Time marches on toward 2014 with many original posts waiting to be written in the coming year, but for the last couple of days of 2013 I am still thinking about the following questions I posted last year at this time. And today's sermon was on this subject too. What rules my heart? Do I have idols that are ruling my heart or am I loving God supremely? Love God is the first commandment. The following is a re-post from last year.
Is the glory of Christ my heart's desire? ( John Henderson)
A radical question right? Radical living has been popping up everywhere the past few weeks.
Reading my textbook for a biblical counseling course I am taking, in Sunday School, learning what Jesus is saying in the New Testament parables, and in my own thinking as the Holy Spirit convicts my heart to love God with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul, God is asking me if the glory of Christ is my heart's desire.
Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12:29-31 (The Message)
What or whom do I love? and do I love 'it' more than the glory of Christ?
What does the glory of Christ look like today?
Do I desire the obedience of my children even more than the glory of Christ?(John Henderson)
Do I desire safety more than the glory of Christ?
Do I desire a better house, car, clothes, good reputation more than the glory of Christ?
Do I desire _____________________ more than the glory of Christ?
Any desire itself can be good, but if there is a sinful response when I don't get what my heart desires, then the glory of Christ has taken a back seat.
Yep, radical, to put Christ as the center of my life. I say I want God, but do I really?
What is the master of my heart?
What is mastering your heart?
Am I doing everything to the glory of God or my own?
When Christ rules our hearts, contentment and peace will follow. Contentment and peace feed on each other. (John Henderson)
This month I am reading through the book of Luke in anticipation of celebrating the arrival of my Savior. Reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible I wasn't very far into my reading when I came across Mary, who would soon become the mother of Jesus. She ran the gamut of emotions as the angel spoke to her. She was
- a favored woman
- deeply troubled by what she was hearing
- was not to be afraid
- was stunned by the fact she would soon be carrying a child knowing she had never been with a man
What I am most struck by is she did not waste anytime in responding to the angel. In the midst of raging emotions she simply said
I am the Lord's slave. May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:26-38)
Most other versions use the word bond-servant or servant of the Lord.
Every time I read this passage I wonder what God saw in this very young woman to call her favored. And even when she was greatly troubled she didn't take much time in responding to the angel. She wanted to serve the Lord.
Today and the rest of December I am praying
I give up all
my own plans and purposes,
all my own desires and hopes,
accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt,
send me where Thou wilt,
work out Thy whole will in my life
at any cost, now and forever.
--Prayer of Betty Scott Stam copied into my Bible