For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day”, here is a quote from college basketball analyst Jay Bilas:
“Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Failing makes you a competitor. Every competitor fails. If you lay it on the line, you will come up short at times. Failure is a part of competing, and embracing that fact is an important component of toughness. Tough people fail, but tough people are not failures. The only failures are those who give up, or give in.” (Jay Bilas Toughness)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
Words matter. What we say and how we say it matters. David was spot on when writing this psalm. Our words should be considered in light of God. What words come out of our mouth (or these days typed from our fingers) should be acceptable to God. We should use our words to glorify God and build one another up, not tear people down.
The same goes for our thoughts. It is from our thoughts that words are formed. What we meditate on is important. It’s important to keep our focus on God and have Him first. Let everything flow out of that.
This week, let our words and thoughts be focused on Him.
A while back, I did a couple of posts called “Lesson from Yoda”, about lessons learned from Yoda, character in the Star Wars saga. Seeing this will be the third entry, one could call it a series now? I think so. Here’s the latest entry in the “Lesson from Yoda” series.
Once again, we journey back to the planet of Dagobah and The Empire Strikes Back. Luke is continuing his training to be a Jedi under Yoda. As part of the training, Luke is doing a handstand with Yoda standing on top of him and also levitating a rock. As this is taking place, Luke’s X-Wing spaceship starts to sink in the mire that he had crash landed earlier. He gets distracted and loses focus. After discussion with Yoda, Luke tries to move the ship but is unable & the X-Wing sinks further.
At this point, Yoda tells him that “size matters not”. He discusses about life and gets to a key point. He says “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter” as he pinches Luke’s shoulder. We are more than just skin and bones. There is more to us.
God created each one of us not just with a body but also with a soul. A soul that matters. A lot of times we forget that as we go about our daily lives. We are more than just flesh and bones. We have a soul. And God cares about our physical bodies as well as our soul, because they are interconnected. That’s why Jesus came to die for our sins so that we don’t have to go through spiritual death as well as physical death.
Remember, you are more. God has created you to be more. He has given you gifts and talents for you to use. He loves you and has a purpose for you. He wants to have a relationship with you. There is so much more out there. Let us not settle for less.
“And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.”And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” (Nehemiah 8:9-12)
The people were returning to Jerusalem. The temple was rebuilt. The walls around the city were rebuilt. But more importantly, hearts were turning back to God. The people realized their wrong and wept for it. But the great thing was that God forgave. Nehemiah and Ezra told the people to worship and celebrate God for all that He had done. He had protected them in their time of exile. He brought them back to their home. And He stood ready to forgive them. Because of this, the people could eat and drink and celebrate, because they had something to truly celebrate.
This week, remember all that God has done. More importantly, remember that He stands ready when you want to repent and turn back to Him. He is waiting with open arms.
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” Philippians 1:27-30
Paul was writing to Philippians to encourage and instruct them. Part of this was to remind them of the calling they had individually and collectively as a church. They were doing a great job in being faithful followers of Jesus. Paul wanted them to keep doing that. He wanted them to stick together.
He also reminded them that part of being a follower of Jesus was that we have to endure suffering. Jesus suffered and as we follow after him, we will deal with suffering as well. But the great news is that He has gone before us and knows what we’re going through. So as we go through tough times, we can trust we are not alone in that.
So as this week goes along with its ups and downs, let us be encouraged to keep doing good & serving Him.