God Examines Our Heart

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs and examines the hearts
[of people and their motives]
(Proverbs 21:2 AMP).

Twice Solomon makes this statement to make sure the reader understands that the Lord knows what they are thinking and doing (see also Proverbs 16:2). Yes, our desire is to do right. However, we often struggle in how we are to live it out. The Lord wants us to think and do what is right all the time.

Man’s Way

With repetition of Proverbs 16:2, God brings to our attention our self-centered thinking or conceit. Some Bible commentators * say these verses are because the Israelites were prone to waywardness in following God. Today we have thoughts of pleasure, profit, or self-righteous assuming these ways will end in our happiness too.

God’s Examination

As King David said. . . “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; to test my mind and heart” (Psalm 26:2 NASB) We know this Scripture, but do we make it personal? We need to pray this verse. It addresses the inner-man and deep things he already knows even before we do!

As David prayed in Psalm 26, so should we want to have our heart examined by God. This will prayer keep our thoughts and intentions to those God has and not merely ones we conjure up. The Lord wants us to think and do what is right all the time.

Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me even when you see the wrong motives of my heart. Help me to follow your ways, to do and think what is pleases you.

*Proverbs 21:2, Matthew Poole’s Commentary, biblehub.com and Proverbs 21:2, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, biblehub.com.


Peter’s Profound Praise

In Your Bible: 2 Peter 3:18

Peter (as did Jude) reminds believers in the church not to accept false teaching. Then he encourages believers to remain steadfast in the true teaching from the disciples. This letter ends with praise to our almighty God.

Mature in Christ

Peter tells believers, . . . grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (2 Peter 3:18 AMP).

Profound Doxology

An ancient manuscript originally in Aramaic from the Syriac Bible * greatly amplifies our key verse (2 Peter 3:18)—Peter’s doxology:

. . . to him [be] glory, both now, and forever; or “to the day of eternity”; that is, to Christ, who is truly God, or otherwise such a doxology would not belong to him, be ascribed the glory of deity, of all divine perfections; the glory of all his offices and work as Mediator; the glory of man’s salvation; and the glory of all that grace, and the growth of it, together with the knowledge of himself, which saints have from him; and that both in this world, and that which is to come. Amen; so be it

Sometimes we look for profound words to worship our Lord, its’ best to just let it flow. This letter Peter writes, rightfully ends with praise to our almighty God.

Prayer: Father, you are full of wonder, amazing deeds, and overflowing in benevolent grace to me. I praise you. Alleluiah.

* http://www.bl.uk › Online Gallery > › Sacred texts > › Syriac Bible >

* Also John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, 2 Peter 3:17-18, online, Christianity.com

Prayer, Salvation and Hospitality

In Your Bible: Acts 16: 11-40

Paul and Silas reached the city of Philippi, a major city of Macedonia,
and stayed for several days. The many events there reveal God’s grace on them. The Spirit softened people’s hearts to receive Christ as Savior. . . and hospitality resulted.


In Philippi, there were no synagogues, so Jews often used the riverside as a place to gather for prayer. Paul and Silas went to the riverside on the Sabbath to meet people and join in prayer. There they met Lydia, a God-fearing woman and a merchant of purple cloth. Paul spoke to her about Jesus.

She listened with carefully to what Paul said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed! After that, she was baptized as well as everyone in her household. Lydia immediately extended hospitality to Paul and Silas.

The Jailer

Again, when Paul and Silas went to a prayer meeting by the riverside, they met a demon possessed slave girl and cast the demon out of her. This made her owners very angry. . . due to their loss of income. Under false charges, Paul and Silas were brought before a judge who had them beaten, stripped, and taken to prison.

The jailer put them in stocks and chains. Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose (Acts 16:25,26 Message).

The jailer saw doors open, chains loosed and assumed all the prisoners escaped. But none left the prison. Badly shaken by this and he went to Paul and Silas and led them out of jail!

He exclaimed, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included” (Acts 16:30,31 Message).

Paul and Silas told the Gospel story to the jailer’s family. He dressed their wounds and extended hospitality to them. His entire family:

  • Put their trust in God
  • Was baptized
  • Celebrated with a festive meal

The Spirit softened people’s hearts to receive Christ as Savior. . . and hospitality resulted.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life through Jesus.

Questions: How does Paul’s approach in Macedonia differ from their speaking in the synagogues? How important is hospitality in giving thanks to God?

Pray For This Election

Today eligible citizens of the United States of America have the Constitutional Right to vote. Voters can select their choice for President, Congressional leaders, state and local leaders and judges.

Pray before selection of each candidate, for they serve as your representatives and leaders to choose the path of this nation for years to come.

PRAYER and seeking God’s choice is paramount today. PRAY, PRAY and PRAY for the nation.

The Apostle Paul states it clearly . . . “Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment” (Romans 13:1 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition).


Jesus’ Prayer In John 17 – Part Three

Eyewitness p. 232
NASB: John 14:10; 17:11-19
NLT: John 17:13,14
In Your Bible: John 17:11-19

Jesus continues the conversation with his Father. He recounts that he protected the disciples from the hazards of the world, showed them how to resist the devil, taught them how to heal infirmities, and comforted those in need. Then he released them into his Fathers’ hands. The disciples remained behind to fulfill the purpose of God.

Filled with Joy

Jesus earnestly desired his disciples to have God’s joy in the trial they would pass through as he leaves them. He verifies his task is complete, “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word” (John 17:13,14 NLT).

Holy and Sanctified by the Truth

Jesus appeals to the Father . . . “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.  And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth” (John 17:17-19 NLT).

Remember, Jesus told the disciples . . . “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14:10 NASB).

After the disciples were prepared and sanctified by the Father’s truth, Jesus readies for his departure. The disciples remain behind to fulfill the purpose of God.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the Word which sanctifies and sets me apart to do your good works.

Questions: We know God sanctifies believers. Have you considered the simplicity of His Word completing that task?

A Life Of Praise – Part 1

Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God and Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:19,20 The Message).

Ephesians 5:1-21 Amplified Bible
Ephesians 5:1-21 The Message
Ephesians 5:1-21 In Your Bible

In this chapter Paul strongly emphasizes what the believer should say, be, and do. Our model of course is Jesus. We should keep our eyes on how he shows us to live life.

Warnings About Sin

In the ancient world and today, too many view sexual sin, lust, and greed not as sin at all—just the way of life. As believers we should thank God daily, for helping us through this dangerous path the world wants us to follow.

 Walk in the Spirit

In Ephesians 5:18-20, Paul vividly reveals how to walk in the Spirit . . .18b but ever be filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit.19 Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices and instruments and making melody with all your heart to the Lord. 20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One (Ephesians 5:18b-20 Amplified Bible)

We may wonder what this wording in Ephesians 5:19 means. John Wesley’s Commentary* may help us to understand better:

  • Sing songs of praise to God to express joy.
  • Believers should speak in their assemblies and meetings for mutual edification.
  • Psalms here may mean David’s psalms or other compositions sung with musical instruments.
  • Hymns here may mean other songs from Zacharias, Simeon, and others that were filled with praise.
  • Spiritual songs here may contain a greater variety of doctrinal, prophetic, and historical material.

The early church was a singing and thankful place where believers respected and honored one another.**

It’s no wonder that Paul adds, that the Spirit filled believer can . . .At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One (Ephesians 5:20,21 Amplified Bible).

What heart-warming words for us today. Ponder this. Ask yourself why do we keep so silent? Selah.

Prayer: Father, I want to praise you in all, all, yes all things. Help me.

Questions: Paul’s instructions to walk in the Spirit show us a way to live in a society where sin is rampant. In your daily life, how does music help you avoid temptation and sin? How does a thankful attitude enhance your walk with Jesus?

* The Study Gospel Online, Wesley Commentary for Ephesians 5 ewordtoday.com

** The Daily Study Bible, Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia1958, pp 197, 198.

Life “In Christ” – A New Blog Series

I am about to start series on what a believer has and is In Christ. This includes Jesus in you, power of God in you, the help of the Holy Spirit in you. All of this leads you to peace with the Father and the ability to make better decisions –  guided by His direction.

Here is a Scripture in wording you may not recognize (by Eugene Peterson from The Message). It’s part of an eye opening look at the term In Christ and the rendering of Scripture that is fresh, worth pondering and praying about.

[ The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms ] With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2 The Message).

This series will be about ten to twelve blogs.

Stay tuned, jump in, and focus on Jesus.