My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, (Psalm 73: 26).
I am a “glass half-full” person, generally joyful, loving, and always ready to play golf! I know I fail every day; I can feel offended when triggered, hold a grudge, and at times find myself in a rut. So, maybe I have half a heart of gold! Just being honest, but God is doing a deep work within me. I know my weaknesses and limitations. I also believe I can do all things God expects of me, through Jesus Christ, who strengthens me. Detective Harry Callahan, at the end of Magnum Force, says, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” A Clint Eastwood classic!
How far would you go if offended in some way? Are there limits? I came across this declaration by John Bevere, (from The Bait of Satan).
In these last days when many are offended and filled with hate and betrayal toward others, I refuse to join them. I will commit to living my life in such a way that the unconditional love of God, which has been poured out in my heart, will radiate in this darkened world of offense (Rom. 5:5).
For me it is a matter of maintaining a pure heart through regular repentance, confession of sin, and knowing where my strength and love come from. Then I am free, joyful, hopeful, thankful, and useful to serve God daily.
Consider King David, a man after God’s own heart. God’s spirit was upon him, even at a young age. The shepherd boy, who protected his flock from wild beasts and took down a giant with one sling of a stone. He knew what it meant to believe in and be supported by the Living God. As king, he conquered much, but power led to abuse and sin. He showed no restraint.
Psalm 51 reveals David’s confession: Against Thee, and Thee only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Thy sight (v. 4); Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (v. 10).
Our heart and flesh do fail. We fall short every day. What we do with our sin is key. David confessed his sin; he cried out to God for mercy. He returned to God, who was the strength of his heart and his portion forever.
Create in us a pure heart, O God. Pure means to be “clean, blameless, unblemished from guilt.” Interestingly, the word can refer specifically to that which is purified by fire. John the Baptist told people that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11). Malachi speaks of the Messiah as being like a “refiner’s fire” (Malachi 3:2).
Being pure in heart involves having a singleness of heart toward God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no deceit, no hidden motives. The pure heart is marked by transparency and an unbending desire to please God in all things. The sky is the limit for what the Lord has in store for you. He declares it over you today: I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans, not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future!
My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Prayer: Father, your word teaches me that a pure heart is like gold. Give me purity of heart and cause me to be tender and pliable to your instructions. As your servant, I will follow Paul’s instruction to Timothy to be gentle, patient, and filled with humility in all my relationships – especially with those in opposition to me – in some manner or way (2 Timothy 2:24-26). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
In Christ, Pastor Tim