Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"What have you done?"

Four words that we never want to hear: "What have you done?" 

This was the response of God to his people on their failure to break down the altars of the inhabitants of the land.  "Now I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you."  Although the people wept, prayed, and sacrificed, it was too little, too late, and for the wrong reason. (Judges 2:1-5)

Sorrow over the horrible consequences of sin is not the same as sorrow for the sin of neglecting God himself. Consistently turning a blind eye and deaf ears to the Word of the Lord ultimately leads to judgment.  Sadly, there may come a time when all efforts to "make it go away" will be useless. 

"Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." (2 Corinthians 7:9, 10)

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near." (Isaiah 55:6)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Heart's Desire

"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." We are good followers, for better and for worse.  However, we are being guided by the Spirit of God to anticipate a heavenly city. Our salvation and our destination were purchased for us with the blood of Jesus Christ. 

"If they (the heroes of the faith) had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one." (Hebrews 11:15, 16)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Transferred Affections

God's amazing grace is evidenced when we have become so impressed with Christ that we can honestly say to our treasured idols, "BE GONE!"

"Though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.   And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images.  You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, Be gone!" (Isaiah 30:18-22)

How wonderfully the Lord transfers our affections from things to Himself. The wonder however is that he enables us to be willing!

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace."

Sunday, March 02, 2014

When Little Yields Much

When so little produces so much! Just as a small mustard seed is sown and becomes a tree, so too the Word of God regularly implanted in the soul produces fruits of the kingdom of heaven, visible and useful for all. (Matthew 13:31,32)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dross Removed!

"Remove the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel." (Proverbs 25:4)  A good 2014 resolution: presenting to the Lord a cleansed vessel, ready for the Master's use.

The good news: the dross has been painfully removed at the cross at enormous cost to the Smith, his own Son.  We are now His workmanship!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prepared for Adversities

"The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock."

Jesus said that the one who hears his words and does them is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. Hearing without obedience however, is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. Adversity will prove the foundation.

"Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7: 24-27)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Heart Matters

"It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are the things that defile a person." (Matthew 15:11-20)

Heart matters become health matters. Defilement is less about hand washing, as mentioned in the passage, as it is about the great damage inflicted from within a person. If what was said about our condition is true, we are in desperate need of heart surgery, something or Someone to stop the bleeding.

At the cross God successfully dealt with the cancer of sin by the shedding of the blood of his own Son. His work of complete inward cleansing produces a very different flow of thought and behavior, enabling us to "pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." (II Timothy 2:22)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Keeping an Eye on Health

When we think of health matters, we usually think of food, exercise, diet, stress management, proper rest, maybe even fasting, but we probably never consider our eyes as a key component to our health. Jesus taught:

"The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"
(Matthew 6:22, 23)


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Treasures

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Looking to the Source

When troubles, pressures and conflicts intrude like an overwhelming flood, what then? As the out-of-control fast becomes the new norm, we ask like the Psalmist "from where comes my help?" Psalm 121 is brief but full of reassurance and encouragement:

"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore."