Thankful Heart

 

Girl holding a heart-shaped boxI want to have a thankful heart no matter what my circumstances.

I want to have a thankful heart in the middle of crisis.

I want to have a thankful heart in the joy of victory.

I want to have a thankful heart in the depths of grief.

 

A thankful heart can’t co-exist with a hateful heart.

A thankful heart can’t co-exist with anger.

A thankful heart can’t co-exist with selfishness.

A thankful heart can’t co-exist with greed.

A thankful heart can’t co-exist with envy.

A thankful heart can’t co-exist with jealousy.

 

A thankful heart CAN co-exist with giving!

A thankful heart CAN co-exist with love!

A thankful heart CAN co-exist with joy!

A thankful heart CAN co-exist with peace!

A thankful heart CAN co-exist with patience!

I think you get the picture – a thankful heart stands on its own and needs to be the foundation of everything good inside my heart.

I’m trying to commit this to memory this week. Check this out… 

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
    and desperately wicked.
    Who really knows how bad it is?
10 But 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)

I want to have a whole thankful heart every day for the rest of my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

King

 

PrinceI don’t always understand royalty. I could probably get used to it, if I were made a king. In most cultures and countries, the king comes from a whole lineage of kings or royalty. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around what it might be like to be a king. I think in some ways it would be cool, but it other ways it would be annoying. I could never simply go to my favorite restaurant without an entourage. I think I would love the “high-end” living that came with it, but not the inconvenience of fame and fortune.

I was reading this morning about Jesus’ arrest and “mock trial” before the Jews. He is then taken to Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus if He’s a king. Check this out…

36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” (John 18:36-37 NLT)

Jesus is definitely a King. He is a different type of King. He doesn’t want the castle, the royalty, the wealth, the fame that comes from being a King. He is of the royal lineage of King David. The fact that He’s the Son of God, trumps any other characteristic of any type of king. He walked the streets teaching about God’s love and mercy. He had no house to call His castle. He didn’t wear fancy clothing. It is really obvious that He was different than what we know kings to be.

Jesus calmly explains to Pilate, the Roman governor, that His Kingdom is not in competition with the Roman government or any other government. He came to bring salvation to the world. He came to introduce access to Creator God. He came to introduce the Truth about God and His Kingdom. God’s Kingdom had been so distorted from what it looked like years before. We humans tend to amend things and “tweak” things to the way we like and it often changes something that is pivotal to the Word of God.

Jesus is King of my heart.

Jesus taught humility.

Jesus taught serving.

Jesus taught giving.

Jesus taught forgiving.

Jesus taught truth.

Jesus became King of my heart because of Who He is and the message that He brought to the world. He is the One & Only Son of God. He willingly went to the cross and became the Ultimate sacrifice for sin. He became King differently than any other king. He is the King who I’ve committed to following all the rest of my days. I want to live, serve, give and forgive like the King of all Kings.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Repent & Be Alert

 

Prepared Not UnpreparedThis book of Revelation is a challenge to understand. It is choked full of symbolism, tied together with truth. John didn’t have the luxury of having seen things like he’s seeing in these visons and in the revelation. I suspect that he had trouble sleeping at night after seeing these beasts and wild creatures.  I read to day about the 7 bowls of wrath – I’m wondering if these are huge mixing bowls. I’m wondering what they looked like. The Lord’s judgment is a part of Who He is. I’m thankful that His Grace comes before judgement. It’s hard to believe, but there are people who are stubborn and will not repent before the Lord. He is a God of Grace, but He is also a God of Justice. Check this out…

15 “Look, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15 CSB)

I talk to the Lord throughout the day every day. I want to make a routine out of repentance. In repentance, I’m humble and grateful for Who He is and the fact that He doesn’t punish me as my sins deserve. I have been forgiven much and He wants me to be alert to what He’s doing in my world as well as the fact that He is coming again. I won’t get off this earth alive unless He returns. My soul lives on either way. I want to lay down my pride and live in repentance and humility before Him. I want to notice what He’s doing and be ready when He returns.

I’m going to clothe my spiritual body with the Presence of God – His Spirit.

I’m going to prepare my physical body and be ready – Serving Him by serving others.

I’m going to live like I’ll die tomorrow;

Die knowing I’ll live forever. (Rich Mullins)

I want to be alert and filled with repentance before Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Worth My Worship

Morning Pray At Beautiful LandscapeI must say that the book of Revelation is quite a unique book of the Bible. It is filled with symbolism and wild descriptive creatures that take some imagination. It sometimes makes me laugh to think how I might describe what John is trying to describe. These creatures seem like something out of a sci-fi movie. John is seeing things that he has never seen before and is trying to describe them in terms of his life experiences and his culture. I do believe that the things we see in heaven will be beyond describing so I’m giving the brother a break as I read this one-of-a-kind book.

The scene is worship. There are creatures that are weird looking in heaven and there are 24 Elders surrounding the throne. The Son of God is on the throne – bright and colorful beyond describing. Worship breaks out often. Check this out…

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the one seated on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne and say,

11 Our Lord and God,
you are worthy to receive
glory and honor and power,
because you have created all things,
and by your will
they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:9-11CSB)

I am pushed back in my chair this morning as I visualize this scene. John had spent personal one-on-one time with Jesus while He walked the earth. Someone beyond description was now in front. He was seeing Jesus in splendor and majesty. I wonder if John was remembering the blind man healed or the lame guy walking after meeting Jesus. I wonder if John was remembering Lazarus who was brought back from the dead. I wonder if John was remembering the scene at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother. John had to be blown away with the scene, but he understood the words as the 24 elders worshiped. The Lord is so worthy of my worship.

Worthy Of Your Name by Passion featuring Sean Curran

Build My Life by Passion by Passion featuring Brett Yonker

I’m excited to join with my fellow Christ followers as we worship as a church today!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Appearances

 

I have seen people who appear to have it all together. They have a nice house, nice car, beautiful spouse, beautiful children – but once you get to know them, you learn just how broken and miserable they are. They are not who they appear to be. I’ve seen people at church who “appear” spiritual, but their actions speak otherwise. I’ve also seen people who appear to be poor as dirt, but are quite wealthy and good managers of what they’ve been blessed with. It’s dangerous to “judge a book by its cover” – especially when the axiom involves people. It seems that there are a lot people who try to impress others with how they live – the house they live in, the car they drive, the clothes they way – this stuff is way overrated, in my opinion. I want to live a life of influence and significance with my goal of impressing the Lord alone.

My wife and kids know me like no others. I have close friends who know me as well. I have weaknesses and I have strengths. I have never been perfect, but I’m sure trying to be like Jesus, Who was perfect. I don’t ever want to become full of pride where my friends can bring me down to earth. I want to be a humble follower of the Lord and I want the activities of my daily life to validate my faith. Check this out…

15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:15-17 CSB)

I must be humble and broken before the Lord. He can use me when I’m empty of me. If I’m empty of me, He can fill me up and spill into the lives of others.

Lord I Need You by Matt Maher

The good news for me is that the Lord can use me right where I am. I just should trust Him to prune the things off me that are “in the way” of Him. He can use me when I surrender all of me to Him and His plan. I DON’T want to be lukewarm.

If I give off the appearance that I have it all together – trust me, I don’t. I have The Lord in my life and He has it all together. He is the reason I appear to have it all together – He is leading my life. He’s leading me as a husband. He’s leading me as a Dad. He’s leading me as a friend/REALTOR. He’s leading me as a Broker.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Love Is Not Optional

Moving escalator stairs, love hate signI grew up seeing love in action with my family. For the most part, my siblings all loved one another. We were good at defending our “turf”, but we loved one another and still do. My parents displayed love for one another as well as others. We don’t usually get to choose our family, but we are blessed when our family becomes close friends. I did learn that there are people who were harder to love. It’s hard to love people who are mean and hateful. It’s hard to love people who take advantage of my kindness. It’s hard to love people whom I perceive to be foolish. The commands of The Word are to love everyone. I’m confident that there are no exceptions. This is a hard command and one that I will keep working on.

John, the Apostle is writing to a prominent lady in the church and his words jumped into my heart this morning. Check this out…

I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. So now I ask you, dear lady—not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. This is love: that we walk according to his commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: that you walk in love. (2 John 1:4-6 CSB)

The way I read this, if I don’t love, then I’m not walking in the truth. Ouch! I do need His help to love people who are difficult to love. My Mom used to say that “you can find something good in everyone, if you just look hard enough”. The Lord has given new lenses to my eyes. If I can look through eyes of love that comes from Him, I can see the value of other people – even the difficult people.

If I remember what it’s like to be rejected and unloved, then I can find it easier to show love to others. I also think it’s important for Christians to remember what it was like to be lost. One of the strongest commands of The Word is to humble myself. If I’m humbled, I can love anyone. If I’m proud of my accomplishments and my status, then I will find it harder to love the unlovely or hard to love people.  Love is a broad and big word that brings healing and hope to so many. God so loved that He gave His Son for the world. In loving us, He gave. Love is not optional for me as a follower of Jesus. I love because He loved me. I know what it feels like to be loved and accepted. I know what it feels like to be scorned and rejected. I love being loved. I decided many years ago that I want to love like He loves.

Pressing On!

Dwayne