Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Be Prepared: The Heart, Part 1

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
Mark 12:30

In order to serve the Lord, we need to prepare our hearts, our souls, our minds, and our bodies.

This week, we are going to begin by looking at how to prepare our hearts. First, let us look at some things the Bible has to say.

"And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines."

1 Samuel 7:3

"Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God …"
1 Chronicles 22:19

"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments."
Ezra 7:10

"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise."
Psalm 57:7

David said, "I’m READY! I’m PREPARED!"

Sadly the Bible says of Rehoboam, "And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD." 2 Chronicles 12:14

How do we prepare our heart?

To begin with, don’t be critical of yourself! Far too often, it is our own view of ourselves that stands between us and loving God with all of our hearts. Some of the things we think are:
  • "I’m not worthy to serve God in that capacity." Of course you aren’t! None of us are! God does not use us because we are able, He uses us because we are availABLE.
  • "If people really knew me . . . " Listen, we know some really bad stuff about King David. We've got some real dirt on the apostle, Peter. In spite of what we know about those people, God used them. And regardless of what people may or may not know about the deep dark secrets of our hearts, God wants us to draw nigh to Him.
Instead of being critical, meditate on your state.

"Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah."
Psalm 39:5

"What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?"
Job 15:14

And yet, in spite of our state, God loves us and wants to be close to us!!! Begin to prepare your heart by meditating on that instead of being critical of yourself.

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