Seek God with your whole being

Most people like to analyze things, take things apart, separate into individual components. It’s done even with the inner being: mind, emotions, will. It’s good to distinguish among them. The Bible does it as well, so we’re on safe ground.

At the same time, synthesis is needed.

Let us not be like the do-it-yourselfer, who after reassembling what he has dismounted, has parts and screws left over. Let us have wholeness and be complete persons, whose whole being is devoted to the Lord, whose souls are transformed (repaired) by the Spirit of God. Continue reading “Seek God with your whole being”

Cloth heart pinned to a cord. Our hearts are limited in their movement today.

4 concerns in difficult times

Which is worse: being shut up in your home for several weeks, or suffering persecution for your faith? The answer is obvious.

The apostle Paul was ushered out of Thessalonica because of persecution. The brothers carried him away from danger to the city of Berea. Some time later, he wrote to the new congregation with love and concern. He closed his letter with rapid-fire imperatives, concerns of his for their spiritual well-being under pressure, 1 Thessalonians 5.12-24.

His words have something to say to us as well. Continue reading “4 concerns in difficult times”

Doctor treats patient in hospital bed.

See what makes me tick, God

Men are notorious for avoiding doctors and dentists. (Most certainly, it’s a generalization.) They often wait until the problem is unavoidable or the pain is unbearable. They hate anyone prodding or poking at them.

Most people, both men and women, dislike revealing inner thoughts. Some few wear their feelings on the sleeves and tell their life stories to anyone who will listen, but they are avoided by the majority.

Even more, most people avoid even thinking about God knowing their every thought and impulse. They certainly would not offer up David’s prayer of invitation. Continue reading “See what makes me tick, God”

The closing of the spiritual mind

Years ago a book was published called The Closing of the American Mind. It decried changes in the educational system. Far more serious is the closing of the spiritual mind. By spiritual mind we mean openness to the true things of God. The mind is the understanding, the intellect, where thoughts appear and are processed — or not.

The apostle Paul wrote that the Jews had closed minds when it came to Christ. Continue reading “The closing of the spiritual mind”

Our need for closure

Five years ago, come July, my dad passed away. (Yesterday would have been my parents 65th wedding anniversary.) I was given the blessing of God to be able to be present for his last days, even though I live on another continent. God gave me similar blessings when my paternal grandmother and grandfather died as well. As a result, I was able to deal with grief in a positive way.

The human being has an inherent need for closure. Some feel a greater need for it, others less, but our psychological make-up drives us toward putting a tidy bow on intense emotional upheavals such as these: Continue reading “Our need for closure”

Think on things above — and what those things are

Nothing is more key to a successful spiritual life than the mind. The spiritual life — life in Christ, as the New Testament calls it, or life in the Spirit — begins here. It is not the feeling of the heart, but the feeding of the mind, that will take us where we want to go as God’s people.

The inner human is made up of interlocking parts: the mind (thoughts), the heart (emotion), the will (decision). Sometimes these parts do not always move in the same direction. For example, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ heart said one thing (avoid the cross!), but his will said another (Your will be done!), because his mind knew the Father’s will and the nature of his mission (to give life!). Continue reading “Think on things above — and what those things are”

Mighty is the Lord God who judges

In times of crises and doubt, the book of Revelation is a wonderful reminder of the sovereignty and salvation of God. The times were far different, the suffering had a human cause, but the book highlights the concern of God, a reminder we urgently need today. Read with me, please, the eighteenth chapter of the book.

God caused the great fall of Babylon, in Revelation 18. The name of the city figuratively represented Rome. As the great capital of Babylonia had fallen, so would the center of the Roman empire, whence came the sufferings and persecutions of the saints to whom the apostle John had written. Continue reading “Mighty is the Lord God who judges”

God preserves life on a daily basis

The nurse looked out the back window of the lead RV, concerned that the cars following in the caravan make it through the icy patch of the Indiana freeway. Just as she feared, the last car went to pass a slow vehicle, hit the ice, flipped over, and landed in the ditch. She was sure she would be pulling the dead bodies of three college students out of the vehicle.

The wrecked car was mine. I was in the passenger’s seat. A friend had offered to drive the first leg of the trip. In order to write a thank-you note to our hosts, back in the city where our group had campaigned during spring break, I did something I never do: I had removed my seat belt. Continue reading “God preserves life on a daily basis”

Shaking with fear

BY VALDIR JOSÉ DA SILVA —

“Now, announce to the men, ‘Whoever is shaking with fear may turn around and leave Mount Gilead.’ 22,000 men went home; 10,000 remained'” Judges 7.3

The feeling that appears so much in the adventures of our hero Gideon is fear. In this chapter 7, the Lord recognizes Gideon’s fear in verse 10 and once again gives him a sign that he, the Lord God, will be present in battle.

But what strikes me most in this chapter is that 32,000 men volunteer to attack the Midianites. However, when it is proclaimed that those who are afraid may leave, an astonishing 22,000 return and 10,000 brave men remain. Continue reading “Shaking with fear”