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”

Who am I? Thoughts are the true measure

“Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:6-7, NKJV)

It is frequently stated that the figures of speech used in Biblical times regarding body parts may be relocated one organ higher for today’s audiences. Emotions were thought then to originate in the bowels or intestines, and thought or reason were properties of the heart. Today we feel emotionally with our hearts and think or reason in our minds. Continue reading “Who am I? Thoughts are the true measure”

Compliance or submission

The story is told of a father who brings his oldest son to settle on a homestead. The father lays out the plans for his son: where to build the house and barn, where to lay out the fields for planting, and where to dig the well. The father then leaves this work to his son while he goes to collect his wife and younger children.

After many months the father returns and the son happily shows off his hard work. The house, barn, and fields are all in line with the father’s desires, but the well is in a different location. When asked why, the son replied, “Father, the house, the barn, and the fields were all in the right place. I agreed with your direction. But I did not agree with where we should dig the well. So I placed it here.” Continue reading “Compliance or submission”

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”

Everyone faces economic trials

James described both the poor and the comfortable encountering economic trials. Although details of their challenges differ, nonetheless both situations test one’s mettle. Furthermore, both trials go to the heart of the matter.

Fortunately, James offers us a practical path foward filled with uncommon wisdom. He turns our financial perspectives upside down. His counsel reorients us by calling us to reframe how we think about ourselves.

Continue reading “Everyone faces economic trials”

‘Without neglecting the others’

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matthew: 23:23-24 ESV).

The campus of Khulna Bible College contains a number of fruit and nut trees, including mango, coconut, litchi, jackfruit, papaya, and jambora (a type of grapefruit) trees. The nine coconut trees are especially productive and the nuts are prized for their water (or milk), meat, and fibrous hull. Periodically coconuts will be collected and counted out for sharing among the various staff families and the needs of the college kitchen. Continue reading “‘Without neglecting the others’”

7 truths about God in Ezekiel 33

The Old Testament is a rich mine of truths about God and his ways. The prophets reveal the divine heart and intentions. Get a taste of truths about God from this little slice of Ezekiel 33.

No. 1. God is a revealer. “The word of the Lord came to me” (Ezekiel 33:1, ESV). He tells man what he is doing and what he expects. God does nothing without letting us know his intentions and actions (Amos 3:7; Ephesians 3:5). Things he reveals are for us all, that we might obey his commands and thereby find joy and peace (Deuteronomy 29:29). God’s revelation to us, now contained in the Bible, is for our salvation. “The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations” (Psalm 98:2). Continue reading “7 truths about God in Ezekiel 33”

Plants gone wild!

“Don’t mess up that front room, now!” That might be something you remember your mom saying, because if nothing else had any semblance of order, the first room a guest would enter had to look decent. Your Granny may have called it “the parlor,” meant only for guests with family members not allowed in it.

This is how some of us manage our gardens. I’m beginning to notice that the ever-widening flower borders look much better at the front than they do in the far reaches where the taller plants grow.

First impressions are important. But then again, so is deep cleaning. (So I’m told; don’t ask me personally, I’m too busy gardening!) Continue reading “Plants gone wild!”

Yet not with a whole heart

Why do you serve God? Perhaps you serve God because that is what your parents did. Perhaps you serve God because that is what your spouse desires. Perhaps you serve God for the sake of your children. Perhaps your reasons are less noble.

The Chronicles are often neglected books. But we do ourselves a disservice to neglect any of the sacred writings. There are a number of extraordinarily deep statements in the Chronicles. One that bears upon our thoughts today is a statement made in 2 Chronicles 25:2. In a description of king Amaziah, the inspired text reads, “he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart” (ESV). Continue reading “Yet not with a whole heart”

The disciple’s heart: its treasure, its focus, its master

In the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus identified earth and heaven as being two places where people might choose to store their treasures, he contrasted two different lifestyles (Matthew 6:19-20). We either look to the things of earth for our security and significance or we look to heaven. If self is in charge, we will seek some source of earthly security. Continue reading “The disciple’s heart: its treasure, its focus, its master”