The Treasure You Already Have

Today (Nov. 23) is International Day of the Bible. How many Bibles do you own? 

I've given some away, but more can still go. WHY?
My perspective changed. 

I saw the need.
I watched a woman who never had a Bible embrace the gift of a Bible and weep. 
Let's never forget the precious treasure we have right in our own homes and churches the timeless, tested and Truth-filled Word of God.
Regarding the value of the words of the Bible:
  • "More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold...." (Psalm 19:10a)
  • "...the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times" (Psalm 12:6).
  • "The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold" (Psalm 119:72).
  • "...I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold" (Psalm 119:127).
Walk around your house. Count your Bibles.  How many do you have?
Consider how you might share from your treasure with those who are "dying" to read God's Word.
"... faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).


Finishing Well ... Shine!

"They still bear fruit in old age ..." (Psalm 92:14). I want to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God until the day I die, don't you?

How is this possible?
No matter our health, no matter our circumstances, we can still make the choice to SHINE! 
So many choices we can make to shine.
  • We can make choices of joy when happiness is out of the question.
  • We can make the choice of contentment when circumstances change.
  • We can decide to trust instead of fear, taking courage and moving forwardtrusting God's love.
I don't want to shine for myself.  I want to reflect the glory of the One who said, "... I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).

And Jesus says to us:
       "YOU are the light of the world ..." (Matthew 5:14).

Hearing those words, I want to shine as a light in our cultureto point people to the truth of scripture and the love and goodness of the Father.
  • "But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day" (Proverbs 4:18).
  • "The light of the righteous shines brightly ..." (Proverbs 13:9).
  • "... those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above ..." (Daniel 12:3).
A song I learned in childhood still rumbles around in my thoughts and motivates me today. I want to sing it for all my life:

"Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around.
Many kinds of darkness in the world abound:
Sin and want and sorrowwe must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine." *

* http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Jesus_Bids_Us_Shine/


All Lives Matter and Here's Why

So much talk about who's lives matter. 

I'm thinking:
  • of the slaves who died on slave ships ...
  • of those killed by ISIS ...
  • of those the Communists imprisoned and killed in Siberian camps ...
  • of those in Hitler's ovens ...
  • of those killed in abortion clinics ...
  • of those murdered on our streets every day ...
All of their lives mattered!

So much cruelty and hate.
I believe ALL lives matter because we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
It's man's inhumanity to man—a terrible sin problem—that leads to lives not "mattering" today.

Only the Lord can solve this. Only the Lord can change hearts and the way we think about each other (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 12:2). 

In the meantime, our laws and authorities can do their best to prevent our hateful acts and punish those who intend to do people harm (Romans 13:1-3). Civil Government is divinely ordained and for our good. (See note at end about evil government.) 

I am thankful for public servants who put their lives on the line to protect us against evil-doers. 

The Bible says, "Be kind to one another ... tenderhearted, forgiving" (Ephesians 4:32). It's a choice! Christians, we can do this in Christ, who loved and forgave us.

Love people; don't hurt them.

How can you show someone love and kindness today? Show YOU MATTER! in a practical way!

[Note: Are we to obey authorities, as Christians, when they ask us to act in unbiblical ways? No. When "forced" to sin against God, Acts 5:29 says, "We must obey God rather than men."
See "Should We Obey Governments That Are Bad?" by Matt Slick]


Warm Me Up, Lord!

My granddaughter Jenna and I had our second "God, Grammy and I" time a few weeks ago, studying the first chapter of Elizabeth George's book for "tweens," A Girl after God's Own Heart.

We talked about: 
  • the importance of the heart, 
  • how we can have a "heart check-up," 
  • how having a heart for God includes responding to God's love, 
  • how a heart for God means we are willing to let God lead us, 
  • and especially, how crucial it is that our heart is "hot" for God, not lukewarm (Revelation 3:15-16).
It was a time of teaching and sharing with Jenna, but I found myself in deeper self-examination too.
We need to take the "temperature" of our heart and make adjustments if we're not hot ("on fire") for the Lord.
I don't want to be a lukewarm Christ-follower.

John of Kronstadt, a pious Russian Orthodox Christian, once said, "Your Lord is a fire: do not let your heart be cold, but burn with faith and love." *

I found myself praying two questions:

(1) Lord, how can I turn up the heat of my love for you? 
(2) Where do I need to warm up my life for your glory?
Are those the questions in your heart too?



Lies: Thoughts Led Astray

As I watch television these days, I see our enemy, Satan, hasn't deviated much from his initial strategy. Even as he tricked Eve and then Adam with his lies, the devil delights in tripping us up with rotten lies.

Satan's lies, according to 2 Corinthians 11:3, lead to to thoughts being "led astray." We start justifying sin. We call it by another name. We wander into wickedness because we aren't anchored to truth.

We see this in our homes, government and even the church. The consequence of these wayward thoughts for Chritians? False, corrupted devotion to Christ.

Read this progression for yourself:

Another version, The Message, puts it this way:  
"... I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ."

Paul was concerned that Satan's lies might corrupt God's people from the simplicity that is found in Jesus. This corruption might come: 
Satan is crafty—so sneaky—and skilled in deceit. We've got to become alert to his "wiles and intentions" (2 Corinthians 2:11, Amp.).
We can't afford to play loosely with the truth of Scripture. We've got to know, embrace and obey the Truth!
God's goal is for His children to obey, serve, worship and enjoy Him. Satan wants to keep us from doing these things. 

Our battleground is the mind. And we must "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5, ESV).

And that brings up another area regarding truth.

Our enemy wants us to major on the minors, always arguing over scripture. We must confront the lies of proud arguments and intellectualism ("speculations ... every lofty thing") and return to the "simplicity" that arises out of love for the Lord. (* Note)

God's Word calls Christians to sober watchfulness and alertness to Satan's lies (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7). The best way to be alert to lies is to learn to recognize the sound teaching of Scripture (1 Timothy 6:3). The Lord loves us, and He will never lead us astray when we abide in His Word (John 8:31-32). By knowing the Truth and living in accordance with it, the Truth will set us free from any lies that threaten to ensnare us.

Sincere and pure devotion to Christ must be our standard and motivation.

What lies are you believing today? Are you dwelling in truth so you can be alert to deceit?

* Note: We must cling to the truth, but not be given to disputing (being argumentative) (Philippians 2:14). Our aim must be "a sincere and pure 
devotion to Christ"--which also means devotion to the Word of God. 
It's all about the heart. We can have good "talking points" to share truth 
without being argumentative (an attitude based in pride.) 
We must proclaim the truth of scripture out of 
sincere love for Christ and the Gospel, not to "prove a point."