Are You a Hoarder?

She was very personable when we met her over twenty years ago. We inquired about her car for sale and then talked for a while. Her home was on the road we traveled often, and we would observe it as we passed by. Over the years we noticed her modest home was less kept up, and trash was accumulating. Finally, last year her home looked like it was pushed up from the ground into a garbage dump. 

One day I saw her outside, pulled into her drive, and spoke to her. I said I wondered if she could use some help. I was more than happy to help her. She kindly thanked me and said her kids who lived in the Ozarks were coming up to help. Well, that never happened, and it appears now she is either in a nursing home or passed because her car is gone and a dumpster is in its place. My heart ached for that woman and her horrid living conditions. 

We don’t understand how a person could live in garbage, yet how many professing Christians do exactly that – spiritual and moral garbage that is. The internet and TV will stream filth right to your ears and eyeballs – all one could lust for and more. It might be moral filth, or Disney witchcraft, or the sensuality du jour. 

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:14-15). Please, please, don’t accept things the average church-going Christian embraces these days. Whether physical or spiritual hoarding, you don’t have to do anything. Garbage just happens.  Holiness takes effort and vigilance. 

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

His Face

When you are speaking to your children, where do you want them to look at you – 

your feet, hands, chest, or your face? Of course we want them to look at our face, eye to eye. When they look us eye to eye, that is the closest we come in connecting soul to soul. Our face is our image and summary statement of who we are.

Could that be why the Lord said, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek” (Psalms 27:8). Also, “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore”(Psalms 105:4).

We normally would not look intently into the eyes of someone we don’t know. May we know Him by trusting in His shed blood for our sins, consuming His Word and then living it. Love Him. Abide in Him. Seek His face. Amen my Brothers?

So Simple

There are some Bible truths that are so simply stated they would seem very easy to implement. For example, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Another way of putting it would be. As a child of God, bought and paid for by the blood of my Lord Jesus, I should only do or say what my owner, whom I’m representing, would say or do. All the while giving thanks to the Father. 

Can anyone truly live that way while in the flesh. No. But is that the desire of our hearts? What to be a dynamic, on-fire for Christ, steadfast follower not compromising but glorifying Him. Make that our daily prayer and goal.  

Whose Business

You know the account of Jesus when he was twelve and was missing from the family when they were returning from Jerusalem.  “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). Jesus’ reply to His parents questions was, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49).

Jesus was always looking to His Heavenly Father and doing the Father’s will. That was Who He lived for and yes, would eventually die for. In John 5 after healing the impotent lame man on the Sabbath, he was questioned by Jews. “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). 

If saved, and a child of God, is that your heart’s desire as well—to always be busy about the Father’s work? Today so many professing, Christian dads are entertainment minded. They have never grown out of the child’s fun and games mentality. 

How much better to spend our time busy about the Father’s work  serving the Lord in our jobs, ministering to our families and to others as He leads, pursuing the lost around us for salvation. Be an example to your children of the joy that comes when we work for the Father. 

“We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

In Faithfulness

On Thanksgiving day, I came down with a minor cold that turned into what the doctor called a raging sinus infection. One round of antibiotics and three weeks later I was finally well again. On Christmas Day, I woke up with a cough and developed a fever throughout the day. Four days later, that is still where I am.

Having only been well for ten days, I was not excited about the prospect of moving into another illness. Almost immediately, the Lord put this verse on my heart. Psalms 119:75 “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” In faithfulness God afflicts me. That moved my thoughts away from my own misery and onto my faithful God. It reminded me that nothing I consider good or bad comes into my life without God allowing it. He promised me, “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” (Romans 8:28). Whenever discouragement started to set in, I quoted the verse to myself or to Steve, if he was nearby.

What is God’s faithfulness? Strong’s Concordance defines the Hebrew word this way: literally firmness; figuratively security; morally fidelity: set office, stability, steady, truly, truth, verily.

Here are some things we can note from Scripture about God’s faithfulness. “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth” (Psalms 119:90). We are told His faithfulness is to all generations. He doesn’t pick and choose generations to receive His faithfulness. 

“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds” (Psalms 36:5). Faithfulness that reaches to the clouds is a limitless amount of faithfulness. Only God has that much faithfulness. 

“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ). This verse highlights Gods’ faithfulness despite our unfaithfulness. We deserve to be consumed but His compassions don’t fail and His faithfulness is great. Again we see in this verse God’s faithfulness even though we are not faithful. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Even though physically I have been quite miserable these past few days, I feel blessed that God brought His faithfulness to mind early on with this illness. I, so quickly, fall prey to self-pity when God wants me fully engaged in Him and in this case His faithfulness. I have often repeated Psalms 119:75 these past four days, and it gives a special bit of joy in the midst of physical pain. The joy is there because God is faithful and He in his faithfulness allowed my affliction. 

In the November Mom’s Corner, we talked about not fretting over things that displease us and choosing instead to be thankful. Now I want to challenge you to consider God’s faithfulness in the midst of your trial or tribulation. Memorizing the end of Psalms 119:75 wouldn’t be hard -only six words – thou in faithfulness has afflicted me. Then the next time you want to feel sorry for yourself for whatever reason, remind yourself that God in His faithfulness has afflicted you. Then you will worship your Triune God for His faithfulness.

P.S. As the corner goes out, I am fully recovered. I know that a cold/flu virus is nothing of an affliction compared to what many are dealing with. May the Lord encourage each in their afflictions in His faithfulness.

2024

2023 is over, and if you noticed, the Lord didn’t return. Could it happen in 2024? Do you long for His return, or might you be happy if He doesn’t come in your lifetime? Seriously consider this. Might His return be the furthest thing from your mind, or do you have a constant awareness and desire to see Him? Do you love Him above all people and things? “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).

You will remember my post titled “Humbling.”  The Lord graciously convicted me that I wasn’t handing out tracts regularly. I would engage and witness, but I could be more effective by carrying and giving out tracts. It has been good since I began. I can’t reclaim the lost ground over all those years, but I can be faithful with each new day He gives me. 

That is probably the only good thing I can think of for the Lord delaying His return. We can  share with more people as to why they need Jesus. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).

“They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption” (Psalms 49:6-9).