It’s A Matter of Heart and Mind

Scripture: A psalm of David.
Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?  Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart
And has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
Who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.  Psalm 15 NIV

Observation: David tells us through song of God’s desire for what essential thoughts and actions we must try to live by to honor him with our life.  Beth Moore wrote a book called “A Heart Like David.”  In it we discover that sin starts in our mind as a thought.  Once spoken, it is bound for action.

Application: My mind is a sinful place.  I spend a lot of time fighting within myself trying not to let sin affect my actions or what comes out of my mouth.  Jealousy, resentfulness, unforgiveness, spitefulness, and bitterness, saying those words turns my stomach. Yet they are within me, driving me to not think like my loving, compassionate Jesus.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  I make every effort to stop those thoughts by giving them to the Lord but it takes great energy and a lot of prayer.  Ahh…but the reward is so great , PEACE in my heart and there is nothing better.
Prayer: Lord daily, minute by minute, I need your help to control my thoughts.  My mind is a vast waste land of hurt which causes me to have thoughts that don’t honor you.  I surrender my mind and my life to you for I recognize that life without your direction has no lasting peace.  For today take captive the wasted energy and thoughts that prevent me from serving you with all my heart. Amen


In the Morning and Night I Must Seek My Lord!

Scripture: Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps.  He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the Lord for the generations to come.  Do not offer on this altar any other incense or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it.  Exodus 30:7-9 NIV

Observation: The Lord gives us directions for seeking him daily. He tells us we must come before him morning and night offering only what is worthy and without distraction.

Application: I must confess we have been studying in Exodus for the last few weeks in Sunday School.   We have been focusing on how the tabernacle is a model of Christ, salvation, our relationship with him and prayer.  That being said the scripture above tells me:
1.  The Lord wants me to set aside time every morning and every night to seek him through his word and prayer.
2.  The Lord gives this model to me through Aaron who tends the incense each morning and each evening.  The incense is my seeking, reading and prayer, which is fragrant to him.  I see the word “regularly” in the above scripture and I’m so guilty because consistency is not my forte.
3. The Lord wants quality from me.  This must come without distraction or worldly attitude.  I can always clutter my mind with sin and busyness.
4.  This model was written in the second book of the old testament, which tells me the Lord already knew my heart and he knows yours too.
Obviously, this is going to take a lot of grace and patience from the Lord, but all I have to do is ask him and he will provide!

Prayer: Lord, you have convicted me!  How can I serve you if I’m not taking the time to know you and spend time with you?  Clear my mind and heart of thought born of the world and any distraction.  Help me to stay focused on you.  I live for you Lord and my only true hope is found in you. Your loving servant Amen


Acknowledge the Lord

Scripture: “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.  Luke 12:8 NIV

Observation: God wants us to let the world know that we love Him and aren’t afraid to admit it.

Application: The hardest part of being a Christian is living as a Christian. We put off our old self and put on the new–except when we’re with this group or those peolpe. It’s been said that being a Christian is the easiest thing in the world and it’s the hardest thing. All we have to do is acknowledge that Christ is God, He died for our sins, and He rose three days later to reign from heaven–that’s the easy part. Now we have to live like we believe it–that’s the hard part. We have to love others just like He loves us. Love those who hate us and want to love them to Christ. This isn’t easy and we can’t do it alone. God knows that. That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. He is our petitioner, our protector, and our guide. We have but to call on Him through prayer to give us the right attitude to be the Christian that we should be.  When all else fails, call on the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit as our protector and guide. You know that we can’t do Christianity alone. Thank you for providing a way that we can be strong when we are weak. Amen


Be a Blessing to the World

Scripture: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”. Genesis 12:3 NIV

Observation: God’s people are a gift to the world. We are not to be of the world but we are to be a blessing to the world.

Application: I have a responsibility to everyone that I meet to be the face of God to them. Help me to remember to be that face in humbleness.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be the Christian that you expect me to be in this world.  Amen