A Daily Dose of the Miraculous​

Grace and peace to you dear fellow sojourners!

I suspect no one among us does not thrill when we hear of God’s miraculous healing in someone’s life because they have received what only God can do. Have you come to realize the same life-transforming miracle occurs within anyone’s life who accepts the great promises of God within their heart and mind?

When our mind and heart believe entirely on the promises of God, an absolute miraculous transformation occurs within us and our faith expands. Sweet things, let’s strive to secure God’s truth planted firmly in our mind. Believing the truth of God’s promises is like receiving His miraculous healing. This is the precise healing our brokenness craves and that which only God Himself can deliver. Yes and Amen!

The following are ten of God’s promises. Plenty more are discoverable in His Word. Receive the power of these and all of God’s truths as your daily dose of the miraculous.

Luke 11:13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

John 8:36 “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”

John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

James 1:5 “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”

James 4:7 “Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”

Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.”

Romans 8:28-30 “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called, and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

May the truth and power of God’s word never cease to amaze you.

In His grace,

Amanda

Mile-High Expectations

“For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and I may not be found by you to be what you want; there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.”  2 Corinthians 12:20

Grace and peace fellow sojourners!

In this second letter to the people of Corinth, we find Paul wondering if when he came to minister to the brethren that instead of receiving an outpouring of love from them he would instead be met by their undisciplined behavior, whether displayed openly or masked.

A humanistic approach to any gathering would be marked by the overwhelming mindset of, ‘What can I get from this time” instead of “I desire to share whatever I have.” If our bent is toward self-centeredness, the primary motivation will be to make certain our personal needs are fulfilled (knowingly or unknowingly) above all else. Let’s give this an honest appraisal. Have you found from your own experience that most times these errant behaviors are exhibited has been the result of unmet expectations?

If people do not meet our expectations, does our undisciplined nature drive us to exhibit the behaviors specified in 2 Corinthians? Things like:

  • quarreling with people
  • possessing jealous thoughts
  • quickly erupting into anger
  • acting on selfish desires
  • slandering
  • gossiping
  • acting arrogantly
  • lacking self-control

So how can we avoid setting ourselves and others up to such risky mile-high expectations? Love more than ever, be determined to let people off the hook, and trust that God is working powerfully in their life just like He is working powerfully in our own. Believe the Word when it says, “love covers a multitude of sins” and endeavor to love big and forgive often. You can do it.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Amanda

Hearts Ablaze Ministry

Amanda’s ministry is grounded in and fueled by her service and fellowship at her local church. She writes Bible studies, inscribes a weekly inspirational blog, and teaches a Bible study group at her home church each week.

All Things NEW

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!  Did you grasp that verse wording?  OLD things have passed away, and NEW things have come.  What a fantastic gift praise God.

As we retrieve our latest calendars and behold the old year being eclipsed by the new, let’s remember with a fierce tenacity that with the Lord every day is a new day; a fresh beginning.  Are His mercies not new every day (Lamentations 2:22-23)?  I encourage you to begin this day and this year anew by possessing eager anticipation to BE new.  May I suggest such a newness that you are unrecognizable by those closest to you.  The momentum indeed is not found by merely evaluating our slack dietary habits nor by increasing our less than enthusiastic physical exercise patterns but found by an honest appraisal of the very condition of our heart towards the things of God.

Perhaps Paul recalled, “Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to things of old”  (Isaiah 43:18) when he said if anyone was in Christ he was a new creation.

“For I will create a new heaven and a new earth; the past events will not be remembered or come to mind”  (Isaiah 65:17).  I surmise that this is what God intended when He creates the new.  The new things are not added to the old; the old things pass entirely away.  Shall this be our mindset as we apply 2 Corinthians 5:17 to our reality in this ‘new’ year?  I am a new creation IN Christ.  The old things HAVE passed away, and they will NO LONGER be a defeating thought or even come to my mind as something I cling to, or even behaviorally or emotionally respond to.  I say this by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in me, amen.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to possess an accurate knowledge of Christ that has the power to alter me, my judgments, my manners, and make me new.  Therefore, I repent and turn away from my sins so that they may be wiped out, and season of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).  Repentance makes me a new creation and cleanses me from all unrighteousness.  Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

A Joyous Noel

Greetings fellow sojourners and a joyous noel to you!

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”          Luke 1:28

The angel went to her and told her words God wanted her to know.  What a powerful proclamation.  Mary is highly favored (charitoō) because she is the recipient of God’s grace.  What an altogether lovely and unique grace which was bestowed upon Mary!  Perhaps what you did not know is that Ephesians 1:6 tells us “to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored (charitoō) us with in the Beloved.”  This favoring grace spoken of in Ephesians towards you and me is the same Greek word used to describe the grace bestowed upon Mary in the Luke verse.  Incredible!

Some scholars suggest Luke implies that a certain grace was found in Mary’s character.   While this might be true, the comparable verse in Ephesians communicates that the grace in view here is that which is given all believers apart from any merit of their own.  Amen.

When we sing the song or wish someone a joyous noel, we are following Gabriel’s example by announcing good news.  This good news is the forgiveness of sins for all who have faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth!   The angel Gabriel announced to Mary the coming of Jesus and his first recorded word to her was “Greetings!” or “Rejoice!”  (Luke 1:28).  We rejoice because into our less than perfect and even broken circumstances we swing the doors of our homes wide and welcome in the Savior who has power over everything.

Rejoice in the Lord brethren because you are highly favored.  Yes, again I say, “Rejoice!”

A Joyous Noel to you,

Amanda

The Righteousness Faith Brings

Gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of your own, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith.                          (Philippians 3:9)

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!

I love this verse in Philippians.  Let’s consider this summation: 1) be found IN Christ, 2) don’t consider yourself righteous based on YOUR evaluation of your works, and 3) God makes you righteous THROUGH your faith in Christ.

Be found in Christ.

If you are in Christ you were given grace before the world was created (2 Timothy 1:9), God chose you before creation (Ephesians 1:4), God loves you with an inseparable love (Romans 8:38-39), you were redeemed and forgiven of all your sins (Ephesians 1:7), you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is assigned to you (2 Corinthians 5:21), you are a new creation ( 2 Corinthians 5:17), and a child of God (1 John 3:1).   Being found in Christ means you know these statements to be true in your life (as well as other Biblical truths) and you desire to live your life based on the reality of these truths.

Don’t consider yourself righteous based on your evaluation of your works.

Sojourners, we must decisively arrive at the decision that our pride will no longer desire (knowingly or unknowingly) to stand before the Judge and attempt to present any sort of claim as to why we should receive God’s favor.  Any self-reliance and self-proclaimed goodness we desire to offer God is inadequate at best.

God makes you righteous through your faith in Christ.

We must know we will stand before Him strictly because we are IN Christ; holding tightly to the righteousness freely given to us by God through our faith in Jesus Christ.  Faith is God’s appointed means of applying every one of His saving benefits.

God is not asking for our good works; he asks for our faith (Genesis 15:6).  If we choose to declare ourselves righteous based on our works than we have also declared ourselves judge and have dared to redeem ourselves as blameless based on what we have decided to be important; thus affirming our self-righteousness with astigmatic vision.

 “My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”   (Philippians 3:10).

“The participle ‘being conformed’ is present, and implies a process that is going on and will continue through life — not an act like justification, simultaneous with the exercise of faith. ‘Being conformed’ means being cast in the same form, being brought into such a community and likeness that one sketch, outline, shape, will represent both.” (Dean Alford biblehub.com)

We are “being conformed” to Christ’s death when we die to sin, as he died for sin; and the world is crucified to us, and we to the world, by the cross of Christ.  This behavior will carry us through all the difficulties experienced in this life.  We will not attain it through our own merit and ideas of righteousness, but only through the merit and righteousness found in Jesus Christ.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for the righteousness You give me through faith in Jesus Christ.  Your salvation is perfect, glorious, and sufficient.  Any work of my own that I consider righteous is defective, impure, and entirely insufficient to save my soul.  I depend on you entirely.  My desire is to be found IN Christ.  In the all-surpassing name of Jesus, I pray, amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

Jesus’ Caution

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit.  Matthew 7:15-16

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!  I am blessed to be on this pilgrimage with you during our journey in time.  The Lord has most assuredly given us His grace and peace to navigate victoriously along our path; even through the valleys.  Therefore, when He has something to say regarding a caution, we want to heed His warning and pay close attention.

This Matthew verse highlights a few things to me.  Firstly, is the ‘false prophet.’  If we are speaking of the office of the prophet this person would foretell future events, including declarations, appeals, and warnings based on divine influence.  Prophecy is something any believer may exercise as telling forth God’s Word.  A Christian is to seriously consider the forthtelling (speaking the Word of God into a situation for edification, guidance, and instruction) spoken by the prophet.  The chief ministry of the prophet is to call people to mercy and justice, to obedience and fidelity to God and His Word, therefore, if someone is suggesting an alternative or a way to avoid obedience to God that should trigger a caution flag within you.

Secondly, there is entirely a reason the ‘wolf’ is not attempting to come in among us without a sheep’s disguise.  He means to mingle amid us and ‘look’ just like us in order to not be detected. False teaching is anything taught which is contrary to the instruction of Jesus.  So if we receive counsel not to forgive, to justify ourselves as better than someone else, or not to have gratitude because things are owed to us, we need to beware of that counsel because if we take these approaches to life, we have fallen prey to the ravages of false teaching.

Thirdly, we must persistently discern.  If we have not equipped ourselves with the truth from the Word, we will not be able to discern truth from a lie, or even how to recognize good fruit.   If we only judge by the outer coat and assume ravaging wolves never appear as sheep, we will be misled. Once we accept falsehood in our heart, it has the ability to destroy. Truth is the means by which we will be restored.  All false teaching no matter how cleverly it bleats will ultimately ravage every sheep that possess ill-prepared shrewdness. (It is interesting to note the word ‘ravaging’ in this verse and its meaning which is to extort or to steal.  We have been told in John 10:10 that the enemy’s plan, among other things, is to come among us and steal. (John 10:10))

There is a reason some do not so easily detect false teaching.  It is among us, and we do not even know because from the outside of things it looks just like us, behaves just like us, and does not stand out from us.   Another false teaching clue will be dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims.  The wolf in sheep’s clothing will hide malicious intent under the guise of kindliness.

Finally, “We will recognize them by their fruit.”  The wolf in sheep’s clothing is used to describe someone playing a role contrary to their real character with whom contact is dangerous because of its predatory nature.  Eventually, however, the wolf’s essential nature shows through the disguise, and this is the fruit we are to recognize.

The book of Revelation gives us an example of this ravaging wolf.  The lawless mystery religion, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT (Revelation 17:5) shows it appearing with “two horns like a lamb” (presenting itself as Christ-like) but speaking “like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). The “dragon” in Revelation is Satan the devil, who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). What we see in this coming event is an extremely powerful “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Prayer:

Everyday Lord I desire to draw closer to you.  Thank you for Your Word that not only brings life to my mind but cautions me regarding the troubles I will encounter in this world.  I am grateful for your abundant mercy and grace.  Lord, I turn to you, I trust you, I wait for you, teach me your paths and guide me all of my days.  In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray, amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

Little Hinges Swing Big Doors

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!

You most likely have heard the phrase, “little hinges swing big doors.”  Imagine the two hinges are labeled ‘thank’ and ‘you.’  Those two ‘little’ words are the very hinges that will swing mighty doors in your life.

Perhaps you are in a season when your heart feels heavier with disappointment, weariness, and stress than with the lighter feeling of gratitude.  Thankfully, our minds are not an out-of-control thinking machine with no navigator.  As the guide to your intellect, you get to tell yourself what to think.  If despondent thoughts enter your mind, you have the power to not allow those thoughts momentum by halting their progression.  Instead, replace your disheartened thoughts with feelings of appreciation.  This is not to say your current distressing situation is not real, but we must manage our thinking in order to be overcomers.  A heart of gratitude allows those hinged doors to swing your heart, and other’s, wide open.

Paul speaks of the importance of growing in spiritual maturity, and one of the results is overflowing gratitude (Colossians 2:7).  Being thankful is a small hinge that shows the ‘old self,’ the enemy, and the world that by the power of the Holy Spirit you intend to designate gratitude as a watchman of your soul.   If our heart chooses to not respond to God with gratitude, our thinking will become nonsense, and our mind will be darkened (Romans 1:21).  Choosing not to respond to God does not make our decision neutral; choosing not to choose is still choosing.  In order to be the watchman of our soul, we must guard ourselves with gratitude.

I have included over 20 verses below for you to use to kindle and fuel your thankful heart.  Please read through these verses.  They WILL bless you.

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm. 7:17

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalms 9:1

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.” Psalms 28:7

“I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalms 69:30

“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”  Psalms 95:1-3

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalms 100:4-5

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”  Psalms 103:1-5

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”  Psalms 107:1

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.”  Psalms 118:29

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalms 136:1-5

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”  Colossians 2:7

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”  Colossians 4:2

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  James 1:17

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 5:20

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28-29

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”  2 Corinthians 9:15

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”  Revelations 11:17

“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!”  Revelations 7:12

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, that by the power of the Spirit I can harness my will and say, “Not my will but Yours.”  I choose to guard my mouth against flippant, bitter, foul, and critical speech.  I opt instead to guard my mouth with gratitude.  I desire to speak with sincere appreciation regarding my fellow sojourners and my current life situation.  In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray, amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

God’s Overabundance

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.  Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy.  Then they said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them. The Lord had done great things for us; we were joyful. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like watercourses in the Negev.  Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.  Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.    Psalm 126

Grace and Peace to you fellow sojourners.  As a sojourner, do you know that you are only a temporary resident (1 Peter 2:11) during your time under the sun?  That knowledge should significantly influence how you view and handle all of your days.

Perhaps we all have had seasons of on-going earnest prayer. During those times it seems difficult to imagine laughing out loud again with pure joy.  When you consider the ‘impossible’ things that only God can do, does it seem like a dream to you when you experience His reality?  You know the promises of restoration, but when the experience comes, it can overwhelm your senses.  When the ‘impossible’ is orchestrated, our mouth erupts with laughter and shouts of joy!

The watercourses in the Negev refer to season streams or wadis, which occasionally blessed the land with a sudden overabundance of water (Holman).  A sudden overabundance…wow.  When the Lord blesses, don’t you know it comes as an overabundance and not just a few drops!

Prayer:

Lord, may You unleash the abundance of your blessings upon my life as only you can do.    I desire for my days to remain humble before You.   Lord, I know when you bring your restoration it will always be so significant that it will fill my mouth with shouts of joy.  I will proclaim your greatness to all who have an ear to hear!   Come, Lord Jesus.

In His grace,

Amanda

Peace, be Still

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  Mark 4:39

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!

We are not told much about how this fierce storm broke forth, but we are told that the journey across the sea came at the close of a busy teaching day and Jesus was most likely weary.  In my own life, I seem to be hit by the fiercest ‘winds’ when I am tired.  What about you?

I find it interesting that the word translated ‘peace’ in this verse is also translated ‘silence’ in other versions of the Bible.  It is a word that means things like, to muzzle, to be speechless, and to be kept in check.  Can you imagine peace muzzling your speech so that it is held in check?

In our life experience, we can verify that the good and the bad both have the power to arise.  In this verse, the word ‘wind’ indicates ‘a violent attack of wind, not a squall or a single gust nor a steady blowing wind, however violent, but a storm breaking forth from black thunder clouds in furious gusts, with floods of rain, and throwing everything topsy-turvy’ (Strongs).  Without a doubt, this arising force would be bad if you happen to be in a boat on the sea.  The marvelous love of Jesus arises even in the midst of the unwelcome and forbids it to continue while bringing everything to peace; causing everything to be still and calm.

When your circumstances tempt you to veer off into a ‘furious gust,’ which causes your vision to blur and your insides to turn chaotic, call for the Teacher.  In the disciple’s distress, they did not call him by his name Jesus, but by “Teacher!”  I suppose they needed some teaching just as you or I need when we view our circumstances to be bigger than our God.

I want the peace that surpasses every thought to guard my heart and mind (Philippians 4:7).  I am praying this exact prayer for someone very dear to me and to behold with my very eyes the storm dissipating in their heart and bringing a wave of peace that only God Himself can bring is an absolute joy.   Sojourners, let’s be so immersed in the peace of the Lord that when the storms arise, they can’t rock our boat.

In His grace,

Amanda

Bone Up for the Clean Cup

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.  2 Corinthians 7:10

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!

I enjoy warm drinks, especially on chilly days.  I have discovered the coffee to be especially good when my friend prepares it and presents it to me; delicious!  Tea in the early morning is also extraordinarily good because my husband makes it and brings it to me as I study.  And of course it goes without saying, the cuter the cup, the better!

I am sure you have a favorite beverage and wonderful memories associated not only with the taste but also with the aroma.  Imagine the anticipation of sipping your favorite refreshment just to notice it will be poured into a repulsively filthy cup.   Would you permit someone to pour anyway and muster up your most polite southern manners to drink it or at least pour it out when no one was noticing?  Or in your disgust would you immediately halt the pouring and insist on a clean cup because regardless of how cute the cup might be on the outside the inside is indeed the priority.  Well, Jesus has something to say about this dirty cup business (Luke 11:39).

Sometimes the Lord illuminates me by permitting me to visualize ideas, and this was one of those occasions.  I was preparing to go somewhere, so I was busying myself with my outward appearance while pondering my reading that morning regarding the vain offerings spoken about in Isaiah 1:11, 13.  (The meaning of the word ‘vain’ in this verse is the Hebrew word ‘shav’ and means things like uselessness, deceptive, in vain, falsely, lying, and vanity.)

The Lord brought to my understanding how He values repentance (1 John 1:9), but it must be because we realize it is God we have sinned against (2 Corinthians 7:10) for it to produce renewing repentance.  Vain, worldly repentance is when we say we are sorry only to avoid the uncomfortableness of a situation, but it conclusively proves useless because it deceives ourselves and others, is lying and is, therefore, done in vain.  The result is a “cup” that might still look cute on the outside, but the inside is now dirty.  The longer we continue in this behavior, the filthier the cup becomes.  God is the only one that can cleanse our “cup” from all unrighteousness.

Israel was required to sacrifice certain prescribed animals to atone for their sins.  The aroma which resulted from these atoning sacrifices wasn’t what pleased God as much as what it represented:  repentance, clean souls, and changed lives (Leviticus 1:9, 13, 2:2, 23:18).  If the heart was right, these sacrifices were a pleasing aroma to the Lord (Numbers 15:3).  However, over time Israel left the condition of the heart out of the sacrifice, and it became just ‘a work,’ and God had this to say about it, “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams…Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me” (Isaiah 1:11, 13).

Have you considered your ‘vain’ confessions to be an abomination?  The pleasing aroma wafts from a sacrifice of genuine repentance motivated by a truly humble and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17).  Fellow sojourners, ask the Lord to give you the heartfelt desire to keep your inward ‘cup’ free from filth and debris that would disrupt the complete work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Returning to the Luke 11:39 verse, why else would you suppose Jesus would be concerned about the condition of the inside of your “cup?”   Because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who was given to us (Romans 5:5).  Since the Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts wouldn’t it be wise to make sure our ‘cup’ stays clean through repentance and the subsequent cleansing the Lord does in us on our behalf?  Martin Luther famously wrote in the first of his ninety-five theses, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.” Repentance is not peripheral to a life of worship. It’s at the very heart, which is why God sees repentance as especially fragrant.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for pouring Your Holy Spirit into my heart.  May you impress on me, even more, the importance of true repentance which will result in your cleansing me of all unrighteousness.  I desire for my “cup” (heart) to be clean.  When You prompt me to repent, I desire to do so immediately.  Open my eyes and ears and soften my heart to your promptings.  Your servant is listening.  In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray, amen.

In His grace,

Amanda