Friday, February 3, 2012

Honor God with Our Hearts and Minds

Honor  God and He will honor us. Bing image

“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”
Matthew 12: 34

Do the words of hymns or praise choruses play over and over in your mind? When I have these experiences, I know I am blessed.

When I have the ‘winter blues’, I find myself without a lot of energy. A recent week told me this was where I was at in my life. All my energy since Christmas seemed to take a vacation.

On that Friday, after taking a mid-morning nap, I started sorting laundry. I had prayed and had devotions before I chose to pile down on the couch and rest. As I started to sort the whites, a tune came into my heart. It was to one of the praise songs we sang at church the previous Sunday. I thought, “I wish I could remember the words.” Then the words of the chorus came to me, “Sing praise, sing praise,” I immediately felt my spirits lift.

Several years ago, I remember telling a friend that I felt close to God when this song-fest would happen. I always feel my spirits pick up when I have a praise song or a hymn run through my mind.

Because I felt I was struggling, I did what I felt I needed to do and prayed and read my Bible. I received a blessing by honoring Him even when I didn’t feel like it.

I have since realized that we truly can honor God with what we keep in our minds.

The scripture I chose to begin this essay with is one that convicted me of that occasional verbal slip of the tongue I used to have. Our former church also taught me not to used ‘minced oaths.’ Our drama ministry performed a short play about this subject. One of the women in the play told me later that because of the skit, which I had written, she had stopped using one of the expressions she had been using. Don’t you think we all should be more mindful of God and how He views our habits?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Honor God with Our Choices. Part Two

Choose this day whom you will serve.

As for me and my house,

we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24: 15 (NIV)

As we go through life we make choices- how we will live, what we believe, with whom we will hang out, how we will dress, how we will make our living, and where we will live. Joshua spoke to the people of Israel. He explicitly told them where He stood. He was going to follow the Lord.

In 21st Century life, we see people being exploited because of their gender, abused because of their age, and mistreated because of some assumptions made by others. We see businesses ignoring the needs of their employees for the sake of the profit margin.

The banking world caused such a blow to the real estate market that we see homes sitting empty for years. We see corporations build new stores, leaving the former locations empty to deteriorate to the place that any future owners would have to expend large amounts of money that either come off their taxes or that expense gets passed onto the consumers who frequent that new business.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have to weigh our personal beliefs against what we see in our world. Does how we transact business reflect God in our dealings with others? Is God honored with what we say or do? Should we evaluate how we respond to those who wait on us? Could we do better in certain areas of our communication with people? Are we truly striving to bring others to Christ by our witness?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Honor God with Our Choices.Part One

“This day, I call heaven and earth as witnesses against

you that I have set before you life and earth, blessings and curses.

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

Moses had called the people together and spoke. God had commanded Moses to

make a covenant with the Israelites beside the one God had made with them at Horeb.

This new pact was an extension of the covenant God had sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses told the Israelites of the disastrous outcome if they went on doing things with a “my way” frame of mind. Toward the end of his oratory, Moses tells them that he has shown them what would happen if they choose to go their own way, mock God, and live for themselves. He reminds them that he showed them both the good that comes from obeying God and the evil from disobeying Him by not honoring the covenant. Moses further tells them to “Choose life.”

At the time I first found this scripture, I was confused by a circumstance in my husband’s life. This escalating situation caused me to be depressed. It colored our family life and, I believe, caused problems for our son.

I sat in our living room one night reading my Bible. For some reason, I was in the Old Testament and found myself in Deuteronomy. When I read the words, “Choose life” I felt relief. I had not known this feeling before. I learned to affirm others.

I’d like to tell you all that because of my choice to affirm life that our problem went away. It did but sometimes it reappears for brief moments. In spite of all the hardships we have faced, God has blessed our family in special ways.


Dear God:

I give thanks to You for Your Word. I praise You for the fact you gave me the insight and the courage to put Your Word and instruction first in my life. I will always remember to give You the credit and the praise for what happens in my life. In the name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...