Simply What’s Right In Your Heart

Simply What’s Right In Your Heart

Romans 2:13

For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

The above verse is from Paul’s letter to the Romans and another piece that confirms my faith in the simplicity of Christ and God.

The law is what you know in your heart is right.  What is right, the right thing to do, is placed in your heart by the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

Where The Vultures Gather

Where The Vultures Gather

Luke 17:37

And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

I like what Christ is saying to his disciples, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Now if you go back and read verses twenty through thirty seven in Chapter 17 of the Book of Luke, you will see that the obvious reference for verse thirty seven is about when and where will the Kingdom of God come to man, when will the rapture take place.

Christ addresses both his disciples and the Pharisees to be aware of the false prophets, those who say as in verse 23 “And they will say to you, ‘Look, there’ or ‘look, here’.  Do not go out or follow them.”

But Christ also tells them to be aware.  The rapture will come at any time, like it did for the world with Noah, or like it did for the inhabitants of Sodom.

So where will it come?

The disciples ask that question and Christ answers, where you find sin, the rotting smell of death due to sin, that is where the vultures will congregate.

I looked at this verse from a bit of a different angle.

“Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Maybe what Christ was saying is that the sin, the sin in man, when we fail and commit sin, be prepared for that sin to attract more sin.

Your sin will not only externally attract more sin as the evil in your heart draws in others, but internally it will attract more sin.

It’s the pack affect.

Two dogs or wolfs are fighting for dominance of the pack.  The pack watches and when one losses, they all pounce on the now vulnerable loser.

I have seen this in the office environment.  Two workers who wish to establish their dominance over the office pack battle for days, months, even years and most of the pack remains neutral.  Then one of the combatants has had enough and leaves.  The rest of the workers pounce and side with the apparent victor and deride the now departed loser.

And so it is with sin.

The evil that can easily come into our hearts battles with what we know is right.  If we don’t stay disciplined and don’t make a conscious effort every day to maintain and strengthen our relationship with God, then sin slips through and this encourages more sin to swoop in like vultures to the smell of death.

Christ was saying be ever vigilant.  Watch over your heart and watch over your relationship with God for their lies the kingdom of God.

If you allow sin and it’s odor of death to take its place in your heart the vultures will come and devour your heart.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Take Away From Me The Noise

Take Away From Me The Noise

In previous posts I have written about how I can’t find any verses in the Bible where music is condemned or categorized as evil.

Then I came across this verse:

Amos 5:23

Take away from me the noise or your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.

When I first read this I wrote a note to myself listing this verse and then shoved the note in my composition book.   I pulled it out a couple of weeks later and read the verse I thought maybe I finally found a verse where music is condemned.  But then I went back and read the verse in its context.

Read it below as part of Amos 5:18-24: Continue reading

An Idle Life

An Idle Life

2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

In this letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing something that Solomon had said thousands of years before.

In all the things that man can do and occupy his mind, in all things man can chase, all that really is important is your toil, being happy in your toil, your work.  For as Solomon said, all else is vanity and striving after wind.

But Paul is also addressing two other aspects of an idle life.

The first, as he already stated in other letters to the Church, is self responsibility, earning your keep in life, earning your own way, not on the backs of others.

There is no free ride in life, not for the righteous.

Paul is telling his fellow followers of Christ, you are responsible for yourself.  You are responsible for making your way in life.  You are responsible for feeding, clothing and educating yourself.  You are responsible for fulfilling your life.  Through this work of taking care of yourself you strengthen your relationship with God and truly begin to realize what King Solomon was talking about.

You realize how all that truly matters is your toil and being happy in your toil, eating the fruits of your labor, drinking the fruits of your labor and being happy in what you do.

The other point that Paul is addressing in these verses is idleness and what it leads to.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

Paul knows this and is telling the Thessalonians and us as much.

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness not busy at work, but busybodies.

Paul knows that when we are bored we tend to get involved in things we shouldn’t.  We stray to easy fixes, things that may temporarily make us feel good about ourselves.  We stray to things that are quick and easy, things that lack substance or a foundation for building a righteous and happy life.

Paul calls them busybodies.  He could be referring to idle people who spend their days meddling in the problems and sorrows of others.  People who then use their self righteous, moral judgements to lift themselves up.

And he could mean busybodies, people just wandering through life not seeking a relationship with God or themselves.  People who busy their entire life looking to get out of their toil, looking for others to blame and pave their way through life.  People busy looking to avoid work, honest hard work, whether it’s work to earn their food and shelter or work to improve themselves and their relationship with God.  They’re just busy trying to avoid work.

Paul sums it up in verse twelve:

Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and earn their own living.

Paul is saying to be responsible for yourself, take care of yourself and take care of your relationship with God, they all work together.

Eat, drink and be happy in your toil, all else is vanity and a striving after wind.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Relationship With Music

My Relationship With Music

I have written about the simplicity of God and Christ and how the simplicity of life is you and your relationship with God.  Work on your relationship with God and the rest will fall into place.

I cited Matthew 6:1-8 which is part of the Sermon on the Mount.  Christ talks about how your relationship with God is just between you and God.  Christ talks about getting your heart straight with yourself and with God.  Once this is accomplished or I should say as you keep improving your relationship with God, the rest of your life will fall in line.

When I ponder this I think about how this is also true with music or any art.  Your music, your art is a very private affair. Continue reading

How Do You Measure?

How Do You Measure?

Mark 4:24

And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”

I like this verse.

I wrote it down and then read some commentary by theological scholars.

Now as I was reading their commentaries my first thought was “Gee, they should call these guys Biblical lawyers or theological engineers.”

Why? Continue reading

Evil Lies In The Heart

Evil Lies In The Heart

Evil lies in the hearts of man.

Mark 7:21

Far from within, out of the heart of man comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery.

My wife purchased a unique wall decoration.  It was a mask with two faces, some ram horns and a rat on the forehead.  We didn’t have any idea what it was, what is was about or where it may have originated.  All we knew was that it was a unique piece.

So my wife decided to post a picture on Facebook to see if any of her “friends” had any idea what it was or where it came from.  She was looking for any information on the piece. Continue reading