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About-Him.Com Devotional 04-08-2017
Weeding the Garden of our Hearts
I did some work in the yard today in preparation for our clan coming over for Mother’s Day. I hosed off the patio and sidewalks and thought that a lot of dirt had accumulated since I had last hosed them off 2 or 3 months ago. I was surprised at the abundance of weeds that had just recently sprung up in the flower beds. I thought those weeds shouldn’t be growing. I had just recently checked the whole yard and sprayed and pulled everything in sight. However, there they were as big and ugly as ever. Obviously, while the surface looked pretty good, there were some seeds lurking below the surface, ready to bloom. These weeds in my garden are just like the weeds that can spring up in the garden of my heart. Just like my backyard garden, the garden of my heart demands constant inspection, lest it too becomes overrun with the weeds of sin.
King David had sinned by committing adultery and murder. When confronted by Nathan the prophet, he threw himself on the mercies of God and submitted to His chastisement. We read in Psalms 51 of his earnest prayer for forgiveness and for the Lord to search his heart for any sin that he did not recognize.
Psalms 51:1. ……. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Having recognized and repented of his sin, he asked the Lord to, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Isn’t that a prayer that we are instructed to pray daily (Luke 11:4)? We need the floodlight of the Spirit of God to search every nook and cranny of our hearts day by day and minute by minute, because in Jeremiah 17:9 we read that, ”The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?” We can be fooled by our own heart, when we are not walking close to the Lord. It’s like me working in Marie’s flower garden, I can’t always tell a weed from a flower. So it is with the enticements of sin.
Well, we can’t clean ourselves up without the help of the Lord, but He can’t do anything for us, if we don’t cooperate.
Galatians 5:16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Galatians 5:22 lists the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. The first on the list is love. Well, God is love and when I receive His Spirit, I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), so why don’t I love with the love of the Lord? Perhaps It’s obvious that effort in required on my part, to keep the weeds of sin from choking out God’s love.
Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. The word “keep” is a verb that denotes action on my part. Likewise with the other fruits of the Spirit. I can’t expect to have the joy of the Lord, if I refuse to rejoice daily .
Psalms 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
I can’t expect to walk in peace with my fellow man, if I am not at peace with the Prince of Peace, can I? All the fruits of the Spirit are at my disposable, but I have to choose to let them be a part of my life. The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian church and addressed them as “Saints” and “The faithful in Christ Jesus,” yet he instructed them that they had a few things to “put off,” and other things to “put on.” They were to “Put off concerning the former conversation (manner of living) ) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” and to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Putting off and putting on denoted action on their parts. They were to do this by the renewing of their minds. (Eph. 4:22-24, Col.3:10).
Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. We are instructed to examine ourselves. If we judge ourselves, we won’t have to answer at God’s judgment bar.
1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.
1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
We can follow the example of David, and cry out, Search me O Lord.” Of course when we do, we shouldn’t be surprised if the Lord shows us some faults we had overlooked.
Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
We have several admonitions in the book of Hebrews: Hebrews 2:1-3 urges us to not forget the things we have been taught. The folks under the law had swift retribution for disobedience. Likewise, we will not escape if we neglect our great salvation. Just like we continually check for weeds in our gardens, we must ever be vigilant, lest a weed of unbelief spring up in our hearts Heb. 3:12). We should fear lest we come short of the rest that God has promised to us .We must labor to enter into God’s rest, so that we do not fail, because of unbelief (He.4:1.11).
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
Our enemy desires to deceive us all and see us be his guests in hell (1 Pe . 5:8), but with due diligence, we can make our calling and election sure.
2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Song: My God, My King and My Redeemer
A wife who is 85 percent faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ. - Vance Havner
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