soul

The Umpire of Your Heart

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15 One of the cool things about walking with Jesus is that He offers us a barometer by which to gauge how we’re doing, and that’s peace. The Bible says that this powerful fruit of the Spirit should have the rule in our lives; in other words, it should be our guide. Fascinatingly, the word translated “rule” in the Greek language actually means to act as an umpire. In other words, when we’re on the field of existence considering our next play and two choices present themselves, we should go with the one that finds our hearts and souls at rest. As we consider the various roads we might travel, it’s wise to follow the path that leads us toward tranquility and not away from

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Chiseled to Perfection

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8 Since wood wasn’t plentiful in ancient Israel, it’s unlikely that Jesus was a carpenter in the true sense of the word, even though that’s what’s traditionally been taught. Because most structures in the Roman world were hewn from stone, there’s a high probability that He was actually a stonemason. I find this interesting, especially in light of the fact that the Lord chose His own profession. Since He is sovereign over all circumstances, He picked exactly how He would arrive in the world, where He would be born, and what He would do as a trade. It speaks clearly to His nature that He decided to foreshadow physically what He does spiritually — chip away at hard and unformed rock to create something beautiful and

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The Struggle is Real

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” – Psalm 40:2 How are you doing? When’s the last time someone asked you that question? If it wasn’t too long ago, how did you respond? I think many of us, when queried on our condition or status, give a canned or rote response rather than answering in a way that reflects the true state of our being. While this is fine in casual encounters, it’s beneficial for each of us to pause occasionally and take an account of the state of our hearts and souls. Here in Southern California, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of our lives, and we were recently faced with another shutdown. For many, the feeling of going backwards is especially difficult, and while I realize that

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