An Overflowing Heart

ID-10051375Is there any better time to write a post than when my heart is overflowing? You may ask why? … a raise? … a new sofa? Is it because of the beautiful covering of snow this morning? … the 25+ birds on my feeder? … my terrific husband? …wonderful kids? … adorable grandchildren? No, none of these.  My heart is overflowing because of the feast I just enjoyed this morning from the Bible! Oh, the joy of precious time alone with my Lord and Savior! It brings tears to my eyes and a pain in my chest because my heart is ready to burst!

Just a little background …

I started off this year using a new Bible reading plan which will take me through the Bible in 90 days! That’s a lot of Bible, but I wanted to give it a try.  Now, here on day 13, I’ve been able to keep up with it, but it’s been a challenge. The greater challenge is getting something from the Word.  With that much Bible pouring into my brain, there hasn’t been the luxury of “studying” the Bible, and I’ve missed it.

So, this morning I studied God’s Word. My friend, Matthew Henry, was a great blessing and took me over the top! I suppose I love his writing because he wrote before…

  • The 2000s millennial worldview
  • The 1990s fundamental shift
  • The 1980s contemporary movement
  • The 1970s Christian school movement
  • The 1960s anti-establishmentarian movement
  • The 1950s post-war era

He wrote before…

  • The colonies were even established in America!
  • Voltaire made his inroad into “modern” thinking
  • World Wars
  • Hitler’s diabolical Third Reich

However, his times were not without troubles:

  • His father was ejected as a pastor from the Church of England because he would not conform to church policy (Act of Uniformity 1662)
  • Matthew Henry himself was a Nonconformist, which certainly meant swimming against the tide!

That was a bit of a sidetrack, so back to this overflowing heart and a challenge:

Will you be at church tomorrow?  Why do you go to church? You see, when we spend time with God it will make our hearts overflow with joy, gladness, thankfulness, adoration, praise.  We just want to honor and praise and glorify our wonderful God.

We go to church for those reasons: to glorify, praise, worship, and honor God. We go to express our love and thankfulness to Him for all that He has done for us! We don’t look at the color of the carpet, the outfit someone is wearing.  We don’t complain about what hymn or song is sung.  We don’t go to critique the teacher, pastor, song leader, pianist or instrumentalist.  We don’t ultimately go to see our friends, but we go to focus on God and realign our hearts and lives back to HIS normal.  It’s sort of like going to the chiropractor!

Here are the thoughts and Words from God that triggered the overflow:

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!  My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.  Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Psalm 84:1-2

The whole sparrow thing took me to Matthew Henry.  Look at this:

 David … would rather live in a bird’s nest nigh God’s altars than in a palace at a distance from them.  It is better to be serving God in solitude than serving sin with a multitude.  David envies the happiness not of those birds that flew over the altars, and had only a transient view of God’s courts, but of those that had nests for themselves there. David will not think it enough to sojourn in God’s house as a way-faring man that turns aside to tarry for a night; but let this be his rest, his home; here he will dwell. And he takes notice that these birds not only have nests for themselves there, but that there they lay their young; for those who have a place in God’s courts themselves cannot but desire that their children also may have in God’s house

I hope your church is your “home away from home” –a place where you gather with your fellow journeymen and gain strength, rest, and the satisfaction that you have done what God commands, not grudgingly, but with a heart overflowing! Make your “nest” there! Own it! Make it yours! 🙂

 

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What am I doing here?

As a high school student, I remember walking to our lockers in the morning with my friend, and one of us would turn to the other and say, “What are we doing here?”  At the time, the answer was fairly simple for me: get an education and head to college.  I’m sure it was much the same for my friend even though she was heading for marriage instead of college.  Perhaps she had days when it seemed pointless to keep going just to get that piece of paper while wearing the funny hat.  She certainly didn’t need a diploma to get married, and as far as I know, she never had a career which required a diploma either; so I understand her question.

Don’t we all ask that same question at different times along life’s pathway?  What are we doing here?  Even as Christians, who have the Word to lighten our way, as well as a promised eternal destination, the question still lingers: What are we doing here?

Take a moment to think about life…

  1. We work: A job is a necessary part of living, providing for our needs and wants, and can be a source of great satisfaction.
  2. We marry: Many of us find our true loves and choose to share life with that one person.
  3. We have children: If the Lord is gracious in allowing us to have children, they become a huge part of our lives.
  4. We love God and try to serve Him: As  born-again believers, Jesus Christ becomes a part of our lives.

So maybe life looks like thispieChart_jpg (3)

Perhaps the percentages are different:One part might take up bigger chunks of time, and we could certainly include a lot more categories, but you get the idea.

On our quest for an answer, we may look at verses to help us to find the answer, like:

Romans 12:1,2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

I once heard a missionary preach on this verse, and he put it like this: As you are going, teach and make disciples.  That statement gives us a clue, and we can build upon it every day of our lives, answering the question, “What am I doing here?”  At my job, think Christ!  In my home, remember Jesus!  At church, worship and focus on Jesus Christ!  He is the only One that can give meaning and purpose to life. So then, our chpieChart_jpg (1)art will look something like this:

God becomes the hub of our lives, affecting every part of it.  If we try to put God one piece of the pie, the rest of life falls apart!

Perhaps you’re asking, “But how do I do that?”  So glad you asked!  🙂 The answer is actually simple: fall in love with Jesus!  Remember when that certain someone filled your every waking moment?  He or she affected the way you ate and dressed, where you went, what you watched.  I remember following the Oakland A’s because a young man liked that team! Now, I don’t even know who they are!

However, falling in love with Jesus takes TIME!  Spend time with Him and you can’t help but love Him. Talk to Him, read His love letter, talk about Him, write down your thoughts about Him and you will find that He will be the hub of your life: the One that everything centers around!

The following verse gives us a glimpse at what it looks like to fall in love with something; sadly, this man was in love with his stuff! But as you read it, apply it to our relationship with Christ.

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. Luke 12: 18

and I said, I know what I will do, I will change my schedule and put time with my Savior first; and in my life, I will give every part to Him. (The Wanda Translation 🙂 )