Man’s Laws vs. God’s Commands

If you think about it, God really does not make many demands of us. Look at it this way; there are over a million federal laws on the books but God only has 10 commandments!

If you think about it, God really does not make many demands of us.  Look at it this way; there are over a million federal laws on the books but God only has 10 commandments!

Simply put if we follow and obey the first two commands, then all the rest of them will fall into place.  As evidence by what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

As we come to God on the altar of prayer we can live out these two commandments in three ways:

First – On the altar of prayer:  We can express that we love the Lord with all of our heart, our soul and our mind.

Second – On the altar of prayer: We can express our love for our neighbor by praying for them.

Third – On the altar of prayer: We can straighten out relationships with our neighbor by asking God for His wisdom.

So, today let’s go to the altar of prayer to praise the Lord for His glory, His intelligence, His love and His grace.

Let us pray: “Father we marvel at the simple elegance of how you govern us. Instead of a ton of complicated laws you give us 10 easy to understand commandments to follow.  I ask today that you help us cut through the clutter that we create; so that we can see how easy it is to love you.  And it is in the wonderful name of your son, Jesus, we pray… Amen.”

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a business strategist professional speaker and writer. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

 

Many Royals fans have told me that they are “just happy” to be in the World Series. After 29 years of being out of the playoffs, the “just happy” position is a totally understandable reaction to years of frustration. However, in life, as in sports, we should not settle for being good and “just happy”; when greatness and being a champion is at our disposal.

In 1991, my baseball team, the Atlanta Braves played in the franchise’s first   World Series in thirty-three years. This was the first World Series my team had been a part of in my lifetime hence, I was “just happy” that they made it.   However, as the series moved along something changed. I went from “just happy” to wanting and expecting them to win. When we lost in game seven to the Minnesota Twins I was greatly disappointed.

Many Royals fans have told me that they are “just happy” to be in the World Series.  After 29 years of being out of the playoffs, the “just happy” position is a totally understandable reaction to years of frustration. However, in life, as in sports, we should not settle for being good and “just happy”; when greatness and being a champion is at our disposal.

Needless to say, every team will not be like the San Francisco Giants who in the last 5 years, are on the brink of winning a 3rd championship; and with the Kansas City Royals playing in the American League, you know when New York or Boston will outspend them to a title. Therefore, getting back to this stage will be difficult; if not impossible.

Well, the same is true for us. We may not get another chance at that sale, interview, relationship or time with our family. So, we should stop settling for “just happy”. The time to win a championship is now! My Braves, despite making it to the fall classic again in 1992, did not win it until 1995. Then, they lost again in 1996 and 1999. It has been 15 years; and we have gone without planning in the last baseball games of the year.

People who go far in business and life do so by not settling for “just happy”; especially when greatness is obtainable. Therefore, from one baseball fan to another, root like heck, for the Royals to win. Then, expect them to win! When we set higher standards and reach for them, we will obtain greatness. “Just happy” will turn into “Jubilation for a lifetime!” Isn’t that the only way to play the game, do business and to live our lives?

Royal fans I won’t be “just happy” when the team takes the field on Tuesday. I will be rooting for the win and expecting greatness!

 

To Tell The Truth

We have to learn to overcome the temptation to lie. However, it can be frustrating at times. Our nature and the world around us promotes deception we can stop the lies, the deceptions, and the sin that accompany these actions by simply asking God for help.

Exodus 20:16: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Why should the simple act of telling the truth be so hard?

The ninth commandment reminds us not to lie. We all know the virtues of telling the truth:

  • The truth clarifies
  • The truth verifies
  • The truth emphasizes

God Despises Liars

And while the truth can hurt it is always right to tell it. Because every time we tell a lie we move farther away from God.

Proverbs 11:5 reminds us that the “Godly are directed by honesty.”  When we give our moral compass over to God, He will direct our lives, bringing hope when there is none. He will bring healing where there was pain and truth where there were lies.

There are greater consequences to lying, than whether or not we get caught. David in Psalm 4-6 makes God’s position very clear about lying when he declares that the Lord will destroy those who tell lies. Next David pairs lies with murders and tells the world that God despises these people.

The Lying Has to Stop

Clearly, if we want to be on the right side with God the lying has to stop. But how?   Our nature and the world around us promotes deception. Look at any ad in a magazine. The amount of airbrushing that goes on deceives all of us that we can possibly look like those individuals, when those models or celebrities don’t even look like that. Commercials, movies, and television demonstrate lying as an acceptable thing to do to “save face” or “protect someone’s feelings.”

Yet, as Christians, we have to learn to overcome the temptation to lie. It can be frustrating at times. Fear is often the biggest emotion to overcome when we face the desire to lie. Yet we must always keep it in our hearts and minds that there is a way to tell the truth that is good. We cannot allow ourselves to give in to our weaknesses and lie. It takes practice, but it can happen.

How to live the 9th Commandment

Kelli Mahoney is an experienced Christian Youth worker and published writer. Blogging on the website About.Com, she outlines several practical ways we can begin living the 9th commandment in a life without lies.

  • Think first.

Sometimes we lie to give an answer to someone quickly. Instead take a deep breath and think about how to say the truth in a tactful way.

  • Keep it real.

Lies aren’t always full untruths. Sometimes we exaggerate or stretch the truth a bit. Even stretching the truth is lying, because there is an element of falseness to it. Sure, we may want to make ourselves look better, but that is selfishness and fear speaking.

  • Set things right.

We have all given into temptation from time to time and lied. We need to try to make it right with the people we have lied to and be willing to face the consequences.

  • Learn tact.

One of the reasons we lie is to protect our friends. Learning to be honest with loved ones can take time, but what it mostly takes is tact. There is a way to be honest that comes across with integrity and love. If your friend looks terrible in green, say so, but say it nicely (“Jules, you know, this would look so much better in blue,” for example).

  • Know the truth hurts sometimes.

Just because you choose to tell the truth doesn’t mean it will always be accepted with open arms. Some people may be hurt by what you have to say. It happens. In the end, though, most people will appreciate the honesty rather than the lies.

Anyone who hates you for being truthful probably has some issue with what’s going on in the first place and doesn’t want the truth at the moment. Yet the fear of someone not wanting to hear the truth should never stop us from telling it. Sometimes God uses us to highlight wrongs in other people’s lives.

Final Thoughts: God will help us handle the truth

There is no problem too big for God. We can stop the lies, the deceptions, and the sin that accompany these actions by simply asking God for help. Start by praying this prayer with me:

“Father, I am a liar and I want to stop. However, I don’t know how and I need your help. I surrender my life to you to change me, and make me into the truthful person that you intended me to be. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your grace and Thank you for your love.”

In Jesus name I pray Amen

Help to Stop Lying

The temptation to lie is a struggle that many of God’s people including me suffer from. However, we don’t have to go it alone, I welcome the opportunity to pray with you and to keep each other accountable. Feel free to send me a note at marben@marbenbland.com . This is my personal email viewed only by me. I welcome our dialogue.

Also See: Have You Been Lied To?

 

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a business strategist professional speaker and writer.   Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com

 

Is This Your Life?

Our lives have been bought with a price because of the amazing sacrifice by Jesus on the cross. So now what should we do with this life? Simply put we need to be born again.

Then the Lord God made man from the dust of the ground. And He breathed into his nose the breath of life. Man became a living being (Genesis 2:7)

This is your life.

You are living.

It is the only life you’ve got…or is it?

Whose Life is it?

Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, that our lives do not belong to us. …and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price. That price, was Jesus’s death on the cross.

Is this your only life?

Jesus promises us: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live… even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. John 11:25

 

So what should we do with this life?

We understand that our lives are not our own. We know that Jesus made an amazing sacrifice. So, we now ask “what should we do with it?”  The answer is simple. We are to be “born again”.

What does it mean to be “Born Again”?

“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3

Jesus made this statement to a man named Nicodemus, ruler of the Jews. Nicodemus had heard Jesus preaching about a new kind of kingdom. He came to Jesus and asked Him the meaning of his teachings about life. Jesus told him that the way to enter this new kingdom was to be born again.

Nicodemus asked “How can a man be born again? Can he enter into his mother’s womb again?” Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the new birth, was not physical; but spiritual. It was the beginning of a new life, in a new kingdom.

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, He used illustrations to help Nicodemus understand. Jesus used a newborn baby, entering life to explain a person, beginning a new life with God.

Born again. A new birth. Saved. These terms all mean the same thing. Jesus used all three to teach Nicodemus. It is important to understand that God made a way. We can be with Him and have new life!

How Can I Be Born Again?

To be born again is remarkably simple it can be accomplished in three simple steps:

Step One: REPENT

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 1 John 1:9

Repent means to turn around; to go in a new direction.

We are not free agents to do as we please; disregarding what our Master wants from us. When we are born again we “die” to sin. Again, this is not a physical death; but a spiritual rebirth. Our selfishness, unholy thoughts and actions are put to death. If we are to be like Christ, then this kind of death and rebirth must be done.

 

Step Two: BELIEVE

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Believe? We must believe that not only did Jesus shed His blood and die for us; but, He rose again from the dead and is alive today.

Step Three: CONFESS

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

It is not enough for us to repent. It is not enough for us to believe. In order to be born again we must publicly confess that Jesus died for our sins and that Jesus is our Savior. We now live for Him.

A prayer for life

This modest prayer will unleash all the power of God’s influence on your life. I invite you to pray it with me:

“God, I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I REPENT, and I ask you to forgive me of all my sin. “I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is your Son; that He shed His blood so I might be forgiven. He rose again from the dead, and He is coming back again. “I CONFESS Him now as my Savior. I will live for you as you show me how. Amen.”

Final Thought: This Will Be Your Life

By saying this prayer you have confirmed that Jesus is Lord and He is in control of your life.   It is my prayer for you that this will be your life.

 

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a business strategist professional speaker and writer.  Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

Death

The certainty of life is that death will occur. “Man that is born of a of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14: (NKJV)

The certainty of life is that death will occur. “Man that is born of a of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14: (NKJV)

Recently, I was speaking with a person who writes obituaries typically, she has about a thousand words to sum up a lifetime of accomplishments, schooling and family. With the average U.S. life expediency of 78.2 years how can one thousand words accurately describe the 28,470 days of our lives.

‘Well done, my good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:21 (NIV) are the words that we as Christians are striving to have as our epitaph. However, because we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory we will never be described as a good and faithful servant who has done well; unless we turn our lives over to God.

Our relationship with God is a lifelong adventure in learning His ways, keeping His commandants, and loving His children. 1st Peter 5:6-7 provides a guidepost for this relationship as we learn to trust Him, love Him and submit to His timeless will: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

  • God cares for you in the high times of our lives.
  • God cares for you in the most difficult times of our lives.
  • And God cares for you when this life is over and rewards us for our faithfulness with everlasting life.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

The certainty of life is that death will occur however, God has made certain that death is not the end. All we have to we have to do is to believe.

 

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a business strategist, professional speaker and writer. Specializing in assisting businesses with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

Truett Cathy The Power of Making it Personal

Truett Cathy, who transformed a small Atlanta area restaurant into the nation’s largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain understood the importance of the power of making it personal. A devout Christian, Cathy brought his faith to his business endeavors.

Untimely success in business and in life is not dependent upon superior knowledge of the details of what we have been assigned to do. Success is entirely dependent upon how we treat and deal with people.

Truett Cathy, who transformed a small Atlanta area restaurant into the nation’s largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain understood the importance of the power of making it personal.   A devout Christian, Cathy brought his faith to his business endeavors, building an enterprise based on the golden rule, ”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“The Closed-on-Sunday” policy is the clearest example of how Cathy incorporated biblical principles into the workplace. Rare within the food service industry, “The Closed-on-Sunday” requires all Chick-fil-A restaurants—without exception to be closed on Sunday.

This policy allows employees a day for family, worship, fellowship or rest and also underscores Cathy’s desire to put principles and people ahead of profits. Yet, being closed on Sunday has not hurt profits as Chick-fil-A has the highest same-store sales in the quick-service chicken restaurant channel.

Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A, founder and chairman emeritus, died on September 8, 2014 at the age of 93. In announcing his death the family reiterated that the “The Closed-on-Sunday” policy will remain in place.

Cathy was often quoted as saying: “I’d like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed. I have always encouraged my restaurant operators and team members to give back to the local community. We should be about more than just selling chicken; we should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.”

Truett Cathy understood the power of making it personal, if we are to be successful we must understand that power as well.

 

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com

Wisdom

In Hebrew the word wisdom means to separate between good and bad, right and wrong. Frequently we are confronted with situations that call for wisdom. Therefore the question is how do we find godly wisdom?

“Happy is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.” Proverbs 3:13-18

In Hebrew the word wisdom means to separate between good and bad, right and wrong.

Situations that call for Godly Wisdom

Frequently we are confronted with situations that call for wisdom. We must make the split second decision between good and bad, right and wrong. Often this choice is clear. However, many times it is not.

  • The law enforcement officer who must make a decision when to fire his weapon.
  • The parent who must decide on how far to go when spanking his child.
  • The spouse who must decide how long to stay with a man that she loves but abuses her.

 

Do we have Godly Wisdom?

These situations directly from the headlines of today calls for wisdom.   And while in hindsight we can easily and clearly say what course of action we would take. How can we ensure that the Godly wisdom to separate between good and bad, right and wrong, left and right, up and down is in our lives when the time comes for us?

  • To give compassion to a person who is trying my last nerve.
  • To give money again to a person who has squandered my money before.
  • To give trust to a person who has proven unworthy of it.

These are not happy circumstances but “Happy is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.

How do we obtain Godly Wisdom?

Therefore the question is how do we find godly wisdom?

In the 3rd Chapter of 1st Kings we find Two harlots had been arguing over an infant—both claiming custody of the boy.

The women bring their dispute to young King Solomon, and this is how he comes to a solution:

“Bring me a sword,” the young king commanded. “Divide the child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other,” the king said.

Then one of women cried out: “O my lord, give her the living child. Do not kill him!”

The other woman coldly replied, “Divide it.”

With that, the king returned the child to his rightful mother. The woman who was willing to give her son away to another instead of having him killed.

The Godly Wisdom of King Solomon

This oft-repeated account is used to exemplify the famous wisdom of King Solomon.

After the incident involving the two women, First Kings 3:28 tells us “…all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment”

Even today, Solomon’s wisdom is renowned the world over. Much of it is summed up in the book of Proverbs. Many verses there are finely polished nuggets of truth: “Iron sharpens iron”—“Go to the ant, you sluggard”—“A soft answer turns away wrath”—“A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself”—“Train up a child in the way he should go”—“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

God makes available to all of us wisdom, to do His will. And to live lives that will be a testament to the Lord’s presence in our lives.

So how do we acquire the “wisdom of Solomon”? It is by learning and applying Solomon’s individual proverbs? Or is by studying and emulating the life of Solomon? Or does wisdom comes to us as we get older?

Four focus for Wisdom

Solomon was wise and we can be wise also by focusing on these four things:

  1. Know that true wisdom comes from God.

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart” I Kings 4:29.

Solomon was wise only because God gave him wisdom. It was God’s wisdom, God’s understanding, and God’s heart that Solomon exercised on behalf of God’s people. We can be wise when we seek wisdom in God not in man.

2. We find and gain wisdom when we fear the Lord and obey His commandments.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Psalm 111:10

God’s commands are so full of wisdom that if we just follow them our lives will be filled wisdom because we are living as God wanted us to do.

 3. Wisdom is not presence without God’s guidance.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

The Lord wants us to be happy and to do His will. And while it may appear that some are prospering without Him. True happiness and wellness are only possible with the Lord’s guidance.

  1. We must ask God for wisdom.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. James 1: 5

It is that simple, if we need wisdom all we have to do is ask, in prayer.

Final Thoughts: Separation between good and bad

In Hebrew the word wisdom means to separate between good and bad, right and wrong.   As we seek God’s wisdom Psalms 143:10 gives us a platform for reflection and prayer: “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

Seek wisdom and you will find The Lord.

 ©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com