1 John 4

How's your heart looking?

“Blessed are those whose hearts are pure for they shall see God."  Matthew 5:8
Our lives are full of lists, some are stressful 'to do' lists, some are helpful, and some are funny.  I really enjoy the lists featured on Jimmy Kimmel's late night show. One of my favorites is the "Mean Tweets" segment, where celebrities, artists, athletes, and comedians read some of the worst tweets that have been sent their way. It is a great way for the guests to have a chance to respond to these mostly anonymous internet bullies in a fun, lighthearted way.  I stay up late at night just to see this list of mean tweets.  It is so funny.  
While I don't have a funny list to share, I have a helpful list that can guide you in cleaning your heart. With all the darkness around us, it helps to have a short checklist to help recenter your heart that you can quickly look at throughout the week.

6 ways to clean your heart:  627f958158478c5926a702f8c4a17abf
1)      Don’t be surprised when God has some work to do to clean up your heart.  (Psalm 51)
2)      Do spend time asking God to clean out your heart. (1 John 1:9)
3)      Don ‘t be discouraged if someone is critical of you.  We are all imperfect human beings but God is not finished with us yet. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
4)      Do remember to forgive everyone every day for any way that they may have hurt you – you cannot carry around that burden and effectively live for Christ (1 John 4:7-8)
5)      Don’t let others influence you negatively through gossip.  As tricky as it is – it leads to a path of harm for you and your family. (Proverbs 16:28)
6)      Do fill up your mind with the good.  (Philippians 4:8-9)
It is only with pure hearts that any church can be a healthy, happy family serving God.  It all starts with a group of people who are committed to give the hearts to God to keep them pure.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White

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A love you can't resist

Written by Pastor Tim White I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love is genuine.  2 Corinthians 8:8

What an insightful verse.  The Bible has so much to say about love.  God is love (1 John 4:7-8). Love is the greatest (1 Corinthians 13).  You will know you are a Christian if you love your brothers and sisters in Christ (theme of 1 John).  But here the apostle Paul is saying when God’s love really happens it causes a chain reaction, which is unavoidable.  Like an atomic Bomb.  Can you imagine standing next to an atomic bomb blast and someone running up to you exclaiming what happened and you said, “I didn’t notice anything”?  That is ridiculous.  When Christ’s love happens it is unmistakable, it is a love you cannot resist. 

3fb2c3743378affba1a5fcfa14452d64This morning I woke up early.  After I let my dog out, and I was surprised to see my grandson, Elijah, sitting reading on the chair in the family room.  I asked, “Elijah what time did you wake up?  He replied, “Oh, about 7:30.”  “It’s not about 7:30 yet,” I chuckled looking at the clock. He shrugged, “I don't know… All I know is when I tried to wake up my mom and dad they said they were still sleeping.”

Knowing that they are leaving in a week for Dallas, I smiled and asked Elijah if he would like to sneak out for a cinnamon roll with G.P. He thought about it for a moment.  When he responded he told me he would have to ask his mom and dad because he’s not really a sneaky guy.  I teased back, “You're not?”  With a serious look on his face he answered, “I could be, but I have chosen not to be - I think it is just better that way.” So he asked his parents for permission and then we went to get him a cinnamon roll with their blessing.

When we got back Grandma met us at the door and greeted us, “My two boys sure have sparkling eyes.”  We did, Elijah’s eyes were twinkling because we just had a lot of fun.  My eyes are twinkling because I have a grandson who loves his parents so much that he chooses not to be sneaky guy.  The love that he has been taught and shown is unmistakable, unavoidable, indisputable, it is a love you can't resist.

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