Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks

I like looking in the Bible and seeing how many times a word comes up.  I feel that this can indicate how important God thinks that topic is.  Today is the holiday of Thanksgiving, so I looked in the Bible (through the wonders of computer programs) and found that words containing "thanks" appear 110 times.

Sometimes when things are going really bad in our lives, we have a hard time finding anything to be thankful for.  It can be very hard to look to God and find something to thank Him for.  Yet that's probably the best thing for us to do. It's easy to be thankful in the good times.  But when times are tough, and we take the time to seek out something to be thankful for, we can focus on that bright spot.

The brightest spot of all is God Himself.  No matter what else is happening, we can thank Him for who He is.  He is gracious, loving, merciful, powerful, and focused on wanting the best for us.  So today take some time to thank God for at least one thing in your life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where Is Your Heart?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:34

This is a passage that is pretty familiar to most Christians.  And I think most people misunderstand the meaning.  Many people seem to think that it means "whatever you feel with your heart, that's where you will put your resources."  But this is not the correct interpretation.  Take a look at the words again.  The passage means "where you put your resources indicates where your heart is."

I've been a bit convicted of this recently, considering the infrequent updates of this blog.  I update my other blog multiple times per week, but this one is lucky to get updated that many times per month.  Where do I put most of my effort?  That's apparently where my heart is, and this isn't a good thing.

As a veterinarian, I see people spend more money on grooming their dogs than doing proper preventative care.  Preventing disease is much more important to the pet's health, but the people put their priority on the physical appearance of the pet.  I think most people would agree that the pet owner is putting the emphasis on the wrong thing.  This indicates that their "heart" is not on the true care of the pet.

Don't we do this with God?  How many times do we fail to pay tithe or give to our church but then go out and spend $50 on a meal?  How many times do we fail to spend five minutes per day reading the Bible, yet will spend a few hours watching TV?  And I'm as guilty of this as anyone else!  It's easy for us to put things related to God on the back burner in our lives, making other things a priority.  And I'm afraid this indicates that our heart isn't on God.

So let's pray for each other to start putting our treasures where our heart should be...on God!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The word "joy", or words containing it (such as "joyful"), appears in the Bible 242 times.  So it must be important, right?

For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
Deuteronomy 16:15

David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.
1 Chronicles 15:16

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Job 8:21

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:8

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.
Pslam 68:3

So exactly what is joy?  And how do we feel it?  Honestly, I wish that I had all of the answers.  Sure, it's easy to talk about being joyful, but it's pretty hard to actually do.  As Christians we should have "the joy of the Lord" at all times.  Right?  But then the car breaks down when our bills haven't been paid, our paycheck isn't what we thought it would be, our boss is driving us crazy, our kids are failing, and so on...  Maintaining that joy can be pretty hard at times.

Maybe it would help to see exactly what joy is.  I mean, do we really know what that word means and what it feels like?  Here's a video you may or may not have seen.

That's how God wants us to be!  No worries, no thoughts, just delight in His creation.  That baby elk is having a ton of fun.  Now, I know, that animal doesn't have bills and responsibilities.  But maybe...just maybe...we can sometimes put those things away.  When we pause and concentrate on God, we can feel that Joy.