That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart

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Why God Made Your Mouth

That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart

The average person speaks at least 7,000 words a day, or about 50,000 words a week — the length of a short book. We are authors, all of us, publishing 52 books a year from this printing press called the mouth.

Which should make us pause occasionally to consider what kind of words we’re sending out into the world.

Is it a better place because of our words, or worse? Do we wound others, or heal them (Proverbs 12:18)? Do we commend the fear of the Lord, or pour out folly (Proverbs 15:2)? Do we refresh others’ spirits, or break them (Proverbs 15:4)? For how little we often think of our words, they hold the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).

If we’re going to steward our speech well, we need to regularly remember why God gave us words at all. Perhaps no one verse captures his purpose clearer than a command from Paul to the Ephesians:

Let no corrupting talk come your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

Here is a charter for the dinner table, the classroom, the smartphone, the office, and everywhere else we open our mouths: give grace.

Speak Grace

Given all that Paul says about grace in Ephesians, he could scarcely have handed our mouths a higher calling. Grace is that redeeming quality of God by which he saves us, seals us, and sanctifies us.

By grace, God has blessed us in his beloved Son (Ephesians 1:6), raised us from the dead (Ephesians 2:5–6), and rescued us from our sins (Ephesians 2:8). God’s grace is rich, overflowing, immeasurable.

Eternity will not exhaust his storehouses (Ephesians 1:7; 2:7).

Now, Paul says, let your mouth give that. Take the grace you have received from God, and let it change the accent of your soul. Then take your little words, flavored with grace, and use them to carry on Jesus’s redeeming work in someone’s life.

Whenever God makes someone an object of grace, he also makes them an agent of grace.

Just as Paul received a “stewardship of God’s grace” to preach the gospel (Ephesians 3:1–2, 7–8), so too “grace was given to each one of us” (Ephesians 4:7).

Even if we should feel as slow of speech as Moses (Exodus 4:10), if we have the Holy Spirit, we have a whisper of heaven in our hearts and on our tongues. We have grace to give.

Built Up in Jesus

Practically, giving grace means speaking words that are “good for building up” (Ephesians 4:29). Gracious words straighten bent-over saints, strengthen tottering legs, bind up bruised arms, and grow each other into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

“Give grace,” in other words, is a call to imitate the God whose words make worlds bloom into being (Psalm 8:3). Give life. See the image-bearer in front of you, and skillfully apply “the truth . . . in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21).

Match specific words from God to specific needs in others. Give your words weight; make them meaningful; say something worth saying.

All to the end that others might grow up into Jesus — protected from lies, established in truth, rooted and grounded in grace.

Such grace is not confined to the sermon or the Bible study. Paul’s command rests over every Christian and every conversation.

Give grace when you kneel beside your child’s bed, when you eat lunch with coworkers, when you sit around the campfire with friends, when you walk with your wife in the evening, when you stand in line at the grocery store, when you send your thirtieth email of the afternoon.

Lest we misconstrue the character of these gracious words, let’s add two qualifications: gracious words are not always nice, and gracious words are never easy.

Tough and Tender Grace

First, gracious words are not always nice. Despite the testimony of many thousands of cross-stitched pillows and greeting cards, grace is not the fluffy thing we sometimes make it out to be. Grace is not always comfortable, not always cozy, not always nice. Whereas nice words aim to make us feel good, gracious words have higher ambitions: to make us actually good — actually Christ.

At times, then, gracious words will be tough words. The same apostle who told us to “give grace” did not refrain from reminding us that we were once dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1), nor from exhorting us to stand firm against the devil (Ephesians 6:10–11), nor from warning us of God’s wrath (Ephesians 5:6).

Neither did our Savior, the man whose words were ever “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Sometimes grace fell from his mouth tender as the dew, and sometimes it thundered with the force of a prophet. Sometimes it bound up bruised reeds, and sometimes it pruned vines with a slice. Sometimes it said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20), and sometimes, “Take up your cross” (Luke 9:23).

We too must sometimes broach conversations that make us feel running away. For if our words are always nice, always pleasing, always politically correct, we are giving no more than half a grace.

What Gracious Words Cost

For all their variety, however, gracious words are not capricious, as if we speak a tough word here, a tender word there, hoping to strike the balance. No, grace tailors its words to the needs of the moment; it searches for speech that “fits the occasion” (Ephesians 4:29). Which means such words never come easily.

Gracious words are always specific words — words that match this situation, not that one; words that fit this person, not another. We must move beyond our favorite promises and favorite stories to ransack “the truth . . .

in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21), applying appropriate parts of God’s multifaceted truth to our multifaceted experience.

As we talk with others, we must go to work in the mines of our mind, passing words through the fire of careful thought, and smelting from them fresh, pointed truth.

Too often, my words fail to give grace because I haven’t first given due attention to the person in front of me. I drift in and the conversation, my mind drawn to all manner of irrelevancies: What’s for lunch? What am I going to do tonight? I’m not sure that shirt fits him. Words that come from a distracted mind are graceless words, words as weightless as the air that carries them.

Our tongues do not drift into giving grace. Words worth speaking come at the cost of fully engaged attention, wise discernment, creative thought, emotional investment. But oh, what a reward they bring! Gracious words drop from someone’s mouth fruit from a tree of life, satisfying giver and receiver a (Proverbs 15:4; 18:21).

Question and Prayer

How shall we cultivate this kind of speech? We know from Jesus that grace will come our mouths only if grace is already living in our hearts (Matthew 12:34). But even when grace is doing its work of demolishing, building, and renovating inside us, learning how to package that grace into words often takes practice.

As a simple first step, consider stopping for a moment the next time you are about to enter a conversation, and take up a question and a prayer.

Question: What does this person need? What kind of words will “fit the occasion”? The need will not always be obvious, but even asking the question can posture us to pay attention.

Prayer: Lord, keep corrupting words from coming my mouth. Fill my mouth with grace.

Then walk into the conversation, remembering (wonder of wonders!) that you — weak, struggling you — have grace to give. In God’s hands, your words can become a means of carving a brother or sister into the image of Jesus Christ. Then listen, give your attention, ask perceptive questions, activate the gears of your mind. And when the time comes, open your mouth and give grace.

Источник: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-god-made-your-mouth

Why Does God Want Earthen Vessels?

That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart

In 2 Corinthians 4:7, the apostle Paul refers to human beings in a very particular way—earthen vessels:

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not us.”

This verse not only says we’re vessels, but earthen vessels. Perhaps we’d rather be heavenly angels, not lowly jars made clay. Why did God make us this way?

Earthen vessels with a purpose

We can readily agree we’re earthen, made of clay—we’re easily broken and seemingly not worth much. Consequently, we might look down on our earthly state and not realize our value, how special we are in God’s creation.

But God made no mistake when He created us, not heavenly angels, but as earthen vessels. Before creating mankind, God already had myriads of angels. He wanted something new. So He made man of the dust of the ground, creatures to be on the earth, not as angelic beings in the heavens. He had a particular purpose for us, even in our earthen condition.

God created us to be weak, limited, earthen vessels so that in Christ, He could be the treasure within us that shines us. Instead of creating us to be strong, independent creatures to express our own wonderful characteristics, God created us earthen, desiring that we would express His excellency rather than our own.

Now we can see the preciousness of being earthen vessels. We are unique in God’s creation. Only earthen vessels, not angelic beings, can express His excellency.

And we can do this because we’re vessels, containers. Vessels can receive, be filled with, and overflow with something. Being earthen, we may be weak and limited, but God created us as vessels to contain Him. He wants to come into us lowly vessels and shine us. Angels can worship God, but only human beings can receive God, contain Him, and overflow with Him to express Him!

Filled vessels

Before we received Christ as our Savior, we were empty and our life lacked meaning. Being empty vessels, we were simply earthen, without a treasure within.

But when we opened our heart to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, the void within us was filled for the first time. Christ came into our spirit and filled our deepest part with Himself.

We finally received the content we were created for! This was the first step for us to live as vessels according to God’s plan for us.

So now that Christ lives in us, how do we express Him? We have to admit we often express more of our earthen selves than the precious treasure within us. Why is this, and what can we do about it?

As vessels, the most important thing is for us to be open so we can be filled with Christ. Picture a water bottle. Its purpose is to be filled with water, but if the cap is put on too quickly, only a small amount of water fills the bottle. It never reaches the point of overflowing.

If we pick up this barely-filled bottle, we might not even see the water in it. Now suppose the cap is removed again and again, allowing more water to fill it. Gradually, every bit of the bottle is filled with water, even to the point of overflowing.

If we were to pick up that bottle, we would get splashed!

Yes, we have Christ as the treasure within, but do we have just a small amount of Christ? Or, when others are around us, do they get “splashed” with Christ? He wants to fill not only our spirit, but also our entire being.

Every day, we need to practice opening to the Lord to allow more of Christ as the treasure to fill us. Christ wants to fill not only our spirit but also our whole vessel—our heart, our mind, our emotion, our will, with all our thoughts, feelings, and intentions.

Then we’ll express not ourselves, but the Christ who fills us.

How to be filled

Every vessel, whether inanimate or human, has a mouth. As human, earthen vessels, we need to open our mouth so we can be filled with Christ. By opening our mouth to pray, to call on the Lord’s name, and to prayerfully take in God’s Word, our heart is opened up and available for Christ to fill.

By opening our hearts within and our mouths without to Him, we allow Christ to fill every bit of us until we overflow with Him, expressing Him as the treasure in us. This fulfills our purpose as an earthen vessel and satisfies God, who wants to be manifested as the unique treasure in this universe.

Paul as our pattern

In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul could write about being an earthen vessel because he experienced Christ as his treasure. Paul wasn’t a heavenly being; he was an earthen vessel, just us.

But he was a person who kept himself open and allowed the Lord to fill his entire being in all circumstances, whether good or bad.

We can look to Paul as our pattern by practicing to open ourselves to be filled with our glorious, excellent Christ.

We may be earthen, but we’re something so special to God. We’re the center God’s plan, of His heart’s desire, and we fulfill our purpose by being continually open to His filling so He can overflow from within us.

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Источник: https://blog.biblesforamerica.org/why-does-god-want-earthen-vessels/

10 English idioms close to our hearts | Kaplan blog

That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart

It has been a while since we took a look at some English idioms, so let’s get back into them by going to the heart of the topic, or rather, the topic of hearts!

The heart comes up a lot in English expressions so let's take a look at ten of our favourite examples!

1. From the bottom of my heart

You can use this when you are trying to say how sincerely and seriously you feel about something. As an example, if you are really grateful about something that someone has done for you, you can thank them from the bottom of your heart.

2. With all my heart

This is similar to something being from the bottom of your heart, but it means giving a task everything you have got. As an example, you can sing with all your heart. This idiom is very similar to an adjective you can use as you can do something “wholeheartedly”.

3. I have a soft spot in my heart for you

This can sometimes be shortened to simply having a soft spot for someone, but it means that you are fond of them in some way. This is not normally in a romantic way, but more as an indication that maybe you have some shared history or that they did something endearing to you at some point in the past.

It also normally means you will ly overlook some of that person’s more obvious flaws!

4. Pouring my heart out

To pour your heart out might sound quite unpleasant, but what it really means is that you open up emotionally by telling someone your story and how you really feel without holding anything back.

5. Wearing your heart on your sleeve

This is both a fashion mistake and an idiom. If you wear your heart on your sleeve, it means you are very open about how and what you feel. This might be an idiom that is particularly common in England, as we English are prone to being reserved and closed off about our feelings and keen to avoid wearing our hearts on our sleeves.

6. I don’t have the heart to do that

You can use this idiom if you’re asked to do something that you feel would be cruel, or doing anything that you feel might upset or offend someone.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: HOW TO TALK ABOUT YOURSELF IN ENGLISH

7. To be young at heart

Being young at heart means you might act in a way that is thought of as a lot younger than your age. As an example, someone in their 50s who still occasionally acts they’re in their 20s by going water-skiing could be described as young at heart.

This does not necessarily have to be actions but can simply be the way people feel, talk or even think.

8. Tugging at the heartstrings

If you are being made to feel sad or sympathetic towards someone, it might be that they are tugging at your heartstrings. This means that something is working to get you into that emotional state. This can also apply to films or music that are purposefully trying to make you feel this way.

9. Cross my heart and hope to die

If you make a promise to someone, you can then express how seriously you take that promise by saying that you cross your heart and hope to die. This is also something that you normally say if you’re about eight years old, so it might not be something you hear very often unless you work with children!

The follow up to “cross my heart and hope to die” is sometimes “stick a needle in my eye”. Childhood can be a dark place.

10. Find it in your heart

Someone might ask if you can find it in your heart. Unless you are attending a lecture at medical school, this is when someone is asking you to reconsider something or trying to persuade you to do something and change your mind about something.

They could indeed be pouring their heart out, begging you from the bottom of their heart to find it in your heart to change your mind. They might even be trying to tug at your heartstrings to get you to do this.

Incidentally, if you do change your mind, you can say that you've had a change of heart. You might find that you didn’t have the heart to do it anyway and this person will probably end up having a soft spot in their heart for you because of it.

I’ll stop there. I could easily end up writing this all day!

Is your favourite heart-based idiom not on this list? Why not drop us a comment or shout out on !

More English idioms

If you have had enough of heart idioms, why not check out some of our other idiom posts?

Animal idioms
Body idioms
Color idioms
Food idioms
Happiness idioms
Jump idioms
Love idioms
Money idioms
School idioms
Shhh! idioms
Time idioms
Weather idioms

And if you haven't had enough of heart idioms, here's a bonus: What about the heart idiom we used in the title of this post? If something is “close to your heart” it means that it’s special to you in some way!

Источник: https://www.kaplaninternational.com/blog/10-english-idioms-close-to-our-hearts

4 Ways to Guard our Hearts and Minds

That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart

I take guarding my heart and mind seriously. There are lots of TV programs, movies, music and magazines that I won’t watch, or listen to, or read. If I want to be saturated and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the last thing I want to do is to suppress him with worldly, ungodly clamour.

While I want to understand and interact with people in our society in relevant and meaningful ways, I believe that watching, listening and thinking about worldly things can give the enemy a faith-destroying foothold into our lives.

The Bible gives us lots of good advice about how we can guard our hearts.

1. We can Guard our Hearts and Minds through the Knowledge of God’s Word

Our heart is who we are, so we must take care to guard it against the corrupting influences that are everywhere in our world. We must shrewdly discern the subtle (and not so subtle) voices that are constantly presenting seemingly appealing ideologies, which are in fact, opposed to God. We must train ourselves, through the Scriptures, to discern good from evil (Psalm 119:11).

Solid food is for the mature who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Hebrews 5:14

Romans 16:19 says that God wants us to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. (Compare this with 1 Cor 14:20.) We do not need a comprehensive understanding of the Kingdom of Darkness to be able to recognise and defeat its forces. Rather, we need to be wise about God and his ways, and lead lives that are informed, guided and empowered by his Word and his Holy Spirit.

2. We can Guard our Hearts and Minds through Prayer and Noble Thoughts

Paul promises that God will guard our hearts and minds when we submit everything to him in prayer (Phil. 4:6-7). Paul continues this theme of a guarded heart and mind in the very next verse, by going on to say:

. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or worthy of praise – think about these things.  Philippians 4:8

If we are constantly desiring worldly things, and thinking worldly thoughts that don’t include God, we are letting our guard down. Instead, we should follow Paul’s advice:

Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on worldly things. Colossians 3:1-2

3. We can Guard our Hearts and Minds through Holy and Consecrated Living

As well as virtuous thoughts we also need to live virtuous lives. As representatives of Jesus and his Kingdom, we need to set high standards for ourselves in regard to faith, love, and holiness. In several of Paul’s letters, he urges the believers to live their lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ (Eph. 4:1; Phil. 1:27; Col. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:12).

Many modern Christians seem to have lost the desire to live holy, consecrated lives for God. I wonder why that is? When was the last time we heard a message about keeping our hearts and minds pure?

God calls us to nothing less than holiness (Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Pet. 1:15-16).

[We were] created to be God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24

This is a high calling! However, it is important that as we aim for personal holiness, that we don’t impose our standards on others, or judge others who do not share similar standards or aspirations.

God calls us to offer up our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him, and not to be conformed to the pattern of this world.

This necessitates having our minds transformed and renewed, because only then can we discern and know God’s perfect will, and only then can we respond to his will accordingly (Rom. 12:1-2).

It is much easier for God to work through us, speak to us, and bless us, when we are living righteous, obedient lives (Jas 5:16b). And it is also much more difficult for the enemy to influence the hearts and minds of such people.

4. We can Allow God to Guard our Hearts and Minds

As well as the external, evil influences that threaten to infiltrate and sully our hearts and minds, we must also be on our guard from our own internal, sinful pressures.

Jeremiah observes that:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? (Jer. 17:9). God reassuringly answers this question in the next verse: “I the LORD, search the heart and examine the mind.” Jeremiah 17:10

When we continually offer our heart and mind to God, he will search it and sanctify it with his Holy Spirit. King David wrote:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me . . . Psalm 139:23-24

Paul wrote rhetorically about internal struggles with sin; he wrote that it is only God, through Jesus, who can rescue a person from his inherent sinful nature (Rom. 7:15-25).

Only God can cleanse our hearts and minds, but we need to cooperate with his work. Paul was committed to guarding his heart and his mind and  making every thought captive to (or under the control of) Jesus! (2 Cor. 10:5).

This can only happen when we live God’s way, being led by the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6
A mind and heart set on God is a peaceful, trusting heart (Isa. 26:3).

I am committed to being close to God and living for Him. I don’t want anything to jeopardise that. So I am also committed to guarding my heart.

Related Articles

Prayer and Peace – Philippians 4:6-9
Hope and Holiness – 1 Peter 1:10-16

Источник: https://margmowczko.com/guarding-your-heart-and-mind/

The Power of Gratitude: 21 Verses of Thanks to God

That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart

We have so much to be grateful for in this life. Each and every day. But reality is that sometimes constant life demands, struggles, and worries give more room to defeat than to a heart of thanks. Or we forget, in the midst of busyness and pressures, just to pause and give thanks, for all that God has done, and continues to do in our lives.

Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanks. We may not feel it. We’re struggling. We're weary. Or maybe, we feel He let us down. We think God seems distant, he's far away, or doesn't really care about what's troubling us. Painful life blows and losses might have recently sent us spiraling.

But here’s what can make a lasting difference. We have a choice, every day, to give him thanks.

And with a heart of thanksgiving, we realize that no matter what we face, God doesn’t just work to change our situations and help us through our problems. He does more. He changes our hearts.

His power, through hearts of gratitude and focused minds on Him, releases the grip our struggles have over us. We're strengthened by His peace, refueled by His joy.

God's Word is filled with many reminders of how powerful and vital a thankful heart can be in this world.

The Power of a Grateful Heart, 7 Things It Can Do:

  1. It gets our eyes off ourselves, and helps us to focus back on God.
  2. It reminds us we're not in control, but that we serve a Mighty God who is. It keeps us in a place of humility and dependency on Him, as we recognize how much we need Him.

  3. It helps us to recognize we have so much to be thankful for, even all of the little things, which often we may forget to thank Him for…but they really are the biggest, most important things in this life. It takes our attention off of our problems and helps us instead to reflect on, to remember, the goodness of His many blessings.

  4. It reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life. A grateful heart reminds us that ultimately God is our Provider, that all blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.
  5. A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining.

    For it is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time.

  6. It makes the enemy flee. The forces of darkness can't stand to be around hearts that give thanks and honor to God. Our praise and thanksgiving will make them flee.
  7. It opens up the door for continued blessings. It invites His presence.

    Our spirits are refreshed and renewed in Him. God loves to give good gifts to His children. He delights in our thankfulness and pours out His Spirit and favor over those who give honor and gratitude to Him.

21 Gratitude Bible Verses of Thanks from God's Word:

“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”  Ps. 95:1-3

«Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Ps. 100:4-5

«Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.» Ps. 118:29

«I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Ps. 9:1

«I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.» Ps. 7:17

«Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.» Col. 2:7

«And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.» Col. 3:15

«Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Col. 4:2

«Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

«Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.» Phil 4:6

«Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed the eagle's.” Ps. 103:1-5

«Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.» 1 Thess. 5:18

«Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Ps. 107:1

«Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Eph. 5:20

«The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.» Ps. 28:7

«I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.» Ps. 69:30

«Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; …» Ps. 136:1-5

«Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our «God is a consuming fire.» Heb. 12:28-29

«Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Cor. 9:15

«We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.” Rev. 11:17

«Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!» Rev. 7:12

A Prayer of Gratitude

Dear God, 

Thank you for your amazing power and work in our lives, thank you for your goodness and for your blessings over us. Thank you that you are Able to bring hope through even the toughest of times, strengthening us for your purposes. Thank you for your great love and care. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you that you are always with us and will never leave us.

Thank you for your incredible sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don't thank you enough, for who you are, for all that you do, for all that you've given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. We love you and we need you, this day and every day.

 We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy! 

In Jesus' Name,

Amen.

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's page,http://www..com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at http://.com/debbmcdaniel and http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
 

Image courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com

Источник: https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/debbie-mcdaniel/the-power-of-a-grateful-heart-21-verses-of-thanksgiving.html

George Herbert Quote — 7 Reasons Why We Need to Surrender Our Hearts to God | ChristianQuotes.info

That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart

“God sees hearts as we see faces.”

– George Herbert

Have no illusions about it, as smart as we may think we are, we can never really look into somebody’s heart and truly figure it out. We can make guesses regarding people’s character, but God is the only real judge of that. He can see things that we can’t see, and he can see us when nobody else is looking. That’s how well God knows us.

Reason 1: Our hearts are rotten

According to Book of Jeremiah, a human heart is completely depraved. There’s nothing redeeming about it. It’s deceptive. It’s cruel. It’s harsh. It’s prone to evil. That’s the human heart.

This might sound depressing but it actually sets the stage to salvation. If you have a disease, you need a doctor. If your heart can’t save you, then you need a savior.

The Old Testament is clear that God is the only power in the universe that can turn hearts of stones into hearts of flesh. A heart of flesh is necessary because a heart of flesh can love, understand, and grow.

Hearts of stone can only judge. Hearts of stone can only condemn. And worst of all, hearts of stone never grow in God’s love.

Reason 3: God sees our character in our hearts

We need to surrender our hearts to Jesus because despite what other people see, God can see our real nature. And if we don’t surrender our heart to him, then we’re basically only fooling ourselves.

People might see a person that returns the tithe fully, volunteers to all sorts of social charities, and does everything “right,” but deep down, God can see the rot.

Deep down, God can see the holes in our lives.

We can try to run away from this hypocrisy, or we can try the only solution, which is to surrender our hearts to God because he can turn our heart of stone into heart of flesh. He can take out our rotten heart and give us his heart, a pure heart.

Reason 4: God can write his law in our hearts

Many Christians have this mistaken understanding that the moment they give themselves up to Jesus and allow him to enter their hearts that they are completely new. This is not true.

God does justify you, and you are saved through God’s grace. However, God continues a sanctification process in you for the rest of your life. He needs to transform your heart.

And this is precisely the point many Christians over look. They think that by simple surrendering to Jesus, that’s all they need to do. No. You have to also let the Holy Spirit into your heart so that the Holy Spirit can change your life.

A key aspect to that is when God writes his law in our hearts. When God does this, it becomes harder and harder for us to sin. Why? It’s because our hearts contain the law. Do you see how this works? This is precisely why we need to surrender our hearts to God.

Reason 5: A Christ filled heart is more powerful than a nuclear reactor

The world can be a harsh place. There are times it can be hard to be joyful, with so many things to be depressed about. It’s very hard to love others when it seems that they hate you, ridicule you, and poke fun at you.

Regardless, Jesus said, “Turn your cheek. Love your enemies.” How is that possible?

The truth is that we can do all things if we let Christ strengthen us, and that can only happen when we surrender our heart to God. Your heart will have more power than a nuclear reactor. It would be able to do the impossible. It would be able to love those that hate you. It would be able to turn the other cheek and it would be able to find joy when there’s nothing to be joyful about.

Reason 6: God filled the hearts to light up the darkness

The last command Jesus gave to his followers is to go out to all the world and spread the good news. This is called the great commission.

There’s a lot of darkness in the world because there’re a lot of misconceptions regarding the gospel, regarding God, and regarding the character of Jesus Christ. The good news is that we can be powerful witnesses if our hearts are filled with God’s light. If we are just going to rely on our strength, it is too easy to get discouraged, feel defeated, and keep our light all to ourselves.

By surrendering our hearts to God, our hearts can be filled up with enough light to overpower the darkness.

Reason 7: A renewed heart is the best witness

You don’t have to become a missionary to spread the word about Jesus Christ. You only need to become a better Christian in front of your family. In fact, that should be your mission field. Forget about going to Africa to spread the good news when there are unconverted souls in your household.

The secret to converting family members is not knowing your Bible from cover to back, although that helps. The secret is when they see the gospel working in your life.

This is only possible when you surrender your heart to God, and he renews your heart and changes you fundamentally from an addict or smoker or alcoholic to somebody who lives a clean life. People are compelled to listen to the message you are saying because they saw the profound change in your life.

Original image source:

CC BY Benjamin Horn
modifications: overlay texture, added text, cropped image

Источник: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/george-herbert-quote-7-reasons-need-surrender-hearts-god/

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