A Matter of the Heart

Feb 16 2015

Verse for the Day: Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Throughout our lives we deal with all kinds of different lists. We have To-Do-lists, grocery lists, task lists, attendance lists, wedding lists, party lists, work schedule lists and many, many other lists that we deal with over a life time. Well, have you ever worked for a company that makes an announcement that they plan to sale all or part of the company’s assets in a given area knowing that it would eventually include a list of people of who stays and who goes. For me this will be the third time of going through a process like this as an announcement was made that a Purchase Sales Agreement (PSA) had been signed with a buyer for our company. The actual decision to sale/market part of the company’s assets was made several months ago and last week, as I set around a table with other supervisors, a list was handed to each supervisor of the personnel in their area whom the company planned not to offer a job to after the sale was final.

As we came together with all the employees to share the news about the PSA they were informed that each supervisor would get with them on the following day to inform them which list they were on. I knew for many of these employees it was going to be a long and possibly sleepless night as they waited to hear what the future might hold. 

Lists like these can take us by surprise and the “unknown” is something that can affect and leave even the most seasoned veterans wondering what the future holds. But there is One person that is never surprised and always knows what’s going to happen in our life long before they ever happen. The Lord is never surprised or caught off guard and He knew this day was coming even before the management at my company knew. The Lord knew each name that was going to be on these lists long before they were ever written. And He knows exactly what the future holds for each of those names as we see in today’s scripture found in Jeremiah 20:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

When we put our trust in the Lord regardless what list we find ourselves on the Lord has promised to take care of us and give us a hope and a future and to watch over every step of our lives. Psalm 121:7-8 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. I truly believe that The Lord has something much better in store for anyone who trust in Him, regardless what list they might be on.

I know for me personally that each time I have been on one of these lists and listened and trusted in the Lord He has blessed me more than I could’ve ever imagined. For me, the important part was to listen for the Lord and to be patient and allow Him to open the doors He wanted me to go through and close the doors He never meant me to enter through. 

To each of my fellow employees and friends affected by this announcement or anyone going through changes in life. I pray you will use this time to draw closer to the Lord as He starts a new chapter in your life. And remember while none of us knows what tomorrow holds, we can know Who holds our tomorrows when we put our trust in the One who is never surprised and knows exactly what each tomorrow holds. Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Feb 05 2015

Verse for the Day: 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.  (NLT)

What is it about life when you’re young you can't wait to grow up and time seems to move so slowly, but the older you get the faster time flies by and the more you wish you could go back in time? You wish you had the same energy, physical health and strength you had when you were younger. For me personally while my mind says I’m still young at heart, many times my body is saying hold on there cowboy you're not as young and strong as you once were.

Well thank goodness our spiritual walk and strength doesn't have to depend on the same physical strength and abilities we had in our youth. For me personally the older I have gotten, as my physical abilities have gotten less I have grown much stronger in my walk and ability to serve and witness for Christ. 

Like most things in life the older and more mature we become the better our decision making usually becomes. We make better decisions financially, emotionally, in our career choices, with our family, in our friendships and many other areas of life versus when we were younger. That is if we will take today’s scripture to heart to "put away childish things." The problem is, while we all grow up physically, some never seem to grow up emotionally or spiritually--they never put away their childish ways. They still carry around hatred, jealousy, envy, greed, un-forgiveness, and many other childish things. They don't think or see clearly and have never tasted the goodness of God. 1 Corinthians 13:12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist... (The Message)

Does your life currently feel like it’s unclear- like you’re “squinting in a fog, peering through a mist”? If so, ask yourself these questions: Have I put away childish things? Have I tasted the goodness of God? And what does it mean to be all grown up? You see just because you might be older and more mature physically doesn’t guarantee you are emotionally or spiritually mature.

So how does one go about putting away childish things and become all grown up. Well first of all we have to remember life is a journey- growing up physically takes time and effort in order to grow stronger. Our spiritually and emotional growth is the same- it’s an ongoing process that we must exercise, stretch and use if we want to grow stronger in our faith and walk with the Lord. We can’t sit back and expect to grow up and become healthy spiritually and emotionally if we are not willing to put away childish things and drink deeply from God’s goodness. 1 Peter 2:1-3 So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.  (The Message)

I believe as long as we allow circumstances and the world to dictate what all grown up means or looks like we will continue to fall further away from the Lord and His truth. We have to seek the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul and trust in His goodness. Proverbs 3:5-10 Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! (The Message)

If you have never tasted God’s goodness before or maybe you have but walked away, know this- God Loves you and His arms are wide open waiting for your return. And once you face the Lord and call on His name the fog will clear and 12 “it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (The Message) I Pray you will stay hungry for the Lord, drink deeply from His goodness and seek and share His love all the days of your life.