Friday, February 24, 2017

Look a Fright

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

So there you are, looking in the mirror again.

Every morning, looking in the mirror, and making adjustments.

How much of our life is spent looking in the mirror and making adjustments?

But thank goodness we do!

I’m not sure I want to live in a world where y’all aren’t making those daily adjustments. 

But what if you didn’t have a mirror?  I mean literally, what if you went day after day without being able to look in the mirror, see what you look like, and make those daily adjustments?

You’d be a mess.  As we say here in the South, “You’d look a fright!”

Well the same thing happens spiritually. 

Every day we need to look in the mirror of the Word, the Bible, see what we look like, and make adjustments (James 1:25)

If we don’t make those daily adjustments based on the mirror of the Word, we look a fright...spiritually, that is.

One good thing is that the Word of God stays the same, like a mirror that gives a true reflection every time.

Imagine a crazy mirror that gives different reflections every time you look at it.  That’s what the world is like.  Just think if social media was your mirror, and you tried to groom your soul on that ever-changing fickleness.

Or the world’s idea of beauty or strength or success.  It’s a shifting mirror! 

But the Word of God is a good mirror, never changing, ever true.

James 1:17 – in God there is “no variation or shadow of turning.”

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”

So to be our best, morally and spiritually, we must continue to look daily into the mirror of  the Word, and make those adjustments that take away the wretchedness and help us become the beautiful creations that God has created us to be.

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Squeeze It Into the Glove

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

When I was helping little leaguers stop dropping the ball, I would tell them, “Squeeze it into the glove!”

I know it seems obvious, but really, they didn’t all know to do that, to just squeeze the glove and hold it once they had the ball.

Now if you’re laughing at the poor kid who didn’t know about squeezing the ball into the glove, let me ask you...have you ever dropped your phone? Is your phone screen cracked right now, even as we speak?

You gotta squeeze it into the glove!

I mean, there you are, your phone is in your hand...and then you drop it. It just falls out of the glove, so to speak.

You gotta take more care. You gotta get a handle on it, get a firm grip on it. Otherwise it’s going to slip and you’re going to drop it.

And the same is true with God’s Word. And it’s far more important than catching a baseball and more valuable than your phone.

You gotta squeeze it into the glove!

So the preacher preaches a great word, and there was especially that one point that really hit home, really hit you where you live. Write it down, man! Meditate on it. Let it sink in, sink deep, take root. Learn it. Live it. Love it. Share it. Shine it!

You read the Bible, and something hits you solid. It makes your heart burn within you. Now what? Underline it, man! Highlight it! Put it on a post it note. Memorize it. Let that thing set your heart on fire!

I should be able to ask you right now, “What Bible verse really has you lit up these days?”

Jesus said, “The sower went out to his seed.” The seed is the Word, and it’s hitting soil...and you and I are the soil.

Here comes the seed of the Word! It’s coming at you. What do you do? Does it bounce off? Or maybe you catch it, for like a minute, and then you inexplicably let it fall to the ground.

Come on, man! You gotta squeeze it into the glove.

Squeeze it into the glove, man.

Squeeze it into the glove.

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Thou Knowest

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

Here is a phrase I use a lot in my prayers:  Thou knowest.

When I face uncertain circumstances (and aren’t they all) I simply turn my mind toward heaven and say, “Thou knowest.”

What should I do?  “Thou knowest.”

How should I use my time?  “Thou knowest.”

Where’s the money going to come from?  “Thou knowest.”

How should I pray for my kids?  “Thou knowest.”

It’s my way of expressing my serious lack of knowledge to the Lord, submitting to Him, and running toward Him in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I surely don’t know how the world really works and what I’m supposed to do...but He knows.  God knows.  The Lord almighty knows.  El Elyon knows.

It goes back to Ezekiel 37, when God took the mighty prophet Ezekiel to the valley of dry bones. 

Imagine the quiet.  The wind.  The solitude.  The arid land. 

God says to His prophet, “Can these bones live?”

And here’s where my phrase, “Thou knowest” comes from, because that’s exactly what Ezekiel says to God in this divine moment. 

Ezekiel doesn’t try to guess, or take a random stab, or even make light of it.

He just answers with the most sober, most humble and yet most trusting, sheep-like answer to the Shepherd.

Thou knowest.

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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

Lately I’ve been all cranked up about the old hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

What powerful, encouraging words!

I decided to learn and memorize all the lyrics, I mean, how many songs do you know ALL the words to, right?

And sometimes the words aren’t worth memorizing, like those hymns where sing “verse 1 and 3, and definitely not 4, but maybe 5.”

Well “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is worth singing and memorizing all the way through.

Just listen.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

I hope this causes your heart to burn within you today like it has mine.

The powerful and encouraging hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

They That Turn Many to Righteousness

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

So today I’m red hot on this verse fragment, from Daniel 12:3.

It says, “...they that turn many to righteousness...”

That’s what I want to be!

I want to be one of those people who help “turn many to righteousness.”

There is a righteousness, and it is God’s righteousness.

There is no shadow of turning in God’s righteousness.

It is not as shifting sand, but it is solid as a rock.

It does not change with the wind, or with our ever-shifting culture.

There is a righteousness, solid as a rock.

It is God’s righteousness, and I want to help “turn many to righteousness.”

I want to point people to God’s ways, His principles, His statutes, His precepts, His laws.

I want to say, “Hey, look, here is God’s righteousness, in all its beauty and splendor and power.

Let’s live like this!  Let’s live in God’s boundaries, by His principles, according to His ways and no other!

Whatever path we are on, let’s reset the GPS and turn toward God’s righteousness.

When we come to a fork in the road, let’s always take the road that leads to more and more of God’s righteousness, no matter the cost.

Let’s not take the road of compromise, or of the world, or of sin, or even of ease and laziness and cheap grace.

But let’s run hard and fast and with the zeal of the Lord, straight into the brilliant light of God’s amazing righteousness!

I hope this word causes your heart to burn within you today.

Daniel 12:3, “...they that turn many to righteousness...”

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.