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Posts Tagged ‘heart’

 
Cultivate inner beauty
 
The gentle, gracious kind
 
That God delights in.
 
1 Peter 3:4
 
 
My friend Steena is “face blind” which means she has extreme difficulty identifying faces.  (Prosopagnosia is the medical term.)  Steena sees beauty differently than the average person.  Her “face blindness” helps her to see inner beauty clearly.  Outward appearance in not important to Steena compared to recognizing internal depth, strength, and dignity.
 
God also evaluates beauty differently than we do.  “Men and women look at the face: God looks into the heart” (1Samuel 16:7).  God delights in gracious and gentle inner beauty (1 Peter 3:4).  Although it takes time and effort to cultivate this type of beauty, everyone has an equal opportunity to be astonishingly beautiful. 
 
“Our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is being renewed day after day ….  What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16 & 18).
 
Beauty that is eternal is not physical.
 

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When they walk through the
 Valley of Weeping, 
They make it a place of springs…
Psalm 84:6
 
   
When I am in the kitchen, I enjoy listening to The Book of Psalms on CD.  I have found listening to the Psalms an easy way to imprint these words on my heart.  For the past two months, my favorite has been Psalm 84.  I find this Psalm especially comforting when I am going through the “valley of weeping.” 
 
 
How lovely is Your dwelling place,
       O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
       for the courts of the Lord;
       my heart and my flesh cry out
       for the living God.

 Even the sparrow has found a home,
       and the swallow a nest for herself,
       where she may have her young—
       a place near Your altar,
       O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
       they are ever praising You. 

Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
       those who have set their hearts on finding You.

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
       they make it a place of springs;
       the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength,
       till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty;
       listen to me, O God…

Better is one day in Your courts
       than a thousand elsewhere;
       I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
       than dwell in the homes of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
       the Lord bestows favor and honor; 
       The Lord will withhold no good thing
       from those who do what is right.

 O Lord Almighty,
       You bless everyone who trusts in You.  

 Psalm 84

 

This is a combination of the New International Version, New Living Translation, and the Contemporary English Version.  I also made some minor changes, such as, “set their hearts on pilgrimage” was changed to “set their hearts on finding You” (verse 5). 

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Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart,
Since as members of one body
 You were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15
 
 
My three-year old son Sterling is very affectionate.  He gives my husband and me kisses and hugs for no other reason but to show his love.  It is nice to be appreciated for who you are and not just for the things that you do.  In the same way, I believe God likes to be noticed and appreciated just for who He is.  Our praises and thankfulness are our way of giving God “hugs and kisses”. 
 
I have a long history with the book, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.  In 1996, I first highlighted his July 12th devotional.  It has continued to be one of the most challenging and inspiring devotionals that I have read.  
           
 My Utmost for His Highest — July 12
We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own, or to enjoy a quiet retreat. We are here to have the full realization of Jesus Christ, for the purpose of building up his body.
 
Am I building up the body of Christ, or am I only concerned about my own personal development?  The essential thing is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ — “… that I may know Him.” (Philippians 3:10).  To fulfill God’s perfect design for me requires my total surrender–complete abandonment of myself to Him.  Whenever I only want things for myself, the relationship is distorted.  And I will suffer great humiliation once I come to acknowledge and understand that I have not really been concerned about realizing Jesus Christ Himself, but only concerned with knowing what He has done for me.
 
My goal is God Himself, not joy and peace,
Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.
From Him the whole body … grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16
 

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Place me like a seal
over your heart.
Song of Songs 8:6
.  
.
Place me like a seal over your heart….for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.  It burns like blazing fire like a mighty flame.  Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away (Song of Songs 8:6-7).
 
 
The Holy Spirit’s love burns like a
Blazing Fire
Nothing can quench
Love
 
  
Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13

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My heart and my flesh
Cry out for the Living God.
  
Psalm 84:2
  
  
 
The Spirit brings tenderness to our…heart by caressing us with His tender touch and arousing us to love and good deeds.  The Spirit woos us with the words of a lover, inviting us to a union with God that is intimate, passionate, and fruit bearing.  We are not alone, nor will we be left without a voice.  Dan B. Allender, Ph.D.
 
If you have a favorite Dan B. Allender, Ph.D. quote, you are invited to share it in the comment section.
~
~Righteousness and peace kiss each other.  Psalms 85:10 
 

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His heart

He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms and
carries them close to His heart. 
He gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 40:11
 
Many years ago, my friend Julissa Lynn sent me this verse.  At this point, I did not have children and I was very discouraged.  I  wrote this verse and prayer in my journal on August 15, 1997: “Lord, please bless us with children and gently lead us.”  My husband and I now have three children and He has gently led us.
 
For my sister Elizabeth, who is about to have her first baby

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unborn heart

They will proclaim
Your righteousness
to a people yet unborn….
Psalm 22:31

 

Last Saturday, an unborn baby’s heart stopped beating because a 19-year-old woman decided to have an abortion.  A few days before the abortion, a mutual friend asked me to write this young woman a letter.  I sent her information about a family hoping to adopt.  I do not know if she read my letter but I do know that the loss of her baby has changed me.  I am praying about what I can do to help “those who cannot keep themselves alive.”  (Psalm 22:29)  Will you join me in this prayer? 
 
~ God of Grace ~
Please show your love and grace to those who have had abortions.  Please help us to know how to help those who are surprised by a life growing within themselves.  Please help us to know what to do to help “those who cannot keep themselves alive.”  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 
 
a verse to give the unborn a voice:
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
Psalm 27:10

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