VIDEO Spring Cleaning, A Clean Heart – crushed with guilt well

Spring Cleaning—A Clean Heart

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Is there a particular room in your house you keep cleaner than the rest? When it comes to weekly house cleanings—or spring cleaning—where do you start? Maybe it’s wherever you consider the nerve center of your life, the room which, if it is dirty or disorganized, keeps you off balance until it’s back in order. Maybe it’s the kitchen? The den or family room? Your bedroom and clothes closet? Or maybe for commuters it’s their car—interior and exterior.

Wherever the center of your physical life is, the center of your spiritual life is what the Bible calls the “heart.” Not the physical organ in your chest, but the place where the mind, will, and emotions merge to create your true spiritual life. And when the heart is dirty or disorganized, everything else is, too. After King David sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, her husband, David lived with an unclean heart for many months—until he finally confessed his sins to God and asked for a clean heart.

Does your heart need spring cleaning today? God is ready to hear your prayer if only you will talk to Him (1 John 1:9).

The pure heart is God’s paradise where He delights to walk.  Thomas Watson


Psalm 51 – John Piper

 

Apr 17, 2011

Today our focus is on Psalm 51 and how to be crushed with guilt well. I hope that you are detecting a pattern. What makes a person a Christian is not that he doesn’t get discouraged, and it’s not that he doesn’t sin and feel miserable about it. What makes a person a Christian is the connection that he has with Jesus Christ that shapes how he thinks and feels about his discouragement and his sin and guilt.

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Gazing at the Horizon

We are looking for the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:14

Almost as soon as the ferryboat started to move, my little daughter said she felt ill. Seasickness had already begun to affect her. Soon I was feeling queasy myself. “Just stare at the horizon,” I reminded myself. Sailors say this helps to regain a sense of perspective.

The Maker of the horizon (Job 26:10) knows that sometimes in life we may become fearful and restless. We can regain perspective by focusing on the distant but steady point of our destiny.

Our present troubles are temporary. Focus on God and gain perspective.

The writer of Hebrews understood this. He sensed discouragement in his readers. Persecution had driven many of them from their homes. So he reminded them that other people of faith had endured extreme trials and had been left homeless. They endured it all because they anticipated something better.

As exiles, these readers could look forward to the city whose architect is God, the heavenly country, the city God prepared for them (Hebrews 11:10, 14, 16). So in his final exhortations, the writer asked his readers to focus on God’s promises. “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (13:14).

Our present troubles are temporary. We are “foreigners and strangers on earth” (11:13), but gazing at the horizon of God’s promises provides the point of reference we need.

Father, in the midst of troubles, help me to focus on Your promises.

Focus on God and regain perspective.

By Keila Ochoa 

INSIGHT

Followers of Jesus wait for the day when we will be with Him—the fulfillment of what we’ve spent our lives pursuing. We rightfully yearn to be “home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). The troubles we have in this life make our desire that much sharper and earnest. Today’s passage isn’t about forgetting the world we live in and thinking only of heaven; it’s about seeing our present life from the perspective of the life to come. Paul reminded us that our current troubles are not worth comparing to what is to come (Romans 8:18).

J.R. Hudberg

Crying Out to Our God

Psalm 34:15-17

When we face a crisis, the Lord is willing and able to help. But before He will become involved and release His divine energy into our situation, He requires one thing: a righteous heart.

This, of course, is not an expectation that we live a perfect life, which our Father knows would be impossible. When a sinner turns to God for salvation, He cleanses the heart of iniquity and gives that person a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet even believers will follow old flesh patterns at times, so the Lord calls us to confess and repent when we miss the mark. Then He will “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Thankfully, He hears us in our imperfection as long as we desire to walk in His way. The problem arises, however, when a Christian knowingly lives in sin and chooses not to turn from it—the Lord will not hear an unrepentant heart.

Today’s passage shows that the heavenly Father wants His children to cry out to Him. During trials, we tend to pray this way—with increased focus, passion, and sincerity. Hannah is a good example. Heartbroken over her barrenness, she went to the temple and beseeched the Lord with such emotion that the priest thought she was drunk! God answered her plea and opened her womb (1 Samuel 1:1-20).

When a crisis comes, cry out to our almighty God, but be sure you do so with a righteous heart. Then He will hear and answer—either fulfilling your hoped-for request or providing a different solution. Because He is omniscient, loving, and sovereign, you can fully trust that His answer is in your best interest.

A Faithful Saying

“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:11-13)

This saying may have been a song or other memory device that Paul recommended as a summary of doctrine. It expresses important elements of saving faith. First, Christ’s vicarious death gives us eternal life in Him. We “who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) have been created “in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24) and have “passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

Second, standing with Christ in this life attests to our reigning with Him in the next. The “persecutions and tribulations that [we] endure” are a “manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that [we] may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which [we] also suffer” (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5).

Also, denying Christ in this life will ensure that He will deny us for eternity. “Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33). “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5).

Finally, even our unbelief will not affect Christ’s faithfulness. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:160). “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).

May this faithful saying be your foundation in faith. It is a guide to salvation and an anchor for eternity. HMM III

My sheep do hear My voice

John 10:19-40

John 10:19

Christ thus called out his own sheep from the flocks of others. The gospel is a great separater, and every Sabbath day it reveals its power in dividing the sheep from the goats. Those who hear and obey are saved; those who are disobedient are condemned in their own consciences.

John 10:22, 23

winter or stormy, wintry weather

John 10:22, 23

Sheltering himself from the cold, and reaching the people who would there assemble.

John 10:25, 26

This was plain, bold speech. They were none of his, and therefore they had not discerned him. Had they been his chosen, they would have received him joyfully. This doctrine is very irksome to the pride of man.

John 10:28-31

The chosen are doubly secure; two hands have grasped them, and in that double security they are beyond all danger.

John 10:28-31

They would not hear of his being one with the Father; and, alas, there are persons still living who will honour Jesus as man, but when we speak of his Godhead they are filled with anger.

John 10:33

He was assuredly God, or else, being so good a man, he would never have claimed to be what he was not. If Christ Jesus be not God, he is an impostor, and we are idolaters.

John 10:34-36

This was an argument intended to cool their rage, for, if in some sense the chosen people had been called gods, they ought not to have been so sure that it was blasphemy for Jesus to claim to be the Son of God.

John 10:37-40

Having borne his testimony, our Lord again retired. How does his declaration affect us? Are we his sheep? Do we follow in his steps? Let each answer as before the all-knowing Lord.

 

Thou Shepherd of Israel divine,

The joy of the upright in heart,

For closer communion we pine,

Still, still to reside where thou art

 

Ah! show us that happiest place—

That place of thy people’s abode,

Where saints in an ecstasy gaze,

Adoring their crucified God.

 

‘Tis there, with the lambs of thy flock,

Our spirits would covet to rest;

To lie at the foot of the rock,

Or rise to be hid in thy breast.

 

‘Tis there we would always abide,

And never a moment depart;

Preserv’d evermore by thy side,

Eternally hid in thine heart.

 

The Great Moral Blunder

By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified… This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders. (Acts 4:10-11)

Of all the people on the earth, the nation of Israel surely was the best prepared to receive the Christ of God. The children of Abraham, they were called to be a chosen people in an everlasting covenant with God, the Father.

Yet they failed to recognize Jesus as Messiah and Lord. There is no doubt that theirs was the greatest moral blunder in the history of mankind. He came to His own people and they rejected Him!

Jesus taught frankly that He was asking His followers to throw themselves out on the resources of God. For the multitude, He was asking too much. He had come from God but they received Him not!

It seems to be a comfort to some Christians to sit back and blame and belabor the Jews, refusing to acknowledge that they have information and benefits and spiritual light that the Jews never had.

It is surely wrong for us to try to comfort our own carnal hearts by any emphasis that Israel rejected Him. If we do that, we only rebuild the sepulchers of our fathers as Jesus said!

 

Fishers Follow Him

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. Mark 1:17

Only by coming after Jesus can we obtain our heart’s desire, and be really useful to our fellow men. Oh, how we long to be successful fishers for Jesus! We would sacrifice our lives to win souls. But we are tempted to try methods which Jesus would never have tried. Shall we yield to this suggestion of the enemy? If so, we may splash the water, but we shall never take the fish. We must follow after Jesus if we would succeed. Sensational methods, entertainments, and so forth — are these coming after Jesus? Can we imagine the Lord Jesus drawing a congregation by such means as are now commonly used? What is the result of such expedients? The result is nothing which Jesus will count up at the last great day.

We must keep to our preaching as our Master did, for by this means souls are saved. We must preach our Lord’s doctrine, and proclaim a full and free gospel; for this is the net in which souls are taken. We must preach with His gentleness, boldness, and love; for this is the secret of success with human hearts. We must work under divine anointing, depending upon the sacred Spirit. Thus, coming after Jesus, and not running before Him, nor aside from Him, we shall be fishers of men.

 

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