Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 NIV
A right heart is the foundation for everything else. I can do a lot of things. I can fill my task list with all kinds of “good” things but if I do not do them in love, they are not worthy. Often in prayer I ask God to search my heart because I want to offer it up to Him and I trust Him to keep it right. Sometimes I see an element of fear or comparison or performance and I ask Him to get rid of it. I ask Him to fill my heart with things too. Like discernment and wisdom and love. Sometimes I just ask Him to make it right and then He shows me what’s going on. I’m so thankful. He is the best heart surgeon around! Talk about preventive medicine! I also ask that He fill me with His love. His perfect love heals all. All we have to do is ask Him and He will do it.
“3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.” Hebrews 1:3-4 NIV
The word radiance creates such an incredible image in my mind. There is a brilliance and effervescence to it that warms me from the inside out and makes me smile. It also humbles me. Jesus is the brilliance of God’s glory. And to think that we are created in God’s image. Blows my mind. That is a very scary thing for Satan. Any way that he can keep us from walking in the “radiance of God’s glory” he will do it.
Knowing who we are in Christ, knowing the power and authority that we have over Satan keeps him from robbing us of our radiance. God’s radiance loves everyone. It doesn’t need a label. We don’t need schematics to get it right. All we have to do is live like Jesus. He is our example. Don’t get hung up on theory. Just stay in God’s word and look at the example that He gave us. Spend time getting to know the miraculous God that created us in His magnificent image. We are wonderfully and beautifully made! He says so. Then He sent His Son to die for us to ensure that He could always be with us every step of the way…if we let Him.
Father help me to love others with Your heart. Help me hold firmly to my identity in You. Help me be a radiant reflection of You.
“20 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,21 nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” Luke 17:20-21 AMP
So the kingdom of God is IN us. As I was reading this passage, it reminded me of a passage that is also in The Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come.” I got caught up reading a lot of commentaries. It occurred to me that I needed to simply be quiet and listen to what God had to say about these passages. Here is what I heard: He is waiting for us all to come into a state of obedience and alignment so that we will not continue to lay fragmented and broken as a body. That when we come together, we will no longer be vulnerable to heresy and apostacy. We will no longer be plagued with malice and strife between ourselves. We will be able to stand together, resolute for our King. And then, His Kingdom will have arrived.
Lord, I pray that Your kingdom come and that Your will be done in my heart and the hearts of all Christians. I pray that we come together as one body. Make us strong in that body so that we can stand together and stand strong, united and operating as one body in Christ, a true reflection of You.
“25 So put away your lies and speak the truth to one another because we are all part of one another. 29 Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:25, 29 The Voice
What are good words? According to this scripture, they are words that build others up when they need it most. They communicate grace. We are warned of a time that some will abandon their faith and follow deceiving spirits and demonic teachings. We are to be wise and not accept lies but speak the truth. We are called to reinforce truth in faith and good teachings. We are called to cling to God’s Word for our hope, our strength and salvation. We are called to speak this truth in love and to bind ourselves together not splinter the body of Christ.
Father, I pray that I will be wary of words designed to maliciously tear the body of Christ apart. Please help me be careful to honor You in my words and actions. I pray that I will be a reflection of You, Your Word and Your Holy Son that died on the cross for me. Help me love like You. Help me see with Your eyes how precious each and every person is to You.
“Teach us to number our days so that we may truly live and achieve wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV
Number our days. That could be interpreted as living each day like it is our last. But even then, what does that mean? For me, it means perspective. How do I live my life from the perspective of what it looks like in totality. I have had seasons of selfishness and opportunistic pursuits. As I am getting older, I am starting to consider more thoughtfully and intentionally what I want to do with the days I have left. It does not feel like retirement! I feel more of a sense of urgency in accomplishing things that make a difference. I have a desire to tuck into God more closely so that His wisdom governs how my days are spent to accomplish His desires instead of my own. I have put more selfish things aside as I focus more on Him. It’s invigorating. It’s renewing. It’s just not about me anymore. I am filled with excitement and anticipation of how God will use my days.
Father, I pray that Your will, not mine, will govern my remaining days.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
God’s word describes love in a way that we can act on. It’s different than our culture looks at love. It’s strong and vibrant and selfless. It’s a mighty force to be reckoned with. Yet it is kind and gentle. I have found that it melts even the toughest and thickest walls around a heart. It is calm in a storm. It is peace in conflict. It is non-defensive in times of insecurity. It is confident and bold. I have really had to look at these principles in order to understand how to love in a healthy way. Loving without an expectation or outcome in mind. Not using it as a negotiation tool. It is generous without expecting anything in return. It is not used as a price of favor. For me, the perfect expression of love only exists in God. Everything else is a counterfeit. Counterfeit dilutes the truth. True love died on the cross for our sins, whether we accept it or not. This Love is ours for the taking, anytime anyplace.
Father, thank you for showing me such a selfless, divine, perfect love. Teach me how to love like You do.
“9 And this is my prayer: that your lovemay abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,11 filled with the fruit of righteousnessthat comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 NIV
These words resonated for me:
“your lovemay abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight” This kind of love is strong and wise. It endures for generations and generations.
“able to discern what is best” Not good. Not good enough. The BEST. Wow. A love that gives me the strength and wisdom to choose the BEST.
“may be pure and blameless” I am made pure and blameless through Jesus. He demonstrated His love in giving His life. We demonstrate our Psalm 5 by giving Him ours.
“filled with the fruit of righteousness”By celebrating the gift of Jesus and giving all the credit for this happiness to Him, I become full of righteousness. I have lots of choices. These words inspire me to choose the best!
Father, You are the very best. The One and Only. The One True God. I choose You.