Advent Calendar day 18: Our Secret Thoughts

Yesterday I met with a group of my friends who have been constant in my life for the past few years. During this meeting, one of them shared about the most impactful things he has learned all year. Here is a summary of it:

He spoke about the power of our thoughts and the fact that God responds to our thoughts more than we think. He illustrated using the story of when the devil thought in his heart to be like God and by the many times Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because of what they were thinking in their hearts. In the words of my friend, prayer is not just about what we say aloud to God- our whole life is prayer and so is our thoughts. What have your thoughts been saying to God recently? How would God judge your thoughts? How well do your thoughts represent you before God? as i pondered over what he said a scripture came to mind:

O LORD, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do]; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken], Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And [You have] placed Your hand upon me. Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.

Psalm 139:1-6 AMP

God is interested in every detail of our lives including our thoughts. That is an area that we must also surrender to the lordship of Jesus. Many of us think as long as thoughts reside in our minds and hearts and we never speak them then we are entitled to the privacy of those thoughts. However, this scripture tell us no thought is as private as we think it is. God is intimately acquainted with those secret thoughts- good or bad. So today my prayer for you as is for myself is simple: that the peace of God would garrison our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4: 7) and that every single one of our thoughts would be taken captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5).

Yours Truly

P.s. Thanks Bari

Advent Calendar day 16: A Wise Heart

I recall in my younger years I did something that I still regret to this day. Although it was a single incident that perhaps may not even be remembered by parties involved, I certainly remember and it colors that time of my life. Have you had a moment’s lapse in judgement where you said or did something that changed everything? Today’s reading hits the nail right on the head with this proverb:

As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

Ecclesiastes 10:1 NIV

In this scripture, folly is contrasted against wisdom and honor and has been described to be the undoing of both. Folly can come in many forms- a small act of unkindness, a moment of anger, a rash decision or a harsh word can cost a person a great deal. It can cast a shadow on one’s bright future, can close doors of opportunity and can bring great misfortune. We need to apply ourselves to wisdom in all our endeavors and a wise heart dictates that there is a proper time and place for everything

Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.

Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 NIV

So how do we respond to this advice? The psalmist prays “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) and I today I pray same of God.

Dear Heavenly Father, teach us to realize the brevity of life, help us to number our days and redeem the time you have given us. And above all, give us a heart of wisdom so we are not entrapped by folly. Amen.

Yours Truly