Do you remember the classic Hot Tamales or Mike and Ike candy or the original sodas made from real sugar like classic Fanta Orange? Staples of things like Borax laundry cleaner become old friends that we get used to having. Our lives revolve around these products consistency and let’s face it we get used to having them. Have you ever considered your own life? Have you been dealing with the same problems for years? If that same disobedience keeps popping up you may have become comfortable where you are. In the believer’s life it is essential that you are changed to be more like Christ each year. Change should not be an affront to us when it is a move toward Christlikeness. The Holy Spirit is the agent of change in our lives and yielding to it is an imperitave action. Listen and follow its guiding and be made more like Christ today!
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV
Inevitably as family, work and daily tasks make me busier I tend to feel a typical amount of stress not unusual to anyone alive today. However as time progresses that stress sometimes turns to aggravation or anger. Ideally, immediately recognizing the problem would be the best course. But many a time I am left fuming till the Holy spirit reminds me how I’ve been acting. “Why are you acting that way?” I picture Him saying. “Don’t you know its all in the Fathers hands who cares for you?” “Of course. I say.” “Are you certain, because out of the heart the mouth speaks.” It is then I am forced to recognize my heart condition. Troubles around us should bring out and show godliness, ie.. Peace, love, joy etc.. Our reaction to pressure around us will show our heart, be that godly or sinful. If our outward self is revealing the latter it is time to examine our relationship with God. Have we been spending serious time with Him in prayer, study, meditation and worship or just plodding though the motions. Lets do ourselves a favor and get serious with the Lord.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ESV
This week at home we’ve been looking into the book of Galatians as the Apostle Paul was addressing the conflicting ideas entering the Church. Think of a computer. When you get bad data in a file it is said to be corrupted or unusable. This is a statement all video gamers understand, “Your save file has been corrupted”. Sometimes these errors come in unintentionally causing conflicts in the computer. Other times false information is introduced on purpose. We recognize these as hacks or attempts to take control of your data or your computer. When Paul addresses the Church in Galatia certain people were adding to what was being taught. Specifically he was concerned about adding the requirements of Jewish law to salvation. Salvation is by Christ alone and no “works of man” are necessary. That hack was attempting to change the system God had put into place by combining it with false data. The Church cannot function this way as it makes the whole system unstable. As we think about our life we are reminded to watch what data we allow in the system. Ours days should be Christ centered not self seeking, humbly desiring God’s will to be done in this life. On a computer you can lock down your Internet and run virus software to find the compromised data. In your life, open the Word of God and allow scripture and the Holy Spirit to configure your heart.
Grace and Peace
Recently my wife was selected for jury duty. It’s something each of us as citizens have an obligation to serve when selected. Checking in each week to see if you need to report seems like such a hassle doesn’t it? You can’t schedule your service it’s out of your control and oh so inconvenient. I will be blunt and can only speak from previous experiences. Do you ever feel an inconvenient obligation to serve your Lord? What was it at that time that caused you to feel that way? Any excuses pop into mind? I’m tired, I don’t want to cook today, I’ll miss the 12 o’clock kickoff, let someone else do it this time, I need to work and make more money, I don’t think anyone cares what I do, maybe next time, I’m saved it’s good enough. The list is endless and is a sad reminder of our heart if we are dwelling on these thoughts. In Psalm 32 David’s bones ached from weariness as God’s hand pressed him while his sin remained unspoken it still had an effect. When you lose the passion to serve, the joy of each day, the excitement of seeing God working is replaced by monotony, by a weary body aching to just lay there and do nothing, by a life that is just getting by. Who is your God? I tell you He is the same as David’s God in Psalm 32. Turnover that which is holding you back in your heart, only you and God knows what that is and that which comes between you and God is sin.
The psalmist confessed his sins and God forgave him. The Lord was again his deliverer and hiding place as God preserved him. If these thoughts have been nagging you, God will do the same for you if you turn it over to Him. Live in joy and Shout! Great is your God.
Psalm 32:10-11 ESV
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
As I was reading this evening I pondered why people don’t understand a believer’s life with God.
I walk like them, see like them and interact in all aspects with people in this world and yet in conversations we couldn’t be more different. We are all human yet without knowing the Lord as Savior my acquaintances are completely ignorant of the truth all around them. It’s like asking someone to believe one plus one equals five. Sometimes discouragement slips in leaving me wondering. Then I came across just what was needed at the right time. Funny how God works in His timing, (I like that) In 1 John 3:20 I was encouraged by the Word that it is God who brings understanding and allows them to see, just like it was for me at salvation. No one could force me to see what was right there the whole time. None but God as He revealed the truth to me. Faithful people had planted and watered but they did not save me, the Lord Jesus did. We can have joy in our lives as we live humbly according to His will. Follow the path God set before us as children of God. Living in the world not of the world, spreading the truth to those around where God places us. The whole while leaving results in people’s hearts to God. Someday in glory all will be as it should be as we are made like Christ. Until then may Christ find us faithful and resting in Him.
Have you ever gotten to the point where life is such a grind you just want to glide through and forget all your troubles? Seriously it happens to everyone I imagine, but why is that? Why do we fret and worry allowing the world and it’s trouble to overwhelm us? If we claim to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior then we ought not be so anxious of every little thing. Matthew 6:25-34, God will take care of us. I know that right? Perhaps the best way to describe that is our perception of Gods care and sovereignty gets messed up when we are not being faithful with our whole being. I have been slacking because my focus on good solid “Me Time” in the Word of God has been lacking and my emotions of late have been showing it. 2 Timothy 2 reminds us to be unashamed workers rightly handling the Word of God. To rightly handle the Word I need to spend more time dwelling on it, studying it and praying about what God is showing me. Can you imagine the faith of the man Joshua? A man who was with Moses in the tent of meeting and was found there always after his tasks were done. Exodus 33:11 Joshua truly was a man after Gods own heart, faithful and recognizing the importance of dwelling with the Lord. Today we have the completed Word of God in our hands and we curtail its influence and even ignore its authority over our lives, wasting such a precious resource when instead we should be seeking to understand our God better in its pages. Make the time to spend time in Gods written word and the Lord will effect the change that needs to take place in your life.
19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 2 Peter 1:19 ESV
“Lord may I today realize the amazing Word that I hold in my hand and the cost that was paid for it to be here. Make it a part of me and help me to dwell in its pages more often.”
Here we are in March of 2017 starting our first blog. What took us so long? Life gets busy and I would have to admit that I sometimes procrastinate. Come on I’m from Minnesota, I don’t like change! Anyhow, it is my hope that we at Heritage can share with each other and you what God is doing in us, through us and to us with the creation of this blog. Please be aware that none of us are perfect and as such mistakes may occur. Misspellings, typos, and yes even occasionally a verse taken out of context. We will do our best to make sure our posts stay Scripturally sound but as I’ve already stated were only human, this is a blog not a pulpit. As with anything you see, hear or read it must be filtered through the Word of God to see if it be trustworthy.