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How blessed we are to have eyesight. Normal life is so much easier and more pleasant when we can see well. In recent decades even those with inferior eyesight have been able to use corrected lens and live normal lives, behold God’s magnificent creation, and avoid dangerous situations. My heart goes out to those through the ages who haven’t been able to see well or at all. Yet, as important as physical eyesight is, it pales compared to the necessity of spiritual eyesight, which is often taken for granted. 

We are to look at all of life through the “lens of Scripture,” which includes a host of things Scripture would not have us look at. “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deuteronomy 11:18).

“The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalms 19:8).

I’m convinced that entertainment is the idol of this age for the professing church. How our thoughts and precious time are often spent on the idolatrous things our eyes covet. Make it fun and pleasurable if you want them content and happy. As such our nation is on a fast track for hell while the professing church is having a lot of fun. God have mercy. 

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19).

Everyone Has Them

Everyone has standards by which they make their choices in life. I admit, I can’t possibly know the mind of anyone when I say that everyone has them, but I’m confident. If you are the exception and don’t have them, I would love to speak with you. 

The Christian’s rule of standard/faith is to be Scripture. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Then why is it that Christians can be worlds apart in the choices they make? Is it possible some are seeing Scripture as simply a list of commands and prohibitions and everything else not specifically mentioned is a freedom, while ignoring global verses similar to some of these? 

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

”I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Heart Healthy

We are to encourage each other in the Lord (thank you for reading BTW). “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24). One way we can do this is by asking brothers in the Lord, where they read in Scripture that morning and if anything stood out to them. Daily reading of our Bible is probably the most important spiritual, heart-healthy habit each of us needs.

The wisdom of having a healthy, balanced, physical diet is generally applauded. How much more critical is feeding our soul with God’s Word, which has eternal benefit? Daily supplements are encouraged by health professionals to maintain our health. They are taken daily because you can’t take a mouthful on Sunday and receive the benefit all week. Our time in God’s Word is similar. Even if we heard a great message on Sunday morning at church, daily challenge and exhortation of our souls from our morning time in the Word is also needed. 

The more our habit is to be in the Word daily, the more we will love and cherish that time.“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psalms 34:8). Oh my brothers, may we daily dine on the real breakfast of champions. 

Not the Spirit of Fear

It seems that it doesn’t matter where we are in life, there are things that come up that can create fear in us. I recently had one of those related to a back injury that wasn’t getting better right away. So then the fear – what if? Remember when our daughter-in-law, Anna Marie, had breast cancer three years ago? What if? What are your fears and the what-ifs that are wrapped around them? How do you deal with them?

In 2 Timothy 1:7, God clearly gives us His mind concerning fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” No doubt about it – the fear is not from Him. He gives us three important things that are our weapons to use against fear – power, love, and a sound mind.

The word “power” in Greek is dynamis, like we get our word dynamite from. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, it means “force (literally or figuratively); especially, miraculous power.” That reminds us of what Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” And then in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” We have His power!

Love in this verse is agape love – God’s love for us. Paul prays for believers concerning this in Ephesians 3:17-19, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” That love gives us the assurance that God is in control and that we can rest in what He tells us in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Finally, He has given us a sound mind, which here means self-control. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” That sound mind doesn’t let fear dwell in our thoughts. We are to use self-control to take fear captive and in its place, speak the truth of God to our hearts. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psalms 56:3). 

That trio of power, love, and a sound mind are God’s incredible weapons to keep us from living in fear. Do you have 2 Timothy 1:7 memorized? It isn’t a long or hard verse, but it is what you need to combat fear. If it is in your mind, you can call on it any moment, even in the dark of night and any other time your Bible isn’t at hand to open up. 

You have your own fears – big ones and little ones. How do you respond to them? How much time do you give them? Do you find yourself saying that you just can’t overcome them? Don’t give in to your own lies. You can overcome them because God hasn’t given them to you. Instead, He has given you what you need to defeat each of those fears – power, love, and a sound mind. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

What’s Inside?

Surprise! A present is handed to you, and you wonder what is inside. Sometimes packages are well-disguised so you can’t guess, but other times it is easy to figure out by simple observation. Did you realize how similar children can be to disguised packages? 

What is in the heart of a man, or in this case a child, is what drives him. If it is ugly, the child likely will not want others who might disapprove, particularly his parents, to know. Sometimes, he can fake righteousness that could fool them into acceptance and possible praise. However, what truly fills his heart will escape and come out in words and actions. “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35). If you are observant, you can use this information, not to be paranoid or critical of your children, but so that you know how to pray and work with them. 

Posted in: General

Big muscles

Six-year-old Danny (a grandson) dropped to the floor and started effortlessly pumping out pushups to prove his point to me. I never saw a young guy do so many pushups with reasonable form. Our son, Christopher, works out with his children (Danny is one of them.) every morning before school begins. After the energy is out, the children are ready for school with Mom. One of the many benefits of the daily workouts with Daddy is their impressive strength and endurance.  

We understand that exercising our bodies and minds (yay homeschooling) is essential, but how purposeful are you in developing your children spiritually? Sadly, many chiefly rely on Sunday School/church for this. We usually eat 3 times a day, but spiritual development is far more important. Also, children having their own time in the Word every morning is a critical lifelong discipline. 

I love being part of Christopher’s evening family Bible time and listening to how he asks questions on each child’s level of understanding. That is growing a wonderful knowledge of the Lord and His Word in those children.

“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6,7).

Are you?