Inside / Outside #5

“So the Lord God said…to Adam…: Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying,’ you shall not eat from it’

 Cursed is the ground because of you;

In toil you shall eat of it

All the days of your life.

Both thorns and thistles

It shall grow for you

And you shall eat the

Plants of the fields;

By the sweat of your

Face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground,

Because from it you were taken,

For you are dust,

And to dust,

And to dust you shall return.”

 Genesis 3:17b-19

 A good day to you as you celebrate or have celebrated this Labor Day of 2011, This is the day which symbolizes the end of summer and the starting of the fall season of the year. For this reason we shall take a one day’s leave from our devotional theme. I will also choose to do a thing different for tomorrow’s devotional time.

The willingness, ability and availability to work and to have work available is an important and indispensable component to a global way of life. For the believer and thus a Christian an idle, non-working person is to be especially noted and marked out. The passage is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14 6 ¶ Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which they received of us. 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to imitate us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8 neither did we eat bread for nought at any man’s hand, but in labor and travail, working night and day, that we might not burden any of you: 9 not because we have not the right, but to make ourselves and ensample unto you, that ye should imitate us 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat. 11 For we hear of some that walk among you disorderly, that work not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing. 14 And if any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed.

The questions need to be asked: Is there a willing worker? Is there a worker able? Is the worker available? Is there work available?

Inside / Outside #3

All men are created equal. The eternal God saw all that He had created and it was very good. And as we know the story of the beginnings and the subsequent ‘fall of man’ by which he was left totally depraved. The Word of God describes the woeful status into which man had fallen in Romans 1

Rom. 1:24 Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:

25 for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.

28 And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

 30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

 31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful:

32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practice them.



The bold, highlighted and underscored items above constitute the ‘total depravity’ of  that heart which God says is ‘deceitful above all things and desperately wicked’ From that which is inside and left untouched by the hand of Jesus one can expect that the outside will be a reflection of that depravity. Prov. 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…..”

These traits of the ‘old man’ and along with those belonging to the ‘new man’ will be the devotional message for the balance of September.

Inside / Outside #2

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside
they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men but inwardly
you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:25-28

[emphasis mine]


Today we shall recognize that life is in two parts. That which is on the inside of you are really you and that which is on the outside may be pretended. This truth is in keeping with the Lord who says that: 1Sam 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. It shall be my purpose over the month of September to magnify the possibilities if not the reality of that which is on the inside. Through Jeremiah the prophet the Lord says Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The ‘heart’ is a representation of that which is on the inside which works its way to the outside and if it is good and clean then that which it produces will be good and clean. Since it, being unchanged and unregenerate, is ‘deceitful above all things and desperately wicked’ it is understandable that the life product it produces will bear a similarity to it. Because you are taking the time to follow these ‘daily devotionals’, it is likely that you have received a ‘new heart’ according to the teachings of the Bible which states the following: Eze36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Come back tomorrow and I shall take us further into the examination of the heart both new and old and how the outside can and should match up to the inside qualities and characteristics of the new, changed and regenerate heart.

Inside / Outside

Prov 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…..”

Welcome to our ‘daily devotions for this month. As a ‘lay member’ of the New Hope Baptist Church, when the Pastor summons you to perform a task that may be within your reach you should never refuse. So therefore it is in the performance of this assignment that I begin to assemble my thoughts reflecting on God’s word. Jesus said in response to the first of Satan’s temptation “to take stones and make bread,”…it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”

The theme verse for the month comes from the book of Proverbs and establishes the theme for our devotions and thus the title Inside/Outside. This verse establishes the truth that a man’s ways are in him before he is in them. The New American Translation helps us to understand the meaning of the ‘heart’ “For as he thinks within himself, so is he” The ‘heart’ is at the seat of who you are and what you think and what you do and how you speak and your reaction to the actions of others whose thoughts and actions and words may indeed be contrary if not antagonistic to your own. As for you and I may ours be found in the prayer of David expressed in Psalm 19 the conclusion of which are found in verse number 14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer”

Look at and “think” about the chorus of the gospel song entitled

If Your Heart Keeps Right

If your heart keeps right,

If your heart keeps right,

There’s a song of gladness in the darkest night.

If your heart keeps right,

If your heart keeps right,

Every cloud will wear a rainbow,

If your heart keeps right.