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Posts Tagged ‘heart’

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

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Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

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A Sudden Change

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

Read Full Post »

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

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Do yourself a favor and read this Bible passage below both before and after you read this post, then try to keep it in mind as you go through your day.  May God ever show His presence in your life today. 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

2 Corinthians 4:8-12  (NIV)

Have you ever been down? You know what I mean.  You’re here in every sense of being present physically, but your mind and heart are wrapped up in so much other stuff that neither one of them is really into where you stand.  You have things on your mind and bogging you down.  Your heart is heavy with grief or misery, even some other feeling that you just cannot seem to explain.

You are down.  Yet, there is good news still.  You are not defeated.

Paul was trying to share that with the believers at Corinth.  He wrote it so eloquently when he penned the words: We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  This life may become a drag at times, to paraphrase him, but we have more life in the death of Jesus that should be springing forth out of our every move and action that we cannot afford to become consumed with this life.

Yes, we do get down.  We do feel depressed at times.  It’s part of the ups and downs of this life.  We just have to remember that we are not defeated.

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If you want to give, your gift will be accepted.
It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.
– 2 Corinthians 8:12 (NCV)

Usually, back when I was starting out in church, I would always hear the deacon say a prayer for the offering that somehow included the Lord’s love for a “cheerful giver.”  That always seemed to hit home in its own way.  The Lord, as shared by Paul to the believers at Corinth, does indeed love cheerful givers.  Yet, we may miss the mark if we fail to see the principles that Paul shared within the context of his message in 2 Corinthians.

Giving is noble.  The Christian is expected to give to worthy causes and unmet needs.  However, we should not be left feeling guilty when we hear someone else quote Malachi as if we are in the midst of robbing God.  We may have it in hearts to give, but we may not have it in possession to give like we desire.  In essence, Paul clarifies the matter by stating: It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.  That means that you cannot worry about what you do not have to give.  Your concern should be about what you have to give and your willingness to give it.  Jesus shared so when He pointed out the faith of the widow who gave two mites.  It was not the quantity of her gift that was impressive.  It was the depths to which she dug into what she did have in possession that caught Jesus’ attention and caused Him to call attention to her act of willingness.

God wants us willing to give.  We may have big hearts with small budgets.  God can bless us beyond where we are today.  We are not looking for the blessing out of giving since we are already blessed with “true riches” (Luke 16:11).  We have to be willing to give of what we have without seeking to gain what we desire.  We should give with no strings attached.  We should give to God’s glory, not seeking approval or kudos from others.  When we give according to the right principles, God is pleased and we can be assured that our gifts are accepted by Him.

Give with a willing heart.  Give out of what you have.  Give that God may be glorified through your gifts.

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How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear;
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.
John Newton

We are supposed to stay with Jesus.  Truthfully, we are supposed to stick with Jesus.  In fact, we are supposed to abide in Christ as He abides in us.

Does any of this sound familiar?

How do we get so far away from the one who sticks closer than a brother? How do we find ourselves at such distance from our Redeemer?

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. – Isaiah 53:6 (NIV)

Just like our sin, our wandering is not limited to new converts.  Some of us who have been at it for a while can lose our fire.  We can become burnt out and dulled.  We all, at one time or another, have to rekindle our spiritual fire.

  • Go to God in prayer.  Pray for God to show you the error of your ways and a solution to what has you spiritually stagnant.
  • Go to God’s Word.  Read His Word and seek to draw closer to Him.
  • Go to God’s man.  Talk with your pastor.  Share your concern so that he can pray with you and guide you with spiritual wisdom.
  • Go on and get back into ministry.  Start slow.  Don’t commit to too much.  Start and stick with one ministry first.  Let it be something near and dear to you so that you do not lose enthusiasm or excitement.

God can help us get back on track.  We have to submit to Him and His perfect work.  We have to be obedient to His calling on our lives.  He’ll offer us a solution.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:32 (NIV)

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Powered by Prayer

 And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
(Matthew 6:7-8 ESV)

 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
(Luke 5:16 ESV)

 

Jesus described prayer for His disciples.

Jesus participated in an active prayer life.

Jesus prayed.

Jesus expects us to pray.

Jesus also showed His disciples the power of prayer.

 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
(Mark 11:12-14 ESV) 

Consider what happened within Jesus before his words escaped from His lips.  Try to get a mental picture of what He through before you try to guess about what came out of His mouth.

And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:21-25 ESV)

Jesus shared about the power of prayer.  He pointed out the importance of faith, belief and expectations.  He spoke on the power of prayer and how we all can be powered by prayer.

Prayer Resources:

The above resources offer some support for prayer.  Prayerfully and hopefully, these are of some help to you. 

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“A life has value according to how much love it has.”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Where is the love?

It is a common question.  It is the type of question that causes the common Christian to ponder whether he or she has truly loved like Christ.  Then, after considering the question further, it is the type of question that causes one to ask whether the love that was shared spread beyond a comfort zone or a social status.

Bonhoeffer said that the living has value according to the amount of loving that stems from that living.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an entire book that encapsulated a series of his sermons called Strength to Love.  Francis Chan wrote a famous and sensational book on Christianity called Crazy Love. 

Love is a major topic in the realm of Christianity.  The Christian must ask if he or she has really loved like Christ.  When called upon, was the Christian’s answer full of love? Did the Christian act out of love? Did the Christian speak with love in his or her tone? Could someone else sense his or her genuine love? It’s the question of the day.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. – Romans 13:5 (KJV)

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So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.
– Genesis 50:7-9 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Joseph went to bury his father Jacob in Canaan, but he did not go alone.  He did not only have his own household with him.  With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household, according to verse 7 and 8 in the English Standard Version.  He certainly was not alone in his grieving and mourning.  Multiple translations of the Bible call it: “a very great company” (ESV), “a very great gathering” (NKJV) and ” a very large company” (NIV). 
Distribution Of Land At Canaan Antique Print ReligionJoseph went to bury Jacob in the land of Canaan as he had sworn to his father, but he was accompanied by a great number of people connected to his father and those connected directly and indirectly to him.  There were those who were connected to Jacob by blood and “household.” There were those who were connected to Joseph directly like his kinsmen, brothers and his own household most probably did not outnumber those who were connected to Joseph through Pharaoh.
On Death and Dying (Scribner Classics)Death at a FuneralThey went on their way to bury one of the patriarchs of Judaism.  They went to bury an old man who had lived to see his “dead” son alive again.  They went on their way to Canaan to fulfill the promise of a son to his dying father.  They went on the journey to the land of Canaan to help Joseph bury his father. 
Death, Mourning, and Burial: A Cross-Cultural Reader (The Human Lifecycle: Cross-Cultural Readings)A Grief ObservedThe other brothers might have lived in Goshen and herded sheep, but Pharaoh’s people knew Joseph.  They may not have ever heard of Jacob or any of his sons, but they surely knew of Joseph.  Their paths may have never crossed any other Hebrew during those days, but they surely had some direct or indirect encounter on some level with Joseph.  The Egyptians went to Canaan with Joseph for the sake of Joseph, not Jacob or anyone else.

On the Jericho Road: A Memoir of Racial Justice, Social Action and Prophetic Ministry

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