Monday, September 29, 2008

Bible Study Tonight!

Hey girls! I am so excited for Bible study tonight! God has been working left and right in our little town and it is so refreshing to hear it straight for the horses mouth (and i do mean you!) haha-just kidding!

Before I head off to get ready for tonight and finish my last minute readings... I wanted to leave you with my daily devotion from Miss Beth herself - this one really spoke to me!

Wholehearted Devotion
Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 28:9-10

Today’s Treasure: “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9).

David’s words to Solomon apply to us in every area of potential success. David gave his son three vital directives we would be wise to obey:

Acknowledge God. Acknowledging God first thing every morning transforms my day. I often begin my day by reconfirming His authority over me and submitting to Him as Lord in advance of my daily circumstances. I try to accept the words of Joshua 24:15 as a personal daily challenge: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” When I fail to begin my day by settling the matter of authority, I am often a mess by noon! Remember, any day not surrendered to the Spirit of God will likely be lived in the flesh (Gal. 5:16-17). Spiritual living does not come naturally—sin does. The first step to victory is acknowledging the authority of God in our lives.

Serve Him with wholehearted devotion. The Hebrew word for “wholehearted” is shalem and means “unhewn, untouched stones.” In the Old Testament shalem often referred to rocks that were uncut.* Notice something quite interesting about the temple God commanded Solomon to build. First Kings 6:7 tells us, “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” Do you see the significance? No stone could be cut in the temple. The uncut stones represented the kind of devotion God was demanding from His nation—Shalem, wholehearted devotion, uncut hearts. David was used of God to describe shalem perfectly in Psalm 86:11: “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me and undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”

Do you have a divided heart? Or does God have a piece of your heart, but the rest belongs to you? Or someone else? If you’ve given your heart wholly to God, perhaps you remember a time when your heart was divided. A divided heart places our entire lives in jeopardy. Only God can be totally trusted with our hearts. He doesn’t demand our complete devotion to feed His ego, but to provide for our safety. God uses an undivided heart to keep us out of trouble. David learned the price of a divided heart the hard way. He lived with the repercussions for the rest of his life. Let’s just take his word for it and surrender now! Never forget, God’s commands are for our good.

Serve Him with a willing spirit. The Hebrew word for “willing” in this reference is chaphets, which means “to find pleasure in, take delight in, be pleased with, have an affection for; to desire; to choose; to bend, bow. The main meaning is to feel a strong, positive attraction for something, to like someone or something very much.”* Do you see what God is saying? He wants us to serve Him and honor Him because we want to! Because it pleases us! Because we choose to! You see, the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts! Hear the beat of His tender heart as He says, “Choose me because you delight in me!”

Many motives exist for serving God other than pleasure and delight. God wants us to serve Him with a willing spirit, one that would choose no other way. Right now you may be frustrated because serving and knowing God is not your greatest pleasure. You may be able to instantly acknowledge a divided heart. Your question may be, How can I change the way I feel? You can’t. But God can. Give Him your heart—your whole heart. Give Him permission to change it. The words of Deuteronomy 30:6 have changed my life and my heart. “The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live” (Deut. 30:6).

I pray daily that God will circumcise my heart to love Him. I know we will never be men and women after God’s own heart with halfhearted devotion. A heart wholly devoted to God is a heart like His.

My God, I praise You because You are the same God today as You were when David was king. You still desire wholehearted devotion from Your people. I pray to acknowledge You and submit to You daily. I pray to serve You with wholehearted devotion. Please show me where my heart is divided and make it whole again. Finally, I pray to serve You with a willing spirit. Please purify every motive I have for serving You. I pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.


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