Cultivating a Whole Heart For God

DSCN3227orig 300x225 Cultivating a Whole Heart For GodAre you wanting a change in your life? There was a time in my life when I desperately wanted a change. Maybe that’s where you are today…

A changed life begins by seeking truth. Truth is found in the Bible. When I began to seek the truth of God’s Word, my life began to change. It turns out the change I sought began with a systematic reading of the Bible from cover to cover. It changed my life.

I had been in church, but I didn’t really know what the Bible said in its entirety. My read through of the Bible took months. I wasn’t working, so I had the time. In my quest, I spent hours reading consecutively through each book.

My study led to more questions, even while discovering new truths. (Now I make it a practice to read through the Bible each year following a systematic reading schedule published by Faith Baptist Bible College.)

As I read the Bible, I realized I was having trouble understanding what I read. My problem was I had no frame of reference. I was ignorant. Thankfully, as I read and prayed for understanding, it all began to make sense. I began to pick out bits and pieces from sermons I had heard, and Sunday School lessons I had studied.  I am thankful God graciously answered my prayer for understanding. My faith grew as well. I also consulted my new husband for his help.

Poetry was never a strong suit for me. I always had trouble deciphering prose, frustrated because I didn’t understand what the poet was trying to say. The Book of Psalms began as a mystery, but now I relish reading through them each month. They reflect life’s struggles and God’s intervention. There are three Psalms that opened my eyes to the concept of a whole heart:

“I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee:  I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” Psalm 9:1-2 KJV

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.  They also do no iniquity:  they walk in his ways.” Psalm 119:1-2

“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:10-11

“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” Psalm 119:34-35

When I think of having a “whole heart” for my Lord, I understand it is trust without hesitation. To put it in perspective, there should be nothing that could cause me to doubt His love, mercy, and grace if I truly believe this truth. If you think about giving your heart away, you may think of romance and marriage. In a way, that fits, because when we receive Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord, we are in effect entering into a covenant relationship that is unbreakable.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.”

A whole heart is given in its entirety. Nothing is held back. God gave His all, His only begotten Son, Jesus. That’s love. Since He loves me, I can love Him with my whole heart. I know and understand that His love is unfailing and not dependent on me. Even if I fail in loving Him fully, He still loves me. You see, our Lord wants all to receive Him as their personal Savior. Once we have accepted His gift of salvation, we are His for eternity. He purchased our redemption with His blood. He gave His all to buy my pardon from sin.

When the psalmist writes that he has sought the Lord with his whole heart, he means it. Nothing stood in the way of his search. He was totally focused on his relationship with the Lord.

Whole heart love is not shallow. It is not dependent on me getting what I want. Whole heart love is given without reservation and in complete trust that the one who receives it will value it and preserve it.  There is trust that it will be reciprocated.

Our Lord wants our whole heart. He expects us to be obedient, and when we aren’t, He expects us to repent and change our ways. He expects us to endure hard things and not quit. He expects us to trust Him in everything. We are not our own, but are bought with a price; the blood of Jesus. We owe Him nothing less than giving Him our whole heart.

This is a hard thing. So we must pray for strength to endure hard and uncertain times. We must pray for faith to trust Him to deliver us and help us in our time of need.

Our Lord is faithful, and we can be assured of His great love for us.

 

 

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