About This Blog

Welcome to The Word In Life! This blog is about the practical understanding and application of Scripture in everyday life. Come along as we explore God’s written word together.

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).

Ron Franklin

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Love begets love!

Years ago Dionne Warwick had a big hit with a song written by Burt Bacharach, “What The World Needs Now Is Love.” Bacharach was right. What we all need is love.

We all want people in our lives who care for us, who support us and are there for us in our time of need. We need people who are thinking about us, and about how they can encourage us and build us up instead of tearing us down; people who will protect us and defend us when others criticize or judge us.

But how do we attract that kind of love?

  • It won’t be by having more money than anyone else … that just attracts jealousy.
  • It won’t be by rising up the corporate ladder … that just attracts competition for your position.
  • It won’t be by wearing the most chic clothes and having on the most perfect makeup … that just attracts spiteful criticism behind your back.

The Bible offers a much better answer than those:

Bible1 Peter 4:8 (NKJV) And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

As this verse makes clear, being loved is not about me getting others to love me, but about me setting myself to love others. It’s our mutual love for one another that will cover faults, failures, and shortcomings with the balm of charity.

If I set out to attract love from others, I may well be seen as more manipulative than loving; that strategy almost always fails. But when I set myself to demonstrate love for the people in my life, even (or especially) in the times when they irritate me, I’ll find that love eventually begets love.

Ron Franklin

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How to be loved

Everyone wants to be loved. It’s a fundamental human need.

It doesn’t matter how much money, power, or fame we may have, we still need to know that someone loves us. And if that need goes unfulfilled, nothing else in our lives seems to work the way it should.

But love is not something we can buy or command from others. It must be freely given or it’s not real love. So, what can we do to gain the love from others we so desperately need?

The Bible gives a very simple answer to that question:

BibleGalatians 6:7 (NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

The way to attract love is to first give it! In that way love is like a farmer’s crop – in order to reap a harvest, you must first plant the same type of seeds.

Here’s another way the Bible says the same thing:

Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

But there’s a very important caveat:

Romans 12:9 (NIV) Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Our love must be sincere, not a manipulative attempt to make somebody love us back!

We can’t love in order to be loved; that way lies disappointment and frustration. What the Bible is telling us is that if we plant seeds of sincere, unselfish love into the lives of other people, we will reap love in return.

What does unselfish love look like?

Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Sincere love does not seek for itself, but puts the interests of another person before its own. And that kind of love always receives a response!

Ron Franklin

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Don’t be complacent about life!

The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that “entropy increases.”

In practical terms, what that means is that anytime things are just left to themselves, they will automatically tend toward more and more disorder over time.

Well, that’s how life is! When my life is not organized around any plan or purpose, disorder will automatically increase as time goes on. But that’s not what God intends for our lives.

BibleProverbs 3:21-22 (NIV) My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

The Hebrew word translated “discernment” signifies forethought or planning. God is telling us that if we are going to be successful in life, we can’t just go with the flow of whatever happens. If we do, we can expect more and more disorder and upheaval to occur in our lives.

We can’t afford to be complacent about life, thinking that things will “just work out.” We have no promise that they will. Entropy increases in life as well as in physics.

Instead, we’ve got to think things through in the light of God’s Word, and pray them through on the basis of His promises, to find God’s way of handling the various challenges life throws our way.

When we search the Scriptures to discover and apply God’s “sound judgment and discernment” in our daily lives, we can be sure that the wisdom He provides will bring us successfully through any situation.

Ron Franklin

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You’re not the only one!

Have you ever felt like you were the only person in the world with your problem?

I remember going to a conference and sitting in a crowded classroom. I happened to be in a place where the flow from an air conditioning vent fell right on me, making me very uncomfortable. And as I looked around the room, I became convinced that I was the only person in the place who had to suffer under that vent. Woe is me; I’m the only one going through this!

It’s true that in a particular time or place, I may be the only one seated in a problem area. But when it comes to the serious issues of life, the Bible assures me that I’m not the only one going through them:

Bible1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The Greek word translated “temptation” in the Bible also means “trial.” So, I read this verse as assuring me that whatever I may be going through, I’m not alone! It’s common to man. That means that others have faced similar circumstances, and with God’s help, have made it through. And so can I.

So, never let “I’m the only one who has to go through this!” drag you down into your own self-pity party. Your problem is not unique, and God already has a way of escape to bring you through it.

Ron Franklin

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Learning to continue in prayer

I’ll be the first to admit that my prayer life isn’t all it should be. In fact, my prayer life needs help!

Actually, I don’t feel bad about that admission, because I know I’m far from being alone. Probably most Christians desire to have a better prayer life than they have. I’ve read a lot of books on prayer, and they’ve helped. But what encourages me the most in becoming the pray-er I really want to be is the teaching of God’s word.

That’s what happened recently as I read the apostle Paul’s brief exhortation to prayer in Colossians 4.

Bible

Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)  Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

The first thing that struck me as I meditated on this verse was the word “continue.” Paul doesn’t exhort believers to start praying, but to continue in the praying he’s sure they are already doing. Prayer is an integral part of the Christian life. Believers don’t need to be exhorted to pray because they do it from the very beginning of their new lives in Christ.

That’s certainly true in my life. I can’t imagine being a prayerless Christian.

On the other hand, I’ve also experienced how easy it is to get caught up in the busy-ness of daily activities, or perhaps in dealing with some urgent situation, and simply neglect to stop and call on God for His wisdom, guidance, and help.

It’s not that I ever think I don’t need God’s intervention in my circumstances. It’s just that I can get so wrapped up in trying to work through things myself that I momentarily forget to consult Him. But when that happens, I become, for that moment at least, a practical atheist. It would never occur to me to deny that God is real and is the Lord both of this universe and of my life. But when I get so focused on dealing with what’s happening in my life that I push Him to the periphery of my thoughts, I’m acting as if there really is no God to guide, direct, and provide.

So, Paul’s exhortation that we continue in prayer is very meaningful to me. However seemingly urgent may be the issues that are screaming for my attention at the moment, my first, and not last resort needs to be prayer.

Ron Franklin

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How I acquired great wisdom

I don’t consider myself to be a particularly wise person, but I have great wisdom.

If that statement seems self-contradictory, it’s really not. You see, I know that I’m not innately wise. But I have access to a treasure trove of wisdom that is far beyond the “common sense” with which most people try to cope with life.

Bible

Proverbs 2:6 (NKJV) For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

The only level of wisdom I will claim for myself is that I am wise enough to know that without the wisdom that comes only from God, I’m not wise at all!

In fact, to neglect the wisdom that springs from the mouth of God through Scripture, and to try to find my own way through life based on my own good common sense, is to be not wise but extremely foolish.

Proverbs 14:12   There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

So, whatever issues I may face in life, the wise thing to do is to open the pages of God’s word, find out what He has to say about the subject, and then act on it. That’s real wisdom!

Ron Franklin

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God doesn’t feel sorry for us!

Recently, I happened on a web site that featured a large button that said “Download this … Perfectly Safe!” It then started to automatically download something. But my browser was smart enough to stop it and ask me if I really wanted to allow that download to continue. Of course I said “no.”

But what if I had been feeling adventurous that day, and decided to allow the download just to see what it was. And suppose the result had been a virus that wiped out my hard drive, or malicious code that stole my identity. Would you feel sorry for me? I don’t think so! There was plenty of information available to me to warn against doing anything so stupid. If I decided to ignore that available wisdom and do it anyway, nobody would weep for me when I reaped the inevitable results of my stupidity.

I bring up that scenario because it highlights the way I read the following passage:

Bible

Proverbs 1:22-23  How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. 23  Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.

What those verses say to me is … if I ignore the wisdom God makes available to me in life, neither He nor anybody else is going to feel sorry for me when I pay the price for my foolishness and rebellion!

God has made His wisdom for handling the issues of life available through His word. If I choose to neglect, reject, or simply overlook that divine wisdom, I needn’t expect sympathy from God.

That’s not to say that God doesn’t give grace when we mess up. He certainly has rescued me many times from my own foolishness. But it is to say God has no problem letting “scorners” reap the consequences of their refusal to heed His wisdom.

Hebrews 12:6   For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.

Father God is not the kind of parent who pats a deliberately rebellious child on the head and coos “poor baby” when disaster results from our rejection of His wisdom. He will chasten us.

And He won’t feel sorry about it.

Ron Franklin

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