1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man looks on outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Psalm 4:5 Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the Lord.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 139:23,24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.
Jeremiah 17:10 “I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 16:15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God
1 Timothy 1:5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
God wants us to love Him. Well, that sounds like a given, right? Sure, and that should be easy. Ok, love, God, and all will go well for the rest of your life. You love Him like you love your cat, the study of different birds, and/or animals (like bats—ugh) that eat and decrease the bug population, or the way you love stamps, or love to read romance novels, or walking in the rain, or seeing a fierce lightening storm over the ocean. We love—actually “love” many things.
But not with the heart. We prefer to read a good novel, maybe during a fierce and magnificent lightning storm—but that’s NOT our heart. And God wants that—that piece of you that makes Him First, Most Important, the One who created you, now makes you alive, safe, secure, and Who has forgiven you, has taken you and enveloped you and will never, NEVER let you go. Our God knows True love. His is not a love that diminishes after the honeymoon period, when things are not rosy—there are bills piling up, you are no longer able to spontaneously go for dinner and drinks, no longer able to take a weekend to Mexico or Bermuda, or…….
We don’t love like God does. We are too selfish and self-centered. If something hurts us, we pull back and start looking for ways the other might be hurting us, using us. We pull back, there are walls erected—usually on both sides, although generally, without an outside source we only see and feel our own hurts and grudges. But the walls, the barriers are usually on both sides. It may start off as confusion—“What did I do to get him/her angry?” Then worrying, fussing without good communication and the foundation of the wall is laid, but without communicating FROM the HEART, it is going to further interrupt communication. This is not Unconditional love. We have a hard time with unconditional love.
We also tend to be judgmental. Hard to be caring and loving when you are judging someone and finding them on the difficult side, the lower side, or doing something you think is sinful or damaging, or just makes you uncomfortable—drug use, promiscuity, there are SO many things we all judge. One of favorite reminders in the Bible is that I will be judged the same way I judge others. OH my goodness, I truly repent, because I am harsh. Help me Lord, Holy Spirit, correct me immediately when I judge others.
We are our number ONES. And that does not serve giving unconditional love to others. We prefer giving unconditional love to ourselves. We are most important, we are number ONE—at least in our own minds and hearts. Generally, we believe we are good, loving, generous, and worthy….but would anyone else who knew us think we are that good? Does God, who had the only sinless Man as His Son be our atoning sacrifice for ALL of our sins—past sins, present and future. If we look closely, will we see any faults and sinfulness within? Are we truly giving our entire heart to Him, changing our behaviors and confessing sins and asking for the Holy Spirit to show us each and every time we fall short of what God wants us to be doing? Are we loving like Jesus?
When we finally hit our reason for reaching out for God because we cannot go on, we cannot see a way to do anything else, we cry out—with any belief that He will answer?—usually doubtful, but our LAST RESORT, OUR LAST DESPERATE CRY FOR HELP. Will He really help? Is He really there? Will this really change my circumstances? My cry of GOD HELP. . . PLEASE!!! That close to the end, do we believe He will help? No, it’s a matter of a helpless moan, will this plea—not even a prayer—really help me?
We love and want to give while it is to our benefit. But when things get difficult, we nibble at the problem and then. . . Pull back. ‘How will it affect me? How is this going to ever be okay for me? I have given more love to. . . than I have been given. I am not loved as much as I have given, right God? I gave my all, and this is all I get? It’s not enough, God. I want and expect more.’
That is not the way God loves, and He wants us to love one another unconditionally—just the way He loves us. Oh My! He sees our sins, repeatedly, and more than one, and more than when we find Him and claim Him and still we sin—and He forgives us, He loves us! HE LOVES US ALWAYS.
We don’t love always. We see hurt, we see things that can hurt us, and we put up walls. That is not God’s way. And the fact He has done this since He created Man and Woman helped Man commit the first sin. He wants to LOVE ON US—He wants us to LOVE HIM UNCONDITIONALLY. Yikes, He wants us to love the way HE loves us. How deep, how wide, how strong, how circular and loving can that be? WoW! The greatest love of ALL. And He GIVES it to us. No monetary cost, no danger, only pure, GRACE and unconditional LOVE, giving, generous beyond measure, forgiveness, and LOVE. The kind you cannot deny. It’s deep—you mess up, and still His forgiveness reassures you you are HIS. His grace and love want you!!
He wants you to love the way He loves. Can you do it? Can you be that unselfish? Can you be not self-centered? After years of loving Jesus and God, I find I am still FAR, FAR so distant from the Jesus I follow and want to emulate
How about you? Are you struggling with your heart? I see some improvements, but I am not where I would like to be heart-wise.
Lord, I know it’s a struggle , but am I making my heart more like Yours? Thank You, Lord, for always being there for me and ‘mybellaviews.’