“Aptitude + Attitude = Altitude”

Posted: May 17, 2019 in Attitude, Christian Life, Japan, Philippians

(Philippians – Lesson #7)

One ship sails east

One ship sails west

Regardless of how the winds blow.

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.” [1]

During my summer vacations, when I was a teenager growing up in Japan, I loved to go out on a small sailboat on Lake Nojiri in the Japan Alps. [2] It was a little bigger than a surf board and had a center board, a rudder, and a sail. I’d lie down on it and steer it with my feet. I got pretty good at it and could go almost anywhere as long as there was a wind and if I had set my sail properly.

Storms. Life throws a lot of adverse winds at us and the devil wants to discourage, disappoint, and cause us to doubt God and His Word. But when we, as believers, put on the whole armor of God, and resist the devil, we can overcome him and live a life that pleases God (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17; 2 Corinthians 5:9). Are you grieving God (Ephesians 4:30) or pleasing Him?

Choices. We all have choices to make every day. We can get all upset, complain, and question God and His plan for our lives just as the Jews in the wilderness did. If we do, we can/should expect to suffer similar consequences as they did (1 Corinthians 10). On the other hand we can give thanks with a grateful heart and let others know that we have a God who is bigger than all our challenges in life (1 John 4:4). God wants us, as believers, to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things and people that He allows to come into our lives (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1). The Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13; See Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10 NKJV). Are you giving thanks to God with a grateful heart? [3] From prison he wrote to some believers and encouraged them to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4).

Freedom. Having had virtually everything stripped from him during his concentration camp experience in World War II, Dr. Victor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”.

Pride/Humility. The once proud King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon leaned his lesson well when he shared his personal testimony after God humbled him. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37 NKJV). Pharaoh, who wouldn’t humble himself before God, was brought down by the mighty hand of God and he and his soldiers perished in the Red Sea (Exodus 15:4).  

Application. Are you proud of your race, place, or face? Wait just a minute. “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it” (1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV)? Furthermore, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:7 NKJV).  

Outlook. We, as Christians, can look at life from a human perspective or through God’s eyes knowing that “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Read that again slowly. “Our troubles didn’t come to stay, but to pass.” But not so for those who die physically without the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Read Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Bad News/Good News. “Friend, You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [4].  Have you shared this information with an unbeliever recently? Apart from the Gospel, no one can be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17).

Promises. [5]“God will keep His promises whether we believe them or not.” Knowing them and claiming the ones that were given to us as New Testament Christians can result in a “worry free life.” “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV).

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as them come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible Studies.

[1] Adapted from Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “The Winds Of Fate”

[2] Lake Nojiri – Pictures: https://www.google.com/search?q=images+lake+nojiri&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiHgpKjzqLiAhVMmK0KHY2zCbYQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=896&bih=445

[3] Give Thanks – Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXBxImes110

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMTmZKotTYw

[4] Dr. M. Kober, https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

[5] Promises: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/promises-for-christians-to-claim-2/

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