Your Daily Dose of Perspective – September 7, 2015

chess-316657_1280Your Daily Dose of Perspective


Did You Knowafghanistan-79493_1280

  • Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
  • 1.1 billion people — a quarter of humanity — live without electricity.
  • 4 billion people live outside the protection of law.


Paradigm Shift

Starting each day can be quite a task! Within seconds of opening our eyes our minds are flooded tasks, responsibilities, hopes, and fears. Some of us might rush to the bathroom, flip on the light switch, and hop in the shower as quickly as possible. Others may methodically file into our daily routines, making coffee and catching up on the morning news. Before we know it, we are inching our way towards mid-day completely immersed with sensory overload and minds working a million miles an hour. The lifeline of our smart phones serve as the very necessary distraction from the mundane as we trudge on fiercely battling mediocrity and purposeless with every every fiber of our being. But for many of us, this is the norm. This is the way the world works: fast and filled with choices galore. And yet, in truth, its really not the norm, at least for the world. The majority did not wake up feeling safe in their homes. A quarter of humanity do not have any aspect of refrigeration as part of their lives. No ice. No cold water dispensers. The majority of the world do not think as we do in our regular day to day because they lack the choices, the means, and the privilege.


What if we could start today taking pause to reflect on these blessings? What if we could trek on life’s journey recognizing the vast amount of choices, conveniences, and privileges that afford us the time to take on more options and choices that most people in the world cannot? Maybe we might take the needed pause and reflect on God’s providence. Maybe we would pray for opportunities to help those around us in need whether it be materially and/or emotionally. Jesus set the bar in the story of the Good Samaritan:

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  And the next day he took out two denariiand gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:30–37 ESV

Let us start today recognizing God’s blessings and seek out ways to show the love of Jesus and the greatest gift there is, the gift of salvation. No blessing is greater than this and nothing reflects the love that God has for His people better.

Faith Has Friends

Faith was never intended to stand alone. In today’s culture we often hear in Christian and Secular rhetoric the phrase, “Have Faith!” And yet the Bible teaches that faith alone does not cut it. James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:13) and more specifically that a person is justified not by faith alone (James 2:24). Faith is no doubt instrumental in our ability to exist in the hope of our salvation through Jesus Christ. However, faith can be so much more than the whimsical emotion accompanying belief. Faith has friends. Faith has fortified compatriots. Peter encourages us, in escaping the corruption of our sinful desires, to:

amazing-736875_1280“…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8)

What valuable teaching for us! The danger and often disaster of pursuing faith alone is the foundationless emotional dependency that is so “wishy-washy” in our lives. How can we grow in our sanctification when we anchor ourselves to our faith alone? No, it was not intended to be this way. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Both Paul and Peter knew that faith is necessary, but it is also just one element in our journey to indulging in and reflecting the love of God. So let us look at these valuable attributes that we are to aspire for in addition to our foundation of faith:

lake-801871_1280Virtue – The attribute of goodness. It is the quintessential effort of aspiring to think and act righteously.

Knowledge – The prize of discovery. This knowledge is acquired from the Holy Spirit as He teaches us through the Bible, prayer, people, and circumstances.

Self-Control – The fortitude of conviction. It is obtained by the recognition that all of our needs are satisfied through Jesus.

Steadfastness – The ability to persevere. Steadfastness exists with peace only when hope is on the forefront of our minds.

Godliness – The purity of our adoption. Because we are only clean by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our godliness exists as we point to Him.

Brotherly Affection – The fellowship of grateful co-heirs. Our ability to look on another and envision them with the grace and love that the Lord sees when He looks upon us.

Love – The greatest of aspirations. To live apart from fear. To live apart from hate. To live, aspiring that in every moment we are grateful for all that God the Father has created, thankful for our salvation through Jesus Christ, and honored that the Holy Spirit is within us, guiding us to become more like Christ.

These seven attributes that we are to aspire for in addition to faith give us a concrete lesson plan for our lives. Thus, when we face the “wishy-washy” nature of our emotions and wonder where the solid ground is, we can look at 2 Peter 1:5-8 and know that faith has friends and we would do well to aspire for them.

A Rising Tide

Do you feel it in the air,
A sense of something coming?
The likes of which you can’t compare,
An insatiable longing?
A growing wave forms steadily,
Just breaking the horizon.
The tide comes in readily
Beyond the bounds of reason.
Oh beckoning breeze, you welcome me
Preemptive of fruition.
Anticipation builds frantically,
A mix of hope and tension.
Some may dread and fear unknown
Recourse of such submission.
They hide away all alone,
Afraid of vain delusion.
But no, not I, my purpose forms.
I’ll hope for nothing less
Than providence amidst the storms.
My life, my King shall bless.