Tag Archive | heart

God’s Great Name

“‘My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations.’ says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 1:11

Autumnal Park. Autumn Trees and Leaves. Fall

© DepositPhotos/subbotina

The name of the Lord will be great among the nations.

Isn’t that what all Christians want, for the name of the Lord Jesus to be great throughout the entire world?

Sadly, I think too often we want His name to be great so other people will act the way we want them to act. They will live godly, holy lives and create laws that require everyone to honor God and His laws. It would be so much easier to be patient, joyful, kind… And self-control would come so much more naturally because we wouldn’t feel the need to control others all of the time.

Wouldn’t that make your life, my life so much easier?

But then, sometimes, I wonder if the name of the Lord is truly great in my own heart?

In my world, my little sliver of this earth, is the name of the Lord great from the beginning of my day until the end? Do I offer up praise and thanksgiving, prayers and petitions calling on His great name with a pure heart? Do I have pure motives and a willingness to do His will? Do I live a godly, holy life that brings Him honor and glory?

Lord, if it’s not, if there is anything in me that makes you and your name out to be less than the great and good God that you are, help me. Do a work in me that I cannot fight, hide or deny. Move me, compel me, break and remake me as you see fit. I want to know you, Lord, more than anything else. I want your name to be great in my life, in my heart, Lord, God Almighty.

Something to Consider…

In what ways do you know you acknowledge the name of the Lord as great?

In what areas of your life do you try to keep Him small or hidden?

What do you need to view differently about Him or yourself in order for His name to great in every aspect of your life?

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Peace Like a River

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.'” Isaiah 48:17-18

Ebro River passing trhough Miravet, Spain

© DepositPhotos/ nito103

I know many people who want peace, more peace, deeper peace. And yet, they go about life doing the same things they always have. They react and respond the same as every other day. They point the finger, play the blame game, and justify their actions. All the while their insides are turning upside down, tossed like waves of the sea.

They say, “God, give me peace!”

The truth is they don’t really need more peace. They need to learn to grow and mature in the peace they already have. And so do I.

We can choose to operate in agreement with the Spirit of God living inside of us or we can do things our own way. As I was writing in my journal this morning I prayed that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

God can make that happen all on His own. He doesn’t need anyone to do it for Him or help Him in order for it to happen. But, one way it happens is through His people. He uses His people to show the world His will by living His way according to His Spirit in us.

So, if I want God’s will done on earth then I need to be in alignment with His Spirit. And this doesn’t just mean in agreement with my thoughts. It can be really easy to simply say, “Yes, God, change this world. I want your will to be displayed in this world and I want those who don’t know you to start acting like they do.” Because often, this is really what we want. We want everyone else to start acting the way we think they should according to how we understand God and then we will experience true peace.

It’s really easy to quarterback from the cheap seats and tell others what they should be doing. But peace doesn’t come through the actions of others; peace comes through our own actions. If I’m going to be in alignment with God, then not only my thoughts, but my own actions and words need to be in alignment with God as well.

Peace comes from obedience, personal obedience. Peace doesn’t come when we are satisfied that others are being obedient. Peace comes from us seeking God, His kingdom and righteousness, and willingly doing what His Spirit prompts us to do.

God warned Cain that He had the option to do what was right in his relationship with God or he would end up doing what was wrong in his relationship with his brother, Abel. We are no different.

Our ability to pay close attention to God, to listen to God first doing what He says, will go along way in our ability to love others and have peace in this world. And when we do, God will restore us. He will refresh us with living water. Our own well-being will no longer be subjected to the external circumstances around us, but will be secure and steadfast in the power and sovereignty of our Redeemer and our Lord.

Something to Consider…

What is your definition of peace? Where does yours come from? Nothing in this world will satisfy completely. Everyone will fall short and everything will fade, decay or perish at some point. You will always run out of what you need when you rely on this world.

Rivers move, they are not sedentary. They navigate the terrain with ease and grace. The water gives to the bumps in the riverbed, but it keeps on moving.

What “bumps” keep you from being obedient to God? Fear, pride, or complacency? Only God can completely satisfy. When we trust in Jesus, He gives us His Spirit to help us know God’s will AND DO IT. Be obedient and experience His peace fully.

Do you know you’re beautiful?

IMG_1779 (2)“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

As I was getting ready for the day looking at myself in the mirror and thinking about an upcoming meeting with some people I had not yet met, I found myself wondering if I had the right “look”.

I’ve started thinking about coloring my hair again. It’s been five years and I’ve grown comfortable and content with my own color. But maybe it would help …

Then I noticed the scar on my nose. I had already bleached the tooth my daughter accidentally knocked when she jumped with excitement right into my jaw breaking the root. Maybe I should see what I could do about the scar. I’ve had the scar for eight years and rarely notice it anymore, but maybe …

I do want to lose some weight, exercise and eat better. I’ve been working on this and have been more on than off lately. Maybe some new clothes and shoes. I’m on the short side. Maybe I should think about what might make me look taller … thinner …

And the list could go on and on and on.

When I think of being seen, I worry about how I will measure up. Maybe no one will even notice me. Am I worth noticing?

The simple answer is yes.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

– Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

God has noticed me. He says I’m worthy of notice. God sees beneath my outward appearance and looks lovingly on my heart toward Him. He sees every flaw and loves me still. His work consists of not an outward fix but an inward change. He corrects the attitudes and problems in my heart that affect my outward ability to reflect His love.

And through all of this He says I’m worth His effort.

I don’t know if I’ll color my hair. I’m sure I won’t mess with the scar. I love to shop so maybe if I have some success with my healthier lifestyle I’ll treat myself to something special. And being short just helps me engage in conversation when I need to ask for help with something way up high on a shelf.

But I do know that I will continue to let God work on my heart helping me be more gentle and quiet in spirit. Helping me understand from where and whom my true beauty comes. And helping me to see people, showing me their hearts beneath the look they try to put on. We’re all trying to measure up to someone’s standard of beauty. Who’s standard will you look to?

Something to Consider…

Do you struggle with your appearance? Have others noticed your flaws more than your beauty? Know that God did make you beautiful. Ask Him to help you see yourself through HIS eyes.

Do you do the simple work of caring for yourself, your physical self as well as your mental and emotional self? Jesus Christ died for you just as you are, but  if you’re neglecting yourself, you’re not caring for the gift He has given you. He has made you for a purpose. Help yourself be ready and able to do all He has called you to do.

What do you notice first about others? Do you look at them and make judgments before you meet them? It may be human nature but know that’s not God’s nature. In Christ, we can see others from His perspective. Challenge yourself to see the beauty within first.