Reflections of Seneca

Seneca a Roman stoic philosopher, tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero has some keen insights into human nature that I believe would align with the teachings of Yeshua.  I cannot speak for the character and all saying of Seneca.   I am sharing some wisdom from a secular person that struck me.

All cruelty springs from weakness.

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.

The important thing about a problem is not its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution.

No one can lead a happy life, or even one that is bearable, without the pursuit of wisdom, and that the perfection of wisdom is what makes the happy life, although even the beginnings of wisdom make life bearable.  Yet this conviction, clear as it is, needs to be strengthened and given deeper roots through daily reflection; making noble resolutions is not as important as keeping the resolutions you have made already.

Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.

It is the characteristic of a weak and diseased mind to fear the unfamiliar.

It is only luxury and avarice that make poverty grievous to us; for it is a very small matter that does our business, and when we have provided against cold, hunger, and thirst, all the rest is but vanity and excess. 

Eyes will not see when the heart wishes them to be blind. 

We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.

 

Be not too hasty either with praise or blame; speak always as though you were giving evidence before the judgement-seat of the Gods. 

The primary sign of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company. 

He is most powerful who governs himself.

 

Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.

Shall I tell you what the real evil?  To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.

We are members of one great body.  Nature planted in us a mutual love, and fitted us for a social life.  We must consider that we were born for the good of the whole.

We are mad, not only individually, but nationally.  We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples?

Begin at once to live, and count each day as a separate life.

The mind is never right but when it is at peace within itself.

To err is human.  To repeat error is of the Devil.

These individuals have riches just as we say that we ‘have a fever,’ when really the fever has us. 

There is nothing the wise man does reluctantly.

There is no evil that does not promise inducements.  Avarice promises money; luxury, a varied assortment of pleasures; ambition, a purple robe and applause.  Vices tempt you by the rewards they offer.

The Fates guide those who go willingly.  Those who do not, they drag.

The willing, destiny guides them; the unwilling, destiny drags them. 

It’s all in your head, you have the power to make things seem hard or easy or even amusing.  The choice is yours. 

What difference does it make how much you have?  What you do not have amounts to much more.  

What need is there to weep over parts of life?  The whole of it calls for tears.

We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed?  What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired? Our vices will abate of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift. 

I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other, for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God, who is the searcher of our hearts, all our privacies are open?

The best cure for anger is delay.

Never to wrong others takes one a long way towards peace of mind. 

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.

He who asks with timidity invites a refusal.  

Do the best you can. . . enjoy the present. . . rest satisfied with what you have.  

True friends are the whole world to one another; and he that is a friend to himself is also a friend to mankind.  Even in my studies the greatest delight I take is of imparting it to others; for there is no relish to me in the possessing of anything without a partner.

Money does all things for reward.  Some are pious and honest as long as they thrive upon it, but if the devil himself gives better wages, they soon change their party.  

Study rather to fill your mind than your coffers; knowing that gold and silver were originally mingles with dirt, until avarice or ambition parted them.  

In every good man a God doth dwell.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people.

The bad fortune of the good turn their faces  up to heaven; the good fortune of the bad bows their heads down to the earth.

Night brings our troubles to the light, rather than banishes them.

Everywhere is nowhere.  When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.

He who is brave is free.

He who dreads hostility too much is unfit to rule.

Ignorant people see life as either existence or non-existence, but wise men see it beyond both existence and non-existence to something that transcends them both; this is an observation of  the Middle Way.

You want to live-but do you know how to live?  You are scared of dying-and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead?

As the mother’s womb holds us for ten months, making us ready, not for the womb itself, but for life, just so, though our lives, we are making ourselves ready for another birth…Therefore look forward without fear to that appointed hour- the last hour of the body, but not of the soul…That day, which you fear as being the end of all things, is the birthday of your eternity.

 

 

 

If God Was With Me, What Would He Say To Me?

This is what the LORD says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.  I WILL HEAL YOU.  2 Kings 20:5

Most times pain and suffering becomes the catalyst for healing.  When God approaches, He will ask you the following: “Do you want to become well?”  Your ability to trust God will determine your healing.

For a paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda healing came at the crucial age of 38.

There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]  John 5:5-6 (Amplified Bible)

To get well, you need to really desire earnestly to flee sin and obey God at all cost.  He will not clean you up from a life of sin until you give Him permission (to break the shackles of sin from your life).

In John 5:7, ‘The sick man answered and said: “Oh, my lord, there is no one to put me in the baptismal when the waters are moved, but while I am coming, another goes down before me.”

Most times people tell God why they cannot break sin in their lives rather than asking God to help them break the shackles of sin causing their suffering.  God can do anything we ask Him, we just need to ask the right things of God.

God does not want to hear our excuses.  He wants to know if we want to get well.  When God speaks in our hearts, we must do what He commands to receive healing.

Our Creator created us to walk in LOVE; however, sin caused us to walk in selfishness.  To break the curse of sin, we must reject our old lifestyle and determine to walk in God’s will of LOVE.

palma_il_giovane_001

So Yeshua through his words hear the cry of his heart, commands him to get up, to pick up his bed and to walk in John 5:8-9.  He will risk stoning and death for breaking the Sabbath by carrying his bed in obedience to God.

Yeshua said to him: “Get up! Pick up your bed and walk.  “And immediately that man was healed, and he stood up, took his bed, and he walked, and it was the Sabbath day.”

What God ask of us to attain healing will not come easily initially for each person.  Nevertheless, each of us must obey God to become healed.  Sin paralyzes us to a life of selfishness, suffering and ultimately death away from our Creator.

Sin at first appears enticing and appears to offer the foolish opportunities beyond their wildest imagination until the fool realizes they’ve been hoodwinked, find themselves addicted to sin, a life of pain, a life of suffering and a life that leads to eternal damnation away from God: their Creator.

What are you willing to give up or risk losing to follow God?  You should already know.  You must give up sin: lawlessness.

 

According to Matthew Henry Commentary we must “be careful, that we let not a season slip which may never return….What a joyful surprise to the poor cripple, to find himself of a sudden so easy, so strong, so able to help himself! The proof of spiritual cure, is our rising and walking.  Has Christ healed our spiritual diseases, let us go wherever he sends us, and take up whatever he lays upon us; and walk before him.”.

To operate in your healing, you must do what God commands you to do.  The man believed in Yeshua and acted.  Thus, he received instant healing.  

7 Healing Steps To Walking In The Spirit

Would you like healing not only for your physical ailments, but true healing for your soul?  Would you like to see the kingdom and walk in the kingdom of God?  How about the ability recognize the voice of God when He speaks to you?  

True healing can come to your present circumstances with God directing your life.  With discipline, perseverance and a deep reliance on God and His word, you can live in freedom from the effects of sin.  Discipline yourself by obeying all of God’s commands, follow the 7 steps and discover the healer (God’s Holy Spirit) living within you.  

1) Keep all ten of God’s Commandments–Exodus 20 Amplified Bible.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15 (KJV)

 ” For I assure you and most solemnly say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke [of the pen] will pass from the Law until all things [which it foreshadows] are accomplished.

So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:18-19 

Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God)….”  Exodus 20:8, 9, 10 and 11

We choose each day by the way we live our lives to say yes to God or NO!  Remember, He gave us ten commandments on tablets of stone–not ten choices.  

meister_der_bibel_des_patrice_lc3a9on_001

For an insightful understanding of how to keep the fourth commandment you can click on Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (on Exodus 20) for verses 8-11 in bold.

2) Flee sin: simple yet so hard! 

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (King James Version)   1 John 3:4   

You first take responsibility, recognize sin, obey God’s commands, refuse to participate in sin and run when the opportunity presents itself.

3) Pray and ask the Lord to help you overcome sin.

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.   John 14:14  (KJV)

It’s an arduous journey to overcome sin within.  Nevertheless, freedom is within reach if we persistently strive to obey God.  God says we have not because we ask not.  Ask God to help you overcome all sin in all areas of your life–on bended knees humbly before your creator.

4) Ask God to forgive you for all your sins with a humble and sincere heart (knowing he hears you).

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.  1 John 1:9 

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18  

If you earnestly seek God with a humble heart and ask Him to forgive you, He will.  You will see the results of your prayer impacting your life.  

5) Acknowledge your sins, tell God you cannot free yourself (though you’ve tried) and ask Him to break the chains of sin from around your life.

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.  Proverbs 28:13  

“He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.”  Psalm 107:14 

You should admit and talk to God about your sins–problems you struggle to overcome.  He will do the work in you that you cannot do on your own and set you free.  You will reject sin and live in peace.

 6) Go before the Father on your knees standing on His promises, reminding God of His words and trusting in Him.

Psalm 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.  John 14:14

Dear God, I beg you to set me free from all my sins.   I’m sorry for all my sins against you.  Please forgive me and help me to live pleasing before you.  I thank you for hearing my prayers and answering me.  Amen.

goya_peter

 

 

7) Wait expectantly upon God to answer your prayers.

Micah 7:7  But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation My God will hear me.

He will answer your sincere heartfelt prayer–wait, watch and see for yourself!

In conclusion when things appear complex, we must to take them to God.  I’ve experienced the living God for decades–these innumerable empirical data substantiates for me that God is real.  Their is a genius (God’s Holy Spirit) operating within if you authorize Him to do so. The Holy Spirit corrects, guides and makes Himself known.  You likewise can possess a profound peace in the midst of life’s storms by discovering the healer!