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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Constant Love

constant love

21 No wonder we are happy in the Lord! For we are trusting him. We trust his holy name. 22 Yes, Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone. Psalm 33:21-22 Living Bible

I have an old Living Bible that belonged to my mother who went on to be with Jesus some 25 years ago. Every time I touch the pages I can’t help but think of her. I think of sitting in church together on Sunday mornings.  I think of her attentiveness to the message.  I think of her care in preparing a fabulous Sunday dinner every week.  I think of the richness and depth of her love.  Unconditional acceptance.

I still miss her. As I read these verses, I truly believe that she was happy in the Lord!  I know that she had the contentment and peace of His constant love.  She shared that contentment and constant love with me. I am so thankful to have had a praying Godly mother!  I know I am here in my walk with God as a direct result of those prayers.

As I sit and meditate on these words in Psalms, I find myself asking God what He and Enoch talked about.  That was such an intimate, loving relationship that God scooped him right up!  First, I got this picture of a pillow.  It’s the difference between a stiff decorative pillow that sits somewhere for people to look at but never touch versus a pillow that gets all smushed just right to comfortably lay your head on at night.  It seems like we are supposed to mold into God like that and He molds into us at the same time.

Then I had the picture of holding hands with God and walking and talking. Delighting in each other’s company. True companionship.  We tell each other what is on each other’s heart.  Listening intently.  Honoring each other’s desires.

Lord, forgive me when I don’t listen to the desires of Your heart.  Thank you for always listening to mine!  I adore You Almighty God.  Thank you for giving me my mom to show me how to love well and unconditionally.  Thank you for my daughter.  Help me to always love her with Your heart.  Show me how to love others with Your heart as well.

Psalm 33

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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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Living Letters

living letters

1”Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 NIV

When I read these words, I think of every minister, preacher, missionary, evangelist – every Christian — to be surrounded by people that walk and talk like Jesus because of their personal imprint on hearts around the globe as an incredible testimony!  Wow.  Think of all the people in the world, on our block, in our sphere.   We have God’s mail we are supposed to deliver! This is why I always ask God to search my heart.  I don’t trust my heart but I always trust His.  His hand in my life can do things that I may not be able to see or touch or ever know about.  It all counts for His kingdom.  If others can simply see Him in me, He will do the rest.

Bless these words from You, Father, and make them a meditation of my heart. I praise Your Mighty Name! I praise Jesus, Your Son, the Name Above All Names! Make me into a living letter from Christ. Make me into Your image.  His image. Continue to write Your words on my heart, Lord. Make me that vessel that Your living water can flow through freely.

2 Corinthians 3

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Watch Over Your Heart

watch over your heart

“Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The Voice

Why do you think God asks us to watch over our heart?  I think it is because it is central to everything we do, say, think and feel.  Everything that comes out of us, originates from our heart.  If we are co-dependent, it’s because of an injury to our heart.  If we are narcissistic, it’s because of an injury to our heart.  If we are angry, violent or hostile, it’s because of an injury to our heart.

If our heart is guarded, really tucked into God for safekeeping, our hearts can operate in a healthy way.  God can heal every injury to our heart.  We still have to do our part and take our hearts to Him. We have to learn His ways in order to walk through life with a protected heart that is equipped to love others and see others the way that God sees them. It is a love that is not of this world.  It is a love that supersedes any love we have ever known.  It is the love of sacrifice and eternity. It is the greatest love story ever told.

Search my heart, Father. Let me place no other thing before You. Guide me. Please keep my heart straight. Holy Spirit, great Comforter and guide, keep me close to You in all matters. Keep my heart. Tend to my heart. Guard my heart.

Proverbs 4:23-26, John 3:16

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