Broken Heart Living

(Act 20:31)  “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

Do I believe in the reality of God’s judgment?  Do I live with the consciousness of my responsibilities to declare the whole counsel of God?  Many times this is buried in the back of my mind.  Life comes at me at the speed of light and the thing that should be in my waking consciousness, the thought of God’s judgment on those who don’t know Him, goes on the “backburner.”

(Eze 33:6)  “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”

I am a watchman standing on the wall looking out over the desolate plain as the enemy approaches.  Do I blow the trumpet or do I fail to warn those around me?  Are discussions about the skill of holding the trumpet distracting me?  Do I become caught up in the arguments over the proper finger placement on the trumpet?  I pray that God would give me the passion and compassion to just hold the Word of God up and sound out the warning to those in danger.

(Act 20:26-27)  “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

Renewed Thought – Lord, help me to live consciously today with a broken heart for those who need You.

Evidence of the Truth?

(1Th 2:13)  “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

We are living in a time and place in history when the assumption of truth and acceptance of what was assumed to be true cannot be taken for granted.  Assuming the beliefs of those who raised you or blind acceptance of truth is not good enough to survive in a world that is built to contradict what we believe in God’s Word as absolute truth.  The church in general today has not been geared for a very long time to answer the “how” and “why” questions that must be answered in order to arrive at a conclusion that there is a God, the Bible is God’s Word, salvation comes through Jesus Christ, and ultimately there is such a thing as absolute truth.

“Doing church” today is more of a lifestyle add-on to the rest of our lives rather than a life of community generated from regenerated lives anchored in truth.  Does the truth “work” in us?  Do we actually believe the truth enough to allow it to change our lives?  The phrase “effectually worketh” comes from the Greek word “energeo” from which we get our English word energy.  The gospel came to you and me because someone in the past believed the truth enough to lay their life down for it.  History is full of examples of what God can do in the life of a person who is energized by truth.  The effectual working of the truth will cause you to abandon every superficial pursuit.  It will motivate you to make decisions that are aligned with God but out of alignment with the world.  It will create a life that despises “doing church” as a lifestyle and replace it with a love for the Church because Christ is the center and source of life.

Renewed Thought – If someone looked at your life, could they see the evidence that you actually believed in the truth of God’s Word?

City Vision

(Act 17:16)  “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.”

What do your eyes see when you look out over your city or town?  It doesn’t matter whether you live in a place that has a population of 200 or 2,000,000; there are people around you who need the Lord.  What does it do to your heart when you attend a baseball game, concert, or play?  Do you see the need as you walk across your school campus?  The word “stirred” in this verse means “provoked from within.”  As Paul looked out on the mass of humanity in need of a Savior, his heart was burdened and he was provoked to give them the gospel.

Is your heart stirred for your town or city?  Too many times the church becomes inward-looking and self-serving.  In some places there is more competition to win the saved over to church attendance than to see the lost come to Christ.  Sometimes we become more burdened to see our brothers and sisters agree with our Biblical viewpoint than to see our friends and neighbors in a relationship with our Lord.  It’s easier to evangelize the saved than engage the lost.  But God doesn’t call us to “fix” the Body of Christ.  Rather He calls us to introduce the Great Physician to those who need their soul healed by the gospel.

Wherever you live today, you are a missionary.  Look out of the stained-glass windows and see the need outside.  As you see the need through the Lord’s eyes, your heart will surely stir within you.

Renewed Thought – “It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in.” – John Wesley