Tag Archives: heart

I Will Come Again  


 

John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me,” John 14:1.

I love security! And I want all the security I can have in my life, financial security, job security, marital security and homeland security! It feels good to know things are secure. In today’s passage, we see the greatest security a person can have, spiritual security. Is there a greater security than the security of the believer? This is a protection that is sealed by the promises of Almighty God! In John 14:1-3, we see Jesus promising us three things that serve as keys to our security in Christ.

 

1. We need not be troubled. Our belief in God and His Son Jesus is the starting point of our spiritual security. If you have placed your faith in Jesus for salvation, you are secure.

2. Jesus is in the process of preparing a place for the believers. Our security is seen in His work. He is preparing our eternal home because He guarantees our arrival if we are in Him.

3. He is coming back for us. The promise that He will return again to bring us to the place He has prepared is a positive guarantee. A promise from God is a promise that will never be broken.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

Do you rest in the knowledge that Jesus already seals your spiritual security?

Nathan Rogers

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Prayer for Help  


Psalm 141:3, 4

“Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips,” Psalm 141:3.

 

Have you ever been around those people who must speak their mind, no matter how or whom it hurts? This type of person makes me nervous. They are dangerous for many reasons, not the least being the poison arrows they shoot out of their mouths may boomerang and hit the person next to them. What is even worse they have harmed many of the Lord’s churches as they claim to be Christians.

God does not need people like that in His army. He has the Holy Spirit to convict and correct His children. God does allow calm and loving correction administered by mature believers if they speak the truth in a loving manner.

If God convicts one of being a person of quick tongue and slow mind, one of those who must say what is on their mind, then, like David, we need to utter the above prayer daily. Perhaps it would be better to memorize it, then, we can say it in place of what we think we must say and say it until we get lip locked. We can write it on our hearts and the hinges of our jaws or just a three by five card and memorize it, so that we will not bring reproach on the Lord’s work. If we are not careful, harmful words can spew out of our mouths before we know it. We, like David, need to allow God to put a guard on our lips.

 

 

REFLECTION

If you must say something, say, Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day (Psalm 71:8).

 

Beverly Barnett

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HEBREW – Tremble (1)


chārēḏ
In our study of the tabernacle, we referred to Isa_66:1-2 in passing, but there is a truth there that deeply affects this writer and that is well worth our serious consideration in light of our modern day: “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Does God demand magnificent structures, such as the breathtaking St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, to worship Him? Not according to Isaiah, who in this chapter continues his prophecy concerning the glorious future. He begins, however, by contrasting the attitude of the true and faithful servant of God with the apostate and worldly character of most of the nation. He declares that there are only two places where God dwells: first in heaven and second in the contrite heart of the person who trembles at His Word. God is not looking for a temple made of stone or sacrifices made without thought. He is concerned rather with what is in the heart, specifically, our attitude toward His Word.
Paul declared the same truth: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Php_2:12). To our shame, we see little, if any, fear and trembling in our churches. Oh, we see much excitement, activity, and other user-oriented attitudes, but where is the trembling before God’s Word?
Trembleth is a translation of chārēḏ (H2730), “to shake,” from which are derived the ideas of trembling and fear. God told Gideon, for example, to limit the number of soldiers by observing who was afraid, which sent 22,000 back home (Jdg_7:3). In 1Sa_4:13, Eli sat “by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God,” because the Ark of the Covenant was in danger of being captured by the Philistines.
As we continue these thoughts in coming days, let us each ask ourselves, “Do I tremble before God’s Word? Do I have a deep reverence for God’s revelation and a fear in my heart of disobeying it?”
Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting the emphasis on trembling at God’s Word: Ezr_9:4; Ezr_10:3; Psa_119:120.

 

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Submit, Resist and Draw Nigh


James 4:7-10
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up,” James 4:10.

What happens when the pangs of personal guilt and shame for committing sin are not enough to lead us to confession? What happens when we do not apologize for wrongdoing in a quick manner but, instead, choose to pretend that we did nothing wrong? Unfortunately, if we do not pay close attention to our hearts and motives, we can easily find ourselves overlooking our own bad behaviors. When that happens, it gets easier and easier to forget our own wrongdoing, and as we get into the habit of ignoring the Holy Spirit’s conviction, our hearts become hardened and our pride swells.
In the church at Corinth, there was a man who was having an adulterous affair with his stepmother (1 Cor. 5). Paul rebuked the church for not reprimanding him and overlooking the obviously illicit relationship. You might think such oversight is uncommon today but look around your own church or family. Is there a common sin in which many people engage, yet, no one talks about? What about gossip, gluttony, envy, strife or consumer excess? You see sometimes we are guilty of walking in pride, pretending nothing is amiss.
What is the answer? James wrote that we should “be afflicted, and mourn, and weep” over our sin (James 4:9). We should allow our hearts to be sensitive to our own wrongdoing, asking God to expose our sins immediately, so that we can immediately confess them to Him. The answer is humility.

JUST A THOUGHT
Will you weep over your own sin today?

Mark Clements

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HEBREW – Understanding


biyn

The Hebrew biyn (H995) is translated several ways in our AV Bible, including (and most often) “understand” (62) and understanding (32). Several other translations (e.g., “consider, perceive, discern”) reflect the fact that biyn, which with its derivatives appears 247 times, has a wide range of meanings, also including: “to discern, perceive, observe, understand, pay attention, be intelligent, and be discreet.”
Biyn is, therefore, much more than just gathering knowledge. It’s about understanding that knowledge. As was true of Daniel, for example, a person might be able to hear words, but not understand them (Dan_12:8). As vital as knowledge is, by itself it is virtually worthless. To illustrate, a man might know by heart every medical work that has ever been written and yet be the worst doctor in the world because he doesn’t truly understand how it all works. He can memorize it, but he can’t apply it.
Biyn, therefore, speaks of how we use the knowledge we acquire. I am struck often by the depth of Psalms 119. In Psa_119:27, the psalmist (probably David) prays, “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works,” and again in Psa_119:34, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart,” and still again in Psa_119:73, “give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments” (see also Psa_119:100,). David didn’t want just knowledge but to know why that knowledge was important, the way that knowledge applied to the real world, and even the consequences that knowledge would have on everything else.
That is what is so desperately needed today. A consistent Christian life is absolutely impossible without constant learning and a growing understanding of what that knowledge will demand in one’s Christian walk. And from where does such understanding come? David again answers, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Psa_119:104). Understanding is not a product of rationalism or empiricism. It is comes only from God (Dan_2:21) and only by diligent seeking (Pro_2:4-5).

Scriptures for Study: In Pro_17:10, what is the difference between the wise (biyn) man and the fool? In Pro_28:5, what do those who “seek the LORD” understand?

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Prayer That Perfects


 

Hebrews 5:7-10

 

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared,” Hebrews 5:7.

 

Prayer That Perfects

 

Intense, sweaty, stomach churning, heart breaking, face to the ground praying occurred in the garden that cool evening by the Son of Man. Luke describes the prayer of Jesus as agony. “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Jesus, God the Son, was not afraid of dying, nor was He afraid of the suffering He would soon face, and, yet, in His human flesh He felt the overwhelming sense of the burden of sin He must bear for all. His heart ached knowing that the Father must turn His face away while He bore the sins of humanity.

 

While Jesus poured His heart out to God the Father, His disciples slept. But the loving Father touched by the prayer of His Son sent an angel to minister to Him. Even though, Jesus felt every ounce of sin placed on Him because He was sinless. He still loves us so much that He was willing to bear sin for us. His heart was broken for us. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

 

 

Reflection

 

The sufferings of Jesus were necessary. Through them He related to the suffering of mankind to the fullest human extent.

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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Hebrew Words – Face


 

Face (Countenance) (2)

 

pāniym

 

Your face . . . is as a book, where men may read strange matters,” said Lady Macbeth to her husband. How true it is that people can often read our faces like a book. As noted yesterday, what the heartfeels, the facereveals. Let us each ask ourselves, then, what does my countenance tell others?

 

First, a “hard face” is the face of rebellion. As God sent Jeremiah through Jerusalem seeking a single person who “executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth” (Jer_5:1, July 30), we also read that “they [had] made their faces harder than a rock” and “refused to return” (Jer_5:3). Every parent has seen this face on their child, the face of defiance and revolt.

 

Sadly, most pastors have also seen this face. When the Word of God is preached, people often rebel, preferring to continue in sin rather than submit to truth. This is precisely why God told Jeremiah earlier, “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD” (Jer_1:8). Some will frown, fuss, and fume, so God needs men who will not fear the people’s faces.

 

Second, a “fallen countenance” is the face of rage. Cain is our example here (Gen_4:5-6). Spewing forth from offended pride, Cain’s anger exploded, being intended for God, whom he could not hurt, but aimed at Abel, whom he could hurt. Likewise, rebellion and rage are always a reaction against God’s revealed truth, whether or not we are even aware of it.

 

Third, a “fierce countenance” is the face of ruthlessness. Babylon itself is the model here, “a nation of fierce countenance” (Deu_28:50) that swooped down on Israel because of her rebellion. How we need to realize that God will not long tolerate rebellion!

 

Fourth, in stark contrast, is not the face of rejoicing to be much preferred? As Solomon encourages, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance” (Pro_15:13) and, “God giveth to a man that is good in his sight [pāniym] wisdom, and knowledge, and joy” (Ecc_2:26), and still again, “A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed” (Ecc_8:1). And finally, the psalmist declares, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psa_42:11).

 

Scriptures for Study: What does the hardened face indicate (Pro_21:29)? What can godly friends do for one another (Pro_27:17)?

 

 

 

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Midst (Middle, Among)


 

tāweḵ

 

The literal idea in about 215 of the some 400 occurrences of the Hebrew tāweḵ (H8432) is “in the middle (or midst)” or “at the heart.” Its very first appearance is one of the most graphic: “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” (Gen_1:6; cf. Gen_1:7-8). The “firmament” (rāqiya‘, H7549), the great atmospheric expanse above the earth, divided the waters below on earth’s surface from the waters above in the canopy that surrounded the earth.

 

Another dramatic scene is when “the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (Exo_14:29). Still another was Samson’s final act of pulling down “the two middle pillars” that were the main supports of the roof of Dagon’s temple (Jdg_16:29).

 

In about 140 places, however, tāweḵ is rendered as among in our beloved AV translation. God “brought out Israel from among [the nations],” for instance (Psa_136:11), and David testified, “I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude” (Psa_109:30).

 

A verse that stands out in this regard is Exo_25:8 : “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” The scene, of course, was the building of the tabernacle (May 3), the purpose of which was to provide a dwelling place for God among His people. This provides us with no less than three pictures (or “types”):

 

First, it pictures Christ. When our Lord walked this earth, “in him [dwelt] all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col_2:9). He was “a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands” (Heb_9:11).

 

Second, it pictures the Christian. Every Christian’s body is “the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in [us], which [we] have of God, and . . . [we] are not [our] own.” This is because we have been “bought with a price” and as a result are to “glorify God in [our] body” (1Co_6:19-20).

 

Third, it pictures the church. Even in the context of church discipline, a church is a church when it comes together (I Cor. 11:18); cf. 1Ti_3:15; Heb_10:21). The church when it comes together is in the midst of a sinful and perverse world. In the midst of the church is the governing Holy Spirit.

 

Scriptures for Study: What is David’s testimony in Psa_22:22; Psa_109:30? Tāweḵ is also translated “within” several times. Note these examples: Psa_40:8; Psa_40:10; Psa_143:4-6.

 

 

 

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A SPECIAL GUEST By Heather Spears Kallus


 

If I could dine with anyone…well…besides the fam,
I would want to share a meal…with the Blessed Lamb.
The things I’d want to thank Him for, how would I even start?
Could I even speak the love that’s found deep in my heart?

I wouldn’t want a lunch express…fast food of any kind,
I’d want to share the thoughts inside…of all that’s on my mind.
I’d hope the service would be slow…I’d want to drag it out,
Just for me and Jesus…that’s what it’d be about.

First, I’d like to thank Him…for His life that He gave,
So our lives just wouldn’t end with names upon a grave.
I’d thank Him…for opening the lock on Heaven’s gate,
I’d stall for extra time…asking for another plate.

Very soon, He’d catch on…to my little plan,
After all, He knows us…each woman and each man.
Then He’d say, “Relax, my child, I know your every thought,
I want to be here, too…just as you have sought.”

My nerves would calm, He’d take my hand, “What would you like to say?”
“Lord, I thank you for the things…you do for me each day.
Thank you for my legs that work when I get out of bed,
For my eyes that greet the day from my sleepyhead.”

“For giving me a family that loves me through it all,
For answering my prayers, when Your Name I do call.
For our meals, for our home, each sunrise fresh and new,
For our friends, for our health, for freedom, Lord, to love You.”

“For blessings in abundance and the chance for us to share,
With those who may not realize how You deeply care.
For giving us a recipe through Your Holy Word,
Of how to get to Heaven…to reach You and be heard.”

“I can’t believe You gave your life for sinners just like me,
But, I know You love us, Lord, more than we can see.
I thank You for the tiny taste found in a mother’s love,
A day-to-day reminder that love is from above.”

“Thank You for my Mom and Dad whose love is never ceasing,
For my precious husband, each year, my love’s increasing.
For the gift of children…I feel so very blessed,
They bring me peace and joy…more than I could’ve guessed.”

Then, I’d stop and say, “Oh my, how time has flown!
Would you like to talk?  I’ve been in my little zone.”
“Yes, my child, please love like me…there is no other way,
Love your friends, your enemies, the least you meet each day.”

“Show everyone a glimpse of what a life with Me can be,
One that’s full of hope…and tranquility.
Share your time and talents…your abundant treasures, too,
You need me just as much, dear one, as I’m in need of you.”

“You are my hands, you are my feet, you are my lips to speak,
Encourage all you meet each day…it’s Me they need to seek.
For hope when things seem hopeless, for love when they’re alone,
For comfort when they’re suffering, use kindness in your tone.”

“Dear Lord, I know you’re busy, I thank You for your time,
Please know this meal’s on me, sir…won’t let you pay a dime.”
“Oh, my daughter, please recall that I have paid for this,
On the cross, remember…betrayed with a kiss.”

Then, before I could respond, He was no longer there,
I looked high and I looked low, but couldn’t find Him anywhere.
Then a voice in my head reminded me to pray,
A way that we can call on Him each and every day.

He is there, He’s all around, He’ll dine with us each day,
Just remember to invite Him on Thanksgiving when you pray.
“Bless this food, Lord, bless this house, while we work and rest,
We saved a seat…for You, Lord…please come and be our guest!”

From Heather’s blog: http://www.sipsofsunshine.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-special-guest.html

 

 

Copyright 2013 Heather Spears Kallus. Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.

 

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Mouth and Heart—Hearing and Doing


 

And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not,” Ezekiel 33:32.

 

Our pet dog is trained to ring a little bell hanging by the back door every time he needs to go outside. You would think that in a small house with six people living in it, there would always be someone available to respond to the ringing bell and open the back door to let out the dog. But, surprisingly, there are times when our poor dog rings the bell for five or even ten minutes straight, waiting for someone to open the door, even though there are four children who are in the same room. They all undoubtedly hear the bell, yet each child assumes that someone else will open the door for the dog. It is not until an adult yells above the volume of the music, TV or video game, “Somebody let the dog out!” that one of the children responds and opens the door.

 

God is always speaking to us. Like a persistent bell ringing in our ears, there is a constant, steady flow of guidance from God’s Word and Spirit, pouring into our hearts, giving us guidance, direction, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Unfortunately, His Word does us no good unless we lower the volume of competing noises and listen with the intent to obey. And, every now and then, thankfully, mercifully, He raises His voice in our direction to prod us into a greater obedience. C. S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you listen to God’s voice today with the intent to obey?

 

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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