Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Daily Dose 1-23-18

"Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart 
be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Maybe David was considered the Man After God’s Own Heart because he was so concerned about the condition of his own heart. We read studies and follow guidelines for heart healthy lifestyles for our physical hearts; but what do we do to keep our spiritual hearts in condition? Praying for protection is a first step. Ask God to soften, prick and strengthen your heart to remain molded to His will. Second, spend time feasting on God’s Word…no calories there! Meditate on its laws and commands. Stand on the promises; and revel with joy at the unconditional love and salvation provided by our Holy God and His sacrificial son. Third, have a daily check-up to test the condition of your heart by listening to the words that come from it. Are they words of encouragement, blessing and peace to those around you? Do you deal with others with kindness and respect? As with any ailment, early detection is always best for a cure!

Father, Provide the therapy my heart needs to be in its best condition for You. Massage the hardened areas that prevent the growth of the Fruit of Your Spirit. Protect my heart from bitterness and fill it with Your joy! Amen

Daily Dose 1-22-18

Matthew 14:28-31 (MSG)Peter, suddenly bold, said, "Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come ahead." Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, "Master, save me!" Jesus didn't hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, "Faint-heart, what got into you?"

The Message translation of this story is more favorable to Peter and may encourage us a bit. The older translations quote Christ as saying, “Oh ye of little faith” and it seems as though Jesus offers a harsh rebuke. Those interpretations seem to paint Jesus as disregarding Peter’s bold faith to even think he could step out of the boat and come to Him. The interpretation from The Message doesn’t change the record of events, but it does show a more compassionate Savior. He calls Peter Faint-heart and asks, “What got into you?” The difference in the interpretations shows the encouragement Jesus brings with the rebuke. It’s as though He’s acknowledging Peter’s bold faith with pride, but also validating He knows Peter let fear get the best of Him. Have you mustered the courage to step boldly in faith, but now see the reality of the storms of life crashing in on you? Take your eyes off the wind and waves and focus back on the One who can calm the storm. Don’t beat yourself up as having no faith…remember you were bold enough to step out of the boat! Strengthen your faint heart and walk on!

Father, I know my faith is strong, but I also have physical eyes and ears. My Spirit wants to focus on Jesus and walk boldly in joy to be embraced by Him standing on the water. But my physical perspective distracts me and makes my heart faint. Strengthen my Spirit to look past the storms and focus on the One You sent to walk with me on the stormy seas…in peace. I love You! Amen