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Showing posts from May 24, 2015

Double-Minded

How hard is it for you to make a decision? Do you flip-flop back and forth and get frozen in the process being consistently on the fence? This is called being double-minded. It is a state of mind or heart where there is no firmness, no stability, no settled view but only wavering, doubt and skepticism and the inability to maintain a straight course. The psalmist uses 176 verses to discuss the "Law of God" and link it to stabilizing the character of a person. He says, "I hate double-minded men but I love your Law." (Psalm 119:113) God's Law is clear, decisive and relevant. It takes the side of truth and God, proves this to be the right choice and abides in that decision. James wrote about a double-minded man expressing the fact that he is "unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8) And Jesus said in his sermon on the mount, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the…

Priceless Treasure

Pirates searched for treasure at the risk of their lives. When found, they celebrate loudly and then bury that treasure again. Some of the treasures that we obtain, we pay a high price for. It may be a painting by one of the masters or a restored vehicle that not only is beautiful but reminds us of an earlier time in our life when we were happy and free. Many things in life have a price we are willing to pay to obtain some transcendent feeling. What is a treasure that is priceless to you? There is one in our life which we never consider to be priceless but it can grieve with us; can direct us and make us wise; can bring hope and joy in the midst of turmoil; and can even correct us from a wrong path. It is the Bible. Seventy percent of it is story, those of people and how they lived and died. They had faith or they didn't and their lives evidenced that. This book, so beautiful, explains what God wants from us. It directs us in the way we should go. The psalmist said, "Your wo…

My Work

Have you looked at a picture of you and your parents and seen their likeness in you? It may be your eyes, your chin, the facial expressions you use, your height and size or some other attribute but you see them in you. This is an example of what is happening to us spiritually, too. To be conformed to the image of Christ means we are each day being made more into his likeness. (Romans 8:29) It may be by our active engagement that we are becoming more like Christ, and it also may be that God is conforming us by what He allows to happen in our life that is out of our ability to control. Peter became more like Christ than his human family through the Holy Spirit's work in his life. He went from a denier on the eve of Christ's crucifixion to a declarer on the day of Pentecost. Saul was renamed Paul and his life transformed from a Christian hater to a Christ promoter. John shares the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. He prayed, "I have brought you glory on earth by…

Perspective

Fathers and mothers take on the responsibility of protecting their children and raising them to be productive adults in their community. Sometimes in this process there are times of discipline and we might say to our child, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." Yeah, right. This is difficult for a child to comprehend simply because they see life from a different perspective without an understanding of the responsibility their parents have taken on. Some of Jesus' last words at the last supper were "It is for your good that I am going away." (John 16:7) The disciples didn't understand this at all. They had been living with Jesus for three years. They were anticipating his soon ascension to the throne of David. They were ready for him to be the Messiah and ready to rule and reign with him. So, on this night, for him to say "it is better that I go away" rather than "let's storm the gates of the city and take it" was disconcerting t…

Release

Working in a foundry during my college days, I learned the truth of letting things go. It was never good when something slipped through your hands to reach after it and try to catch it. It was always better to let it drop to the floor and in the meantime get out of its way. To release it to its destiny was better than trying to grasp it and create an even worse result. The same is true in our lives today. Solomon said, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:3) This is not saying, do whatever  you have planned and you will always find success because in this case you leave out the most important of all actions. It means to include God, release your plans to God, and make Him central to your actions. This is the way of success. There is a perpetual suggestion in this instruction. It is to establish this action of releasing your life's way to God in the good and the bad times. It is the idea of not fretting about tomorrow but by fai…

Orphans to Sons

At the turn of the twentieth century many children were bereaved of one of their parents though death by disease or child birth. They gained orphan status as "a bereaved child" and in the Anglo-Saxon language the word used to identify them was "astepan," which means "to deprive." To be orphaned meant to be deprived of a parent, of their love, protection, guidance, nurture, instruction, provision, encouragement and example. Soon, most of the surviving spouses would remarry and those new homes would be characterized as "step" families. Although seen as enfolded, their orphaned status would still linger through the word "stepfamily." In discussions around the Lord's Supper the night before his betrayal, Jesus encouraged his followers, knowing that they would soon be deprived of him. He said, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18) They all knew what being orphaned was and he assured them that he wou…

Free Heart

It's a rainy Memorial Day weekend and like many others in our neighborhood I have placed our American flag in the front yard to honor those who have fought for it. I recently went to Youtube and found a six-minute standup routine by Robin Williams as the American flag. It was great to be reminded of its history and Williams does that with humor and respect. Freedom comes at a high price, sometimes even the ultimate price of death, but freedom is what we all desire. The peoples of the world come to America to experience it; to enjoy it; to dream big and seek to fulfill those dreams. That is all about temporal life; the daily activity of making your minutes count and building protection for yourself and a legacy for the next generation. What about eternal life? The psalmist said this in the longest of psalms, "I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." (Psalm 119:32) The heart is the innermost part of our being; our soul; the place of understand…