Character

character3

I was reading several articles on-line concerning character and character traits. Many interesting ideas, but quite valid and handy, in my opinion. We each have our own beliefs about what are good character traits that we should possess; perhaps even desire. As we grow older we find that we needed many different traits, but failed to realize such and also failed to instill them as good habits. They say, “Youth is wasted on all the wrong people.” I tend to agree with that and believe it even stronger now, while in my youth challenged state. Perhaps, I can learn something new in my elderly status…or, perhaps, I am simply reminding myself that in this respect I must live vicariously through others who happen to be far more youthful than I.

Character traits are those things that make you stand out to a crowd of people. It is what you might deem to be a bright yellow highlighting of you among the rabble of black and white words on a page…helping you become noticeable to others, in order to stand out for memory’s sake. For instance: being on-time for an interview is a character trait a business seeks in it’s new hires; thinking fast on your feet or in less than optimal circumstances is another trait others seek; courtesy and chivalry are other traits that people desire to see in others that they come in contact with; kindness toward others and toward animals;..and the list can go on,  etc.

In order to better ourselves, we need to assess our present character traits and decide if they need to be better than they are presently, or if we must replace some traits with other traits. We each go through this at some point in time, thus allowing us to expand our horizons and better ourselves! Not just for our own sake, but for the sake of humanity and the betterment of society. God tugs at our heart from time to time insisting that we better ourselves; unfortunately, in God’s eye, we have a plethora of changes that need to be made!

In 1726, at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character. In his autobiographytp, Franklin listed his thirteen virtues.  Benjamin Franklin spent one week on each trait, then switched to the next one in the list. Upon completion of each on the list (i.e., 13 traits in 13 weeks,) he would start the list all over again. In one year’s time you can go through the list 4 times. While these are not necessarily the only traits within the context of the bible, but Benjamin Franklin  found them to be the best ones for himself. But, in this respect, we each must find such a path for ourselves, because we each handle things differently than others. In fact, some of us may have a longer list of virtues to create as character traits we desire to possess, other might have a shorter list.

Good character traits can be learned, as they are simply good habits of an outward and caring nature toward others. In the blog post of “God’s Ten Commandments versus Jesus’ Two Commandments“, on May 8th, 2017, I had explained about Jesus’ Two Commandments to us, explaining the nature of such commands. Their simplicity is what makes them so great! In essence, we love God by our outward show of love toward Him. Which is done by our actions of honoring His commandments, showing our gratefulness by giving our tithes and offerings, by also treating our fellow neighbors with love and honoring our word that we may give when we strike a deal or bargain. The simplicity of Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-40 are as such:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

We are witnessing, in present day, the demise of character within the millennial community; as well as within society as a whole. The majority of millennials are under the belief that all things should be handed to them, even when they have lost the battle or election. They believe the government owes them something (a job, free education, free healthcare, etc.) They have been taught, indoctrinated really, to believe and understand facts that don’t exist in our history. We are also witnessing the demise of American history, soon to be revised within the history books…a sad chapter in our future history books. Think about this for a bit…Robert E. Lee’s monument is being removed, Jefferson Davis’ monument is being removes, Confederate monuments are being removed, and the Ten Commandments monument was removed by order of the US Supreme Court. This sanitizing of our history, good or bad as it may have been, is a purposeful destruction of what actually happened in our history. This will at some point in time, should I gamble on this,  be scrubbed from the history books in favor of a more likeable historical write-up?

The sad truth is this, character is built upon all of the good and the bad, together! We are human and thus we make mistakes. If we are smart, we will learn from those GeorgeSantayanaQuote1mistakes and use those weaknesses in order to become stronger and wiser. History, good or bad, is there to remind us where we did things right and those things we did wrong. By remembering history, we are reminded never to let such bad things ever happen again. Unfortunately, we as humans are a stupid race and if we are not reminded from time to time of our mistakes…we will repeat them! Sadly, yes we will.

Character is built as you are growing up by watching your parents. As your relationship with your parents wane away your character is developed partially by your peers and your heroes.

Character1

Character is something we build up over the years. It is, for the most part, trial and error. But if we are wise, or shall I say if we grow in wisdom, our character traits of our older age will be better than when we were growing up and maturing. There is one place I believe you can truly gain the wiser wisdom to learn from and that is the Bible and the text within that cumulative set of writings. Based upon the wisdom and writings of over 50 authors, written over the span one thousand five hundred years. And if you think about it, our thoughts are not original in the least. Though the technology may change, the basis of most, if not all, thoughts is not original to us. They are synthetic changes on something that has happened in the past.

In order to change the society in which we live, for the better, we must first ourselves possess the character traits and leadership traits to lead other to make all of the necessary changes. Prayers is our starting point…on our knees in reverence to God seeking His will to accomplish His greatest good. We as Christians, must take on the roles to necessary to accomplish what must be done. Such as: Teaching and education positions, leadership and political position, law enforcement and first responder positions, etc. We need to stop cow-towing down to these other people of other faiths, or non-faiths if you will, and stand up for the will of God and to become know as lovers of Jesus.

What will you be known best for by all your fiends? I would like to be known as a person who loves God and a sharer of the faith! What about you??

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Let’s face it, none of us are in Gods will, as we’re all sinners!

sinners1I was reading a book on leadership by Billy Graham. He was speaking about an incident in which he inferred that Ruth’s father (his father-in-law) was not saved because of his denomination, i.e. due to the beliefs and tenets upon which this religion was based. Which, in my mind brought up an interesting point: Who are we to that one is, or is not saved? After all, don’t we all sin? Isn’t it written:

There is none who does good, No, not one.” ~Psalm 14:3

Hence, we are all sinners and doers of evil. Also, it is written in the book of Genesis:

…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” ~Genesis 8:21

There is a meme running around on Facebook which states, quite truthfully really:

sin-differently

There are other variations, but I believe they make a very valid point. Although, to a degree, it is taken out of context within ourselves. One of the commands given to us (within the laws) is this:

you shall put away the evil from among you.” ~Deuteronomy 17:7

However, I read this not as a community or societal action of primary importance, but of secondary importance. The primary importance is placed upon “you”, of course this is my opinion. But think on this for a moment, When God was speaking to Cain, and it was said:

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”” ~Genesis 4:7

God was speaking directly to Cain, and for that matter…each and every one of us. We must control our own urges, desires, our sinful natures. We must place them under our control. Or more to the point, we must submit ourselves to God’s sovereignty. We must emulate the Christ in our everyday lives. In the midst of temptation, we need to be screaming out to God for His guidance and help. But all too often, we just give in to our sinful natures. Why? Firstly, because it is easier to sin and ask for forgiveness later. Secondly, because following God’s ways of righteousness, and spiritual revival within our hearts is, quite frankly too damned hard. These answers may surprise you. They may even astound you. But in our hearts you know you have felt that way, or some manner like it!

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” ~1John 5:3

While God’s commandments are not burdensome in and of themselves, we make it much harder than it ought to be, because let’s face it…we want a simple and easy life. But we also know that easy and simple is not what we were promised. Anything good takes an amount of effort, sometimes more than we can bear…but God is willing to add to us the blessings of accomplishment if we will only try without ceasing! God will have your back and He will support you, and me. But we need to do our part. If you want a better world, society, community, country…you have to spread the word and message of God as it was given to us in the Great Commission:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:19-20

There is no such a thing as an inappropriate audience, because everyone needs to hear it…we were told to pass on the word! There is no such thing as an inappropriate time; although, there are better opportunities than other. But God will guide you in these matters.

Get into some quiet time with Him and seriously pray. Talk to Him. Listen for His voice. Seek His wisdom! For it is not until we fully and completely turn ourselves over to our Creator and to Jesus, that we will continue to be tempted. Unfortunately for all of us, it will not stop there, because we will be attacked by our temptations even more so until that time when we get hold of our carnal natures and God firmly has a grasp of us; thereby acknowledging that we have completely trusted in Him and Him alone for our eternal lives!

While we know that we “…can do all things through Christ who strengthens…” us (Philippians 4:13), intellectually; but many of us fail miserably with our spiritual understanding and truths! We can all use work on such things. This promise has such profound meaning, spiritually…but we all seem to rest on earthly meanings and descriptions. What is wrong with this picture? Like anything else in life…we are afraid. Afraid to stretch our faith a little bit further. We are afraid to stretch our limits just a little bit more. We as man have a nasty habit of fearing the unknown, but it is in the unknown where God seeks to take us; thereby enabling us all to spread our wings, so-to-say, and perhaps even test our fortitude. Through such testing, we build our character, integrity, mental acuity & strength, and other such valuable traits which will allow us to fulfill our purpose for our God!

We are sinners at our heart, our imagination, and at our baser instincts. But we can also be forgiven for all our sinfulness, we just have to ask for that gift. God freely offers each of us…all of us…the forgiveness we desire & need. It is out there for all, to be had by all, but you (we) need to change, truly desire to change ourselves. We also need to learn to control ourselves, our base instincts, rule over our sinful nature, etc.

Believe it, or not, God does desire to see each and every one of us in heaven; however, He wants each and every one of us to choose to submit ourselves to Him and His rule over our lives. People often think God is a heartless, megalomaniacal, egomaniac…along with numerous other descriptive terms. But the fact of the matter is that God created you and He loves you.Therefore, you are His property and He can do whatever He wishes with or to you.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” ~Psalm 24:1

The question is, or remains to be, What are you willing to do for such love shown to you? God gave you the breath of Life, the gift of Choice, and the passions that are in your heart (at least the good ones!) YOU must rule over all of the bad thoughts and sinfulness within yourself. With God’s guidance and help you can do all things, both within and without yourselves.

Keep the faith and God will keep the promises. We are all sinners at heart, but what YOU do with that free bit of knowledge is all on YOU. Are you wise or knowledgeable? Prove your wisdom by applying the knowledge you gain from the bible toward the ruling over your carnal and sinful nature, this will get you farther in life than anything else from an ethical standpoint. Many will judge you on how you act, and they do so daily whether you notice it or not. Here is a nickel’s worth of free advice: What you do in secret should match what you do in your public life. Most people’s secret & public lives are diametrically opposed or contradictory. Train, or rule, yourself to where you are ethical and good in both secret, as well as, public!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

God has power to help and to overthrow

“But a man of God came to him, saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel—not with any of the children of Ephraim. But if you go, be gone! Be strong in battle! Even so, God shall make you fall before the enemy; for God has power to help and to overthrow.” ~2Chronicles 25:7-8 NKJV

Moses and Pharaoh

God has shown throughout history that He has the power to help and to overthrow the enemy, or to help the enemy and overthrow us. We as the species of man have this insane ability, both a gift and a curse given to us by God, to choose freewill; to choose a separate path than that path God has established for us. We can choose to follow what God has intended for us just as Jonah and Moses, each had focused upon their shortcomings or they foresaw what God’s mercies would have done. OR, perhaps, we could just choose our own way and stand against God’s will as many of the Kings of Israel (the descendants of King David).

Perhaps, we could choose the moral high ground thatroman christians many of the Christian followers of old had done. Choosing the “road less traveled,” so-to-say, by saying, “YES! I am a follower of the Christ and I am willing to die!” But all too many of us will arrive at that moment of truth and find ourselves recanting. Let’s face it, if you recant on the little things you have a high probability of recanting on the bigger and more important things. That is a generalization, but has been proven true on numerous occasions. Is it always true, no. That is what makes it a generalization. We believe, intellectually, that God has the power to help us and protect us. But rarely is that tested in larger life and death matters within the confines of our normal lives. Even in times of dire-straights where we are saved from death, even at times when we do not believe or hold on to a faith in our Creator. But that can play a part in our testimony where we turn our lives around, which enables us to eye Jesus as our Savior. Everything happens for a reason, in my humble opinion!

Washington inauguration

God can use His power to overthrow a tyrant, put a prideful person (or leader) in his place, or possibly to chastise and pass judgement upon one who has been guilty of such evils that they could no longer remain unpunished.

God has also used His power to prevent further physical torture to those innocent of evil and preachers of His word to the ends of the world; consider the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7), with Saul (later named Paul) chiding them on. God has also used His power to protect those from any harm, what-so-ever. (see Daniel 3) And God has also, upon the completion, or fulfillment, of a person’s purpose, they had fallen asleep (Acts 13).

God truly does work in mysterious and wondrous ways. Many believe He acts immorally, unethically, and arbitrarily. But how could they make such a determination when God is the basis of all morals, ethics and arbitration?

One of the greatest problems is that man sees a small snippet of a small segment of a picture where God sees all things from the very beginning to the very end…EVERYTHING! But people cannot fathom such a thing, so therefore it just couldn’t be possible. God knows the path, good or bad, that we will take in any given situation from our birth until the time of our very last breath. Again, people cannot fathom such a thing, so therefore it just couldn’t be possible.

God has a plan for each and every one of us. In all cases for His glory, either you fulfill his plan; thereby, glorifying Him through your divinely guided actions. Or by acting as an agent for evil (because of your freewill and decisions); thereby glorifying Him through eternal judgement. We all have a part to play, isn’t is better to read the last book of the Bible and side with the winning team? Just consider it…

May God Richly Bless You!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

…the battle is not yours…

battle is not your

And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ ~2 Chronicles 20:15 NKJV

We so often are dismayed, afraid, concerned, and worried about such things as menial & inconsequential thoughts or as major engagements in battle. Worry seems to be one of the many natures of man.

Recently, I was concerned about feeling a failure to God, my family, etc. but all throughout this past week the general message was that: “I have a plan for you,” “I have a future for you,” “I have prosperity for you,” and “I have hope for you.” I found this out (partly) while in prayer for guidance to find the right truck…I can hear some of all y’alls ‘hmmmmmmms’ rattling in my head right now. Yeah, a truck, we have a small farm behind us, a horse of our own, one horse we take care of, and a horse trailer, but we had no truck. Also, because of the horses on occasion we need to pick up hay.

Yes, just like that load I picked up yesterday. And as you can see…God led me to this little gem of a truck. Reasonably priced, reasonable mileage, etc…God IS good! God does not promise us an easy life, but He does promise that things could be easier with Him on our side, eh?

And though not everything in and of itself is a battle, per se; however, without the proper guidance and wisdom, they could be a battle of some sort. God answers in the little things as well as the big things in our lives. People are always seeking the newer, bestest things in life…when all we really need is something that works properly and does the job. Some of the biggest battles in our lives, and in our married lives also, is when we go for those brand new vehicles when an older model would take care of us best and for a fraction of the cost. New trucks, at least the last time I purchased one new, were and are outrageously priced!! You are generally looking at $35, 000 off the showroom floor.

But I have mildly wavered from the original track, but not far, because when looking for something as simple as a work truck can be a battle on the spiritual front, the financial front, and on the home front. Even things as simple as this are the things God wants to take care of in your life. Many people don’t believe this, but God helps us out in the smaller things in life that our faith can be built up – much like a muscle, through working it out properly; thereby, expanding its strength, flexibility, and usability.

Every battle that crosses our paths, God wants you to place it before Him so that He can aid His children by bolstering and enabling their faith. The strange thing that people fail to understand is that not everything they want is necessarily what they need. What they need is something that will glorify Him. Most children in the kiddie seat in a grocery cart wants the foot-long stogie that is high above their head, but mom usually will say NO to such things.

Be still my friends, listen to the whispers from God to your spirit. If you wait and are patient enough, you will hear His reply…

“Be still and know that I am God.” ~Psalm 46:10

Remember, it is the little things that we pay attention to. We do not see them as miracles, but they are subtle enough to get our attention!

May God Richly Bless You!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Today’s Pursuits – Tomorrow’s Memories

God“What we are pursuing today is what we will be known for tomorrow.”

We all wish to hear from God, “Well don, good and faithful servant!”  Right after we breathe our final breath.  We all seek to leave behind a legacy, something of greatness that we will be known for.  It is for this reason that so many wealthy people donate money only to have their name(s) plastered on the building.

Consider our father of faith, Abraham…God gave him all his lands, but the only property he purchased was for burial.  So,in the end the only property that we will own for all eternity will be our final resting spot.  So, is that all there is to our legacy?  No!  What we leave to the world upon our demise is our children.  Our children are our legacy to the world…this is what we leave behind for all to take note of.

How did you train up your children?  Did you teach them to serve the Lord?  To seek out God’s will?  To do as King Solomon stated,

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil” ~Eccl 12:13-14 (NKJV)

In the end, as you feel yourself breathing your last breath, what will you be remembered for?  For what did you stand up?  What is it that you wish to be known for?  We are leaving our kids to the world, hopefully, to make it a better place that what we left behind.  Did you train them up in the Word of God?  OR, did you train them up in the church doctrine?

the-crossOne of our greatest fallacies is the fact that we, as the species of man, do not apply that which we learn!  You can know all the right things, but that does not make you wise.  Putting into practice, those things which we have learned from the bible, applying those tenets, and living them throughout our lives…that is what makes us wise.

What will you be known for?  What will your legacy be to the world?  Do not forget to apply that which you have learned; especially, for your children’s sakes and futures.

May God Richly Bless You All!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD
unapplied-truth

Prayer

“Tools of Proclamation Prayer
1. Binding and loosing—This prayer will bind the work of the enemy and loose the legal will of God into a given situation.

2. Scripture proclamation—Choosing appropriate Scripture passages to proclaim the will of God.

3. Decrees—Speaking a prophetic word from God in order to change a current situation that is contrary to the will of God.

4. Declarations—Declaring the will of God under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
Excerpt From: Jacobs, Cindy. “Power of Persistent Prayer.” Bethany House Publishers, 2010-09-01. iBooks. 

This material may be protected by copyright.
Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/fs7bB.l