Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Feel (emotions) (08/26/10)
TITLE: How Is Your Heart?
By Fern Brown
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We can live in fear and dread and doubt.
We can all complain when we do without.
Or we can be happy and filled with peace,
When we, to God, our feelings release.
Our hearts are the centers of our emotions, as we learn from Bible-time saintsÖ, or aints.
Jezebel, married to King Ahab, thrived on wickedness. Her stony heart plotted the death of a man, simply because God forbade him to sell the inheritance of his fathers to her husband. Defiantly she raged, "You are the King. You shall have what you want!" Ahab was a villain, stirred up to evil by his odious wife.
Jezebelís hard heart refused to be touched with pity or concern for others. At her death, she became a dinner for dogs.
Nabal, a ruthless man, had much wealth, but an unthankful heart. King David's men requested food and drink from him, which was reasonable, because they had treated Nabal's shepherds well. Nabal felt that he owed them nothing and that was exactly what he gave them.
Nabal was mean-hearted. He felt what he had belonged to him and others could fend for themselves.
When Nabalís wife, Abigail, heard from the shepherds Davidís vengeful plan, she ordered her troops to prepare food for Davidís company. Without telling Nabal, she sent her servants ahead of her with sustenance for everyone. David and his warriors came against her. Fearful she may have been, but courageously she fell at his feet taking the blame for her husbandís hatefulness and foolish actions.
Gentle Abigail was lion-hearted. She had much practice handling difficult men. She prevented David from slaughtering innocent lives.
Samson saw and took whatever he desired, with no regard to consequences. His l He had no control over his spirit. His longing to have immediately what he lusted for, led to blindness and death. He had no control over his spirit.
Though physically strong, Samson was weak-hearted in his relationships, blinded to womanís ability to wear down his resistance towards righteousness.
King David allowed laziness to keep him from going to battle. One evening of uncontrolled emotions cost him his honor, his family and his kingdom. Had he not yielded to his feelings, he would have gone into battle with his men. There would have been no sin with Bathsheba, Uriah would have lived, an innocent child would not have died, the sword would not have destroyed his family, and Absalom, his son, would not have stolen the hearts of the men of Israel.
King David had a backslidden heart for one night, causing him, a man after Godís own heart, to succumb to a dreadful sin.
Naomi and their two sons followed Elimelech to Moab fearful of a famine in their homeland. Their sons married beautiful Moabite women. Elimelech died, freeing Naomi to go back to her people, but she chose to stay in Moab with her family. After God took her sons, she journeyed back to her country, empty, except for her daughter-in-law, Ruth, who was faithful to her husbandís memory and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi asked former friends to call her Mara, because God had dealt bitterly with her. Naomiís sin was not in going to Moab, because that was an act of obedience towards her husband.
Bitter-hearted Naomiís sin was staying in a strange land longer than the need demanded, because it became her comfort zone.
Ruth had a tender-heart. She died to all she knew, choosing to trust the God of Israel to provide her needs. An affectionate heart responds to God and reaches out to others.
Moses argued with God, saying, ďIím not eloquent, but slow of speech.Ē The Lord responded, ďMoses, I created you. You need only do what I command you. I will enable you.Ē Moses set aside his feelings and obeyed God.
Mosesí heart was meek, not self-willed. He led Godís people out of bondage.
Jesus had all of His emotions under control. He cried when there was a need to cry. He became angry about the right things and in the right way. He didnít argue with His Father that life isnít fair, but yielded Himself to Godís perfect will at all times.
Jesusí heart was wholly holy, seeking only to please His Father,
Feelings come and feelings go.
We can live by them or let them go.
The choice is ours, the consequences, too,
If emotions rule us our whole life through.
Proverbs 4:23 KJV Keep they heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
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