ARE YOU EXPERIENCING GOD DURING BIBLE STUDY?

GEORGE WHITFIELD

THE MAN WHOM GOD USED SO MIGHTILY

DURING THE GREAT AWAKENING

SAID

I SIN WHEN I PRAY

I SIN WHEN I READ THE SCRIPTURE

 

HE KNEW HIS HEART

HOW EVEN WHEN DOING SACRED THINGS

HOW DESPERATELY DARK HIS HEART COULD BE

HOW IT COULD QUENCH THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-lautermilch.html

 

HOW DO I SQUEEZE THAT GENTLE DOVE?

HOW DO I CAUSE MY SHY LOVER TO RETREAT?

HOW DO I QUENCH THE QUICKENING?

 

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

  • When I am reading to feel good about myself as a Christian, checking off my chapters
  • When I am studying to become smarter, but not transformed
  • When I make the Bible all about me and not all about Him
  • When my motive is not intimacy with God, but to feed an idol

 


CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD

AND RENEW A RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN ME


THE HOPE OF EXPERIENCING GOD DURING BIBLE STUDY BEGINS WITH

  • REPENTANCE – FOR ALL MY WRONG MOTIVES
  • ASKING, KNOCKING, SEEKING FOR HIM TO COME TO ME

THE WIND, I KNOW BLOWS WHERE IT WILL — SO IT MAY NOT HAPPEN

BUT IF HE COMES

  • IF A VERSE QUICKENS ME
  • IF QUESTIONS ARISE IN ME
  • IF EMOTIONS COME

 

I AM LEARNING TO STOP BECAUSE HE’S COME TO ME.

Right now I’m reading through Matthew and Micah. This morning I was reading about the terrible beheading of John the Baptist — and the next verse quickened me: “Now when Jesus heard this he withdrew in a boat to a desolate place.”

I was quickened. You grieved too, Lord, when one you loved was taken from you. You had to withdraw. You had to grieve.

You understand our sorrows.

It was just a moment, but I experienced the presence of God, like a gentle hand on my shoulder.

This week I pray you will experience God — in the Bible study, in the music, and in the wonderful message I want you to watch from Paige Benton Brown. You may have heard her through the Women’s Gospel Coalition website (or been in person) — but I want you to watch another message from her that moved me to the core.

There is no more important factor for Bible study transforming you than having a responsive heart. I am anticipating a GREAT WEEK WITH A WONDERFUL GROUP. SO MANY OF YOU JOINED US LAST WEEK. SO GLAD YOU ARE HERE — WE WELCOME YOU SO!

LET’S SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO.

SUNDAY/MONDAY ICEBREAKERS

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

We also have an enemy

who longs to

distract us from experiencing God.


The Song of Songs warns:

Catch the little foxes for us,

the little foxes

that spoil the vineyards

for our vineyards are in blossom

(Song of Songs 2:15)


 

 

 

 

E-mail is one of my little foxes. So tempting to look first thing in the morning — but then it’s got me!  So after I wash my face, brush my teeth, and get my coffee — I’m meeting with my Bridegroom.

2. What is a little fox you must guard against?

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY   BIBLE STUDY

(IF YOU GET DONE SOONER, GO ON TO SERMON, BECAUSE IT IS WONDERFUL YET LENGTHY)

We are going to look at Psalm 101, a psalm of David when he was to become King of Israel. He had high aspirations for how he would behave himself as king. Though he failed, he walked in repentance, returning to these standards.This psalm also points to the King who kept the standard.

And though we are not kings, in particular, the first four verses are relevant to us and to experiencing God.

Read Psalm 101 slowly.

3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

Each of us has favorite artists and songs that minister to us. I love Sandra McKrakin and Sara Groves, among others.  One of my favorite you-tube versions of Hiding Place is this one:

Whatever songs minister to you — use them more this week than you usually do. Sing before you meet with Him, sing along the way, sing as you do the dishes, sing in the shower — sing of his steadfast love and justice, make music to the Lord. Sing Sing Sing and be ready to report how it is impacting you later in the week!

In fact, sing now! It will soften your heart so the seed of the Word can sink down.

6. What does “I will ponder the way that is blameless” mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!)

7. What does “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” mean?

8. What does “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” mean?

9. Is anything from the above quickening you? Stop then — ponder — and let us know what it is.

Thursday-Friday: Watch this video — take it in — let it speak to your heart — and then tell us how it does! (And keep singing!) Link

10. Share your notes, your thoughts, your heart.

11. Have you been singing more? Share what you like here.

Saturday

12. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

COMMENTS (275) Post a New Comment ↓

3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find? When we are pure of heart. God shows Himself strong to those whose eyes are fixed on Him. Without holiness no one will see God. He is near us when we are pure in heart. David is resolving to keep things that displease God away from him.

4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?
1-sing of steadfast love and justice
2-ponder the blameless way
3-walk with integrity in his house
4-Not put anything worthless before his eyes
5-the work of those who fall away will not cling to him
6-Will keep a perverse heart far,
7-Will know nothing of evil

5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?
That keeping your mind and hearts on HIM is key. We should sing of His perfect steadfast love and justice. Remembering this of God. That keeps us free from idols and able to keep our resolutions.

Reply

3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?

I will set my mind upon praise, I will set my mind on having integrity, I will be at work in my home with my heart set on being innocent before you.

At first I thought the Psalm seemed sort of arrogant, as though David were trusting in his own strength to accomplish these goals. But I thought too of how important it is to have convictions, particularly for one who has a place of power over other people.

I want to be innocent and to have a deep walk with God, but I do need Him to come to me, He is the only one who can deliver me from evil

Reply

4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals?

To keep his heart and thoughts from evil
To not tolerate those who gossip and malign others, nor those who are conceited and feel superior to others.
To support the subjects of his rule who are following God, to surround himself with those who repent and follow after God.
To guard against lies and liars, and keep them from influencing him
Verse 8 puzzles me a bit, David seems to have a great deal of faith in his own discernment, but I suppose his goal is to be zealous about protecting the innocent from those who are depraved or immoral.

Reply

5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you?

That David was trusting in God, both in His mercy & in His justice, that staying his mind on God’s mercy and justice, were the mooring for David carrying out his role as King

Reply

This lesson is timely for a question I have been pondering.
I asked God how to answer the people in my life who disagree with me on the once saved always saved concept that you, with God’s help live above sin and stop sinning after salvation (I came out of a church that taught this). This week when I read the opening about Mr. Whitfield I knew God was answering my question. Today God took me to Paul who claimed he was the chief of sinners and David who’s sin was ever before him. I am piecing together, from the final authority – the Word of God – how to combat the false doctrine to my loved ones. It is not my desire to argue but to know what I believe and why I believe it and give an answer to stir others to truth.
If anyone wants to share other examples of this I would love to hear more.

Reply

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Indescribable Chris Tomlin

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Artist: Chris Tomlin, Laura Story

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Christianity is not a religion its a relationship with Jesus

Christ himself

LEGITMEXICAN123 2 months ago in playlist Favorite videos 49

AMEN!!!! For some reason people think we are religious nuts and all about rituals and stuff, but we aren’t. Its all about love and the relationship we have with God. The all powerful and almighty God!

teamswitzerland95 in reply to LEGITMEXICAN123(Show the comment) 1 month ago 24

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3:58 Indescribable Chris Tomlinby kc2al10,175 views

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love this song

thejblovers789 1 day ago

no word on this earth can describe the love that god jesus and the holy spirit has for us

tg661199 2 days ago

You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name!!!!!! <3'

lalapo1997xo 2 days ago

This is such a beautiful song.

God is truly amazing beyond comprehension, and I only wish I had the words to describe the depths of his love and mercy that he has for us. <3

TheBeloved523 3 days ago

Amazing god

Theprecious375 3 days ago

Amen to that<3

Dominicana1998 in reply to LEGITMEXICAN123(Show the comment) 4 days ago

You should watch the videos I suggested to oloffhorn1 (have a bible ready to check the accuracy of the quotations). I think its pretty clear that a god that is supposedly loving and forgiving and also at one point told people to kill drunk rebellious teenagers with rocks is a contradiction.

jostenan37572 in reply to Yuu Kisaragi(Show the comment) 4 days ago

Amen truly it's a relationship with our great Father none other than our Lord Jesus…

monatamsi1429 in reply to LEGITMEXICAN123(Show the comment) 4 days ago

Maybe the particular places you went to seek answers from didn't actually have the ability to interpret the Bible? Happens terrifyingly often, especially since there's an actual passage where it's clearly stated that it's -purposely- hard to decipher [Mark 4:11-12].

HIS ambassadors, on the other hand, can and -do- have the ability to decipher it properly [2 Corinthians 5:19-20].

Try asking them about -any- seeming contradiction in the Bible: info@incmedia.org

Yuu Kisaragi in reply to jostenan37572(Show the comment) 5 days ago

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6. What does "I will ponder the way that is blameless" mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!)

("I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way") – I looked up Spurgeon's commentary on this psalm. The NIV says "I will be careful to lead a blameless life". Spurgeon says that David resolved to live a life of holiness and wisdom; you need to be wise in order to be holy. So the translation that uses the word "ponder", I think, would mean that David would have read and meditated on the Scriptures; he pondered God's ways to gain wisdom for living.
I must do the same. To me, the "blameless way" is found in God's ways, and especially how the Lord Jesus lived out His life, the example He gave for me to follow. I don't have any natural, inner wisdom that is good to follow, that comes from me. I have to ponder, and meditate, and think about God's Word.

7. What does "I will walk with integrity of heart within my house" mean?

Chuck Swindoll said in a sermon I heard on the radio, that integrity is "what you do when nobody else is around". Does the person I am in public match the person I am in my home?
Ooh…I wish I could say, always.

8. What does "I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless" mean?

The cross-ref. to this is Deuteronomy 15:9, and I read starting with verse 1 and it took me awhile to understand this. God says that every 7 years, you must cancel debts.
So in verse 9, it says, "Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near, so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing."

This is what I 'think' it means, the key being "be careful not to harbor this wicked thought". When I "harbor" wicked thoughts, I can have quite an imagination. It's like actually seeing in your mind a certain scene – people, conversations, etc… So I'm thinking that David is saying he will not entertain for any length of time wicked imaginings, or thoughts, as in the case of the passage from Deuteronomy, the person is thinking to himself, "I'm not going to give to my poor, needy brother, because the 7th year is approaching and he wont have to pay me back!"
I really have to watch my thoughts, that they do not drift to "worthless things". Perhaps David also thought of the Proverb that says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. David knew that his thoughts, what he "set before his eyes" in his inner thought life, would affect his actions.

    Reply

    Oh yikes – I tried to paste in a Chris Tomlin song from youtube and I see I messed it all up – sorry, Dee!

      Reply

      Can you somehow get rid of all that stuff before my answer to #6?

        I could ask David but hate to take his time. It really isn’t a big deal. We can’t cancel the comment because it throws the whole blog off. It’s okay — go back and read Diane’s entry a few weeks back to find consolation. Remember — when she made mistakes in the bulletin? :-)

        No worries Susan! I made a big mistake at work yesterday so I’m in full “give myself grace” mode! Your mistake was not near as bad as mine ;) Besides–soon the blog will probably start a new comments page, like it does when the page gets long enough-you know? Love you Susan–and the song!

        I belong back in the days when we still had horses and wagons!

        funny–my mom used to always say that about me–and some days it sounds SO good and peaceful…but I wouldn’t last an hour with all the chores!

Reply

I went out with a friend last night, she and her husband are headed for divorce. Their circumstances seem overwhelming, please please pray for them.
I see a spark of desire in both of them for spritual things, but Satan has been at loose in their lives and much damage has been done.

I shared some of our difficult marital history with her, in an effort to kindle hope.

I have had such gratitude well up in me for what God has done in changing my husband and our marriage, I forget sometimes just how awful it used to be.

There is so much pain out there in the world.

    Reply

    praying now for this couple Chris–for God to intervene, draw them to Himself, bring healing & restoration. I do know what you mean “I have had such gratitude well up in me for what God has done in changing my husband and our marriage, I forget sometimes just how awful it used to be.”–I thank Him she has your example in her life.

    Reply

    You are a perfect person to talk to her Chris — and we will pray.

    Reply

    Chris,
    I will pray, and I agree with Dee – you are the perfect person to talk to her; you’ve been there.

    Reply

    Chris, so sorry for your friend…praying now for them.

      Reply

      Thank you for praying, her husband left Bill a voicemail asking what the service times are at church.

        THAT IS EXCITING CHRIS! will continue prayers

        :)

Reply

3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find?
1. He will SING of the Lord’s faithful love and justice. 2. He will PRAISE the Lord. 3. He will pay ATTENTION to the way of integrity-it seems that this would be study of the law (Word). 4. He will LIVE with integrity of heart (apply the law) meaning he will not just become a smarter sinner- He will allow the law to change him. 5. He will set no godless thing before him. 6. He will not be involved with evil. 7. He says that a devious heart will be far from him. This stands out to me because I know that sinful hearts are our heritage from Adam. Yet I think that David knows he has some power over his own heart in turning from evil. Not only in the turning away but in the turning to-the Lord.

4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals? 1. He will destroy anyone who secretly slanders his neighbor. 2 He will favor the faithful in the land. 3. Only the ones who follow the way of integrity will serve him. 4. He will allow no one who acts deceitfully to live in his palace. 5. Nor allow a liar to remain in his presence. 6. He vows to cleanse the land of evildoers.

Basically he is vowing to rule over God’s city with justice. He takes seriously his calling as king.

    Reply

    Thanks for the better link, Elizabeth :)

Reply

Read Psalm 101 slowly.

3. In the first four verses, David asks “When will you come to me?” In these inspired verses you will find principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. What do you find? – I find David crying out to God lifting his praises up to Him. Confessing to God what he will do and how he is going to live in a way that pleases the Lord.

4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals? – He will not put up with people who lie or gossip. People that love the Lord and do what the Lord says will work and live among him in the land.

5. Go back to verse 1. What does this teach you? – this verse tells me that I need to continually praise the Lord and thank him for His blessings on my life. I need to follow His word and live my life to the fullest so it pleases Him and others can see Jesus thru me by doing this.

Reply

I plugged in Hymns on my IPad thru Pandora and heard Rita Springer singing O God of Mine and played it again on You Tube. What a very pretty song and pretty much is my heart cry these last few weeks. I hope you can find it. I will try and find the link and paste it in.

    Reply

    Lovely, Julie — the lyrics and the video too.

Reply

9. Is anything from the above quickening you? Stop then — ponder — and let us know what it is.

Others have given very good definitions of blameless, integrity of heart, and not setting before my eyes anything that is worthless, so I will not repeat here. What causes me to ponder is that so many in the Christian church think that we can “love God and do as you please”. That is, they say they love God, but do not worry too much about obeying Him. If they think about it at all, they think that God would want them to be happy so they follow whatever they feel would make them happy without considering what God and His Word say. Emotions are their guide. Freedom from all constraints (even God’s) is their life thrust. I wonder if this kind of thinking is one of those “defeaters” to which Keller referred on a lecture we listened to a few weeks ago. How do we defeat this kind of thinking?

The quote I gave above (“love God and do as you please”) is from St. Augustine and what he meant is that if we truly love God with all our heart then our desires will be so changed that we will only desire to do what He wants us to do. If we love God, we will want to obey Him and His Word with all our hearts.

    Reply

    Always liked that Augustine quote!

Reply

I listened to the message, I now understand your enthusiasm Dee, it was a great one.
Here are my notes

Recognition-sin as God sees it

If we look to justify ourselves we will never look for imputed justice

Take responsibility-no excuses, I sin because I want to

We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners

Regeneration-create a new heart is like asking for a miracle- admits total helplessness, asking for a new heart is a bold request

Only hidden in Christ can we be known and loved, we think we want to hide but we don’t really, in Christ we can be happy and be found

Repentance -you need not just to see the sin in your heart, but that its heart of sin is rejection and mistrust of God, David understood that he had committed spiritual adultery before he committed actual adultery.

All sin is primarily directed against God
If there were no God there would be no sin

Remorse I am the reference point I see my sin and look inward, I run from God, I have sorrow and regret with me as the only answer

Repentance, I see my sin and look up, I run to God, Christ is the only answer

The kindness of God leads us to repentance, Gods love is the cause, not the result of repentance.
The grace of God in Christ convicts me and assures me of how loved I am

I sin when I forget how loved I am

I need to forsake my sin and my love of it and then turn to Christ

Repentance is a gift of God and a responsibility of man, it is hard

Restoration a moving forward to what we are created to be, have I changed?

Being delivered from sin has implications, changed in a focused way, a full way, repenting of all know sins, what we know of our sin we hate, life is full of repentance

The difference of men’s lives is not the degree of their sinfulness; it is their repentance, their soft heart to see their own sin, let our hearts be broken and let us run to His love

    Reply

    So glad you listened, Chris!
    Good notes.

Reply

My dear friend Eunice is recording the audio version of Idol Lies today — she has asked for prayer that God be with her and that she do it with excellence! (She has a golden heart and voice and I’ve worked with her in the Omaha jails.)

    Reply

    oh Dee! SO exciting–praying now for Eunice!!

    Reply

    Will be lifting Eunice up in prayer! Great news and how exciting!

Reply

3. Principles that not only apply to David, but to each of us in experiencing God. 1. He will SING of the Lord’s faithful love and justice. 2. He will PRAISE the Lord. 3. He will pay ATTENTION to the way of integrity-it seems that this would be study of the law (Word). 4. He will LIVE with integrity of heart (apply the law) meaning he will not just become a smarter sinner- He will allow the law to change him. 5. He will set no godless thing before him. 6. He will not be involved with evil. 7. He says that a devious heart will be far from him. This stands out to me because I know that sinful hearts are our heritage from Adam. Yet I think that David knows he has some power over his own heart in turning from evil. Not only in the turning away but in the turning to-the Lord.

4. In the last four verses, David sets goals for himself as a king. What are some of those goals? 1. He will destroy anyone who secretly slanders his neighbor. 2 He will favor the faithful in the land. 3. Only the ones who follow the way of integrity will serve him. 4. He will allow no one who acts deceitfully to live in his palace. 5. Nor allow a liar to remain in his presence. 6. He vows to cleanse the land of evildoers.

Basically he is vowing to rule over God’s city with justice. He takes seriously his calling as king.

Reply

5. Verse 1 teaches me that I must sing to the Lord. In singing to Him I praise Him. He is blessed because He loves the sound of my voice and I am blessed because I remember all of His benefits.

Early when the day is new
Before the stirring
I will come and talk to you
And confess the ways I am broken
To recall the words you’ve spoken
And to try to comprehend
The love you have for me

You are my hiding place
You fill my broken heart with songs
Songs of deliverance
You sing of how the weak are strong

You never meant for me to walk alone
You are always for me
As the truest lover of my soul
You hear my desperate calling
You have kept my feet from falling
And have set me on this rock on which I’m stand now

You are my hiding place
You fill my broken heart with songs
Songs of deliverance
You sing of how the weak are strong

And I believe you
For you’ve saved me from my darkness and my shame
And I believe you
For I hear your song of beauty (??-through the) pain

6. I keep returning to what we have learned about idolatry. I think the way of blame is the way of idolatry. To begin to walk blamelessly may be to relinquish our idols and turn to Him. At first I thought it was study of the Word and I still think that is true but could it be more? We can study the word and still remain sold out to idols. I did it for years.

7. We all live within a ‘house’ of His calling on our lives. I want to be careful not to oversimplify this but I think it may refer to the gifts He has given us. They are treasure and the question is, will we use them for His glory or for our own glory and enjoyment?

8. I think this refers to desires of the heart. Idolatry, I am thinking. All things that replace God rather than pointing to Him.

9. I think what stands out to me the most is that David needs help with all of the things he is vowing to do. Even praise requires removal of the veil that we may see Him. I must have His Spirit to fulfill these vows, so I must not quench the Spirit. Lord, give me eyes to see the ways that I quench Your Spirit. May every desire of my heart be toward You.

Reply

Dee, that message “Responsive Heart” , has to be one of the most insightful messages I have heard on sin!
I started takIng notes with my posteds, but had to grab a legal pad because of the volume of wisdom this speaker shared!

Her explanation of David’ s Psalm 51 and how his sin was a direct offense toward God has helped me to understand why he asked for the Lord to create in him a “new heart”!
I have a few notes I would like to share, but this message is so powerful that I really need to hear it again.
One of the things that stood out was a quote she shared from a speaker named Bruce Milan ( not sure if his name is spelled right). It was his interpretation of Jesus asking this question to the man at the pool. “Do you want to be well?”
Jesus asked this question because of the implications of his healing. It will require change! And when you have built an life around your sin, your loyalty will have to change as well!
Amazing insight and I plan to listen again before I share my notes because I know I will hear something I may have missed!

    Reply

    I listened twice, and was thinking this morning about a part I would like to hear again.
    I missed that I did not have the ability to pause the message while I took notes as we can with the Keller messages.

      Reply

      Chris, if you download elizabeth’s link, you can pause it like Keller’s. I pause a million times to relisten and take notes. I love being able to do that. I get so much more out of the sermons that way.

Reply

Bill is going to Cedar Point (an amusement park) with the youth group for the next 2 days and I will be here alone.
Tomorrow is the second anniversary of Daniels death. One of his friends called it his real birthday, I do like that.
Work didn’t schedule me at all Tuesday- Friday, I know that they were trying be kind to me, but having a distraction would (I think) have been beneficial.
Anyways, I know Bill feels bad about leaving me, I encouraged him to go, but I confess that I am struggling with self pity. I am bringing it to the Lord and asking for guidance.

I am thankful I can share this with you girls.

    Reply

    oh Chris, know that we will all be covering you with prayer–this is so much, and i do hate that you’ll be alone–but the good part about internet is you can come and ask for prayer at any point, and one of us is always here (thank you joyce for your late night shifts!)–praying dear friend

      Reply

      “One of us is always here” – that is a comfort, isn’t it, Elizabeth?!

        Chris I am here, praying:)

    Reply

    Oh, Chris. Be assured of our prayers tomorrow. O Lord, cover Chris S. with your love and full protection we pray.

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    Chris please know that you will be in my prayers and will be lifted up to the Lord for Him to hold you in His comforting arms these next few days and always.

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    Chris, My heart aches for you. You will be in my prayers all day.

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    Oh Chris, Just wanted to tell you..I am praying for you today..I read this yesterday as I do most posts, but am unable to comment..Lifting you up! Love you sis.

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    Chris, I am thinking of you today. You give me strength on this blog. I’m so glad for relationships where we can share with each other and hold each other up. Thank you Lord for showing us your relationships through the disciples. Thank you for your kindness. Amen.

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I just finished listening to the sermon. It is great. I’ll try to pass along some of the points that struck me the most but I just want to give you the prayer she ended with. It is so “quickening” after all her other words.

Father I want to know you, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding and I do not try to hide from you the terror of the parting. I come trembling but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things that I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self so that you may enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shall you make the place of your feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need for the sun to shine in it for you yourself will be the light in it. And there shall be no night there. May it be so, Lord Jesus. We pray it in your name. Amen.

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    Amen

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    Thanks so much for writing out that prayer, Diane. It is so powerful. May it be in each of our hearts.

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6. What does “I will ponder the way that is blameless” mean? (Obviously you must figure out what blameless means!) –  Adj. 1. blameless – free of guilt; not subject to blame; “has lived a blameless life”; “of irreproachable character”; “an unimpeachable reputation” inculpable, irreproachable, unimpeachable clean-handed, guiltless, innocent – free from evil or guilt; “an innocent child”; “the principle that one is innocent until proved guilty” – What I get from this definition is that in order for me to “ponder the way that is blameless” I need to keep my sights on things that are good and that will help me live as righteous a life as I can since only Jesus is the truly righteous one. I need to keep my thoughts pure and free from evil thinking. I need to find the good in all people and situations and leave the judging to the Lord. I need to not be in sin at any time or in anything I do. I need to strive to live as Jesus lived.

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    Thank you Julie and Rebecca on this question, for doing the reseach for me to learn:)

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I’m enjoying singing again; I kinda got away from it! I’m singing to myself between prayers for you all!

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    Hurrah — sing, sing, sing!

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Thanks for the better link, Elizabeth…listening to Paige:)

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Father, I come to You this morning on behalf of Chris — her mother’s heart as she grieves for Daniel. I know You weep too, as you did with Mary of Bethany. Hold her, Lord. Father, and help her to sing to her soul and not just listen to her soul. Bring to her remembrance Your great promises and comfort her. You are the Comforter, Lord, and we ask You to come.

In Jesus Name

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    Oh Lord, I join in prayer for our dear Chris–show her Your presence all around her today Lord, please sustain her.
    This one never gets old to me and I pray this for you today Chris:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_rTX23V7Q

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      I loved Casting Crowns, this one always brings tears, it was a perfect choice for where my heart is this morning, Thanks Elizabeth

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      How beautiful! Thinking of Chris while I listen:)

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Loved Paige Brown! I am going to come back and comment on some things that resonated with me, but for now here are my notes:

The difference isn’t in the righteousness of our life, but in the responsiveness of our hearts.

Psalm 51 is David’s response to God.

The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite spirit-God will not despise.

Response has to begin with recognition. We have to see our sin as God sees it. Psalm 51, “I have done what is evil in YOUR sight.” Our focus has to be what He thinks about it, not what anyone else thinks about it.

We must look at his word-His prophet, and place our lives in front of the mirror of His truth.

Second element for the responsive heart is ‘taking responsibility’. You have to admit it is your sin..You sin because you wanted to. No excuses-no blameshifting. Verse 4, therefore you are right in the way you judge, in the way you see me. David is saying, this is just like me-not ‘this is not like me.’

You can’t say, ‘this isn’t me. I don’t get it.’ It IS you.. We always sin because of what is on the inside-we will sin because we want what it gives us.

All of this nasty nature is coming from it’s own nasty fruit. David recognizes this in Pslam 51. Confession is rooted in knowledge of sin, contrition is rooted in taking responsibility for it.

Step three is reparation: If you understand sin and yourself, you won’t ask for forgiveness as a starting point for a new life, but you will ask for a new heart.

The heart of all sin is that it is cosmic treason-it is always going back to saul and the rejective heart-a rejection of God. A character assassination of God. Always against Him-you don’t care.We have to understand the repentance has to be directed toward him because the sin is directed toward him.

Godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow-worldly sorrow is desiring restoration with others as more ultimate.

Remorse vs. repentance: In remorse-you are the reference point, in repentance God is the reference point. In remorse you look at your mess and look more deeply inward, in repeantance you look at your mess and then you look upward. In remorse you hate yourself, in repentance you hate your sin. In remorse you run from God, in repentance you run toward God. Remorse leads to death and repentance leads to life.

David isn’t sorry because he got caught, he is sorry because he has broken the heart of God.

Keller-if you have cracked and breaking metal you can’t hammer it back together it has to be melted and reshaped. Repentance doesn’t come by practicing God’s law, it comes when we are melted by His love. Never going anywhere-never stopping love of God. The reason that I am running toward him isn’t because I will be abandoned if I don’t..it is because I know I will never be abandoned. The kindness of God will lead us to repentance. God’s love is the cause of repentance.

Turning from your sin and turning toward God. You can’t do it unless you forsake the sin-the love of it. If you remain comfortable in the environment of the sin then there hasn’t been repentance. If we turn from the sin without turning to the Lord we will find our sin has only changed it’s name. Repentance without turning from the Lord will only manufacture more idols. It will be the same sin with a different name. If you are repenting and not sweating you aren’t repenting. Every time it will be hard work, it will make you sweat.

Restoration : Saul calls out for rescue but david cries out for reconciliation. It is transformation-forward and not backward. It is always a moving forward into what we were made to be and being recreated to be. The way to know if yours is a responsive heart is if you have changed.

All of our Christian life is repentance-ongoing day after day story. The difference of Saul and David isn’t in the righteousness of their lives, it is in the responsiveness of their heart.

For Jesus to associate with David is huge. That is the heart of God that responds to the responsive heart.

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    I am saving these, thanks Rebecca

    Remorse vs. repentance: In remorse-you are the reference point, in repentance God is the reference point. In remorse you look at your mess and look more deeply inward, in repeantance you look at your mess and then you look upward. In remorse you hate yourself, in repentance you hate your sin. In remorse you run from God, in repentance you run toward God. Remorse leads to death and repentance leads to life.

    Turning from your sin and turning toward God. You can’t do it unless you forsake the sin-the love of it. If you remain comfortable in the environment of the sin then there hasn’t been repentance. If we turn from the sin without turning to the Lord we will find our sin has only changed it’s name. Repentance without turning from the Lord will only manufacture more idols. It will be the same sin with a different name. If you are repenting and not sweating you aren’t repenting. Every time it will be hard work, it will make you sweat.

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I haven’t been online that much this week. I am feeling pretty sad about my moms condition. She is old and struggling with staying alive. I had to come home last weekend and I feel guilty about that. I decided to make a commitment to write her once a week. I am calling everyday at least one time, maybe twice. It is a difficult situation.

I haven’t felt like singing this week; I suppose I should because it would make me feel better. I can’t seem to think of one song. I did listen to one that Elizabeth posted.

I guess a “fox” I have to watch is watching too many news reports. Politics is like football for me! Not too hip on football but I LOVE politics :) plus I couldn’t pay too much attention all summer with my work load so intense.

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    Laura, I’m praying for you now, and your mom. I know the pain of when you can’t even sing, and I hate that you are there–just listening can help, but I know even that can be hard to get yourself to do sometimes when the heaviness is so great–know we’re lifting you up-

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      Thanks Elizabeth.

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    So sorry you are so sad. Watching your mom be so ill is so hard. Praying that God will give you strength and wisdom and comfort.

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      Praying for you and your sweet mom, Laura

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I’m done posting songs, after this one, I promise! But it came to mind, and while some of you may not like the “sound”–the lyrics I think are for us all right now–

Sandra McCracken/Indelible Grace
http://indeliblegrace.bandcamp.com/track/o-heart-bereaved-and-lonely-feat-sandra-mccracken

O Heart Bereaved And Lonely

1. O heart bereaved and lonely,
Whose brightest dreams have fled
Whose hopes like summer roses,
Are withered crushed and dead
Though link by link be broken,
And tears unseen may fall
Look up amid thy sorrow,
To Him who knows it all

2. O cling to thy Redeemer,
Thy Savior, Brother, Friend
Believe and trust His promise,
To keep you till the end
O watch and wait with patience,
And question all you will
His arms of love and mercy,
Are round about thee still

3. Look up, the clouds are breaking,
The storm will soon be o’er
And thou shall reach the haven,
Where sorrows are no more
Look up, be not discouraged;
Trust on, whate’er befall
Remember, O remember,
Thy Savior knows it all

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    I am so thankful for this;

    “And question all you will
    His arms of love and mercy,
    Are round about thee still”

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      Praying for you today, Chris S, and thank you for this song, elizabeth. It is hauntingly beautiful too. A comfort in the time of storm!

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Chris,
You are on my heart this morning, and I am praying for you.
Father, may Chris feel Your gentle hand on her shoulder, may she feel and sense
the gentle rustling of the wind of your Spirit. Your arms are open wide, may she
lean heavily into You today, Lord. May she know that Your tears mingle with hers.
Bring comfort, Lord, please, in Jesus’ Name.

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I just went back to listen to the John Newton hymn, “I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow” from a couple weeks back. I really enjoyed it then and thought it might help me today. It reminds me that this earthly life will go away anyway; to not put my whole faith in it; that I need to have faith in Him.

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9. Is anything from the above quickening you? Stop then – ponder – and let us know what it is.

I’ve been thinking more about “I will set before my eyes no vile thing”. I think this means that David will guard his thinking, his thought life, his imaginings, what he “sees” in his mind. Yesterday, I re-listened to a Keller sermon called How to Change, on Ephesians 4. In it, he talks about how to change by putting off and putting on, and the bridge in between, God’s part, is “being renewed in the attitude of your minds”.
Keller says, “The attitude or spirit of your mind is essentially your imagination. The attitude or spirit of the mind is the governing influence of your mind, your imagination; it’s what you vividly grasp.”
As I listened, I thought of how this ties in to Psalm 101:3. This is so sticking with me because I think it’s pivotal to intimacy with God. This isn’t “the power of positive thinking” – no, it’s renewal, from the inside out. I think David knew that what he saw in his mind’s eye, what he filled his mind/imagination with, was so important.
Keller also said that we have to let the truth of God’s Word come in and change the way your mind is governed.
It’s actually kind of frightening to think that the imagination has such power as to govern our actions, yet I know that before a sin becomes an action, it begins as a thought.

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11. Have you been singing more? Share what you like here.
I am not sure I have been singing more since singing is a big part of my communing daily but He certainly quickened two songs to me this week. “Redemption Draweth Nigh”, this morning and “Do It, Lord”, during a prayer time for Child Evangelism Fellowship yesterday. Both songs have powerful praying words.
Please be praying for CEF as the doors are opening for them to come to Kearney Public schools soon. The curriculum is fantastic as one lesson is on idols, Dee – so neat that they not only focus on getting the kids saved but then teaching them how to live for Jesus! Shell, a mutual friend of Dee and I is spearheading this. I love how God is opening hearts.
I am looking forward to the message later today.

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    Wow — that would be amazing to get CEF in the public schools. You certainly have a prayer warrior in Shell!

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      Yes, she prays down heaven!

        Love that…She prays down heaven!! If I remember Shell right, she would be the best one to do that!! She is a blessing! I will be praying for CEF in our schools here also!

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Last evening the son of the new lady I am caring for called and told me he is praying God would open the door for me to witness to his mother. He said he is the only christian in his family and he and I rejoiced that God brought me this family for the purpose of bringing God’s love and light to them. It makes my heart tremble that He would use me for His great purpose. I am awed and grateful. In twenty years I have never had a situation quite like this. I pray for quickening as I spend time with sweet Alice today. I also had what I believe to be spiritual warfare on my first day of work last week. I had a terrible attack of vertigo – haven’t had an attack in two years. God helped me through it but spoke to my heart that I would have to be fully armored and covered by the blood of Jesus for this job. Now that the son has revealed more, I understand. If you want to pray for us, I work 10-1 today. :)

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    Praying for you and for Alice Kim.
    Thank you for your soft heart and willingness to be the hands and feet of Jesus to this dear lady & her family.
    Can’t wait to see how God will use you in this.

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      The pleasure is all mine, I promise!

        Kim, let us know when your going to Alice’s so we can cover you with prayer…you will need it. Also, last night on ABC’s nightline…you might want to google it, as it was about people who fell and hit their head or got an infection and for no reason at all, started feeling dizzy and off balance and lightheaded, so bad they couldn’t walk or stand bright light, etc. They were bed ridden, untill they heard about this Chiropractor/ Neurolist, that specializes in the brain. He does a therepy with mirrors and other things and “re-wires the brain”, he says. The patients are heped and back to normal. It was very interesting. I found it and will e-mail it to you
        Praying for you and Alice!

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    Praying, Kim. This is wonderful.

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      Thanks, Diane!

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Oh thank you girls, you comfort me so much, truly you do.

I was in Office Max yesterday feeling pretty low, there was an area where you could try out pens where a child had drawn a cross and written ‘Jesus Loves You’, I felt like that message was there just for me. I wish I had taken a picture of it with my phone. Then I went to the Christian bookstore and the picture of the lighthouse that had been in the small emergency room waiting room was on the wall, the same picture that Dee had shared here on the blog, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge.” Is the caption.

I have been reading Paul Millers ‘A Praying Life’ that Elizabeth suggested, I thought about this part of the book;

“…realizing God is my fortress doesn’t mean that God is giving me a fortress. It means that He is the fortress. Except for God, I am completely alone. I wasn’t sure I liked that.”

How hard it has been to realize I am not in control, I have so little power, I am so small and weak.

I woke up today thinking about the remorse vs. repentance concept in my own heart. How I withdraw and seek to cover myself, how I feel self loathing then self pity, I seek comfort, I try to find something to eat that will make me feel better. Suffering pretty effectively strips away most of the fleeting pleasures of sin. I thought about the words to Great is Thy Faithfulness, that morning by morning His mercies are new, that there is no shadow of turning with Him, all the turning is always from me. It is remarkable how he keeps pursuing me, rescuing me again and again from myself.

I felt so grateful that my faith is in CHRIST and not in me and my performance, I want going forward to repent in a genuine way, counting on His love and grace, seeing my inner brat but instead of that vision causing me to hate myself, counting on Him to change me, running to & begging Him for real change.

I have asked for eyes to see what matters to Christ, like Laura said, this earthly life will go away anyways, only what’s done for Christ will last.

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    I’m so glad you on on the blog today Chris — present with us. We love you so!

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    Chris, I love that the child drew the cross! How wonderful :) Also, my “inner brat!” how funny!

    I keep thinking how my mom will see her mate when she gets to Heaven. Do we know each other there? She hasn’t seen him since 1976. She was 48 and he was 50. I keep thinking how I will miss her but she will see those she told me about this past week. She will be in peace. Amen.

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I have listened to the teaching 3 times in the last 2 weeks, I have been so convicted that my “little sins” are not little. the little rolling of the eyes, or the frustration for not getting my own way, my NEED to be right all the time, the anxiety that so often overwhelms my heart and keeps me from true worship and comunion wiht the one who loves me so much. they are all such little foxes, they are destroy what God has created. but they are so many, and they are so sly, and they seem so little, my heart does not see them as the ememy.
My prayer today is that my heart will start seeing the foxes for the enemy and not just cute little pets. My heart longs to focus on the sin of those around me so that mine fades into the background. Jesus friend of sinners has become my theme song this month and as I take my eyes of the sins of others my own begins to take on the signifigance it deserves.
Father break my heart for what breaks yours, open my eyes to MY sin, to MY idols more and more every day. give me a heart that repents of sin and is not only remorseful over its consequenses. turn my gaze to you dear Jesus, turn my eyes and my heart to your love and your power and your grace so that the pride that fills my heart and threatens to take over will be put to its knees in the knowedge of YOU…..what do I have to be proud of that did not come from YOU dear Jesus….NOTHING! and yet my heart clings to the protection of it, it clings to the false NEED for it. Please forgive me lord for thinking I can do any of this on my own and feeling so bad about myself when I can not. This is the kind of life that only YOU give, it was not meant for me to be able to do on my own….and yet I try. come dear Jesus, fill me, move me, live through me….I am but your humble vessel.

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    Enemies and not pets.
    So good, Cyndi.
    They are enemies — open our eyes, Lord.

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    Amen. Love your “enemies not pets” part. Lord, help us. We are so blind!

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to participate in the Bible study this week. Been busily getting ready for Jeff & my weekend away. Not always easy with 3 little ones needing my attention as well. I’m determined to listen to the sermon, though, even if it’s next week.
I want to ask for prayer for Jeff & me. That this weekend away will be so renewing and refreshing for us. This has been a very tough year for us. We definitely need this weekend!

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    May it truly be a time of drawing near to God and to one another. Giving grace and loving well.

      Thank you Dee!

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Thought I would pass along a hymn which is challenging me this week, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” This is an alternative tune than I one I learned and it is sung with a type of drum accompaniment only. I think it brings the message of the hymn home very well – a battle call.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt10_TjJ1Zc&feature=related

Am I a Soldier of the Cross?

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

1. Am I a soldier of the cross,
a follower of the Lamb,
and shall I fear to own his cause,
or blush to speak his name?

2. Must I be carried to the skies
on flowery beds of ease,
while others fought to win the prize,
and sailed through bloody seas?

3. Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
to help me on to God?

4. Sure I must fight, if I would reign;
increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
supported by thy word.

5. Thy saints in all this glorious war
shall conquer though they die;
they see the triumph from afar,
by faith they bring it nigh.

6. When that illustrious day shall rise,
and all thy armies shine
in robes of victory through the skies,
the glory shall be thine.

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    Diane, you should of warned me it was gonna be loud! I had my volume clear up and when he started playing that drum, I about jumped out of my chair! Never seen a drum like that! He was very good tho. Thanks for sharing!!

Have to share my favourite song. Actually singing this at my church September 23rd. It has helped me soo much this year.
Praying and thinking of you Chris. *hug*

http://youtu.be/SGniRk_GcLs

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    This song brings tears to my eyes each time I hear it. It is now my favorite too, thanks to you, Krista. You are living the truth of this song. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Thanks Mom. :)

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    Praying for your week-end to be everything you hope it to be. Thanks for sharing this beautiful song:) Have a great time!!

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10. Share your notes, your thoughts, your heart.

The story of David`s adultery with Bathsheba has always intrigued me, particularly this psalm. Psalm 51 has been my prayer of confession in times of deep repentance. I like the way she puts it. David`s reflective heart has become a rebellious heart. He is confronted with the grieved and angry heart of God by Nathan the prophet story. When Nathan confronts, “Thou art the man!,” what is David’s response? It is Psalm 51. That’s what a responsive heart sounds like.

Recognition – We have to recognize our sin as God sees it. In the word “sin”, we are primarily responsible to God; others are secondary. Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is beginning to call things by the right name.”

Responsibility – We have to own our own sin. It is YOUR sin. I sinned because I wanted to – no blame shifting. His heart is where his sin comes from. Don’t say “this is not like me”. Say, “This is just like me.”

Regeneration – David is not asking for ‘one more chance’. He asks for a “new” heart. Create in me a clean heart. He is asking for a miracle; new creation. It has to be from God. Recreate my inner parts.

Repentance – Many people see their sin, but still never repent. Everything depends on repentance. Without repentance, no one will see the Lord. The heart of all sin is cosmic treason; a rejection of God; a character assassination of God. We say to God, “You don’t know, you can’t help, and you don’t care”.

David committed spiritual adultery before he committed physical adultery. He had lost sight of the beauty of the Lord before his eyes lusted after Bathsheba. His first sin was against God. If there were no God there would be no sin. Repentance has to be directed towards Him.

There is this amazing section in the sermon about the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. There is plenty of sorrow in the world, but we have to recognize that much of it is not godly sorrow. 2 Cor. 7 10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret but worldly sorrow brings death”.
She differentiates between remorse and repentance, not that remorse is always bad (this is my thoughts), but we have to go beyond remorse to God.

She says, in remorse you are the reference point. In repentance God is reference point.
Remorse – we look at sin and then deeper inward
Repentance –we look at sin and then upward
Remorse – you hate yourself
Repentance – you hate your sin
Remorse – you go running from God
Repentance – you go running towards God
Remorse leads to death. Repentance leads to life.
Remorse – all about me, no answer, leads to death
Repentance – all about God, God is answer, leads to life.
We see it most clearly in Judas. He was so sorry, then went out and hanged himself. Peter also was so sorry. He weeps bitterly, and then he jumps out of a boat to swim to Jesus.
Where do you go with your sorrow? The answer must be repentance.

The reason that I am running toward him is not so that I won’t be abandoned, the reason is that I already know I won’t be abandoned. The kindness of God – not the fear of God- will lead us to repentance. God’s love is the cause of repentance, not the result. God signed that promise in blood.

Restoration of relationship – David cries out for restoration. Restoration is a moving forward into what we are meant to be. You must change. Jesus asked paralysed man “Do you want to get well?” Bruce Milne says Cure has its implications; a way of life has been built up around it. Are we ready for the implications? Change in a focused way – particular changes. Martin Luther says “all of life is repentance”. There needs to be a new willingness, new desires, new singing, a heart full of repentance.

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10. My own thoughts – I am still pondering the differences between remorse and repentance. Her comparison has clarified in my mind some reactions of people to their sin. They seem sorry but they don’t change. Does this mean that they are only sorry they got caught, but do not inwardly believe their behavior is sinful? Or does it sometimes mean that they believe it is sinful, but see no way out, perhaps because they do not have faith in God or a deep enough faith in God?

Also, I am not fully sure what the implications are about her statement “Remorse looks at sin and then deeper inward. Repentance looks at sin and then upward”? Does this mean we should not look deeply inward, but only to God? This seems too simplistic to me. Some sin requires deep analysis in order to fully be free from it, I think. Where do psychologists fit into this idea?

On the other hand, I have sometimes probed and prodded my sinful soul in sorrow, only to feel worse. Our souls are muddy waters with dangers lurking. “The heart is deceitful above all things.” Some sorrows I know we just have to give to the Lord and trust Him with the answer and the reason that we do not see.

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    Good questions. In your 2nd paragraph — I wonder if it is what Martyn Lloyd Jones says about talking to our souls instead of listening to our souls…the first is going deeper into the murk, and the second really is looking toward God

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    Such good thoughts Diane. Sometimes I think of remorse being more upset as messing up–like the mar against my own reputation, and getting stuck there, in this depressed, down-on-self for screwing up sort of place–listening to my own thoughts–and repentance being more grieved at what my sin cost Him–it pulls me out of “I messed up so bad” mode and puts my eyes on Him-makes it less about me and more about Him. Maybe that’s too simple too though–and I’m a bit sleep deprived this morning;)

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      Yes, I agree with you both, Dee and elizabeth. “Eyes on Him” is the crux, I think, eyes on Him.

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    Diane,
    After listening to the message, I better understand your questions in your 2nd paragraph. “Remorse looks at sin and then deeper inward”. I am wondering if it means just more of a downward spiral; the sorrow, the regret, how it’s “all about me”, and then trying to find an answer to the dilemma within ourselves – but it all leads to death.

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Diane, I too have been thinking about this. You have some great questions and I am chewing on them!

I think you understood it based on what you said. I think she means remorse is that we are sorry for our sin but it is based on us-how it effects us or others and sometimes we stop there and hammer ourselves for it, or stop doing it and replace it maybe with doing something good. We are more concerned for how it effects us than how it effects God. David was sorry for his sin not because he got caught or because others died but because it broke God’s heart and he wanted reconciliation. I think that is the kind of heart God desires in us.

I think what stuck with me is when she said when we sin we shouldn’t say that isn’t us..it is! :-)

Sometimes when I get frustrated with the boys-I say, it is because you guys are pushing me, but really deep down I know it is my sin nature. So it starts with me saying, this is me-no one made me do this and I have broken God’s heart. His love should melt my heart and cause me to turn and hate my sin because it breaks His heart-the God who loves me forever, died for me and is faithful to me forever.

I think looking inward to figure out what sin it is and to be aware of what idol I am worshiping is good, but then there is the turning from it and turning to him. I do love David’s model of true repentance in Psalm 51.

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    Good thoughts, Rebecca. I also love David’s model of true repentance in Psalm 51 as well. We shouldn’t look at ourselves to fix things. That will only lead to despair. We have to see our excuses as sin which breaks His heart. Each little sin is so big that Jesus had to die on the cross for it. As the Westminster Confession: “There is no sin so little but it deserves damnation; and there is no sin so huge that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.” We are desperately wicked to the core, but in repentance, He washes us white as snow. We do break God’s heart, but when we come running back in true repentance, He welcomes us with open arms and throws a party for us.

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      Diane, SO SO true!

      I have been thinking of how you brought up that our hearts are like muddy waters and danger is lurking inside. Oh so true-this is my heart. I also think of the Whitefield quote above, and what Dee said following: “I SIN WHEN I PRAY I SIN WHEN I READ THE SCRIPTURE.” HE KNEW HIS HEART HOW EVEN WHEN DOING SACRED THINGS HOW DESPERATELY DARK HIS HEART COULD BE HOW IT COULD QUENCH THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD. I mean, it is true when Paige brought out the point that you aren’t repenting unless you are sweating. ;-)

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7. What does “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” mean? – Definition of integrity: “Integrity is the following of moral or ethical principles. When someone is said to be a person of integrity, this generally means that he/she is considered to have a strong moral character. Integrity is thought by many to be one of the most important virtues a person can possess.” – what I get out of this quote and definition is that whether someone is watching you or whether you are in your own home you should be upholding Gods values and His Word and living a pure life in all ways. People need to know that how you live your life outside your home is not a joke or a show but how you always walk.

8. What does “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” mean? - this to me means that anything that you would be ashamed or embarrassed to have God seeing you do or look at or be involved in would be worthless to have in front of your eyes.

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    I’ve been reading Amos in The Message and this sentence of yours sounds like Eugene Peterson:

    People need to know that how you live your life outside your home is not a joke or a show but how you always walk.

    He says: You talk about God being your best friend — well, live like it!

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11. Have you been singing more? Share what you like here. (and 12. my takeaway)

I sing a lot, but the past couple of days I have been thanking him for his love for me-My takeaway this week is that repentance starts there-not with me and how sin effects me but how it breaks his heart-the one who loves me so deeply that He endured separation from God on the cross-I can’t fathom what that was like for Jesus!!..I think of His love and His faithfulness to me despite me and it melts my heart-but I want it to melt my heart so that I turn faster from sin. This song comes to mind, and I do love the video: http://youtu.be/diyNTi5IR4g

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Two take aways for me–one, the power of music–and that He does that for us. He is so tender with us, and knows our hearts so well…sometimes I get overwhelmed by just the reality that He made flowers–just because He loves us that much and wanted us to have flowers in the picture, you know? Music is that way to me too–He didn’t have to add that in, but He did, and when the music is praise to Him, it really does draw us nearer to Him. There are countless times in my life when I have found myself unable to pray any more–I think of the drive to the hospital when my dad was dying, or the 48 hour wait for the adoption papers to be signed–I was too weary to pray, but I could sing (not well, but to Him!), and that kept me focused, grounded on Him. There have been other times, when I feel too weary to pray or sing, but I can listen–and the words still get to the deepest place in my heart and draw me away from my fearful thoughts and back to Him–speaking truth to my soul.

The other take away is the talk by Paige–I am so drawn in by her teaching. I posted my notes earlier–but one thing sticking out more this morning is the part on restoration. She said the goal of the responsive heart is the restoration of the relationship–always a moving forward into what we were made to be. The way to know if we have a responsive heart is evidence of CHANGE. Ask myself, ‘Have I changed?’

Sometimes I stop after repentance–or get weary. You can say your sorry and sometimes there doesn’t feel like real restoration and I think at times I’ve moved on at that point–”good enough”. But that is not what He has called me to. We have to want to get well–fully well. Jesus asks the man by the pool if he wants to get well because cure has its implications.Change must be in a focused way—there should be particular change. And the change must be full–there should be a newness in me—full of repentance.

Let my heart be broken—that I will run to Him, let my heart be melted, and reshaped into a heart that reflects His.

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    So good.

    And Elizabeth thanks so for finding that link because now we can listen to all of her other messages that day.

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    Thanks for sharing your take aways, elizabeth, about how God uses music (so true) and also about how God’s aim is always restoration. If we say we are sorry but stay there, we can live in sorrow and regret, but God’s desire for our heart is joy, to fully grasp the depth and wonders of his heart of love and joy. This thought is so beautiful. We can go forward into a spiritual state that is pure and childlike in our trust and joy. How marvelous!

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      Diane–I think I need to read this daily: “If we say we are sorry but stay there, we can live in sorrow and regret, but God’s desire for our heart is joy, to fully grasp the depth and wonders of his heart of love and joy. This thought is so beautiful. We can go forward into a spiritual state that is pure and childlike in our trust and joy.”

      Amazing how the words shared here can move me deeper than any devotional book I can find–thank you Diane!

        That’s very kind of you, elizabeth.

        I too have noticed how some of the words shared here by you and everyone can deeply move me. We do have some talented writers here, but also I think it is because we know a little bit of each other’s stories – the flaws, pains as well as the happy parts – and God uses the personal truth speaking of our lives to speak to each other.

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10. Share your notes, your thoughts, your heart.

I found that Paige Benton Brown reminds me somewhat of a female Billy Graham! Maybe it’s the southern accent or her strong, impassioned manner of speaking, but I really liked her message and the way she delivered it. Most everyone has already shared their notes, and I don’t want to be redundant, but here’s a few things that stood out to me.

“You are the man!” – what is David’s response when confronted with the grieved and angered heart of God? Psalm 51 tells us. There are five signs of a responsive heart.

Recognition

God’s perspective on my sin is the only one that really matters – it is by His standards alone that my actions and motives are weighed.

David Powlison says that our terminology for sin is very telling – we call sin “personal problems”, or “dysfunctional”. It means we think that we are only responsible to ourselves, our family or friends. But the terminology of sin means that we are primarily responsible to God – ourselves and others are a secondary concern.

David does not turn away from the horror of what he sees in the “mirror” that Nathan the prophet holds before him. This really struck me because my sin can be so ugly, it really is a horror to look at, and it can be really hard to stare into it.

The path of the responsive heart has to start with honest recognition, with the rightful opanic of seeing your sin under God’s magnifying glass.

Responsibility

All the words that David uses to describe his sin show deliberation – I sinned because I wanted to.

We do terrible things and say, “That’s not me!” – well, who was it? For example, the “rat race” is not making you anything – it’s just you.

We always sin because we want to, because we want what sin gives us more than anything else. That is why we will divorce for happiness, lie for job security.

Regeneration

To say, “I messed up this day, Lord, give me another day, or a fresh piece of paper” – that is wrong theology. What do you think you’re going to do with that new day?

David asks for a new heart. To ask for that creation is asking for a miracle as in the six day creation – ex nihilo – out of nothing – I have no raw material to contribute to this new heart.

If you understand sin and yourself, you will not ask for forgiveness as the starting point for rebuilding your life. You will ask for a new heart. It’s a bold request.

If not for Jesus, we would be known and not loved. We think we want to hide – we don’t – because of the miracle of regeneration, we can want to be found.

Repentance

The main reason God gives us a new heart is so that we can repent. Note the order. We don’t repent so we can have a new heart. Many peoople see their sin, take responsibility for it, but never get all the way to repentance.

All of our sin is a character assassination of God – You don’t really love me, You don’t know, You’re not going to deliver on Your promises, You don’t care, You can’t help…

David understood that he committed spiritual adultery before he ever committed physical adultery. He had lost sight of the beauty of the Lord before he was ever drawn by Bathsheba’s beauty. He sinned because he had already lost the joy of his salvation.

Remorse: you are the reference point, you look at your mess and look more deeply inward, you hate yourself, you run from God, lots of sorrow, regret, all about me with me as the only answer but it’s no answer at all, leads to death. Example is Judas.

Repentance: God is the reference point, you look at your sin and then look upward, you hate your sin, you run to God, is all about God with Him as the only answer, leads to life. Example is Peter.

Repentance comes when we are melted by the flame of God’s love. I run toward God to keep from breaking the heart of the One who loved me so much and was hammered for me so that I never ever will be abandoned. That’s the fuel of repentance.

The Gospel cries out – “You’re not living like you are loved, and you are!” (This reminded me of Dee saying she was “acting like a woman without a Savior”.

You must forwake the sin and even the love of it in your heart. If you remain in the love of the sin, comfortable in the atmosphere or environment of the sin, then you have not repented.

Repentance from the sin without turning to the Lord will only manufacture in us more workable idols. We will turn from people-pleasing to self-esteem, from abrasive control to manipulation. We will only exchange our idols. We only rehabilitate ourselves into a more successful godlessness.

Repentance is a gift from God and a duty of man, all at the same time.

Restoration

David cries out for reconciliation with God, not rescue.

The only way to know if yours is a responsive heart is if you’ve actually changed, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid so often – the change. Can’t I be sorry, can’t I feel badly, can’t I even repent and not have to change? The answer is no.

Jesus’ question to the paralytic, “Do you want to get well?” is so penetrating, because cure has its implications, particularly when the sin is so longstanding that a whole way of life has been built up around it.

Don’t repent generally, but specifically. If there are no particular changes, there’s been no repentance.

In Revelation 22, the glorified King Jesus is willing to associate Himself with David by name – after all of this. If you know David’s story, then for Jesus to say that I am the Root and Offspring of David and to associate with this man – that is the heart of God.

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    I’m glad you got this in your notes Susan–I really liked it, but didn’t get it down “David Powlison says that our terminology for sin is very telling – we call sin “personal problems”, or “dysfunctional”. It means we think that we are only responsible to ourselves, our family or friends. But the terminology of sin
    means that we are primarily responsible to God…”
    I have been guilty of blaming my sin on my circumstances…such a hard habit to break of trying to find a reason or someone to blame–looking for anything but the reality that I am a sinful, selfish child desperately in need of the Gospel! I said something tonight to my husband and as soon as it came out, I said “wow that was so rude–I’m so sorry!” I think it could be the first time I have quickly caught myself instead of saying “sorry, BUT…”!

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      Elizabeth, I can relate. Just the other day at the beach I had to say ‘Wow that wasn’t very nice”. I am glad I caught it quick but oh how I want to be different!

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      Oh Elizabeth,
      I’m with you too. Especially in my difficult marriage, I blame my sin on my circumstances. I reason and rationalize, if only he behaved differently, then I wouldn’t respond this way. But the reality is it’s my sin and it’s against God.

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My thoughts on the message are that a lot of what I thought over the years was repenting was really not repentance at all. She said that you can recognize your sin and take responsibility for your sin, yet never make it all the way to repentance. I wonder if this is why I have trouble experiencing God’s presence and His love? Is it because I have never really repented of many of my sins so they’re still there, blocking my relationship with Him?
I’ve prayed Psalm 51 many times as a model of prayer for confession of sin, but more often my model for repentance is 1 John 1:9.
When she talked about change, and how sin can be so longstanding that a whole way of life has been built up around it – again, this takes me to my marriage and my sin as a wife. There are now patterns of how I relate to my husband that are deeply entrenched, and over the years, I see little to no particular change in me. It’s hard to explain…it’s like there’s a wall between us, a door, and I know my part of responsibility and how I sin against him, and I recognize it and know I need to change, so I open the door a little bit, and then, based on something he says or does, instead of keeping the door open and responding with the love of Christ, I just shut the door again. And then I justify my sin.
A lot of it is unforgiveness, withdrawal, turning to comfort idols, a lack of love.

11. Have you been singing more? Share what you like here.

A little bit more – when I get on here; I really like the Sara Groves song. I confess I’m not the singing-type, to do it daily, at least not out loud. Often the songs are running through my head, though.

12. What is your take-away and why?

Those four questions above, the ways that I can quench the Spirit. It’s good for me to ask them of myself before I spend time reading the Bible or in prayer. Is my motive intimacy with God, or something else?
Psalm 51 as a model of repentance, and the message by Paige. I learned a lot from it, but I want to put it into practice, too. I especially want to remember her saying that the gospel cries, “You’re not living like you are loved!” – I remember us learning that it is ineffective, when we sin, to say to ourselves, “Bad Susan, that was wrong, you shouldn’t have done that!” That’s hammering myself with the Law. But to stop and say to myself that I am not living, or acting, or talking, as if I am loved by God, is, I think, going to make me want to run to Him instead of away from Him, saying, like David did, “love me because You promised You would!”, and letting His love melt me and kindle the flame of wanting to repent.

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    Susan — I really see hope in your entries and am excited about what God is doing.

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    Susan, your takeaway was wonderful-your focus on God’s love leading you to repentance, melting your heart. Also what you shared as to what God is showing you. Your heart so often encourages me.

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    I do so appreciate your openness to God here, Susan. Things are hard for you, but I can see God at work in your heart and it is so beautiful.

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If anyone is on here early this morning, would you please pray – my mom and my niece are flying out at 6:30 am to North Carolina, to meet my sister and her husband who are already there and stay at the beach with them until Thursday. Just praying for a safe flight for them and for my mom’s health while she is there.

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    Praying for traveling mercies.

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    Susan, praying..

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    I’m late seeing this–but praying now!

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    Seeing this late too Susan but praying for her health and blessing on her time with your sister.

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    I will pray that your family will have a good week, especially your mother.

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10. I began to listen to the sermon last night. Dee, your encouragement caused me to look deep. I might otherwise have allowed that arrow to glance off but as it is, it went straight to my heart. I am so thankful for it because I was coming to an impasse with my heart, especially in relationship to my husband.
It would be easy to blow this off and move on but I sense an opportunity for me here, and so I plan to take a pure Sabbath today, taking this to the Lord. The thing that touches me so deeply from the sermon is that until now I have been loathing myself rather than my sin.
While we were at the beach I began to read A Severe Mercy. I have been putting off reading that book and in fact, I only picked it up when I had read all the others. It brought dissatisfaction with my marriage, which I knew it would but I think the Lord is showing me how to turn that to Him for it is the relationship He desires with me, a relationship of knowing and being known, of complete trust. Just the thought of it brings me to tears.
Sorry if this is a bit disjointed. I have to put it all together.

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Last night I only heard the first half of the sermon and I must admit that I felt rather hopeless. I determined to bring it all before the Lord today but as I listen to the remaining I see that she gives the wondrous answer. It is His love! Of course it is! Now I see why you thought of me Dee.

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