Encouragement for Today
“An Ugly Ol’ Heart” – Part 1
Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
1 Chronicles 28:9, “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you.” (NIV)
Have you ever had an ugly ol’ heart toward God about something? One time my husband and I found ourselves blessed with a little extra money. Immediately, I had visions of new toile fabric kitchen curtains cascading down my windows. I was so excited – but my husband was not. In my defense, I pulled out some handy-dandy Scriptures straight from Proverbs 31 where I showed him how this biblical woman made coverings for her bed, certain she made matching window treatments as well. Art still wasn’t convinced. Gently he told me that he felt led to give the money to ministry.
Ministry? Our whole lives were dedicated to ministry! Plus, I would have felt so much more refreshed, could I have just had a chance to express my God-given creativity through decorating and improving the environment of our home. My husband wasn’t buying it and slowly my countenance turned sour and my words turned cold and flat toward my husband.
“Look Lysa,” Art finally said, exasperated, “if it’s that big of a deal, we’ll get the curtains.”
I had won! You’d think I’d be overcome with joy and glee, but I caught a passing glimpse of my face in our bathroom mirror and it wasn’t a happy one. It was harsh and pinched. Was there anything wrong with new curtains? No. Was there anything wrong with my heart? Oh yes – and it had manifested itself in my physical countenance as well.
I want to look at the first part of today’s key verse and challenge you to think about the way you are being stewards of the time, talents and treasures God has entrusted to you. When Solomon became king, God blessed him with an abundance of everything his heart could have wanted – wisdom, riches, women, children, and an entire kingdom in which to rule. With such responsibility came great expectation and I believe God desires no less of each of us. To manage such responsibility, King David challenged Solomon to do these three specific things:
Just as David challenged Solomon to keep his heart and mind focused on pleasing God, I believe God tests our faith in these little things on a daily basis as well. I can say that for the most part I failed the first part of my test; but praise God He doesn’t give up on His children. Read on tomorrow for the “rest of the story.”
My Prayer for Today:
Heavenly Father, help me to acknowledge You in all things. I desire to be devoted to You wholeheartedly with all that I have and do. Help me to have a willing mind and spirit when You nudge me to do the things that aren’t always comfortable, desirable, or even make sense. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you have an ugly ol’ heart about something that God is asking you to do, try the following:
Proverbs 15:13, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful.” (NIV)
Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God not gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (NIV)
Colossians 3:1, “Set your heart on things above, not on earthly things.” (NIV)
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst
The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst