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Friday, October 3, 2008
(photo by Rick Steudler)
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"Watch your life and doctrine closely" (1 Timothy 4:16a).
Yesterday I mentioned hurting my back and some readers were curious as to what I had done and how seriously I was injured. On Monday I was trying to repair our utility sink and leaned over to try to lift it out. Instantly I felt a searing pain in my lower back and the pain has continued all week. We know so many people who deal with back problems and it's easier to "feel their pain" when you undergo similar testing. I've had this kind of injury before and, thus far in life, I always recover without medical intervention. However today I am still in pain and trying to work it out.
In retrospect I'm quite aware that I was trying to do something really stupid. Many, many years ago I learned that to lift a heavy weight you must bend the knees and then lift. This position shifts the weight properly so that the back is not injured. At 53 years of age I knew in my head that the experience of lifting an awkward heavy object in the incorrect position would have consequences. As I leaned in to lift out the sink I should have paid attention to the inner "beep, beep, beep" warning that I was doing something stupid!
I recall another warning we did heed and it saved our lives. About 20 years ago we came home from a long trip and were very tired. We fell asleep quickly but about an hour later were awakened by the beeping of a smoke alarm and found our house full of smoke. It's amazing how disoriented I was at both being awakened and in panic. I still recall how difficult it was to dial the number and speak to the fire department.
Within minutes the first volunteer firemen arrived, entered our home, and almost immediately determined it was the motor to the blower on our furnace. We are so thankful for the smoke alarm and for the extremely competent and conscientious volunteer fire department in St. Marys, PA. We were informed that the smoke itself could have killed us had we not been awakened by the alarm.
We get a lot of warning beeps in our lives. We have them in our homes and cars. There are warning signs for cancer and other diseases. Our computers have lots of warnings. We can ignore or disable warnings, but we do so to our own peril.
There are also spiritual warning beeps. Today's verse is a vital one from Paul to Timothy and through the inspired Scriptures to all of us. Many people pay no heed to spiritual warnings. Some have never taken the supreme warning to the human race seriously, which is expressed in these words from the Lord Jesus: "But unless you repent, you too will all perish" (Luke 13:3).
The daily text is a simple command to understand but it can be very difficult to habitually practice. "Watch your life and doctrine closely." Another way this might read is, "Watch how you live and what you believe." The NASV states, "Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching."
We need to continue to watch our life and doctrine closely. Upon self-examination ask yourself, How does my life reflect the character traits demonstrated by Jesus? How does my doctrine line up with that taught in the Holy Scriptures?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, may we be earnest in our study, diligent in our discernment, and consistent in our Christian testimony so that You may be honored and we may be found faithful. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Everlasting God" Audio
"Everlasting God" Audio
Today's photo was taken by our friend Rick Steudler on a recent trip to the Yukon. On Monday I shared a similar photo he had taken during the same trip.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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