Heaven in My Heart

As I read over the page, speaking of the “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” found in Exodus 31:18, my fingers etched the outlining of the words, and a feeling of awe and wonder came over me at the reality of it all.

Moses held in his hands that which was written by the finger of our Holy God. To say it is amazing would be an inadequate attempt at best to describe the wonder of what that must have been like to experience. But it didn’t stop me from still wondering: “What was that like to hold those very tablets?”

As I kept reading and following his story, in my mind, I saw him carrying those tablets, engraved by God as he descended the mount (Exodus 32:16), and my heart was quickly reminded of the promise spoken in Jeremiah of the time when God Himself said, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33).

And I thought, as much as I would love to hold that piece of our Christian history physically in my hands, I now have in my heart, through the power and indwelling of His Holy Spirit, God’s testimony, His very Word in the innermost part of my being.

Yes, my eyes would have loved to see and behold those external declarations of His Testimony, but my soul is ever so grateful for the internal and eternal work God’s Word and saving grace has done deep inside of me. No wonder the psalmist wrote, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

It is in our hearts where we establish our faith and believe in the One who called us and loved us (Romans 10:10). The heart is where we hold our greatest treasures (Matthew 6:21). So, to have a piece of Him there in the recesses of my being; to have His Word, this piece of heaven living in me, I am still overtaken with awe and the wonder of it all.

As frail as humanity is and as short as we come from His glory (Romans 3:23), we are honored creatures to have the grace of this New Covenant go through the lineage of Israel and trickle-down upon us and flood our hearts when we receive Christ as our Savior.

In Mark, John the Baptist spoke, saying, “I indeed baptize you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (1:8). At the baptism of Jesus, John witnessed “the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:10-11).

Jesus Christ is the one sent from heaven to dwell in our hearts. He is that Word made flesh (John 1:14). Through Him, the Father will send “the Holy Ghost. . . in my name,” Jesus said (John 14:26; see also VSS 16-17; Acts 1:5) to comfort us, to dwell in us, and change our lives forever.

There is no better time than now to seek a whole heart transformation. Deep inside, we know we need Him. Nothing else will satisfy.

In the anguish of his sins, David cried out in desperation, saying, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). A heart that is devoted to God, a heart renewed in Him; a heart that cradles and nurtures His Word and has His Spirit within them, a heart who has the Son – they are the ones who “shall be my people” and He will be their “God” (Jeremiah 31:33).  

It may not be a piece of history in my hands, but I’ll take heaven in my heart any day.

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Children: Rewards Packed with Potential

“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13), and “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3) are just some of my favorite Bible verses when dealing with the subject of children. Those precious treasures God has blessed us with are a reward.

Children have always had a special place in the heart of God. 

Jesus showed the value in the lives of these innocent ones by teaching the adults that unless they put on childlike faith, unless they “Be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).  

Days of parenting may not always be sitting by and watching children play in the best of their innocence and zest for life. Guiding young hearts may not always work out like the after-school specials or shows we see on tv. Some days of parenting can be difficult and frustrating, but may those days not take the focus from the heart of the child. Children are a beautiful blessing, and each one comes packed with potential.

From a lesson I previously published found here, I wrote:

“Youths especially come packed with potential. For example, Samuel was dedicated to God as an incredibly young child (1 Sam. 1:21-28) and became a righteous judge of God’s people. Josiah became king at the tender age of 8 (2 Chr. 34:1), and “in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images,” (2 Chr. 34:3) and eventually went on to make great reformations for God’s people in turning them back to true worship (2 Chr. 34-35) which all started while he was still young. Timothy learned from his grandmother and mother about true faith and helped the apostle Paul during his missionary journeys and in the establishing of new churches (2 Tim. 1:5). And let us not forget our Lord Jesus Christ who was found at the age of 12 in the temple with the “doctors” amazing all who saw Him and heard “his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:41-52).” 

May you find inspiration in the Word of God as He reminds us of the blessings of children. They are rewards packed with potential.  

More inspiration:

  • “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
  • “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). 
  • “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6). 
  • “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed” (psalm 112:1-2). 

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“The Lifter of My Head!”

“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3

How much wrestling have you dealt with in life?  How many in just this week alone?  In the heaviness, in the heart, our God stands as the One who lifts our head:

“When confidence in others is fleeting,

And friends cannot be found.

It is God who restores,

And lifts my countenance from the ground.

 

Running, exhausted, weary, and worn.

With His salve of love,

He heals this heart

That was torn.

 

He takes the troubles,

As if they didn’t exist,

Encourages us in Him,

And our hearts, He lifts.

 

No more to feel like

I’m fighting alone.

God has lifted my head

And, called me His own.”

Friend, when troubles find their way into your life, remember Your heavenly Father is He who fights with you and for you.  David found himself in opposition often.  Some were of his own doing, and some were from others who pursued him with unrighteousness.  But in his heart, he never failed to keep believing in God, to keep his confidence and praise in the One who not only saw his sin and his circumstances – but God was also He who held his life in His hands.

A praise was never far from his lips.  Even when he was down, he knew in whom he believed.  He knew that in everything, God is the one who can restore and exalt.  God is the one who can return a smile to his face and gladness to his heart.  God is He who can bring a victory in the midst of a mess therefore, David kept his hope in the one and only true living God who can carry him and lift him during the hard times of life.

Friend, I pray that you will find your solace in God today.  May a praise be on your lips for the God who can save.

“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.” Psalm 9:1

“And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.” Psalm 27:6

Your biggest source of encouragement is found in God alone!

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“Bless the LORD, O my soul!”

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

When you look back over your life and the paths you have traveled, do you see God’s hands in the steps you have taken?  Do you see how He has held you?  How He has raised you?  How He has saved you? 

Do you see the times when the way was confusing, and darkness covered the way?  Do you see the mess-ups, the missteps, and the stumbling?  Do you see how He brought you back, dusted you off, and made you new from the inside out? 

Do you see how He never gave up on you?

In all of that, did you realize your preciousness to Him?

Did you understand the high price He offered for you?  Did you see His love for the pure delight in you that it is? 

Father God, You are our praise!  Our worship for You!  You are the reason we rejoice today.  You are the reason we are here.

You are the One who has blessed us.  You are the One who has forgiven us.  You are the One who has redeemed us.  You are the One who has kept us day by day.

Our praise is of You!

You are our portion, our God, our King, and our Heavenly Father!  It is Your name we glorify.  It is You in whom we boast.  It is Your holy name that we praise!  “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name,” (Psalm 103:1).

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“Your Hearts Shall Live!”

your hearts shall live - pagemodo pic

“And you who seek God, your hearts shall live,” Psalm 69:32

How many go through their day complacent in the status quo?  No passion for life.  No zeal for better.  Just run the ordinary course of the ordinary life jogger, following the crowd, content with a heart that’s just beating but not alive.

A heart that is alive thrills at the unknown.  A heart that is alive craves to pump its life source throughout every crevice of its being.  Those who seek for God are not content with just the rhythmic beat of every other man.  It wants to thump against the chest wall to express the life that lives in it.

When one seeks God it stirs up something on the inside of them.  It stirs a wanting of more.  Kind of like a first love.  You seek to be near that person or to simply hear their voice.  When contact is made it makes the heart beat a little faster and you feel alive!  God promises those that look for Him with that same passion your hearts shall live.  Your heart will tell a story all its own about the love that dwells in it for the one you seek.

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10).  He wants hearts alive; hearts that live for seeking Him more and more.  From that they will reap not the status quo rather an abundance of life that flows from Him.  If the beat of your heart is a little slower these days, or your faith is not getting as excited as it used at the first, check to see who or what you have been seeking after.  It may be that you have been looking for love, acceptance and passion everywhere but the right place.  But, we have this promise, “you who seek God, your hearts shall live!”

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“Thou art my hiding place!”

When trouble comes my way,
You are my hope and stay.
When the winds of adversity blow near,
You are He in whom I have no fear.
When I am dazed, lost, or confused,
You and hope in Your Word will see me through.

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“Know That God Hears!”

 

“I called on the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and set me in a broad place,”  Psalm 118:5, NKJV

It was one of those moments in prayer when you could utter no words, tearing streaming down your face, and only one phrase keeps repeating itself in the heart. That was me one night and try as I might to redirect my prayer, the Holy Spirit within me kept drawing me back to Psalm 118:5. I couldn’t get past it. After several attempts to lead my own prayer, I acquiesced.

There had to be a reason why my heart stayed so solely on this one verse. A revelation struck in the midst, telling me that I needed to be reassured that God hears me.  Sometimes the heart, as faithful as it can be, needs the additional support of knowing God hears.

“I called on the LORD!” God has so many wonderful characteristics and attributes, but one of the things that always strikes me as impressive is the fact that He hears my prayers, Psalm 54:2. In all lowliness of mind and heart, we come before Him freely. The Sovereign of the universe becomes attentive to us, to our needs, and bows down His ear to take on our concerns. He doesn’t have to but He is mindful of us, Psalm 8:4. He centers Himself to focus wholly and completely on us.

“The LORD answered me!” God responds! Our deepest heart’s desires do not fall on deaf ears. God is not playing cat and mouse with us. He wants us to seek Him that He may be found. “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,” (Isaiah 55:6, NKJV). Then, He can respond!

How would we receive it if God verbally and clearly answered us? I, honestly, would probably freak out. But, answer us He does! How often have we gone in prayer, and the Sovereign of the universe has moved and acted on our behalf? Too many times to count! Often in my prayers, I am always thanking Him for inter-weaving Himself through every area of my life because I may not have heard an answer, but I can see His response. I can see Him moving mountains and obstacles. I can feel Him bringing peace in the midst of the storm. I wonder at His glorious love for us that causes Him to respond.

“Set me in a broad place.” Distressing times are tight. It feels as though you really can’t move this way or that. You feel locked in and bound up as if unseen shackles are imprisoning you. But, when God answers prayer, you feel release. You feel a freedom that was once a dream. It no longer feels like the walls are caving in on you, rather with a Herculean strength of the spirit, you feel like you can now push some stuff out of your life and move on.

My heavenly Father hears me! There’s no need to get too deep with words here. Sometimes we just need to be reassured of these old, simple truths. God hears me! Take that, and go in the peace of God today.

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A Word for Today: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

There may be things you face today; things that don’t seem favorable or in your best interest.  There may be mountains you have to face, making your dreams seem out of reach.  There may be people you have to deal with who work against you and not for you.  In everything, I hear that whisper from Psalms saying, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When everything within wants to fight with human intuition, He whispers,  “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When everything wants you to quit and give up, He encourages, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When faced with seemingly insurmountable situations, He speaks, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When the undeserving comes your way, He comforts with, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When enemies lift up their voice against you, He boldly states,  “Be still, and know that I am God.”

God is there for you.  God is fighting for you.  God sees every unfair thing that tries to attack you and bring you down.  In it, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  He is our “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  We can trust Him with our daily concerns and struggles.  Troubles don’t last always, but God does, and He said, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

For everything you face today, I urge you to stop and take a breath in the midst of it all and remind yourself of this powerful verse, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Say it over and over again to yourself throughout the day.  Let the truth of His Word do the fighting for you.

“The Lord is on my Side!”

 

Oh, the grace of another day.  Yet, every day is not peachy, rather often with it comes turmoil, upset, and unrest.  Sometimes, battling the seen and the unseen.  Sometimes, fighting to keep one’s spiritual head above the waters of this life that seek to take you under.  Oh, the peace to know that despite it all, the Lord is on my side.

If you’ve ever gone to the circus, one of the most impressive feats to witness in the performances there are the trapeze acts.  It never seems to lose its awesomeness as we watch men and women fly through the air with what appears to be a complete disregard for life and limb.  Actually, it is quite the opposite.  They fly through the air with abandon because of the trust they exhibit in their partner to be by their side and to catch them at that pivotal moment; to catch them when it matters most.  There is an awesome relationship of trust that goes on between the two.  One that neither can doubt in lest the outcome be less than desirable.

What about our relationship with God?  Do we exhibit the same trust in Almighty God that these acrobats seem to place in human confidence?  Do we sport the confidence that He is by our side to catch us when we need Him the most?

Sometimes it may feel like you are in the boxing ring alone.  Well, you’re not!  Sometimes it may appear that you are fighting armies that encamp against you by yourself.  You’re not!  God is on our side and He promised to never leave us nor forsake us, Hebrews 13:5.

Daily, we are upheld by Him!  Our lives are not in our own hands rather in the hands of Him that never fails!  We may swing to and fro, sometimes feeling up and sometimes down, yet He is the ever-present strength that keeps us flying high above all these adversities, above all these troubles, above all these trappings of this world.

Difficulties will arise.  Oh yes, they will.  But, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.  In other words, He is on our side.  He is our overcomer.  He is our victor.  He is our deliverer that will see us past all that is presently before us that we might experience the peace that He so offers.

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27.  Some may say this is easier said than done especially when the upsets of life seem to be all around and the strength to carry on, well, it’s just plain hard to find.  You’re exhausted!  I get it.  God gets it.

That’s why His Word declares and reminds every one of us, we don’t have to carry on on our own.  The Lord is on your side.  You are not in this alone.  This is the message of the whole Bible.  No matter how dim, gloomy and bleak it may seem, we are not in this alone.  We have a Strength that is beyond our human capabilities.  We have a Force fighting for us that cannot be reckoned with by human standards.  We have the one and only true God and He is on our side!

Who are you flying with today?  Secure your life in Him, let go and know that “The LORD is on my side,” Psalm 118:6.  Trust Him, He will catch the life that honestly reaches out for Him, trusts, and believes.

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