Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let’s admit the obvious, Friend.

There is a commercial currently running about a brand of bed pillow. Part of the pitch is a series of brief testimonials. I was dumbfounded to hear one normal-looking man make this statement: “I didn’t realize the connection between my pillow and sleep!” Really? Maybe you are too stupid to sleep, then. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are many things in our culture that we no longer connect. Whether because it is politically incorrect or simply inconvenient, we have gotten very stupid. Dave Barry once wrote, “Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly 73 percent of all accidents involving falling objects.” l think it a good idea to unmask a few other obvious connections:

· Hard work and success.

· Illegitimate babies and poverty.

· Sexual sin and illegitimate babies.

· Sexual sin and STD’s

· Food intake and obesity.

· Addiction and lots of hard times.

· Islam and terrorism.

· Hanging around with idiots and winding up in trouble.

· Socialism and tyranny.

· Etc. ad nauseum

As a Christian (and a pastor who listens to many sad stories from folks who don’t seem to connect the pillow to the sleep), I thought of a few connections to remember:

· The words of my mouth and my life trajectory. Hebrews 11:3

· The condition of my heart and the words of my mouth. Luke 6:45

· The things I attend to and the condition of my heart. Proverbs 4:20-23

· My intimacy with Jesus and my ability to love you. 1 John 4:7-8

· My kindness to others and the general favor I enjoy. Luke 6:31

· Faith in the Jesus Christ and eternity in Heaven. 1 John 5:11-12

· Awareness of my own frailty and my ability to tolerate others. Galatians 6:1

· Peace of heart and mind and a good prayer life. Phil 4:6-8

Ultimately, there are a bunch of pretty obvious connections that can make my life a good deal easier if I am willing to look at them. Some things to avoid, some things to do more diligently.

Somebody Said: I don’t believe in accidents, only premeditated carelessness. Dave Gardner.

Scripture Reading: Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others–ignoring God!– harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8 MSG)

I am painfully aware that bad stuff happens to good people for no discernible reason other than we are in a fallen world. But most of us could overcome the random if we would only minimize the predictable.

Pastor Virgil Stokes


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