Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Reward now…or Later?~ February 25, 2014

lose soulDoes it bother anyone else when you look around and see the people who are living like hell thriving while the godly seem to struggle?  This used to be a real issue for me in my early years as a Christian.  I would basically fuss at God.  “Why is that heathen excelling while my friend who loves you is barely scrapping by?  Lord, are you even paying attention?!”

“The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good….Even hell holds no secrets from God- do you think he can’t read human hearts?”  (Proverbs 15:3 & 11 NLT/Message)

These verses were incredibly freeing for me.  I’m not going to pretend to fully understand the why behind it all, but a wise man, also known as my husband, once shared a profound truth with me: “The wicked are receiving their reward now while ours is being stored up for us in eternity.  It’s one of the tricks of the enemy.”  I would much rather struggle for a little while in this life in order to receive my blessings in Heaven than live as the world calls blessed now and spend eternity in the fiery pits of Hell.

“It’s better to obey the Lord and have only a little, than to be very rich and terribly confused.” (Proverbs 15:16 CEV)

While it may appear to those of us on the outside looking in, that the one who is successful has it all, we haven’t a clue what demons they are dealing with behind closed doors.  I wrote this poem about a year ago and shared it on this blog last May.  It is relevant to this post, so I am sharing once again.

The Rich Man

I know a man who has it all;

big house, nice car, designer clothes.

He’s attained success in his career,

good luck follows him wherever he goes.

So why is it that his demeanor

is down-cast, sullen and morose?

Could it be that beneath all the accolades

lies a secret that nobody knows?

While wealth and good fortune are his for the taking,

his spiritual life; a disaster in the making.

He gives no recognition to the God

who gave him a firm place to stand.

God deserves none of the credit;

he is a self-made man.

His days are filled with good times and laughter

but what about what happens after?

In the quiet of darkness, he lies alone.

Inside the recesses of his mind

where “light” has never shone.

For even though he has it all, there is one thing he lacks.

A relationship with his Creator

has slipped right through the cracks.

Life without our Lord and Savior is really no life at all

So the rich man isn’t actually rich

for he remains broken from the fall.

So do not envy my friend, the rich man

for his riches shall all pass away.

His achievements will prove to him useless

before the Lord on Judgment Day.

For the one who submits that God is Lord over all, our pain lasts but a moment, while our joy is everlasting.  For the one who seeks earthly possessions over heavenly gain,  “you must be humbled before you can be honored.”  (Proverbs 15:33 ERV)

*We are at our halfway point of the Book of Proverbs study.  Let us continue with diligence and a a willingness to let the Lord reveal new wisdom to us.

 

~Walking Testimony~ August 15, 2013

“The Lord said,”I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.”

(Exodus 34:10)

God has promised to do such marvelous works in our lives that everyone we come in contact with should be able to see His hand upon us.  Sometimes I feel like this isn’t the case.  Even when God is moving on our behalf and we are blessed beyond measure, strangers and even those we know, don’t necessarily “see” God in our situation.  I happen to think it’s because we don’t always give Him the glory.  We forget to sing His praises when He answers our prayers.  We don’t share our testimony when He’s right on time with the provision that we need.  When He heals our bodies, restores relationships or renews our minds, we neglect to give Him the credit.  If we aren’t acknowledging His power and presence among us, then why would anyone around us, especially those who have yet to accept Him as their savior?

As Christians, we need to be sharing what God has done for us with anyone who will listen.  We need to give Him credit for all the good that comes our way because it all comes from Him.  We would have nothing if not for the grace of God who pours out blessings from Heaven for His children.  Remember that when you have some success, big or small, that if not for God, you would not be who you are where you are today.

Be certain today that those around you see how awesome are the works of the Lord by making it a point to turn the focus to Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

(James 1:17 NIV)

 

~Just A Glimpse~ July 22, 2013

heaven“A glimpse by definition is an impermanent thing.”  A random movie quote that made me take pause and think, what if we were given a glimpse into Heaven?

We’ve read the description and heard it preached numerous times on what it will be like in Heaven.  Some of us are better visual learners, so we can’t quite grasp the gloriousness of it all.  But what if we could have ourselves a little preview?  We could catch a glimpse of the beauty of the city itself, the people all free from pain and sickness…LOVING each other, the Lord himself before our very eyes where we could worship Him face to face!  Do you think that this impermanent opportunity would cause us to permanently adjust our behaviors?  If we could get a visual of what our reward was going to be, would we stop placing so much emphasis on what was pleasing to us right now and shift our focus to laying up treasures in heaven?

Now think on the opposite side of the spectrum, what if that glimpse was into the pits of hell?  You could see the flames, feel the heat & see the endless suffering that would be your fate if you chose to reject the gospel.  Hmmm…not so pleasant if you ask me.

The truth of the matters is, both heaven and hell are real.  Our belief or lack thereof doesn’t change that fact.  Just as 2 + 2 has to equal 4, you will certainly spend eternity in one place or the other.

“But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.”

(Romans 6:22-23 The Message)

 

~Prepare Your Heart, Not Your Storehouses~ April 9, 2013

Have Matthew6-20-21you ever watched the show Doomsday Preppers?  It is a documentary about people who commit all their time, money and energy preparing for the “what-ifs” in life.  Their stock-piles of food, water, and weapons, along with a whole host of other necessities, envy that of your local big-box store.  All of this so that when whatever disaster they fear most strikes, they will be able to sustain themselves and their families free from outside assistance.  They spend thousands of dollars on things such as armored cars and converting hot-tubs into water filtration systems, (you can’t make this stuff up).  A whole business has evolved from people’s paranoia; building pods that can be installed at safe distances below the earth’s surface to protect you from…well, anything I guess.  In their minds, it is only a matter of time before tragedy of apocalyptic proportions will strike and they feel that all of their “stuff” will save them from total demise.

Seriously people, is this not hilarious to you as well?!  I find it amusing that these people actually think that all their planning will do them any good in the event of nuclear warfare, a string of natural disasters or whatever else their brains can concoct.

They are focusing all of their efforts on the wrong things.  When they should be seeking God and His provision, they have turned into self-seeking hoarders.  They have become so obsessed with preparing for disaster that they haven’t prepared their hearts for the Lord.

I see a lot of comparison between the “preppers” and the man from the parable that Jesus told in Luke 12:

“A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.  He said to himself, “What should I do?  I don’t have room for all my crops.’  Then he said, ‘I know!  I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.  Then I’ll have enough room to store all my wheat and other goods.  And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come.  Now take it easy!  Eat, drink, and be merry!”

“But God said to him, ‘You fool!  You will die this very night.  Then who will get everything you worked for?’

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

(vs. 16-21)

What good are wealth and supplies if you do not have God?  How sad will it be for those who think they have everything they need when Jesus Christ returns and all they can say is, “Hey Lord, I was so busy preparing for the worst that I forget to make way for the best!”  Or even worse than that, they confuse the end time events with just another disaster.  They’ll think of how right they were to prepare and be ever so proud of themselves for taking precautions for their families.  While they are busy patting themselves on the back, they will miss the trumpet blast and they, along with their misguided families, will be left behind as the saints ascend into heaven with the Lord.

Do not make the same mistake as these “preppers,” being so plagued by fear and worry that it becomes all consuming.  Instead of trusting in your own abilities to protect your family, put your faith and trust completely in God.  Rather than devoting your garage to your disaster supply area, open up your storehouse and give it those who need it right now.

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

(Matthew 6:20-21 NIV)