January 23, 2018

This Week…Psalms 139:23-24

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Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalms 139:23 and 24

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This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have reached the conclusion of our series on this wonderful chapter, Psalm 139.  These final verses show the heart of a humble person who recognizes…and asks for…God’s help.  Here’s a little of what our devotional writers shared….

In Change, Ahmee encouraged us to recognize we need God’s help for this…

Do you believe that’s a person can change?  I do…I believe that a person can change, if they want to change.  We cannot change people, people have to want to change on their own or the change won’t stick.  I’m talking about true change not “appearances” of change.  Can people change on their own?  I do believe that even this is possible.  However, I also believe that the easiest change you will ever experience is with the help of God.  And by easy I mean that the tools are readily available if you will accept them. First, and foremost, a person needs to acknowledge that there is a need to change….

In Search Me, Ann reminded us that nothing is ever hid from God…

‘Search me, O God’—this is an appropriate prayer for every believer.  Not only must we hate unrighteousness in the world but we must also be aware that there may be something in us that grieves God.  We should be willing to ask God to put us through any test that would further His work of sanctification in us.  If anything offensive is found, we must turn from it and repent.

  • We cannot hide anything from God for He is the All-Knowing God
  • Our God sees everything
  • This we should know: we cannot hide anything from the eyes of God.

In Lead Me, Tina shared about the best leader—God and how He leads us…

Being a leader carries with it a lot of responsibility.  Some do it well, working hard to be available to their team and leading by example.  It is hard work to keep everyone motivated and on the right page. God is a great motivator.  He wrote us a manual for motivating ourselves and others..it is called the Holy Bible!

No matter what we are feeling, God is there with His words ready to fill our hearts.  He created the Holy Spirit to aid us to stay on the path that leads to an everlasting life….

Lead Me

SeekingHimLogo

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
and see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalms 139:23-24

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Being a leader carries with it a lot of responsibility.  Some do it well, working hard to be available to their team and leading by example.  It is hard work to keep everyone motivated and on the right page. God is a great motivator.  He wrote us a manual for motivating ourselves and others..it is called the Holy Bible!

No matter what we are feeling, God is there with His words ready to fill our hearts.  He created the Holy Spirit to aid us to stay on the path that leads to an everlasting life.  Where we may fail in this world, if our focus is on doing our best, then how can we go wrong?

That is why we labor and strive,
because we have put our hope in the living God,
who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
1 Timothy 4:10

God is amazing in how He loves us.  He already knows who is going to believe in Him and who will exceed what they imagined being able to do. Focusing on God’s best is where we will excel in all that we do.

Jesus is a wonderful example of this.  Jesus knew His fate before He agreed to obey His Father and become a human baby.  A baby who was helpless from birth and who would grow into an intelligent young man.  Going through the wilderness for forty days after being baptized by His cousin, John, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit to persevere and not give into the temptations of Satan.  Jesus knew He ultimately would have the power He was tempted with.  God had already promised Jesus many things.  But God did not keep His Son from suffering that horrible death on the Cross. Why?  So we could see how much God knew our brokenness.

Only through our brokenness, and Jesus dying on the Cross and becoming a curse for us on the Cross, can we lay down EVERYTHING we have ever suffered.  Jesus, on the Cross, was displayed for all to see.  He was naked, beaten, tired, hungry, thirsty, abandoned, alone, suffering, hurting, crying, afraid, broken-hearted.  God left Him there to die.  In order for Jesus to be the final Lamb, the Sacrifice, God had to let Him die.  In Jesus’ death and resurrection, death was defeated.  We should not fear what is coming at the end of our life.

We have heard stories of people celebrating when they know they are approaching the end of their life.  They know God is waiting for them.  They have lived for God, keeping their focus on Him.  As Paul was nearing the end of his life, he knew death was coming.  In the Book of Acts, Paul is making his way to Jerusalem, then is told that he must go to Rome and present the case for Jesus before Felix.  Different people tell Paul not to go, but Paul was not deterred.

After we had been there a number of days,
a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said,
“The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
Acts 21:10-11 

and then:

The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage!
As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

Acts 23:11 

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Father, thank You for Paul’s boldness.  Thank You for sending Jesus to us to care for us and show us how to live selflessly for You.  Continue to show to us the leadership we can develop and share with others in our lives.  Forgive us when we become afraid.  Let us seek courage to take up our task and to finish the race well!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lead Me In The Way Everlasting

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Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalms 139:23 and 24 NKJV

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Esther Mui/Christian Worship and Scripture Songs 

Search Me

SeekingHimLogo

Search me, O God, and know my heart,
test me and know my anxious thoughts,
see if there is any offensive way in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalms 139: 23-24

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Search me, O God’.  This is an appropriate prayer for every believer.  Not only must we hate unrighteousness in the world but we must also be aware that there may be something in us that grieves God.  We should be willing to ask God to put us through any test that would further His work of sanctification in us.  If anything offensive is found, we must turn from it and repent.

We cannot hide anything from God for He is the All-Knowing God.

I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve.
Jeremiah 17:10

As believers, whatever we are doing whether in words or deeds or enjoy, we should be asking ourselves the following questions:

• Can it be done to Gods glory?
• Can it be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, asking His blessing on the activity?
• Can it be done whilst sincerely giving thanks to God?
• Is it a Christ like action?
• Will it hinder or weaken my witness for Christ?
• Will it weaken my desire for spiritual things?

Why ask these questions? It is because of Jeremiah 23:24:

‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.

Our God sees everything.

At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who are complacent
who are like wine left on its dregs, who think
“The Lord will do nothing either good or bad.”
Zepheniah 1:12

Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel
there I will hunt them down and seize them.
Though they hide from Me at the bottom of the sea
there I will command the serpent to bite them.
Amos 9:3

This we should know: we cannot hide anything from the eyes of God.

And He who searches our heart knows the mind of the Spirit
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. Romans 8:27

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Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the grace that enables us to do Your work.  No one is like unto You, Father.  Be glorified.  Search our hearts, dear Lord, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   This we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Change

SeekingHimLogo

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends You,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalms 139:23-24 NLT

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Do you believe that’s a person can change?  I do…I believe that a person can change, if they want to change.  We cannot change people, people have to want to change on their own or the change won’t stick.  I’m talking about true change not “appearances” of change.  Can people change on their own?  I do believe that even this is possible.  However, I also believe that the easiest change you will ever experience is with the help of God.  And by easy I mean that the tools are readily available if you will accept them.

First, and foremost, a person needs to acknowledge that there is a need to change.  As you can see in Psalms 139:23-24, he asked for the Lord to change him—to make him better.  Confession time: when I first came to Christ, my biggest concern was that if I let Him “change me that I would no longer be “me“. Through prayer and constantly going to God about my concern, He pointed out that He was not changing me, but was making me into the person I was intended to be before life happened.  The “me” that I came to Him as was not the “me” He had envisioned me to be. The more I explored Scripture, the more I was able to accept this.

God says, “Bring all who claim Me as their God, for I have made them for My glory. It was I Who created them” (Isaiah 43:7 NLT).  He made us for His glory.  Does He find glory in the fact that I isolate myself or that I am mean to others?  Well, no.  So, then this is not how He created me to be.  How we are is not the same as how we were created to be.

Things happen in life that influence us—in positive and negative ways.  God happens to make us right.

…this means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17

New life is what we are promised.  But you know we have to choose to live in this new life.  God can show us a better way to do anything; whether it is managing money, or loving your family and friends, or loving the people of the world, or interacting with other believers, or how to be a better mother… boss… worker… or anything!  God knows the very best way to do it!  And, if we ask, He will show us.

The key is that you have to want it.  So, what do you want?

Search Me, O God

SeekingHimLogo

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalms 139:23-24

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Christ Our Life Christian Fellowship
click here to visit their website

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Lord, You have formed me and know every part
You wove me inside of the womb
Lord, I will praise You with all of my heart
How marvelous the works You do

Search me, O God, and know all of my heart
Try me and know every anxious thought
See if there is any wicked part
Lead me in Your righteousness

Your eyes were on me when I was unformed
My frame was not hidden from You
My days were ordained, and were all written down
How marvelous the works You do

You are holy,
You are holy,
You are holy, Lord

16 Day Love Challenge: Chapter 10 – Love Does Not Delight In Evil

Our chapter today was a tough one for me to write. I think it is the most vulnerable I allowed myself to be in this book. I was nervous sharing it because of what I admitted. If you haven’t read it yet, go read chapter 10, Love Does Not Delight In Evil and come back.

16daylovechallengenodelightinevil

Can you remember a time when my story was a reflection of your heart?  I think as we grow in our walk with God we should have the same desire David did when he asked God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”  (Psalms 139:23-24).  But sometimes the search reveals more than we want to know.

The day God revealed my heart I realized that I had lost sight of wisdom and chose to delight in evil…and it was ugly.  I was so ashamed of myself and yet I could not bring my heart to make it right.  My rights were at stake.  I felt I had a right to be “right!”  Then I read Psalm 139 and realized this isn’t even close to David’s heart—or God’s.  Every time I read this passage I missed a very important truth that I needed to understand.

“God already knows my heart!”

King David was asking God to search his heart, however the purpose wasn’t for God to find out what was going on. The purpose was so God could reveal David’s heart to him. God is omniscient!  He knows everything about us.  Nothing is hidden from Him because He is everywhere.  He is here with me, guiding me as I write to you.  And He is with you, speaking to you as you read.   Admittedly though, the following verses cause me to fear God in a respectful manner and bring great comfort to me.  They are a source of refreshing water to my dry and fearful soul.

Where shall I go from Your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from Your Presence.  If I ascend to heaven, You are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You.

Psalms 139:7-12

I love this quote from Renee Swope’s book, A Confident Heart. She said, “God uses conviction lovingly, to show us our sin and lead our hearts to repentance. He does this to draw us away from destructive behavior that hinders our relationship with Him and others. His desire is to bring us out of the darkness of sin and back into the light, so that we can walk with Him in the freedom of forgiveness and the confidence of His love.”

I pray you will take today’s Love Challenge to heart.  God wants to reveal any wickedness that is residing within us for the purpose of transforming us. We can’t change something if we don’t know it needs to be changed, right?   His goal is that we would become an outward reflection of His inward Glory.  God’s inward Glory has a profound effect on our outward appearance.  The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold” (Psalms 45:13).  This is another verse for you to consider. The inward glory of the King’s daughter originates in, and is the result of, her calling and being set apart for Him as royalty: “But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly” (Psalm 4:3).

God won’t reject us because we’ve made bad choices today.  We are His daughters and He loves us with an everlasting Love. Don’t be satisfied to walk with a heart that delights in seeing others hurt because they hurt you.  Though we fail, we know that we can find comfort in God’s Word.  No matter what we do or the choices we make, He is with us!

Father, thank You for Your loving heart to guide and direct us.  Help us to recognize when You are convicting us.  Lord, give us the courage to not only see the sin in our hearts but to repent and change.  Thank You for the Cross and the loving way You defend us.  Help us to recognize that You are not the source of condemnation but of forgiveness and love.  In Jesus name… Amen!