Devotional: ‘The Heart’

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Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within. (Ps 51:6 HSB)

Sometime back I read a very power article written by the Puritan Thomas Murphy, concerning the need for integrity. Here is a portion of that writing –

“… the heart is the true source of such exalted character. Where there is devoted godliness in the heart it will be seen in the life. It cannot be hidden. Moreover, it cannot be counterfeited. If the genuine work is not within, no efforts to imitate it will be successful. But where it really is, life, lips, and acts will all reveal it, even when it is not so intended. The heart which is elevated by communion with Christ will show itself on the countenance and in the daily communion with men.”

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Devotional: ‘Enoch Feared God’

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It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Heb 11:5-6 NLT) 

Enoch’s rapture is very significant because it has a direct correlation to his faith. What did Enoch believe that made him such an amazing man? The Bible teaches us that Enoch believed God concerning future events.

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Devotional: ‘A Life That Pleases God’

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Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. (Gen 5:23-24 NLT)

Enoch’s rapture has been a wonder to many down through the ages. So rarely has something like this happened that it’s almost beyond our ability to believe. ‘How’ it happened and ‘when’ it happened we’re not told. But we do know ‘why’ it happened. Scripture says that Enoch was taken because ‘he pleased God.’

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Devotional: ‘Swept Away 0n Angel’s Wings’

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Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. (Gen 5:23-24 NLT)

What better thing could be said of someone than that they walk closely with God? Scripture says that Enoch’s walk with God was so real that one day God took him to heaven. I remember hearing an old preacher once describing this event like this – ‘At the close of every day, Enoch and God took a stroll together. One evening they got caught up in their conversation and ended up walking a long way. The Lord said to His friend, “It seems that tonight we’re closer to My home than to yours. Why not come and stay with Me?” And with those words, Enoch was suddenly swept away on angel’s wings.

Without a doubt Enoch’s walk with the Lord must have been something very special. Though he had no Bible to read, Enoch knew much more about many of God’s mysteries than most of the Old Testament prophets. The book of Jude tells us that Enoch even knew about the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. (See Jude 14-15) How and when did this ancient man learn these deep Bible truths?

A part of Enoch’s walk with God involved his willingness to learn and to listen. The Bible refers to those who – “meditate in God’s Word day and night.”[1] In a world full of noise and busyness, it is often very difficult to take time to be silent. Yet learning to listen to God as He speaks is a very important part of developing a deeper relationship with Him. Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…”[2] The Spirit is always speaking to us. The question is – ‘Do we have spiritual ears to hear Him?’

In addition to the need of being silent before God, there is also the need for us to talk with Him. The Bible says – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Solomon wrote that there is ‘a time to be silent and a time to speak…’ [3]

Though scripture doesn’t give us a lot of detail about Enoch’s walk with God, we can be sure that it involved both listening and sharing. Enoch and God became close friends. I pray that his example will be an encouragement to us all. Who knows, maybe God will also sweep us away one day on angel’s wings.

 

[1] Psalm 1:2

[2] Revelation 2:11

[3] Ecclesiastes 3:7

Devotional: ‘Lord, Make Me Bold!’

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Do you sometimes struggle with sharing your faith with others? I know that I do and I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe these are some of the reasons:

We don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. Often when we bring up the subject of salvation, there is a sense of uneasiness that fills the air. Scripture says that ‘light has come into the world, but people love darkness instead of light.’ [1] People do not want to talk about their sin; therefore, a conversation about the need of salvation is never easy.

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Sunday Sermon: ‘The Heart of Worship'(I WILL Series #2)

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audio

Several years ago a church in England was experiencing what many churches sometimes experience. They were experiencing a sense of apathy in their worship. They were going through all the motions and singing all the songs, but they were not worshiping.

The pastor of that church then made a bold move. He had them cut off the sound system and he asked all the musicians not to play. Here’s what the worship leader of that church wrote – “His point was that we’d lost our way in worship, and the way to get back to the heart would be to strip everything away.”

The pastor then asked the members of his congregation this question – “When you come through the doors on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?” For a while there was dead silence. Then the people began to sing a capella and to pray.

Eventually they added back the musicians, but only after they had “gained a new perspective that worship is all about Jesus, and that He commands a response in the depths of our souls no matter what the circumstance and setting.”  (story taken from Crosswalk, Matt Redman’s “The Heart of Worship.” September 18, 2016)

Today I want to speak to you on the subject of -‘The Heart of Worship.’ The Apostle Paul wrote – “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) Everything that is good is ‘OF’ God. It originates with God. Everything that is good is ‘THROUGH’ God. God must be the one who is giving the power and the strength. And therefore, everything that is good is ‘FOR’ God.

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Devotional: ‘How to Have a Good Day’ pt 3’

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Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ESV 

This week we have been considering some of the various aspects of our Christian character. Paul tells us that as followers of Jesus Christ, we should be known for our love, kindness, gentleness and humility. As we have studied, we have seen how these qualities can help us have a good day – every day. We conclude our study this week by considering the importance of praise.

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