Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Shepastor: "What's Your Song?"

Luke 1:46-55 King James Version (KJV)
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

This beautiful song is known as the “Magnificat.” The term is derived from the Latin phrase, “My Soul doth Magnify the Lord…” It is one of the most beautiful songs in the Bible and one of only a few given by a woman. Mary is overwhelmed by news from the angel that she would be the mother of the savior of the world – Jesus, the Christ.

Commentators suggest that Mary's hymn expresses praise to God for his treatment of her, but then extends her praise to how God has treated the righteous throughout the ages and how he will vindicate them fully in the future. Understanding what God is doing, Mary is full of joy. She speaks for herself and for her community, the people of God throughout time. She declares that God is worthy of praise for what he will do in taking care of his own.

Mary’s song is power and significant, since first-century culture often relegated women to a secondary status. One of the beauties of Luke's infancy material is that different sorts of people all experience joy at the arrival of Jesus. Luke stresses a ministry of social concern for those in need and warns those who are wealthy not to hoard what God has given to them. He warns about a reversal of roles in the judgment for those who do not hear this.

God is acting for his people, Israel. God's actions reflect his mercy. He committed himself to such loyalty and compassion when he made promises to Abraham (Gen 12:1-3). One of the lessons of the infancy section is that God keeps his word, including the promises made to the nation of Israel. Mary knows that the promises of God abide, and this is evident in her praise. God's loyal love is central to the hope and assurance of those to whom God has made himself known.

This was Mary’s song. Mary was filled with joy and awe over what was about to be birthed in her. We too have a song, given to us from the Lord.

Each life has a song, a theme, a chorus. Sadly, we are so hurried, so busy, so tired, so involved with other things that we don’t take the time to hear our life’s song, to learn it, sing it, live it. Your life song is that melody that, that rhythm, that assignment from on high that naturally flows through your being.
It is that which is waiting to be birthed in you. It’s like what Michael Angelo said about his great stone statues. When asked how he chisled out such great masterpieces from bits of rock and chunks of stone, legend has it that he responded, “the form was already there. I just freed it.” There is greatness within you waiting to be birthed.

Some have gone through life either never learning or ignoring their life’s song. But your song is about more than you. As Mary embraced her divinely ordered destiny, she gave God praise – not only for her divine appointment, but for what God was going to do through what she brought forth.

Your song is meant to bring hope and love and life to others. Your song is not only for your help, your encouragement, your strength. Your song is for your community. Your song is for your family. Your song is for your sphere of influence. Mary magnified the Lord for what was about to be birthed in her. She may not have understood the mixture of joy and sorrow, freedom and burden, hope and desperation, pain and pride, she would endure over the next several years, but she took what she had and ran with it.

Our song will sometimes be happy, sometimes sad, sometimes light hearted and sometimes heavy as stone – but our song – our life’s theme – our calling is meant to be a blessing. When we don’t learn to sing our own song, we go through out life feeling unfulfilled and empty.

You can’t do anything about yesterday. But you can begin to sing your song today. You can say, “behold the handmaid or the servant of the Lord – be it unto me according to thy word.” You can begin to sing your song today. You can expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.

You can begin to sing your song today. You can ask the Lord, “Lord, what is my life’s song? What would you have me to do with my life? What do you want to birth in me? How do you want to use me to accomplish a part of your plan for this world?

You have a song. Will you learn it, sing it and live it?

Enjoy this ministry of music, "Without A Song"

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris
www.shepastorchris.org

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Shepastor: “Keys to Hope”

Lamentations 3:19-25, NIV

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;


What is hope? A basic definition states, “Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. It is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. [1] To hope is to wish for something with the expectation of the wish being fulfilled,
However, in theological terms, Hope is one of the three virtues in the Christian tradition. Hope is a desire for something and expectation of receiving it from the Lord. Like all virtues, hope arises from the will, not passion.

“Hope arises from the will and not passion.” In other words, one has to do more than passively desire. One has to have the will to expect God to move on one’s behalf. The attitude that hope arises not from passion, but from the will suggests that it takes the will of the heart, mind and soul to hope when hope seems to be an exercise in futility.

Back in the 80’s, The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., coined the phrase, “Keep Hope Alive.” He used this as he pursued the highest office in the land, the presidency of the United States of America. As impossible as it seemed for an African American to become president, Rev. Jackson insisted that we had to “keep hope alive.” Although he did not win, Jesse became the forerunner to the first African American to attain the dream of holding that office in the person of Barack Obama. Why? Because somebody had the will to keep hope alive. Hope transcends individuals. Hope is transformative. Hope is expansive. Hope moves beyond one person to communities, nations and the world.

God wants you to keep hope alive. Even if your dream has died, YOU have not died! God is not through with you! For God has been known to resurrect that which has been dead! But maybe, just maybe, your hopes for your life had to die, so that you could receive the blessings and benefits of God’s hope for your life.

Sometimes our hopes and dreams are too short. Sometimes our hopes and dreams are too small. Sometimes our hopes and dreams are too self-centered and sometimes our hopes and dreams will prevent us from fulfilling that which the all wise and eternal God has purposed for our lives since before the foundation of the world.

The prophet Jeremiah teaches us a profound key to hope. In verses 19-23, Jeremiah says,

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.


In other words, Jeremiah says, “When I reflect upon all of my problems, my wanderings, my losses, my soul remains bitter and cast down. But when I the conscious decision to “call to remembrance God’s great love, God’s never-failing compassion and God’s GREAT faithfulness, I have HOPE! As mentioned earlier, Hope is not an act of passion. Hope is an act of the will. In other words, you’ve got to make up your mind to have hope. Passion comes and goes. That hot, intense, excited feeling that propels you onward is not going to be there on a continuous basis. We couldn’t stand it – it would burn us up! Passion is just one aspect of hope. Yes, it is a necessary element, but it cannot stand alone. Passion must be connected to something bigger. We must have hope.

Hope fuels our passion. Hope is tied to our trust in God’s love, God’s compassion and God’s faithfulness. You cannot focus upon God’s faithfulness and love towards you and hold onto the bitterness and gall of your past. Whether it’s mistakes that you have made or wrong things that someone else did to you or unfortunate life circumstances, if you choose to focus upon God’s faithfulness and love towards you, your hope will rise.

There are some things that we must do in order to survive the “bitterness and gall” in life and to keep hope alive,

We must call to mind the faithfulness of God…
God has brought you this far. God has been with you all the days of your life. God has sustained and kept you. God is mighty to save. God will carry you through. In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome the world and so can we!

We must say to ourselves, the LORD is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him…
The Lord is our portion…the Lord is our provider…the Lord is our supplier…continue to serve Him, continue to pray…continue to hope…continue to trust…WAIT on the LORD…He promised that your strength would be renewed, that you would mount up on wings like an eagle, run and not get weary, walk and not faint WAIT on the LORD!

We must remind ourselves that the LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him and seek Him…

We must remind ourselves that the LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him. We must remember that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. We must remember that things look one way to us, but God sees the big picture. We must remember that even if this earthly tabernacle should be destroyed, we’ve got another building not made with hands whose builder and maker is God.

We must remember that those who sew in tears shall reap in joy. We must remember that even in our pain, even in our toil, even in our utter confusion and frustration, God sees us, loves us and is with us. He will carry us over and see us through. Great is God’s faithfulness towards us.

Jesus, our elder brother bore it all for us. He suffered, bled and died for us. He was wounded for us and He is risen for us. He is a compassionate savior who carried the load for us and knows the pain, knows, the anxiety, knows the toil, knows the struggles, knows the tears and therefore He knows how to comfort us in all of our sorrow and pain.

No matter what you are facing, trust God. No matter what you are fearing, trust God. No matter how hard your road, trust God. Make up your mind to call to remembrance God’s goodness, God’s mercy, God’s compassion, God’s faithfulness. Determine to keep hope alive in your heart. God will see you through!

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris
www.shepastorchris.org

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Shepastor: “The Mark of a Christian Part III: Endurance That is Inspired by Hope...”

1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

1 Paul, Silas[a] and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.


In Part II of the series, “The Mark of a Christian," Shepastor explored the example set by the Christians in Thessalonica through their “Labor prompted by love.” Today, we will consider the final example in Part III of this series, “Endurance that is inspired by hope.” The third mark of a Christian is that they are inspired by hope. That’s why Paul says, “we are not as those who have no hope.”

We cannot endure without hope. The term endurance means, “the ability to withstand hardship or adversity especially: the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity like a marathon runner's endurance. I have never run in a marathon. I have never participated in those 5k runs or even walks. But I know people who have and they train for months and weeks to prepare for the long distance. A marathon is not like a sprint. A sprint is a quick short distance run that takes a lot of energy. But a marathon runner needs energy and stamina – staying power. They need endurance.

In order to withstand hardship and adversity, you’ve got to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, something greater is on the other end of the journey, that your work, your faith, your labor is not in vain! You’ve got to be inspired by hope. For the Christian, our hope is in Christ. We have an eternal hope and we have hope for the here and now. Our eternal hope is that Jesus died for our sins and rose for our salvation. Our eternal hope is that if we confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God has raised him from the dead, we shall be saved. Our eternal hope is that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Our eternal is that if this earthly tabernacle should be destroyed, we’ve got another building, not made with hands, whose builder and maker is God!

Our earthly hope is that through Christ we can do all things. Our earthly hope is that through Christ we are more than conquerors. Our earthly hope is that Jesus came that we might have the abundant life. Our earthly hope is that we believe to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!!! Hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” The reason why hope is a mark of the Christian is because as God’s people, we live with expectation. We are not like Eor in Winnie the Pooh. We don’t walk around “under the circumstances.” We look up and wait for God’s promises in full expectation that what God said, He is willing and able to do.

We don’t allow our spirits to remain downcast. We like the Psalmist challenge our hearts and declare, “Why art thou cast down oh my soul and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God who is the health and the help of my countenance!” He said, I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance…In other words, when the Psalmist took a look at God, the creator, God, the giver and the sustainer of life, God… the Lord God almighty who hung the moon and the stars in the sky he praised God for the help us his countenance. What is the countenance? The term “countenance” means the look on a person’s face that shows one’s nature or feelings.

We know that God is not a person but a spirit - and none of us living have seen the face of God, but by the reading of His word and the experiences of our lives, we know and understand the nature of God. The personality of God – the way of God. God is a healer – he is a deliverer – he is a way maker – he is the source of our joy and our strength – God is all powerful – He is all knowing – He is everywhere and can do anything – God’s countenance – God’s nature.

So when we as Christians consider these things – the countenance or the nature of God we gain the hope to endure. When we look at our problems matched up against God’s power then we will move from telling ourselves about our problems and instead begin to tell our problems about our GOD!!! As God’s people, our endurance, our ability to withstand hardship, our ability to run the distance, our ability to press our way, our ability to stand the storm, our ability to “keep on keepin on” is inspired by our hope in God! As God’s people, may we take a page out of the character of the Thessalonian Christians…may we (1) Have work that is produced by faith, (2) May our labor be prompted by love and (3) And may our endurance be inspired by hope in Christ Jesus.

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris
www.shepastorchris.org




Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Shepastor: “The Mark of a Christian Part II”

1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

1 Paul, Silas[a] and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.


Last week, Shepastor explored the example set by the Christians in Thessalonica. In particular, we looked at their “work produced by faith.” This week, we consider the 2nd powerful characteristic exhibited by the Thessalonian Church, their “Labor prompted by love.”

Paul lifted this characteristic of the Thessalonian Christians. He honored them for labor prompted by their love. You have heard the phrase, “it was a labor of love…” The term labor connotes something more than just work. It conveys a sense of struggle, a pushing, even painful. When mothers are giving birth to a child, they refer to it as “labor.” They can tell how close the mother is to giving birth by the strength of the labor pains. When the baby is about to come forth, that’s when it hurts the most!

Paul said that the Thessalonian Christians’ labor was produced by their love. Even though it hurts, that mother is willing to go through the pain because they know that on the other side of that pain, will be a beautiful baby that they will hold, nurture, love and cherish for the rest of their lives. In a similar way, we push, we press, we suffer, we struggle to bring forth that which the Lord has planted within us because we love the Lord. Not only that, we love one another. Love will make you go the extra mile of the way. Love will compel you to get up and do what you don’t feel like doing. Love will urge you on when you feel like stopping. Love gives you what you need to press on further.

When we love something or someone, we go all out. We may not have much but we scrape together what we can to fulfill a need of someone that we love. SO in addition to having work that is produced by faith, another mark of a Christian is that their labor is prompted by their love.

Working in the church can be hard. Serving in the church, while it’s a joy, it can also be laborious. When nobody is watching, when nobody is applauding, when very few are serving and even fewer are witnessing, the “labor” then rests on a few. That happens in ALL churches, large, small and mid-size. Every church has what is called the “faithful few.” Because the labor of the ministry takes dedication. It takes sacrifice. It takes patience. It takes endurance. It takes LOVE…love of the Lord, love of God’s people, love of Christian discipleship and love for the lost. Jesus said, “They will know that we are Christians BY OUR LOVE!”

Love moves the Christian into a dimension above those who are just carrying out duties. Love is patient, love is kind, love is humble, love is not easily angered, love endures testing. Love is the more excellent way! Love helps you to turn the other cheek. Love helps you to ignore foolishness. Love enables you to pray for your enemies. Love makes us more like Jesus! The Christian labors in the work of the ministry because of their love. The mark of a Christian is labor prompted by love.

Next week we will look at the third mark of a Christian in this text, “endurance that is inspired by hope."

Until then,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris
www.shepastorchris.org

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Shepastor: “The Mark of a Christian Part I”

1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
1 Paul, Silas[a] and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Thessalonian Christians were discouraged. Their loved ones were dying, time was passing, the church was being persecuted and it appeared that all hope was lost. This letter encourages the believers to keep the faith, knowing that God was with them, their faith would be rewarded and that Christ will return. The Apostle Paul begins this letter by lifting up the Thessalonians’ strong witness of faith, born out by their actions. He encourages them by letting them know that they are example to Christians everywhere, an example that continues to instruct us today.

In these few short verses, Paul outlines 3 impressive characteristics that the Christians at Thessolonica exhibited. (1) Their work produced by faith, (2) Their labor prompted by love and (3) Their endurance inspired by hope in Christ Jesus. In Part I of this series, we will explore the meaning of the first characteristic, “Work produced by faith.”

Let’s take a moment and consider “work produced by faith.” Picture in your mind where they were. Thessolonica was a large, metropolitan trading center in Greece. It became the capital of Rome. It was a busy business area with people from all over the world, selling, buying, bartering, arguing, pushing, shoving, demanding, drinking, cursing, possibly lewd and crude behavior. If you’ve ever been to New York City, downtown during rush hour or even just during other times of the day, you can get a sense of the hustle, bustle, fast pace. Now imagine trying to live a life that is completely opposite of that culture. Add to that persecution from the people around you as well as the government. That was the lot of the Christians in Thessalonica!

They were doing all that they could to learn, grow and walk in their new relationship with Jesus. They were swimming against the tide. They were also deeply committed to sharing their faith with others. They were workers. But not just any kind of workers, they were people who had work that was produced by their faith. It took FAITH for them to continue to do the work of the church in the midst of great persecution. They had to be able to see beyond what was before their eyes and believe that the sacrifice, their suffering, their struggle, their undaunted actions were not in vain.

The Thessalonian Christians’ work was produced by their faith. It can be challenging to keep on working, keep on praying, keep on believing, keep on serving, keep on planting seeds when everything around you is screaming your work is not making a difference. But their work was produced by their faith. That which comes out of the ground is called, “produce.” It was planted and spent a great amount of time in the dirt before it came bursting up through the soil with vegetables and fruit. Their work was the “produce” of their faith.

The Thessalonians worked because they had faith. They kept on being about their Father’s business because they had faith. One mark of a Christian is that they walk by faith and not by sight. If you can see the answer, if you can see the end result, if you can see just how everything is going to work out, then it is not faith. FAITH is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen!

It takes faith to do the great works of God
. It takes faith to keep on working, keep on toiling, keep on building, keep on serving when everything is going against you and only a few people are standing with you. But the child of God understands that with God ALL THINGS are possible. The child of God understands that greater is he that is within you than he that is within the world.

The child of God understands that we need mustard seed faith… a little bit of faith is potent. A little bit of faith can help you to move mountains. A little bit of faith can produce GREAT results. Faith compels you to keep on working, keep on serving, keep on planting, keep on sacrificing because you see beyond the natural. You see victory in the spirit realm in the heavenlies.
You speak those things that be not as though they were. You remember where you’ve come from and you believe in where you are going. One mark of a Christian is work produced by faith.

Next week we will consider the 2nd powerful characteristic exhibited by the Thessalonian Church, in Part II of this series, "The Mark of a Christian: Labor prompted by love.”

Until then,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris
www.shepastorchris.org

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Shepastor: “Who do YOU Say I Am???”

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Matthew 16:13-20 New International Version (NIV)

During my morning devotion the other day, just as I was about to close my Bible, it fell open to this very familiar passage of Scripture. That day, however, the words, “Who do YOU say I am?” jumped off of the page and into my spirit! We know the story. Jesus is questioning his disciples about the messages from “the people…” their perceptions, views, beliefs about who he is. Jesus already knew their thoughts. He also knew the thoughts of the disciples. But by questioning them directly, Jesus forced them to stop and consider exactly what they believed about him.

On that particular day, I was wrestling with some internal thoughts, anxieties, fears and frustrations over various challenges. I have to be intentional about taking control of every thought and bringing them into subjection! But as I prepared to close my Bible, the Holy Spirit (I believe) caused the pages to fall open to those simple words, “Who do YOU say that I am?”

Suddenly, I felt peace. Why? Simply because I believe that Jesus is LORD! The term “Lord” means, “Someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler” (Dictionary.com). Since I believe that Jesus has ALL POWER, authority and influence, since I claim Jesus as MY LORD and since I believe that He is master and ruler over ALL, I can trust Him completely to walk with me through my “stuff!” I trust Jesus to be the LORD in MY LIFE over every situation, circumstance, lack, mean spirit, enemy, unjust situation, gossiping tongue, illness, challenge and struggle!

If you are troubled, burdened, weary, fearful, doubtful, ill, lonely, broken, etc., stop and ask yourself, “Who do I say Jesus is?” When you, by faith stand upon Jesus’ identity as Lord, you will conquer ALL of the oppressive tactics of the enemy. Allow the Lordship of Jesus to comfort, strengthen, guide, encourage, bless and reassure you today.

Who do I say that Jesus is? HE IS LORD!!!

Post a comment or send me an email at Revcsmith1@gmail.com

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris
www.shepastorchris.org

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Shepastor: “Is Your Heart After God?”

Psalm 42[a][b]
For the director of music. A maskil[c] of the Sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
(NIV)
42 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (KJV)

One of the most beloved praise and worship songs used for meditation, As the Deer, is taken from this Old Testament Psalm, 42: 1-2. The words depict a gentle creature, a deer, possibly after a long journey, leaping upon mountains, traveling through valleys, walking along through pastures, tired, longing to drink from a fresh water stream. The King James Version emphasizes even more graphically, the thirst that the deer has, “panting” as if exhausted, drained, “thirsty.” Both convey a strong almost desperate desire for God.

An interesting commentary or introduction provides even greater context to this psalm. It says, “For the director of music” or “chief musician. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.” The term maskil means, “one versed in Hebrew or Yiddish literature,” (Merriam Webster). Not to be taken lightly, these “well versed” musicians came from a rebellious family line. They were the “Sons of Korah.” Korah was the ring leader of Israelites (one version calls them “men of renown”) who defied God and Moses in the wilderness, leading many astray (Genesis 16: 1-35). Their rebellion caused them to be swallowed up by the earth suddenly (Who can forget that dramatic scene as depicted by Cecil Be Demille’s “Ten Commandments!”).

How profound that God used a remnant from that rebellious family line to bring Himself glory through this beloved Psalm! Knowing their own history, knowing the shame of rebellion in their bloodline, knowing how an entire generation was destroyed, they chose rather to have hearts that longed for God. How powerful to know and learn from our history? What a loving and gracious God that will not hold the sins of our family line against us! What a blessing and privilege to know that with God’s help, we have the ability to change the dynamic of rebellion and dysfunction in our families!

But it starts with having a heart that is “after God.” A heart that is after God thirsts for God, longs for God, chases after God’s heart, God’s will, God’s wisdom, God’s Holy Spirit, God’s desire for our lives. To be a man or a woman after God’s heart is to love the Lord, reverence the Lord, honor the Lord with the totality of our being. It does not mean that we won’t make mistakes, make bad choices, do wrong things. We hold this treasure in “earthen vessels.” But it means that our desire and longing is to please God. Our heart longs to be united with God. Our heart longs to have pure motives a clean spirit.

None of this is possible without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, we can do all things! When we long for God, thirst for God, “pant” for God, we come into agreement with Him. We seek to do His will. We strive to have clean hands and a pure heart. We desire to please God in all that we are, say and do. When we fall short, we repent and lean upon God’s mercy, grace and love to help us to do better. David was a man after God’s own heart not because he was perfect, but because he was yielded. He longed to do that which pleased the Lord. He worshipped the Lord with all of his might. He grieved over his sins and turned away from them.

The Sons of Korah chose the more excellent way. Despite their family dysfunction and rebellion, they chose to have hearts after God. Is your heart after God?

Post a comment or send me an email at Revcsmith1@gmail.com

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris
www.shepastorchris.org