Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Worst or the Best Day Ever!


"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."
(Matthew 7:21-23)

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

"The Lord is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

Monday, November 16, 2015

We live as though . . . .

"Most people live their lives as if the end were always years away.  They measure their days in love, laughter, accomplishment, and loss. There are moments of sunshine and storm.  There are schedules, phone calls, careers, anxieties, joys, exotic trips, favorite foods, romance, shame, and hunger.  People can be defined by (any number of externals) as well as by the company they keep. 

All over the world, children love their parents and yearn for love in return.  They revel in the touch of parental hands on their faces. And even on the worst of days, each person has dreams about the future - dreams that sometimes come true. 

Such is life. 

Yet life can end in less time than it takes to draw one breath." 

                          from Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly 

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)