Tag: dieting

Blood Tests and Heart Checks

2014-02-24 13.39.25

This morning I had some blood work done in preparation for my physical on Friday. I will sweat it out all week worrying about my cholesterol number!

Why do I fear that number? Could it be my family’s history of heart disease? Or that my dad had his first heart procedure at my age? Or that his cousin died from a heart attack at my age?

I walk. I work out. I watch what I eat (most of the time). I play hard with the grandsons. But my cholesterol numbers remain on the high side, they always have, and I just don’t want to start taking medication for it. Denial? Maybe. Self-deception? Maybe. Not wanting to admit I’m getting older? Maybe.

It doesn’t help that February is American Heart Month. I’d prefer to concentrate on Valentine’s during February, but for some reason, my annual physical has morphed its way into February. And, so on Friday, I’ll get the report. I will find out what is lurking in my blood.

What if we had a blood test that not only revealed the dangers that are coursing through our veins, but the ugliness that is hiding in our hearts? What if instead of triglycerides and glucose we could measure envy and anger? What if we could see the hate, deception, and hypocrisy?

I like to think my heart is not hiding anything from me, but I do know that my heart can deceive me!

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? – Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

We know most of what is in our hearts. We know the secret thoughts, the schemes, the distrust and the sins we cherish. We know how quickly we lose our temper. We know how the desire for revenge stirs us. We know how good we feel when someone we don’t like fails. We know how well we hide sin.

And, God knows our hearts. There is no secret hidden from God. If we really wanted to know what’s hiding, we don’t need a test, we only need to ask God to show us.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you…” – Psalm 139:23-24 NLT

If you ask, God will show you.  You won’t need to sit down and go over the results; God will show you by what you say and do.

“What you say flows from what is in your heart” – Luke 6:45 NLT

“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23NIV

My blood will be tested this week and I will know what action I need to take to stay, or get, healthy. The first action we must take to have a spiritually healthy heart is to first recognize that it is not healthy apart from God’s healing intervention.

Has God healed your heart? Has he shown you the sin that is killing you? Will you ask him to show you the state of your heart,  and will you confess the sin that is hiding there,  and ask God to heal and cleanse you?

“Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I [Jesus] have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17NLT

Are You Hungry?

2013 Christmas

Do you have photos from Christmas that are similar to these? Oh, how yummy all that food was two weeks ago! But, now it’s January, and just about everyone I know is dieting, myself included!

You can relax, this is not about dieting — I wouldn’t touch that topic with a 10-foot chocolate-covered pretzel rod.  But it is about food… and promises.

I will suggest, though, that food issues are not new to humanity. Remember Adam and Eve? Talk about a food issue! Just one bite and we’re still working that one off.

And, then there’s Esau who, in Genesis 25:27-34, bought a bowl of soup in exchange for his birthright. Esau looked at his immediate circumstances and decided a bowl of soup was more valuable than God’s promises. Because Esau’s focus was on his immediate hunger, he didn’t see any value in God’s Word. For Esau, inheriting the promises was like inheriting the wind.

It’s interesting that God created humans to need food. I wonder if God intended for us to experience physical hunger so that we might understand spiritual hunger and recognize our need for spiritual food.

Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 – NIV

Have you ever experienced such a strong desire for righteousness? I think most of us have because we have no righteousness of our own. That bowl is empty. We can try with every ounce of our being to “be good”, but we know we can’t be “good enough” to fill the empty bowl within us.  We know there’s always more that we could and should be doing.

In our heart of hearts, we know we can’t ever measure up to God’s standard of perfection. We know that we are far from perfect and we can’t get right with God. On our own, we are doomed; starving and parched for a righteousness that is beyond our reach.

But what about the promise that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be filled?

Jesus says: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:35 NLT

“Coming to Jesus” means admitting that you are empty, that you can’t satisfy God’s demand for holiness and that only Jesus can. Jesus is the Food that satisfies our deepest craving: our spiritual hunger and thirst for righteousness.

This is a promise God has given us, just like the promises He gave to Abraham that were handed down to Esau. Like Esau, we have a choice, do we believe God or not?

Are there promises of God that you undervalue, and fail to claim as your own, because your focus is on the physical things you hunger for today? Nothing can satisfy the desire to be right with God except Christ’s righteousness. Only the God who gave you the desire can provide the Bread of Life that will satisfy it.