Tag Archives: approval

How Do I Look?

I’ve heard the account of Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego many times and for many years. But when I recently read about Daniel’s desire to abstain from the kings food, I found myself wondering what it is I am ingesting myself. Not the chips I ate yesterday, or the big piece of angel food cake I had for dinner last night. I’m wondering what it is I’m feeding my soul.

What do I read, watch on TV? What is it a pastor or teacher or friend or blogger has said? The Bible tells me to guard my heart. How am I doing?

If I’m watching acts of sin played out on TV, what is that doing to my heart’s condition before God? If I go to a church with a “God is Love” theology without preaching the truth about his holiness, is that effecting my relationship with God? Is the music I listen to slowly separating me from God’s Presence? Relationships, thoughts, what I do in secret, are feeding my soul.

The difference in Daniel and his friends was noticeable They looked better than everyone else because of the food they rejected, the pure food they ingested. 

I wonder if people, when they look at my life, can tell I’ve feasted on God’s Word and abstained from what was offered to me by the world. I want to look different: better, more joyful, kinder, more honest. I want to BE a person others identify with my Savior.

 

 

There’s Always Something To Learn

It’s foolishness to stop learning, to think you know everything you need to know. I chuckle every time I read the proverb that says, in effect, keep your mouth shut and people will think you’re intelligent. It’s only when you speak that they can see how much you don’t know. (17:28)

I wish I’d learned that lesson long ago. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve spouted off about something only to find out later how wrong I was, how foolish I must have sounded.  If only I had taken time to learn about that subject, I wouldn’t have made a fool of myself.

My nephew is a natural athlete. This year, as a high school Sophomore, he was ranked among the best baseball players in our county. He has a state of the art batting cage at home in their barn. But it sits unused most of the time. He’s like most teenagers in that they want success, they just don’t want to work for it. I wish I could get him to see that the men who are making millions playing the sport he loves still go to the batting cages every day. They work out in gyms, shag flies because they want a better batting average this week than last week, they want to make that defensive play that will wind up on ESPN. They recognize they have some things to learn. some areas in which they can improve, and if they don’t another young and hungry athlete will take their place.

Years ago I had a friend whose husband was on her to read her Bible. Her answer to him was, I’ve read it already. She didn’t see the necessity of reading it again.

I’ve read the Bible multiple times. But every time I do I learn something, grow stronger in my faith, love God more. I don’t know everything there is to know about my Lord. It’s foolish to think I do. It’s foolish to not want to learn everything I can.

The King James version of 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to “study to show thyself approved unto God.” The NIV says it like this, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved.” All the versions that I read go on to talk about being a good worker, someone who correctly handles the Word of Truth. That ability doesn’t come without some intentional study, prayerful learning.

Dear one, be in God’s Word every day. Study it. Commit it to memory. Use it. And don’t be ashamed of it. We’ll never know all there is to know about God this side of heaven. But we have in the Bible everything we need to know for this life on planet earth. Don’t be foolish and let it sit unused in your home. You have a treasure there that’s so worth a little bit of time and effort. And you, my friend, have a lot to learn. And so do I.