony's au pair experience

I realized something.
It came to me rather slow.
I was pursuing a thing,
I barely even know.
Living up to people’s expectations.
Doing what others think is best.
Handling a lot of limitations.
Maybe this was all a test?
I must say, by all means,
Realizing this is not the way.
Living other peoples dreams,
While mine are slowly fading away.
Missing out on opportunities.
Missing my life because others take it away.
Being part of all those communities.
Being part of something where I have nothing to say.
Time to step up my game and live my life.
Not the one other’s tell me to live.
Time to step it up and go all in on my thrive.
Believe me, I have a lot to give.
My motivation is enormous,
My dedication is grand.
Watch out for my performance,
‘Cause everything is going as planned.
You can be…

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by | 2014/07/15 · 12:00 pm