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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 04/11/18

After God’s Own Heart

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STORY: A Beautiful Heart

I just returned from a Christian writers conference and am still enjoying the afterglow of it. One reason is because I saw Father everywhere. His children took after Him and drew me to His beauty in them. I had so many God-wow moments. In them I saw our Creator, our Redeemer, our Mastermind. Their beauty was His beauty because His heart was in them.

STUDY: A Heart like His

O Lord, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you. (Psalm 125:4 NLT)

  • We all long to be good (notice it says are good, not do good, although that’s a fruit of being good). According to the end of the verse, what is an ingredient of being good?
  • How do we make sure our hearts are in tune to the Lord?
  • When an instrument is tuned up, its notes are matched to the master instrument. To tune our hearts, we match them to the Master’s heart.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (Proverbs 12:25 ESV)

  • What weighs down hearts? How can we alleviate anxiety?
  • What makes a heart glad? Where can we find good words?
  • Let’s put into practice offering a good word to others.

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. (Proverbs 14:30 NLT)

  • Want a healthy body? Who doesn’t! What leads to a healthy body?
  • This verse doesn’t say, but using what you know about a Christ-follower’s life, how do we get a peaceful heart?
  • This verse also displays what happens when we don’t have peace. What is unhealthy for the body? What is bone cancer like? How do we eradicate the cancer of jealousy from our lives? Seek peace!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. (Proverbs 17:22 NLT)

  • We learned in Proverbs 14 about getting a healthy body. According to Proverbs 17, when we need medicine, what works?
  • One way to have a cheerful heart is to be around others who have cheerful hearts.
  • One way to sap your strength is to have what? When we’re around those who do not have cheerful hearts, it contributes to our spirits being broken.
  • If we want more strength (who doesn’t?) then we need to make it a practice to have a heart full of joy to deal with anything breaking our spirits. Join a spiritual weight-lifting program. Lift the weight off and build up your strength God’s way!

And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20 NLT)

  • What is singleness of heart? God says He will give us that when He puts a new spirit within us.
  • In order to transform us, what does God remove from us?
  • During our transformation, what kind of heart does God give us?
  • What does it mean to have a tender, responsive heart? Why is that necessary to obey God?
  • What is evidence of being a part of God’s people?

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47 ESV)

  • The first-generation church longed to be with each other. What were their hearts like?
  • As a result of God in their lives, not only did believers have glad and generous hearts, they erupted in praise to God. How do you think this caused them to have favor with all the people?
  • When you are with God’s people, what is your heart like? If there are struggles in your heart, what can be done to overcome them?
  • How did it impacted pre-believers, when they engaged with Christ followers who had glad and generous hearts, evidenced by their praise to God?
  • Growth happens first in our hearts. Then, because we’re glad-hearted, others want to enter into a relationship with the One who gives gladness.
  • It is the Lord who adds to the church, but He chooses to use His fruit in His children to draw others to Him.

STEPS: Heart Tuned to God

  1. Enter God’s presence. “Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22 NLT)
  2. Yoke up with God. “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29 NLT)
  3. Serve others by serving God. “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” (Ephesians 6:5-6 ESV)

Copyright © 2018 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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