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Relentlessly Pursue The Heart of God

 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 

 The Psalmist David is known for many reasons. We read in Scripture that his behavior at times was less than admirable, but we also read that he had a deep desire for his heart to reflect the heart of God. David’s beautifully written words throughout the Psalms reveal his devotion to and love for God. 

God continued to pour out grace and mercy into David’s life even though David continued to make mistakes. I am grateful that God does the same for me. When I was little, my parents taught my siblings and me the importance of a “sincere apology.” We could not get away with an ingenuine “I’m sorry” when we wronged one another. We would typically have to sit down and work things out, usually with an uncomfortable conversation, until the relationship was on the mend. I believe this helped teach me to learn from my mistakes and to seek forgiveness when I messed up.  

Pursuing the heart of God requires humility, obedience, and a forgiving spirit. As we seek to grow in our knowledge of who God is and how God works in our lives, we must be willing to relentlessly pursue the heart of God. David understood the importance of trusting God fully and living to seek the will of God.  

When we say we want to have a life that reflects who we believe God to be, do we fully trust God? Do we forgive ourselves and others? Are we willing to submit our will to God’s will? As we continue to pray about the coming year, I encourage you to ask God the questions on your heart and seek to renew a steadfast spirit. 

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion
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A Vision of New Life

And God said to me, ˝Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Ezekiel 37:3 

The year 2020 is over and we are settling into 2021. We have come through what could be seen as a valley of dry bones, as the death toll increases daily, soon to reach 2 million worldwide. Even as we work to deliver a vaccine to everyone, we are aware that takes time and the virus is still spreading. Ezekiel’s vision seems appropriate to what we are facing. 

Israel was living in exile and the prophet is told to share God’s message. But God puts a question in his mind: “Can these bones live?” The verse comes from the narrative found in Ezekiel 37:1-14. The prophet Ezekiel is confronted by God and taken to the wilderness in a vision. The vision God gives is of a valley full of bones, dry and lifeless. As the prophet speaks what God commands, the bones come back together as full skeletons, then flesh comes on the bones, then breath to give them life. At the end of the passage God declares, “I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live.” 

Yes, I realize this is a word given to people long ago and far away. But the thoughts here seem to fit our circumstances too. Even though the way looks bleak, God wants us to hear again, “I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live.” This word of encouragement is not new to our faith, as God throughout history has always taken care of the world. It is up to us to claim the newness of life that God offers and live as people who have hope in the present and the future. 

I’m glad that 2020 is over, even though some of the challenges remain. We will be okay if we keep the faith. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. 

Posted by Bob Winstead
Tags: devotion

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