The scriptures are plain. How could Christians misunderstand? When Jesus was teaching his disciples how to pray, he used a phrase that not only taught them how but taught them a deeper level of understanding of points in that prayer. One such phrase was: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Then he went on to say, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). God made the promise that if we do not forgive men for what they do against us, he will not forgive us.
Since many preachers’ definitions of heart do not include any scriptures, I have to believe they get that from psychology or at least some commentary. That bothers me. My first red flag popped up when one man said the heart is the emotional center. That would be a physical heart if I understand correctly. We ponder, think, and understand, etc. with the spiritual heart but not with the physical. A quick reference list shows that certain qualities (good or bad) are in the heart (Matt. 15:16-19). I am not sure how murder fits in, but it is a quality too. Look carefully at the Hebrew meaning of Prov. 23:7–as a man thinketh in his heart. That is strange, but necessary to understand.
“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecc. 12:12), but there is only one book written by God.
How many copies are sold and how that compares with the #1 best seller is irrelevant (Matt. 24:35). Many have tried to destroy the Bible. People like Matthew Henry have even predicted its disappearance.
As a beauty I’m certainly no star,
There are others fairer by far;
But my face, I don’t mind it,
Because I am behind it;
‘Tis the folks in the front that I jar.
Is it wrong to “jar the folks in the front?” Is it simply selfish or lax or inconsiderate to accept our imperfections and do nothing about them? As Christians, we must face this question in light of God’s judgment: Is it right or wrong to attempt to correct my appearance as I age, and to what lengths may I (or should I) go and be pleasing to my brethren and my Creator?
Roy Lanier Jr. was teaching a class at Bear Valley School of Preaching one day when the topic of women’s beauty fixes came up—things like tummy tucks, liposuction, face lifts and teeth whitening were being debated. His response was, “Old barns sometimes need a coat of paint.”
And it is not just the ladies who are having face-lifts these days; men are increasingly more concerned with their physical appearance. Unlike the old barn that needs paint for preservation and usefulness, men, and women paint and tuck to seek praise and honor from others.