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Tuesday Thoughts 3-26-19

We live in a wonderful age, the age of Jesus, grace, and the personal presence of the Holy Spirit in each one who has accepted his invitation to, “Come, follow me.”  This truth fills my Old Testament reading with life and breath!  Again this morning, the vibrant, compassionate pursuit of God toward us all was dripping off the pages of the law-book named Deuteronomy.   We often associate this, and other writings in the Old, with cold commands, demands, and stringent expectations.  But here in Moses’ retelling of their almost-finished 40-year wilderness journey before entering the “Land of Promise”, we see the desire of the Creator expressed toward the created, “Oh, that they would always have such a heart for me, wanting to obey my commandments. Then all would go well with them in the future, and with their children throughout all generations!” Deuteronomy 5:29 (TLB).  We see here the heart of God and his call to the heart of us.  It’s all about the heart!  In our romanticized definition, it’s easy to think that this is all about emotion, but it is so much more than that.  Think about the worthy causes in your life.  In addition to a motivating passion (emotional attachment), there are seasons of hard work, temporarily unrewarding efforts, and times of forced refocusing on a fading end-game.  Whether it’s the investment in a quality marriage, the transition to a more healthy lifestyle, or building a business toward its full potential, you cannot (and do not) rely solely on emotion and succeed.  In his relentless pursuit of our hearts, Jesus did not rely on emotion either.  Instead, he vocalized and demonstrated the engagement of his whole heart to save us, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:38–39 (NLT).  As you lean personally into Jesus, follow his lead.  You will sometimes feel a crushing pressure.  Results will sometimes seem too far off.  Your energies will, at times, grow so thin that they seem transparent. These things should not determine our heart-following.  It is the reality that the fulfilled will of the Father always brings the “go well with them”, that keeps our full hearts engaged.  Where is God calling you to obedience?   Do it with all your heart!

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