Monday, August 31, 2009

Home Is Where The Heart Is

On Wednesday I will fly from Germany back to the USA for a three week trip. While I am in the states I will speak in some churches and visit with family and friends. Usually I fly back to the states at least once or twice a year for a combined time of business and personal activities. Part of the life of a missionary is taking the time to visit with and thank the people who support you and your work, so trips like this are normal for missionaries.

I have lived in a number of different cities in two different states in the USA. I have lived in Germany for almost 11 years in three different cities. But no matter where I live I am at home. When I prepare to fly to the USA I often say to people that I will fly home on such and such a date. Then when I am returning to Germany I tell people in the states that I will be flying home on a certain date. Because I grew up in the USA it will always have a home feeling for me but I feel as much at home in Germany as I do in the states.

In my opinion, too often we get focused on the natural attachments we have to the people and things around us and without these around us we can get "homesick". They say that home is where the heart is and Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 that where your treasure is that is where your heart will be. When we treasure the plan of God for our lives more than any natural thing or any human relationship that is when we truly find our home.

Don't get me wrong, I am very glad to be taking this upcoming trip and for the opportunity to visit with family and friends. But I am also very glad for the place and the people that God has connected me with here in Germany. If the time should come when God wants me to go back to the USA or somewhere else I plan on being just as happy there as I am here. Home is where the heart is and my heart is set on following God and fulfilling His will for my life!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Focus On God's Word

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 (

"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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

This morning I was reading 2 Timothy and something stood out to me. In his second letter to Timothy Paul encourages Timothy to focus on the Word of God. I especially like 2 Timothy 2:15 and how Paul talks about "the word of truth". What I noticed was that in this letter to Timothy, in addition to what Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:15 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 about God's Word, there are several other things that Paul mentions to Timothy: striving {arguing} about words (2:14), profane {wicked} and idle babblings {useless discussions} (2:16), and foolish and ignorant disputes (2:23). It seemed to me that Paul was telling Timothy to stay focused on God's Word and keep away from these other things.

Paul does not just say something like, "Hey Timothy, study and stay with God's Word because I said so" but Paul gives some good reasons for what he is saying. Paul calls God's Word the truth in 2 Timothy 2:15 and he then goes on in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to list the things that God's Word is good for: doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. He then further says how this will enable the man of God to be complete and ready for every good work.

In contrast to this Paul also mentions the results of focusing on these other things of striving {arguing} about words, profane {wicked} and idle babblings {useless discussions}, and foolish and ignorant disputes. Paul said that these things: will ruin the hearers (2:14), increase to more ungodliness, their message will spread like cancer (2:16-17), and they generate strife (2:23). When you compare these results with the results of focusing on God's Word it is easy to see where we need to spend our time! By staying focused on God's Word and avoiding all of the other things we hear we will be ready for every good work.