Posts

Showing posts from June 10, 2018

The Poor

What does the Bible say about the poor? What does it require of us concerning them?  The story of the Roman army officer named Cornelius who "was a devout, God-fearing man" who "gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God," (Acts 10:2) can help us in understanding our responsibility to the poor. Cornelius had a vision at about three o'clock one afternoon where an angel of God came and spoke to him. The angel said to him, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering." (10:4) He was told to send for the apostle Peter who was at Joppa and he did, and Peter came and shared the gospel with the whole household and they believed. Peter only came there because God had given him a vision while at Joppa of supposedly impure and unclean animals that God declared he should eat. Peter was learning how to apply that in real life when he said, "God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or uncle…

Guard Your Heart - Heart Series 13

We all have learned the five basic senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch that help us perceive stimuli originating both outside and inside the body, but there are even more that are subsets of the five like pressure, itch, temperature, pain, thirst, hunger, direction, time, and muscle tension. All of these make us aware of our body. To ignore them is to invite danger but to listen and address them is to invite life. Solomon gave an emphatic challenge by repeated injunctions to his child, "Pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (Proverbs 4:20-23) Earlier in the same chapter he spoke about taking hold of wisdom's ways and guarding them, "for they are the key of life." (4:13) Think about that for a moment concerning t…

States of the Heart - Heart Series 12

There are many other states of the heart, some positive and some negative. Here are a few on both sides of that fence. God "stirred the heart of Cyrus" (Ezra 1:1) and the people of Israel were led out of 70 years of captivity. God also stirred the hearts of many other kings so that they would deal kindly with Israel. Psalm 19:14 says, "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." The meditative heart focuses on pleasing the Lord. Its meditations are connected to His Word and lead to wise words coming out his mouth. A pure heart says, "You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent." (Psalm 30:11-12) The godly sing for joy to the Lord, whether they can carry a tune is not important, so let singing burst forth from your heart! We have also heard of a broken and contrite heart. This is the sacrifice God desires and the psalmi…