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Establishing our Hearts May 14, 2007

Posted by Joe in Random Musings.
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Lar,

I’m getting out of my blogging funk brother! It’s Monday morning (ok, so it is afternoon for me) and I am ready to roll. I do want to return to the sermon by Chalmers that you linked to last week, but that will have to wait for another day. Here are some thoughts from my Bible reading during the last few days.

Two verses. Here they are.

“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8)

“Therefore, girding up the loins of your mind, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).

What the Lord has been hitting me with the last few days is the idea of establishment. The verse from James really stood out yesterday. “Establish your hearts.” That is nothing fancy I realize, but what struck me was the notion–a biblical one I believe–that there are certain moments of our lives where we establish change. We find ourselves in a situation where we say, “No more! I am done living like this. I am repenting, turning the opposite direction. Though I know I will fall time and again, I will not stop until I [fill in the blank].”

I believe that kind of mentality is hidden beneath these verses. It’s a moment of decision, a moment in which everything changes even though it might not be perfectly evident at that very moment. James tells us to establish our hearts. Dig down deep. Put the stack in the ground. For the coming of the Lord is near. In the context, he is referring to patience and perseverance, but what I am pointing out here is simply the mentality–a Christian mentality–that leads one to stake a claim and establish oneself to live with patience and perseverance. Or to make whatever change you need to.

1 Peter 1:13 calls us to the same. The imagery is wonderful. Gird up the loins of your mind. During that day, the men weren’t wearing running tights (and come to think of it, I’m not sure we should be wearing them now–men or women!). They had their robes on. So if they had to run, they had to gird up their loins and get ready for the sprint. Well, Peter tells us to get our minds together. Focus in. Get ready for a change of pace. Prepare your minds for action as it were. In this instance, he tells us to set our hopes fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Again, I’m not pointing out so much what we are called to set our hopes on, as much as I am trying to make plain that there is a war-like mentality to the Christian life. It is continual yes. But there are also various moments in our lives when we are faced with a decision to move another direction. Usually it involves habits, small (but big-deal) habits. You know something needs to change. You know you can’t live the same way you are living now. A stake needs to be driven in the ground. Resolve is needed. Something must be done.

Well then, make the call. I’m not sure what it is for you (Lar or anyone else listening), but whatever it is, take a hard look. Write down some resolutions. Keep your mind fixed on the cross. Yes. Absolutely, but at the same time, just make the call. Do what you have to do. Pray for the grace. Then establish yourself. Resolve to do things differently. It could be the need to wake up early or to get organized or to face a particular sin head on. Whatever it is. Enough if enough. Ask the Lord to give you a sweet mean streak, so that you can drive a stake in the ground and never live the same. I believe He loves to answer that prayer. It won’t be easy for sure, but it can be done!

Resolved to follow Jesus (and to wake up early Lar!),
Joe

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Comments»

1. Erin - May 14, 2007

Amen! Great exhortation and biblical teaching. I am always stirred by your passion.


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