Our Heart: The Compass*

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 NIV

The most critical aspect of our spiritual life is our heart. I believe our heart is like a compass. A compass identifies where you are headed directionally. It establishes:
(1) where you are
(2) where you are in relationship to where you want to go
(3) how you get pointed in the right direction

Our hearts determine our direction spiritually in much the same way. If we cannot keep our hearts pointed to True North, we will be off in where we are heading. True North is God, our Heavenly Father. If our hearts are not aligned with Him, our maps will be distorted, wobbly, and stilted. By aligned, I mean understanding the magnificence of Our Father’s Love. It means we understand and identify with our identity in Christ. So, if you have not done that, I encourage you. Ask Him into your heart and you will find healing and restoration. It is the first step in establishing relationship with the Greatest Love you can ever know.

Father, guide my heart. Help me to always look to You first, my True North, before setting course for any destination. Thank you for your Great Love and the perfect design of my heart, mind, and spirit in Your image!

Acts 2:21, 38; John 1:12, Romans 8:21, Philippians 2:15 NIV

* excerpt of Spiritual Life Map: Finding the Compass

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House of Living Stones

House of living stones

“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2: 5 NIV

We are being built into a spiritual house.  Jesus was the first living stone and the cornerstone of the house we are building. So what are the spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer? Our bodies, souls, affections, prayers, praises, tithes and offerings and service. All with a joyful heart!

God is not asking anything of us that His Son was not willing to give Himself.  It humbles me to think of the heart of Jesus.  Such a beautiful and perfect example for us to follow.

There are times that I get all wound up in a frenzy of busyness.  When I begin to rush and push and force things, it’s a good indicator that I need to pause.  I need to check in with the Holy Spirit to see if I’m on track or not.  Most often there is a more efficient and elegant solution than my own.

The beautiful thing about being a living stone is that we have a constant spiritual guide present, the Holy Spirit.  He can get me back in alignment.  Get me back in the headset of listening for direction and offering every moment up in surrender to a better way.  Surrender.  Obedience. Sacrifice.

Lord, thank you for Your perpetual living water that washes over me and flows through me. Thank you for Your constant love.

1 Peter 2:1-10

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Accepting Wise Counsel

accepting wise counsel

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20 NIV

I have found that doubt and unbelief contribute to me being slow to act in obedience to God’s Word. It keeps me from moving forward. The more often doubt and unbelief weigh into my decisions, the more delays keep me from receiving my heart’s desires. It can be a vicious circle.  The more delays, the more doubt and unbelief. It may start as a little thing.  It can continue to grow and rob me of more and more of what God has for me. Sometimes others see it before I do.  Their wisdom and counsel are a breath of fresh air. They give me new perspective to take back to the Lord in prayer.

Father, I repent. Help me be sure-footed and know that You are always with me.  I am never alone! Keep me firmly rooted in Your Word as a discipline to my heart.  Give me faith to move forward and believe for the best! Keep my heart humble and accepting of wise counsel.

Proverbs 2:1-9, 8:34-35

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Vision For The Future

vision for the future

39” And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40 NASB

All these: Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, walls of Jericho, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets.  All these had a testimony of faith and did not see God’s promise fulfilled in their lifetime. They saw the promise was for the future and embraced that. They recognized a heavenly, kingdom minded purpose that God had ordained for them. So I have to ask myself, am I willing?

Am I willing to look at what God needs for His kingdom and not look at any immediate manifestation in my lifetime?  Do I have that kind of faith? Are there others that will come after me that need to be served by my heart for God’s purposes? Am I willing to even ask that question of God?

That’s a tough question.  But the tougher question is: What if I’m not willing? As I look at the young men and women in my Sunday School class, the classrooms of students in guest teaching opportunities, connections through work, online communities and blogs, speaking engagements, etc. What happens if I am selfish? What about God’s purpose?  How does it affect thousands of others I don’t know and may never know?

Lord, I pray that Your purpose will always come first in my life.  I pray that I keep my eyes set on a heavenly horizon. Thank you for always giving me Your best.  Thank you for Your grace and mercy and love.  Thank you for Your faithfulness to every need, both today and generations to come.

Hebrews 11

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Do Not Offend

do not offend

32” Do not offend Jews or Greeks or any part of the church of God for that matter. 33 Consider my example: I strive to please all people in all my actions and words—but don’t think I am in this for myself—their rescued souls are the only profit.” 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 The Voice

I cringed a little when I read “do not offend anyone.” That sounds impossible!  Some other versions read “do not give offense” or “do not cause others to stumble.” At first this really felt burdensome.  This goes for both outside the church as well as inside the church.

Then as I read on to verse 33, I saw clarification.  I realized I was looking at this through a people pleasing lens.  It is impossible to please people all the time.  If I look at it through the lens of God’s Word, I just have to stay true to that.  Now that’s not always easy either!  However, it is only possible to begin stepping in that direction if I let go of people pleasing.  I have to use the ways of Jesus as the filter for my actions, not other people.

I have to look at people through the eyes of Jesus to see what they need.  I have to look past behavior, choices, and circumstance. I have to simply look at a person’s heart.  That is what Jesus did best.  He looked at a person’s heart, diagnosed what they needed and met that need of their heart.  Without fail, that was found pleasing to all who would receive Him. That is what it is always about: rescuing and transforming lives.

Father, help me to keep my kingdom glasses on as I look at people. Let me see everyone through Your eyes.

I Corinthians 10:13, 23-24, Philippians 1:10, 3:17

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