7 Heart Attitudes That Guarantee a Fulfilling Quiet Time

My Holy Bible

Heart AttitudeHappy Valentines Day to you! God loves You with an everlasting love!

The Heart~I thought I would write about 7 heart attitudes on this Valentines Day. If we have these 7 heart attitudes, we will have a fulfilling Quiet Time every single day! Our heart attitude is what matters to God.

It is possible for each of us to do the right thing, but with the wrong heart attitude. “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.” (2 Chronicles 25:2)

If you are not in the habit of having a fulfilling quiet time every single day, I would suggest keeping this list of 7 Heart Attitudes nearby. You may even want to copy them in your Bible. Follow the list and watch God work.

Get Ready! Your time alone with Your Father will never be the same again. Your Quiet Time will become your favorite time of the day! He loves you so much, that your time alone with Your Father will be His favorite time of the day too. Picture Him sitting across from you! Picture Him smiling at you! You are His precious child and He is beaming with love for you!

7 Heart Attitudes for a Fulfilling Quiet Time:

  1. Willing Heart– Wake each morning saying with a smile, “I love You, Lord. I cannot wait to spend time with You.” Know that it will be a blessed time; a good time together. Rising early, before the other family members wake up, works well for me. Ask God what time He wants to meet with you daily. You may want to meet with the Lord at night if you are more of a night person. (The Jewish calendar day begins at sunset) Whatever time you and the Lord decide, make it consistent. Expect to enjoy your time together with the LORD and to receive abundant blessings.
  2. Peaceful Heart– Retreat to your private area with your favorite morning drink and your Holy Bible. Be still and let the peace of God rule your heart, until the cares of this world fade far away. This is probably the most difficult part, but get in a habit of “Being Still” in the presence of God. Be attentive to God’s presence. He is there with You and wanting to spend time with you too.
  3. Pure HeartConfess sinsBlessed are the pure in heart: for they
    A Pure Heart: I must die to myself
    A Pure Heart: Like the grain of wheat, I must die to myself to live unto Him!

    shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) This is usually a tearful time for me, but then God quickly envelops me with His forgiveness and mercy and love.                            “Lord, empty me of ‘me’, and fill me with the Holy Spirit.”

  4. Reverent Heart– Know, you are on Holy Ground. You are meeting with the God of the universe, your Creator, your personal Saviour.  Adore and Praise Him!  Praise Him for Who He is! Worship Him.
  5. Surrendered Heart– “I surrender to You. I will trust and obey.” “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18  Aloud, read the Bible and Pray “Lord, Speak to me through Your Holy Word.” Read a little from the Bible, Pray a little, Read a little, Pray a little…this way, God talks to you through His Word and you talk to Him through prayer. You are having fellowship with God. You are experiencing God.
  6. Expecting HeartPray expecting great and mighty things from your all-powerful Father. Pray expecting God to do the impossible. Pray with passion. Pray with purpose. Lift holy hands to God and cry out to God. Expect Him to answer your prayers for your personal needs and for the needs of others. Expect God to speak to you personally through His Word. Read His Holy Word expecting to know God in a deeper way. Expect Him to empower you with grace and wisdom as you go through your day.
  7. My Quiet TimeThankful Heart-  “Thank You, my Heavenly Father for ….” God’s greatest pleasure is loving you and having intimate fellowship with you. We love to hear, “Thank You” from our children. Gratefulness is heartwarming. Our Heavenly Father loves to hear, “Thank You” from you, his precious child! Be specific! You are a bright spot in God’s day when you tell Him how  grateful you are to Him for what He has done!

What is love? God wrote the Book on love! Let us never miss a day without reading His Love Letter which was written for you and me!

“My Quiet Time Alone” by Ron Hamilton

Before I start each day,

There is a special place

I love to go alone

And seek my Savior’s face;

I find wisdom in His Word

To instruct me in His will,

And I hear his gentle voice say,quiet time

“My child, be still.”

My quiet time alone

Gives me power to obey,

My quiet time alone

With God each day.

I talk to Him in prayer;

Every day He meets me there,

My quiet time alone with God.

He’s with me all the time,

Wherever I may go;

Each moment of the day,

He’s always there I know.

But I need that special time

When I bow before His throne,

Just to read His Word

and talk with my Lord alone.

My quiet time alone

Gives me power to obey,Heart Attitude

My quiet time alone

With God each day.

Jesus asks, “Do you love me?”

“Do you love Me with a strong, unfailing, loyal love?”  If Jesus were to ask us that question, what would we say? Sadly, I would have to say, “I do not,” because I fail Him everyday.

I look forward to going to church.  At church this past Sunday, we partook of the Lord’s Supper.  Before we each partook of the Lord’s Supper, we were to ask God to examine our hearts for sin and confess it. Our Pastor prepared each of us to examine our own hearts by teaching from a familiar passage.

church~Sometimes a light bulb will go off in my head, and I will see something in God’s Word I never saw before. I get so excited when that happens. It is a “Wow, I am in awe” moment!

I might even subconsciously think that because I have read a passage a thousand times there is nothing new to glean from that passage, but God’s Word is alive.

There is always something new to glean, even if we have read a passage a million times. I should not be surprised when God reveals something new to me from a very familiar Scripture passage, but I am always pleasantly surprised.  That is what happened at church on Sunday. I am so excited about this new truth I learned, that I want to share it with you.

I also want to mention that when God reveals truth from His Word that is new to you, pass it on to your children.  Excitement is contagious. How wonderful it is to share the contagious excitement you have over God’s Word with your family (and with others too). I can remember many times, after my Quiet Time, Living Word of Godgathering our children to share my excitement of what the Lord had shown me.  I think if our grown children were asked if mom got excited over God’s Word, they would have to answer, “Yes.” Remember, this is coming from someone who did not love God’s Word at one time. I had to humbly and honestly tell God I did not love Him enough nor His Word and to change my heart.  He did!

I can think back on my favorite teachers and they were the ones who had a love for children and who had an enthusiastic love for the subject they taught.

In church this past Sunday, our Pastor explained how God uses the broken, crushed, humble and sincerely truthful person for His glory. The familiar passage our Pastor read is John 21:15-17. Please, take time right now to read this passage in your Bible.

I love my children.
Triston, Chandler and Sterling

The newness of this passage for me was the different Greek meanings of the I love pizzakey word, “love” in that passage. We use the same word, “love” in all kinds of meanings in our English language. We might say, “I love pizza so much” and then, we might say, “I love my children so much.”  In reality, we love our children so much more than we love pizza.  Those are two different kinds of love for sure, but the same word. We might say, “I love my church friend,” and “I love my husband.” Those are two different kinds of love but the same word.

The Greek language is more descriptive in that it has different words for love where the English language has only one word. In this passage, understanding there are two different Greek words for the word, “love” changes the whole meaning of the passage. The meaning of the passage changed so much for me.  I realized Jesus was not only asking Peter if he loves Him, Jesus is asking you and me personally if we love Him.

Jesus is asking us to be truthful about how much we love Him, so He can mightily use us for His glory.

Note: Two kinds of love are expressed in the passage: Agape’ and Phileo

  1. Agape’ love means strong, loyal unfailing love.
  2. Phileo love means warm affection such as a friend kind of love.

I ended up inserting these Greek words in my Bible, so I would remember.

With these two Greek words for the word, “love” in mind, let us read the passage again.

John 21:15-17

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agape) thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”  John 21:15

“He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agape) thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”John 21:16

 “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (phileo) thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest (phileo) thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”John 21:17

Rembrandt~Peter's Denial
Rembrandt~Peter’s denial

Peter had boasted before the cross how he would not be like the others and he would never deny Jesus… and he would die for Him. Remember how Peter denied Him three times and the cock crowed three times as Jesus foretold?

Interesting, how Jesus now asks Peter exactly three times if Peter loves Him. Peter is grieved. Peter remembers his denial of Jesus. Peter now realizes his own frailty and his own pride. Peter also realizes Jesus knows everything, including Peter’s heart, no matter what Peter says. In the Rembrandt painting, Peter is denying Jesus while Jesus is being taken away, but Jesus looks back at Peter.

“But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise.” Mark 14:29-31

When Jesus asks Peter if he “agape” loves Him, Jesus is asking Peter, “Do you love me with a strong loyal, unfailing love? If Peter said that he had strong, loyal unfailing love for Jesus Christ, Peter would be bragging again, and God cannot use boastful, prideful people. Broken Peter is now humbly honest before Jesus, “I love you with a warm affection as a friend.” Peter is truthfully telling Jesus that his love for Jesus is not as strong as agape’ love. He is saying, “I just have phileo love, ‘friend love’ for you, Jesus.”

Finally, Jesus acknowledges that the honesty and brokenness of Peter’s answer was cause enough to use Peter mightily for the Lord. Peter is no longer bragging

Grain must be broken
Grain must be broken

and boasting with pride at his unfailing love for Jesus like he did before the cross. Peter is now crushed, humbled and usable.

Am I honest before the Lord from being crushed and humbled? When I am broken, I am usable.  Jesus was asking Peter the same question three times, because Jesus was in the  process of rededicating Peter for service.

God uses brokenness. The grain must be broken to give bread. Bread gives us strength. Jesus said, “I am that bread of life.”  John 6:48

My prayer, “Lord, whatever it takes, break me and make me usable unto Thee. More love to Thee, O Lord, more love to Thee.”

Why I am Glad I Found My Special Ring

Pinky Fish Ring

Today, while cleaning out an old jewelry box, I found a special ring that I thought I had lost. The ring was hidden in a secret compartment of my jewelry box, because it was very special to me.  Do you ever hide something so well you hide it from yourself? I am a pro at this.

From lack of polishing, the sterling silver pinky ring was badly tarnished. I put the pinky ring with the fish symbol on today to wear it again.  I just took a picture for you to see my special ring. Back when I was twenty years old, I probably did not understand why the ring turned dark.  A little polish applied to the ring and it shines.

Why is this ring so special to me? On April 6, 1975, a 21 year old girl, named Susan Wang led me to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ while I was in college.  When I told Susie I trusted Jesus to save me, Susie started jumping up and down with excitement. I think Susie was more excited than I was at the time. Priceless!

Soon after my decision to trust Jesus as my Saviour, Susie gave me a pinky ring with an attached fish, a Christian symbol. At the time when Susie gave me the ring, I had no idea what the fish symbol meant.

I just showed my husband my lost treasure that I just found.  I told him it is ironic that in my Quiet Time this morning I had read about fish in the Bible.

First I read about fish in Luke 5: 1-11. The crowds were pressing in wanting to hear Jesus.  Jesus chose an unattractive smelly fishing boat. As soon as Jesus stepped into that boat, it became a Gospel Boat.

Then, Jesus went fishing and had a conversation with Peter.  He told Peter to let down the net to catch many fish. Peter fished for a living and he knew his trade. Peter was exhausted and told Jesus they had worked hard fishing all night and had not caught one fish, but he obeyed Jesus and let down the net.

All of a sudden there were so many fish that the net broke and the fish filled up two boats to the point of sinking. This reminds me of how little I accomplish without the Lord.The secret to success is doing it with Jesus.

Even when the Lord leads, problems happen as evident when the net broke and the boats started sinking. But, we are on the winning side. Peter then realized his sinfulness as He also realized he was in the presence of the One who was Holy. When you and I get into God’s presence to read His Word, are we aware we are in the presence of The Holy One and our need to confess and turn from sin unto Jesus?

In verses 10 and 11 Jesus said unto Peter, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”

“Catch men?” Jesus called Peter to be a fisher of men, a witness to others telling them, “Jesus is the only way to heaven.” We are commissioned to do the same. The last words Jesus told us before he ascended into heaven were to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Matthew 4:19,20 “And he (Jesus) saith unto them (Peter, Andrew), Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”

I had also prayed this morning that I would be a better “fisher of men,” a better witness. I started thinking how recently, I have been getting lax about passing out Gospel Tracts. Before, when I would venture out, I would always make sure I had several tracts with me.

Yesterday, I did not have any tracts in my purse, and I wished I did when I talked to people. Has that ever happened to you? This morning, I loaded my purses up with Gospel Tracts. If I take a black, brown or beige purse out, I am ready to witness, to be a “fisher of people.” Every time you and I give a Gospel Tract to others, we are fishing. We are obeying the Lord to “go”. When we share a Gospel Tract, these people have the opportunity to come face to face with Jesus. It is then up to God to do the rest. Where would I be today if Susie had not given me the Four Spiritual Laws tract?

Susie gave me this pinky ring, because she knew the symbolism represented with the fish. The Greek word for fish is “ichthys.” Ichthys consists of five letters from the Greek alphabet: I-ch-th-y-s. When these five letters are used as initials for five words, it becomes: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter. This is an acrostic for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour.”

In the years following the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, the Christian church grew rapidly. Christians soon found themselves in danger of being persecuted. Christians were often put to death for practicing their faith, so they worshiped in secret places. Because it became dangerous for first century believers to be known as a Christian, it is believed that the fish symbol was a way for Christians to identify other persecuted Christians.

Even though Christians are not persecuted to the point of death in the USA today, we still see the Christian fish symbol around.  I like seeing the fish symbol on cars and businesses. If I see a car with a fish symbol, I look inside to see the Christians.  I feel good knowing there are other Christians around and they are identifying themselves.

The word, Christian was first used in the Bible in Acts and meant “follower of Christ.”  What is the Bible way to identify ourselves to a lost and dying world?  They will know we are Christians by our love. (John 13:35)

Road rage is not loving others.  I cannot even comprehend road rage.  I don’t understand why some Christians are so aggressive and worldly instead of being kind to others on the road. If we are rude, we will lose.

Even though I have never been an aggressive driver on the road, and I have no problem following the speed limit, I do get a little agitated at something I see on cars on occasion. There is a spoof symbol which spins off the Christian fish symbol. It is an anti-God symbol attacking our Bible belief in creationism. Can you guess what symbol it is?

The big ugly Darwin fish with legs and it is eating the little Christian fish. I think, “Get your own symbol, people.” Maybe, I get agitated because I feel like Christians in the USA are being persecuted for their belief in the Bible by having their freedoms stripped away one by one. Christians are being persecuted in the USA in that their good they teach from God’s Word is being considered bad by the world and as hate crimes.

When I see this ugly Darwin fish symbol gobbling up the Christian fish on a car, I also look into the car to see the driver and passengers. After an initial feeling of aggravation, the thought comes, “Expect sinners to act like sinners.”  Instead of getting mad at them, I pray for the passengers of that car.  The Bible says in Luke 6:27 to bless them that curse you and pray for them. I picture where they will spend eternity if they don’t trust Jesus, and then I feel mercy towards them. It is so sad for them if they do not trust Jesus!

When we feel like our Christian freedoms are being stripped away, we know who is behind it; the devil.  We don’t fight the puppets, but we fight the puppeteer by doing our part.  The good thing is that Christians have the Truth, and we know the end of the story.  We are on the Winning Side.

Just as tarnish hides the shine of a ring, Jesus will not shine through us if we do not love others. A good way for me to remember how to treat others is the Golden Rule of the Bible.   Matthew 7:12 is familiar to us all.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I would much rather people be kind to me than rude.   How about you? If I give kindness, I will usually receive kindness. Give, and it will be given to you is another Bible truth. Let us give people the greatest gift they will ever have by getting the Good News out to those we meet.  First, let us show them love by being friendly and kind….then pass them a Gospel tract.  Let’s go fishing!

Lord, let me be aware today that others are dying and going to hell.  Bring them across my path, so I may boldly share the Good News with them today. Thank You for sending someone to me to tell me how I could be 100% sure I was going to heaven. May I do the same with others. In the precious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Exchange Bitterness For Kindness and Forgiveness

Once a week, I would go to a local college to pass out Gospel Tracts.  I have a soft spot for college students, because someone gave me a Gospel Tract while I was in college and I was gloriously saved.

While I was passing out Gospel Tracts at a local college, there were a crew of workers tearing down some concrete and brick areas. An elderly man approached me, stooped over, carrying a sack of bricks on his back.

“Are you giving out something for free?” he asked me.

Smiling, I held out the Gospel Tract to him. “Yes, I am. This booklet explains how we can get the free gift of salvation by trusting in Jesus alone to save us.”

The burdened man negatively replied, “I get enough religion at my church” and continued on his way.

I watched this man slowly walk off, slumped over from the heavy burden of bricks on his back.  I felt sad for him.  He was like a “picture” of the lost person with a heavy burden of sin.  He would not get freed from his burden by accepting the free gift of salvation from Jesus.

I also thought he was a picture of the Christian lady who daily looks for bricks to place in her sack to carry on her back. The bricks on her back start pulling her down because they are too heavy for her to carry. They even start taking a toll on her health.

Engraved on each brick is something different:

deep hurt

hatred

bitternessbitter, unforgiving heart

revenge

anger

unforgiving heart

and even names of people who have hurt her.

She will then take the bag of bricks down Negative Memory Lane with her.

The lady stoops over even more as she takes a brick out of the bag and stares at it while turning it over and over, again and again. She is turning it over reliving the deep hurt. She takes out another and then another until bitternessshe is miserable from turning the concrete bricks over and over. From turning the bricks over and rehashing the hurts, instead of her hands getting calloused, her heart is becoming calloused. She does not realize what is happening to her as she begins hurting those closest to her because of her bitterness. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness… Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14,15)

Every person gets hurt by others.  That is part of life.  This lady will never have peace and rest under the heavy load she is carrying, unless she makes a decision. The engraved concrete bricks must go.  She must not keep looking at the concrete bricks and turning them over and over again. She cannot afford to rehash hurts. She must let the Lord take the concrete bricks from her.  She must not keep walking down Negative Memory Lane.

The Lord will lighten her burden if she will just tell Him about it, and repent of her bitterness. To repent is to change directions. Instead of going down Negative Memory Lane, STOP!stop

 

 

Immediately make a U-TURN and go the opposite direction down Forgiveness Lane.  u-turn

Forgiveness Lane is peace, rest, beauty and joy. If Jesus did not hold a grudge against me, why should I hold a grudge against another?
Turn From: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

Turn To: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

We must ask Jesus to give us strength to forgive those who have hurt us in the past. How often should we forgive others?

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21,22

In other words, we must continually forgive. When those negative thoughts come, we must continue giving the bricks to garden pathJesus and pray for those who have hurt us. A miracle happens when we pray for our enemies. God replaces our bitterness with mercy. Those people who have hurt us, have been deeply hurt themselves. Hurt people hurt people. God will give us mercy for them, because of their hurt they have had in their lives.

With those bricks they have thrown at you, Jesus will take the bricks and use them to build a better you. Walk down Forgiveness Lane with Jesus and see the goodness of the LORD!

Dear Lord, the hurt hurts so much. Change my heart, oh Lord and make it tender and compassionate towards the person who hurt me. I know the person who hurt me is hurting themselves.  I pray for you to bless their lives.  Today, let me think Let God lead me todayon what is good and pure and not on hurts.  Thank You, Lord for cleansing my mind. Thank You for taking the bitterness away and replacing it with forgiveness.  You forgave me and You miraculously live in me. Your Power within gives me the strength to forgive others. I praise You for taking my hand and helping me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen~

My Good Shepherd Does So Much For Me! (Part 2 of 23rd Psalm)

Just as David was a man after God’s own heart, I desire to be a lady after God’s own heart. The Bible is God’s Love Letter to Me. Do I daily read the Bible as God’s love letter to me? The 23rd Psalm is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite passages as I study it deeper. Why? I am realizing how short I have come in gratitude to my LORD. He loves me more than anyone, and He takes such good care of me.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

Middle eastern cultures understood what shepherding was all about. This is what the good shepherd did for the sheep in Bible times and what my Good Shepherd does for me. The more I get to know my LORD, the more I fall in love with my LORD.

The good Shepherd:

1. fed the lambs and the sheep

2. brought the sheep to good pasture lands and water

3. groomed and clipped the sheep

4. delivered new lambs

5. led the sheep and taught them to stay together under his protection

6. cared enough to seek the wandering lost sheep

7. protected the sheep in the field and in the fold

8. befriended each sheep

The Shepherd described here is opposite of a mere caretaker or hireling. The hireling sits with the sheep for the money only, and will not care nor protect the sheep. When danger comes, the hireling runs away as fast as he can, leaving the sheep to be devoured. “But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.” John 10:12,13

Contrast the shepherd who would bring the flock home to the fold at night.  He protecting the sheepthen lays down in the gate physically to protect the sheep from wolves creeping into the sheepfold. My good Shepherd, my Lord gave His life for me.

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14,15

My good Shepherd personally associates with me and cares for me! He is my companion! He protects me! He feeds me through His Holy Word. He guides me in the Spirit. God is not satisfied just watching from heaven everything that goes on here on earth. The LORD desires to be my personal companion and a special (closer than usual) friend with me. “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Psalm 18:24) When all others fail me, I can count on the Lord.

 The Self-Existant Eternal LORD, the ruler of all is definitely my close friend. Because the LORD cares for me the way a good shepherd cares for his sheep, I can never lack anything. He supplies everything I need. He keeps me safe.

Join me in praising and thanking our Good Shepherd: “Thank You, My good Shepherd for loving me so much that You laid down Your life for me! When You were on the old rugged cross, I was on the Your Mind. I am so grateful You never leave me unprotected. I am thankful You don’t leave me nor forsake me.  Thank You for daily providing for my deepest needs. You feed me, care for me, deliver me, lead me, protect me and oh, so much more! ‘I shall not want.’ You are my Friend Who sticks closer to me than a brother, and I love You.  I surrender to Your loving care of me. Not my will, but Thine.  In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Smile, because you are loved with an everlasting love.