Food for Thought
An Guide to Kingdom Living

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
~Jeremiah 17: 9, 10 King James Version

One of the things that the doctor does when we have a physical checkup is listen to the heart with a stethoscope. The doctor is then able to determine if there is something wrong. If the doctor hears anything irregular he or she might schedule more tests. We have a Physician who puts on His stethoscope of love and listens to the emotions of our hearts and His name is Jesus. He searches our hearts for bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, and all other things that displease Him or hinders our relationship with Him and keeps us from serving Him effectively.

We also need to put on a stethoscope of unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion and listen to the hearts of our families, loved ones and friends, and to a world that is lonely and in tremendous agony and pain. If we would become encouragers for one another instead of trying to find something wrong, we would have a support system that the world has never known.

I personally know six people who listen very closely to what their pastor preaches to see if he pronounces something incorrectly when reading the Scripture passage. These people will one day stand before a Holy God and give an account of their actions. Instead of trying to find something wrong in a sermon, we should be praying for God to give our pastor a special anointing so our pastor can preach with boldness.

We need to be listening to the heartbeats of our pastor and family. They need to be loved, appreciated and encouraged just like we do. May God forgive us for taking our pastors for granted! Let’s become an encourager and prayer warrior for our pastors. Joyce Landorf, a speaker and author, said on one of her teaching tapes “I wonder what would happen if everyone in the congregation became an encourager to their pastor”. I think if all of the congregations would pray for their pastors, love their pastors and encourage them, we would see an excitement and boldness of preaching that we have never known.

The most important thing we need to do is put a stethoscope to the heart of Jesus. If we will listen closely, we will hear His heart beating with unconditional love for us. When He listens to our hearts, does He hear love for Him and for our families and the world or does He hear resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, criticism and rejection? Are we doing and saying things that bring honor to Him or are we doing and saying things that hurt Him?

Joanne Lowe
April 2, 2007

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lamb-rightThe purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.