Friday, June 30, 2017

My Eyes Are Ever Toward the Lord

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, to behold the beauty of the Lord.

That’s my own personal mix of Psalm 25:15 and Psalm 27:4.

Add to that the message of Psalm 101:3, I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

What a contrast! 

We can ever turn our eyes toward the Lord to behold the beauty of the Lord, or we can set before our eyes vile things.

And when we set before our eyes vile things, it BLINDS us to the beauty of the Lord.

You say, “Man, I’m TRYING to see the beauty of the Lord, but I’m not seeing it.”

Maybe it’s because you are setting before your eyes vile things, and it’s blinding you to the beauty of the Lord.

You say, “What is the beauty of the Lord, anyway?  It’s not like we can look into heaven and see it.”

You can look into your HEART and see it...if Jesus is there.

If God is in your heart, you can easily see His beauty in the work He is doing sovereignly in your life.

You can see His beauty in His creation.  You can see His beauty in His concepts like love and peace and joy, righteousness and justice and holiness.

Imagine going to a theater and watching a vile movie.  It’s vile, but it’s exciting and bold and loud.  You’re on the edge of your seat, captivated.

Then you walk out of the theater, and there’s a little flower springing up through the cracks of the sidewalk.  It’s beautiful and amazing.  Miraculous!  Uncreatable by any mere mortal. 

But we are blinded to it by the vile, bold and brassy.  We wonder where the beauty of the Lord is while we walk right over it.

Make a vow today.  I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

Instead, my eyes are ever toward the Lord, to behold the beauty of the Lord.

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What Then?

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

Second Corinthians 2:11 says we are not unaware of the devil’s devices.

Whenever I read that I think, “Oh yes we are.”

Jesus called Satan “the father of lies,” so if you ever fell for the lies of a man, how quickly will you fall for the schemes of the master deceiver?

He’s as smooth as a snake, but here is one way to smoke him out. 

Ask the question, “What then?”

For example, you had a terrible week and you just need some relief.  Then someone invites you to a place where the alcohol is flowing.  There’s your relief!

But what then?  You get drunk and forget your problems, but what then?  Get drunk again and forget again?  But what then?

See?  Asking “what then” pokes holes in Satan’s stupid, gassy temptations.  They cannot hold up to the What Then line of questioning.

So you’re having problems in your marriage.  Meanwhile, this other person really understands  you.  They get you.  They even like you!  You’d rather go spend time with them than go home to your unhappy mate.  The game is afoot.

But what then?  So you spend time with them.  What then?  Are you going to bust up your family, break your vows, squander friendships and shipwreck your integrity?  And for what?

But when God leads you, and you follow His ways, the What Then question brings fulfilling answers!

If you are having marriage problems, maybe you get some marital counseling.  What then?  Then you learn and grow together and solve some problems.  What then?  Then you are building a home and family on deeper love and respect.  When then?  Then you grow old together, fully respected by family and friends, with a deep and lasting family legacy which can be replicated by generations to come!

So yes, the devil has his devices, but we do not need to be unaware.

And one way to unmask him is to ask this simple question.

What then?

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Wisdom Preserves You

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

Wisdom preserves you.

If you want to save yourself, if you want to preserve yourself, get some wisdom!

Proverbs 4 says, “Get wisdom...she will preserve you.”  (NKJV)

One great example is your teeth.

What are three obvious things that wisdom says will preserve your teeth?

Well, it’s wise to brush your teeth.

It’s wise to floss your teeth.

And it’s wise to go to the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.

Follow this wisdom and your teeth will be preserved.

And yet I know so many people who chuck this wisdom out the window.  And what is going to happen?  Their teeth are not going to be preserved.

Think of tobacco products.  Wisdom says, “Don’t use tobacco products and you will be preserved.”

Now I’m thinking of the woman my age who has been smoking, I guess, since high school, and when I saw her Facebook picture I was aghast!  She almost looked old enough to be my mother, because all that smoking was sucking the life out of her.

Wisdom, though, would have preserved her.

My dad had a bad motorcycle accident when I was in high school.  His wisdom in wearing a helmet preserved his life.  But his wisdom in not riding motorcycles since then preserved him from all such accidents.

Wisdom in wearing a helmet will obviously preserve you if you have an accident, and wisdom in choosing a car over a motorcycle means you will never, ever be harmed on your motorcycle.

Wisdom preserves you, so get wisdom! 

You ate that questionable food and ended up writhing in the bathroom.

Wisdom preserves you!

In your health.  In your marriage.  In your family.  In your career.  In your business.  In your church.  In all things, keep working to grow in wisdom, because one thing is clear.

Wisdom preserves you.

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.