The Desires of My Heart

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4 KJV

Often, I have taken this to simply mean that, if I make God my greatest desire, then He will give me anything else that I want. While this may be partly true, it misses the beauty which another translation reveals when it says, “Let your happiness be in the Lord”. In other words, when, the Lord is our greatest delight and happiness, then He makes a way for us to find Him!

Picture a young couple in love. One evening at a fancy restaurant, the man puts his plan into motion. After enjoying a delicious dinner and once the waiter has cleared the table, he falls to his knees, pulls a diamond ring from his pocket, and with tears streaming down his face he publicly proposes to the love of his life. At that moment, he has made her, his greatest delight. Now, hopefully, the lovely young lady responds with a joyful yes, and seeing that touching moment and the other diners erupt into applause. Yet our young friend has not yet reached his goal. Instead, plans are set in motion, invitations must be sent, a hall rented, and a date agreed upon by their parents, pastor and families. By faith, both of these people in our story are incredibly happy as they anticipate their wedding, But, when that day arrives, they will say their vows, exchange rings, kiss and walk out of the church for the first time as husband and wife.

Their joy is just a tiny picture of all that God has in store for us. For of course, Jesus is the groom in our story. He has publicly displayed His love, not at a 5-star restaurant, but on the cross. He has fallen to His knees, washed our feet and pledged all He is and all He has to us for all eternity. If we will say yes, then plans will be put into motion, guests invited, and a date set on which will be joined together forever. In our daily lives, we have a joy, because we trust that He is a good and loving God. He is our most valuable treasure and the ultimate love of our lives. Even better than this, we eagerly look forward to when all we have longed for will come to pass. Vows will be fulfilled, and a celebration like no other will happen on that day at His side when He will fully grant us the desires of our hearts!

Footsteps of Faith

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:2 KJV

Take one step on the road where our Savior leads
Take hold of that hand that can set you free
Follow His voice and choose to believe
These are faith’s footsteps to Calvary

With each step as we follow our Master’s feet
While close by His side we choose to keep 
On faith’s path to a place where God’s grace we meet
There He’ll open our eyes and His face we’ll see!

Footsteps of Faith by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2022
All rights reserved

Did He Really Say That?!

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Luke 12:4-5 ESV

Today’s verse introduces a summer feature which I will call “Did Jesus Really Say That?!”. “But why Pastor Pete?” some of you will probably ask. “Why bring up those kinds of verses? Why not focus on the sweet and positive things that Jesus said?” Well, I guess the first answer is, “Jesus is way smarter than you or I.” If He tells us something, then in spite of how it sounds, He still has something good in mind. Take today’s verse, for instance. Jesus starts out by telling me not to be afraid of those who want to kill me. Now, in general, this does not calm my heart. Instead, I begin glancing over my shoulder, wondering who is planning what to do me in. But if we would scratch a little deeper beneath the surface, we would see that Jesus is teaching us to swim in a spiritual sense. Of course, it feels like He just tossed me into the deep end of the pool and said, “Go for it!”. But in reality, He is bringing a warning to our attention that far outweighs anything that an enemy could do to us. The life that Jesus wants us to focus on is beyond the horizon of this world. If He were to fail to tell us about God’s judgement, as to how we have lived our lives, He wouldn’t be doing us any favors.

Lately there has been a lot written about how the Chinese Communist Party is learning all our private information, in preparation for some future day. On my part I am not so sure that all the data which Google, Facebook and the American Government has on us is a whole lot better! But instead of worrying about what people would do to us, Jesus is telling us to chill. Don’t worry. Stop fussing about what other people can do. If you think the Tik-Tok folks know a lot, imagine God, who counts every hair on our head and knows every word, before we speak it.

"Bless those who curse you, think what they would say if they knew the truth." Mother Teresa

And yet, our God who knows everything about us, cared enough to send Jesus into our world to save us. Yes, there are difficult things He would have to say to us, just as when a mother screams at her child to get out of the road when she sees a car bearing down on us from behind. Jesus wants us to be aware, awake and focusing our fear where it will do us good. Only then are we ready for what He has to say next!

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.  Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. 
Luke 12:6-7 ES