…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
A lot of what God has been showing me during our prayer/fast has been about the heart. There has been nothing new from God – simply a reaffirming word that our hearts need to be pure and set on Jesus. All too often – I feel – we speak one thing with our words and walk something different with our hearts and actions – even in the church. We do not always represent Jesus well – now do we?
There are hurting people in this world folks. A woman came to the office Wednesday afternoon. She had a sad story and I sat and listened. She had previously been removed from the women’s shelter for her behavior. Even when trying to help – there are limits to what we – the untrained – can do. She is definitely a hurting person and I tried to sympathize with her plight and condition. It wasn’t easy for me – a pastor – with what I knew about her – to completely be in the moment!
I found myself battling my heart during the conversation. I knew of the previous removal from the shelter and I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and listen intently. Her story made little sense to me – yet I tried to stay in the moment and listen. It wasn’t easy. Continue reading
1 Samuel 16:7c
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
How’s your prayer/fast going? I’ve gotten some private messages – but would love to see some comments in the comment section. What is God revealing to you?
Today’s passage is found in the midst of God’s rejection of Saul as King. He was the people’s favorite because of his stature and his skill in battle. But as Samuel and God discuss this subject – Samuel saw another that seemed to fit his view of what a king should look like in Eliab – an older brother of David. David – of course – at his tender age – didn’t look anything like a king – but God knew his heart. In the midst of this we read these verses: 1 Samuel 16:6-7 – 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Continue reading
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Day 9 is upon us dear readers – the time is flying by. During our prayer/fast we have written and discussed presenting ourselves to God and making ourselves a sacrifice for Jesus. We have asked questions – like what are we willing to do to please God? What are we willing to sacrifice for God?
Today’s passage in the 21-Day Fast devotional reading plan can be found here. The reading is the 12th chapter of Romans – which starts with the two verses above. These are two of my favorite verses in the Bible (the list is long but these are on it). They speak about offering God ourselves – our bodies – and even our souls! All that we have and all that we are – for sure. Are we willing to give God our all?
Share some of your thoughts in the comments section – bless others with your questions or responses and see what God will do with us. Seek His face and desire His grace and offer your all to Jesus!
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
OK – this fasting stuff is starting to get on my nerves. Not the spending more time with Jesus part (loving that part) – but the fasting from stuff part. The first week I fasted from snacks and candies. As the week progressed I slipped once with some potato chips at a church luncheon (put them on my plate without even thinking about it – ugh). The second week I added fast foods to my list while trying to continue with the snacks and candies fast. At another church dinner (do you see a pattern here) I had a dessert and someone said something to me. I mean – desserts are not snacks or candies right – but they thought I said I was fasting from sweets (which I did not say). When you broadcast your fast there are eyes everywhere!! Continue reading