Vacancy, For Rent, or Move In?

Charlie 032420Is your heart a hotel for God?  Let’s face it, some let God check in, but then tell him when check out time is.  Worse, others may even post a “No Vacancy” sign.

Or perhaps you rent your heart to God.  You let God in for a particular term of time.  You specify the rules, and how things should be left when He moves out.  It wouldn’t surprise me if you even asked for references.

Why are so many people afraid to give their heart to God?  Because they are afraid he will make changes.  Like clean up the dirt, get rid of the clutter and even rearrange the furniture.  “No!  Not the furniture!”  So many people aren’t happy, but they don’t want to give up control.

If one wants God to do his best work they must sign over the deed to their heart.  Allow him to clean, declutter and yes, even rearrange the furniture.  I assure you, if you trust him to do what needs to be done in order for you to have a better life you will like the improvements.

Rick Renner, from his book “Sparkling Gems from the Greek” reminds us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19)  He leads us in a prayer and a confession:

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY  Lord, I am so excited to think that You made my heart Your home. It is so overwhelming to think that You want to live inside me. Help me see myself as Your dwelling place and to honor Your Presence inside me by the kind of life I lead. I want to bless You and honor You, so please help me do the right things that bring You the greatest pleasure and joy. I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY  I gratefully acknowledge that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit lives inside me. My heart is not a hotel where He occasionally visits; rather, my heart has become His home. He has invested His power, His gifts, His fruit, and the life of Jesus Christ in me. Inwardly I am highly adorned with the goodness of God. My spirit is so marvelously created in Christ Jesus that God Himself is comfortable to live inside me! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

No Plan “B”

NoPlanB-01What if Mary had said, “No” to God when he asked her to have his Son?  After all, many have said, “No” to God perhaps out of fear, or not wanting to risk, or sacrifice anything.  Did He have a plan “B”?  Was there an understudy waiting in the wings for her big chance?

I heard a story of a man who grew up very different from the rest of his family.  You see, they all went to the same church, but the others, in his family, resisted when God tried to change them from the inside out.  They evidently, just wanted enough of Jesus to escape hell.  He wondered, and so did those who heard his story of the way his family treated him and others, how, or why he didn’t turn out like them.  His father passed away, and as he was walking through the now empty house, he felt God’s Spirit whisper to him, “While you were growing up in this house, I kept my hand tight around your heart, because I knew one day, you would give it to me.”

“So God, who knows the heart,…”
Acts 15:8 (NKJV)

God knew He didn’t need a plan “B”, because He knew Mary would agree to his will. God knew Mary’s heart belonged to him, so Christmas went off without a hitch, and the rest of God’s plan did as well.  What, or who have you given your heart to?

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

But They Go to Church

Charlie 33There it is.  Another ugly, races, hateful, hurtful word from one I know very well.  “I don’t understand,” has been cried out to God many times after one of their zingers comes out of their mouth.  “God, why do they still feel, act, and say these things?  After all, they go to church!”

Just the other day, when this happened again, I questioned heaven for understanding, I sensed the Lord spoke and said, “But church doesn’t go to them.”  It was in that moment I realized that even though they go to church every time the doors are open, the doors to their heart are closed!  They might even be locked, boarded up with a sign posted, “No Trespassing”.

Jane Rubietta writes, in her book, Come Closer,

“After all, what difference does the gospel make if it doesn’t make a difference, right?”

The word of God should change us, and make us more like Jesus.  It should soften our heart toward others.  Does that mean be tolerant of their sins?  Not at all, but give us understanding as to why they act out like they do.

So what do we do when someone we kind of have to be around says or does something that hurts?  We pray for them as we stand up for Truth, and then we surround them with love.  God’s love, perfect love, is the only key to opening the doors to their wounded hearts.  They must see love, hear love, and feel loved even after they hurt us or others.

If the message they hear at church isn’t getting through, then the love they witness from us just might.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Spiritual Heart Murmurs

20180723_140043Doctor:  “Sit up straight and breathe normal.”  The doctor moved his stethoscope across my chest, and then around my back.  “Deep breaths.”  He listened.  For what?  Did he hear anything out of the ordinary?  Perhaps a murmur?  Was there reason for concern?

God:  What if God did that?  Listened to our hearts, and actually He does.  What would He hear?  A murmur?  Would there be any reason for concern?  So what would be a spiritual heart murmur?  Hatred?  Un-forgiveness?  Idolatry?  Lying?  A hurt?  Someone wronged you?

Search me, O God, and know my heart:  (Psa 139:23 KJV+)

Us:  What if we, God’s people, were walking around with spiritual stethoscopes?  Meaning; if we were talking to someone, we would take time to listen to their heart.  To actually hear if and what is causing them pain.  Then, what if we prayed with them right there, or promised to at a later time, and actually did?

Ask God to help you detect murmurs.  Your clue to stop and ask, “What’s wrong?”  Or, “How are you really doing?”  Doing this simple act might reduce the number of walking wounded around us.  Even better, would be to detect the problem early enough to prevent more serious heart damage.  Will you try?  Doing so, would show the other person you care, because God cares.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved