Paul Madson

THOUGHTS, QUOTES & REFLECTIONS

Month: August 2019

Brilliant in the Basics – Part 2

Photo by Paul Madson

In my early ministry years, I put together a list of “basic” biblical truths that I needed to remind myself of regularly.

I titled it Brilliant in the Basics.

No matter how much we learn or grow spiritually, there will always be certain ‘basics’ we need to regularly revisit which form the foundation of our walk with Christ and keep us centered on God and His glory.

Two weeks ago, I shared the first five.

Here are the final ten:

6. This world is not our home.

We are simply passing through. We are pilgrims here. Our citizenship is in heaven. Live as a pilgrim. Travel light. Live as a stranger and alien. Look forward daily to ‘a better country.’  Keep your roots shallow…your tent pegs half pulled (John 14:1-3; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 2:11).

7. Evil spiritual forces are always out to deceive and discourage.

Our enemy wants to mar our spiritual testimony. Walk soberly. Put on God’s armor daily. Don’t be deceived. Don’t be subtly led astray. Walk close, tight and humbly with God… He is your fortress and protection (John 8:44; John 17:15; Ephesians 6:10-18; James 4:7; 1 John 4:1, 7).

8. Memorize God’s Word and meditate on it regularly.

Inculcate Scripture into your memory. Sink it deep into your heart and never let it go. Let it dwell in you richly. Treasure it. Love it. Grab it. Grip it. Grasp it. Apprize it. Cherish it. Esteem it. Value it. Guard it. Revere it. Hold it dear.

Meditating on God’s Word is the key that opens the treasure chest to understanding and applying the unfathomable riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge. It’s not the one who reads most, but the one who meditates most that will prove to be the strongest, wisest and sweetest Christian. Take God’s Word and ponder it. Reflect, ruminate and muse over it (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3; Psalm 119:9-11; 97-100; Proverbs 8:10-11; Colossians 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12).

9. Kindness, graciousness, and love must exude from us to everyone we meet… from the greatest to the least.

All people have dignity because they are made in the image of God… treat people accordingly (Matthew 5:43-47; Matthew 7:1-2; John 13:34,35; Romans 12:10; Romans 13:8; Romans 14:19-20; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 3:12,13; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 3:7).

10. Always forgive others freely and thoroughly.

No matter who they are or what they have done. Forgive in the same way that you have been forgiven. To refuse to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die (Colossians 3:12, 13; Matthew 18:21-35).

11. Genuine humility is absolutely essential if we are to experience the grace of God in our lives.

God ‘stiff arms’(opposes) the proud but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 15:18; Isaiah 66:2; Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:12; Ephesians 4:2; James 3:13; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5-6).

12. Giving thanks in everything and choosing a heart of gratitude is foundational to all true joy and happiness.

(1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20).

13. It’s only in giving our lives away and becoming servants to others that we will experience the deepest and richest joys in life.

Nothing compares with the feeling of having been used by God to influence someone’s life for all eternity (Matthew 5:16; Matthew 20:26-28; Acts 20:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Philippians 2:3-8).

14. Use your material resources to further the kingdom of God.

Your heart will naturally follow where you put your treasure. Put your treasure in a place where you want your heart to be.  Give generously and share with those in need. God promises to provide for your every need (Matthew 6:19-21, 33; Hebrews 13:16; Philippians 4:19; 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19; Hebrews 10:34; Hebrews 13:5)

15. Practicing what we know…obedience – not knowledge – is what ultimately develops spiritual maturity in our lives.

(1 Samuel 15:22; Matthew 7:24-27; John 14:15,21; Hebrews 5:14; James 1:22, 25)

*The accompanying Scriptures are not meant to be exhaustive, but simply a brief representation of what Scripture says on this subject.

Brilliant in the Basics – Part 1

In my early ministry years, I put together a list of “basic” biblical truths that I needed to remind myself of regularly.

I titled it Brilliant in the Basics.

No matter how much we learn or grow spiritually, there will always be certain ‘basics’ we need to regularly revisit which form the foundation of our walk with Christ and keep us centered on God and His glory.

Below are the first five (15 total) of these briefly listed “basics” that I return to over and over:

  1. The foundation for effective Christian living is thinking rightly and biblically about who God is. What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. Satan’s number one goal is to deceive us about who God is (Genesis 3:1-7; Isaiah 40:25-26; Jeremiah 9:23-24; Matthew 4:1-11; John 1:1; Colossians 1:16-17; 1 Timothy 1:17).
  2. Pursuing God with a passion is the beginning point of life’s most incredible journey. It is to be a mark of the normal Christian life. We are to seek the face of God as for silver or hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:4-5; Psalm 27:4-5; Psalm 37:4-5; Psalm 42:1-2; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 84:10-11; Jeremiah 9:23-24; Matthew 6:33).
  3. God is our loving Father. He has compassion on us. We are His children… His heirs. He knows the number of hairs on our head. He bottles our tears. He will never leave us nor will He ever forsake us (Psalm 55:22; Psalm 56:8; Psalm 103:13,14; Isaiah 40:11; Isaiah 41:9-10; Zephaniah 3:17; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:15-17, 31-32, 38-39; Galatians 4:6,7; Ephesians 3:17-19; Hebrews 13:8).
  4. God calls us to walk by faith, not by sight. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Romans 4:20-21; Hebrews 11:1, 3, 6, 24-27).
  5. Nothing comes into our lives as believers that has not first passed through the hand of God. Everything that comes into your life has been allowed by God for your good and His glory. Because of what they are producing in us, we can welcome trials and problems as friends. We don’t have to resent them. We can rejoice when they come. Maturity will not come without problems, trials and difficulties (Job 1:6-12; Romans 8:28; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6,7).
*The accompanying Scriptures are not meant to be exhaustive, but simply a brief representation of what Scripture says on this subject.

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