Michael Daly CJ Blog

A Companion of Jesus

Do not let your hearts be troubled…..Pt3. A Slice of Dalybread from 2008

Heart disease is sadly on the increase due to a poor diet of ‘Junk Food’, which we seem so ready to devour. The thing is, it is so easy to get hold of when we’re busy and it can be quite tasty and moorish. Go to Macdonald’s, Pizzaland, Burger King of KFC and you will see how ready we are as a people, to eat this quick food. But just as we fill our bodies with this fat rich food which clogs our arteries with fat rich deposits, we similarly can so easily partake of a diet which is just as stodgy for our spirits.

 “Man does not live by bread alone…but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Sadly God’s word is not much on the menu these days. We like Christian writers and can fill our spirits with their wordy wisdom, to the detriment of the bible, which is God’s word. The Bible is too laborious for us in our quick fix world. To be honest, there are many excellent Christian writers who can often aid us as long as they remain the side dish in our diet. My concern is that we too easily make them the main course and eat nothing else. (I put my hands up here…I’m guilty of having nourished my spirit on this fat rich diet.. too often.)

To be true Bereans we need to search the Scriptures. We need to weigh daily matters by God’s word and not by the words and wisdom of men or women who though well-meaning feed us with a diet of spiritual ‘junk food’.

The difficulty for us all is that when we start to read the bible…well there are so many difficult passages…how do you interpret this or that passage or word?  What about the violence? Don’t some passages contradict others?  Isn’t God a God of love..? So why all this wrath?  It doesn’t seem to have the answer for me about this or that problem.

We might liken it to wanting mashed potatoes. We could go down to the allotment or the back of the garden and dig up some potatoes. This will take effort and the weather may not be the most clement. Then the ground maybe hard and then the potatoes have to be cleaned and checked, washed then prepared and finally boiled. Why not pop down to the shop and get the ‘Instant Mash”…it’s just as good…isn’t it…and requires so little effort?

Here is the crux of the matter, reading the bible takes time and so often gives no ‘instant’ answers, there’s no quick fix.  Sometimes passages are so deep that we find we fear drowning in them so just pass them over. Sometimes when we do spend some period in digging out a passage, we find we’ve got more work to do..actions and words do not seem right and are even distasteful to our dulled taste buds. Sadly our hearts are wrong because our diet is wrong!

However poor your spiritual state this can be rectified!  Hallelujah!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled…..”  Jesus shows us the way…..

There is an interesting piece to chew on in the scriptures which you first find in Isaiah chapter 29 at verse 13, which reads, “…..these people draw near with their mouths and honour me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from me and their fear towards me is taught by the commandment of men”. Jesus takes up this passage in Matthew chapter 15 at verse 8, “when speaking to the junk food specialists of the day, the Scribes and Pharisees.  Jesus however makes an important and significant change to the quote from Isaiah, in that he speaks of the heart in the singular. “These people draw near to me with their mouth (singular) and honour me with their lips, But their heart (singular) is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”.

I’ll put it like this. They (individuals) suffered from a serious heart condition! They fed themselves on junk food, the teachings of men.

At the end of this wonderful chapter, two important accounts are noted. Firstly a Gentile woman whose daughter was severely demon possessed cries out to Jesus for mercy on her daughter. Jesus then speaks about the children’s bread not being thrown to little dogs. This dear mother then retorts that even little dogs eat the crumbs from their masters table and Jesus rejoices in her faith..which is in Him..the Master….and he delivers and heals the daughter at that moment.  Listen, it is better to have the crumbs from God’s word than to exist on the empty lashings of junk food. Jesus wants to feed us and this is so emphasized at the end of the chapter 15 with the miraculous feeding of the 4000.

But where do we go to get food in the wilderness of this world?

We need to go to Jesus! We need to go to the bible and we need to do it together. We need to study God’s word together for we need accountability and we need to learn that “Iron sharpens Iron”. This doesn’t mean we don’t read the bible by ourselves, but it does mean that we share it with one another so that as we are fed by His grace we learn to minister as well as receive, just as it was on that mountainside.

So, do not let your hearts be troubled…….Jesus loves you and his desire for your heart is that it may be perfect and loyal (1Kings: 8:61   Ps 101:2), tender (1Sam: 24:5  2Kings: 22:19), obedient (Psalm 112.  Rom 6:17), pure (Psalm 24:4.  Matt 5:8.), void of fear (Psalm 27:3), prayerful (1Sam: 1:13.  Psalm 27:8), wise (Prov: 10:8.  14:33.  23:15.) and wholly devoted to God (Psalm 9:1.  119: 10,69,145).

 

Michael Daly. C.J.

2008

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August 19, 2012 - Posted by | Thoughts | , , , , , , , ,

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