Friday, 25 May 2018

Put Your House In Order

Proverbs 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.

      Isa. 38:1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
      We are all going to face the day when we will leave this life as we know it. Hopefully, we will be at peace within our own hearts and our house is in the order in the way God wants it to be. If we are in Christ, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 3:16 Do you not know that you yourselves are God's temple, and that God's Spirit dwells in you? Making sure our soul is in order is what God the Father did for us through Jesus our Lord. All we have to do is walk it out by faith. 
      The story of Hezekiah is often taught as a faith lesson because upon hearing the news of his coming death, Hezekiah prays to God and asks for more time on this earth. God grants him another fifteen years of life. I wonder if he put off getting his house in order? I personally would not want to know that fifteen years from today I would be dying. That wormy little thought itching away in my subconscious would bug me - I am sure. I would rather live knowing my heart, soul, and body is in order today; therefore, living with the peace of God until I go.
      It is wisdom in life to have our affairs written up in legal wills, plus key documents stored away in safety deposit boxes or secure places. All the passwords your spouse or surviving family members will need to access your communication devices and login codes should be available to them when you pass on. Just for the sake of clearing out all the digital stuff will help ease the surviving members to move on. They will also need to get their remaining lives put in order. This is wisdom for the day we are living in.
      Having our own soul and life affairs in order is important where God is concerned. Our heart's default setting should be from a position of sonship in God. 2 Cor. 6:18 I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters," declares the Lord Almighty. We should not be living on the edge of needing constant warnings from God to get our house in order. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit today and we are living from that position to its fullest. 
      Free will and the love of God compels us to keep walking clean and forthright with God and not living on the edge of shallow worldliness, thinking we can get away with living outside of the will of God. This is immaturity in the faith and will keep us in a place where we never grow up. If we are living in a place where we constantly need baby's milk, then our growth will be stunted. Heb. 5:13 For every one that uses milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
      Putting our house in order is a good thing, and, if God is pointing something out that must be fixed, replaced, or done away with - then do it. Maybe a clean sweep is needed because you have been hoarding all the rubbish throughout your life and there is no room for God to move into your heart. It might be that a complete teardown and restart is needed - then do it. Phil. 3:8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. God knows how to heal broken, lost, and fearful hearts.
       Prov. 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established. Let us grow into the relationship God has ordained for us by wisdom and understanding through Christ. We are here on earth for a short time on the scale of eternity. So let us build a house within our hearts where God lives and reigns, helping us keep our lives full of the joy, peace, and love of Lord, forever and ever, amen.

Friday, 18 May 2018

The Law Of Stuff

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.

      The law of stuff according to Norm Sawyer. "Stuff begets stuff."   
      One of the fastest growing businesses in North America is the storage business. People rent space to store all the stuff they have spent a lifetime collecting. They pay money to go visit their stuff and wonder what to do with it all because so much of it is now worthless. A day comes when they try and give the stuff away that so much money was squandered on, but no one wants it because they have too much unnecessary stuff of their own. 
      Our lives are cluttered with stuff we no longer use and in a lot of cases never needed. The landfills are a testament to the final step when a major purging and cleaning was acted upon and the stuff was thrown away. Eccl. 1:3 You spend your life working, laboring, and what do you have to show for it?
      How did we get to a place where we ended up with so much stuff? What is missing in our hearts that we think we need it all? Heb. 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. I realize we live in a commercially driven society where stuff is offered to us twenty-four-seven, but why are we falling for so many of the offers? 
      I was talking with an elderly man who was struggling with events that had happened to him when he was a child. These events had formed and shaped his life in a way that crippled his spiritual maturity because he gave these memories such prominence in his soul. The hurts were piled one upon another. He had become a storage unit for stuff that hindered and stymied his growth, peace, and ability to cope wisely in life. His soul was cluttered with old wounds and scars that he had no more room for, but stuff begets stuff and hurts kept coming his way and he kept storing them. 
      Why are some people hoarders when it comes to every slight injustice or hurt they have experienced in life? These human storage units of personal injuries can tell you the time and date a particular wrong was done to them. These wounds have become collectibles placed on the table of their hearts for everyone to see and pay with the currency of sympathy and platitudes of "Oh, you poor martyr." Jer. 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? So why has the healing of my dear people not come about? 
      These soul infected hurts become a mummy's grave clothes, binding and wrapping the person's ability to live in the freedom they could have if they would just let the Lord heal their past and present. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Somewhere along the line of life, we have to stop the madness and just honestly desire healing and be willing to pay the price said in Proverbs 4:7b Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.
      Get the wisdom and understanding needed to let go of the stuff from the past and reach for a healed future where there is no more room for all the old stuff. Firefighters, soldiers, and cross country backpackers all give witness to the fact that when they have carried their heavy loads and garments throughout the day of hard work, they are so amazed at the lightweight they feel when they take all the stuff off to rest. The lightness that is felt is freeing to their body and mind. They can rest until strength returns. Psalm 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
      What hurts are so worth keeping that you are paying a heavy price to revisit and wallow within them till you cannot function? Old stuff is just that - stuff! Today is a new day and there are new blessings available to us that lead to other blessings. If we are going to collect stuff, then let it be the blessings that come from God who loves, heals, and strengthens us to live a life of blessed victory in Christ our Lord. Now that is worth having, because it is eternally freeing. Amen!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Chained Up

Prov. 1:14 Join with us! We will all share equally in what we steal. 

       Charles Dickens' character Jacob Marley said it best. "I wear the chain I forged in life, I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it."
      Nobody gets away with anything. Num. 32:23b Be certain of this, that your sin will catch up to you! The prisons are full of people who thought they could and would get away with the crime they planned out. Who had these gullible people hooked up with or chained their souls to that caused them to choose friends who brought them down into the pit? You are either yoked to the Lord or you are chained to someone or something in the world. 
      Even though Judas was a disciple of Jesus, he never yoked or tied his heart to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He hung out with the Lord and managed the ministry's finances, but Judas' heart was still in the world. How is it possible to walk and talk with Jesus and not be swept away by the work of the Holy Spirit? This demonstrates how strong the personal will of man is that God created within each one of us. God made sure that we - through our personal choice - would choose the will of God for our lives. It had to be our choice because God gives us free will.
      The Scribes and Pharisees were able to coerce Judas' heart because his heart still belonged to the world system. When the proposal to betray Jesus was presented, in essence Judas had fallen in his heart for what the Proverb said. Prov. 1:14 Join with us! We will all share equally in what we steal. 
      What Judas and the Pharisees did not know was that the religious organization of the day could not steal what God was giving away through love. You cannot steal what is free. It is by our heartfelt choice we accept the love God has for us through faith in Christ. 1 John 3:1 Behold what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God--and we are! Because of this, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
      At the mock trial of Jesus, the crowd shouted for the crucifixion of Jesus and the release of Barabbas. Mark 15:7 And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. Choices Barabbas made eventually had him chained to people just like himself. He had become what he put his heart and life into. He became shackled to those choices.
      Here we have two examples of poor choices from different sides of the track per se. Judas hung out with Jesus and made a poor life-ending choice and Barabbas hung out with a bad crowd and made a lifetime of poor choices. The common thread is both of these men's hearts were chained to worldliness and what was contrary to God's law. Rom. 7:23 But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
      There are people behind bars in prisons today who are free within their souls because they have accepted Jesus as Lord, and there are people who freely walk the streets who are chained up behind bars of their own self-made prisons. This is what Jesus delivers us from: our own self-made prisons. If we yoke our hearts to Jesus, no matter where we are in this earth we will be free. We may not always be comfortable, but we will be free. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 
      What have you chained your heart to that needs breaking loose in your life? What shackles are keeping you from courageously moving forward in God? How long are the chain links that are dragging the spiritual life from your soul? It is time to let the Lord cause a prison break in your heart. Matt 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Be free. Be blessed. Make the choice.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Self-Analysis

Prov. 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
      
      Norm Sawyer said, "While working out at the gym, I have never met a mirror I didn't like."
      Self-analysis can be quite biased when trying to proclaim our own goodness and personal qualities. It takes an honest probe from the Holy Spirit who is purity personified to point out or convict us of who we are in life. John 16:8 And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment.  
      Working hand in hand with the Lord - self-analysis is possible. However, the brutal truth of discovering things about ourselves that we do not like can be disheartening. We will have to trust the final analysis of God's perfect evaluation of what our hearts will need to be in relationship with God. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Thankfully the transforming work Christ has done within us far exceeds any of our own efforts or self-evaluation.  
      When we release our will and walk by faith, the healing Christ brings into our life will be a complete and lasting work. This God inspired work will bring maturity to our souls. Jude 1:24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. God knows what the inner man needs and how the blood of Jesus Christ can fix, mend, and heal our soul, mind, and lives.
      When we look in the mirror and don't like what we see, we clean up and change clothes. We adjust this and that till we are acceptable. When we look into the mirror of God's word, we allow God to do the adjusting of what He sees needing Holy intervention till we have the peace of the Lord ruling in our hearts. Phil. 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
      Self-analysis is only as good as the character within a person. If a person is of Godly character, then hopefully God's word will be used to correct their heart. A person of poor character is another story. Prov. 20:6a Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness. For a lot of people the biased proclamation continues into self-deception. 
      I am so grateful the Lord sent us the Holy Spirit to continually lead us and guide us into all truth that is profitable for our soul to become who God created us to be in Him. 2 Tim. 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, having been fully equipped toward every good work. We truly are God's workmanship. It is only when we let Him analyze our lives that we will come forth as gold purified by the Lord.
      The next time we are looking in the mirror and are adjusting this and that, we can smile and know within our spirit that God is doing the same thing within our soul for His glory. John 16:13a But when He the, Spirit of truth, shall come, He will guide you into all the truth. Blessings to us all.