“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, an evil man brings evil out of the evil things stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Ephesians 3:20 NIV
When I was young my mother told me if I didn’t have anything good to say I shouldn’t say anything at all. This was very wise. In the Bible it says that the fool loves to talk, but the wise has few words. I know that as I began a relationship in earnest with my God I desired to do what he wanted all the time. I always wanted to help and at times I spoke without thinking. Was it really any of my business? I felt the spirit in side prompting me to hold my words. I liked stating my opinions and what I thought should be done. I didn’t really seek out the Lords opinions and ways though. I may have wanted things more my way. Or done the way I would do it. I felt myself quieted quite often. At the same time I was seeking to know the Lord more. Reading the Bible and different studies of others on the Bible . I read Christian books, devotionals, watched on-line sermons, Christian movies and documentaries. The more time I spent with the Lord throughout the day, the more confident I felt. I believe what goes in comes out. If I spent all day playing games and watching tv, or spent time hanging around angry, complaining, selfish and self-serving people , then that’s how I would become. That is not how I wanted to be. I spent time evaluating each thing I spent time doing. The first thing I did is give away my TV. Too much value-less time spent there. I have PureFlix now so I can spend time watching television and movies. Everything I have ever watched on it I enjoy. It’s kind of like eating. Just because it tastes good does not mean it’s good for you. I’ve found that eating less sugars and starches helps me feel better and less bloated. Watching too much tv just makes me anxious and nervous. Depending on what I watch. I prefer things that bring peace and inspiration. I like feeling positive. Music can really change the way you feel. I know that listening to others talking around me can make me anxious and frustrated, but by turning on praise music or instrumentals I can relax. If my heart is anxious and frustrated I will not be at my best. So as I choose to do things to occupy my time, I choose things that edify me and others. Then I am certain to respond positively towards others.
What are you spending time putting into your heart?
“But because of his great love for us, God, which is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”. Ephesians 2: 4-6
Oh they love us! Jesus paid it all, just for us. He went into the pit of hell for every sin ever committed, his suffering we will never really realize. But he did it gladly for each and every one of his children. We may not acknowledge it but he hopes we will. When he raised his son back to life and seated him on the throne next to him to rule and reign forever we were included. You see the horrible debt was paid. Grace was extended to everyone who will accept it. It is not something we do but what he did for us. God looks at those who have accepted that grace with new eyes. He sees us as white as snow. We are heirs to his kingdom just like his son. We need to wrap ourselves around that thought. I can only imagine this throne room. As I say the Lord’s Prayer, as I like to say it each morning. I picture what it must be like. Oh, it would make an awesome scene from a movie. I can see the intense glow radiating in that room, all that glory must be overwhelming. I know when Jesus was transfigured here on earth it blew the disciples away. But also imagine everyone worshipping before them saints and angels all bowing down in humble adoration. This is my God. He wants me to come into his presence. Do you feel what an awesome privilege that is. We’re talking King of kings the one supreme God. Maker of everything. Oh I so want all he has for me. I love being in his presence. I can sit in my room with worship music drowning out all the nursing home noise and it’s just me and God. I listen to each song visualizing each word and I can’t help but cry tears of joy. This world we live in is not our home. We are destined for a much greater life. Oh we have 70-90 years here if we are lucky but what awaits us is just hard to imagine. This morning the pastor of our church tried to help us see how this short little visit to earth is. He described a fish being tugged out of the water. Flopping around on dry land and choking for air. It is not meant to be here, nor are we. We can do the best we can but sin comes and we keep flopping around. I kept hearing the song “This world is not my home”, my treasures are laid out somewhere beyond the blue. Someone else said it’s like taking a camping trip because we are roughing it. No mansions like heaven, and life gets messy at times. We go through different tests that cause us to grow. Now even though it’s camping I want s’mores, fishing, beautiful mountain grandeur and cool pine breezes. In other words I want a full and abundant life. Well I believe God does want that for me too. But I also believe you have to go after it. Go after his presence. It takes work but I’m in. The more time I give to him. The better it gets. I find my priorities really changing. It’s available and we are meant to have it.
Don’t you want it too.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
What is light? The absence of darkness. God is the absence of darkness. There is no darkness in Him. In fact when the garden was new it was full of light because God walked in the garden with Adam. His presence and his glory filled that place. But since sin and death came into Adam and Eve they were banished from the garden and his light. We are all sinners and are full of darkness and the world we live in is a very dark place. Those of us who know the one who is the light have that spark of light in us. But we need to be connected to the source often to shine. Praying, reading the Bible, praising, devotionals, Christian movies, and Christian books are all good ways to be connected. Even fellowshipping with other Christians is a good source of power because their spirit connects with our spirit and edifies each of us. The more you are connected the brighter you shine. Have you ever met someone whose Spirit just draws you and something about them just glows? I have. Think about when Jesus walked on this earth. He drew people to him. They wanted to be around him. They wanted what he had to rub off on them. Jesus was with some of his disciples and “there he was transfigured before them, his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” He was full of his heavenly glory. This is what we should strive for. We will never get there till we are in heaven but we need to shine in the darkness.￼ That is the way others will get to know our God. We need to be like him. Full of love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and Faith. These are some of Gods qualities that we need more of. He is perfect light and we need to get as close to that and that takes purpose. It won’t just happen. You really need to be deliberate. Another reason to want that light shining in your life is that it brings so much peace, strength, and joy. I know people who at one time had the joy of the Lord in their lives and they were on fire for the Lord. They had purpose and they were making a difference. They were drawing people to the love of the Lord, but the cares of this life and the daily grind wore on them. They stopped fellowshipping with other Christians who supported and lifted them up. That is important to your strength and joy. We lift each other without even knowing it. That love of God is flowing from our spirits and we can relate to each other and our challenges. These friends got very discouraged and lost that feeling of love and acceptance that being around God brings. Everyone needs that kind of love to help and encourage them. When they are around someone who is shining brightly for God it will rub off on them even if they are not seeking it.
Can you be that shining light in someone’s life?
“…you do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you have wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on pleasures.” James 4:2-3 NIV
Whenever you need something come before God. Even though he knows our needs before we ask him, does not mean that we don’t need to ask. The Lord loves to answer our prayers when we ask. If it is important to you, it’s important to God. Do not think that you are bothering God, or that it is too petty to bring to him. Everything that you tend to worry about or get anxious over is important to give to God. It is important to be specific with God. Tell him what’s wrong but you don’t need to tell him how to fix it. Remember his ways are not always ours. He may not do things exactly how you think it should be done, but his ways are best. He knows us because he designed us. Just because he doesn’t answer immediately or the way we prefer does not mean he isn’t listening. He will always answer. In his time, in his way, and always what is best for us. If it’s not for my best, I don’t want it. I trust him. I don’t always understand why someone isn’t healed, or they die, when I had been praying for them. Like when my grandson died before his fourth birthday. I wanted him healed so badly. I prayed for him every day, but he died. Sure it would have been great had he been healed. But was that the best thing for him? Or was that just best for me. Sure I miss him and his family misses him but, so many things tell me he is better off. He has a perfect body and no pain. All his Tay-Sachs friends are there with him and they are perfect too. His Grandpa, who always wanted grandkids, but died too soon, and his great grandpa are with him. He is with Jesus. There is something I have learned about prayer. I have always asked God if I can be a part of what he is doing in our world. I want to make a positive impact on our world. He showed me how I can do that by praying. Praying puts me in miracle territory. Whenever you pray for needs then you are apart of the miracle when those needs get met. In my prayer life I have seen so many prayers get answered in unique and special ways. This has brought boldness to my prayers. When I see great answers I get excited and want to pray more. It is a privilege to come before God and to see his answers.
Do you know someone who needs prayer today?