Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Archive for September 2013

I think we all can see ourselves in this story. Republished:

She Yelled and Called Me Names.

Photo Credit: shinji_w , Creative Commons

Reprinted from Susan Basham’s Blog, http://www.prodigalmagazine.com/she-yelled-and-called-me-names.  Talk about finding God in everyday life!

 

Please take a few minutes to read this blog post, and if your heart is moved, then donate financially to help this group.

Our God is Greater (From One7 Blog).

I got to ponderin’—that’s the South’s way of saying, thinking about – this morning, as I dried my hair, the title of my blog is Whispers From My Heart.

What exactly does my heart whisper?

Would you agree that our hearts whisper desires or longings? I do. I think our hearts have a longing to belong to something greater than ourselves. I think we all desire to be loved; accepted for who we are, and not what we can do for someone else.

But, to whom, or to what, do our desires and longings go?

Speaking in human terms, there are many things, or objects, our desires and longings can be placed upon. For example:

·         Our desires and longings can be placed on another human individual. For example: we see a member of the opposite sex that we are attracted to and our desire is to know him (speaking as a female). We want to be close to him, talk to him, touch him, and if we are lucky enough to marry him, to be intimate with him. He is all we think about.

·         Our desire can also be placed on an object, such as a car, a motorcycle; a bigger house, or a grand vacation. All we have to do is look at the credit card industry to see this is true. We go into debt, and sometimes massive debt, to have the nicest house, the nicest clothes, the nicest car, and the greatest vacation. This desire might not always be at the top of our priority list, but underneath, the desire is there. You can feel it when you look at the brochure, or visit the web site. In some cases, this desire to have things drives you to succeed in life.

·         Money – now that’s a big one. We can’t live this life without money. With money we can have nice cars, nice houses, and grand vacations. With money we will never worry about where our next meal is coming. With money, everything is available to us. Everything. Nothing would be withheld, if only we have money. The longing and desire for money can fill our hearts quickly. It, too, will drive a person to succeed. The more someone succeeds, the more money they have. Sometimes, this desire for money causes a person to disregard their fellow human being. Many people have been pushed aside and trampled in the quest for the almighty dollar.

o   Don’t misunderstand me. Money itself is not the issue; it is the desire for money that I speak of.

·         Sometimes our affections are placed on love itself. Or, they can be placed on revenge, hatred, jealousy and any other emotions we have. There are times when emotions have captivated us to the point of driving our thoughts and our actions. Hatred easily breeds murder. For example: look at the mass shootings that have taken place in our offices, our schools, and our military bases.  Sure, mental health is an issue we must deal with, but, what drove them to commit murder? In many instances, though, there was a disgruntled employee, a targeted teen, who endured emotional torture and bullying from classmates. There were weeks and months of preparation while anger birthed murder. There was anger. There was hatred. And finally, there was murder.

o   Do not misunderstand me. I am not making light of mental health. Mental issues are very real occurrences that do need to be dealt with. Counseling, medicine and the right therapy have helped millions of people overcome the issues of mental illness. I am not dealing with that issue, but the underlying emotion of hatred that brings people to the point of bloodshed.

The valuable thing of our life – our heart — begins to get wrapped up in the all-important thing or person our focus is on.

Maybe you’ve heard this before … maybe not. Inside every one of us is a void; an empty spot we keep trying to fill. Money, love, sex, people, things, objects. We focus on those things to fill this need we have inside of us, but the more we have the less we are satisfied. So we think we must need more, but the more we get the more dead we feel. Nothing seems to satisfy us.

Why is that?

What would you say if I told you the real whisper of our hearts is the longing and desire for God? A longing and desire for a real life, bonafied, relationship with God.  He is, after all, the one who created the void to begin with.

In thousands of years, since man and woman first made an appearance on this earth, we still seek other things and place our desire on them. It’s part of the human condition. Every single person deals with it. But, be of good courage, my friend, because Jesus Christ has already overcome the human condition and he makes it possible for us to do the same!

That’s part of the GOOD NEWS that should be heralded throughout the earth.

The focus of our desire can be changed. The whisper; the longing and desire, we have in the most private points in our lives, all point to Jesus Christ. Once we accept him, and allow the focus of our lives to be on him, our lives begin to make sense. We begin to think about other people and their needs. We stop to help someone else get ahead, instead of trampling them on our way up. We begin to see life through the lens of love, instead of hate. Relationships take on new meaning. Money becomes a tool we can use.

Having money and having things, and focusing on other things besides God isn’t a sin and it won’t haul us before they judgment seat of Christ. But, who, or what, is the foremost desire of our hearts will.

Your heart is whispering a desire and a longing for God to become number one.

Who, or what, are you going to focus on?

Father, help us to focus on you, the one who authors and perfects our faith. Fill the void of our hearts with you so that we can seek you first and foremost, and your righteousness. Your word tells us that in doing so, in seeking you first, you will add everything we need. Help our desire and focus to be on you and not what we can obtain. Thank you for loving us, and for the whisper of our hearts that longs for you to answer.

Scripture References:

Psalm 119:36 & 37 “Give me a desire for your rules, rather than for wealth gained unjustly. Make my eyes pass by from looking at what is worthless. Revive me by your word!” (NET Bible)

Hebrews 12:1 & 2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…” (NET Bible)

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?… So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.” (NET Bible)

I Corinthians 15:53 “Because this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.”
During my morning reading today this verse stood out. I thought about my life here on earth. How, as even a little child I was surrounded by traumatic events that were beyond my control. I thought of the pain I have endured and the tears I have cried.
As I have surveyed my life, I must admit, at times, I have felt like I have lived the life of Job – the biblical figure who suffered great loss. I haven’t lost everything in the span of 24 hours, but I have lost. The past few months, I have lost a great deal. I have questioned God. I have wondered what is wrong with me. Why hasn’t God blessed my life instead of allowing so much sorrow and pain?
We all have rough times. We have never been promised a life, here on earth, without pain and suffering because pain and suffering are by-products of sin. And, we can bank on suffering loss, somewhere, throughout the strands of our time, in one way or another. But, here is not where our lives end. Sure, our physical lives will end, but we have a promise of so much more than the physical.
“Because this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.”
What we experience here on earth are all corruptible things. They will perish with the passing of time. But, as believers, our promise, as I Corinthians 15:53 tells us, is every corruptible thing will be clothed with incorruptibility and our mortal body will become immortal.
The things of this earth will one day pass away. They will no longer affect us as they once did. The traumatic events that have burdened us on this earth will fall off and be remembered no more. What once harmed us can no longer touch us. What crippled us will no longer hold us down. When we enter into the promise God created for us, we will indeed know what it means to be free for we will be free indeed!
That is the hope we hold onto. Freedom in Christ. Our mortal bodies being changed into immortality. The corruptible things will take on incorruptibility.
Matthew 24:13 tells us, “… those who have endured until the end who will be saved.”
The Greek word for “have endured” is: hypoménō and it means, to persevere: absolutely and emphatically, under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ (R. V. commonly endure)
I am reminded of the Apostle Paul, in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul suffered greatly after he converted to Christianity. He proclaimed he had suffered more hardships, beatings, ship wrecks, stoning’s, imprisonments, harsh treatments, and the likes more so than others. In spite of every opposition and affliction he has remained true, without wavering, to Jesus Christ.
It is tough. This life here on earth can run us ragged. We long for an easy time. We desire simplicity. Yet, this life is anything but simple I would venture to say, instead, our lives are a series of ups and downs – more of a roller coaster ride. But, through it all, have you kept the faith?
Before you know it, the corruptible will clothe itself in incorruptibility and mortality will clothe itself in immortality. And, in the end, all that matters is… how you ran the race.
Run your race with endurance, and remember, the weight of this world will one day be swallowed up in incorruptibility and immortality.

A Fullness of God
Ephesians 3:19
And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
In my reading this morning, I was struck by the word, “fullness.”
What did it mean to be filled with all the fullness of God? I don’t know about you, but in my day to day life, I don’t feel full of God at all. Instead, I feel full of the things that have filled my day to day living; recently, the loss of my job, and then the loss my mother. And, if losing those two weren’t enough to think about, I added losing my car and then my house to the bank.
Yeah, I’m sure the fullness of God hasn’t filled me in a while. I’ve been filled with worry, deep sadness, and thoughts of, “What do I do”? As a born again believer, I should be filled with God’s fullness, in spite of the circumstances I have been through.
I spent a little time researching the fullness of God. I read a few posts that made sense, but nothing grabbed me and said, “a-ha” this is it! So, I did a study on Ephesians 4:19. As I go through each word I will re-write the verse as I come to understand it. I may be wrong in my interpretation, but I feel as though I have a greater understanding of this verse than when I first began.
Vs. 19:
And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God

Ephesians 4:19 tells us that we should know the love of Christ.
The Greek word for “To know” is: ginóskó and it means: properly, to know, especially through personal experience.

In order “To Know” we have to have a personal experience with Jesus Christ; we are to come to know his love.
The next word, “passes” is the Greek word: huperballó: it means, –(transcending –goes above); excel, exceed (“be eminent – well known”)
– We come to know his love through personal experience even though his love exceeds or transcends our understanding; the way we think, or any doctrine we have known.
The Greek for knowledge is gnósis: functional (“working”) knowledge gleaned from first-hand (personal) experience, connecting theory to application; “application-knowledge,” gained in (by) a direct relationship.
The next phrase “That you may be filled” is the Greek word pléroó and it means: Christ, exalted to share in the divine administration, is said πληροῦν τά πάντα, to fill (pervade) the universe with his presence, power, activity.

– We come to know the love of Christ through a personal experience even though his love exceeds or transcends our understanding; the way we think, or any doctrine we have known with a working knowledge we have gleaned from first-hand experience in which we have connected the theory of Christ’s love to the knowledge we have gained by our direct relationship with Christ so that God fills, pervades us with his presence, power and activity.
Next, we’ll look at the word, “All.” It is the Greek word, pas and it means: “all” in the sense of “each (every) part that applies.” The emphasis of the total picture then is on “one piece at a time.”
So then, the verse would read:
– We come to know the love of Christ through a personal experience even though his love exceeds or transcends our understanding; the way we think, or any doctrine we have known, with a working knowledge we have gleaned from first-hand experience in which we have connected the theory of Christ’s love to the knowledge we have gained by our direct relationship with him. Then God fills, or pervades (permeates, saturates, infuses, encompasses) us with his presence, power and activity in every part that applies, completing the picture of us, in him, one piece at a time.
The last we will look at is, “Fullness.” It is the Greek word: pléróma which means: “sum total, fulness, even (super) abundance”
At last, the verse would read:
– We come to know the love of Christ through a personal experience even though his love exceeds or transcends our understanding; the way we think, or any doctrine we have known, with a working knowledge we have gleaned from first-hand experience in which we have connected the theory of Christ’s love to the knowledge we have gained by our direct relationship with him. Then God fills, or pervades (permeates, saturates, infuses, encompasses) us with his presence, power and activity in every part that applies, completing the picture of us, in him, one piece at a time, so that the love of Christ provides us with even a super abundance of the presence, power and activity of God in our human bodies.

Ephesians 4:19 started out as a short, to the point, verse, but as we can see this verse is packed with so much more than what we first thought.

I read an account of a bottle being thrown into the ocean. As the bottle begins to fill up with ocean water it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. The bottle is not only filled with the water of the ocean, but it is surrounded by the same thing that has filled it. I think that is a great analogy of the fullness of God. He not only fills us with his presence, power and activity but he also surrounds us with the same.

What do you think?