Tag Archives: heart

Misery


Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Proverbs 23:19-21

One of the evils we see in this world is the great number of people who have fallen into the clutches of alcohol. This terrible addiction is present in all socioeconomic levels, but is most noticeable in the poor who do not have the funds necessary for treatment or to hide their misery. If it is hard for the rich to beat addiction, how much more for the poor who do not receive the care that luxurious clinics provide to the wealthy who take refuge in them trying to escape from the bondage of alcohol and drugs? In reading today’s passage George came to mind.

George is a destitute homeless person that roams the streets of the city where I live and who despite being a veteran now has nowhere to live. The first time we try to help him we were able to guide him in prayer to the feet of Jesus and also to provide him with a Bible, clothing, food and money. We do not know what he did with rest but the money he used to buy a bottle of gin and the next day my wife saw him stumbling down the street, barely keeping his feet under the influence of liquor. It was our mistake to give him the cash. In that we were very naive, especially since he told me he had undergone five rehabilitation treatments and rehabilitation and he had failed and relapsed at every opportunity . We continue to pray for George but we will not give him any more cash because we know what he will do with it.

Although nobody can learn from somebody else’s experiences, may this story serve as a warning those who enjoy being with friends who are consummate drinkers. Doing so only exposes them to the demands of their bodies and sinful nature. To continue with this kind of behavior will only take themselves and their family to a state of pain and trouble that can be perfectly avoided if they cater to the instructions of the Word of God. To God alone be the glory!

Disdain


My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.
Psalm 38:10-12

How many times have we seen that when we are burdened by the weight of guilt and the consequences of sin, instead of receiving help from our fellow-men what we get is contempt and hardness of heart? It only ratifies the conventional wisdom that has been described as “When the tree is fallen, every man goeth to it with his hatchet.” Nobody is willing to reach out or to express affection in these sad and difficult moments that can happen to anyone. Friends, neighbors and relatives alike are kept as far away as possible from us as if our adversity was highly contagious. This is where we see the harsh reality of the human heart, insensible and hard as flint. Some even, not content with staying away, take advantage of our misery to seek our destruction.

If everybody would apply the Golden Rule that Jesus taught us things would be quite different as we are seeing today. The Lord said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” [1] If today we see someone whose life’s adversities have made him a shadow of what he was before, let us consider in our hearts how we would like to be treated if we were under the same circumstances. Let our heart be like the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ who always acted out of compassion for a lost human race who had no possibility of salvation outside of putting their faith in him. To God alone be the glory!

[1] Matthew 7:12

Eternity’s darkest moment


I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
Psalm 22:14

When King David was composing this portion of the word that we now call Psalm 22 , most likely he could not imagine that he was referring to the Messiah who was to come to liberate the people of Israel a thousand years later. A reading of the passage makes it clear that David was going through a very difficult situation which could only be described by means of unusual terms for that kind of suffering. No one disputes that the affliction that Christ suffered at the hands of Roman soldiers was terrible, , but we disagree with the importance that some doctrinal trends have allotted to such suffering in the redemptive work of our Lord. Besides being the proof of fulfillment of several of the Messianic prophecies, the most important aspect of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is that he who was sacrificed was absolutely innocent of any crime that the religious authority  wanted to charge him with or any other crime, for that matter. Compliance with the requirements of the divine law could only be achieved if the victim was totally pure, without blemish or defect. The full weight of justice fell on the shoulders of him who never knew in his body or in his spirit what it meant to make a mistake or to break a divine commandment. The real suffering of the Son of God occurred at the time he was separated from the Father to take upon himself all the awful burden of human disobedience. That was eternity’s darkest moment.

Some of the children of God have had to go through long periods of suffering and pain, which in their case have a reason and place for the specific purpose of carrying out the transformation of our soul so that every day we become more like Christ. In any case, the reward that awaits us and that we will receive when we get to be in God’s presence far outweighs any discomfort or suffering that we endure as we fulfill the pilgrimage of this earthly life. We look forward to that wonderful time when our pain and illness will give way to the joy and the well-being of living in the glorious presence of God for eternity. To God alone be the glory!

Clash of hearts


Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
Psalms 119:69-70

Any type of encounter we have with someone who is not a child of God will ultimately end up becoming a battle of hearts and minds. This struggle is a natural outcome of the encounter of two forces that have opposite directions. The heart of him who has not devoted his life to serving God will be driven by the desires of the flesh, the pride of the world and the lies of Satan. It is very possible that this heart has not have realized the dangerous path his life has taken, because among the deceptions of the enemy and his own faulty reasoning he has developed a world view diametrically opposed to God’s plans. These hearts make many mistakes, but generally they are desensitized to failure and have difficulty realizing their sins.

By contrast, the just and merciful heart of God’s children wants to do things right all the time, that is, to act according to the instructions and precepts given by God in his word. This heart knows how sad it is to live separated from God and therefore has repented of his previous conduct. This heart is not interested in seeking his own benefit and for this reason he receives many blessings from God. This heart always puts integrity above any whim or deviant behavior that his sinful nature is telling him to follow. This heart is full of commitment and love and thus he has a special joy that many people do not even imagine may exist. Which of these two types of hearts you want to be yours? Look for Jesus Christ with all your heart and you will find true happiness. Align yourself with the plans of the Master of the Universe. Only to God be the glory!

Love and Obedience


The wise in heart accept commands,
but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
Proverbs 10:8

The key to success is obedience, but we need to know what or whom we obey. All the time we receive instructions from everywhere and almost all of these instructions are antagonistic to each other. Hence, it is very important to discern which of the orders we receive we must obey in order to progress successfully. Clearly, we must obey God first . That’s obvious and implicit in the instructions that Moses gave the people of Israel after descending from Mount Sinai: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” [1] He also told them: “Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.” [2]

So love and obedience go hand in hand and it is up to us children of God, to obey him in everything he has commanded us. Do you want to do well in everything you undertake? Want to enjoy long life? Obey the commandments and precepts of the Lord above all things and you will receive the reward of the righteous. The Lord Jesus said: “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”  [3] He also said:  “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” [4] This is the secret of wisdom and success.To God alone be the glory!

[1] Deuteronomy 6:4-5
[2] Deuteronomy 6:3
[3] John 14:21
[4] John 15:12

Friendship


Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.
Proverbs 27:9

Since ancient times it is well-known that certain stimuli produce pleasurable feelings. Nobody can deny the profound impact that music causes in both mind and body. Today’s music has become a multibillion dollar industry of which we can hardly make abstraction. Likewise flavors and the combinations of these aimed at stimulating the palate have led to the remarkable development of the culinary industry by highlighting the concept of “gourmet” as something very refined. The visual arts positively or negatively impact our sense of sight and our touch is constantly stimulated by changes in temperature or the extremes swings of it. Finally, the sense of smell and our ability to associate certain aromas with different moods has led to the equally successful perfume industry and with markedly less success ─no wonder─ to the alternative medicine of aromatherapy. Certain fragrances produce a state of great comfort and hence a great price has to paid to acquire and enjoy them, even though many of these smells are freely available in nature.

Likewise, friendship is something truly pleasant to the mind. Our friends are a constant source of joy and support, especially when circumstances become adverse. In the same way that certain perfumes are a sweet fragrance to our smell, the relationship with our friends produce a highly positive effect on our hearts. Let us, therefore, have many friends at all times and let us act as the friends we are. Remember that our Lord said: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” [1] But to be a friend of Jesus we must be obedient: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” [2] So with obedient hearts let us share God’s love with our friends at all times . To God alone be the glory!

[1] John 15:15
[2] John 15:14

Today’s word for July 23, 2011


Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Proverbs 23:19-21

Without falling into judgments or resorting to much detail we can conclude that most people who roam the streets for lack of housing, also known as homeless, are in this sad and painful situation because of chronic and excessive use of alcohol and drugs, which led them to end up being slaves to a terrible addiction. Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a serious problem that affects society in every area and social stratum. Dependence or addiction to these substances cause problems at the personal, family and society level. Its consequences, as noted above, are devastating and have led many to fall in extreme poverty. Apart from restricting the free availability, conducting educational campaigns, restricting the dissemination of commercial messages, reducing the hours where sales are allowed and setting age limit to sales, it is very little that governments can do to control this disease. The problem goes beyond legislation, the problem lies with the individual as part of the sinful nature that all humans possess. Man’s lack of discipline and control is what makes his defenses against this scourge ineffective to protect him from the terrible consequences that result from consumption and uncontrolled exposure to these substances.

The improvement of the individual is not achieved by modifying his environment but by transforming his inner being. This can be achieved only by the Holy Spirit of God. The word of God warns us that excessive consumption of alcohol leads to debauchery. The Word of God exhorts us not to let ourselves be controlled by our sinful nature but by the Holy Spirit of God. All time dedicated to fulfilling the extravagant desires of the sinful nature is wasted time. Let us not lose time and be wise and attentive to the word of God. This will keep us on the right path.Only God has the answer to the problem of substance dependency . To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for June 25, 2011


Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
Proverbs 26:23

Hypocrisy is just a lie. Lies have many ways to manifest and one of them is hypocrisy or duplicity. Culturally we are taught to keep quiet about what we think which in itself is not bad but eventually it transforms into not showing what we feel and accepting, at least externally, what we do not approve. Sometimes we do it to avoid conflict but that does not stop it from being what it is: deceit. Social conventions often guide us to assume attitudes that make us acceptable to those around us but we forget that lying is a sin and that sin has serious consequences on our lives. Of course we can’t go around saying the first thing that comes to mind. Sometimes we hurt others because we use words laden with intentionality without analyzing the impact that they may have in the life of the recipient. We must be careful of what we say to avoid hurting feelings but we must take care that what we say is a sincere expression of our thoughts and our hearts. Lying, in whatever form, comes only from its father, Satan. Being disingenuous and assuming misleading attitudes makes us disciples of the enemy.

Jesus Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” If we are truly disciples of the Lord Jesus, we must always speak with honesty, calling a spade a spade, with no duplicity but always with love. The apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians that we need to put off our old self and put on the new. “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Let us do what pleases God and not what satisfies our corrupt nature. Let us always act honestly allowing the truth to reign in our lives. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for May 23, 2011


My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;
my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
Proverbs 23:15-16

Wisdom and justice will always bring a companion along, happiness. A wise and just person hardly becomes involved in the serious problems that ignorant and foolish people attract upon themselves because of their senseless course of action. A wise and just man does not make decisions lightly but he weighs all options and all avenues of action displayed in front of him. Having carefully considered all options in light of the Word of God, and having also consulted with God through prayer, he makes the decision he considers most righteous because it adheres to the principles of life that Jesus left for us. The Holy Spirit is responsible for guiding his analysis and also for communicating his needs to the Father so that every step of the decision making process ensures perfect alignment with the plan his God and Lord has prepared for him and for creation. A wise man understands that he is not the center of the universe and that his scope of action has limits established by God, He knows that staying within those limits will guarantee the success of his plan.

Let us look our decisions in detail and if in doubt, let us not forget the fundamental ethical principle that Jesus taught us and that is known as the Golden Rule, that is: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” This way, our actions will be cause for celebration not only for our loved ones but also for others, especially those who also seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Let us, therefore, place the kingdom’s interests above our own interests and let us make sure that our actions are a source of joy to our Father and to those who love him. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for May 19, 2011


Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Most people think that artists are the only people who have creativity. In fact, come to think of it, we are all creative even if we are not all artists. Creativity is an aspect of human nature that we all carry in our genetic map for man was made in the image of God and God is the creator par excellence. Everything that exists, visible or invisible, was created by him. Human beings are creative in many ways and not necessarily artistic ways. An example of this is the creativity shown by some people when looking for excuses to justify their misdeeds or errors. I’ve always been impressed by the response Adam gave God when asked whether he had eaten from the tree that stood in the middle of the garden of Eden, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Adam was very quick to pass on the blame to Eve. But he adds something very interesting, he refers to Eve as “the woman you put here with me.” In other words, the fault now is not only Eve’s but also God’s for giving Adam a sinful woman and an instigator of sin as a partner. How amazing was Adam’s creativity!
We are constantly living in the midst of a creative process and that there is nothing wrong with this unless you’re using your creativity to find new ways of doing things that are pleasing to God, which is the most likely case. You can make all the plans you want but if they are not aligned in the same direction and follow the same path of God’s plan, your plans, no matter how creative they are, will not succeed or bring you profit. Until the Lord returns, which will not be this May 21 as some reckless so-called Christian leaders are announcing, we will see many things happen in the world that were never seen before as a result of unbridled and misaligned creativity. Let us use this creativity that we all have to find ways and means of serving our Lord Jesus Christ and how to fulfill the Great Commission that we all have been given. Seek the direction of the Holy Spirit to make sure that our activities have the approval of our heavenly Father, that we can fulfill our purpose and that our plans will succeed. To God alone be the glory!