Tuesday, January 31, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About – HEARTBREAK.

Yesterday’s Blog shared some thoughts about heartaches – the cause and some remedies for those who seek and walk with the Lord. Today’s Blog is an attempt to look through the window of our soul, as well as through the window of Heaven, to learn about the deeper and more intense presence of HEARTBREAK and God’s available remedy.

In Psalm 34:17-20 (ESV), David shares these words of conviction and confidence: “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” In verse 18, what does the broken-heart mean or represent?

Charles H. Spurgeon in the Treasury of David shares these thoughts regarding verse 18: The Lord is “Near in friendship to accept and console. Broken hearts think God far away, when he is really most near them; their eyes are holden (hindered or restrained) so that they see not their best friend. Indeed, he is with them, and in them, but they know it not. They run hither and thither, seeking peace in their own works, or in experiences, or in proposals and resolutions, whereas the Lord is nigh them, and the simple act of faith will reveal him. And saves such as be of a contrite spirit. What a blessed token for good is a repentant, mourning heart! Just when the sinner condemns himself, the Lord graciously absolves him.”

There are words of reassurance in Psalm 147:1-6 for those who are weighed down with the burdens and cares of life, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The Lord…heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds… Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the humble.”

What is the basic cause of your broken-heart? What things are weighing you down? What have you sought as a remedy for your Heartbreak? What if we all would seek out the Lord before resorting to the prescribed remedies of a Psychologist or Psychiatrist? What if we found some who have a vital Prayer Ministry where there would be confidentially as a felt need(s) were shared transparently before the Lord rather than attending some ancillary organization? What if we truly believed the words written by David in Psalm 55:22 and practiced more immediately the act of faith as we heeded: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved”? What if in the time of greatest need or persecution we applied the words in I Peter 5:7 of, “Casting all your anxieties (cares, burdens, fears) on him, because He cares for you”? The Lord will truly cause and make a difference in our lives as we heed His Word.

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Monday, January 30, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About HEART-ACHES.

At one time or another, all of us have had experience with Heart-Aches. They may be subdued to a degree and guarded by us but there is no denying that Heart-Ache is a very real part of who we are. It is understandable when a loved one is very ill and at the threshold of death. One will naturally be sorrowful and mourn the loss of a loved one. The focus of these thoughts on Heart-Ache has to do with how one thinks in his/her Heart. If the inner thoughts became expressed in words, what would that expression be?

In Today’s, Get More Strength For The Journey, the following is shared about one’s words: “Our words often reveal the dark side of our hearts... As James 3:10 tells us: Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. Proud hearts love to boast about accomplishments and are willing to use words to put others down to lift ourselves up. Angry hearts vent through our mouths, and fearful hearts often lash out verbally for self-protection and defense. Self-centered hearts turn conversations back toward us. And when your heart feels slighted, you will find that murmuring and complaining are on the tip of your tongue.”

In Matthew 15:18-19, Jesus discloses that which must be construed as Spiritual Heart-Ache. It includes what is taking place within an undisciplined Heart: “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.” An important fact and principle is proffered in I Samuel 16:6-7when Samuel is sent to the home of Jesse to anoint one as a King replacement for the unacceptable Saul. As Jesse’s sons appear, we have the fact and principle stated: “When they (the sons) arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought: Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord. But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

What is determinative regarding a remedy for Heart-Ache? In Deuteronomy 6:5, one is directed to: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” These words are reiterated in Matthew 22:35-38, “The Sadducees and the Pharisees got together. One of them…tested him with this question: Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” The way to deal with Heart-Ache is to adhere to the saying in Proverbs 23:26, “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.” Also, Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart (with diligence), for everything you do flows from it.”

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About – INSOUCIANCE.

I was reading comments by Dr. A.W. Tozer regarding the Church and whether or not it knows it’s true calling or purpose. He shares this thought as to why people begin to absent themselves and ultimately flee from the Church with its endless promotions and appeals in its quest for relevance. His comment was that it “can get mighty wearisome after a while, so wearisome indeed that alert, forward-looking persons often forsake the churches in droves and leave the spiritless, the dull and those afflicted with permanent insouciance to carry on.” What did he mean and what is insouciance? It means: “casual lack of concern and indifference.” Some of the synonyms are also revealing: “nonchalance, unconcerned, heedlessness.”

What is God’s purpose for His Church and the Biblical Christian? What is the focus desired by Him for them? The purpose and focus is given in Ephesians 3:10-11, “His (God’s) intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Dr. Tozer goes on to ask: “What is the purpose statement of your Church? Let’s find out what God means (wants) and adopt His purpose (focus) for us.” This would be revolutionary for many churches that find themselves steeped in traditions, lethargy, forms and methods.

In his book, The Set Of The Sail, Dr. Tozer concludes: “Paul and all the faithful in Christ Jesus were part of that plan (and purpose, Ephesians 3:10-11) …It was the knowledge that they were part of an eternal plan that imparted unquenchable enthusiasm to the early Christians. They burned with holy zeal for Christ and felt that they were part of an army which the Lord was leading to ultimate conquest over all the powers of darkness. That was enough to fill them with perpetual enthusiasm.”

In your spiritual journey, do you have the sense that you are on the cutting edge of God’s will and purpose for you and His Church? Or, have you placed yourself with those who are marked by their insouciance: “casual, indifferent, nonchalant, unconcerned”?

How does one overcome insouciance? John Piper in his Desiring God Blog – How To Repent - shared these thoughts as a starting point in his own life: “Nothing changed until I began to get specific about my sins…I began to call to mind the commands I frequently break. These are the ones that came to mind. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Not 95%, but 100% (Matthew 22:37). Do all things without grumbling. No grumbling inside or outside (Philippians 2:14). Redeem the time. Don’t fritter away the minutes, or dawdle (Ephesians 5:16). So much for any pretensions to great holiness! I’m undone.”

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Friday, January 27, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About – BENEFITS.

Pontificating politicians as well as politics with its lack of perspicacity, are noteworthy. In the current debates and posturing about the Affordable Care Act; the wall on the Mexican border and the needed concerns for the infrastructure throughout the nation are a few places where there is much rhetoric but little focus on the benefits for the people who comprise the citizenry of the nation. People seem to be a reference point only as a means to an end for the politician.

There are several citizens who are dependent on Social Security and Medicare. With all of the political posturing, it causes them a degree of alarm and consternation. When people have reached an age where they are incapable of engagement in gainful employment, what will happen to them and what does it mean for their future? How will their needs be met? What will be their source and resource?

For the Biblical Christian, there should be a different and unique focus for those who walk by faith and not by sight. First, Psalm 103:1-5, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name… and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Second, Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus said: “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” There are two words in Matthew 6:30 that should encourage the child of God. They are “much more”! Be confident of the “much more” of God for you.

The “much more” of God dovetails nicely with the words Peter wrote to the scattered believers and persecuted church in I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety (cares, concerns, needs) on Him, because He cares for you.” This echoes the words of Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares (burdens, anxieties) on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”

My wife and I have taken refuge in the words of David when he wrote in Psalm 37:25-26, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.” We have served the Lord in the smaller churches of our denomination. None of them made any contribution to the Annuity Fund of the denomination in our behalf. In all these years, God has faithfully provided and sustained us by His grace. The words of the aging Psalmist in Psalm 37 and the “much more” words of Jesus in Matthew 6 have and are proving true for us and we give Him the praise and glory for “all His benefits.”

Prayerfully – consider these things with me!

Thursday, January 26, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About – DIATRIBE.

In the world of politics, as well as in the world of so-called “Christian Religion,” there are more than ample examples of diatribe. Diatribe is: “a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism.” One place where this can be readily seen is on Facebook. One can find many opinions and condemnations posted by obvious secularists but also by those who couch their words under a cloak of their brand of Christianity or Biblical interpretation.

The true Biblical Christian has cautions about what is said and the manner in which a communication is offered. Proverbs 10:11-21 is very clear in terms of how God views the words one speaks: “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence…Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense…the mouth of a fool invites ruin…Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues…The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.”

Jesus taught His followers that their words define who and what they are – Matthew 15:10-20 – Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand. A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth, but by what comes out of it…Peter said to Him, Explain this parable to us. Do you still not understand? Jesus asked. Do you not yet realize that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then is eliminated? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. These are what defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile him.”

An old Hymn used the words: “What you are, Speaks so loud, The world  can’t hear what you say. They’re looking at your walk – not listening to your talk…” James 1:19-22 shares these important words: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger…get rid of all moral filth and every expression of evil, and humbly receive the word planted in you, which can save your souls. Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” This is a place where we should help one another to be what we claim to be – followers of Jesus Christ who diligently and faithfully obey Him.

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Today marks the 44th Anniversary of the Supreme Court's Decision (by a 7 to 2 vote) to legal Abortion in the United States.

As I was reading the Devotional - Get More Strength for the Journey - the opening paragraphs reminded me of the need for us all to shed any measure of complacency and become more engaged in defending the defenseless.

Joseph Stowell wrote in the Devotional:
“How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you” Isaiah 30:19.

"I don’t think I’ll ever forget the story my son told me about taking his family to see the stage production of The Lion King. A good time was being had by all until the play turned to the point in the story where the young lion, Simba, wandered into the dangerous valley and right into the trap of his evil uncle, Scar. The plot goes like this.

“In order to usurp the kingdom from his brother Mufasa, Simba’s Dad, Scar arranged for a group of hyenas to chase the wildebeest into a stampede that would endanger little Simba and lure his father, Mufasa, to the rescue. At which point Scar would kill Mufasa and begin to rule as king. After the stampede ended, little Simba looked up, all alone, to see his father lying dead on the ground. In the quietness of that moment, with the dust and smoke still swirling on stage, little Simba began to cry, “Help, help, help!” It was at that point in the hushed theater that my three-year-old grandson stood up on his chair and shouted, “Why doesn’t somebody help him?!

"It’s a reminder of a sobering truth. Each day, scores of people within the reach of our resources are hurting and desperately in need of someone to rush the stage of their life and help them. And here is the issue for us: Will we just sit by and watch like detached observers in comfortable theater seats? Or will we get engaged and do something about it? We are called to be the extension of the hand of God to the needy and helpless that are within our reach."

As you ponder whether or not you should become involved, at the very least, consider the following Scripture References:
Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT – The Words of David)
You (The Lord) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workman-ship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Psalm 51:5-6 (NIV – The Words of David)
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Jeremiah 1:4-5
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Proverbs 24:10-12
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.


Saturday, January 21, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About – TAKING A STAND.

There is a statement/adage that indicates: “If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.” It reminds one of the words of Paul in Ephesians 6:10-20 and the necessity for the whole armor of God. One point he emphasizes is Verse 13, “Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.”

As I pondered these thoughts, my habit is to read devotionals each morning written by others. It may only be a coincidence but two of them made reference to the same text in Matthew 5. First, in Get More Strength for the Journey, Joseph Stowell commented on Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” He indicates this can occur at different levels depending on culture and geography. Second, in Solid Joys (a Blog-Devotional by John Piper – Desiring God), he uses the same text and concludes/summarizes: “Jesus anchored the happiness of suffering saints in the reward of heaven. And he anchored the happiness of successful saints in the same. And thus he freed us from the tyranny of worldly pain and pleasure — worldly suffering and worldly success.”

That being said, the servants of the Lord do suffer on their journey with the Lord. The servant of the Lord (Pastor or Missionary) who tries to take a Biblical “stand” on that which should be embraced by all Biblical Christians will realize marginalization by those who are willing to be accommodating to cultural trends – or – some will be willing to compromise the core values and Biblical principles so that “their church” will not lose members or be subject to any negative criticism.

Larger churches can better absorb the loss of some contrary members and their financial support who differ with the “stand” that is taken, whereas the same scenario in a smaller church becomes a major crisis. Knowing that, the contrary member(s) will posture to get their way – and – gain the consensus of others who are afraid to disallow such rule or ruin behavior. The appeal of Paul seems to be long-forgotten – Ephesians 4:1-3 – “As a prisoner in the Lord, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received: with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, and with diligence to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” If only these words were the commitment of God’s people in relationship with God’s servants - and - each other.

Prayerfully – consider these things with me!

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About – VULNERABILITY.

This coming Sunday, January 22nd, is one of the days of infamy that should not be forgotten. It was on this date in 1973 that the United States Supreme Court by a 7 to 2 majority vote legalized Abortion in this country. The summary of the Court’s action is: “The Court deemed Abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, thereby subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it to the standard of strict scrutiny!” Based on a report by LifeNews.com, as of January 2016, “the National Right to Life now estimates, based on the data from the Guttmacher Institute and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), that the total number of abortions since 1973 has reached 58,586,256.”

David mused about the origin of life and understands it to begin at the time of conception. In Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT), he indicates: “You (The Lord) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” David not only speaks of the delicacy factor but that of vulnerability as well. 

The mandate and guideline from the Lord - Proverbs 24:10-12,
If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

In another place, after he had violated God’s Standard for one’s life, he cried out to the Lord and mentioned the origin of life once again. In Psalm 51:5-6 (NIV), “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.”

Another example of vulnerability occurs in the Life of Samson (Judges 14-16). Even though he had been dedicated to the Lord as a Nazarite and subjected to a strict code of separation (See Numbers 6), his inner lusts took control of his life and choices. In Today in the Word, the commentator shares: “Samson’s story is the longest in the book of Judges, and in the final episode we find a very different Samson from the previous chapters. The mighty warrior is now disabled. He is not invincible but he is vulnerable, having to be led by the hand of a servant boy on account of his blindness. He is not feared but mocked—the laughingstock of teeming crowd of Philistine spectators. He is not powerful but helpless, reduced to one last pleading prayer to the sovereign God of Israel. As the curtains close on his life, the man called by God to deliver Israel is buried under a pile of rubble— victorious and vanquished at the same time” (Judges 16:30).

There are two areas that require one’s attention and action. First, defending the defenseless – the infants in the womb. Second, to exercise greater discipline and obedience to obey God rather than one’s lusts (I John 2:15-17). 

Prayerfully – consider these things with me!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I Was Just Thinking About – PERPETUATION.

There is some truth to the old saying: ‘The more things change the more they remain the same.” That’s the basic meaning of perpetuation. It means: “to cause or continue to prevail.” This is obviously true in politics where term limits of Senators or Congressman are talked about but rejected. A negative result is that things of importance become institutionalized and entrenched in bureaucracy.

The same is true in the Church where Deacons or Elders are elected by congregations and become entrenched in a peculiar bureaucracy. Many times it is also more secular than spiritual. How we arrived at this place no one can adequately affirm. All that can be said is that it is what it is. A person in a leadership role in a Church has a need and requirement to meet God’s minimum standard. We get a clear idea of this as Paul addresses the servant of the Lord with the words recorded in Titus 1:4-9, “To Titus, my true child in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. The reason I left you in Crete was that you would set in order what was unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, having children who are believers and are not open to accusation of indiscretion or insubordination. As God’s steward, an overseer must be above reproach—not self-absorbed, not quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not greedy for money. Instead, he must be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it was taught, so that by sound teaching he will be able to encourage others and refute those who contradict this message.”

Do the words of Titus 1:4-9 describe and define those in leadership roles in the Church you attend? If not, why not? It is not a position where anyone should be chosen but only those who meet and comply with God’s requirements. If we don’t follow God’s standard and requirement, then we have become secular rather than spiritual. It also means that if we continue this practice we are perpetuating wrong choices from the past and bogging down the possibilities of ministry in the present.

Prayerfully – consider these things with me!