Tag Archives: heart change

Jonah 1-4; Matthew 11

Sometimes I think God sends us into the yucky places on purpose. He told Jonah to go to Ninevah–a city with a sinful reputation. He told John the Baptist to go out into the wilderness to make a way for the Messiah. Jesus hung out with sinners. All of these men had a message of repentance: turn away from sin.

Jonah didn’t want to go, didn’t want to do it; and when he did go and do, he had a bad attitude about it.

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”

The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?” Jonah 4:1-4, NLT.

John went and preached passionately and people thought he was crazy.

18 For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ Matthew 11:18, NLT.

Jesus met people wherever they were in life, and he was pronounced guilty by association.

19 The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results. Matthew 11:19, NLT.

Maybe, like in Jonah’s case, the journey has a two-fold purpose: to accomplish a job for God in the world and inside of us. Ninevah received Jonah’s message: mission accomplished! But instead of rejoicing, Jonah was mad and God dealt with him and his heart issue.

I can’t choose how people will think of me, but I can choose how I respond to a situation. Whether the lesson is for me or for someone else, all I know is there’s no place I’d rather be than where God wants me.

Father God, help me to have a better attitude when I find myself in yucky situations. Thank you for meeting me where I am–loving me so much not to leave me in my sin, but to meet me where I am and help me through it.

Courtney (66books365)

These few chapters speak of so many other issues: leadership, obedience, transformation, perseverance, God’s sovereignty, mercy and love. What did you notice when you read them?

 

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1 Samuel 9-10; Acts 8

Maybe it’s a reading about two Sauls. Old Testament Saul was looking for lost donkeys. Instead, he finds a seer who singles him out as the man who will lead. That Saul didn’t expect it.

21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?” 1 Samuel 9:21, NLT.

New Testament Saul was on a mission to destroy.

But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. Acts 8:3, NLT.

Both Sauls will eventually lead, and it’s in these beginnings where the glimpse is caught about who they were before God changes everything. These men weren’t even looking for change–one was looking for donkeys, another was looking to punish.

Maybe it’s a reading about changed hearts.

“When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. 1 Samuel 10:5-6, NLT.

As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. 1 Samuel 10:9, NLT.

26 When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 1 Samuel 10:26, NLT.

But it’s definitely a testament of God’s power.

But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. Acts 8:4, NLT.

12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. Acts 8:12, NLT.

Unexpected places; least expected people; in the midst of persecution, scattering, and feeling that everything is falling apart–God is there.

Lord, sometimes I give up on people–for changes that are unreliable, hearts that are hard as rocks, people on paths heading away from you. If it was only in their power, or my power, we are lost. But your power is the kind that changes everything. Help me to always look for you, because you’re there.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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2 Kings 22, Hebrews 4, Joel 1, Psalms 140, 141

ACCESS- A means of approaching or entering a place.  To obtain, examine and retrieve.

I count 11 bibles on the bookshelf next to me, 7 of which are covered in dust. In my head I count many problems I have been struggling to resolve.  How do I let go of harbored bitterness?, Why are those close to me battling sicknesses beyond their control?, How do I present myself a godly role model for my children without inconsistencies?, Why do I brush important matters under a rug believing they will disappear?, How do I justify not completing a project due to procrastination addiction?

This past weekend I attended a Chris Tomlin concert where hundreds of people were gathered to worship.  As I began singing I suddenly was overcome with frustration that I had not brought my camera in and was missing out on amazing photographs.  My selfishness in “needing” to capture and impress others began to interfere with my own personal worship.  I turned to a friend in the midst of her worship and asked for her to have the people next to her take a photo of us.  She kindly looked at me and said, “all of these people are in a heart of worship right now, we should not interfere for a desire to be in a picture, we need to be worshiping and not becoming a distraction to those around us.”  I stood there crying, not from being filled with the spirit, but from my selfish anger and although I knew what she said was true, I battled accepting it.

In 2 Kings 22 a scroll was brought before King Josiah stating that their ancestors had not been abiding by the words written within.  Instantly the king tore his clothing and wept before God as a sign of remorse and repentance.  A realization of disobedience caused immediate change within his heart and kingdom.

I have complete access to God’s word, answers  and peace directly at my fingertips, yet continuing to choose to neglect necessary attitude changes I will lose out on complete harmony and fellowship of being in true alignment with His will.  I also deprive others of joyful godly insights and become a stumbling block instead of a stepping stone!

Psalms 141:4-5 “Don’t let me lust for evil things; don’t let me participate in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do evil. Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! IF THEY REPROVE ME, IT IS SOOTHING MEDICINE. DON’T LET ME REFUSE IT.”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.”

Father, help me align my heart, thoughts and actions to your word and not my own. Give me an openness to receive godly criticism and instruction as you use others in my life to speak to me. Break down my walls of selfishness and disobedience and replace it with a restored heart of worship and desire to gain full access TO YOU, THROUGH YOU.  Give me strength to not just ask for change but to make those changes and follow through on them.  Thank you for your kindness, love, mercy and rest. Amen

Live 2Love4Him4Ever

~Erica

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