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Showing posts from May 13, 2018

Wise Heart - Heart Series 4

To be wise, outside the Wisdom literature of the Bible, seems to refer to the development of human skills or abilities, like required in warfare and leading, rather than to a spiritual ability given by God. To be identified as naturally wise means that your knowledge and experience have united in the right moment to help you make a good decision. But the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream shortly after the Kingdom of Israel was his and said, "What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!" To which Solomon replied, "O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn't know his way around…Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern Your people well and know the difference between right and wrong." (1 Kings 3:7-9) To which God responded, "Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give yo…

Joyful Heart – Heart Series 3

There is a lot to be said for joyfulness. It can change attitudes and actions that we do on a daily basis. But how do we get that kind of heart? Synonyms for joyful would include glad, rejoicing, happy, and cheerful. It is not circumstances that produce a joyful heart but the careful inspection of Who is guiding us and right beside us. The psalmist said, "The Lord…guides me… is always with me…is right beside me." (Psalm 16:7-8) He is not guiding from afar and does not forsake, but is closer than a brother to us. But right after these statements the psalmist goes on to say, "No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety." (16:9) The heart (mind, emotion, and will) is glad and therefore the body echoes that gladness by being able to securely rest. The joyful heart also authenticates the rightness of the commandments of the Lord. Being obedient to them places us within boundaries and that protects us from the sorrow and sadness of sin. We can trust…

The Heart - Heart Series 1

The Scriptures sometime speak of the heart as the muscle that beats in our chest, but most times it speaks of the heart as the interior of the soul that consists of the mind, emotion and will. These three direct the life of an individual. Their constellation forms the basis of all decisions. Spurgeon said, "Man devotes himself to anything sooner than yield his heart's love to his Maker, submit his intellect to the great Creator's teaching, and render all his faculties to the service of the Most High." Spurgeon said that man was, and is, prone to idolatry rather than godly worship and activity, and he tied this to Matthews statement by Jesus, "The words you speak come from the heart—that's what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander." (Matthew 15:18-19) These are the last five of the Ten Commandments which deal with our relationship to others. We like to think about our heart a…

Polar Opposites

When we think of this phrase we think of things that are totally different. They are not in harmony and move in opposite directions. Solomon said much about the wicked and the godly, which are polar opposites. Here are two contrasting statements that express the emphasis of polar opposites. "The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but He delights in the prayers of the upright." (Proverbs 15:8a) A wicked person who does "sacrifice" is not doing it out of devotion but rather out of dread or duty. His heart is not into the sacrifice, only his mind. On the other end of the spectrum, the upright prays with all his heart (mind, emotion, will) and the Lord delights in that."The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but He loves those who pursue godliness." (Proverbs 15:8b) The way of the wicked is in the opposite direction of the way of the Lord. It is a self-determined way and selfish in its end. But the purs…

Creator

As I sat in church this week, my mind was sparked by something that was said and sent off on the answer to this question: "What is still present that God originally created?" We think of music getting dated and going out of style. We have the same issue with clothing, cars, homes, business ideas, and maybe even the people who are our friends. Everything seems to fade as it gets older, but this is not true of what God has created. Think about this: Languages were the creation of God. At the tower of Babel when people were building this tower and worshiping the zodiac, God had had enough so He said, "let's go down and confuse the people with different languages." (Genesis 11:7) The rainbow was created prior to the languages. After the 375 days of the world wide flood, Noah came out of the ark and offered sacrifices to God and God gave him a sign of His covenant to never again destroy all living things. God said, "I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is …