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Healthy Heart

6 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient.
Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:6-8
From Atkins to The Zone to Ketogenic, everyone seems to be on a diet. Diets can help people lose weight and maintain heart health, but the results only last as long as the commitment to the diet. Christians also need a healthy heart, both physically and spiritually. According to our verses above, we have two choices when it comes to the heart:

We can fatten or establish.

Trepho is the Greek word used for fatten in verse 6. Trephon means to feed, to nourish, to fatten, to stiffen. How do our hearts become fat and unhealthy? Go back and reread verse 6.

When we live for self.

When the focus of our heart is our personal pleasure and luxury, the heart becomes fat and lazy. When fat surrounds the heart, it inhibits its effectiveness and threatens the life of the person.
When we focus on ourselves, our heart becomes stiff with lack of use.  How long has it been since we have served another, cooked a meal for a friend, or gave til it hurt?  Stiff hearts eventually refuse to beat. Then the love of the Savior no longer courses through our veins, infusing our our hands and feet with the power of the Spirit to share the love of Christ.

Establish your heart.

Sterizo is the Greek word for establish. It means to make stable, to make firm, to strengthen. It also means to set one’s mind.  The bible tells us to set our mind on things above, not on things on earth (aka live for self). A strong mind= a strong heart.

We live in tough times. Temptations are ever present—just a click away. A clean strong heart will not happen by accident. The choice is ours. We can live for the flesh and indulge our selves to death, or we can do the good thing. the hard thing. the holy thing.

Establish your heart, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Leave me comment below and let me hear how you are strengthening your heart. I’d love to hear from you!

by Mary Kay Kane

all rights reserved, copyright 2017




Don’t Go to Church …?

dont-go
Church plants. The underground church. Online church. Live streaming. Virtual church. Church in the 21st century is very different from the church of the 1st century. What exactly is the church? People or steeple?  Covenant or concrete? Mission or mortar? What does it mean to be a part of a church? What is the church and do Christians have to go to church?
29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.  Acts 4:29-33

First, let’s start with what the church isn’t.

It isn’t a building.

First century churches did not have a specific building. They usually met in a house. Even today many churches do not have buildings. According to the Global Church  typical rural churches in Uganda meet under a shade tree. Focus on the Family states, “Church structures facilitate the role of God’s people, but they do not fulfill it.”

It isn’t a sermon or a song.

Songs help us worship and glorify God. Sermons enable us to gain wisdom and understanding which leads to transformation. While these things are beneficial and beautiful, they are not the church.

It isn’t potlucks and programs.

Wholesome alternatives to the lure of the world, these activities are fun and entertaining, but they are not the church. Fellowship is fun, but events don’t transform the culture.

What it is.

The church: in the original Greek, ekklesia, which means to call, to call out, to invite. The church is the invited, the called, the summoned. Sinners saved to be the body of Christ. Not bricks but bodies.

The Body.

Hands working. Hearts loving. Feet walking. Souls giving.

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOEVER believes in Him shall have eternal life.”

All are invited. All are called, chosen, needed.

So don’t go to church, go BE the church, go be the invitation. Go be the call. Live your life, and use your gifts in such a way you make it easy for others to want to be a part of Gods family, the body of Christ. The church.

Go be the church.

How do you “go be the church”? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to chat with you!

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all rights reserved.

copyright 2016