“What are you looking at?” isn’t just a question for when you’re staring out the window. It’s a good question to ask yourself from time to time. It’s important because what you’re looking at and seeking for is a huge indicator about your heart.Continue reading “What Are You Seeking?”
Category: Christian growth
How Do We Have a Hot Heart for God?
I am going through one of my favorite books…again. A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George. When I was a young mom, I began reading this book every other year because I found it so helpful for growth in every area of my life!
Now I have the blessing of going through it with a woman who is in the same stage of life as when I began studying these truths that Elizabeth carefully penned. These principles are life-changing. For that reason, I thought it would be helpful for me to share highlights from the chapters as I review them. I won’t give all the details, but will share the important truths from each chapter. I pray that you’ll find them as helpful as I have over these years.
Discipline – nothing great happens without it, and that includes spiritual growth. We don’t grow by our grit, but by the steady commitment to being a woman who stays in God’s Word. It cannot be a casual approach that studies when we have time, or only when there is a crisis. But how do we have the discipline to be a woman after God’s heart?
We must choose God at every opportunity.
In Luke 10 we read the beloved story of Jesus visiting Mary and Martha. Mary chose to stop all activity and listen to the Lord. She ceased all other activity so she could do just that.
Perhaps we need to ask –
- What activity in my life is keeping me moving, anxious and unable to listen to the voice of the Lord in His Word?
- How do I find myself “interrupting Him” as Martha did?
It’s hard to hear and heed God’s Word without the discipline to sit still and listen. We must make the choice to choose the one thing that is needed. Then after we’ve given it to the Lord, He takes over. He does the Psalm 32:8 thing ~
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
Each day, commit yourself afresh and anew to the Lord. Give Him your time, your possessions and your home – even if they are few, yourself – even as weak as you are, and ESPECIALLY because of your weakness!! Give him your husband and each child. Name each one. If you are not praying for your husband, who is? If you are not praying for your child, who will?
Andrew Murray said, God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.
Elizabeth says to “cultivate a hot heart for God.” Cultivate is to “Foster the growth of,” “To improve by labor.”To have a hot heart for God is to go against the culture of this world where we are only encouraged to “have it your way!” But we have to do the work necessary to have that heart that is burning for Christ!
I’m always intrigued to read obituaries in the paper. When I see that a Christian has died, I always wonder how they are described by their family. “She loved the beach” “She loved to bake cakes for others.” “She was the best grandmother.” I pray I can be remembered as a woman who had a hot heart for the Lord!
How do you want to be remembered? If it’s your desire to be a woman who follows God and has a heart for Him, then you must make a daily decision to choose God’s ways, make a commitment of yourself to the Lord daily, and then a cultivate a heart of spiritual fervency.
What you’re doing with your life today is contributing to how you will be remembered. Make today count.
Hang Onto Every Word
Enraptured. Listening to every word spoken from His lips.
That’s the way the crowd at the temple listened to Jesus speak. He had just cleared out the money changers. They were the ones who had turned the temple of prayer into a place where robbers lurked. The Scribes and Pharisees hated him and only desired to kill Him, and what do we find Jesus doing? Teaching there in that temple. He spoke with such authority in simple words they could understand with Truth they had never heard before.
Luke 19:48 says…
All the people were very attentive to hear him.
In the Greek it says that they were “hanging on to His lips.” We have a saying that is similar. We would say, “they were hanging onto every word.”
What a contrast His words were to the formal, boring, dry, powerless and over-their-heads teaching from the scribes! Jesus’ words were life-giving and life-changing!
They still are.
Is your ear bent down close to your Bible so you can hear Him speak to you each day? Oh that we would say with the psalmist in Psalm 119 ~
I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
When you get in your car and “tune in” to a radio station, you can only listen to one station at a time. When you open your Bible to read, or when you are sitting in church listening to God’s Word being taught, are you “tuned in” to only one station – that of hearing from God? Or are you trying to tune in to several stations at one time – your text messages, your email alerts, your Facebook notifications or other distractions?
Oh that we would love God’s Words so much that we would “hang on to every word” so we won’t miss a single thing He wants to say to us!
Refresh the way you listen to the Word today. Stay tuned in to only One voice. What precious words did He speak to you today?
BEST Bible Journaling
Recently when I was using a feature on my iPhone, the person with me said, “There are probably so many features on my phone that I don’t even know to use! This is what they had just heard me say ~
Siri, add ketchup and baking soda to my shopping list.
Alright, it’s added!
It’s so helpful to just speak and add a note to my ongoing shopping list! I need that list when I get to the store because I’ll remember things like milk or chicken, but forget things like ketchup and baking soda!
There’s another “list” that I make as I go through my week that is even more helpful, and that’s what God is teaching me each morning as I read His Word. I keep this list, for the most part, in my journal. It’s written with pen and ink. Why do I do this? It’s truly all glory to the Lord as an answer to a prayer that I asked Him for. It came from this passage ~
Jeremiah 15:16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
I realized at one point in my life that God’s Word needed to be a higher priority, that I needed to love it more. It was then that I began to ask the Lord to give me a greater desire for it. God will answer a prayer like that, and I’m so thankful! It’s been a blessed journey!
Are you realizing like I did that you need greater doses of God’s Word? How can you know? Well, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I anxious and worried?
- Do I lack peace?
- Am I struggling to think right?
- Do I need direction and don’t know where to turn?
- Am I lacking spiritual growth?
- Am I struggling with sin?
- Do I know more today about Who God is and His ways than I did last month?
The answer for all of these needs is found in God’s Word. Then when we get God’s answers, it’s so important that we do something with those answers…and that includes putting it into a journal – that ongoing “list” so we won’t forget!
Last week I posted about the importance of writing down what God says to us in our Quiet Time with Him. Today let’s talk about some ways to make it easy and fun to write what God is teaching you. There are lots of ideas out there, but this is what works BEST for me. (Note the acronym that will help you remember the tips)
- Best method – Use the method that works for you. You could use a paper journal, but if you hate to write, then type it up on your lap top on a Google Document. Or as in my opening illustration, you could even speak your note into your phone. “Hey Siri, make a note in my Bible notes.” What do you want to add? “Joseph is a reflection of Christ.” Typically iPhone notes are tricky because of misunderstanding your words, but my point is, look for the option that works best for you.
- Equipment – Use good tools that will help you. I keep this little pouch filled with colored pens, highlighters, a straight edge for underlining, and a pencil. I buy the tiniest tip of a marker that will not transfer through pages. I also like buying colored ink and a pretty journal to make it more interesting.
- Simplify – Keep your writing simple. I like to make bulleted points most of the time, rather than writing lengthy paragraphs.
- Together – Keep everything in a basket, bin or tote so you can pull it together quickly in the morning. Having to go look for your highlighter or your notebook will only serve to frustrate you instead of encourage you.
Take your time as you read; be still before the Lord. It’s not the amount of things you’ve written down, but what you’re learning that is the most important. As you faithfully listen and the note what you’ve learned, you will look in time to come and see that you have grown deeper in your walk with the Lord. You have God’s Word on that!
I Peter 2:2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
Did this post encourage you to begin journaling or to pick it up again? I pray so! Let’s keep growing until the day we go home to heaven!
(Don’t) Follow Your Heart!
As our world continues its restrictions and we all find our daily life in a new routine, I wonder if you’re feeling a bit lost? I’ve been getting up and asking,
“What should I do today? How should I spend my time?”
My flesh (my heart) tells me one thing, the Spirit of God another. Sadly, I haven’t always listened and obeyed God’s voice. Why? The pull of the flesh is strong! My heart wants me to be lazy, comfortable, at ease, and not pushed into hard things!
It’s so easy to believe that ~
- I deserve a little extra sleep!
- I’m too busy to stop and pray.
- It doesn’t matter if I don’t get to _____ or ______. No one is going to see it but my family!
- I’m too exhausted to even think about working on a Bible study.
- I never was good at memorizing things; forget trying to memorize Scripture!