Congestive Heart Failure

 The problem, as I understand it, has to do with the heart’s inability to move blood, oxygen and nutrients to the organs of the body.  The condition often results in a build up of fluids in or around those organs, making it hard for them to function properly.

 The same process is descriptive of a common spiritual ailment as well.  The Bible often uses the word “heart” with reference to the center or source of an individual’s thoughts, will and emotions.  When our “spiritual hearts” are not working in harmony with God’s principles, all of life can be out of sorts.  It is a common congenital problem…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).”

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.(Mark 7:21-23).”

 What we really need is a spiritual heart transplant, and I’m happy to say that one is available to us right now.  The Lord encouraged Israel with…

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh…(Ezekiel 36:26).”

 Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection paid the price for your sins.  By faith, you can have a new spiritual heart.

“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. (Acts 8:22).”

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10).”

The Produce Of A Nation

  America is engulfed in an age of self inflicted tragedy.  The Parkland, Florida shooting last week was the ninety seventh such event that has occurred since 1982.  In these 35 years 816 people have been killed and another 1,261 have been injured.  The frequency of these shootings has increased steadily and  phenomenally over the past six years.

  Why do these things happen?  The world blames lack of gun control, chemical imbalance, psychosis, problematic childhood, etc., but God says the problem is that our hearts are “deceitful and desperately wicked.”  As a nation, our evils are home grown.  We are allowing ourselves to be desensitized to the effects of life without moral absolutes.  We have evolved into an entertainment oriented society.  We loan our conscious minds to the ungodly men who determine what constitutes “entertainment” in our country.  We are willingly bombarded with their selfish and godless world view through media (of all types), music, and perhaps worst of all, video games.  Those who allow themselves to become addicted, can practice their vile fantasies on screen before they act them out in real life.

  Our society is motivated by greed, and has now produced generations absorbed with self, having no concern for the needs of others.   As a nation, we feel that we have the right to do anything we want, anytime we want, anywhere we want––and all under the guise of “human rights.”  Relativism has become the dominant philosophy of our time.  Right and wrong are determined by the individual, on the fly.

  The solution is really quite simple:  We need to stop thinking “me first,” stop feeding our sinful desires, and return to the judeo/christian values that made our country great.  The solution will be realized one soul at a time.  Each of us must decide whether we will live in our sin or be saved from it.  Jesus said, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3).”  “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31).”

Search Me O God

  Whether you are involved in the corporate world, the political world, the church, or just your own humble home, if you are old enough to brush your own teeth, you can probably relate to what I am about to say––if you dare.

  You’ve probably noticed that we earth dwellers have been endowed with the remarkable ability to pinpoint areas of weakness in the lives of others.  By much patience and practice, we have learned to ascertain the ills of our peers and the “powers that be,” without ever turning the gaze of scrutiny upon ourselves.  The problem, we say, with the corporate administration, the government, the fellowship or family, is the person in the next cubicle, office, pew or bedroom respectively.  If they would just get their act together, wake up and smell the coffee, look at things the way they really are, take a hint, pay attention, get with it, get out of the way, and listen to what I have to say… things would run more smoothly.

  But what is it that keeps us from digging in our own lives for the root of those problems that menace our mission?  We shrink at the question, “Could I be consummately wrong?” … perish the thought!

  Please pardon my sarcasm, but doesn’t it all sound vaguely familiar?  I must confess, I am indeed made of the same stuff that I have described.  It is all too easy to see the faults of others and neglect my own.  Perhaps there’s something about me, some weakness that you have noticed, but I will not.

  Lately, I am reminded of the words of the Psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps. 139:23-24).”

  Lord, forgive me for I am weak.  Grant that I might comprehend the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, and that my first comparison to it, might be of my own puny frame as I stand amazed in His presence.  Amen

United We Fall

  No, I haven’t lost my mind, and yes, I do understand the principle of strength in unity.  But we must never forget that this strength of the united that builds cities and nations, can also be utilized to destroy them. 

  An age old strategy in warfare is to study the activities of the opponent and introduce things into his lifestyle that will cause him to destroy himself.  An example of this is found in the Bible (Numbers 22).  Balaam, a prophet for hire, was employed by Balak, king of Moab, to curse God’s people, Israel.  When God would not allow him to do so, as a consolation to Balak, he offered some evil advice.  Balaam told Balak that it was possible to destroy Israel from within by having his pagan, idolatrous people intermarry with the Israelites (i.e. unite with them).  Within their very homes, his people would be able to turn the Israelites away from their God.  He knew that if Israel’s beliefs could be altered and their faith diminished, the nation would fall.  It worked! …death by unity.  For more contemporary examples one might examine the tactics employed by the Nazi party in World War II.

  Satan is a master tactician. He knows by experience how to diminish the strength of God’s people, or “One Nation Under God.”  His prize tactic––unite and conquer.

  An article that I read some time ago demonstrates what one journalist called the “new and growing dynamic” of unity at all cost.  The article pointed out that the lines of doctrinal distinction among God’s people are being dissolved.  The point is that people don’t really care about doctrine anymore; fellowship is more fun.

  Though there is a sense in which we can enjoy strength in unity, we must understand that if we compromise truth to obtain it, our unity becomes a destructive force rather than an impetus for good.