A Life with a Heart for God

A song written a couple of hundred years ago goes, “Oh, for a heart to praise my God, A heart from sin set free, A heart that feels Thy blood, So freely shed for me.” Oh that we would have such a heart for God. The Lord also said the same many years ago to His people.

Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!

If only our heart would be completely His and that we would fear Him and keep His commandments always. It will be well with us if we do and with our children also. The Lord gave His heart to us when He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. What will it take for us to have a heart that is completely His? He is looking to see if there is anyone who will give their heart to Him completely.

II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.

He will support the one whose heart is completely His. Don’t wait until you are old but give Him your heart today. There is no reason not to other than our sinful self. He is a good Father and we can give Him our heart and He will guard it until that day.

I Kings 11:4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

King David’s heart was completely devoted to the Lord. For this reason his name will live on forever. The Lord chose him to be part of the lineage of Jesus. The Lord established his throne and the Lord said that there was nothing that he would have withheld from David. The Lord loved giving to David because his heart was the Lord’s.

II Samuel 12:8 …and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things…

A heart for God is a heart that withholds nothing from Him and is willing to do whatever He wants. A heart for God has one desire and that is to follow the Lord, to fear Him and to obey Him with all of their heart. A heart for God will seek to know His Word so that they can do it. A heart for God is preparing their heart to see Him and lives for the day that He is coming again, just as a bride prepares and lives for the day that the bridegroom will come for her. A heart for God has an undistracted devotion to the Lord.

Zechariah 7:9-12 “Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts;

The opposite of a heart for God is a heart that is hardened.A heart that is hardened does not call upon Him. A heart that is hardened does not think about His coming again and so is not prepared. A heart that is hardened is characterized by unbelief. They may say that they are a Christian but there is not much in their life to indicate it. A heart that is hardened does not know His word nor seek Him. Just as a hardened heart does not call upon the Lord so it will be that when the hardened heart does call that He will not listen. For all will bow before Him one day and there will be those with a hardened heart that will call but it will be too late.

Joel 2:12,13 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.

Don’t wait until it is too late. If you hear His voice then cry out to Him to give you a heart for Him. Return to Him with all of your heart. Change your heart rather than your clothing the Lord says, and return to Him. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

Joel 2:26,27 “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.
“Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God,
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.

Then you will know that He is Lord.

A Life of Much Joy

Do you want to overflow with joy? Do you want much joy in your life? The joy of the Lord is what gives us strength.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Joy is the medicine that heals our hearts

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Joy is what allows us to enjoy every good thing the Lord has for us. Choose the Lord and His ways and you choose joy. When you choose Him then you will be satisfied in the morning with His lovingkindness and you will sing for joy and be glad all of your days.

Psalm 90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

The Lord wants you to serve Him with joy.

Deuteronomy 28:47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;

The Lord makes us joyful with gladness in His presence.

Psalm 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

This is who the Lord is…He wants you to be filled with much joy. When you learn to live in His presence then your life will be filled with much joy. Don’t try to see how close you can get to the world without sinning but see how close you can get to the Lord.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

You will be blessed as you live a life of joy and walk in His light.

Psalm 89:15,16 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.
In Your name they rejoice all the day,
And by Your righteousness they are exalted.

When we walk in His Spirit then we have joy and just as a child brings their parent joy when they do what is right so we also bring the Lord joy when we are faithful to Him.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

When we serve Him and faithfully do His will then we enter into His joy.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Joy is God’s confirmation that you are in His will. Run with endurance the race that He has set before you. He will fill you with much joy. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Let His joy strengthen you for the journey and stay faithful to the end as our Lord did.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He is coming and His reward is with Him.

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

 

 

A Life of Fearless Trust

Fear can be very paralyzing and a life of fearless trust in the Lord is the most freeing life on earth. He is trustworthy and true but we need to come to the place in our life where we trust Him completely. We will say He loves us but when it comes down to it we will question whether or not He really does love us. He loves us perfectly and wants us to trust Him completely.

Psalm 27:1-3 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

The only way you can trust Him completely is if you know Him more fully. The way to know Him is to spend time with Him and to take Him at His Word.

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.

Once you see His beauty then you will want to see Him more. The more you see Him the more you will believe Him.

Psalm 27:7,8 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”

You only believe what you act on, otherwise it is only head knowledge. The only way that your faith will increase is to spend time in His Word.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

The Lord is faithful to His Word and your faith will increase as you take Him at His Word. Is there something that you need to trust Him for that He has promised in His Word? Pray that promise back to Him. The Lord does not want you to be fearful. He wants you to have a fearless trust in Him.

Psalm 3:3-6 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me round about.

He is a shield to you. He is your glory and He will lift up your head but first you must bow before Him and put your trust in Him. Cry to Him. He will hear you. You can lay down and sleep for He is the One who will sustain you. You don’t have to be afraid of one person or ten thousands of people. He is your trust and you do not need to fear.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

A Life that Hears

The Lord makes it very clear in His Word that there are some things that He wants you to hear and some things He does not want you to hear. Just as a loving parent would not want their child to hear everything so the Lord does not want us to hear everything. We must learn to shut our ears to some things and to open our ears to other things. Over and over in His Word He said that those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Hear what? The Word of the Lord is what they need to hear.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The Lord wants to speak to you. He loves you and wants you to hear His  voice. Just as a loving parent wants to warn their child of the dangers in life so He wants to warn you. Just as a good shepherd knows their own sheep and the sheep knows their own shepherd’s voice so the Lord wants us learn to hear His voice.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.

Ask the Lord to open your ears. Do you need healing from past or present hurts? He can and wants to heal you. He heals through His Words.

Acts 28:26,27 saying, Go to this people and say,
You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes;
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.”’

One of the reasons why we can not hear Him, who is the Truth, is because we are listening to the lies of the world. If you are struggling in your relationship with the Lord or feel as if you are not hearing His voice then shut out the noises of the world. If you have friends who are foolish or ungodly then stay away from them.

Proverbs 14:7 Leave the presence of a fool,
Or you will not discern words of knowledge.

A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. An ungodly person is someone who believes in God but does not fear Him, in other words, they allow sin in their lives and don’t want to give it up. They hate it but not enough to get rid of it. They will say, “I know that I should have my quiet time, but I don’t and I know I should not do _____, but I still do it anyway.” It is enough for them to say they know that it is wrong. They may even used to have a heart for the Lord but they have ceased to be wise and to do good. The ungodly person loves himself more than he loves God.

Psalm 36:1-4 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.

Stop listening to the news for awhile. Stop looking at things on your phone or computer or television or whatever it is that is a distraction or not good for you. Ask the Lord to show you if there is anything that you are looking at or listening to that is not pleasing to Him. Do not listen to bloodshed and do not look upon evil. If there have been violence then the Lord does not want to to look at it or hear about it.

Isaiah 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;

So…do you need to feel His love? Do you need the assurance that He loves you? Do you want to hear your Good Shepherd’s voice and the voice of your heavenly Father? Get rid of what is not holy and good and then ask Him to open up your ears to hear Him. He will restore your soul and bringing healing to your life. One of the reasons why we struggle in our relationship with the Lord and other relationships here on earth is that we need healing from hurts in our past. Let Him heal you.

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

All of us have gone astray. All of us need healing. All of us have been hurt. All of us have been let down by people in our past. Just as you have hurt others and have let others down and will do so again. However, the Lord will heal us and He will never hurt us and He will never disappoint us if only we will hear His voice, listen to His Words and seek Him and put our trust in Him. He is good and He is faithful.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

Return to Him. He will not disappoint you. Even in your doubting He will help you. Just as the man prayed, “Lord, I believe, help me in my unbelief.”

 

 

 

A Life that Is Strong

The Lord says that the one whose strength is in Him is blessed. The only way to be truly strong is to be strong in the Lord. You will be blessed if your strength is not in yourself but in the Lord.

Psalm 84:5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

It is His command that we be strong in the Lord and that it should be in the strength of His might.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

He must be our strength and the sooner that we realize it the more we will quit trying to be strong in ourselves.

Psalm 18:1 “I love You, O Lord, my strength.”

It is in our weakness that His power is perfected. He is glorified in our weakness.

II Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

The Bible says woe to those who put their strength in anything other than the Lord.

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!

How do we become strong in the Lord. It is when we acknowledge our weakness to Him. A prayer that you can pray says, “Lord, I can’t, You never said I could, You can and You always said You would.” The Lord wants to help you. He is a very present help and is waiting for you to ask Him for help. Humility is acknowledging that you can not do it. His grace is available to all who call on Him. Ask Him today to help you do what He wants you to do.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Fulfilled

A life that is fulfilled is a life that is full. It is a life that is overflowing. A life apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit is a life that is empty. It may be full of something else but whatever else it is filled with it will leave an emptiness and a lack of satisfaction. If it is filled with yourself then your life will be miserable. If it is filled with the pursuit of money then it will leave you with the feeling of never enough. If it is filled with wine and other mind numbing substances then it will also leave you with a deeper emptiness after whatever it is wears off. The Lord said to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

The word dissipation means self indulgence or wasteful expenditure. The Lord wants us to be filled with Him and the way that we are filled with Him is to be filled with His Spirit. Any intoxication of anything artificial means is a self indulgence and is a substitute to being filled with the Lord.

Habakkuk 2:5 Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied.

Anything that we look to fulfill us or that controls us is an idol and will blind us to the truth of the One who is the true God.

Psalm 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

All other gods can not speak, see, hear, smell, feel or walk. If we trust in anything other than the Lord then we will become blind and will not see Him and we will become deaf to the things of the Lord and will no longer hear His voice. We will not feel because our heart will become hardened. We will have feet but we will not go where we need to go. We will become like what we trust in.

Joel 2:19 The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied in full with them; And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.

Trust Him to fill you. He wants to supply your needs. He will also satisfy you and you will be full. He will not let you be put to shame. He loves you. Trust Him to fulfill not only your needs but your desires.

Joel 2:26 “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.

The one who is right with the Lord is considered righteous and that one will be glad in the Lord. Your life will be full and meaningful and you will have the glory of the Lord.

Psalm 64:10 The righteous man will be glad in the Lord and will take refuge in Him;
And all the upright in heart will glory.

 

 

 

A Life that is Holy

The Lord has made clear to us His command in that He wants us to be holy.

I Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

As noted this command is only for His children for those who do not belong to Him can not be holy. You can only be holy if you have the Holy One dwelling within you. However, if you are His child, then He expects you to be holy. It is a testimony of your obedience to Him. Is there anything in your life that would be considered unholy? If Jesus returned at any moment would He find you doing something that you would be ashamed of or wearing clothes that were shameful, in other words, clothes that could cause a man to desire you physically? Is your speech holy? What about what you laugh at or the movies you watch or the music you listen to…would Jesus engage in these activities? The Lord is holy and wants His children to be holy. He told His people in the Old and the New testaments that they were to be holy.

Exodus 22:31a You shall be holy men to Me,

The only way that you can be holy is if you regard the Lord as holy. He is to be your fear and He is to be your dread. If He is these things to you then He will become your sanctuary. He will be a refuge for those who regard Him as holy. If you do not regard Him as holy then His Words will become a stumbling block to you.

Isaiah 8:13-15 “It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy.
And He shall be your fear,
And He shall be your dread.
“Then He shall become a sanctuary;
But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,
And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
“Many will stumble over them,
Then they will fall and be broken;
They will even be snared and caught.”

God the Father is holy, Jesus is holy and the Spirit is called the Holy Spirit. Everything about God is holy. He wants you to be holy.

Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

It is our unbelief that causes us to not treat God as holy. It is our unbelief that prevents us from entering and living in the promised land. However, regardless of how we treat the Lord, He still proves Himself to be holy amongst us.

Numbers 20:12,13 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.

For what reason does the Lord want us to be holy and why does He prove Himself to be holy amongst us in the sight of others? It is because he wants the world to know that He is the Lord. When you are not holy then the world can say that God must not be real because “they are no different than us who do not claim to follow God”.

Ezekiel 36:23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.

When we are God’s people and represent Him as a holy people then we will be a soothing aroma to Him.

Ezekiel 20:41 As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.

Therefore, as an obedient child, do not be conformed to this world but present yourself to Him as a living and holy sacrifice, which He has promised to accept.

Romans 12:1,2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Now this is truly grace. For it is by grace that we have been saved through faith and not of ourselves. It is by grace through faith that we offer ourselves to Him. And He accepts us! What an incredible privilege and gift!

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;