Our Spiritual Heart Monitor

I have five electrodes stuck on my chest that are attached to a monitor that records the behavior of my heart. After thirty days the record will be sent to my doctor for evaluation and appropriate treatment.

This got me thinking about what kind of report would be given if the spiritual activity of our heart was being recorded, and then sent to God.

Of course, God doesn’t need a monitor to see what’s going on in the heart of man, for God “sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7)

Still, if we thought we were hooked up to some kind of spiritual monitor, it might cause us to stop and think about what we are allowing to take place within our heart. And Jesus made it clear that some pretty awful things can come out of our hearts.“Out of the heart of men proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22)

And He knows when it’s happening.“And Jesus knowing their thoughts said,‘Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?’” (Matthew 9:4)

If we would keep evil from filling our hearts, we must fill them with God’s word, as did David. “Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11) And then, if our spiritual monitor sends a signal that we are still having a heart problem, we can again do as David did. We can pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

God is able to cleanse our hearts by faith (Acts 15:8-9) and fill us with the Spirit, enabling us to sing spiritual songs and make melody with our heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)

I won’t know what the cardiologist has to say for several weeks, but I know through Christ my heart has been made clean, and I’m still singing hymns and making melodies in my heart. That is, in the one that can still keep a steady beat.

God Bless, Rick

Interpretation or Speculation?

How do we avoid going from interpretation to speculation when reading the Bible? That’s a question I hadn’t given much thought to, until we began our new study in I Timothy last Sunday.

After the greeting, Paul began his letter by urging Timothy to reign in those who were teaching strange doctrines, doctrines based on things that give rise to mere speculation. Beliefs that go beyond simply understanding and applying what we find in Scripture, to speculating about things that may not have been in the mind of the authors, or the Spirit.

We noted, as a case in point, the Fox News report that “Biblical prophecy claims the Rapture is coming April 23.” The article quoted a numerologist who has determined that astronomical events that will be taking place on April 23 are those spoken of in Revelation 12, and they signal the beginning of events leading to the end of the world and Christ’s return.

The article, however, also quoted someone who disagreed. He said, “There is nothing to suggest that April 23 is a momentous date for biblical prophecy, and Christians need to be careful about being drawn into such sensationalist claims.” So the prophetic pronouncement was most likely mere speculation, and the only thing momentous about April 23 is that it is Tina’s 50th birthday!

Speculation came into view again at our Sunday night study. We were looking at the third word of Christ from the cross, which was simply, “Woman, behold, your son!” and “Behold, your mother!” The obvious thing that was taking place is that Jesus was entrusting His mother into the care of John. Our author, who has some amazing insights into the Scriptures, read into that simple statement Mary being declared as the new Eve, the mother of the Mystical Body the Church, and the Queen of Martyrs.

When trying to understand where all that came from, we concluded he must have been looking at the text through a lens that had already been colored to see what he saw. We also acknowledged that we too have a tendency to do the same thing. Doctrines that have been passed on to us, and teachings that are held by those we hold in high regard, can cause us to see things that aren’t actually in the text.

I guess the bottom line is that in order to keep from speculation, we need to be careful what kind of spectacles we are wearing when reading the Scriptures.

God Bless, Rick

When Reasonable Service Becomes Radioactive

The first lengthy passage of Scripture I memorized as a youth was Romans 12, in KJV of course. It begins, “I Beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” I bring this up because of the focus on our bodies.

In an attempt to be spiritual, there is a tendency to downplay the importance of the body, overlooking the fact that our body has become the temple of the Holy Spirit, and as such we have a responsibility to take good care of it, and use it in service to God.

It’s my desire to use my body for His service as long as He allows, and I believe He’ll hold me accountable if I don’t take care of it. That’s why I try to workout three times a week, eat reasonably well, and let them put 84 radioactive seeds in my prostate last Wednesday. And that’s why I’m now scheduled to see a cardiologist.

Yes, they discovered I had another problem while addressing the cancer they convinced me I had. The anesthesiologist almost called off the procure because of an irregular heart beat. Apparently I have AFib, atrial fibrillation. I guess I should have known.

I have been getting excessively tired lately, Marilyn noted that I sounded winded while giving the announcements on Easter, and the elliptical at Fit Club wasn’t acting up, like I had assumed, when it noted my heart rate jumping between 120 and 170 while working out the Monday before surgery.

The good news in all this is that I’m feeling great, and have had almost no side effects from the seed implantation. And even though I have to carry a card saying there are radioactive seeds in my body in case I trigger a Geiger counter, I’m safe to be around, and I won’t be glowing like Moses did when he came down from the mountain.

Thanks for all your prayers, texts, notes and words of encouragement. If anything makes me glow, it’s your love for me.

God Bless, Rick