Monday, June 27, 2011

Through My Window

     Not long ago, I hung a bird feeder on a tree not far from our front window.  Through that window, I  watch many different kinds of birds come and feed.  We have mourning doves (I counted 27 one day), blue jays, cardinals, black birds, red winged black birds and an occasional woodpecker.  Taking pictures of their gatherings through the window has been a delight for me.  There is pleasure in observing God's creation.  Then, I had to ask myself a question.  What does God see when He looks in the window of my heart each day?  Is He delighted and does He find pleasure?
     When we commit our lives to Christ as our Savior and Lord, we begin a journey that does not end until God calls us home.  Like the character "Christian" in "Pilgrim's Progress", we have chosen to follow a path that at times leads through some valleys and some hard places along the way.  Most of us wish there was an expressway to get us there without all the hassles of life, but remember, most expressways are boring, endless stretches of highway with no colorful scenery to enjoy.  Life is meant to be lived and the difficulties, while challenging, work to form us into the character of Christ.  This is God's goal for us.  So, as the Lord of heaven peers into our heart each day, what qualities will He see us working on?
     In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul tells us:  "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving...(Col. 4:2a)"  No one can emphasize enough how much we need to be faithful to pray in every situation, and Paul emphasizes "with thanksgiving".  Our prayers are not meant to be a laundry list of all the things we want from God, but rather a conversation with our heavenly Father acknowledging His holiness and thanking Him for His many blessings.  We need to pray for others, for our leaders, for our church family, for our family, for those who are ill, and for the needs we have.  God already knows what we have need of before we ask, but He wants us to come and talk with Him about them.
     Secondly, Paul talks about our conduct.  He writes:  "Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the times.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person" (Cols. 4:5-6).  In this passage, he covers two areas we need to cultivate in our hearts.  We need to match our conduct with our talk.  People watch us and how we relate both to them and others.  They listen to our words to see if what we say matches with our behavior.  Therefore, as Christians we need to strive to line up with the call God has placed on our lives. We are His ambassadors.  We are not perfect, and yes, we will stumble and sin.  However, our goal needs to be conformed to His for our lives:  "Be ye holy as I am holy" (I Peter 1:16b and Leviticus 19:2).
Of course, our conduct, is also a result of another quality which needs to be in our lives.
     Within his letter to the Christians at Rome, the Apostle Paul speaks of renewing our minds which directly affects our conduct and our prayer life.  He writes:  "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2).  In order to have our minds transformed, we need to be in the Bible.  The Gospel brings the good news to us of our salvation, but it also gives us instruction, correction and training in righteousness.  It changes how we think as well as how we act.  If we fill our minds with mental junk food, our actions will reflect it.  However, when we feed on the solid meat of God's Word it allows us a means for discerning what is right and wrong.  Ignorance of the Bible provides no foundation for judging what is acceptable to God or knowing His will.  We could all afford to put down our newspapers, remote controls, and electronic games and get biblically fit by spending more time in the Bible.
     These are three of the character qualities that we want the Lord to see through the window of our heart, but there are three more which I will take up in Part II of Through My Window.  Meditate on these qualities and see if your heart window reflects these to the Father who sees and knows what is in our hearts.  Selah!

I welcome your comments here.  Please leave your thoughts that we might converse in Christ.


Thelma Decker Hill said...

Barbara, your articles are so inspiring! You're doing a wonderful job on your blog! Keep up the good work!
Love & Blessings,
Thelma Decker Hill

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you Thelma. I am so glad you have stopped by and left a word of encouragement. My goal is to encourage and bless others with the things I share. Many blessings to you and your wonderful family!