Category: H

A Happy Face and A Smiling Heart

In recent years scientific studies have confirmed several things that Bible believers have known for thousands of years. That is not to say that such discoveries lend any weight to the inherent truths of Scripture; nor is it surprising to us when science finally discovers something the Bible revealed thousands of years ago. For example, in JAMA International Medicine in 2016 it was ‘presented’ that women who attended any kind of ‘religious’ service more than once a week had a 33% lower death rate than non-religious counterparts of equal circumstance over a 16 year period. Another study found that those who held a religious view and who attended services regularly had a 55% lower death rate than atheists over the 18 year review period. Anyone with a King James Bible could’ve easily predicted those findings based on numerous Scriptures. For example Proverbs 15:15 says “All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” Verse 15:13 there says “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” One that is more widely known even among unbelievers is Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Recently I saw a young man in a video playing a piano so beautifully that I was moved in my heart. Then I noticed that on his left arm, which was much shorter than a normal arm, he had just one little finger type growth. On the right hand I saw that there were missing fingers as well, but despite these massive limitations he played more beautifully with what he had than many who have no such limits. In fact he played wondrously and Proverbs 18:14 came to my mind. “Over in Ecclesiastes 7:3 the great king Solomon said that “sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better” and the wise find this to be true. Yet clearly we all know someone who has a happy cheerful and uplifting demeanor. That ‘happy face and outlook’ is as good as the best medicine! It is good to be around those who have it and conversely, it is discouraging to be around those who don’t. It is told that “a preacher driving along at night saw a fellow about to jump from a high bridge stopped his car and jumped out and ran to the fellow shouting wait don’t jump, tell me what the problem is” and after the fellow finished his sad story they both jumped. That’s the way it is! What is my point? Turn things that are out of your control over to the Lord and let him be God. Then brush yourself off, find some verses of comfort in God’s word and pick a hymn to sing!

How Long Will It Be Until Time to Forgive?…

When Jesus was sent from God the Father into the virgin womb of Mary during her engagement to Joseph, such a thing had never happened before. Who could blame him for contemplating divorcing her secretly? What a relief must’ve been the visit and explanation by the “angel of the Lord” [Matthew 1:20] assuring him of the truth.

Fast forward 30 years to John chapter 8 where we read of a conversation between the Lord Jesus and a bunch of religious idiots. Throughout the chapter Jesus has demonstrated his great mercy and spoken repeatedly of His Father [John 8:18, 19, 28 and 38 for example]. Ultimately, He condemned these Pharisees and told them plainly [verse 38] “I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen of your father”.
Offended by the truth, they resorted to a 30 year old accusation. They said [verse 41] “we be not born of fornication…” {as though to say “like you were”}. Wow, it has been 30 years and yet they still haven’t “dropped their rocks” [John 8:7] as to His mother’s (alleged) fornication {as they see it}. They’re still punishing Him for being, they think, the offspring of some cur dog Mary slept with while she was engaged to Joseph. Imagine it! Thirty years have lapsed and they still won’t forgive. I wonder how many times he’d heard that trash growing up. I wonder how many times Joseph must have heard it? How many snide comments and looks did sweet Mary endure during those 30 years? Isn’t it sad?!

Some people never find the heart to forgive. There are so many verses dealing with this subject in the Bible. It is better to cover a transgression…if ye forgive not men their trespasses… on and on and on the list goes. But no…some people never forgive anyone anything. Oh they forgive themselves their own transgressions…but they’ll punish you for yours until they’re in the grave. It’s so sad to see such bitter and hateful accusing. Why, here is the very sinless lamb of Almighty God being insulted and accused of sin by the most murderous conniving treacherous lot in the whole Bible.

I say #1. How Long Are We Going To Punish Someone For Sin? How many lashes and for how many years do we beat a man with the whip? Yes, sin is wrong and yes, there is accountability and consequences, but reconciliation is our goal.
#2 When Do We Move On and Forgive? Remember our Lord’s words earlier in the chapter: Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? Neither do I condemn thee…
And Lastly #3 Who Among Us Is Without Sin? How quick we are to gather a pile of stones. Jesus told those Pharisees that he who was without sin should cast the first stone. None of us is without sin and none of us is blameless. Start this New Year off by granting forgiveness, deserved or no, for that is what the Lord gave us! Underserved Mercy and Forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.