Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Giving Our Will Over to God

Reading in Matthew 26 we see a woman coming into the room where Jesus is about to eat, she then begins poring expensive perfume over him; and yet, while in the next scene we see Judas Iscariot selling information about where Jesus will be, so that those who want to kill him can be waiting for him. One person (the woman with expensive perfume) is giving without cost because her heart is filled with gratitude, while the other person, (Judas) is looking for gain only for himself. 
I find that it is an easy lesson to learn, but sometimes hard to do.  That is, in putting my selfish desires behind me. At times, when my heart is looking at only gain for myself, I need to pray and ask God first for forgiveness, and then to ask him to change my heart. Satan wants us to think only of ourselves, thinking nothing of how it might benefit or hurt others. 
Sometimes what I need most is the strength just to surrender in what "I" want to do, think or have. In my mind I can justify a thousand different reasons why I deserve or should have my own way. Then the Holy Spirit pulls on my heartstrings and I know what I must do, surrender my will to that of our Lord's. Sometimes it is not easy, but when I ask him, Jesus gives me the strength to relinquish what truly is not mine to keep. "Lord, I don't want to give this to you, but give me the strength and the desire to do 'your' will concerning this." When giving my desires to him, he then can give me peace, and more importantly, contentment.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wedding Clothes

In Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus is talking about the parable of the king who invited people off the streets to come to a wedding feast that was set for the king’s son.  The king it is said, provided wedding clothes for each of his guests, but one person came in with his own wedding clothes instead.  The king subsequently noticed this person and had him expelled from the feast into the streets. 

When first looking at this, the king’s decision seemed somewhat harsh, to say the least.  But evidently the custom was to have wedding banquet clothes prepared for by the king exclusively.  The man coming in wearing his own wedding clothes was evidently an affront to the king.  Jesus was telling us this parable with a point in mind.  I believe this feast represented the invitation to become a Christian and a follower of Christ Jesus.  The clothes represented how we as sinners were to receive a new self formed in the image of God.  This new self though is to be done by God’s Holy Spirit and the work that we allow Christ to change within us.  That is, to be more like our Savior and the example that he set for us while on earth, and by the examples laid out for us by the apostles and other Christians in the Bible. 

The man who came into the wedding feast with his own wedding clothes, I believe, was an individual who tried to gain goodness by his own works.  The fine clothes that he wore were bought and prepared for by himself, and not the king.  Like the man in the parable who bought and paid for his own clothes, we cannot purify ourselves with our own efforts.  We can never be good enough to receive salvation on our own, and we cannot make the changes that God wants of us by ourselves.  It is done by allowing God to create the person he meant us to be.   In Isaiah 64:6 God tells us this:  All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

So one can see that the changes that are made that make us Holy in God’s sight are done only by him, and not ourselves.  As Christians, we need to surrender our wills to that of God.  We do this by giving each day to him and asking our Lord to work within us to change our inner self to that person he created us to be.  By doing this, we then are donning the wedding clothes that he prepared for us to wear. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Food For Thought

Lately I have been attending a men’s Bible study.  At the end of the study, a few men brought up various concerns that they had in their lives.  One gentleman said that he was being convicted about the amount of time that he spent in Facebook on his smart phone.  I thought at the time, I too felt convicted of the same thing.  I chose at that moment though not to say anything, but to listen instead.  It made me think of how our society was so rapidly changing.

Last night my wife asked me to read an article that she had run across.  It spoke about the fact that some of us spend an inordinate amount of time with our smart phones throughout the day.  So much so, that we do not socialize much with those around us.  The article went on to say that scientists found that when we interact socially (face to face) with others, that it activates certain parts of our brain that are vital for our growth and well being.  But, on the other hand when we spend an inordinate amount of time on our computers and smart phones, that is, with our social networks, those parts of our brain they found are not stimulated. 

That article brought back a memory for me of a similar situation that I experienced not so long ago.  One night our family went out to a local pizza establishment.  We do this when our budget allows and when we can get together with family and friends.  This particular night I noticed a young high school age couple entering the pizza establishment and sitting down in a booth not far from our table.  I was happy for them and I had hoped that they would enjoy their time together.  They both looked anxious and a little nervous.  I remembered when I was that age and how nervous I was in going out on a date.  My thoughts began to wonder to that time in my life.  I had thought all week about my special night and what I would say and how I would say it.  I wondered if my date would like the place that I chose, as well as the food that we would eat.  My mind raced up until the time that I picked her up.  I remembered the nervous moments when seated across from her before the meal came.  “What can I talk about that might interest her?” 

Now looking back, those were monumental moments that helped me grow
in to the person I am today.  They were learning times in how to socialize and relate to another’s life, that is, the person sitting across the table from me.  I would not trade those days for nothing. It was during those times that helped form in me the person I am today. 

So, what happened to this young couple that was placed near our family?  When seated, they immediately got out their smart phones and started to communicate with their online friends while totally ignoring the person across from them.  At that moment, the dad in me wanted to go over to their table and tell them that they were missing out on a very special time in their lives, and that it was so important that they spend this valuable time experiencing each other’s presence by talking one to the other.  I sadly turned away and looked at my wife who knew what I was thinking.  She looked at me with a smile and without a breath, began talking to me and our children about the day’s events.  My heart was once again restored, but that moment left me concerned for this new generation that have this, so called, advanced form of communication that keeps them from talking with each other.  We are rapidly living in society that stands in waiting lines, all the while linking with others on smart phones. These are people that they may never meet, or for that matter, individuals who are robbing them of that oh so valuable time with those around them.  We as a generation are missing out on discovering new friendships; friendships that could have been with the person standing in line next to us.