Thoughts for the Week

Archive for November, 2011

Valor or Virtue?

(For this week, enjoy a homemade story :-))

The Master watched pensively as the new recruit, Derrik, took his mark. He was skilled with a sword in battle and had just moved to their village. He had been accepted by the regime. But the Commander noticed a few old habits Derrik still held.

After Derrik’s impressive mock fight with a few trainers, the Commander called him over. “Yes, my lord.” Derrik’s brown-haired head dipped in respect.

“Derrik, your strength and skill in combat is supreme. I commend you. However, there is one aspect I must address.”Derrik lifted his eyes, “I am eager to learn.”

The Master motioned with a slight smile and said, “You may want to have a seat, this teaching method is a little different.” The knight complied and slid to his knees, his armor clanking, and his wide sword across his lap. The Master cleared his throat and began.

“There once was an incredible city. Its majesty was known throughout the land. It had elegant gardens, extensive libraries, and breath-taking palaces. The city was complex and fascinating. The king of the country was so pleased with this city that he posted soldiers outside its walls to protect and serve it.

“But tragically, some of the soldiers ignored their orders. They abandoned the city and cared nothing of its needs. Instead, they went on quests for their own valor. The city suffered quite greatly. ”

Derrik nodded, “That’s a shame, sir.”

The Master’s eyes grew sad, “Yes, this happened within our own borders.”

“What?” Derrik’s hands turned into gloved fists. “It really happened? Those traitors!” He spat, “Those soldiers deserve to die! No one should get away with disobeying an order!”

The Master leaned forward with a pointed finger. “Derrik, you are one of those soldiers.”

That stopped him. “What?”

“You were commanded to protect and serve something, and you dishonored my wishes.”

Derrik was shocked, “Forgive me, but what have I done to displease you?”

Suddenly, a young male servant came up to the kneeling solider, interrupting the lesson and informing the knight he was needed in the training fields. Derrik shot the boy an irritated look. “Can’t you see I’m talking with the Master? Do not bother me!”

The servant winced and uttered a hurried apology as he left. The Master sighed, “See, that is what you’ve done to displease me.”

Derrik was shocked again. “Surely you jest, sir! He is a lowly servant boy.” The Master’s eyes grew warmer. “To me, he is not merely a servant boy. He is my beloved child, as are you.

“You have a brave spirit and are willing to go to the ends of the world for the sake of the kingdom. But when it comes to loving the individual, you have displeased me.

“Valor is an easy thing to fight for. Virtue in humble things is a challenge.”

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

Know Your Weapon

If a battle was coming, what would you do to prepare?

If you were an archer, you would spend hours firing arrows at a target until you had deadly accuracy. If you were a swordsman, you would spar and train until your skills were honed. Any other weapon you had would be put to use through practice and mastery.

A warrior needs to know his weapon well in order to fight the enemy effectively. This also applies to the spiritual battles we all must face. Jesus knew the importance of knowing His weapon.

When Christ was tempted in the desert, Satan brought Him up to the top of the temple and urged Him to show off His power as God. The enemy quoted the Word, reminding Jesus that no harm could befall him because “he will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” (NIV) This passage comes from Psalm 91:11-12 and the verses are true. However, Satan was twisting them.

If you to read the next verse, you may be surprised by what it says. Verse 13 reads, “You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.”  The only person in the Bible referred to as a serpent and a lion is the devil himself (Genesis 3; 1 Peter 5:8).

Anyone who knew this psalm would have been able to recall the next verse. Being reminded that one day He would ultimately crush the devil, Jesus may have found strength in this passage.

What about you? When it comes to the daily, lifelong struggles with the enemy, it is vital to study the Bible.  It is the ultimate weapon against lies and darkness. Know your weapon well so that you may stand and fight!

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

Romantic Getaway

Have you ever been in love?

Spending time with the a loved one can be one of the most wonderful experiences. Planned dates are things one looks forward to all week.

But there’s something magical about a sudden getaway: a trip to the movie theater, a surprise visit, or even a late-night run for milkshakes. Impromptu dates add excitement to relationships.

One day, I realized how this can apply to our relationship with God. Planned events like church and morning devotions are like dates with your Heavenly Admirer. They’re times when you draw close to God and get to know Him better.

I was in a small group last Sunday and our leader gave us a few minutes to journal.  I nestled down on the couch and jotted down some thoughts. I told God I desired to know Him better and to please Him. As I wrote, I was struck with the joy of impromptu worship. Running into the Father’s presence just to talk with Him for a short while can be an incredible blessing.

Have you ever felt the tugging call to go and be with God for a bit? It can happen while gazing out the window at the woods, feeling a gentle breeze on your skin, or taking in a dazzling nighttime sky.

In Song of Solomon, God’s Word reveals the beauty and mystery of love. “Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me” (2:13 NIV). God loves us so dearly that He calls us to know Him better. Even little moments of worship can bless Him.

The next time you think of it, try to go on a sudden romantic getaway, just you and your Heavenly Sweetheart.

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

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