Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's On Your Mind?

Prayer (Photo credit: Chris Yarzab)

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!

Psalm 139:23

English Standard Version (ESV)

          The above quote strikes me as a rather bold statement.   One would have to be very confident to say this to God--or have a sincere attitude of repentance with a true desire to do what is right in God's eyes.  

         Yet God knows our hearts and our very thoughts and minds.  We are assaulted by what the world tells us.   That input of data jumbles in our heads to taint our hearts.   God offers His way and so much of the time we want to do things our way.  What we want.  What others want.  What the world wants.

         We can't have it both ways if the world is not for God.  Sometimes we have to say no to ourselves, others, and the world.    It's essential for us to seek what God wants for us because that is what is best for us.    God's way is the key to our salvation.

          Pray.  Seek counsel of those of good repute.  Study the scripture.  And pray some more.

          When we strive to dwell within the heart of God, then we become closer to having a cleaner heart within us.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

English Standard Version (ESV)

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Someone's Gotta Do It

Preach It, Brother
Preach It, Brother (Photo credit: Steve Snodgrass)

May God be merciful to us, bless us,
    and cause his face to shine on us.
That your way may be known on earth,
    and your salvation among all nations...

Psalm 67:1-2

World English Bible (WEB)

         Telling others about something good in our lives is something we usually enjoy doing.  Perhaps it's an upcoming wedding, the impending birth of a child, or a new job.   When we are excited about our circumstances we want to share our joy with others.   It might seem strange not to want to share good news.

          Yet how often do we hold back on telling others about the best news of all.  The Good News.  The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

          "Let someone else do it," we may say.  "'I'm not good at talking to people about something like the Gospel," is our excuse.

           Sometimes if you aren't the one to tell the Good News to a friend, a relative, or a lost soul who needs to hear it, then that person may never hear it and will be lost.   God will guide you in your words if you will allow Him.

            Don't be ashamed of the Gospel.  Don't be afraid of offending someone with the Good News.  Someone's gotta do it.   Why can't that someone be you?

 For, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”   How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher?  And how will they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Good News of peace,
    who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Romans 10:13-15

World English Bible (WEB)

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Watch What You Say

Tell Me A Story - 21
Tell Me A Story - 21 (Photo credit: Inf-Lite Teacher)

Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:12-14

New International Version (NIV)

         Words are powerful.  They can also be self-condemning.  If we tame our tongues we are less apt to regret the things we say.  What we say can haunt us and sometimes get us in trouble.   Our words can follow us for years as they rest in the hearts and minds of those who have been in earshot of our verbal wickedness.  We need to watch our mouths because we may not realize where our words may end up.

        Sure, gossip can seem somewhat interesting and certainly juicy.  The big problem is in the truth or falseness that is spoken.   We must discern between what might be considered news or concern for another and the cutting vicious words that are intended to hurt and defame.   Consider before speaking:  Does my saying this have a purpose that is intended for good?

        Before we start spreading dirt perhaps it's time to first do some internal housecleaning of what's inside us.   No one is perfect and we all have sin within us.    Shall we let that sinful nature control what we say?  Better to keep quiet or be slow to speak than to unleash our evil side.   

          Our words say more about who we are than who someone else is.   Watch what you say.  Be a peacemaker rather than an instigator of rumor and hurtfulness.

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Matthew 15:18

English Standard Version (ESV)

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Wisdom in Our Time

English: Scroll of the Psalms
English: Scroll of the Psalms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

World English Bible (WEB)

       Would you live your life differently if you knew the exact day and hour that you were going to die?   According to the Bible the average lifespan is about 70 to 80 years (Psalm 90:10).   That was written a few thousand years ago and holds true to this day.  However there are no guarantees that any of us will reach that age.  Indeed more than a few of us will perhaps live beyond that projection.   The fact of the matter remains that we might live to a hundred or we might die today.

       So, not having that knowledge of time and date of death how should we live.   The oft heard adage tells us that we should live as though there were no tomorrow.  That can mean many things to different people.  The "carpe diem" philosophy is a hedonistic view for some, but that translates to absolute self-centered fulfillment of ones own desires.  Maybe that's not the way to go when measured by the expanse of the rest of humanity.  Too many people live for themselves without consideration of the legacy they leave to the world.  They want it all, but the fact is they can take none of the pleasure to the grave.

       Perhaps living for oneself is not the wisest choice.  Satan wants us to succumb to evil.  His temptations are alluring yet empty.   The foolish heart pursues the darkness.  Look to the Light!  Our days on Earth are numbered and we should use each one wisely.   Live each day as though it were the last.   Hold tight to life yet be ready to let go when God's call is sounded. 

        My life is God's gift to me.   My mission is to understand His will and to learn His ways.  The time for action is today for I may not have a tomorrow.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Ephesians 5:15-17

New International Version (NIV)

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