Monday, December 8, 2008

Do You Have A "Morning Mist" Heart?

Last Sunday, Chad began talking about the blessing of Christmas and all that there is to celebrate. Though, as he pointed out, it is all too easy to get swept into the worldliness of Christmas and lose sight of the real thing.

Chad described being excited about finding that “perfect” toy for one of his children and how he just got a joy and a rush from it. He said that just that quick, he became convicted as he thought about how we so often miss that joy and that “rush” when it comes to Jesus. When was the last time we got that feeling of intense joy when we thought about or experienced Jesus?

The thing that I liked most about Chad’s message was when he touched on the core aspect of what God wants (and has always wanted) from us: our hearts. God is ALWAYS bringing this phrase to my mind: “It’s all about the heart, Melissa” as well as, “It’s not about you.” Indeed it’s true. It’s not about me, you, or anyone else; it’s about HIM. It’s about the HEART and not “stuff” or our meager attempts to do everything “right” and “perfect” all the time. He wants sincerity and authenticity. He wants intimacy, depth, and a heart-to-heart relationship with us.

Chad used these scriptures to illustrate things:

I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. "Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD. (Hosea 5:3-4)

"What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you. For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:4-6)

What is He going to do with us? It’s just like a parent sometimes says to their child, “What am I going to do with you?” I know I feel that way sometimes!! When children are stubborn and willful, you just get so frustrated and wonder how you are going to manage them. It would be nice to have some compliance and obedience - or at the very least, acknowledgment. Both scriptures talk about acknowledging God. He wants more than our rituals and “religion”, He wants our hearts to be in it. He desires the obedience and love that comes from turning from our ways and repenting. He doesn’t want the “morning mist” hearts. He wants TRUE hearts that are hungry for Him and that separate themselves from idols.

At this time of year, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. So, where are HIS gifts? What are we doing FOR HIM? What are we giving Him? Are we giving Him our hearts; REAL hearts? Are we giving to OTHERS in His name? Where is our focus? Who or what is our joy? I pray that our joy would be Jesus and that our hearts will belong to Him. I pray that His love will thrill us and fill us as we remember that everything really is all about Him.

In closing, I would like to invite all of you who live in my area to help give back and have the chance to give from your hearts by giving your time. My friend, Jama, works for the Salvation Army, and she has asked for volunteers to help sort toys, etc. Myself, and a few of my friends, will be in Fort Wayne on December 13th in order to help. So, if any of you would like more information, please send me a message and I will give you the specific details so that you can join us in helping out and giving back! Though, even if you can’t volunteer, I hope that maybe you could help out by donating items or funds to the Salvation Army. The most heartbreaking thing that Jama has to do is deny applications for help because they are simply overwhelmed with requests right now and are having a hard time meeting the demands that they currently have!! Please donate if you can (I know, the economy is tough for everyone right now). The need is greater than ever!!

God bless all of you!! I pray that the grace and peace of God will be with you as you enjoy the celebration of Christ’s birth!!

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