Take a deep breath…inhale and exhale slowly. Without breath, you’re dead. Your life force is gone, your body shut down. This verse looks at the very fleeting nature of one’s existence. That life is but one breath away from dying…and that our life span is measured as a blink of the eye in the eternal scheme of things. Let us then determine that while we’re here on earth for such a short duration, our focus should be on what we can do to better the world, rather than just exist in it.
Month: February 2017
Mark 7: 20-23 ” He went on: ‘What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.’ “
This all started when the Pharisees saw the Disciples eating food with unwashed hands and were offended. Jesus gave the crowd a quick Anatomy/Physiology lesson when He concluded that all food (whether clean or unclean) goes into a man’s stomach, not his heart. He then instructed the crowd by saying, “Nothing outside a man can make him unclean by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean.” (Mark 7:15) I’ve heard it said, if you shake a man, you’ll see what’s in his heart. For it’s deep within our heart that all wickedness abides.
Isaiah 25:1 ” O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.”
Elsewhere in Isaiah it says, “The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.’ ” Lord, I give You thanks and trust that everything, both big and small, that happens in my life has been prepared long ago. Each wonderful, miraculous, and extraordinary thing that has and will happen to me You have planned out far before I was even born. And I know you have much more for me to be doing, and I look with eager anticipation to the future and Your plans for me. And everyone said, Amen.
Revelation 3:19 ” Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.”
You love your children don’t you? You want only the best for them, and for them to avoid as many pitfalls and sadness you had to learn the hard way growing up. So why should it be any different with our Heavenly Father? Proverbs 3:12 says, ” The Lord disciplines those He loves.” You are a cherished child of God when He admonishes you over something not right in your life. For He also wants only the best for you. When God shows you something out of kilter…get serious… don’t ignore or get angry at God…admit you need a moral re-orientation of your mind and heart, and repent.
Jeremiah 35:6 ” But they replied, ‘We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.’ “
The Lord had directed Jeremiah to invite the Recabite family in and serve them wine. But when he did, they responded with this covenant they had kept for generations. None of them had ever drank wine. The Lord then used this example to show how the Recabites had continued to uphold their forefather’s commandment…yet the people of Judah and Jerusalem couldn’t seem to keep God’s commandments.
I Corinthians 1:10 ” I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. “
There was Church division in Corinth…some followed Apollos, some Peter, and some Paul. All three were Godly men…all three were preaching the Gospel. So where could there be the disagreement? Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew that was converted to Christianity and tutored by Aquila and Priscilla in areas of the faith he was ignorant of. While Peter was one of the original twelve Disciples that had witnessed firsthand the work of Jesus. Finally there was Paul, a Jew and persecutor of the Christians until that fateful day on the road to Damascus when the Lord confronted him. All three were passionate about the Lord and the desire to evangelize. But they all came from different backgrounds and different life experiences, and their preaching styles showed it. Thus Paul exhorted the Believers to be joined together in Christ and the Gospel, not divided apart by man and subtle nuances.
Exodus 4: 11-12 ” The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’ “
Moses had many excuses of why he wasn’t the person to go to the Pharaoh and demand release of the Hebrew children. But the Lord countered with an airtight defense of why Moses was just the right man for the job. We want to argue with God, but speaking from very personal experience…you’ll never win. We can object all we want, but God desires obedience exclusively. For if He calls you to something, He can and will give you whatever skill is needed to accomplish that task. With God, arguing will get you nowhere…obedience on the other hand, will move His Kingdom forward.
Colossians 2:2-3 ” My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. “
Do you know Jesus? No really, do you know Jesus? For in that perfect comprehension of just who Jesus is and what He’s done for you, comes the unveiling of hidden things. In it we’re able to recognize and discern truth from distorted truth. In knowing Jesus, comes the revelation of God’s wisdom…His divine insight and knowledge of once concealed things. I’ll ask you again, do you know Jesus?
Psalm 52:9 ” I will praise You forever for what You have done; in You name I will hope, for Your name is good. I will praise You in the presence of Your saints.”
Do you see your glass as half empty, or half full? Rather than focus and dwell on the have nots…concentrate on what the Lord has already accomplished in your life. Thank Him for what He’s brought you through as you expectantly wait for Him. Linger in the miraculous happenings of your life story with the Lord as you anticipate what He’ll do next. As one of the faithful, your glass will never again be half empty…for the Lord’s love will fill it to overflowing.
Psalm 52: 8 ” But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. “
I am planted like a thriving tree in Your presence Lord…grafted securely to the root of Jesse…my dependence is on You and You alone. I praise You Lord for Your never-ending mercy and kindness. I thank You for Your everlasting and eternal love. Amen.