Tag Archives: a clean heart

(I Kings 3-7) Living In Splendor

The Temple is built. I can only imagine the splendor. It was a house built for the King of Kings! It must have been breathtaking with all the gold, silver, cedar, carvings and sculptures. I’m glad God included those details in the passages I read today.

But as I read, I kept thinking about how, even after seven years of careful construction and at great expense, this temple will not survive. In a few short years, things will drastically change because of the disobedience of God’s people.

What does this tell us about God? After all, the Bible is given to us so that we can know Him. What does He want us to know?

As I sat here and thought about this, I recognized how this picture of the Temple, like all Scripture, paints a picture of how God blesses obedience; but He removes Himself and His protection when His people disobey. That was true in Solomon’s day. It’s still true today.

It’s true in our personal lives, and it’s true in a nation.

I want my walk with God to be in the splendor of His glorious Presence. Like the brick and mortar temple Solomon built with all it’s glory, every minute detail designed and blessed by God as I obey Him. I am able to do that because of His grace and mercy, as I continually submit to Him.

Sadly, I sometimes find myself walking in the rubble of a temple leveled by disobedience.

We will see in the chapters and books ahead how the Israelites will try time after time to rebuild or redecorate the temple. It will never be brought back to the glory we read about in these chapters in I Kings. However, unlike the temple Solomon built, I am able to return to that splendor when I confess and repent of sin. God’s Presence is renewed, my walk blessed by Him as I follow His blueprint for my life.

May my walk today be a life marked by the glorious Presence of God. May my heart be clean according to His plan. May I stand out as someone who is walking in the splendor which is God Himself. And may I be blessed, and a blessing, as I obey Him with all my heart.

June 2; Character

Proverbs 19-21

Rich, poor. Honest, dishonest. Righteous, wicked. Humble, proud. Wise foolish. Lazy, industrious. God has a lot to say to us through Solomon about these characteristics. What we assume is success, or a good heart in someone, may only be a smokescreen for a sinful heart. And just because we see someone who seems to have it all together, it doesn’t mean that person isn’t going to face serious consequences for sin.

“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2)  Only you know if you truly love and fear God, if you’ve given that heart to Him by repenting of sin and accepting what Jesus died to give you.

I hope your character is above reproach. More than that – I pray your heart is.

 

February 18; My Heart’s Not In It

Leviticus 8-10

Aaron was a dad. And like any parent I’m pretty sure that when he stood before Israel as their priest with his sons at his side, there was a great sense of satisfaction and joy at having his sons follow in his footsteps.

If you are a parent, I’d imagine you’ve experienced the same when your son or daughter followed in your footsteps and decided to follow Jesus, maybe joined in a ministry with you. Can there be a greater satisfaction than having your child serve God next to you?

But sadly for Aaron, that joy didn’t last long. Two of his sons paid the ultimate price for disobedience when God struck them dead, right in front of their dad. To make matters worse, Aaron had to decide whether to throw himself on the dead bodies of his children or honor God. He chose God.

But that doesn’t mean his heart wasn’t broken.

At the end of chapter 10, we are at the dinner table with Aaron and his two remaining sons. It wasn’t just a meal. It was part of the sin offering as commanded by God for the people of Israel. The priests (Aaron and sons) were to eat part of the offering in a holy place. What was left of the offering after they had eaten was to be burned up.

They sat there, but they couldn’t bring themselves to eat. Their hearts weren’t in it. So they packed up the left-overs and burned them. The fact that they burned the whole thing made Moses mad. Hadn’t they learned what God felt about disobedience? Aren’t two dead sons enough for us to get the message?

In essence Aaron said,”I’ve done everything required of me today for the sins of the people. I’ve honored God above my sons. But my sadness has taken away my appetite for food. Would God want me to just go through the motions?” Moses knew the answer was, “No.”

And God doesn’t want us to just go through the motions, either. I think of the privilege of gathering around the Communion Table to remember Jesus, His cross, and His resurrection. I wonder how many times I’ve gone through the motions when my heart wasn’t in it, when sin put up that wall between me and my Savior. I wonder how many times I’ve reached in and pulled out a tiny cracker, knowing I shouldn’t, but afraid of what people might think if I let it pass by me.

It’s not just the Lord’s Table I’m thinking about. Aaron has something to say about any act of service or expression of worship. Going through the motions isn’t obedience. God is not interested in sacrifices if our hearts aren’t in it. Man notices and judges us based on what we do. God sees the heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God so I can serve and honor You like You deserve.