APRIL 8 – An Unprepared Heart
2 Chronicles 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
Such a tragic statement. “… and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The heart has been said to contain the wickedness of the world. There are times when a person can seem to be fine and wonderful, yet the heart contains wickedness that corrupts the thinking of men. How often has one that has appeared to be a pillar of the community been revealed to have done something vile?
Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? That is a pretty definitive statement. So what is the answer to this wickedness? We need to know because the wickedness in our communities is growing rapidly. The condition of the human heart leads to abortion, beatings, theft, and murder. The only answer is to clean out the heart.
That brings us to the cleanser that can do such a wonderful work. The blood of Jesus Christ. Are we bloody Baptists? Yes, we are. That is the cleansing power of God. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse a wicked heart. While there are those that have taken the blood out of the hymnals and out of the pulpit, we preach the cleansing blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ ,and His shed blood.
Jesus prepares our heart to seek the Lord. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.” The blood cleanses the heart of wickedness and sin. This is a necessary preparation for seeking God and His will in our lives. Then we are “prepared” to meet our God when death comes to this mortal body.
A daily preparation to meet and know God for those that have been born again, is prayer and study of His Word Did you prepare your day by communicating with God this morning?
William Andrew Dillard
IN FIGURES OF SPEECH
In every language known to mankind, there is no shortage of figures of speech that serve to color, emphasize, and deepen the points of thought being presented. The Bible, far from being an exception to this, is a repository of dozens of kinds, and multiple usages of practically all of them.
Unfortunately, many students of the Word have not been exposed to a survey of the Bible from a “figures of language” viewpoint. So, some chap will roar in negative reply that the Bible must always be interpreted literally. Really? So, the Bible says “All flesh is grass.” What grass is your flesh: Bermuda or Zoysia? Johnson grass or Centipede? Obviously, a figure of speech is in play. If it were to use “Like” or “as” it would be a simile, but since it omits those words and simply call one thing another it is a metaphor.
It is impossible for this article to be inclusive of all the figures of speech in the Bible. But a few are offered as an encouragement to recognize them, and to appreciate them for their rich enhancement to understanding the vivid points under consideration
Parable: a continued simile such as Matt. 13, the parable of the sower, etc.
Idiom: particular words or phrases such as “break bread” to indicate “eat a meal.”
Hyperbole: exaggeration. Of Saul and Jonathan, David said, “They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.” Again, David said, “Rivers of water run down mine eyes. . . “ Psalm 119:136.
Omission: words or meaning are purposefully left out, but the meaning of them are obvious. “For John came neither eating nor drinking.” Note Matt. 11:18. Obviously John had to eat and drink to live, but “declining invitations to eat with others” is the sense understood in the omission.
Allegory: a continued metaphor as Paul so wonderfully stated in Galatians 4:24.
Oxymoron: an apparent contradiction of word meanings as Wise-fool or as one might humorously say in modern times. “military intelligence.”
There are more, so many more that a course in Biblical Figures of Speech is offered in many liberal arts colleges, and theological schools. Figures of speech make ideas vivid, more understandable and memorable. After all, that is what language is supposed to do. So, far from weakening the inference of an implication, it strengthens it, and enhances the success of both speaker and hearer in sharing ideas. Surely, the author of language provided for our understanding these marvelous figures which fill His Word, and which He used in His mission on earth. Their presence enhances one’s love of the Word!
A MILLION $ FOR YOUR THOUGHTS!
Wow! Inflation is worse than figured! Not long ago it was a penny for your thoughts! So how could thoughts be worth a million dollars? First, thoughts have to be forwarded into action, so, think with me and I will show you how it can happen.
I have asked several groups of people if they knew the exacted price from those who run over a chicken in Germany. None knew. The guilty party not only pays for the chicken, but also for all the eggs it may have laid over its lifetime. That is considered the value of the chicken. This principle applies across the board of life.
When anyone places a dollar in the offering plates at church, he not only gives up the dollar, but also the interest it would have earned over his lifetime. That is the value of a dollar.
So suppose one tithes his income, or more, for a lifetime. Also consider that each dollar given might have earned an average of six percent annually over his years. If those tithes are $50, $100, $200 per week, and that was begun in early to midlife, just do the math. It becomes astronomical. Now consider that Jesus said that whatever one gives up (houses, lands, etc.) he will receive a hundredfold, Matt 19:29. Now multiply your astronomical number by 100. The world has never offered such an investment return, and material things even as fine as His, are the very least of the Lord’s offerings.
Two things must combine here: first, one’s heart, then his treasure. Jesus taught us that where one’s treasure is, there will his heart be also, Luke 12:34. Some complain that they cannot afford to give such amounts. That indicates a heart problem. Everyone must remember that the gold and silver; the cattle of a thousand hills; yes, the earth itself, and all therein; the money, too, belongs to the Lord, Psm. 50:10, 24:1, Hag. 2:8, I Cor. 10:26. He who demanded the tithe under the Mosaic Law provides opportunity for us all under grace to exceed that in church support, benevolence, mission work, and reaching out to others in need. Such are opportunities rather than obligations, and the cheerful giver who seizes upon them is indeed wise. He is accumulating great treasure in heaven which is both secure and eternal. Put into proper action a million dollars may be a pittance for your thoughts!