“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”(Mt.5:6) We all know too well what it feels like to be thirsty or hungry. After completing the yard work all I can think about is a drink of water. We’ve all been there, we know what it means to thirst for a drink. We also know what it’s like to hunger for food. When we wake in the morning or arrive home at the end of the day, we’re typically hungry and ready to feed that craving.
I wonder how many of us hunger and thirst for righteousness? Righteousness is living right. Being righteous is about being in right standing with God and striving to do the right thing every day. By the looks of the current headlines, righteousness doesn’t appear to be a top of mankind’s list of cravings. According to popular movies and music, righteousness doesn’t even appear to be on the radar. Our world seems to be fascinated with everything but righteousness and seems to hunger and thirst for sin.
Righteousness isn’t just a Bible word. Righteousness is a lifestyle that positively impacts all who we come in contact with. What a different world we’d wake up to every day if we’d all hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. I think of my dad often and I’m always reminded of all the things he did for me and with me. I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad. He was my baseball coach through my growing up years and my constant partner to play catch with. Dads are providers and protectors; funny how everyone seems it bit safer when dad is there. At times dads are counselors, homework specialists, taxi drivers, coaches and every little boy and girl’s favorite wrestling partner. Dads are the rock and leader of the family.
Dads are so many things and dads possess so much influence. There is one thing every dad should do for his children and that’s teach them about Jesus. All of the things mentioned earlier are important and bring back so many personal memories for me from my childhood with my dad. But, there is nothing more important than making sure your kids know the Lord. Dads are also the spiritual leader of the home and so it’s dad’s responsibility to make sure that everyone under his roof gets to heaven. Dads teach your children how to play ball, ride a bike, work math problems, catch a fish and shoot a gun, and please, for your children’s sake, teach them about Jesus.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”(Eph.6:4)
Guard your heart. We hear the phrase “guard your heart” passed on as good advice from one Christian to another or on Sunday from the Bible class teacher. I believe guarding your heart is good advice that we should all adhere to. In fact, it’s a Biblical concept. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”(Prov.4:23) But what exactly does it mean? Truth is, you and I need to know specifically what it means to guard our heart, if we plan to do so effectively.
There are three specific ways in which we guard our heart according to the wise and inspired words of Proverbs 4:24-27. First of all, we guard our hearts by cautiously guarding the words that cross through our lips. “Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.”(Prov.4:24) As God’s people we need to avoid perverse and corrupt language at all costs. God expects more of His children.
We also guard our heart by guarding our eyes. “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.”(Prov.4:25) We are bombarded with many ungodly images today. As Christians we must be careful what we allow into our hearts through our eyes. We must do what it takes to guard our heart by not allowing our eyes to view junk. “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”(Job 31:1)
Finally, we guard our hearts by guarding our path. “Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”(Prov.4:26-27) We can’t just choose any path in this life if we plan to be faithful to God. Satan will make sure there are plenty of path options that will lead us away from God and to evil. Every single day the Christian must cautiously and prayerfully choose his or her path with the intent of growing closer to God. We guard our hearts by choosing the right path each day. Let’s be careful how we speak and careful what we view and carefully choose the right path daily so that we can guard our hearts for the Lord.
We assume we’ll wake up tomorrow morning. We’re sure we’ll be here to enjoy our summer vacation with family. We’ve already begun to think about plans for the holidays that will be here before we know it. We plot and plan like we’ll be here forever. Don’t misunderstand, I’m all about planning ahead. I just wonder if at times we take life for granted. We just assume we will grow old and someday, many years from now, we’ll die in our old age.
I can think of some young people I’ve known who left this world way too soon. They were going about their day to day life and some tragic accident or health issue brought their young life to an abrupt end. You can probably list more than a few names of people you knew who died at a young age. We just don’t know when our last day will come. Life is too unpredictable and precious to take for granted.
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”(Jas.4:13-15)