A caveman sitting under a tree writes…
“I’ll take heaven” …by golly
Man, man, magnificent man-
Creates forces that outshine the stars
He can shoot himself up and tap dance on the moon
Or hurl himself clear out to Mars!
He can unleash a force that evaporates steel,
Since he’s learned how an atom behaves.
Yet he has no recourse but to bow to the force,
That summons the dead from their graves.
The poem is from a 1996 B.C. cartoon by Johnny Hart. He died April, 2007. As a committed Christian, he found a way to tell the world what was on the inside of him. He was glad that his Christian themes made people both in the secular and Christian arenas take notice…even to the point of debates which cost him the loss of some papers carrying his comic strip. Mr. Hart’s heart was sold out to Jesus and it showed.
Scripture affirms that what is on the inside is what will become apparent to those on the outside. We can’t help it.
What’s on the inside is the essence of being a Christian. In Joseph’s case it was what kept him from the temptation offered by Potiphar’s wife.
“ But he refused. "With me in charge," he told her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.
No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her." Genesis 39:8-10 (NIV)
He couldn’t deny whose he was.
The high priests didn’t yell from the outside the Holy of Holies to God within. They had to go into that place and they knew if there was anything inside them that offended God the rope that was attached to their ankle would pull their dead body out.
David wrote, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy loving kindness and thy truth from the great congregation.” Psalms 40:8-10 (KJV)
Having Christ within not only helps with temptation but it also allows us greater latitude of peace both for ourselves and what we are able to display to others.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18 (NIV).
That would seem to be a tall order, but with the peace that Jesus Christ has given us it’s more that you can imagine. If you’re still capable of “loosing it” perhaps you need a nap or maybe you need to give that area, that besetting sin, to God to cleanse.
How wonderful to be able to walk through life at peace with the strength that God gives to combat the temptations from the dark side! Having Christ within also helps us when we are traveling at the speed of light.
“We're in no hurry, God. We're content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions. Who you are and what you've done are all we'll ever wan.
Through the night my soul longs for you. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you. When your decisions are on public display, everyone learns how to live right..” Isaiah 26:8-9 (MSG).
Life happens. To take it too seriously makes us grouchy and miserable to be around. Johnny used humor much like Erma Bombeck did. Below is a letter she wrote back in answer to Father Tom Walsh. He asked her if she thought humor is healing.
Dear Father Tom:
I suspect that you have me confused with Norman Cousins. He’s several inches taller, and he laughed his way through illness. He got a best-seller out of his illness. I got three children. Those are the breaks.
…What I have been doing for 16 years in my column is to put my life in perspective, the frustration of raising children, the loneliness, the pain, and the futility of it all. And it works.
Good luck. I miss you at St. Thomas. Was it something I said? Erma
I surmise that when the Jesus Christ finds residence within our hearts we would be wise to listen to a little girl who was to have heart surgery. The Dr. asked her if she was afraid.
The doctor explained what he thought he would find when he looked into her heart. She corrected the doctor.
“When you look in my heart you will find Jesus.”
“And they said one to another; did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:32 (KJV).
What is inside the Christian defends, gives peace and lightens the load. Living for Christ gives you heartburn. The best way to cure it - share what lies within you with everyone through whatever talents or means God has given you.