Tag Archives: truth

Write them on…

Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,
Proverbs 3:3 NKJV

We are studying Proverbs.

Yesterday was chapter 3.

Definitely one full of application.

Something stood out that I’d not noticed before.

…Write them on the tablet of your heart,
Proverbs 3:3b NKJV

The word tablet is a specific type of medium used to record information.

But a tablet isn’t like paper.

To write upon a tablet you must engrave it.

Not only is this much more time consuming than pencil on paper, it is much more permanent.

Tablets have been found for centuries which have taught us much about ancient cultures.

Thus to engrave mercy and truth upon the tablet of the heart is to speak of a purposeful lasting mark.

Something which doesn’t erase with ease.

Instead, it leaves a deep change upon the heart.

Choosing to carefully, with effort and patience, engrave God’s Word into our hearts is to chisel mercy and truth upon our character.

It’s not going to be a quick half hour job.

Nor will it be easy.

Yet, the rewards of such efforts is truly worthwhile.

And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.
Proverbs 3:4 NKJV

To be held in favor and high esteem by God is a worthy goal.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Lord, please help me to engrave Your Word upon my heart. Help me to encourage others to cherish Your Word in the same way. Lord Jesus, please help me to live purposefully, redeeming the time. Please continue to teach me Your mercy and truth, that my character might be a reflection of Yours. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Lost his voice

Circumstances can crowd in upon someone before they realize.

The consequences of behavior can begin to hide the heart.

And yet those things are a direct result of the choices made.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Galatians 6:7 NKJV

Recently, as I shared with another, the brokenness of my past relationship with my father, I was able to see the truth in a crystalized phrase.

“He had lost his voice with me by the way he used anger.”

From my perspective, he was always angry and therefore I didn’t want to hear anything he had to say.

In reflection, after God’s healing me, I can see I missed a lot of things he was trying to say, but he had already lost his voice with me.

Our conversation continued and we each reflected upon times when our own voice was lost.

Although all three of the circumstances and choices were different, we each had lost the privilege of sharing truth because of our misuse of our words, actions, or attitudes.

But it didn’t end there.

Jesus had redeemed each of us.

It was humbling and uplifting to realize how Jesus had used these sins in our lives to hone us, to teach us, and to change us.

And before I thought it I spoke.

“I really hope God will help me to teach this truth. I want to pass on the value of guarding one’s actions, attitudes, and words so they might not lose their voice.”

Of course Jesus already spoke so clearly upon these truths, all I’m responsible for is sharing them with others and walking in them myself.

No, I don’t have it down perfect, but I’ve learned that when I sin it’s my responsibility to repent and ask for forgiveness, both from God and those I’ve sinned against.

I’m also on my guard about making allowances.

“Well, I just reacted that way, because I’m hungry and I didn’t sleep well and I…”

Nope!

Refusing to accept the truth that I sinned is as damaging as the sin.

Trying to down play my responsibility in the sin is as deadly as approval of the sin.

Blaming anything rather than repenting of my sin is wickedness, for what I’m doing in my heart is refusing to admit that I’ve transgressed before the Lord.

Humility before God and then others is the best choice.

1 Peter 5:5 KJV — Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

If you have allowed your voice to be lost through sin, it’s not too late to humble yourself before God and those around you.

If you are walking in the path of restoration, praise God for His mercy and grace. Pass on the knowledge of God’s truth.

Galatians 6:10 NKJV — Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. It is so full of all we need! Thank You for teaching me how to be careful of my words and how to continually humble myself before You and others. Please continue to teach me and to guide me along Your paths. Jesus, I want to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and full of Your wisdom. Please help me to sow truth, love, humility, and righteousness daily. Please place a guard over my heart and my mouth, that I might not sin. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Blessing and lessons

Mother’s day tea!

It was so sweet and I was truly blessed.

It placed a beautiful memory in my heart.

The tea party was lovely and I was so thankful to God for my family.

As the day came to a close, I realized I needed to get by myself and pray.

There had been an underlying something bothering me.

It was an unsettling, almost fidgety emotion, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Before the Lord, it became clear.

This fidgety unsettling feeling was simply my old nemesis: fear.

Uhg!

Where did that creep in?!

Yet, I knew it had to be confessed and submitted to the Lord, rather than worried over.

So, I began, with the Lord, unraveling the balled up mess of fear.

One strand at a time, until I came to the center, hurt.

Something I thought was way back in my past and long since dealt with was the center of this.

My heart hurt and I had to confess this hurt and choose again to forgive, to place it in Jesus’s understanding hands, and to ask Him to fill my hurt with healing and love.

Because when I’m full of love for the ones who hurt me, then I’m no longer afraid the hurt will come again.

Crazy thing about this circumstance, I know it was not intended, nor were they ever aware of it.

Sometimes hurt happens, and just like someone accidentally dropping something on my foot, when they dropped something on my heart I can feel the pain and realize it wasn’t on purpose.

I can walk in forgiveness.

Which was the lesson for my evening.

Although, I didn’t really like having to deal with this sin (because fear of any person but God is sin) I was thankful the Lord showed it to me.

When I first began my “Good morning” chat with the Lord, He pointed out another sin.

My feet hadn’t hit the floor, I hadn’t really done more than roll over and greet the Lord, when He unveiled my heart to me.

This time it was discontent.

Uhg, uhg!

It didn’t take more than a moment for God to show me my error.

I immediately recognized my need to repent and return to a place of contentment.

Which I did.

My sorrow lingered, after all I don’t like having sin creep into my life.

It’s disgusting, it hinders my walk with the Lord and my family, it’s a cancer which eats away at my relationships.

I truly appreciate God’s mercy and grace in showing me my heart that I might turn away from sin and choose what is right.

How I long for the day when I no longer struggle in the mire of my own sin and can be completely at rest in Christ.

But I would not shorten my time God has given.

That too would be sin.

Instead, I must continue to learn humility before my Lord and my fellow man.

To keep my heart daily before God, that His light of truth and love may hone me.

Although it was uncomfortable, I feel so much peace now.

To look at my sin and repent, to be washed by Jesus’s love and forgiveness is so refreshing and beautiful.

I know Jesus will continue to walk with me into today and I’m so thankful He loves me enough to deal with my sin.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for walking daily with me. Lord, thank You for dealing with both discontentment and fear in my heart. Please help me to place guards in my actions, my attitudes, and my activities that I might not slip back into either of these sins. Lord, if You would have me speak to someone in more detail so they might hold me accountable on these, I am willing. Lord, I want to live with a pure heart, and You alone are the only One who can create that in me. Please continue to polish my heart, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Thank You for all Your love, mercy, grace, and truth! You are incredible! Thank You for forgiving me. I love You, Jesus!

Right now

Matt. 16:27
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with His angles; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.

The truth of Salvation is beautifully simple.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died once and for all to save us from sin, and that He rose again and ascended into heaven.

That He is God incarnate, and sits in heaven awaiting the appointed time for His return.

For one day He will.

That is why living daily for Jesus, loving Him and obeying His commandments is vital.

No person knows when He will return.

Nor is there a better time to prepare for His return than right now.

Salvation can not be earned by good works, nor can it be bought.

Instead it is a free gift from Jesus Christ, Son of God.

That doesn’t mean that the gift wasn’t costly.

The truth of the matter is it cost more than any human could ever pay.

It cost more than any gift ever did before or ever will again.

It cost more than any one in humankind can truly comprehend.

Yet, what a blessed gift!

Salvation.

The only thing accepting this free gift will cost you is your will freely given over to Christ, Who understands far better than we what He created each one of us for.

He simply wants to have a relationship with each one of us and walk with us daily into the paths He and the Father set down for our feet before our birth.

He promises never to leave us nor forsake, but to supply all our need.

What gift can possibly compare?

A security in Jesus Christ lasts beyond death and the grave.

Eternity in heaven.

A path of service to God, while growing in daily relationship with Him.

Having peace in a world so full of turmoil, because of the precious daily walking surrender to Jesus.

For me, it’s such a wonderful and beautiful choice.

And I look forward to His return with anticipation and joy.

But I fully understand that this choice is repulsive to some.

Foolhardy and slow-witted do they view those who walk in faith with Jesus Christ.

Even as Christ walked among man and did nothing but good, He was despised and eventually executed by those He came to save.

So, I too can choose, as Jesus did, to love others, even those who despise me and my Lord Jesus.

But as for you, dear Reader, I truly pray, as I pen these lines, that your heart shall be soft to the voice of Salvation.

That if you have yet to know Jesus, you would take the opportunity to read His Words in the gospels.

The book of John is my favorite.

Although, each is so beautiful and vital.

Because some day, Jesus will return and each of us will stand before the throne to answer for how we lived on this Earth.

I hope you will be able to stand clean before God, washed in the blood of His Son.

…Truth in his heart

He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart;
Psalms 15:2 NKJV

It’s something I’ve been working on.

Taking captive my thoughts and being diligent about what I allow to reside in my heart.

Because truth is spiritual.

It comes from God alone.

Exodus 34:6 KJV — And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Psalm 119:160 NKJV — The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

Therefore, to speak the truth in my heart, I need to know God’s Word and I need a personal relationship with Him each day.

Simply memorization of scripture doesn’t change the condition of my heart.

Bible knowledge does nothing if my heart is not completely surrendered to my LORD.

And it’s obvious, as I struggle with speaking only the truth, in love.

Zechariah 8:16 NKJV — These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;

To speak truth, one needs to know it.

I’ve spoken falsely many times, simply because I had not known the truth.

There is only One who always knows the truth.

That is because He is the truth.

John 14:6 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

And the best part is we can each one know Him.

Infact, the truth of salvation is His sacrifice for every person.

John 8:32 NKJV — “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

As our payment for sin, He opens the door to eternal truth and life in Him.

And God gives us His Holy Spirit to teach, train, and convict us of the truth.

John 15:26 NKJV — “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Therefore, as difficult as it is to speak only the truth in our hearts, God has given us such wonderful help!

I want to be one who walks uprightly, and an important part of working righteousness is to speak truth within my heart.

On my own, it is impossible.

But I’m not alone and neither are you.

We all have God, who has prepared everything required.

Each one must make their choice daily, how they will walk, what they will focus on, and what they allow to dwell in their hearts.

My prayer for today and this week is to speak the truth in my heart.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for being the truth. Thank You for guiding my heart each day. Please continue to mold and shape my thoughts into Your truths. Show me the places where I have been deceived, that lies might be replaced with truth. Lord, please continually soften my heart that I might be quick to love, gentle, and steadfast. Lord, I want to follow You in all my ways. Please help me to do so today, and every day. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Over the fence

It was brief.

Just a few minutes of chatting.

I was on one side of the fence and they were on the other.

We could hear each other but not really see.

It blessed my heart, they inquired after my allergies.

Then asked about our church.

Just a friendly conversation.

But through it two truths surfaced.

“Well, when you’re as old as we are and have underlying health issues you wonder if you’re going to make it through this or not.”

My heart lept.

I actually wished they could see my face and read my feelings.

However, I knew my words were going to have to be my tool.

“Well, with my asthma and other health issues, I am in the category of ‘at risk’. My kids have been worried, asking me what we are going to do.”

“But I told them, God has the exact number of my days in His hand and nothing is going to change that. I don’t know how many that is, but I’m not going to worry. I’m just going to live life unto Him and praise the Lord”

There was a brief pause and then our conversation moved on to other topics.

But in my heart, I truly understand what was said.

There’s something very different about how one looks at life when you realize you are mortal.

There’s yet another change when you realize you may not have a future on this Earth.

That is the truth I heard in their words.

It’s a truth I’ve looked at as well.

Because none of us are guaranteed any allotted time here, but for some reason we assume we are.

When the truth, that no one but God knows the number of your days and you don’t have any idea how many that is, becomes a part of your every day perspective you have a choice.

You can choose to live selfishly and full of fear. Be consumed with trying to get all you can to protect yourself or do everything you’ve dreamed about before the ‘end’. Basically living like this world is the best there is.

Or

You can choose to live daily for Jesus and realize His plans for each of us is the best this world can offer, but through His blood it’s not the end.

Because it is not the end.

Heaven is waiting for those who believe:

John 3:16 NKJV — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 NKJV — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

I made the choice to walk with my Lord and be thankful for each day, no matter how many I have left.

Because like Paul I know this truth:

Philippians 3:20 NKJV — For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Today, my prayers are for those who have yet to make that choice and for those who have yet to realize the truth.

Dear Reader, only God knows the struggles inside your heart, but know that He loves you, deeply. He wants to comfort, guide, and speak truth to you. In these days of uncertainty, please take the time to seek Him. If you already know Him, take the time to praise Him! May God bless you, dear.

Tell yourself

This picture makes me laugh.

Taken years ago during a skit, it still conveys an emotion.

My expression was meant to convey to the child audience a thought in my head:

I really don’t think you know what your talking about!”

And therein lies a truth.

Our own thoughts have an enormous impact.

Recently, the point was brought into focus through these words:

“…The most important voice you hear outside of the Lord’s is your own. What do you tell yourself?”
Pastor Chuck Swindoll, Dallas Theological Seminary, Pressing On

What do you tell yourself?

What should anyone bathed in Christ’s redemption be telling themselves?

The Truth.

Words filled with Christ Jesus.

John 14:6 KJV — Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

No matter the circumstance, the answer is in Scripture.

Romans 12:15 NKJV — Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Praise God over blessings and benefits!

Be thankful.

Uphold those who sorrow in prayer.

James 5:13 NKJV — Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.

Let a worship song play over and over inside.

Thoughts can be purposeful meditation upon the Word.

Psalm 119:15 NKJV — I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.

No, it’s not just a positive mindset.

Nothing fake or pretence.

Nor is it ignoring strife, pain, or disappointment.

It’s purposeful.

Take thoughts, allow them to be combed and groomed by the timeless truths of the Gospel.

It’s learning to surrender even everyday preferences to the hand of the Master, Jesus.

For without Christ, the Savior, we are nothing.

The psalmist put it best:

Psalm 119:30 KJV — I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

Tell yourself the truth.

Fill your thoughts with Christ.

Something old

image

History has always had a flavor of interest for me.

As a child my parents took us to museums, art galleries, old missions along the California coast, and any other areas of history they could find.

My view of the world I live in has benefited from the extra hours of looking back through the struggles and success of others.

Whenever possible I have striven to expand my children’s experience by turning to the old, antique,  and things of another era.

It hasn’t always been pleasant.

The time we stood in an air museum and our oldest, who was 10 at the time asked about a plane the Japanese used during World War II.

“Why were they flying the planes into the ships? How did they get out of the planes before they hit?”

The answer was tougher than we had expected.

Yet we learned a lesson.

Even the ugly awful truths of the past can be learned from.

But it takes honesty to admit them.

Especially when it is ugly in our own past.

I had a “heart to heart” with our oldest yesterday and during it I was explaining why her Dad and I feel so strongly about a particular circumstance.

In doing so I had to remind her of a choice her Dad and I made when we were young and neither of us are proud of.

Despite our convictions of following the Bible we chose to ignore it when it came to boundaries within our relationship.

We built our time together on feelings and physical attractions instead of getting to know each other. Learning how to best serve the other.

We were both selfish.

Looking out for our needs, wants, desires.

So after a few months of dating I turned up pregnant with her.

But God stepped in.

He has forgiven us of our wrong and turned us into people who desperately love each other.

But the consequences of our sin still had to be dealt with and we had to repent.

She listened and understood.

I squeezed her hand and urged her to read the Bible looking for the answers to her questions.

And in my own heart I think of 1 John 3:1a “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! “