There is an old saying that goes like this "you can fool most of the people most of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time". It has often been said that the truth will always find us out. We need to guard our hearts in order to be able to discern truth and deception. Our hearts are the wellsprings of our lives. In Judges 8:21 we read that as a man is, so is his strength.
Over the years, I have found that when I am speaking, it is always a good thing to look at peoples eyes because the Bible says the eyes are the windows of a man's heart, and what is in the heart of a man is what he will speak - it will always be the overflow of his heart. In these times that we live in, it is so important to read and spend time in the Word of God. His Word feeds our spirit man and we need to be spiritually strong, so that each day we live, we would be led of our spirit and not of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-17). That's why the Word says, as a man is, so is his strength.
I do believe it is important to keep abreast of what is happening in our world, although we are, as Christians, not of this world, we definitely live in this world. It's just that to spend more time concerned with this world's affairs and its newspapers and telecasts doesn't input strength and purpose into our lives like the Word of God does. We need to pray and desire to read His Word each day.
After so many years involved in speaking and preaching the gospel, I find that, when I attend a church meeting, after just five minutes, I am able to know whether the speaker has a new Word from God for the people or whether its something that is rather like "yesterday's bread, heated up." God has new manna for us each day. What we say and who we are must add up. So many things tell others about us which are not always spoken. For example, when a man introduces his wife to me, and I see she is looking well and has a peaceful spirit, I can know that he takes his role in the home as prophet, priest and king and he shoulders the responsibility that are his. If, on the other hand, his wife is looking tired, warn, sad and nervy, I know this man is abdicating his responsibilities he is likely not disciplining his children, not putting bread on the table, not paying his accounts and it is coming down to his wife, and it is wearing her out. We need to walk our talk. Francis of Assisi once said "Preach the gospel at all costs, and if you really have to, use Words." So it's not what we say so much, as it is who we are, that counts.
A man once said, (and you know how much I love horses) "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." In other words, he was saying that when he looks at a man's horse, he will immediately know a lot about that man. In Proverbs 12:10 (NKJV) we read "A righteous man regards the life of his animal." Now, as an old farmer, I can drive onto a farm and one look at the fences hanging loose, the weeds growing among the crops, the cattle thin and the yard untidy, it's likely that that man is lazy and doesn't deserve to work on a farm, let alone live on a farm. It's always been strange to me, that many farmers, who have farms like that, are often found telling other farmers how to farm their farms! There is a lesson here for us, as Believers that we cannot afford to speak one thing and live another. Our lifestyle must live up to our convictions otherwise we are nothing less than hypocrites, and hypocrites, I believe, are those who keep many out of the Kingdom of God. It's because of double standards that people stay away from church.
In Titus 1:16 (NKJV) the Bible says very clearly "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him" Friends, let's not be found amongst those who bear a poor testimony for our Lord. Spend more time with God, be strong and brave and true and let's rather lift up Jesus, so that He can draw people to Himself.
Yours in Christ,
Angus (and Jill Buchan)