Everywhere I turn these days, it’s about the heart.
There’s the one that beats within my chest.
The one for which I have to wear this goofy event monitor for a whole month and then stress it in a couple of days.
The one that controls my physical body.
But there’s also the one that controls my spirit.
We’ve talked about it as I teach Hosea.
The dangers of a divided heart.
And as my co-teacher teaches from Colossians.
The importance of a focused heart.
A peaceful heart.
A grateful heart.
A sincere heart.
And in small group as we sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus.
Where today we talked about the kingdom of God.
Talk of kings and kingdoms can often seem irrelevant and archaic, conjuring pictures of autocrats and dictators or of the fairy tales we read as children. Why can’t we be content to simply think of God as a loving father or as a good friend? Because, even though the phrase “kingdom of God” may sound outdated to us, it was of the utmost importance to Jesus. In fact, it was at the very heart of his mission, the reason he came to earth. ~Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, page 182
Because the kingdom of God is here.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
~Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV)
The rabbis taught that anyone who prays this prayer with a sincere heart “receives upon himself the kingdom of heaven.” ~Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, page 193
Sovereign God enthroned in the heart.
Sunday our pastor talked about accumulating and hoarding “stuff.”
And I wrote a note to myself: Am I possessed by my possessions?
God spoke all these words: I am God, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of a life of slavery. No other gods, only me.
No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God . . . Exodus 20:1-5 (Message)
And then, wouldn’t you know, on Monday Rachel Hauck focused on possessions.
So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. ~Luke 14:33 (NASB)
Rachel concluded that what Jesus really said is “To be My disciple, you have to give up possession of yourself, to give Me rulership and leadership of your heart, mind, soul and strength. You’re not in charge of yourself anymore if you follow Me.”
The kingdom of God is here.
And He wants to be King of my heart.