Our Lives Reflects our Hearts

Our Lives Reflects our Hearts

All of our actions—whether good and kind or hurtful and evil—flow out of our hearts. 

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.  (Pro 27:19 NIV, emphasis added)

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.  (Jam 1:22-25, underscoring added)

. . . he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.  (Ps 33:15 RSV)

For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”  (Mk 7:21-23 NIV)

As the Bible tells us, we need to be obedient, active Christians who LIVE THE WORD every single day of our lives.  Our lives will surely expose whatever is in our hearts.

This doesn’t imply that we’re perfect and never make mistakes.  Absolutely not.  It means that we start with a fresh slate every day, and continue loving and serving the Lord Jesus persistently and consistently. 

When we do sin, we stop and repent before God.  After we have received forgiveness and cleansing, we begin again in perfect fellowship and harmony with the Lord, our merciful Redeemer.  Because Jesus lived on earth as a human, He understands the nature of temptation.  (Heb 2:18; 4:15; Mt 4:1)

Because we know our own flaws and weaknesses, we’re able to extend mercy and encouragement to others.  We know that as we surrender to God’s will and resist the enemy, he must flee from us.  (Jam 4:7)

We serve our loving God and the body of Christ by praying for our fellow man, whether believers or unbelievers.  We also pray for our civic and government leaders that God will lead them and send them wise counselors, and give us peace on the earth.

As we hide God’s Word and His precious promises in our hearts, our hearts will overflow with the joy, mercy, and love of God.  Our faith will be nourished and strengthened.  Our daily lives will reveal and replicate the condition of our hearts.  Glory to God!

What Are Idols?

What Are Idols?

You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you.  (Deu 6:14)

Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.  (Deu 8:19)

Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  (1 Joh 5:21)

What is an idol?  An idol can be a statue, a god or deity, a symbol, a hero, or an obsession.  Hollywood and movie industry stars can be idols for people, as can a certain model of a car, or a favorite brand of watch or any number of other things.

The key is, what is the most important thing in life to you?  What do you talk about the most?  What do you think about and dream of daily?  Around what are your goals centered?  Are you determined to achieve riches and fame?  Influence?  Do you dream of becoming a political influencer? 

Any of these things, and more, can become idols in a person’s life.  But God’s Word warns us strongly to stay away from these things.  Therefore, we need to take stock of our thoughts and to acknowledge what we value in our hearts. 

A follower of Jesus would value their relationship with their Savior more highly than any other thing in their lives.  Equally, Jesus’ followers would highly value the Word of God.  And of course, we also choose to honor and to consistently obey the teachings of the Bible. 

We may each joyfully pursue our relationship with our Lord, and endeavor to mature in faith in our Redeemer.  Life is all about Him—not about us.  Our true hero is Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Glory to God!

Praise at the Sound of God’s Word

Praise at the Sound of God’s Word

Today I’m meditating upon the importance of the Word of God.  Let us continuously praise the Lord for His Word.

In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth.  Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.  (Ps 138:3-5, emphasis added)

When the kings of the earth hear the words of God’s mouth, they will praise the Lord and sing of His ways.  What an image!

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.  (Ps 22:27)  All the people of the earth shall remember the Lord and turn to Him and worship Him.  There is no doubt that this shall come to pass.

Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.  (Ps 72:11, emphasis added)  People shall be in such awe of God, that they will actually FALL DOWN BEFORE HIM in order to worship Him and to pay Him honor.  This also reminds us that, one day, everyone shall serve the Lord.

Here are several Bible passages that talk about the wisdom of the Word of God:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple . . . (Ps 19:7)  God’s Word makes us wise.

You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.  (Ps 119:98)  God’s Word gives us wisdom that enables us to be wiser than our enemies—and to thereby gain the victory.  When we have memorized God’s Word, it is forever with us.  Hallelujah!

The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken.  Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord; so what wisdom do they have?  (Jer 8:9)  This verse rightly asks the question:  “Since they have rejected God’s word, what wisdom do they have?”  The unspoken answer is:  none.

Be sure to avail yourself of the wisdom of the ages and the wisdom that will cause all kings and all nations on earth to serve the Lord.  Read and meditate upon God’s praiseworthy Word every day.

Be Generous

Be Generous

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  (Lk 6:35 NIV, underscoring added)

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.  (Pro 19:17 ESV, underscoring added)

It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.  (Ps 112:5 ESV, underscoring added)

Justice means fair play, impartiality, objectivity or neutrality.  The Scripture verse shown above (Ps 112:5) talks about a person who deals generously, lends to others, and conducts his affairs with justice.  All of these character traits are traits of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our example.  (See Phil 2:5; 1 Pet 2:21)

The Lord challenges us to test Him with our generosity just so that we will learn that we cannot out-give God!  (Mal 3:10-12)  It is the only area in which the Lord has instructed us to test Him.  Just ponder that for a little while . . .

The Lord demonstrated His love for mankind by GIVING His only begotten Son to become our Savior.  That was sacrificial love and sacrificial giving on God’s part, and anyone who is a parent understands that completely.

The focus of this article is about the call to believers to be generous—to live a generous lifestyle.  And it’s crucial for us to understand that God the Father gave generously, and Jesus Christ gave generously, also. 

And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  (Ac 20:35)

When we live a generous lifestyle while here on earth, in obedience to our heavenly Father, the Lord sees it and He places treasure in heaven aside for us as a reward.  (Mt 6:19-21)  God is most pleased when we share what we have with others, especially with those who are needy.  (Mt 10:8; Heb 13:16)

Live generously and with joy!  We believers are being transformed daily into the image of Christ, and this is simply one way in which we may cooperate with the Lord in our own transformation.  (See Rom 8:29-30; Phil 2:13; 3:21; Col 3:10; 2 Cor 3:18)  Blessings upon you!

God Blesses Our Food & Drink

God Blesses Our Food & Drink

How often do we realize that God protects us in many and varied ways, DAILY?  He blesses even our food and drink!  Let’s think about this and see what God says.

So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. (Ex 23:25) 

God’s promise is to bless [sanctify, approve, validate] everything that we eat and drink as well as to remove [eradicate] sickness and disease from within us.  If we truly believe and stand upon this promise of God, it will operate in our circumstances. 

Why is God’s blessing upon our food important to us? 

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  (Ps 103:5) 

God not only blesses us with the provision of food to eat, but by His blessing upon our food and drink, God renews our youth day by day, moment-by-moment! 

. . . because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.  (Neh 13:2)

In Nehemiah 13, God not only set Himself against Israel’s enemies, but He also reversed the curse placed upon His people and He caused the Israelites to be blessed. 

We are God’s New Covenant people and He has given us even BETTER promises than He gave to the people in the Old Testament!  (Heb 8:6)  It’s time to acquaint ourselves with what belongs to us through Jesus, our Lord and Savior!

I encourage you to read the Bible every day to collect and to meditate upon the blessings and precious promises that Jesus suffered and died to purchase for each and every one of His children. 

Does Living for God Yield Benefits?

Does Living for God Yield Benefits?

Are there really benefits given to those of us who live for God and His Kingdom?  The Scriptures tell us that there are!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits . . . (Ps 103:2)

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation.  (Ps 68:19)

What might some of those benefits be?  

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.  (Ps 34:22)  This is God’s promise to redeem the essence and character of His servants, as well as that—as we trust in Him—we won’t be scorned, abused, or belittled.

. . . and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.  (Ps 37:19b)  In famine, the Lord says that He will quench our hunger.

. . . but the Lord upholds the righteous.  (Ps 37:17b)  . . . for the Lord upholds him with His hand.  (Ps 37:24b)  The Lord supports, defends, and encourages us.  Praise God! 

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite [crushed] spirit.  (Ps 34:18)  The Lord comforts and heals us when we’re brokenhearted or feel crushed in spirit.

All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.  (Isa 49:26c)  The Lord will demonstrate to everyone that He is our God by showing His power on our behalf.

The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints:  they are preserved forever . . . (Ps 37:28a)  God will never forsake us but He will save and sustain us always.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.  (Ps 5:12)  God surrounds us with His blessings, esteem, kindness, and approval.  Thank You, Lord!

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain [protect; support; defend] you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. [shaken]  (Ps 55:22)  As we share our concerns, problems, and heartaches with the Lord, He’ll protect us and prevent us from getting pushed around (bullied) by the enemy or by our circumstances.

And these are only the benefits from the Old Testament!  There are more and BETTER benefits recorded in the New Testament.  (Heb 8:6)  Hallelujah!