When I Think I Stand, I Fall | Matthew 26:69-75

peterandrooster
peterandrooster

Mat 26:69 Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, "You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean." Mat 26:70 But Peter denied it in front of everyone. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. Mat 26:71 Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth. " Mat 26:72 Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. "I don't even know the man," he said. Mat 26:73 A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, "You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent." Mat 26:74 Peter swore, "A curse on me if I'm lying—I don't know the man!" And immediately the rooster crowed. Mat 26:75 Suddenly, Jesus' words flashed through Peter's mind: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know Me." And he went away, weeping bitterly.

An amazing quote from the book "Christ's Object Lessons" by Ellen G. White which brings out this moment in clarity and truth...

For each of the classes represented by the Pharisee and the publican there is a lesson in the history of the apostle Peter. In his early discipleship Peter thought himself strong. Like the Pharisee, in his own estimation he was "not as other men are." When Christ on the eve of His betrayal forewarned His disciples, "All ye shall be offended because of Me this night," Peter confidently declared, "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I." Mark 14:27, 29.Peter did not know his own danger. Self-confidence misled him. He thought himself able to withstand temptation; but in a few short hours the test came, and with cursing and swearing he denied his Lord.

When the crowing of the cock reminded him of the words of Christ, surprised and shocked at what he had just done he turned and looked at his Master. At that moment Christ looked at Peter, and beneath that grieved look, in which compassion and love for him were blended, Peter understood himself. He went out and wept bitterly. That look of Christ's broke his heart. Peter had come to the turning point, and bitterly did he repent his sin. He was like the publican in his contrition and repentance, and like the publican he found mercy. The look of Christ assured him of pardon.

Now his self-confidence was gone. Never again were the old boastful assertions repeated.

Christ after His resurrection thrice tested Peter. "Simon, son of Jonas," He said, "lovest thou Me more than these?" Peter did not now exalt himself above his brethren. He appealed to the One who could read His heart. "Lord," he said, "Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee." John 21:15, 17.

Then he received his commission. A work broader and more delicate than had heretofore been his was appointed him. Christ bade him feed the sheep and the lambs. In thus committing to his stewardship the souls for whom the Saviour had laid down his own life, Christ gave to Peter the strongest proof of confidence in his restoration. The once restless, boastful, self-confident disciple had become subdued and contrite. Henceforth he followed his Lord in self-denial and self-sacrifice. He was a partaker of Christ's sufferings; and when Christ shall sit upon the throne of His glory, Peter will be a partaker in His glory. {COL 154.3}

The evil that led to Peter's fall and that shut out the Pharisee from communion with God is proving the ruin of thousands today. There is nothing so offensive to God or so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all sins it is the most hopeless, the most incurable.

Peter's fall was not instantaneous, but gradual. Self-confidence led him to the belief that he was saved, and step after step was taken in the downward path, until he could deny his Master. Never can we safely put confidence in self or feel, this side of heaven, that we are secure against temptation. Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. God's word declares, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried." Dan. 12:10. Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.)

Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan's devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor. 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ. CHRIST'S OBJECT LESSONS, AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 13 [read the whole chapter here]

Distrust of self and confidence in Christ

We all need a healthy distrust of ourselves and a boost in our confidence in Jesus Christ. This is why faith is both and action and a state of being. Anyone can claim to have faith in Christ or even to have full confidence in His saving power; but it is those who move forward in obedience to the word and will of God that will be found among the truly faithful.

Obedience is not legalism. True obedience is not "earning salvation" or "denying the power of grace"; it is putting ALL, I repeat ALL of your faith and trust in Christ. A father/son example might go something like this...

A father and a son are walking along a steep cliff in the deep forest. Suddenly the father stops and tells the son to jump off that cliff into rushing waters. Does the son trust the father enough to just do it, even though it seems a harmful act? Will the son question the father and deny his power to protect him? If the son trusts the father implicitly, and not his own understanding, then he will make the jump. But, if the son has faith in himself, he may question the motives and reasoning of the father and not make the jump. In either case, what the son doesn't know and the father does, is that there is a large Grizzly bear charging down from the trees headed straight for the son.

Obedience is listening to and doing the will of our Father in Heaven, even when it doesn't make sense to us. Obedience is a display of dependence upon Christ.

There is coming a time very soon where God's true followers will have to stand against persecution, even here in American. This persecution will be so strong because it will be coming from the very people who claim to love God. They will hate God's true followers because of their acts of obedience which will lay bare the reality of the false believers lost state.

Christ forgave Peter for putting so much faith in himself. When Peter saw that and understood, he became a great worker for Jesus. Great in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of man.

Prayer:

Father in Heaven,

I praise Your Name today. I know that I have no power within myself to change myself. Today I submit my will to You and ask that You would continue to change me. Show me where I need to change and give me the power to do Your will. Help my unbelief. Increase my faith.

Thank You for all that You do in my life. Thank you for the wonderful and amazing justifying sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I accept that gift today and I ask that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Watch over my children. Keep them safe from harm. Be with Julie and protect her from the evil that is trying to end her life. Rest Your mighty hand of healing upon her and thwart the plans of the enemy. In this, as in all things, may Your Will be done. Amen.

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Clear Water vs. Diluted Truth | Matthew 26:46-56

Judas_Kiss
Judas_Kiss
Mat 26:46 Up, let's be going. Look, My betrayer is here!" Mat 26:47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. Mat 26:48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: "You will know which one to arrest when I greet Him with a kiss." Mat 26:49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. "Greetings, Rabbi!" he exclaimed and gave Him the kiss. Mat 26:50 Jesus said, "My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for." Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested Him. Mat 26:51 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest's slave, slashing off his ear. Mat 26:52 "Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Mat 26:53 Don't you realize that I could ask My Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? Mat 26:54 But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?" Mat 26:55 Then Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest Me? Why didn't you arrest Me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. Mat 26:56 But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures." At that point, all the disciples deserted Him and fled.

Was Jesus a Revolutionary?

Yes, he was, but not by human standards, or sinful standards for that matter.   He was and is the antithesis of Satan's government and way of doing and conquering. Jesus sought to "conquer" with truth, love and humility - while the people he discipled and those who thought of him as a revolutionary where always waiting for the violence to begin. We see this in verse 51, when Peter reacts with violence cutting off the ear of one of the temple guards. We see this in the fact that the High Priest sent temple guards with swords and clubs to arrest Jesus who had never lifted a finger to harm anyone, but instead only helped the "unclean".

What a lonely struggle it must have been for Him; constantly trying to teach people of His ways, while they were always looking to bring things around to their way.

I must apply this to my own walk with Jesus. Do I often try to manipulate His words and change the meaning of them so that it fits my reality; my desired result? Who am I to tell the King of the Universe how He should run his government - yet I constantly find that He has to correct my ways and views because I have allowed "self" to dilute and change the clear waters of his ways.

Clean Water vs. Diluted Truth

This can be illustrated in a problem many of us have today. We often turn down the choice of cool clear fresh water, and instead we add things to it to make it more palatable. We turn it into kool-aid or hot chocolate. We make it into coffee or tea. We choose soda made with cups of sugar over water or we add crystal light to it and fool ourselves into thinking "it's now good for us".

The real kicker is we understand at our core that plain simple "water" is what we need, yet we choose to make it into something that pleases us. What we don't always allow ourselves to realize is that at the point we change it, it ceases to be water.

So it is with God's Will and His Word. If we add our own desires and wants into His Word, it becomes changed into something it was never intended for. This is why we have so many different belief systems in the Christian walk. Too many Christians today seek to make the word say what is expedient for them, instead of simply seeking truth that allows us to know and to do the Will of God.

Was Jesus forced into the hands of the enemy, or did he let himself be taken?

Verse 53 makes it clear that Jesus could have asked for a league of angels to protect him and the temple guard would never have even come close to him. He gave himself over of his own free will, because it was the time and the place appointed by His Father. Why else would he have been in the garden struggling with the Father? He knew his time had come and he struggled like the rest of us to do the Will of God. But unlike many of us, he also placed the Will of God above his own and even unto death he followed the that Will.

Can we have that kind of faith?

Yes, we can. While our faith will be tainted by a sinful heart, if we ask for the help to do God's Will it is available to us. We must give our"selves" over to God and give Him complete control over our lives. Seek His Will, be willing to do His Will, and He will entrust you with it.

Jesus was completely like we are, yet failed in no point. If he was completely like we are then he also was dependent upon the Father for everything. Every move he made was in complete unity with the Will of God. We too can have this, but it takes the same complete surrender that Jesus gave to the Father.

Do you want that type of surrender?

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."

Seeking the Will of God is seeking to obey. He will add everything else to us, if we only seek with all our hearts, souls and minds to know His Will.

Train of thought:

  1. Seek GOD
  2. Seeking GOD is seeking His Will
  3. My will is my thoughts, cares, understandings, wisdom and character.
  4. GOD'S Will is the same, but His is perfect.
  5. When we seek GOD, we are not seeking an "experience" or "feeling".
  6. When we seek GOD, we are seeking His Will so that we can align ourselves to it.
  7. Knowing GOD is doing His Will.

Prayer:

Dear Father in Heaven,

Thank You so much for sending Your Son Jesus to take my place on the cross. I praise Your Name today and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I ask for Your forgiveness and for Your strength to overcome. I cannot do this on my own Lord, but I believe by faith today that You can do it through me. I ask for the Mind of Christ. Help my unbelief. Increase my faith.

Please show me what you want me to do with Victor. I lift up to you Julie and ask that Your mighty hand of healing would put all of her suffering away and allow the miracle to be completed. Create in her a witness that will glorify You to the ends of the earth. Give her the opportunity to tell her story.

Please give me the finances that will allow me to help others as you would have me to. Thank You for all that You provide...You are such a gracious and loving God.

Be with my son and my daughter, heal them both body and spirit. Let them know how much they are loved. Help me to bring them to You Lord.

Most importantly Lord Father, please may Your perfect Will be done. Give me the wisdom to know....Amen.

The Weight of Our Sins | Matthew 26:36-45

 jesus-in-gethsemane

jesus-in-gethsemane

Mat 26:36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and He said, "Sit here while I go over there to pray."Mat 26:37 He took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John, and He became anguished and distressed. Mat 26:38 He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me."Mat 26:39 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."Mat 26:40 Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with Me even one hour?Mat 26:41Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"Mat 26:42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, "My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, Your will be done."Mat 26:43 When He returned to them again, He found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open. Mat 26:44 So He went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Mat 26:45 Then He came to the disciples and said, "Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

The Weight of Our Sins

We are spared by His agony. We are saved because we never had to bear the true weight of our own sins. That weight, which we deserved, served to nearly crush the life from the Son of God in the Garden of Gethsemane. He bore the weight of ALL sin, and none of it was His.

Observation:

I see Christ in need of solitude as the time draws near for His trip to the Cross. He desires the companionship of His friends, but as they come near to the olive grove, He asks them to stay in a place separate from Him. He does this so that they will not have to witness the agony that is about to fall upon Him; undoubtedly is already beginning to rest upon His weary shoulders.

He has had experience with the blind love of Peter and knows that they might  seek to succor Him in this time or draw Him away from the pain that He must bear. Though He asks them to stay separate from his grief, He does come to them seeking strength from their prayers; yet, they sleep.

He goes into the olive grove, symbolic of being surrounded by the Holy Spirit, and struggles with His Father in Heaven. This is a struggle not born of selfishness, but of a fear that He may not be able to withstand the weight of the worlds sin. He cries out to the Father for relief, but even in this time of great pain and turmoil, He gives Himself over to the Will of the Father.

Thank You Jesus

Our Savior committed no sin, yet He was willing to bear the weight of all of ours...so that we might live. We so flippantly receive this blessed gift, sometimes to the point of being obstinate, and we go about sinning without a second thought.

I'm saved!...we proudly declare, while the significance of that salvation is lost on us.  Oh how wretched we truly are. How thoughtless and callous as we shove our Savior away so that we may enjoy another self indulgence.

If we had to bear the true weight of even one of our "small" sins, we would be instantly crushed by it's terribleness. It is only because of His sinless life that Jesus Christ was able to take that horrible encumbrance and it is because of our sinfulness that we would never be able to take it.

There had to be a plan of salvation in place, at one time looking forward to Christ and at another looking back to Him, so that man would never have to even once hold the full weight of His own sins. We are alive just now because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How much longer can this go on?

Thank You Jesus! Thank You for loving me that much! Forgive me Lord for being so lost and thank You Lord for finding me. I love You Jesus and I praise Your name today! Fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I may help to show the world what You really did for them. I want them to be able to see You through me...I'm tired of them seeing me. This is my prayer...

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Significance in Ceremony | Matthew 26:26-30

BouveretLastSupper
BouveretLastSupper
Mat 26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take this and eat it, for this is My body."Mat 26:27 And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, "Each of you drink from it,Mat 26:28for this is My blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.Mat 26:29Mark My words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom."Mat 26:30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

Why did Jesus set up the ceremony we now know as communion?

Type meets anti-type again. Consider the fact that the ceremony of communion was established on the day of the Passover celebration. Jesus is giving them a new Passover ceremony to do in remembrance of what He was about to accomplish at the cross. Now the Lamb of God is being slain for the salvation of the whole world. Now the Lamb of God is giving Himself freely; His body and His blood as the sacrifice for our sins. But, as in the days of the Jews in Egyptian captivity, we are only saved by the recognition of our need for a Savior and by obedience to Him and belief in the saving power of that precious blood "poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many."

He set up this ceremony as a reminder to us. We so easily forget; even those things that will save us. We often need ceremony filled with symbolism to help us remember the important things in life.

Why do we need ceremony in our life?

Think of all the things we do that involve a ceremony...

  • Marriage
  • Death
  • Birth
  • Baptism
  • Anniversaries

Each of these special moments in time have a specific ceremony attached to them; all designed to give significance to the event and to help us remember the moment and what it means to us. Ceremony also often allows us to make a public statement or even to affirm an internal personal statement. We give significance to certain parts of the ceremony so that they will stick in our minds and remind us of the meaning of the event. We repeat certain phrases to solidify beliefs or to bolster commitment. Movements or actions will often have a meaning that mirrors a reality or truth to be remembered. Items used within the ceremony can represent greater things or hold meaning within their purpose.

Jesus created a ceremony for us thousands of years ago, to remind us of so many things. Let's have a look...

What do the different parts of the communion ceremony represent?

The Bread - Leaving no doubt, Jesus makes it plain that the bread represents his body, which he gave for us.

The "Fruit of the Vine" / Wine  - Jesus tells us that the wine represents his blood, "which  confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many." [Matt 26:28]

The Consuming - The act of consuming the Bread and the Wine represent the taking in of Jesus, making Him a part of us. We take Him in by eating His Word and accepting and believing in His sacrifice for us. His body and blood are the "food" which will grow in us faith, peace-making and soul cleansing love.

The Future/Past Act - He said "I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you..." As we drink the wine we can remember this promise from Him. The future event is connected to the past and the present.

The Gathering Together - The gathering of believers for communion is symbolic of God's church coming together based on the sacrifice of their Savior. It is His body and blood that bring is together, as one. If we come together for any other reason...are we truly following Him?

The Remembering - "Mark my words." Jesus says this to make sure that we don't forget to do this and remember. It is important to remember things as they really were and repeated ceremony can help us to do that. However, it can also become senseless repetitive monotony if we forget the reason we do what we do.

Personally preparing for the communion ceremony

Too often we enter into communion flippantly. It should be a time of soul reflection; a time of confession of sin and a renewing of your faith in the saving power of Jesus' Blood. To enter into it lightly is to betray yourself and deny your complete and total need for Jesus Christ.

1Co 11:27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 1Co 11:28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 1Co 11:29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God's judgment upon yourself. [NLT]

Will there be ceremony in heaven?

Jesus seems to hint at a "new" drinking of the wine in His Father's Kingdom. Possibly this will be the beginning of a new ceremony. Also we know that there will be the keeping of the Sabbath day on the new earth for eternity. We find that in Isaiah 66:22-23.

Isa 66:22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. Isa 66:23 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD. [ESV]

There may be other ceremony's in heaven that I am not aware of. There is one key element to ceremony that we all need to 'remember' and that is the remembering. These things are always introduced to us as something to do so that we REMEMBER. The implication is that we may have an inherent ability to forget those things that are important to God and to our salvation. Note also the beginning of the fourth commandment.

Exo 20:8 "Rememberthe Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exo 20:9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. [emphasis supplied][ESV]

Here is a ceremony, a gift of remembrance jam packed with meaning and significance to God as Creator, as Savior, as Rest and as Holy...which almost all of Christianity has forgotten. They have forgotten...because they allowed the ceremony to become changed by man.

Dan 7:25  He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. [emphasis supplied] [ESV]

And from Jesus's own words...

Mat 5:18  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappearuntil its purpose is achieved. [emphasis supplied] [NLT]

Prayer:

Father in Heaven,

We have such a tendency to forget who You are and what You have done for us. We allow ourselves to be consumed by the daily grind and worries of life and we forget to make You first and foremost. We allow our desire to do our own will replace Your Will in our lives. Forgive us Father. Lead us back to Your ways and help us to really understand who You are and what You want.

Help us to trust You fully.

Please forgive my sins. Cover me today in Jesus' offered robe of righteousness and fill me with the Holy Spirit. Help me to not forget the significance of what You have put in place.

Thank You for loving us so much. Amen.

Betraying Jesus | Matthew 26:17-25

Judas-Iscariote
Judas-Iscariote
Mat 26:17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do You want us to prepare the Passover meal for You?" Mat 26:18"As you go into the city," He told them, "you will see a certain man. Tell him, 'The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with My disciples at your house.'"Mat 26:19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. Mat 26:20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. Mat 26:21 While they were eating, He said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray Me."Mat 26:22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, "Am I the one, Lord?" Mat 26:23 He replied, "One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with Me will betray Me.Mat 26:24For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays Him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!"Mat 26:25 Judas, the one who would betray Him, also asked, "Rabbi, am I the one?" And Jesus told Him, "You have said it."

Have I Betrayed You Lord?

The disciples were greatly distressed by Jesus' question. They did not enter into instant denial, but instead each asked in turn.."Am I the one, Lord?" This interaction speaks volumes about relationship with Jesus. They were willing to search their own hearts and see that the potential to betray Jesus was within them. There was a fear that "maybe I'm the one who will betray Him" and they each searched deep down to know if the seed of betrayal lay within them.

Jesus made the statement of betrayal in the way He did to instigate this soul searching. He could have just come out and said "Judas, you are the one who will betray me." He knew who it was. Judas knew who it was as well, but he played along and pretended to be worried that the offender might be him. He had just betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (the price of a slave) and here he is pretending to be His disciple. He still see's Jesus as "just a man with power" and not the searcher of men's hearts. Proverbs 15:11

What about me; have I betrayed You Lord?

Searching our own hearts is something we all must do, with full anguish and humbleness. Our hearts can betray Jesus when even our actions do not. We can be attending church regularly and warming the pews with our be-suited butts, our pasted on smiles, and our self glorifying amen's..while never searching our own hearts for deceit and betrayal.

Remember friends, Jesus does not judge by the outward appearance...

1 Sam 16:7  But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

...and he wants us to also judge ourselves from the heart.

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

The Lord understands that "as we think in our hearts, so we are." So guard your heart. Test it and be sure that it is real and not deceitful...

Prov 4:23  Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

...for we know that the heart is most deceitful...

Jer 17:9  "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

...and we also have faith that the One Who Created our hearts can change them and make them into vessels that hold Him and His commandments as first in their lives.

Heb_8:10  But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.

So, dear friends, search your heart today. Be honest with yourself because you cannot help but to be honest with God. He knows your innermost thoughts and feelings. He has suffered temptations just like you. He knows what it takes to overcome the deceitfulness of the heart...surrender completely to Him.

Deu 7:9  Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes His unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.

Prayer:

Dear Father in Heaven,

My heart has been heavy with the burden of sin for so long, I don't know if I can feel anything else. But there is a seed of pure desire that wants only to be right in Your eyes. I know my heart lies to me. I sometimes listen to it and feel scared at how much it loves to make sin so easy. When I look into my heart I see the deep need for You Lord. Today I surrender to You fully. As I say it, I am scared...but I declare now that I trust You more than myself. Lead me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and control my wicked heart. Thank You for being willing to do that. I praise Your Glorious Name and Your long-suffering mercies! You are truly a patient God.

Bring my children back Lord. We both want them in the kingdom and I ask that You intercede in their lives in a powerful way to show them their need for You.

Thank You for Your providence and for Your love. Help me to let go of the things You have given me freely when You call for them to go. Increase my faith and help my unbelief. Amen.