This Sanctuary Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It is also a place to read, post and discuss news that is worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
In the QTree, we’re a friendly and civil lot. We encourage free speech and the open exchange and civil discussion of different ideas. Topics aren’t constrained, and sound logic is highly encouraged, all built on a solid foundation of truth and established facts.
We have a policy of mutual respect, shown by civility. Civility encourages discussions, promotes objectivity and rational thought in discourse, and camaraderie in the participants – characteristics we strive toward in our Q Tree community.
Please show respect and consideration for our fellow QTreepers. Before hitting the “post” button, please proofread your post and make sure you’re addressing the issue only, and not trying to confront the poster. Keep to the topic – avoid “you” and “your”. Here in The Q Tree, personal attacks, name calling, ridicule, insults, baiting and other conduct for which a penalty flag would be thrown are VERBOTEN.
In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
Please also consider the Guidelines for posting and discussion printed here: http://www.theqtree.com/2019/01/01/dear-maga-open-topic-20190101/
Let’s not give the Internet Censors a reason to shut down this intellectual haven that Wolf has created for us.
The Storm is upon us.
Please remember to Pray for our President.
On this day and every day –
God is in Control
. . . and His Grace is Sufficient, so . . .
Keep Looking Up
Hopefully, every Sunday, we can find something here that will build us up a little . . . give us a smile . . . and add some joy or peace, very much needed in all our lives.
“This day is holy to the Lord your God;
do not mourn nor weep.” . . .
“Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet,
and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared;
for this day is holy to our Lord.
Do not sorrow,
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Guarding Your Heart
With all that’s going on these days with bogus impeachments, our stolen election and a world saturated with corruption and perversion, it’s difficult, and near impossible, not to be caught up in the complaining, disputes, contention, bitterness and anger that accompanies this attempt to destroy our nation’s relationship with God and it’s freedoms and justice.
In our country, a totally corrupt political party, corrupt courts, corrupt legislatures, corrupt media and corrupt citizens are willing participants in our nation’s destruction. And, internationally, corrupt countries and the corrupt rich, powerful elite join the effort. We are deluged on a daily basis with events that are destructive to civilized society, with the media doing all in its power to justify or cover up the corruption.
While it’s proper to aid as best we can the fight against this corruption, we’ve got to keep our minds on the fact that God is really in control here, and we, as citizens not of this world, need to pray, trust and believe that God will work out events so that, in the end, all will be according to His plan and for the good of those that trust in Him.
But, while events work toward their conclusion, we should be mindful that the evil forces of the world will use this opportunity to attempt to drag us away from God . . . both our thinking minds and our emotions.
Proverbs 4:23-26 instructs believers to, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”
When Solomon refers to guarding the heart, he means the inner core of a person—the thoughts, feelings, desires, will, and choices that make that person who he or she is. The Bible tells us that our thoughts often dictate who we become (Proverbs 23:7, 27:19). The mind of a man reflects who he really is, not simply his actions or words. That is why God examines the heart of a man, not simply his outward appearance and what he appears to be (1 Samuel 16:7).
There are many ailments of the spiritual heart that can impair growth and development as a believer. Hardening of the spiritual heart can also occur. Hardening of the heart occurs when we are presented with God’s truth, and we refuse to acknowledge or accept it.
Although Egypt was stricken with one calamity after another when the pharaoh refused to release the Israelites from their bondage, he hardened his heart against the truth that God Almighty intended to deliver His people from Egypt (Exodus 7:22, 8:32, 9:34). In Psalm 95:7, King David pleaded with his people not to harden their hearts in rebellion against God as they did in the wilderness. There are many things that can harden the heart and lead a person to deny God and they keep a believer from having a free flow of God’s peace and blessings derived from obedience. Guarding against a rebellious spirit and cultivating a spirit of submissive obedience to God’s Word is an early step in guarding the heart.
Hardening of the heart occurs when believers engage in complaining, gossip, disputes, and contention. Believers are instructed many times to avoid grumbling, murmuring, and complaining (Exodus 16:3; John 6:43; Philippians 2:14). By engaging in these activities, believers shift their focus away from the plans, purposes, and past blessings of God to the things of the world. God sees this as a lack of faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Instead, Christians are instructed to strive for contentment in all things, trusting in God to provide what is needed in His good time (Hebrews 13:5). Guarding against a complaining spirit and cultivating a spirit of gratitude and trust is another step toward guarding the heart.
Anger, giving in to temptation, and pride fight against the spiritual heart. Anger makes believers more vulnerable to the temptation to hurt others with their actions and words. Ephesians 4:31–32 instructs, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Every Christian is locked in a constant, intense war with demonic forces. Many of us become so intent on fighting the external spiritual war that we forget that much of our battle is not with external forces, but with our own mind and thoughts. James 1:14–16 tells us, “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” Sin always begins in the mind. A sinner must first conceive and dwell on the sinful action before he actually carries it out. The first line of defense, therefore, must be to refuse to even contemplate a wrongful action. The apostle Paul tells us to take every thought captive, so that it conforms to the will of God (2 Corinthians 10:3–5).
Proverbs 16:18 tells us that pride leads to destruction. Proverbs 16:5, says, “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.” Pride was the first great sin of Satan, when he thought that he could be like God and incited one third of the angels to attempt a coup in heaven (Ezekiel 28:17). For this reason, Satan was cast from heaven. Satan also tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden by appealing to her ego. He said, “For God knows that when you eat from [the forbidden tree] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Eve desired to be as wise as God, so she capitulated to Satan’s advice to eat of the fruit of the tree. Pride was, therefore, the downfall of man, as well. Satan did not want man to obey God but to become his own god—determining for himself reality, meaning, and ethics. This satanic philosophy is the foundational philosophy of sorcery, secular humanism, and New Age mysticism.
Avoiding anger, pride, and temptation are also critical elements of guarding the heart. The apostle Paul instructs us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). Dwelling on these things will help to guard our hearts.