Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.27.11

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Wednesday — A Heart for God
Big Point: If you desire to have a heart for God, understand what God cares about then buckle up, dig your heals in and get ready for the time of your life!

Gary Haugen was working as a lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice and as the United Nations’ Investigator in charge of the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide when he began to discover what God cared about. He found there were many oppressors and much abuse of power from the humanitarian and missions organizations who worked faithfully and courageously to bring healthcare, education, food and other vital services to those who needed them. This launched a study that surveyed over 65 organizations representing 40,000 overseas workers to uncover a nearly unanimous awareness of abuses of power by police and other authorities in the communities they served. In response, Gary founded International Justice Mission (“IJM”). Gary found out what mattered to God and what He intended for His people – that they have their basic human rights: their lives, their liberty, their dignity and the fruits of their labor. IJM now exists to restore the things that God intends for his people, seeks to engender hope and transformation for those it serves, and helps to restore a witness of courage in places of oppressive violence.

Can you imagine the vast amount of sorrow and injustice that IJM witnesses on a daily basis? Because Gary had the heart of God, he was able to see past the odds that were obviously stacked against him by starting IJM. Gary attained that “ain’t no mountain high enough” attitude, buckled up, dug his heals in and said, “Let’s do this God!” How is your heart? Is it ready?

READ…What does the Bible say?
Jeremiah 15:16-17 (New Living Translation)
16When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart‟s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. 17I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I was filled with indignation at their sins.

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NLT)
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…

THINK…Find the answers
What did Jeremiah do when he discovered God’s words, according to Jeremiah 15:16?

Then, reading on through verse 17, what do we learn about Jeremiah’s actions that was contrary to what others were doing?

In 2 Chronicles 16:9 God said he will strengthen those whose hearts are what?

LIVE…What will you do now?
It seems the Bible consistently refers to our heart—what’s in it, how to protect and guard it, how it should be used, and what we should do with it to live a full and abundant life (Read additional scripture for reference: Luke 12:34, Proverbs 4:34, Matthew 22:37-40). Knowing this, it begs us to examine our own heart. Do we have the heart of God or do we have the heart of something else? Take some time to answer these questions about the condition of your heart. What do spend the majority of your time thinking about?

Is there something that you would like to have but aren’t comfortable talking about? If so, what is it?

How often do you complain about what you don’t have, and what do you believe is the cause of your discontent?

What do you believe your heart is fully committed to?

Is this reflected in your answers to the last few questions?

If it’s not committed to God, what do you need to clean out of your heart in order for you to have a heart for God?

PRAY…God, What do You want me to know & do?
Ask God to clean out of your heart the things that do not glorify Him. Let Him know that you want to have a heart that is completely committed to Him and only Him so that you can persevere and do the work that He’s called you to do.

Daily Bible Reading Commentary: Jeremiah 32-36
Ch 32: When we’re perplexed about the methods of God’s providence, it’s good to go to Him in prayer—to be reminded that not one word of all His counsel shall fail. v2: God, who’s been faithful to His warnings against Israel throughout the centuries, will just as certainly fulfill His promise to the remnant of them when Christ returns—when they’re re-gathered as a nation and made fruitful unto God (v42). v38-39: Speaks of spiritual salvation—true knowledge & worship of God.
Ch 33: In God’s own time the Davidic covenant will be literally fulfilled, to the great joy of the remnant of Israel, when Christ comes executing righteous judgment on the earth. Their sins will be purged away, their nation will be honored by all nations, and to crown all their blessings, they’ll recognize Christ as their Messiah— worshiping Him as King and Lord. v15: Christ is the Branch of righteousness, born of David’s line and holding legal title to the promised throne. While under the gospel He is made “righteousness unto all true believers,” at His return He will be acknowledged by Israel who rejected Him as their righteousness.
Ch 34: God’s compassion toward us should engage our compassion toward our fellow-men, and in any case the plain statement of His Word should be obeyed. Those who will not obey God’s law put themselves under His wrath and curse.
Ch 35: This chapter provides a description of the commitment to obedience by a group of people to their father, in contrast to the Jews’ disobedience to God. The obedience of many unsaved people to the moral laws laid down by wise men of the world should put to shame many professing Christians who are disobedient to an infinite God and utterly forget His precepts.
Ch 36: Even though the attempts of those who despise God’s Word are very daring, not one ‘jot or tittle’ of it shall fail. Though many a Bible be burned, this cannot abolish it nor deter the accomplishment of its prophecies.

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