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Our Heart’s Desire

Psalm_37_4

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

An unhappy business

In 1749, the English poet Samuel Johnson penned a scathing satire of human life entitled “The Vanity of Human Wishes.” 

In the poem, Johnson sets out to “survey mankind” (l. 2), only to come to the dismaying conclusion that many of the tangible goods men seek to make them happy – money, political power, intellectual achievements, military honors, beauty, and long life – ultimately fail to deliver. The rich live in fear of losing their wealth; the powerful too often become corrupt in their insatiable quest for more power; and scholars often labor hard for little reward, or find themselves the object of jealousy and scorn by less gifted individuals. Military honors are eclipsed; beauty fades over time; and a long life often brings “protracted woe” (l. 258) as our bodies and senses decay, causing us to lose the ability to enjoy even life’s simplest pleasures.

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A Glimpse beyond the Veil


How We Change and Grow (7)

elisha01xThen Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17

Too small?

Back in the ‘60s Anglican writer J. B. Phillips published what is still today an excellent little book. Your God is Too Small examines a problem that troubles many believers – their view of God and understanding of Him are based on false and “too small” ideas. God is not some nodding grandfather in the sky or a morality cop waiting to bash you when you get out of line. If you don’t learn to see God as He really is, then your “too small” view of God will keep you from growing as you otherwise might.

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Temptation


How We Change and Grow (6)

David_and_Bathsheba2To be in temptation means to be constantly in the situation of wanting to be untrue to God. It means being constantly on the point of freeing ourselves from God.
-      Helmut Thielicke

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel…But David remained at Jerusalem.
- 2 Samuel 11:1

One way or the other


Temptation is a condition common to every human being. Even our Lord Jesus was tempted, in fact, more, and more intensely, than all other human beings combined.

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A Trusted Friend


How We Change and Grow (5)

calling_disciples1Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:45, 46

Living to change

Have you ever had the experience of someone you haven’t seen for many years saying to you, “Wow! You haven’t changed a bit!”?

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Sudden Illumination


How We Change and Grow (4)

Supper_at_Emmaus2SmallSo he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Luke 24:30-32

God gives the growth

Christian growth is, typically, a gradual and steady progress in leaving our old lives behind and becoming more like Jesus Christ. It’s like a seed growing to a plant, or a glorious temple gradually rising to completion under the watchful eye of the architect and in the skillful hands of the builder.

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A Fuller, Clearer Vision


How We Change and Grow (3)

FishingnetAnd he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19


I ain’t never seen that before

I can imagine that Jesus’ invitation to His first disciples must have rung their bells pretty well. “Fishers of men?” What could that mean? They understood about casting nets, braving rough seas, hauling in a catch, fixing and mending and baiting – for fish. They’d done that for many years. But fishing for men? What was that all about?

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