Category Archives: Zeal

Too Heavenly Minded?

stairway

Through the years I have heard a few preachers say that we can be “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” Modern translation: Radicals need not apply. When I read my bible, however, I find numerous accounts of “radical” servants of the Most High who turned their worlds upside down with their passion for God and His kingdom.

The first sermons of Jesus recorded in scripture were about the kingdom of Heaven. In fact, everything He taught, every miracle He performed, every body He healed, even His death on the cross, were all about the kingdom of Heaven. Who amongst us would ever think Him to be so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly good? And we are supposed to be imitators of Jesus Christ aren’t we?

No, I don’t think it possible to be too heavenly minded. In regard to God’s instructions, scripture commands that you impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
In other words, all the time!

Furthermore, blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. (Psalms 1:2)

Why is he blessed? When a man meditates on God’s word, he acts on God’s word. It is the heavenly minded who does this world the most good –that which lasts for eternity. The more “radical” believers are, the more likely they are to turn this world upside down for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.

So then, can a believer be too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good? Again, I don’t think so. I doubt that is what we should be asking anyway. Perhaps we should be asking the opposite:

Can a person be too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good?

–just a little food for thought.

Backside of Nowhere

reaching hand

Just as I stopped at the traffic light, the Cathedral Quartet sang the following words: “On the back side of a place called nowhere, forgotten by humanity…” How appropriate, I thought with a chuckle, because that’s pretty much how it feels to be stopped at a red light in this city.

As I waited and waited ……..and waited, for the light to turn green, I joyfully sang along with the guys. I’m just glad they were on tape and couldn’t hear me. Truth is, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I do love to sing right along with any southern gospel music.

The words to the song were meaningful to me. “When they talked about potential, they did not refer to me…” Yes that was the story of my life before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Messiah. But everything changed “When He reached His hand to where I was….”

Can anyone relate? Have you, dear reader, despite your faith, ever felt that you were on the back side of nowhere, forgotten by humanity? I know you already know this, but today I just want to remind you that Jesus promised He would never leave you nor forsake you (Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5).  He will reach his hands down to where you are, whether you are stuck at a red light – or stuck in one of life’s ruts.

That should make you want to sing with the Cathedrals and me, “So now you know the reason I lift my hands so willingly…..”

And we would all be in good company, for King David, when he was stuck in the wilderness, did just that, while singing the following Psalm:

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands  thy name. (63:4)

The Arbitrary Song of the Wind Chime

photo: windandweather.com

Although quite windy, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. I had several errands to run that day, but they would just have to wait a little longer. Nothing seemed as important, at that moment, than stopping to enjoy the arbitrary song of the wind chime.

The tune varied from gust to gust, but each was distinctly beautiful. I couldn’t help but think: Sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.¹ My heart swelled with joy as I breathed-in the fresh spring air and watched the trees dance to the song of the wind chime.

Then another pearl from God’s word came to mind: For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.²

It is true; we are living in very disturbing times. However, Scripture says: let all those that put their trust in thee [O LORD] rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. ³

I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to sing for joy. My voice may not beautiful, and sometimes my songs are nothing more than spontaneous words of praise, but that which is not perfect can be beautiful too, like the arbitrary song of a wind chime.

¹Psalm 96:1
²Isaiah 55:12
³Psalm 5:11,12

A Canardly

A few years ago we adopted our outdoor dog from a rescue shelter.  She’s a mixed-breed, but I was fairly certain of what those breeds were, based on her color and markings. Still, I asked our veterinarian for his opinion. He told me she was a Canardly.  I’ve never heard of such a creature, I told him.  “There’s really no way to tell what she is,” he explained. With these mixed breeds, one  can ‘ardly tell.” I thought that little play on words was cute, and I’ve used it ever since.

Our beautiful Canardly has turned out to be the most loving and loyal dog of all. Plus, she is an incredibly vigilant watchdog.  Obviously, being a Canardly isn’t such a bad thing for a dog.  I don’t recommend it for Christians, though. How can we teach others about Jesus if they can ‘ardly tell that He is the Lord of our lives?

Jesus warned: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15,16).

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I would rather someone be frustrated by my fervor than confused by my complacency.  After all, if I’m not passionate about my Lord, Jesus Christ, how can I expect others to be?

Today, I leave you with this thought from Charles Spurgeon:

Believe me, brothers and sisters, if you never have sleepless hours, if you never have weeping eyes, if your hearts never swell as if they would burst, you need not anticipate that you will be called zealous; you do not know the beginning of true zeal, for the foundation of Christian zeal lies in the heart. The heart must be heavy with grief and yet must beat high with holy ardour; the heart must be vehement in desire, panting continually for God’s glory, or else we shall never attain to anything like the zeal which God would have us know.