“When a thing is done, it’s done. Don’t look back. Look forward to your next objective.” (George C. Marshall) One of the great successes of WW 2 was something that happened after the fighting had stopped. $130 billion (in today’s dollars) was invested in rebuilding Europe’s economies. It would have been understandable to let the suffering continue, but wise minds agreed that it would better to look ahead. Wise minds still look ahead…positively! ;-) Jack
FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: we also helped rebuild Japan. did the Marshall Plan include Japan or was that another program altogether?? your homework for today.====JACK: That was MacArthur’s baby, even though it was supposedly an Allied operation. Of course, rebuilding Japan was relatively a small task compared to the destruction in Europe. It was mainly a disarmament project. MacArthur increased his “reach” as the Korean War developed, and FINALLY Harry Truman let him know who was the boss. I think MacArthur was aiming to become President, but megalomania got in the way. I, of course, lived through that era and could see what was happening.
FROM HONEST JOHN: You can, however, build on the past and learn from the past. That is critical. The Tea Party has no clue that they are the successors of a whole heritage of folks who gave been a disaster for this country.====JACK: "To learn from the past" is something that philosophers, Biblical prophets and historians have been teaching and preaching through the centuries...words that have, too often, fallen on deaf ears.
DEACON ROBERT: This was our Men's Bible Study focus last evening. Sure sounds like your winning words....Philippians 3:12-14 I'm stretching out toward the goal and forgetting the mistakes of the past....12"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press (soar) on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Commentary: This is what the Apostle Paul’s actions were under this conviction. Considering that he had not already attained, and had not apprehended, he pressed forward: “I follow after (Phil. 3:12), dioko—means I must pursue with vigor, as one following after the game. I endeavor to get more grace and do more good, and never think I have done enough: If that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
How do you follow the game? (whether it be football or life)
Observe, Where our grace comes—from our being apprehended of Christ Jesus. It is not our laying hold of Christ first, but his laying hold of us, which is our happiness and salvation. We love him because he first loved us, 1 John 4:19. Not our keeping hold of Christ, but his keeping hold of us, is our safety. We are kept by his mighty power through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1:5. Read both verses and discuss how Christ has grabbed hold of you lately?
Observe, What the happiness of heaven is: it is to apprehend that for which we are apprehended of Christ. When Christ laid hold of us, it was to bring us to heaven; and to apprehend that for which he apprehended us is to attain the perfection of our bliss. He adds further (Phil. 3:13): This one thing I do (this was his great care and concern), forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before. There is a sinful forgetting of past sins and past mercies, which ought to be remembered for the exercise of constant repentance and thankfulness to God. But Paul forgot the things which were behind so as not to be content with present measures of grace: he was still for having more and more. Do you struggle with forgetting past mistakes? When you forget the mistakes of the past describe how you have seen today’s grace?
Then he finally reaches forth, epekteinomenos—stretched himself forward (soaring), bearing towards his point: it is expressive of a vehement concern. Are you vehement in stretching out toward the goal line? Please describe ways you have reached out to make the play.
Prayer: Dear God, you keep us stretching to your finish line. Continue to hold us tight through your Son – Jesus and maintain our integrity through your steadfast Word. Because your Word causes us to lay hold on your grace, let it guide us forward allowing us to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater things before us. Keep us constantly soaring for the finish line and bask in your love, today and always. Amen
====JACK: Regarding Philippians 3:12, The Message Bible translates it…”I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wonderfully reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” Various translation are not meant to say that one translation is better than the other, but only that the use of multiple sources may lead to a clearer understanding of the message that God has in mind. Your notes seemed to indicate that it was a good Bible study.
FROM TARMART REV: "The best is to come!!"JACK: "My hope is built on nothing less!"
FROM IKE AT THE MIKE: YEP! & everyone should join an Optimist Club in their neighborhood A.S.A.P.====JACK: Some people would have a hard time with...."Promise yourself...that nothing can disturb your peace of mind."
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Yes, wonderful rebuilding work financed by the U.S., and one wonders if the situation was reversed, would Europe rebuild U.S. after such a catastrophe?? Seamus Heaney commented in the NY Times, "It is difficult to repress the thought that history is about as instructive as an abattoir" .(slaughterhouse or shambles) We don't seem to learn much! And human nature doesn't seem to change...====JACK: Re: Whether or not the Axis countries would help with rebuilding....We'll never know. In some ways the Marshall Plan was self serving, because it got the economies of the world going again, which was to the advantage of everyone.