|Posted on November 22, 2010 at 9:03 PM||comments (61)|
"O Lord, our Lord, Your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.You have taught children and infants to tell of Your strength and to give You praise...." - Psalm 8:1,2
One of the commentaries I read notes David's striking contrast here between verses 1 & 2. In verse 1 he speaks of the glory and majesty of Yahweh, seemly overwhelmed by his observations. Then he immediately follows with reference to little children telling these things and giving Him praise. What? Isn't the glory and wonder of God something that only an adult, with all the knowledge and experience gained over years of living able to appropriately grasp?
In Matthew 21:14-16 Jesus is healing folks in the temple. The priest and religious teachers must have been quite indignant that Jesus was healing people there. After all who did he think he was? Then the children began dancing around Jesus and shouting,"Hosanna to the Son of David!" This really put off these religious types. "Do you hear what these children are saying? They're calling you God!" Scolding Jesus for leading them astray. But Jesus quoted Psalm 8: 2, basically saying, "you all just don't get, it do you? These children know."
My wife Sarah went to a conference a couple of weeks ago and she has found a new revelation of grace. She has a joy that warms my heart as she tells me what Father has opened up for her. We've been listening to the recordings she bought and both of us commented on a portion where the speaker talked about when we first come to Jesus, many times we just receive the salvation and grace He gives us. Then we "go to church". We start to become burdened by all the, "now that you're a Christian, this is how you're supposed to act and this is what you're supposed to do." We get bogged down under the weight of all the rules and regulations, and the guilt and shame that inevitably ensues when we can't measure up. Isn't this like us in our spiritual walk? We come at first like the little children that sat in amazement and wonder at Jesus' feet, thankful the Creator of the universe cares about us. Then we become "educated", and sadly that joy of our spiritual youth goes away.
I love to listen to my 5 year old step-son Liam pray. We kneel beside his bed many nights and I'm always rewarded when he accepts my invitation to pray. I once told him I thought he prayed better than I do, and he enjoys repeating those words to mom. His prayers are so simple and honest and straight from the heart. I come away knowing that's how I should pray.
Oh that we could have that faith of a child everyday. They know and understand in the simplest of terms.
|Posted on November 17, 2010 at 10:16 AM||comments (3)|
"Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." - 2 Timothy 2:22
I have a TV next to my desk in my basement where I do alot of my work. Sometimes I turn on some sporting event or news program and I'll casually watch and listen as I work. Last evening as I was doing the video for this week's services, I happened to turn over to one of the late night talk programs. Everything was fine until the host brought out a young actress who was dressed in a very short white dress with material that was either see through or at least, gave the illusion of such. She bounced out and sat down, crossing her legs and exposing everything right up to her keister. After a bit of suggestive banter, she reached over and touched the host's leg, afterwhich he proceeded to virtually start pawing her, all the while with his wedding ring in full view. Immediately a war went off in my mind. Should I turn the channel or shut it off, or could I just go on watching? I watched for a few more minutes and then decided it was best to just go ahead and turn it off. Was this wrong? Did I sin? I don't believe so, because I was careful as to where my thoughts went, but as I was watching I felt a prompting, which I believe was the Holy Spirit, that this was not somethiing I needed to be investing anymore time in.
This gets back to my previous post and Proverbs 4:23. We have to guard our eyes and our thoughts, for they determine the course of our life. I heard the same pastor I also referred to in my last post, Brady Boyd, tell the story of an old girlfriend who sent him a friend request on Facebook. He determined it wouldn't be wrong or sinful to accept that request, but neither would it be wise.
Our world is full of temptations and all kinds of things to put on our "hard drives". That's why Paul told Timothy to run or flee anything that would drag down his direct communication with Father. He also gave him a list of things to pursue and told him the kind of folks to hang out with.
Yes, life is full of choices, and the ones we make today determine our tomorrows.
|Posted on November 15, 2010 at 12:34 PM||comments (1)|
"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you..." - Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)
This Sunday we're going to do one of the modern Christian standards, "Open The Eyes of My Heart" by Paul Baloche. Being the creative musical type I am, frankly I'm a little sick of this song. But as I'm fond of reminding myself, "it's not all about me", and it's message is timeless.
I love the NLT, but for some reason it doesn't use the beautiful imagery the NIV and several other translations do..."open the eyes of my heart". I'm only going to scratch the surface of what could be said here, but let me touch on an epiphany I had awhile back that has really been helpful to me.
Proverbs 4:23 states, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
I heard Pastor Brady Boyd of New Life Church in Colorado Springs give a whole sermon series based off this passage, and it convinced me this is one of the key verses in Scripture. To really get this, I think we have to at least attempt to grasp what the Bible means when it refers to the heart. The NIV Study Bible says about the heart: "In Biblical language the center of the human spirit, from which spring emotions, thoughts, motivations, courage and action -- the wellspring of life." Matt 12:34,35 states, "For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart." I have always told my kids (because anything told in computer language makes more sense to them), "Be careful what you put in your hard-drive". In other words,whatever we see or hear is in there for good. And the Bible says out of that comes everything about us....essentially it produces our character. Want to produce the character of Christ? Be careful what goes in your "hard-drive"!
Obviously this touches on all kinds of areas and warnings of the tongue and what a weapon it can be, but the point here is what fruit do we want to produce? Juicy, plump, delicious fruit, or rotten, smelly stuff? When scripture mentions the heart we need to take special note, because Father is taking special note of ours.
"Father, help me to guide the eyes and ears of my heart, so that out of it can spring goodness, mercy, grace, and all the good fruits of the spirit. Give me the courage to turn away and tune out that which does not edify and glorify You, so that I can live a life pleasing to Your taste."
|Posted on November 11, 2010 at 11:09 AM||comments (4)|
|Posted on November 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM||comments (1)|