Sunday, April 25, 2010

Laughter is Good for the Soul

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." (Proverbs 17:22 - KJV)  "Laughter is good for the soul" the saying goes.  Have you laughed lately?  A good hearty laugh surely makes one feel so much better than mustering up the energy to frown!

What a testimony to the unbelieving world when Christians laugh and have a merry heart.  Look for things that will make you laugh.  Focus on the positive and don't dwell on the negative.  Focus on the blessings God has given rather than on the difficulties of life.  There will be more smiles and laughter and less frowning.

The word blessed in Scripture can often be translated happy.  The psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:1-2 - "Happy are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.  Happy are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart."  Have you been seeking happiness in the wrong places?  Christians find happiness in living a blameless (upright - without willful sin) life, walking according to God's Word, His teaching and instruction.

Another aspect of laughter is learning to laugh at ourselves.  I had several occasions to laugh at myself last Sunday (it does not always come easy for me!).  It was just one of those days.  First I left my purse in the Sanctuary, then I wrote our memory verse on the board (Psalm 119:10-11) and left off the word not.  It was a very important word - "that we might not sin against God."  Read it without the not!!  I could go on, but that is enough.  How much better to laugh at ourselves than dwell on our inadequacies or mistakes.  Laughter surely works good like a medicine.  Don't forget to take your medicine!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So All Went Well

The desire of our lives is often that things would go well for us.  In Jeremiah, some key truths are given, that will help that desire be fulfilled.

"He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.  He defended the cause of the poor and needy and so all went well.  Is that not what it means to know me? declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 22:15b-17)

When we truly know God, we obey His commands.  We do what we know is right and just and we defend the cause of the poor and needy.  To really know Him, we must spend time with Him - spend serious time in prayer and in His Word.  He will reveal Himself and His will through the pages of His Word and as we communicate in prayer.

"So all went well" does not mean nothing ever goes wrong.  We live in a sinful, imperfect world so bad things happen to good people.  It does mean - "All things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Seek to know God with your whole heart so all will go well with you.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do the Next Thing

Are you overwhelmed?  Do you think you have too much to do?  You may be thinking - "Surely God wants me to give up something I am doing."  That has been my thinking for months and I have been asking God for direction.  I was convinced that He wanted me to give up at least one of my responsibilities, but I did not get clear direction of what it was to be.  In November, I wrote in my Prayer Journal - "Lord, I will continue doing what I am doing right now until I hear from You."  This was what I knew the Lord was saying to me at that time.  I continued to pray for Him to show me what I was to give up.

Lately, everywhere I turn, I keep getting the same message - "Do what is in front of you right now."  I received this same answer back in November.  I guess I wanted to know what God wanted me to do this summer, this fall, etc.  He had a different plan - keep on doing what you are doing until you hear from me.  I trust He will give me what I need to keep on keeping on.

Priscilla Shirer shared the following quote from Elisabeth Eliot in Priscilla's Bible study, Discerning the Voice of God:  "One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was 'Do the next thing.' ''

The Israelite elders told Moses to "Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says.  Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you.  We will listen and obey." (Deuteronomy 5:27)  The Israelites were afraid to hear from the Lord directly, but we can "come boldly to the throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16) because Jesus opened the way through His death, burial, and resurrection.  God desires the same thing from us as He did the Israelites - "listen and obey."

We need to listen to what God is saying to us and obey.  Maybe He is telling you to give up something, but if not, just "Do the next thing."