Monumental Moments

timewarpQuintus Horatius Flaccus was a poet who lived during the reign of Caesar Augustus, and he’s credited with saying: Exegi monumentum aere perennius.  This phrase is found after the final poem in Horaces third book, and it means: I have made a monument more lasting than bronze.

Horace seems to have been pleased with his poetic powers and the many lines of lyrics he had written.  Notoriety, however, begins to fade about as quickly as bronze starts to tarnish.

The words of Horace make me wonder:  What in this world enjoys a life of longevity? Are there monumental moments that last beyond the tick of a clock?

The memory of some actions are more lasting than bronze, and I have this on good authority; Jesus confirms it: “By pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she has prepared Me for burial.  I assure you: Wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what Mary has done will also be told in memory of her (Matthew 26:6-13).”

The kind, compassion-filled, and sacrificial act of Mary was a monumental moment that’s been recounted a countless number of times.  Notice what Mary did:

  • She looked for an opportunity to honor Jesus (Mary recognized Jesus as Lord, but Judas saw Him as a ladder to help achieve his selfish ambitions).
  • She gave of herself (To wipe the dusty and dirty feet of Jesus with her hair was an act of devotion and reverence).
  • She paid the price (The ointment she used came from the Himalayan mountains and the cost was equal to the average man’s annual salary).

How do you use your moments in time to build monumental memories? Do the actions of Mary’s suggest why she anointed Jesus?  Could it be that Mary wanted Jesus to know how much she valued Him?

Monumental moments are born when people perceive they are valued.  As Solomon said, “Perfume and incense make the heart glad, but the sweetness of a friend is a fragrant forest (Proverbs 27:9).”

What can you do to sweeten the sense of value among you, your family, and your friends?

 

Are You Barely Bearable?

imagesAm I a BEAR or a BEARER?  This is one of the questions I asked myself when I had finished reading Galatians 6.  The practical and profound principles that Paul states in this section of Scripture provide a good checklist for anyone who desires to live a life that is pleasing to God.  What answer can you give to this list of questions?

  • 6:1: When someone stumbles and falls, do I restore him in a spirit of gentleness or do I kick him while he is down?
  • 6:2: Do I lend a hand to a fellow Christian and “bear one another’s burdens” or do I find fault in him and savage him with hurtful gossip?
  • 6:3: Do I deceive myself with a false sense of self-importance?
  • 6:7: Do I realize that I am going to reap what I have sown?
  • 6:9: Am I keeping my eye on the goal of the harvest, so I don’t grow weary in doing what is good and right?
  • 6:10: Do I look for opportunities to be a blessing to others?
  • 6:11: Do I remind myself that the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is constantly with my spirit?

There are seven items on this checklist.  To unleash the power of each them, I suggest that you read them for the next 7 days at 7 AM and 7 PM.

As a list, this is just a potential principle; but, you can make it an exponential essential by reviewing it today whenever it is 7 minutes past the hour (7:07. 8:07, 9:07. 10:7, etc.).

The practical application of these principles will develop a tactical expression of your faith.

2015: A New Year of Decision

opportunity-knockingThe last chance to do something with the opportunities of 365 days of 2014 is gone, over, and lost.  The 8,760 hours have ticked-tocked themselves away, and they have joined Grandfather Time in the hallowed halls of history.

At the stroke of midnight, the future became present, and it gifted us with a new year full of fresh opportunities and precarious choices.   The challenge of 2015 is to recognize the divergent path that lies within each decision you will make.

This divergence is seen in the lucid language of David as he chronicles the lives of the blessed man and the ungodly.  Notice the distinctive contrasts between the two.  As you read this first Psalm on this first day of 2015, I hope it will inspire you to be discriminating in the decisions you make, and resolve to live the blessed life throughout this year.

Psalm One (Amplified Version) . . .

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].

Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked [those disobedient and living without God] shall not stand [justified] in the judgment, nor [b]sinners in the congregation of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God].

For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).

Opportunity is a Port of Unity

opportunity tagsIt’s a verse that I think is intriguing, but not because it is full of mystery; not because it is difficult to understand; but, because it is so rich in meaning: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).”

I saw something for the first time the last time I read this verse. It is the word “opportunity.” If you section the word, you can see it: OP-Port-Unity—Our Peace: Port of Unity

This is the opportunity that Paul spoke of when he wrote to the Ephesians and said: “Jesus is Our Peace (OP).” He was discussing the law and grace with Jews and Gentiles, and he said the peace of Jesus is the Port of Unity:

“But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace (Ephesians 2:13-15).”

Two chapters later, Paul emphasizes the importance of the peace we have in Jesus:

“I urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us (Ephesians 2:2-4).”

Look at the Op-Port-Unity principles in Colossians 3:12-17:

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”.

Instead of looking for what is wrong, use this week as a time of opportunity to focus on Jesus as Our Peace (OP) and to become a Port of Unity.