A Matter of the Heart

Jan 03 2013

Verse of the Day: Joel 2:28 "...I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy; your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." (NIV)

Well as another year has comes to an end I pray 2012 has been good to you and your family. My brother and sister in-law started a new tradition several years ago called "High-Low" where they bring their family together and each person shares their high and low for the past year. While Jo and I were unable to attend we did share our highs and lows with each other.

And as we shared our thoughts with each other and reflected back on the past year we realize how incredibly blessed we have been by God this year. Even during our lows like losing my dad God was and still is at work in our families' lives. And as we look back at some of the lows and see what God has done and is still doing our perspective has changed as we realize that God's perfect will had something much better in store for us. While some of the lows are still lows we know that God has not completed the story yet. And we trust in a God Who is All Knowing and All Powerful that can take what Satan meant for evil and harm and turn them into exceptional blessing. We also know even if things don't turn out the way we thought or would have liked them to--that one day we will be able to look back with 20/20 vision from God's perspective and see where His amazing love provided us with just what we needed at the time and not what we deserved. Just remember when God delays or takes something away from you He is not necessarily punishing you as much as He has something better in store for you if you will only wait upon Him. Hebrews 11:40 "God had planned something better for us....." (NIV) I started this past year out still trying to heal up from a horse wreck that left me with 7 broken ribs, a bruised lung, a body that was bruised from head to toe and right pelvis that was fractured in 3 places. Then to think I ended the year up sitting in a new log cabin home writing devotions-Man! Who would of thunk it possible? ONLY GOD!

But of all of the blessings I received this year none where greater than having the privilege of baptizing my son Jason and my son in-law Dustin and seeing them commit their hearts to God. And while God provided me physical healing after my horse wreck and many other personal blessings like a log cabin home--there can be no greater blessing than having your loved ones commit their heart and life to Christ.

As you count your highs for the year I pray you find your blessing not so much in the material possessions you received but in the relationship you and your family are building with Lord. While material blessings are nice to receive we must remember they are only temporary and will pass away. So, start today storing up treasures in heaven "where moths and rust do not destroy" them. Matthew 6:20   I pray you will look back on 2012 with 20/20 vision from God's prospective. When you do I feel you will find even in your lows which felt so heavy at times that God's hand was and still is at work for you. And you will see where His love never failed or left you. So, take a few minutes and write down your highs and lows for the year and as you do Praise God for each one of them as you grow in His love. Happy New Year everyone and may God give each of you His perfect vision in 2013, which is always better than 20/20.

Jan 02 2013

Verse of the Day: Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (NIV)

Why is it that it seems that most people spend more time planning for a weekend getaway, a vacation, a wedding or a birthday party then they do planning and preparing where they will spend the rest of eternity once they leave this earth? I know this was especially true for me when I was younger and not following or seeking the Lord. You know having that mind set of being bullet proof and life would never end. But all you have to do is look at the obituaries in the paper or online and you will see where someone's life here on earth ended much earlier than planned or expected and you will soon realize very quickly that life is short and sometimes very unpredictable. And the older and wiser I get and look back on my younger years, the more I realize how many opportunities I missed to serve and honor God. Instead of storing up treasures in Heaven I was planning and accumulating stuff on earth that will one day be gone. And guess what - you can't take it with you either. And like the old saying goes "You never see a moving van following a hearse to the cemetery", so be careful of where you are storing up your treasures for the future.

Well once I got my heart right with God my life and plans changed dramatically from my younger days. While I still have moments of weakness and succumb to a worldly temptation at times I never lose sight of God's plans or road map for my life by seeking and trying to honor Him daily in words, thoughts and deeds. I now run the race of life with a new purpose of winning the eternal prize of spending eternity in Heaven with the Lord. 1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
If you have never made plans for your eternal destination and final home and not sure where to start, start by getting on your knees and ask God to come into your heart and ask Him to forgive your sins.

Pray something like this: Lord I know I am a sinner and I come before You asking for Your forgiveness. Thank you for going to the cross and shedding your blood to cover my sins. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to make a plan for seeking, worshiping and honoring You. I give my life to You today and pray You will help me to store up "treasures in heaven" Matthew 6:19 .

Well if you prayed this prayer for the first time I encourage you to share it with someone today. Get with your pastor or a fellow believer that you trust and ask them help you get started in your Christian walk.  Or call me and I would be honored to visit with you and help you make a plan for getting started in a closer walk with the Lord.

So, I pray your plans for 2013 include drawing closer to the Lord and you will be able to claim and stand on His promises like Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 . Man! What better way to start each day out than knowing God has a plan for your life? And just think each day as we walk closer with the Lord-we will start to hear satan say every morning: "Oh crap they're up again"