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Author Topic: Lessons On Living  (Read 40682 times)
nChrist
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« Reply #510 on: December 01, 2006, 06:43:30 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living from Solomon
Scripture: Galatians 5:13 John 13:34 Romans 15:7 Colossians 3:13 1 Kings 1:5

The Would-Be King

1 Kings 1:5

Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king"; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

The Would-Be King

Self-centeredness keeps us from truly caring about others. One of the saddest characters in American literature is Willy Loman in Arthur Millerís classic play Death of a Salesman. Poor Willy. He was always going to make that "big sale." He was going to bring home a fortune one dayóthen people would give him the recognition that he truly deserved. But the big sale never came. Willy even boasted of the number of people who would come to his funeral, for everybody loves a salesman. But the only people who attended Willyís funeral were his wife and two sons, the ones whom he neglected most while he played the big shot.

Adonijah was afflicted with the same problem. His father, King David, was old and feeble but had not yet publicly appointed an heir. Instead of considering his fatherís wishes, Adonijah decided he would "exalt himself." He was a self-appointed king. Furthermore, his actions reflected the attitude that he considered his father as good as dead. He never saw beyond himself.

American culture encourages self-centeredness. Slogans such as "You deserve a break today," "Grab all the gusto" and "Have it your way" can seduce even Christians into believing that life revolves around their own whims and wishes. How different this attitude is from what the New Testament teaches. We are commanded to "love one another" (John 13:34), "receive one another" (Rom. 15:7), "serve one another" (Gal. 5:13) and "forgive one another" (Col. 3:13). Instead of exalting ourselves, Scripture exhorts us to be concerned about the welfare of others.

Be careful not to buy into the "me-first" philosophy that permeates our world today. Ask God to give you a heart that is sensitive to the needs of others. Pray for others. Demonstrate your concern for others in the way you care for their needs. And trust God to provide for you as He provides for others through you. Itís the way to beat the trap of self-centeredness.

Exalt others and let God exalt you.

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nChrist
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« Reply #511 on: December 02, 2006, 10:29:46 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living from Solomon
Scripture: Proverbs 18:24 1 Samuel 22:20 Matthew 28:20 1 Kings 1:7

Friends Who Fail

1 Kings 1:7

Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah.

Friends Who Fail

Aristotle claimed that a friend is "one soul dwelling in two bodies." Others have defined a friend as "a person who knows all about us and still likes us." Newspaper columnist Walter Winchell suggested that a friend is one "who walks in when others walk out." However you define a friendship, it is obvious that when a friend fails us, the pain can be devastating.

In his latter days, David experienced the failure of not just one friend but two. One was Joab, Davidís nephew and the commander of his armies; the other was Abiathar, the high priest. Both of them sided with Adonijah, Davidís son and brother of Absalom, when he decided to exalt himself as king. These men had served faithfully with David. Abiathar had been with him as far back as the days when David first fled from Saul (1 Sam. 22:20). And Joab had been the genius behind much of Davidís success as king. The pain of their treachery must have been excruciating for the aging and ailing king.

How often, even among Christians, do friends fail us. Sometimes they deliberately turn their backs on us; other times they simply vanish from our lives due to unforeseen circumstances such as moving away, sickness or death. Ultimately, all of our friends fail us in some way and we feel hurt. We must know, however, that there is a friend who never fails. The Book of Proverbs says, "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (18:24). That friend is Jesus. He promised us, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).

Are you experiencing the pain of a failed friendship? Has your best friend moved away and left you friendless? Or worse, has someone turned against you and you feel betrayed? Then turn to Jesus. He will understand (His friends did the same to Him), and He will stand by you whatever your circumstances. Jesus is a friend who never fails.

When all other friends fail you, your friend Jesus is faithful.

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« Reply #512 on: December 04, 2006, 01:10:39 AM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living from Solomon
Scripture: 1 Kings 3:13 1 Kings 1:33

A Gentle Spirit

1 Kings 1:33

The king also said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon."

A Gentle Spirit

Richard Weaver earned his living in the mines, but his higher priority was bringing others to Christ. One day a fellow said to Weaver, "Iím sick of your constant preaching. Iíve a good mind to smack you in the face!" "Go ahead if it will make you feel better," Weaver replied. The man struck him. The Christian did not retaliate but turned the other cheek. Again the unbeliever hit him and then walked away. Weaver called after him, "I forgive you and still pray that the Lord will save you!" The next morning his assailant was waiting for him. He asked, "Dick, do you really forgive me?" "Certainly," Weaver said, and again shared the message of salvation. God opened the manís heart, and he received Christ as his Savior. Gentleness and humility had won the day.

As Solomon prepared to take his place as king, he rode on the back of a lowly mule, not an impressive warhorse. His reign was not to be marked by power and brute force but by wisdom exercised in gentleness and humility. While his father, David, achieved great honor through warfare, Solomon far excelled him (1 Kings 3:13) without having to resort to the same tactics.

When we are faced with opposition, it is tempting to overpower it by sheer strength. If someone dares to stand in our way, we run over him. Yet this is not normally Godís way. What we accomplish in a spirit of gentleness, as we seek peace and reconciliation, will outlast what we achieve by the "bulldozer approach." And it leaves a better testimony as well.

If youíre facing opposition from someone at work, at home or in church, ask God to give you a gentle spirit. Seek His wisdom to deal with the conflict humbly. Put aside any pride that might be a stumbling block to your success, and determine with Godís help to respond with meekness. The effects will be more satisfying and more permanent.

Brute force is only for brutes.

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