This week's memory verse:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." -- Colossians 3:23
Ladies and gentlemen...may I have your undivided attention please? That means, turn off the radio, TV or IPod and place ALL your attention on these words that I have written just for you...
Our attention, efforts and our HEARTS have so many places to focus today...so many directions to be looking...so many things to distract us. "With all your heart" sounds good, but is it possible to really do anything "with ALL your heart?"
The Bible, and therefore, God thinks it is. Look up the following verses about what we are to do "with all your heart."
Deuteronomy 6:5 - Love
Deuteronomy 26:16 - Observe
Psalm 9:1 - Praise
Proverbs 3:5 - Trust
Jeremiah 29:13 - Seek
Ephesians 6:7 - Serve
Colossians 3:23 - Work
God is telling us...using the verbs (ACTION words) above...what we are to be doing with ALL our heart.
Psalm 86:11-12 - the writer of these words is asking God to teach him AND to give him an UNDIVIDED heart...a heart that is not torn between God and the world. He wants this so he can fear God (do what God tells him to do) AND praise him WITH ALL HIS HEART. This man knew that his attention and his heart was easily distracted and was asking God to help him do what he was having trouble doing on his own.
Exodus 20:5 says God is a jealous god who wants our complete devotion. I don't think this is for his own glory...that he NEEDS our devotion. I believe that God KNOWS that when we are fully devoted and focused on him, we are not as apt to get ourselves in trouble...we are safer and happier when our hearts totally belong to God.
Revelations 3:15-16 speaks about being "lukewarm"...lukewarm is neither hot nor cold...not totally devoted...not whole-heartedly. I think a lot of us are lukewarm about a lot of things, including our God.
Like the son in yesterday's story who said he wouldn't go to the fields, but changed his mind and went...do we go...do we do what God tells us to, but grumbling all the way? Do we complain about HAVING to eat right...HAVING to exercise...HAVING to spend wisely...HAVING to forgive???
If we were giving God our undivided heart, we would realize these were things we don't HAVE to do...these are things we GET to do...we CHOOSE to do them to be more balanced and healthy for our benefit but also to give God the glory. When we do these things in the name of Jesus, we are showing the world that our heart TOTALLY belongs to God...we are allowing his light to shine through us so people will see God and want to give their hearts to him as well.
So the next time you are tempted to grumble and say "I HAVE TO..." replace that phrase with an expression of love for God. Thank him for teaching you self- discipline and for putting your divided heart back together again.