Sunday, January 1, 2012

….with ALL your heart…..

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength”.  Deut. 6:4-5 NLT

When it comes to the believer and God, He does not want the believer to have a divided heart.  Suppose you had two bosses.  It would be impossible to give one of them all your service and labor because you have to try to please both of them.  The Lord Jesus spoke of this problem of a divided heart: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24).  God wants all of our devotion.

God wants all of our love and all of our devotion!   Because there is only ONE GOD (verse 4) our devotion does not need to be divided.  We are to love Him with ALL OUR HEART.

"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?  He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul (Deut. 10:12 NLT).    The entire person is involved.

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God…” (Col. 3:22 KJV).

The word SINGLENESS means without duplicity, simple, clear, united, connected. With singleness of heart, serve and fear God.  Don’t have a divided heart.   Leave God in the center of your heart.  Give Him all your heart.  Give Him your complete allegiance.

The Pharaoh in the book of Exodus was known for his HARD HEART. He repeatedly refused to do what God told him to do.

“ ……the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:7-8).

 When we hear God's Word, and fail to do what it says, our hearts get hard.  When we continue to hear God's Word, but fail to heed God's Word, then the heart keeps on getting harder. The harder the heart gets, the harder it is to do right. When we hear God's Word and look to God and humbly seek to do what God's Word says, then the heart softens.

What is God looking for?

He’s looking for a heart that is tender.  The word "tender" is used of a little twig, a tree just developing.  "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent" (Ezek. 17:22).   A twig is not like a large branch.  It is very small, tender and bendable. The word "tender" is used of a little child, a tender child: moldable, soft, weak, supple, submissive, easily bent like a twig, easily changed.

We need to have a soft heart that is pliable, teachable, and moldable. The problem is that we get old, stiff and inflexible.  We need to stay childlike.

God wants us to be soft, flexible, and easily molded.

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