Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Right Place To Keep It

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart."
Deuteronomy 6:6 (NKJV)

There is an old saying that states "A place for everything and everything in its place".  The meaning behind this phrase is that to keep things organized there should be a place for everything and when that thing is not in use it can be stored in its proper place so that it can be easily found when it needs to be used the next time.  For example, if you had a regular place to put your car keys it would then be easy to find them when you needed them.  If you did not have those keys in a place where you can easily find them again, then you may have trouble locating them when you need to use them. 

Deuteronomy 6 shows us the proper place to keep God's Word, in our heart.  It does not say to keep God's Word on a shelf or just in our notes.  We need to have God's Word in our heart to help guide us in our life and so that it is ready for use in our life as we need it.  In Psalm 119:11, the Psalmist said that they kept God's Word in their heart so that they would not sin, Proverbs 37:31 talks about the righteous having God's law in their heart and the result being that their steps did not slide, and Proverbs 4:20-21 says that we need to keep God's law in our heart because it is life to us.

If we don't keep the Word in our heart, but only have it somewhere on a shelf or don't even know it, we will not only miss out on all the benefits of God's Word in our life, but we can find ourselves in some difficulty as we will not be able to use it as we should in our time of need.  Having God's Word in our heart is a result of having a regular time of reading and studying the Bible as well as acting on the Word, this is how we make it a part of our life and get it into our heart.  We all need to be sure we are taking the time necessary to get God's Word into our heart, that is the right place to keep it.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Stay With Your Race

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)

When I was in high school I participated in some running sports.  One thing I was a part of was what was called track and field.  This consisted of different types of running events and things like pole vaulting and the long jump.  My area was running the one and two mile races, I was a better distance runner than sprinter, and I was definitely not a pole vaulter or long jumper.  Once, when we were missing some people at an event, my coach had me run the 400 meter dash.  That was not my usual event and the results showed it as I finished behind most of the other runners.  While I was good with running longer distances I was not very good at the sprinting events. 

In Hebrews 12, the Bible compares the Christian life to a race and Paul also used that example in 2 Timothy 4:7.  As Paul neared the end of his life, he talked about having finished the race.  Paul was confident that as his time on earth was coming to an end that he had done the will of God for his own life and run the race God had given him.  This is similar to what it says about David in Acts 13:36, that David served his generation by the will of God, in other words, David ran his race for God.  Jesus Himself said in John 17:4 that He had finished the work God had given Him to do.

Just like Paul, David, and even Jesus, God has a plan for our life; God has a race for us to run.  You can't run my race and I can't run your race, each of us must run their own race according to the will of God.  We must first find out what the will of God is for our life and then fulfill it.  Through the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit, God will help us to discover the race He has for us and He will help us run that race.  We can't just choose our own race, we live, or run, in response to His will.  Discover your race and find the will of God for your life so that all of us can say we have run our race, served our generation, and done the will of God.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Staying Sharp

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)

Things like knives, scissors, and various kinds of blades need to be sharpened on a regular basis.  If you only use your knife, scissors, or blades without the regular maintenance of sharpening them, then the time will come where you will no longer be able to use them effectively.  If you keep cutting instruments sharp, it is not a problem to cut through whatever it is you need to cut.  It is easy for some of these things to be dulled through normal use, and without those things being sharpened they will end up dull and useless.

The things that we do and the people we spend our time with will have an impact on us.  It is interesting to see that people can do many of the right things, but if they spend a lot of time with the wrong kind of people it will have more of a negative impact on them than the positive things that they do will have.  The people we spend our time with should be those who help us stay spiritually sharp and do more for God, people that discourage us and take our focus away from the things of God are really just making us dull.

The Bible talks about the kind of people we need to be and the kind of people we need to spend our time with.  Yes, we can walk in love and be kind to everyone.  But, the question is whether or not we have people in our life who are helping to build us up, people who help us to be "sharp".  Do the people we spend our time with help us to be "sharp" and godlier, or do they dull us to the things of God?  We can also ask that about ourselves, do we help to improve other people or do we make them dull?  Our goal should be to build relationships with people that will help to build us up and to be that kind of person for others. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Standard We Should Have

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ."
Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

What kind of attitude should we have with the work that we do?  Is there one attitude that is right for one kind of job but not for another, or is there a certain attitude we should have for every job?  Is there a level of work that is acceptable sometimes and not at others, or should our level of effort be consistent no matter what job we are doing?  The answer, which most people would agree is correct, is that our attitude and our effort should be the same with everything that we do, because we should have a standard that does not change from task to task.

In the Bible we can see the standard that God has.  When the temple was built, when God gave the details about the clothing that the priests would wear, and when instructions for the different sacrifices were given these things needed to be done in a certain way.  God gave a standard of excellence in everything He instructed people to do and this should be our standard as well.  No matter who may or may not be paying attention to what we are doing, we need to realize that even if no one is watching us or approving of what we do on earth we have a Master in Heaven who is paying attention.

As Christians, no matter what we do or who we work for, we should do it as to the Lord because He is the One that we are really serving.  Our natural work on the earth should show a pattern of excellence because of Who we serve and represent.  We can always ask ourselves the question, if this was some work I was doing directly for Jesus how would I do it?  That is the standard we should have all of the time for everything that we do.  No matter who our earthly leader or boss is, no matter what standard they might require, we serve someone even greater and our standard should reflect that.