Lead Your Heart – 1.15.21

When I was young(er) we used to wait for the Maranatha Singers to put out their new album every year.  It essentially gave us our praise and worship music for that year.  One song that has especially stuck in my head all these years is taken from just two verses in David’s psalm of repentance  – Psalm 51.  The focus is on his need for God to restore – to change – his heart.

Create in me a clean heart, oh God

And renew a right spirit within me

Create in me a clean heart, oh God

And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord

Take not Thy holy spirit from me*

Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation

And renew a right spirit within me

I was attending Arizona State at the time and often felt the need for God to cleanse me just on principle – I, after all, was walking around in a sewer.  I’ve seen, as time goes by however, that God made us to also stay cleansed by how we walk.  And sometimes to even change our hearts by first changing our actions.  For example, in those same college years (81-85) only race car drivers wore seat belts.  Laws changed our behaviors, which changed our minds (emotions).  Some of my professors still smoked while standing in front of a lecture hall and we know what‘s become of public smoking.   But here’s a better one:   

Newspaper columnist and minister George Crane tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. “I don’t only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me.” Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan “Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you’ve convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that you’re getting a divorce. That will really hurt him.” With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, “Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!” And she did it with enthusiasm; acting “as if.” For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, sharing. When she didn’t return, Crane called. “Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?” “Divorce?” she exclaimed. “Never! I discovered I really do love him.” Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise –but more in often repeated deeds.

My point is, if there is something in your life (eg: Bible reading and prayer; attending a mid-week study; exercise; calling on a neighbor) that you don’t “feel” like doing but you know you ought to, don’t wait for your heart to change  – just do it.     

Pastor Scott

P.S.  There was a question that came into the text line right after dismissal (sorry texter) it had to do with the verse in 1 John 5 that I used to clarify a point in 1 John 3.  Because it was so specific to 1 John 5, I’m going to ask the texter to indulge me and see if I answer the question when we get there in the preaching.

·  This line is not applicable post Pentecost, but is in David’s psalm –I always “watermelon-ed” it.

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