pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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True Life

Reading: Psalm 119: 97-104

What voice is your guide?  What voice directs your decisions and informs your choices?  These are hard questions to answer honestly.  These are questions whose answers might shift from time to time – or often.  Oh to be like the psalmist in today’s passage and to only listen to God!

There are many voices that compete for our attention and our allegiance.  Primary among them is our own voice.  The voice of self is powerful.  How will it affect me and what’s in it for me are two of the loudest voices of self that I wrestle with.  Other voices out there do not help.  Society’s voices tell us to ‘just do it’ and ‘watch out for #1’.  We hear whispers from Satan that bring doubt and fear, jealousy and want, just to name a couple of the great Temper’s common lies.

In our Psalm we see the better choice.  In God’s words we find that one voice that matters.  In God’s Word we find the words that are not only ‘sweeter than honey’ but the words that lead to peace and contentment in this life and hope in the life to come.  The psalmist writes of meditating on God’s ways ‘all day Long’s and that is what it takes to keep focused on God in our day and age.  For us today it goes back to the famous slogan and bracelets: WWJD.  If we lived with this question as our constant filter and guide, we would indeed be following Jesus and living as faithful disciples.

The voices are many.  Ultimate truth is found in the Word of God.  Read His Word.  Study the Bible.  Come to know the Lord our God and find life that is really true life, life lived as a follower of Jesus Christ.


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Focused on God

Paul reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven.  Although we now inhabit this realm, we should do so with one eye always on the things of God.  It reminds me of the days when the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets were popular.  The idea still remains that our focus should always remain on our faith and how it guides our life.

But, alas, what should be is not always what is.  At times we choose poorly and we live for the things of this world.  At times our question is not ‘WWJD’ but ‘what do I want’?  The shift of our focus can happen easily.  It can be subtle.  If our faith foundation is solid and if we see our misplaced focus soon enough, then it is relatively easy to get back to focusing on the heavenly focus that God calls us to.

In this section of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he is trying to help them get back on track.  Like a good parent, teacher, or coach, Paul begins by building them up.  He reminds them of all they know of God and of what life following God’s ways looks like.  In this letter he goes on to encourage them to move away from their recent quarrelling and focus on earthly matters and to move back into a right relationship with God and with each other.

When we read a passage like this one, it leads us to ponder the question: are we living a life focused on God right now?  As we ponder this, we have two great resources that the Philippians did not.  As we look in the mirror we can also look to our Bibles that are full of examples of what living a Godly life looks like.  We can seek to emulate Paul or any other great example found in the Bible.  In addition, we each have many living examples of this as well.  Each of our faith communities has modern day examples like Paul – people whose lives always reflect God’s light and love.

As we read our Bibles and live amongst this great body of believers that is the church, may we continually seek to grow in our faith, in our witness, and in our example.  May we strive to each day also be that example of living faith that both new believers and the world so needs to see.

Scripture reference: Philippians 3:17 to 4:1


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Live with His Heart

In your faith journey, have you crossed over from knowing about Jesus to knowing Jesus?  Do you know the stories and teachings or do you understand the implications they have upon your life?  No matter your answers to these two questions, we all need to know Jesus better.

Some of us are committed to “outward conventions” – we show up most Sundays, sing the songs, pray the prayers, put our offering in the plate.  Maybe a few of us add a Sunday school class, sing in the praise team or choir, maybe attend a Bible study during the week.  Yet there is more to knowing Jesus fully that hitting some check marks on a list of things a Christian does.  If the heart and time away from ‘church’ remains largely OUR time, then Jesus is largely absent from our life.

And then there is the list of ‘don’ts’.  But if how we look at this list is grounded in whether or not we think we will get caught, then we only know about Jesus.  We don’t know Jesus.

I know it is an old saying, but it is still true – WWJD?  If our heart starts to be connected to knowing Jesus, then what we do and don’t do starts to be filtered by the same question – what would Jesus do?  As we begin to see with His eyes, we start to live with His heart.

Scripture reference: Matthew 15: 10-20