Exhibit respect

Get ready—I might be hopping on a soapbox with this one. Respect is sorely lacking today. We see the evidence in college students rebelling against their teachers or rioters attacking police officers or children blatantly disobeying their parents. Without a moral compass, there is no conscience; with conscience, there is no respect. It’s a vicious cycle. If we do not respect God, we will not respect any authority figure from parent to teacher to boss to government official. But those who meditate on—study, absorb, follow—God’s instructions will automatically exhibit respect. It’s a trickle down that positively affects everyone around them.

Hymn day: ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus’

HYMN DAY! “I’d Rather Have Jesus” by either Rhea Miller (American hymnals credit her) or Oscar C. A. Bernadotte, a Swedish prince who forfeited his chance for the crown to marry a commoner who led him to Christ. Either way, it’s a beautiful hymn of surrender.

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

His influence

When it comes to raising children, the “do as I say, not as I do” method is highly ineffective. Words are worthless unless they are followed up with action. God has given us an instruction book called the Bible that tells us how to live. God also sent Jesus, who sought and followed His Father’s will and, in so doing, gave us an example to follow. If we want people to believe that Jesus makes a difference in our lives, they need to see evidence of His presence in our behavior. As believers we must learn His statutes, proclaim Him, and live for Him. The influence we leave could impact eternity for someone else.

A statement of promise

Psalm 119:11 is probably one of the most recited verses in the Bible. It’s a statement of promise to God, and it’s something every believer should aspire to honor. The more of His Words we have hidden in our heart, the more likely it is we will exercise discernment in moments of need, the more ready we will be to share His truths with others, and the more we will reflect the One who died to free us from sin’s curse. Memorization for the sake of recitation might not do us much good, but if we plant the words deep down in our heart, they will take root and build in us beautiful blooms that point others to Him. What’s the latest scripture you hid in your heart?

Pathway of righteousness

I hope you’ve enjoyed the images of rainbows this week. Rainbows are one of my favorite sky decorations. They remind me, as I’m sure they do many of you, of God’s promises. God’s promises are sure. Unlike we fickle humans, He never says something He doesn’t mean. When He gave us guidelines by which to live, He didn’t do it out of unkindness or a desire to hold us down; in His wisdom He understood we couldn’t live freely and joyfully while mired in sin. Thus, when we turn our whole heart to Him and we follow the pathway of righteousness, it can feel as though a rainbow has burst from our soul. I’ll take a rainbow over sin’s ugly curse any day!

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