Monday, August 13, 2018

"The Presence of His Heart"

(a repeat from last year.  I am sending this again today because it relates to the song we sent out last night, and includes the lyrics as an illustration).

"The Presence of His Heart"

    As one called to communicate the Gospel both verbally and in print, I spend a significant amount of time in prayerful reading, study, contemplation, and preparation of messages.  While the privileged responsibility requires concentrated application of heart and mind, the calling never seems burdensome.  To the contrary, I never feel more at peace or more fulfilled than the times when performing the groundwork that makes possible preaching and writing.  As the Psalmist declared, "In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

    That being said, I try to not confine my conviction regarding God's joyful and pleasurable presence to time spent in the Scriptures or prayer.  "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).  The indwelling Holy Spirit permanently abides in every born again believer.  Our Savior was forsaken on the cross of Calvary by both God and man, dying alone as the most abandoned soul who ever felt the sorrow of loneliness (Matthew 27:46).  From the ashes of His sacrifice, the wondrous flame of resurrection ignites the spirits of all who believe with the eternal presence of the living God.  "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27).  Our Lord does not come and go to and from the temple of our hearts.  John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend and remain on the Lord Jesus (John 1:33).  This foreshadowed the grace whereby the Holy Spirit enters and eternally abides in all who trust Christ.  The God who comes to save also comes to stay.  "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).  This we must believe because it is true, and because we must know the reality of our Lord's abiding presence no less along the dusty lanes of life than the special places wherein we focus our attention on the Life of our lives.

    Many times I have been seemingly "interrupted" in the midst of reading, study, and writing by phone calls, emails, and text messages.  Or, an earthly necessity or responsibility demands my immediate attention.  As a young man, I tended to consider these occurrences as a nuisance that "took away from my time with the Lord!"  I no longer feel this way.  While I don't always suspend my labors to answer or act in the moment, there are times when I do.  Many of those seeming interruptions become simply an extension of whatever aspect of the Lord and His Truth I contemplate at the time.  Sometimes they do not appear to relate at all.  However, I am learning that as we walk with our Lord, it all somehow fits together.  The messages I speak or write do not simply result from having my head in the Book, as vital as that is, but also from having my heart in the Book's Author.  If He chooses to "interrupt" my reading, study, and prayer, well, I would never accuse the Lord of interrupting anything!  Yes, He somehow fits it all together because His promise is true - "I am with you always."

    In mountains, deserts, and gardens, the Lord Jesus retreated to times of aloneness with His Father.  He also walked with God along the highways and byways of Palestine, and in His encounters with multitudes of needy hearts.  He gives to us the same wondrous gift, the bestowal of grace whereby God gave Himself to us when we believed.  May He grant much grace that we do not limit the possibility of knowing Him by confining our expectations to times or places.  He rather eternally abides in the spirits of all who believe, and who choose to open the eyes of the heart to see the presence of His heart.

At the drop of a heart, you can come to Me.
You need not wait 'til you're on your knees.
For I have made a way for you to come to Me,
at the drop of a heart, at the drop of a heart,
o come to Me…

Any time and any place, you can seek My face.
For everywhere you'll ever be, you will need My grace.
Just open up your eyes and altars you will see,
at the drop of a heart, at the drop of a heart,
o come to Me…

I am with you now, and I will always be.
Our hearts are joined as one, oh I will never leave.
The sound of your voice is in My ears so sweet,
at the drop of a heart, at the drop of a heart,
o come to Me…
come to Me, come to Me…
at the drop of a heart.

"I will be with thee."
(Isaiah 43:2)
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him."
(John 4:21-22)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Search the Scripture, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me."
(John 5:39)

No comments: