Friday, June 24, 2011

Guard Our Hearts

Proverbs 4:23; "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life".

There are emotions of the heart as, the loving heart, fearful heart, heavy heart, angry heart, the grieving heart, troubled heart, repentant heart, and the humble heart. These and more are mentioned in the Bible.

The heart is the center of the human will. The Bible talks about the hardened heart, refusing to do what God tells us. The clinging heart, one that clings to God, if you cling to God you will want to obey Him. There is a heart that wants to seek the Lord. All of these take place in the human will.

When Adam and Eve chose to follow temptation it affected the human heart dramatically. With their decision the heart became filled with evil. Mark 7:21-22; "For within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, v. 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness". A heart that is impure will corrupt one's thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. Matthew 12:34; "O generations of vipers, how can ye, being, evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh". If our heart is full of anger how can we say words of kindness or if our heart is full of deceit how can we speak with a truthful tongue?

We need to make sure our heart is a pure heart one that has love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, these are the fruit of the Spirit. If we have these in our heart it will keep us from having evil thoughts and words coming from our mouth. All the goodness from our heart will show in our actions and words.

We need to always guard our heart so no evil will be able to creep in and whatever we do will show we have love for our Lord Jesus Christ and others as well. Let the Light of Jesus Christ shine through us.

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making A Vow To God

I enjoy so much talking to the Lord, I love to go to my quiet place and be with Him and Him only. That special place I have gives me the opportunity to just sit there and talk over with Him things that may be bothering me or things I just want to thank Him for. This is a time for just God and me and I love talking with Him so much.

My quiet place is where I can see all the things God have made for us to enjoy. I love nature and animals and God has blessed me so much in these areas. I see some deer, birds, squirrels, and occasionally an opossum; I love seeing them and can't help but thank the Lord for each of these. We have been blessed this year with a family of swallows just outside our back door, we were able to watch the parents build the nest, take care of the eggs, know when the babies hatched, and now we are watching the babies grow. One day we will be able to see them fly and the season of this will be gone. I know to some this isn't a big deal but when it is something a person enjoys it is a big deal to them.

I started out by telling you about me talking to the Lord and I managed to wander off from it, so getting back to that. How many of you talk with the Lord? Do you always say what you mean or does it just come out of your mouth?

Ecclesiastes 5:4-6; "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. v. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. v. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands"?

Do you realize a vow made to God is a promise and must be kept? It would be better not to make a vow to God than to make one and not keep it. When you have made a vow to God you cannot go back so that means you must carry this vow out. You can't go just part way with it but you have to pay it in full. If we don't pay our vow it is making a fool of God. We also wrong ourselves as when we don't carry out what we have vowed we have lied to God. Remember it is better not to make a vow/promise to God than to make one and not carry it out.

If you make a vow to God and then have second thoughts about it your mouth has caused you to sin. Whatever you have promised God needs to be fulfilled. Don't give excuses for not wanting to carry out the promise. God does not like lies and by promising something to God and not carrying through is telling God a lie. Lying to God may bring severe punishment.

When we have our quiet time with the Lord we should always remember never to make a promise to Him unless we KNOW we can keep it. I have found when I am having my quiet time with the Lord I never make a promise to Him that I haven't thought through and talked to Him about it. I know He will help me to make the right decision on whether I should make a promise to Him or not. To be honest, if I think a promise is too big to keep I start praying about it to make sure I WILL be able to keep it; I never want to lie to the Lord. By talking to Him about a promise He will help me to make the right choice so that I won't lie to Him.

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Spiritual Eye

There is a means of receiving light and that means is our eye. When the eye is healthy we are able to receive the light and use it. If the eye doesn't work properly then we are unable to let the light in and there is only darkness. We need our eye to work properly so we will be able to work, walk, play, or do a number of things.

We also have a spiritual eye, when our desires, attitudes, and motives are directed toward the will of God, this lets light of His Word enter into our spirit to produce blessings, fruits, and salvation.

Luke 11:34; "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, the whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness".

When our eye is good then our body is full of light as the light is our soul and is its power of discernment between good and evil, truth and falsehood. If our eye is bad then our body or the soul is full of darkness or evil.

We need to examine each of our lives to make sure our spiritual eye is ready to take in the Gospel, know what Jesus did for us, repent of our sins, and be willing to renew our inward lives. Do we listen and respond to Christian leaders as they teach us, and as we read Scripture? Do we live the very best life we can, the way Jesus wants us to? Are we willing to help others in time of need? Do we pray for others? Doing all of these and all good things means we have an eye letting in the light. If we don't or can't live this way then we are full of darkness.

Luke 11"35; "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness".

We need to be sincere when we search after the truth and be ready to receive the light, love, and power of it. We need to be sincere in wanting to know God's will and be gracious and thankful when His will is done.

Be sure there is no darkness in our lives, we need to confess our sins, repent of them, ask Jesus to come into your life and guide you as you live each day, and we have to separate ourselves from everything that leads to darkness, If there is just one little place of darkness hidden in the body it will cause the whole body to become full of darkness, there will be no light.

Do you want a healthy spiritual eye that gives light or do you want an eye that shuts out the light? I want a healthy eye letting in the light to fill my whole body.

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

You Took My Place

I received this in an email and wanted to share it with you. This is an email that has gone around several times and has an awesome story with meaning behind it. After you read it you will understand what I mean. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


One day, a man went to visit a church; He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, "I always park there!
You took my place!"

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down; a young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That's my seat! You took my place!" The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That’s where I always sit! You took my place!" The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?" The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, "I took your place."

How many of us have a special parking place in the parking lot at church, a favorite chair in Sunday School, or a favorite pew to sit in inside the sanctuary? Dave and I have been guilty of all three. It is something I am not proud of and should never feel that anything like a parking space, chair in Sunday School, or a certain pew in the church is mine.

The parking space we like just seems to be the right one for us. The chairs in our Sunday School class room are just like all the others but we like where they are placed. The pew we like just seems to be the right one. There really is nothing special we just like where they are the best.

We would never dream of telling anyone they have taken our place but sometimes me, not Dave as much will get a little irritated when someone takes the pew we always like. Well, it sure doesn't have our name on it but we claim it.

What would you do if someone would say to you "You took my place?" What if by chance that someone you told that to would be Jesus Christ? We do have Someone that took our place years and years ago. That someone was Jesus Christ. Are we eager to say 'thank you' and that 'I love You for taking my place'? I always want to say 'thank you for taking my place' and I want to give Him praise and glory all of the time. Even if I am not in the mood I want to praise Him and give Him glory for every single thing He has done for me and my family. He didn't have to take my place but because of His love for me He chose to give His life for me.

Thank you Jesus, for taking my place on that cross and I love you so much and give you all the glory and praise for your love.

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Is In The Bible

The Lord has given us His Word to read for many reasons; the main reason is to teach us how we should live. He wants each of us to live a godly life and to be more like Christ. How could we live like Jesus if we weren't given instructions?

Some people don't believe the Old Testament is meant for today. Well, when God gave His Son to the world to die for our sins is when some things of the Old Testament weren't supposed to be used such as sacrifices. Jesus became our perfect sacrifice for sin so now we don't have to offer sacrifices. Jesus is the only one that died for sin but He Himself had no sin.

Some of my daily reading is in the Old Testament and when I really get into the reading and the studying of it there is so much to learn. Take Genesis for instance, it tells us about our beginning. The creation of the earth and all that is in this beautiful earth. We are told how the life of human beings began. It has the first lie ever told, the serpent lying to Eve and the fall of humankind. It is mentioned in this Book about God's promised plan of redemption for the world. It tells of the upcoming victory for humankind and God over Satan. Then there was jealousy, Cain killed Abel because of his jealousy. In Genesis we learn what jealousy can do to a person so it was from the very beginning in the Bible God has begun to tell us things we need to know. Genesis has so much more in it for us to read.

Exodus is an exciting Book to read. It gives us a record of the historical and redemptive acts where God delivered Israel out of Egypt. Israel is His chosen nation and there was a revelation concerning God's covenant with Israel. This is the Book telling us about God parting the Red Sea so His people could escape from the Egyptians that were after them. The Ten Commandments were given to Moses. It tells us about what happened to His people when they disobeyed. The same happens even today so we actually know how important obedience is to God, we should learn from this. The Book of Exodus ends with the finishing of the tabernacle and God's glory filling it.

Leviticus is another interesting book to read. It is about atonement and holiness. It tells about God's provision for redemption from sin and the alienation between God and people that has resulted from sin. The atonement for sin was the sacrifice of animals which was temporary atonement but we have Jesus which was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. God told the people they should be holy as He is holy. This means we should live lives of purity and obedience. This should be in our daily lives not just when we want to be.

The Book of Solomon is so interesting. It is about joy and dignity of human love in marriage. It is a book in the Bible exclusively dealing with the unique love of a bride and bridegroom, describing the courtship and married love. Different images and descriptive language reveal the emotion, power, and beauty of idealistic and married love, these being considered pure and faithful in the times of the Bible. Wouldn't it be wonderful if every marriage was as pure and faithful?

The Old Testament is neither obsolete nor boring, in fact in is exciting and we learn so much from it.

The lives of the people in the Bible aren't really that much different than ours, we just have more modern equipment. When you read the Bible you can actually see the similarity of the two. What people do today are the same things they did back then. I have thought we were more intellectual but we aren't.

When you read in the Old Testament and see how they built things and made things out of gold and silver with their hands and the type of tools they had perhaps they were able to do better than we do, we have machines that make so many of our things. It is amazing how they would do things.

When building the temple of God, God told them how to do it and they could remember just how He wanted things done. The measurements of everything were perfect and when the temple was done it was gorgeous.

We have the Bible so we know things about how the earth and everything in it was made and created, how the people were, how God wants us to live, He wants us to love Him as He loves us, He wants us to be obedient to Him, and showing us what happens when we aren't obedient. God doesn't want us to sin but because of His love for us He has made a way for us to be forgiven through His Son Jesus Christ. There is so much in the Bible and it is exciting to read to find all these things that God wants us to know.

I pray you enjoy reading the Word as much as I do.

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!