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Showing posts from May 18, 2014

Fruitful Living

"How can a young man keep his way pure?" This question asked by the psalmist suggests the futility of ability to bring solution on his own and an humility of heart that understands it must be addressed. He is searching for wisdom, guidance and assurance concerning the right way to live life. He needs to bounce his "ways" off of a solid and objective source. He needs to be mentored. So, he answers his own question by saying, "by living according to your word." (Psalm 119:9) That would be the enduring Word of God. He understands that God's help is essential for success. Accumulating a store of divine wisdom would help him deter sinful behavior that has beset his soul. If faithfully appropriated, it could enable the searcher to quell the press of sin within him.   This question is appropriate for our lives, too. It is only by the integration into our lives of divine guidance available within the Word that you and I can achieve conduct that is appropriat…

Thoughts

We all might think that our thoughts are private business and no one else knows them. They are secret and we can indulge in them without recourse. We must reconcile this assumption with the words of Solomon, "The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him." (Proverbs 15:26) You see, our thoughts which we "thought" were exclusive to us are known of by God. In the time of Noah, God revealed this about the thoughts of men. He said, "The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5) Not just the actions of man, or the thoughts of man but "every inclination" toward a thought in his mind was known about by God. We cannot hide our thoughts from God. They are the seeds that bring about our actions. They are the revealer of our character. So, knowing that God knows your thoughts, does that affect …

The Right Path

There is a right way and there is a wrong way. That is clear from both their ends. Solomon said, "Folly delights a man who lacks judgment, but a man of understanding keeps a straight path." (Proverbs 15:21) The empty-hearted find joy in empty things…folly, to be exact. They rejoice as they walk merrily down the wrong path. Their way is self-centered, focused on satisfying their sensual desires and completely void of wisdom. The man of understanding…the wise man takes a different path. He finds his joy in wisdom…in walking in the path less trod. His discovery of sin within him drives Him to God and a deeper understanding of His grace, love and mercy. He confesses and learns from his mistakes. He continually is found in the right path and teaches others the path to right living. The prayer of the righteous man is "give me, O my God, understanding, that my joy may be in your wisdom, not in my own folly." Can you…will you pray this prayer daily?

Abundance

I remember returning from India after three weeks of travel and teaching. We had been warned about how we would feel after living among a people who make very little for wages and live with so much less that it seems they could not live at all. Then it happened. I walked into the grocery store, up and down the aisles to see variety, boxes five and six deep on the shelves. There were more than thirty kinds of cereal and I understood what they had warned about. We truly live in a place where abundance is assumed and taken for granted. We can get on the internet and search for a car and find the one we want with the right color and styling from the abundance of cars that are presented. First century Christians understood the lack of abundance. They made a living but didn't have lots of anything. They had to be frugal, wise and careful with their money and resources. Here is where Jesus connects. He calls himself the "good shepherd" and says, "I have come that they may…