Tag: Heart

Give the Lord your best!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Isaiah 29:13-14 Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

An ancient story is told of a King of Spain who was to visit a poor country village. Upon hearing of his plan to visit them, the people seemed excited to offer a great celebration that would show their adoration and love for their king. But the villagers didn’t have much to offer.

In the midst of their quandary someone proposed that, since so many villagers made their own wines, they might each choose his best wine, and combine them in a barrel to present to the king as a gift from the village. So they did, each wine-maker bringing a flagon with which to fill the barrel. Then, they anxiously awaited the arrival of their sovereign.

When the King arrived, he was ceremoniously presented with a silver cup and invited to draw wine from the barrel. As he filled his silver chalice, he was surprised when he tasted only water. Where was the wine? Each villager had reasoned, “I’ll withhold my best wine and give water. There will be so many cups of excellent wine poured into the barrel that mine will never be missed.”

Here was a town full of people whose private greed completely overcame their public enthusiasm. The indictment of Isaiah the prophet suited them perfectly: “these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me..”

Yet our God looks at the heart, and He knows well when we are going through the motions of showing love and admiration for him, without any truth or sincerity.

Hypocrisy is a serious offense to our God. He would rather we honestly withhold then pretend to be generous. How often do we act publicly to be seen by men in a certain light, while in fact, our motive is self-seeking? So God will have to do another marvellous work to expose our hypocrisy, because of His love for us, for He knows when our “wine” is really “water”. But wouldn’t we rather offer our very best wine right from the start?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

 

Making God Feel At Home

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:15a

Once the heart is freed from its contrary impulses, Christ within becomes a wondrous experiential fact. The surrendered heart has no more controversy with God, so He can live in us congenial and uninhibited. Then He thinks His own thoughts in us: thoughts about ourselves, about Himself, about sinners and saints and babes and harlots; thoughts about the Church, about sin and judgment and hell and heaven. And He thinks about us and Himself and His love for us and our love for Him; and He woos us to Himself as a bridegroom woos his bride.

Yet there is nothing formal or automatic about His operations within us. We are personalities and we are engaged with personality. We are intelligent and have wills of our own. We can, so to speak, stand outside of ourselves and discipline ourselves into accord with the will of God. We can commune with our own hearts upon our beds and be still. We can talk to our God in the night watches. We can learn what He wants us to be, and pray and work to prepare Him a habitation. And what kind of habitation pleases God? What must our natures be like before He can feel at home within us? He asks nothing but a pure heart and a single mind. He asks no rich paneling, no rugs from the Orient, no art treasures from afar. He desires but sincerity, transparency, humility, and love. He will see to the rest.

by A.W. Tozer