Friday, August 28, 2015

Search Me, O God

Chuckle: "Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.” --George Burns
Quote: "When God measures a person, he puts the tape around his heart and not his head." --Author Unknown
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life" (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT).
We do not know our own hearts well enough to search and test them for ourselves. David asked God to search his heart and mind and point out any wrong motives that may have been behind his strong words against his enemies. This request is important because "The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve" (Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT).
Our tendency is to want to examine our own hearts, but, in our own strength, we are incapable of doing so by God's standards. If we sincerely ask God to examine our hearts, while studying his Word and praying, He will reveal secret motives, weaknesses and sins that we never knew existed. Have you ever acted in a sinful way, then asked yourself, "Why did I do that?" Your actions may be the result of some hidden motive that only God can reveal when you let him do a thorough heart and mind search.
In a similar way, we may think we can make ourselves good enough to be acceptable to God by cleaning up our lives according to the best of our abilities. But God knows our actions mean nothing without a change of heart. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (I Samuel 16:7 NIV).
God makes it clear that we sin based on the condition of our hearts. Our hearts are inclined toward sin from the time we are born. Even Christians can forget God and slip into sin, but to sin or not is our choice. We can yield our lives to Satan's temptations, or we can turn to God, confess our sins in repentance and allow God to cleanse and purify our hearts as he removes the motives for our sinful actions and words. See 1 John 1:9.
When people observe your life, does what they see accurately reflect the condition of your heart? It can -- if you ask God to search your heart, as David did, and reveal any hidden motive or condition that offends him and causes you to bring dishonor to his Name. Once God has cleansed your heart and forgiven you, then your joy will return in full measure.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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