Archive for May, 2012

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:45, NASB) Jesus shares, in Mark 7:21-23, “And Jesus said, “The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean. All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living. All these evil things come from inside and make people unclean.”(NCV)

The heart (mind) is the driving force behind all that we do, say, or think. No one, aside from those who may have some type of limiting intellectual disability, can use “I wasn’t thinking” as an excuse for displaying some type of inappropriate behavior. As the above passages indicates, the actions of a person are a reflection of what his or her heart is filled with; therefore, one who is wicked has a heart that is full of evil, while one who strives to be righteous has a mind that is focused on pleasing God and doing what’s right (Rom 12:17-21). If you find yourself struggling to consistently have good thoughts and to display good behavior before others, the culprit is your heart. Make more time for God; for the reading and studying of His word, and for fellowship with those who strive for purity of heart and righteous living. In addition, stay away from those who are likely to try and fill your heart with greed, lust, hate, anger…wickedness. Don’t deceive yourself, brief and sporadic attempts at trying to get encouragement from the word of God will lead to spiritual impotence and frailty; on the other hand, a sincere commitment to God’s word and His will, will continuously fortify your heart, which in turn, will lead to thoughts, words, and action that are pleasing in His sight. Remember Christians, Jesus is our example. The Apostle Peter shares in 1 Peter 2:21, 22 , “To thisyou were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps; He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” An application of this passage is that Jesus committed no sin and did not lie because His heart was saturated with God’s word and He was always focused on pleasing God the Father; as Christians, shouldn’t ours be the same?

To sum it all up, tune-in to God and tune-out the sinful ways of the world. Put down the remote (or controller) as well as any other stumbling block and cancel those plans…give attention to those things that will be a positive influence on your life! Concentrate on the word of God.

MD 5/24/12


Attitude of Gratitude

Typically, thankfulness is directly proportional to the assistance received; in other words, a person’s level of gratitude is likely (again I say likely) to be great if the assistance that has been provided is great. You can see this in just about every facet of life. If your service is great at a restaurant, the waiter/waitress is likely to receive a nice tip. The friend that sacrifices his entire Saturday to help you move on short notice will likely receive more gratitude from you than the person who committed to help you move months in advance but only stopped by for a few minutes during the move to tell you why he wouldn’t be able to help. Crime stoppers is likely to give a greater reward for the one who provides a lead to the capture of the notorious serial killer as opposed to the person who reports observance of a citizen who is guilty of jaywalking.  I liken this application to the point to Jesus makes with Pharisee in Luke 7:40-43. You should know that God did the most for you when He sacrificed His son on your behalf; if He never does anything else for you (though He will), you owe Him all of the gratitude and praise you can give Him in a 1,000 lifetimes solely for the things He’s already done for you. I challenge you this day to develop, as a good friend of mine often says, an attitude of gratitude towards God (first and foremost) and toward others as well. Col 3:17 states, “Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.” The link below features a song I recorded in effort to give thanks to God in my own way; it’s just one of the many ways I try and express my gratitude to God. How do you or will you express your gratefulness to God?

Thank You Lord by Mike Danger

I’ll leave you with a phrase I’ve coined. A heart full of gratitude has no room for complaints and cynicism!

MD 5/18/12

The Master’s Plan

If you never go back to school and obtain that degree you so desire, would you consider you life a waste? If the man or woman of your dreams never sweeps you off your feet, will your life always feel incomplete? If the door to your career is never unlocked, will all your years spent working be in vain? If your short or long-term goals or plans always seem to be thwarted by problems, complications, or others, will you never experience satisfaction? Is your happiness only temporarily aroused by monetary, material blessings, or fleeting pleasures? If so, know this…God is the only permanent fix for your impermanent problems! While medication and therapy may assist in easing discomfort and provide assistance in minimizing the effects of anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc. and a few extra bucks might help pay the bills, faith in the son of God and obedience to His word are necessary for true fulfillment in life (and the next); they will keep you contented even if your plans are never successfully executed. Consider the words of Paul to the brothers and sisters in the body of Christ in Philippi, “I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens.I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough.I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. (Phil 4:11-13, NCV) When you learn to truly put God first in your life and align your will with His, He will grant the desires of your heart, because they will all aim to give Him the glory.

MD 5/9/12

Intimacy with God

“I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my ear the son of God discloses…

and He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own, 

and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!”

The words and arrangement of the hymn I Come to the Garden Alone are so lovely and calming. I often find myself humming or singing this song when I’m in the midst of a storm or feeling overwhelmed. The message that rings the loudest when I ponder over the words of the song is having true intimacy with Christ. While many people think only of sexual relations when they hear the term intimacy, the word’s true meaning is that of having a very close association, unification, familiarity, or bond. When I think of David’s relationship with King Saul’s son Jonathan, intimacy immediately comes to mind. Intimacy transcends basic communication; it allows two or more people have a stronger, more personal union. When true intimacy exists in a relationship, that relationship will not be severed easily because all parties will be motivated by love and care for each other. One can’t expect to understand the unique relationship of God (being the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, yet one God) without understanding the idea of intimacy. A man cannot leave his father and mother and become one with his wife without truly grasping the concept of intimacy; this is probably one of the main reasons the divorce rate is so high at present. Peruse the words of Jesus as He prays to His Father and you find that Jesus desired intimacy with those who believed in Him, “I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that they can be one. As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me.I have given these people the glory that you gave me so that they can be one, just as you and I are one. I will be in them and you will be in me so that they will be completely one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as much as you loved me.” (John 17: 20-23, NCV) Don’t become complacent in your relationships with others and especially, your relationship with God; seek to know him more and more, and better and better each day. Commit yourself to true intimacy with God by giving Him your all; obey His will, exam His word, strengthen your prayer life, and share His goodness with all that you come in contact with. God desires an intimate relationship with you!

MD 5/3/12