Posted in Bible Study

Ch 10: The Crash from Without

Murphy’s Law – “Nothing is as easy as it looks; everything takes longer than you expect; and if anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible moment.

Maxwell’s Law – “Nothing is as hard as it looks; everything is more rewarding than you expect; and if anything can go right it will and at the best possible moment.”

1. THE CLOSENESS OF CRITICISM

Jesus, perfect in love and motives, was criticized and misunderstood continually. People:

  1. called Him a glutton (Matthew 11:19)
  2. called Him a drunkard (Luke 7:34)
  3. criticized Him for associating with sinners (Matthew 9:11)
  4. accused Him of being a Samaritan and of having a demon (John 8:48)
  • When possible, avoid people who  belittle you. Small people try to tear you down, but big people make you feel worthwhile.

 

2. THE PRESENCE OF PROBLEMS

2 Corinthians 4:8-9New International Version (NIV)
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

What are problems?

PREDICTORS – They help mold our future

REMINDERS – We are not self-sufficient. We need God and others to help.

OPPORTUNITIES – They pull us out of our rut and cause us to think creatively.

BLESSINGS – They open up doors that we usually do not go through.

LESSONS – Each new challenge will be our teacher.

EVERYWHERE – No place or person is excluded from them.

MESSAGES – They warm us about potential disaster.

SOLVABLE – No problem is without a solution.

 

3. THE CONFLICT OF CHANGE

Change is essential for growth. A famous inventor once said “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

  • Barracuda was put in a coastal aquarium and a mackerel separated by glass. The barracuda would attack the mackerel but it will bump to the glass several times until it finally quit. When the partition was removed, the barracuda would only only swim until the imaginary partition but no further.
  • Deuteronomy 32:11New International Version (NIV)
    like an eagle that stirs up its nest
    and hovers over its young,
    that spreads its wings to catch them
    and carries them aloft.

 

4. THE NIGHT OF NEGATISM

Matthew 15:19New International Version (NIV)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Are we governed by positive thoughts or by negative thoughts?

Philippians 4:8-9New International Version (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Negative thinking limits God and our potential.

Numbers 13:26-33New International Version (NIV)
Report on the Exploration
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

If we kept listening of discouraging news that are not true (Satan is a master of devising lies to discourage believers), the results would be us settling for the 2nd best.

Numbers 14:1-4New International Version (NIV)
The People Rebel
14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Columbus had trouble financing his ships and convincing a crew to ship around the wolrd. Why? He was fighting a a cultural trance. Everyone knew that the earth was flat and there’s no way you can go around it. But now we know that the earth is not flat but a sphere. But still many ideas are considered “flat world” because most people would believe that an existing assumption is the truth such as:

  1. Leaders are born, not made.
  2. Nice guys finish last.
  3. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
  4. You can’t teach an old dog a new trick.

A “flat-world” mindset allows us to sleep on top of it.

A “round-world” mindset keeps us moving around it.

  • How do you make youor “flat-world” round?

 

Posted in Bible Study

Ch 9: The Crash from Within

There is no security on this earth. There is only opportunity.  – Douglas MacArthur

There are three things from within us that must be constructively dealth with to bring inner peace and a wholesome attitude. If not, these could result to an attitude crash.

1. The Fear of Failue

Failure – we hide it,
deny it,
fear it,
ignore it, and
hate it.

We do everything but accept failure. Accepting failure in the positive sense becomes effective when you believe that the right to fail is as important as the right to succeed. It is impossible to succeed without suffering. If you are successful and have not suffered, someone has suffered for you and if you are suffering without suceeding, perhaps someone may suceed after you. But there is not success without suffering.

John 12:24-25 NIV
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. [25] Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Jesus said that dying, not living, was the key to effectiveness. The Lord became a visual example at the cross in Calvary of His words “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends – John 15:3. ” Apostle Paul understood this teaching.

Galatians 2:20 NIV
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, grow, feel, change, love, live.

Attitude is the determining factor of whether our failures make or break us. The persistence of a person who encounters failure is one sign of healthy attitude. Winners don’t quit.

In times of failure a key is to look at our Creator and chief motivator. There will be times that only yourself and God will stand by you – everybody else will desert you.

 

2. The Dread of Discouragement

In 1 Kings 18 Elijah demonstrated boldness, faith, power, & effective prayers as he stood with the worshippers of Baal but his attitude turned sour into blaming God for his troubles in 1 Kings 19 Elijah.  Observes the four thoughts of discouragements in 1 Kings 19 that affected Elijah’s attitude.

A. Discouragement hurts our self-image (v4)
while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

B. Discouragement causes us to evade our responsibilities (v9)
There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

C. Discouragement causes us to blame others for our difficulties (v10).
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

D. Discouragement causes us to blur the facts (v18). From 1 follower of God to 7000?
Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

Don’t be discouraged. Think that God is always in control.

Romans 8:28 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

3. The Struggle of Sin

Knowing what is good and failing to do it brings sadness to many believers.

Romans 7:15-25 NIV
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. [16] And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. [17] As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. [18] For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. [19] For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. [20] Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. [21] So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. [22] For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; [23] but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. [24] What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? [25] Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 8:1-2 NIV
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [2] because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Paul writes about a conflict between the flesh and the spiritual nature. There is hope in Jesus Christ as there is no more condemnation if anyone is in Christ.

Forgiveness is one thing; however, overcoming sin is another. David prays for purifyng power in Psalms 51:5-13 after he committed adultery and murder.

Psalm 51:1-13 NIV
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. [2] Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. [3] For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. [4] Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. [5] Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. [6] Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. [7] Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. [8] Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. [9] Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. [10] Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. [11] Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. [12] Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. [13] Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.

David’s prayer reveals the eight steps to have deliverance over the power of sin.

  1. v6 – “Help me understand the turth about myself.”
  2. v7 – “Allow the blood sacrifice to be applied to my heart.”
  3. v8 – “Fill me with joy and gladness.”
  4. v9 – “God, remember my sins no more. I can’t always have them thrown up to me.”
  5. v10 – “Give a new heart which naturally does good.”
  6. v11 – “Assure me of Your presence.”
  7. v12 – “Give me a will that wants to do what You want me to do.”
  8. v13 – “Allow me to teach others what I have experienced.”

If your attitude is threatening to crash, see if you are afraid of failure, dealing with discouragement or struggling with sin.

Posted in Bible Study

Section 2: Attitude Construction

It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you have to live with the turkeys. 

In our early years, our attitudes are determined mainly by our conditions. Babies can’t choose their parents or their environment but as they grow up, so do their options. 

Proverbs 22:6 NIV
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

A child’s formative years are the most import for instilling the right attitude and our attitude grows for every experience we had. Reinforcing our attitude, whether good or bad, makes them stronger (more solid). We need to constantly redefine our attitude for every change that comes into our lives so that we can become better.

One day a mule fell on a dry well. A farmer tried his best to rescue the mule but it was futile. Finally, he decided to just bury the mule. As he dumped dirt into the well, the mule began to stomp and snort. Inch by inch the mule goes upward for every dirt the farmer dropped until it rose to the ground. The mule survived because it kept on adjusting for every dirt that the farmer dumped.

Things that are affecting our attitudes

1. Personality – who am I
Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. [14] I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

No two persons are exactly the same. Even identical twins with identical chromosomes have personality differences. Each of us is unique – a masterpiece of God.

2. Environment – what’s around me
Romans 5:12 NIV
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

Our belief systems were developed in the environment of our early childhood. What we believe, whether the truth or a lie, affects our attitudes.

1 Peter 1:3 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

3. Word expression- What I hear
Romans 10:17 NIV
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Son: “Dad I think I flunked my arithmetic test. ”
Dad: “Son don’t say that; it’s negative. Be positive. ”
Son: “Dad I’m positive I flunked my arithmetic test. ”

4. Adult acceptance/affirmation – what I feel
Romans 5:8 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!

John’s favorite Sunday school teacher was Katie. When John was absent, she would visit him on Monday and tell him “Johnny, I always teach better when you are in the class. When you come next Sunday morning would you raise your hand so I can see you are in attendance? Then I will teach better.” John would definitely come the next Sunday and he would raise his hand. 

5. Self-image – how I see myself
Proverbs 23:7 NIV
for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

Self-image is the parameter to the construction our attitude. We act in response on how we see ourselves. 

6. Exposure to new experiences – opportunities for growth.
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Voltaire compared life to a game of cards. Each player must accept the cards dealtto him. Once those cards are in the hand, he alone decides how to play them to win the game. We always have a number opportunities in our hand. We must decide to take a risk and act on them because nothing in life more opportunity to grow than new experiences.

7. Association with peers- who influences me
Proverbs 18:24 NIV
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

8. Physical appearance- how we look to others
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
9. Marriage, family, and job – our security and status

Psalm 46:1 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
The costliest mistake we can make when constructing our attitudes is by consciously instilling life-limiting thoughts to ourselves and others. No one knows a person’s potential but God alone so don’t limit what you can do. Trained fleas jump up and down in a canister even though there is no lid. The flea trainer initially put a lid in the canister so the fleas bash their tiny brains to the lid. After a few hurtfuk jump, the fleas quit jumping high and enjoyed their new-found comfort. When the trainer removed the lid, the flea keep jumping inside the canister but never higher to get out of the canister.

  1. Stop putting lid to your own ability and stop discouraging others to reach their own potentials.
  2. Don’t let past failure from stopping you on living your dream. 
Posted in DUA

Ch 3: The Attitude – Why is it important? – part 1

Attitude Axiom #1: Our attitude determines our approach to life. 

Pessimist Bucket – There has never been a life as disappointing as mine. I always leave the well full but I returns empty. 

Optimist Bucket – There has never been such a happy life as mine. I always come to the well empty but I go away full. 

Our attitude tells our attitude in life – nose up/down. Our attitude and action towards life determines what happens to us. 

Galatians 6:7 NIV
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 

We can’t change the world and circumstances around us, but change can come from within us. 

Philippians 4:4-6 NIV
[4] Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! [5] Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. [6] Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

— Rejoice & be thankful at all times.

Philippians 4:11-12 NIV
[11] I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. [12] I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

— We can learn to tailor-make our attitude to our situation. Paul was in prison but learning contentment, he was encouraging other people to be happy. Happines is a decision that starts fron contentment.

APPLICATION:
What is your attitude now?

  1. Make the world go away. 
  2. Raindrops keep falling on my head. 
  3. I did it my way. 
  4. Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Attitude Axiom #2: Our attitude determines our relationships with people. 

The Golden Rule:
Matthew 7:12 NIV
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

— Christians effective ministry to one another is based on relationships. 

John 10:3-5 NIV
[3] The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. [4] When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. [5] But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

  1. Relationship to the point of instant recognition (He calls his sheep by name). 
  2. Established relationship built on trust (His sheep hear his voice and come to Him).  
  3. Modeled leadership (He walks ahead of them and they follow Him). 
  • Stanford Research Institute says that the money you make in any endeavor is 12.5% knowledge & 87.5% by your ability to deal with people. 
  • Teddy Roosevelt said “The most important single ingredient to the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. 
  • 68% of customers do not return because of a bad attitude of one of the employees. 

When the attitude we possess places others first and we see people as important, then our perspective will reflect their viewpoint, not ours. 

APPLICATION:
For one week treat every person you meet, without a single exception, as the most important person on earth.  You will observe they will begin treating you the same way. 

Posted in DUA

Ch 2: What is attitude?

Attitude- is an inward feeling expressed by behavior. 

– Fellows, your abilities say “win,” but your attitudes say “lose.”

– A 5th grade with failing grades but has an aptitude test showing he’s intellectually capable was suggested to have a “bad” attitude by his teachers. 

– You have a terrific attitude!

1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

— God looks at the heart but humans often look at outward behavior or appearance. However, human hearts are difficult to understand and human beings normally rely on the outward behavior to determine the person’s attitude. We say the behavior is the window to the soul.  

— Our attitude can be masked outwardly but not for long.  The bible say that there’s a  constant struggle within us. 

Romans 7:19,23-25 NIV
[19] For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. [23] but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. [24] What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? [25] Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Only through obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ we can fully grow spiritually and improve our attitude. Trust & obey. 

John 2:1-10 NIV
[1] On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, [2] and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. [3] When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” [4] “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” [5] His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” [6] Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. [7] Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. [8] Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, [9] and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside [10] and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

  1. You are not in the right place – v2. But to experience God’s blessings we must be obedient to Him even if we are not at the church. 
  2. You have a lot of problems – v3.  Problems should bring us closer to Jesus rather than away from Him. Christian renewal normally jappened when we focused on God’s power rather than our problems. 
  3. You are not encouraged – v4. Despite discouragement, Mary laid hold on the possibility of a miracle. 
  4. You have not walked with Him very long – v5. The servants just met Jesus and disciples had just followed the Lord yet they were expected to obey. 
  5. You have not seen Him work miracles in your life. This is the first miracle of Jesus with no previous account of miracles yet they are all expected to completely obey the Lord. 
  6. You don’t understand the entire process. Doing Jesus’ instruction without fully understanding the whole process – biblical definition of obedience. 

APPLICATION:

  1. Choose a friend and evaluate his attitude. Describe and share to the team. What is his attitude indicator?
  2. Do the same to yourself.