6 Ways To Raise Your Standard of Living

Every time I read through the Bible  I find new and usable insights.  Isaiah is telling the Israelites to get their act together because their lives are not what God expects. In the middle of Chapter 33 I came across six solid, Biblical ways to have a life that God will bless.  (BTW, I don’t try to read through in a year.  I like to do it at my own pace, without the pressure and stress of specific assignments.)

Raise your standard of living

1 – Live right.  Simply said make the right choices.  Know God’s voice and really listen.  As Proverbs 3:5 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding.

2 – Speak the truth.  The concept of truth is in so many verses but my favorite is in the 10 Commandments.  Exodus 20:16 says no false witness.  In other words, don’t lie.

3 – Despise exploitation.   How about some synonyms here; misuse, abuse, unfair treatment, oppression.  Take a stand on these issues.  This world is full of people who mistreat others.  Don’t let yourself get caught up in thinking your way is the only way.  Only God’s way is the only way!

4 – Refuse bribes.   If you ______ , then I _________.  Bribes are not always about monetary gain.  Actually, in the simplest way to explain, a bribe tries to get a person what they want by whatever means they can.

5 – Reject violence.  This one is so simple, but so hard to accomplish in this world.  Can you walk away from television, computers, movies, books, magazines, newspapers?  Can you walk away, not read, not listen.  It will be hard, but if you want to raise your personal standard of life then you may have to take a serious, personal inventory of what you a reading, seeing, and hearing. Then make the hard choice to reject violence.

6 – Avoid evil amusements.  Entertainment, pleasure, interest. Essentially we are to avoid those activities that cause us to sin or fall into sin.  There are several lists of these types of activity.  Check out 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-6, or Revelation 22:12-15.  Then do what you have to.

Your standard of living and my standard of living are two different things.  I think we can agree that if we add these six to that standard we can be ‘safe and stable’, ‘nourished and satisfied.”

Oh, LORD, I live in this world.  I know what You want. Help me to take a stand.  Help me to model what is right.  Plant your Word in my heart, nourish me with it, guide me to a healthy, satisfying, moral life.  Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

You can also find this post in Ponderings and Prayers.

God’s Plan Works

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.  Nothing and No one can upset Your plans.  Job 42:2

Are you as convinced as Job that God can do what He says He can do?  I wonder then, why do so many of us who say we believe not trust Him on this?

God had just taken Job to task for trying to explain His motives and actions.  Now, I don’t know about you, but if God appeared to me in a whirlwind or tornado or giant storm I would be listening closely.  Job and his friends were trying to explain the catastrophe of Job’s current life.  God simply  set them straight by asking if they really thought they knew what they were talking about.

Jeremiah gives the same message to the Exiles in 29:11.  I know you know that verse.   God is telling them that He has a plan and it is not to harm them.  In Job’s case God was not causing the harm, the evil one was.  God’s plan was still in place.  He restored Job’s fortune and gave him more children.  He will do the same for everyone if we ask.  Job had to ask for forgiveness because he was trying to say he knew more than God.  The Israelites had to ask for for forgiveness before they were allowed to return to their homeland. (Check out Jeremiah 29:12-13)

All we need to do is trust God to do what He has already planned for us.

Almightly God, help us see that we are not always right in our thoughts of what You are doing.  Help us know that Your plan is already in motion, that it is perfect in every way, and that You know what You are doing.  Open our minds to Your leading.  Make it so in Jesus Name.

This post can also be found in Pondering and Prayer.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

God’s Plan

View of ancient Babylon, Description de L'Univ...

View of ancient Babylon, Description de L’Universe (Alain Manesson Mallet, 1683).jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been pondering Jeremiah 29:11-13 a lot lately.  God keeps putting it in my mind.  We have to read more of the story to understand the meaning of these verses and let me say IT IS POWERFUL.  Read from verse 4 through verse 14. Here’s what I have discovered so far… 

  • I believe we live in a modern Babylon.   Ancient Babylon represented all the excesses it was possible to have at that time.  We have much the same in the US…money, stuff, sex, lack of morality, little regard for others, worship of all kinds of other gods…
  • God tells the Israelites to do these things to model who He is:  Build homes, plan to stay, plant gardens and eat the produce, marry, have children, find spouses for them, have grandchildren, multiply, work for peace and prosperity where you are, pray for the city, do not be tricked by other prophets or mediums – they lie
  • God’s plan for me is His plan.  No one else can interfere.  He knows my future.  He knows what He wants.
  • He wants me to know His plan and even gives ways to discover it.  He says if I earnestly seek Him I will find Him and He will listen. 
  • He promises to end my captivity in this modern Babylon and yes, restore my fortune.
  • He promises to give me hope, a future, and will bring me home again.

God is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do!  What more could I want.

Ah, Lord God, Giver of all there is, was, and ever will be.  Your plan for me is more awesome than anything I can imagine.  I am claiming prosperity, a future, hope, and anything else You have for me.  Make it so!!