Psalms 73-74 -
No doubt about it, God is good- good to good people, good to the good-hearted, but I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way, looking up to the people at the top, envying the wicked who had it made, who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.
When I was beleaguered & bitter, totally consumed by envy, I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence. I’m still in your presence but you’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me and then you bless me...
2 Timothy 2 -
When the going gets tough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did.
This is a sure thing: If we die with him, we’ll live with him. If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him; If we turn our back on him, he’ll turn his back on us; If we give up on him, he does not give up on us-- for there is no way he can be false to himself.
Repeat these basis essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing our best for God.
Stay clear of pious talk. Words are not mere words, you know, if they are not backed by a godly life, they accumulate like poison in the soul.
In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters but waste cans and compost buckets - some containers are used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessings.
Run away from infantile indulgences. Run after mature righteousness-- faith, love. peace-- joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God.
Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights.
God’s servants must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey.