Day eight swamped

I think if I was working on the two a day that I started out thinking was achievable, I would be sitting in a pile of gooey despondency. But I am not. I am loving this experience of spending time with a preacher from many years ago. I have completed four sermons today so far, one was quite difficult because I had to look up what the jargon meant.

I was originally given the plain English version of Wesley’s studies because I couldn’t understand the language of the original. It is a common complaint. But in all honesty it is not the language per se it is the concepts and jargon and even in plain English they are hard to comprehend if you are learning with the head. Learning with the heart is a completely different way of studying, entering into the vortex of the heart to let the Spirit explain those ghastly terms that the world hasn’t equipped us to know.

Learning with the Spirit guiding is such a wonderful experience and I learn so much in such a short amount of time, it is not a lazy time, it is full on busy but busy being not doing.

Jump up and rejoice in the Lord always and again we shout REJOICE

13 of 44

 

Sermon Thirteen Purifying the heart

john                                                                 audio clip

This sermon is very encouraging to the congregation, it is not as pointy as others have been, there would have been no seat squirming. It simply states the meaning of ‘purifying the heart’ and the implications.

It is a sermon infused with love, preached to believers with the usual call to be careful of the dangers of backsliding and to rejoice in all the Lord has done for each believer.

When we sing “He’s ALIVE” we mean it, we know it to be true, our hearts sing to the Lord, our voices mere instruments of that worship. All God requires is our heart, that we be living sacrifices for him, empty vessels for him to use. To a worldly person it sounds like slavery but to us born of the Spirit it is joy that motivates us to do these things. It is the love of God that permeates every fibre of our body, mind and soul that causes us to respond to our God, our hearts softened and remain soft to love because first we were loved, are loved and will continue to be loved forevermore by the Lord.

We praise your name O God

We are your children

Born of the Spirit, not of the flesh

We worship You, our King

As a servant You came down

As a King You will reign

Sovereign over our lives

Reign in us today, Lord

Each day we praise Your name

Each day reign over us and in us

Creation joins with us in song

To praise Your name, praise Your name

Some sermons need little explanation or reflection, they need to be experienced. A softened heart is an experience, a life in Christ is an experience, to be an acceptable living sacrifice is an experience.

Experience it like never before, I cannot help but write small statements rather than cohesive sentences because I revel in his love at this moment. Thoughts are coming thick and fast but few are for general consumption. Zenith praising, nadir worship. praying and praising all the day long.

Our whole lives, even the bit hidden in a box under the bed, given to the Lord, hardened hearts shattered, shards of bitterness and what if’s?  replaced by soft tissue, palpably beating to the rhythm of God, the river of life, wash over me, wash through me, cleanse me of my sin, make me an acceptable sacrifice to You Lord.

Set our minds and our hearts on the Lord, focus on Him and all he does, is doing and will do in us and through us.

Thinking about Thinking

 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:6-7 (NIV)

The scribes were thinking, they were thinking with their hearts so there was no intentional malice, they were doing their job, the job of thinking with the heart’s discernment. We are all called to think, to think about God, God’s word, other people, but more than that we are called to think and plan. Think how does God want me to be and do it, think what is this passage telling me about my life, what do I need to change, where is there need in God’s people, do I have anything to match – time, resources, prayer. If we think only with our mind we will get in knots, a verse in the bible could turn into an accusatory idea, not because it is but the mind, being full of logic can’t compute it. Like putting a 2 in binary code. “computer says no, brain says no” But when we think through the heart “we get it” We might get it instantly or it might take us days, months, years but eventually we get it. Meditating on God’s word really helps to understand scripture. When I was younger I travelled with one book, a tattered school King James bible, firstly because if it was found at home it would be thrown out and secondly because away from home I always intended to be immersed in the bible, so I could “get” what my Christian friends had. There were barriers, it was in a language I didn’t understand olde worlde English, I went about it like you do any book, start at the beginning which leads me to the next barrier the begetting. That’s where I stopped every time. And finally the real barrier – I had no idea how to understand – my brain said ‘No’. I had no concept of praying before reading until I joined the bible study here on Wednesday nights. Of opening the eyes of my heart, no concept of that at all. So I might as well have picked up my little red book instead and brought it with me for all I ‘got’

The scribes were thinking, but even as the thought was being formed Jesus knew it. He knows us, he knows what we say and do, he sees our ‘good works’ but if they are done without heart, if our thinking is duty rather than love, Jesus knows. When the phone rings and the whole house groans because they know I’ll be caught up in someone else’s drama for an hour do I answer out of duty or love. Love always, that person needs to be heard, their problem or issue needs to be aired and if I’m the only person on this earth they trust then my household can breathe in and out on it’s own for an hour. When three or four people as often happens have the same idea, do I answer the phone for the fourth time with the same love. Yes, because once I didn’t I let it ring and there was an effect, nothing dreadfully dramatic but an effect none the less.

So think, but think with your heart, think in love, because it is amazing the way thought processed change. There’s a technology term ‘fuzzy logic’, my husband thinks I’m suffering from it because I can’t give logical directions to my house, I don’t know how many houses there are on my road unless I name them one by one. What he doesn’t realise is as I name each of the households I pray peace for them, of course I could remember how many houses there are, it’s only a one digit number but I prefer to pray the names of the people. Fuzzy logic allows machines to think like humans, but machines for all the emotions we put on them can’t think like us because they’ll never know the saving grace of Jesus, they’ll never feel the healing power of the Spirit wrapping around us and they’ll never understand the words of the Bible in their heart, because they don’t have one. They can think but the precious gift we have been given of a heart that can think. They’ll not have that!