Archive for August, 2022

Think About It

“as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

One of the most amazing gifts that God has given us is the human mind. What goes on in your mind defines who you really are.

Consider the rest of Proverbs 23: 7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, But his heart is not with you.”

What is defined here is a person who says one thing with his lips, but his heart is in a completely different place. Which represents the true person? It is the one whose heart is not in it. What a person really is can’t always be determined by what he says. A person’s actions reveal his true nature. By their fruit you shall know them. Everything a person really is flows out of his heart.

This principle even applies in a person’s relationship with the Lord. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

We must guard our heart, being mindful of what is in it. May your heart and lips be in sync. 

Things worthy of residence in our heart are established for us in Romans 12. Consider these factors.

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
20 Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

When the Old Testament character Samuel was seeking a new leader for his people He was warned: “…the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God is saying to us, “I see you.” As a child that thought frightened me. Then I came to realize that was good because He knows who we are, where we are, and what our needs are. Be open hearted with Him.


“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved….” Acts 16: 31

Believe is a little word full of much meaning. As often used in the Bible it calls for action.

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines faith as a belief in or confident attitude toward God, involving commitment to His will for one’s life. Belief is to place one’s trust in God’s truth. A person who believes is one who takes God at His word and trusts in Him for salvation.  

Believe (with a “v”) is a verb. A verb is an action word. It means to have confidence in the truth resulting in action. 

Belief (with an “f”) is a noun. It means a religious faith or the feeling of being certain that something is true.

To believe in is to accept something as true, genuine, or real ideals we believe in.

It is to have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction or persuasion, to regard the existence of God as a fact and His Word as truth.

Believe comes from old German words meaning to have trust. Belief doesn’t require proof, just acceptance.

Faith in Jesus is an active participle. If we believe in Jesus, our actions will testify to our faith. James says: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18). Likewise, the psalmist says: “I believe therefore I speak.”

If we truly believe, everything we do and don’t do will be derived from our belief. Indeed, anything and everything that does not come from belief in Jesus is a sin. (Romans 14:23)

This story illustrates belief resulting in salvation.

Suppose we become friends and you come down stairs in the morning looking ashen with perspiration on your brow claiming to have a severe pain in your right side and nausea. With an elemental understanding of appendicitis I recognize the symptoms.

I say, “My very good friend is Dr. Ramond, who is a surgeon. His office is at 1234 Broad Street, Zip 13929, phone number 760-423-2564. Do you believe that?” Your reply is yes. My response might be “Wonderful you are healed, the pain is gone, you are well.”

No, I called Dr. Ramond and he said for us to meet him at the hospital. The diagnosis is appendicitis. Then you must trust the surgeon to perform the surgery.

Salvation involves belief in the facts AND trusting the Great Physician.

What a Mighty God We Serve – Part Two

Don’t commit what J. B. Phillips in his book, Your God is too Small, called “the sin of reductionism.” Don’t try to put God in a manageable size. He warns against putting God in a box, thereby limiting Him by who and what we think He is. To accept Him as the God of the Bible is to be awe struck by Him.

“For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalm 33: 4 – 9).

Break out fragments of the result of that text and observe with awe. Look up at the night sky and observe Jupiter. It is more than 1,300 times the size of the earth. Larger than a composite of all the rest of the members of our solar system. It travels at an equatorial speed of nearly 30,000 miles per hour. Awesome!

Look up at the night sky and observe Jupiter. It is more than 1,300 times the size of the earth. Larger than a composite of all the rest of the members of our solar system. It travels at an equatorial speed of nearly 30,000 miles per hour. Awesome!

Look at the southern hemisphere and you will find the wondrous star Antares. It has a diameter of approximately 300,000,000 miles. Awesome!

Observe our Milky Way. This one galaxy consists of many billions of stars. Jeremiah the prophet said, “the host of heaven cannot be numbered.” (Jer. 33:22) There are millions of such galaxies. Scientists say these stars are all “restlessly swarming about among one another under the spell of their own inertia and the complex pull of their neighbors on every side.” Some travel at the speed of 200 miles per second. Our sun, dragging its planets with it, lumbers along at about 12 miles per second.  It is marvelous that there are no collisions that might set off a cosmic chain reaction to destroy it all. The energy is there to do it. Our sun burns the equivalent of 11 zillion tons of high-grade coal per second. What a design! What an awesome Designer!

Elohim, the Strong One, with unlimited energy and power set it all in motion. Before Him my heart bows in awe. We dare not approach Him with a shrug and a yawn.

Pause now and establish or renew your devotion to Him.

What a Mighty God We Serve – Part One

Jesus Christ, was God with us!

That is the most profound thought ever to course across a human mind. It is the most remarkable fact in human history.

At a time when men were trying to make themselves gods, God made Himself a man.

That staggers the imagination and leaves language begging for a way to express it.

The idea of there being an all knowing, all powerful God can’t be comprehended by the human mind or contained in human thought.

We marvel over the inventive genius of mortals. Thomas Edison illumined a dark world with his invention of the electric light. Jonas Salk blessed the world in discovering a preventive for polio. Bill Gates transformed society with his computer advances. Those who have given us TV, space flight, and modern surgery hold our respect.

All combined pale in comparison to the God who spoke a universe into existence. “In the beginning God…”

There is a most profound aspect of this God. In the person of Jesus Christ He “… made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”  (Philippians 2: 7, 8)

Centuries before Christ’s birth the prophet Isaiah wrote: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Matthew 1: 23 tells of the fulfillment of this prophecy. He became Immanuel, “God with us.”

The God who created this universe made this the visited planet when He came to Bethlehem.

“Immanu” in Hebrew means “with us.” When “El” is associated with a Hebrew word it most often means “God.” You can hear “El” in such words as Beth-El and Isra-El. It is one of several Hebrew names for God.  Immanuel means “God with us.”

We are no longer home alone on this lonely planet.

“El” is the short title forming the root for Elohim. This is the most ancient Semitic name for God and means “the strong one.”

God is called Elohim over 2,500 times in the Old Testament.

“El” signifies unlimited power, and energy.   The second root in Elohim is Alah and signifies the one who makes a faithful covenant. Thus, Elohim is the strong one with unlimited power who makes a covenant with us. 

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth.”

We need not fear being home alone “the strong one” is with us, and He loves us. Trust Him and find comfort in His love and capacity.

In What Do You Rejoice?

“I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.

I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” Psalm 119: 14 – 16

Comparisons often help in understanding a thing. This text makes a comparison between the love of money and the love for the word and will of God. This is broken down into four aspects of rejoicing.

First, “I will meditate in Your precepts.”

To meditate is to reflect over and over on a certain concept. Biblical meditation involves reflection where you ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your understanding.  Meditation includes thinking, picturing, speaking, feeling and studying. Meditation is the Holy Spirit using all faculties of your heart and mind. 

A precept is the maximum of moral conduct, a rule of conduct. Further distilled, it is simply stated as a command from God. To experience this, get in a quiet place and think about it with continued interest. Think! Few spiritual exercises are more valuable than meditation.

Second, I will “contemplate your ways.” 

To contemplate means to view with continued interest, to observe thoughtfully.  This takes time and is aided by the right environment. When did you last take time to contemplate God’s way of doing a thing, to ask yourself “How would you God like this done or how He like this thing viewed?”

The word “ways” is translated from orach, referring to a well-trodden path. This is a path walked by many and clearly visible; having been taken many times before, the outcome of the way is predictable.

Third, “I will delight myself in your statutes.”

Delight appears 10 times in English versions of Psalm 119 (verses 14, 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 92, 143, 176).  The object of delight is God’s law.  The Hebrew word translated as “delight” is sus which can also be translated “rejoice” or “exult.” 

To put the Hebrew word for delight into street talk it means to get a kick out of.

The more we meditate and contemplate the more we delight.

God’s statutes are a reference to a law or command. Out of which command have you gotten a kick lately?

Finally, “I will not forget Your word.”

To forget something you must first know it. Knowing God’s word requires committing it to memory. It is practical to memorize parts of God’s Word. Memorization is brain exercise. The mind becomes trustworthy when trusted. Like a muscle it requires exercise to develop.

Forget can also be translated “mislay” due to a to lack of attention. If you delight yourself in something you are not likely to forget it.

Even if a passage is not memorized, familiarity with its meaning is advantageous. Get the primary mental picture of what a passage means. 

If you meditate on God’s Word and fix your eyes on His well trodden path you are sure to grow to delight in His Word.

If you get in the Word this is a sure way to get the Word in you.