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AWAKEN 2019: A Searching Heart

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“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” - Jeremiah 29:13

Have you ever lost anything? Maybe your car keys? The TV remote? Or something more valuable like a wedding ring or your wallet? We do anything and everything possible to find what we’re looking for. We become a lot like the woman who lost a silver coin in Luke 15: 

“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’” - Luke 15:8-9

Sometimes we can feel like God is impossible to find, or maybe just too far away. The truth is, God wants us to know that He can easily be found. Many times, however, we go through our daily lives not even thinking about God. We don’t even know we have missed Him…until we need Him. God says through the prophet Jeremiah that when we seek Him, we can find Him. But, only when we are searching for God with a surrendered heart – “…when you search for Me with all your heart.” God desires to be in an intimate relationship with each of us.

He is always present, always around, and easily found if we will respond to His desire for us with a surrendered heart to Him. When Jesus sent out his disciples and gave the Great Commission, he ended with these powerful words, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”(Matthew 28:20). The reality is, God is with you even right now, no matter how you feelHe is there. Sometimes we need to seek Him more intentional than others, but the result is finding more of Him. And that, like the woman with a silver coin, is a cause for celebration.

In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:

  • How can you respond today to God’s desire for you? See Isaiah 55:3
  • How can you be more intentional about your pursuit of God? See Psalm 1:1-2
  • What things are in your life that hinder your pursuit of Him? See Hebrews 12:1

AWAKEN 2019: A Protected Heart

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“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.” - Proverbs 4:23-27

Do you ever find yourself controlled by your circumstances of life? The book of Proverbs gives wisdom for every area in our journey. And at the center of it is our heart. The world competes for it. The world tries to manipulate it and ultimately control it. But wisdom tells us we need to guard it. How do we do that? We begin by considering everything we say. We protect our eyes from what we shouldn’t see. And then we give careful attention to what we think about (Psalm 19:14). Jesus explained how important influences are to the heart when He said,

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” - Luke 6:45

Jesus taught that, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”(Matthew 6:21). This means, in light of Luke 6:45, that our heart’s condition will inevitably spill out into our lives. Therefore, what we allow in our life impacts the condition of our heart, and our words will always reflect where our heart is. Because of this, it’s important we pay intentional, purposeful attention to what we allow to influence our lives. We tend to think that we only need to be on guard or on our best behavior when we are at church, but in reality that’s a fraction of our time in any given week. As followers of Jesus, we are to live our lives moment-by-moment to bring glory and honor to Him, and one of the ways we seek to do that is by protecting our heart.

In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:

  • Consider what you have been reflecting on; does it bring God glory?  See 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • Consider how you’ve been speaking; does it honor God and those around you?  See Ephesians 4:29
  • Consider what your eyes focus on; does it reflect the love relationship you have with Jesus?  See Psalm 119:37

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