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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement 05-28-04

  • 2004 May 17
  • COMMENTS

 

May 28, 2004
Encouragement for Today
 
No Need to Weed?
Ramona Davis - Proverbs31 Certified Speaker
 
Key Verse:
 
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Psalm 51:6
 

Devotion:
 
One of my favorite things to do in the whole wide world is gardening. I have to admit that given a choice of housework or yard work, I'd be outside before the dust cloth hit the floor.
 
My least favorite gardening task is weeding. When I first began gardening I mistakenly thought sprouting weeds were flowers and flowers were weeds. It has taken years of experience to recognize the difference. I pull and hoe, shovel and throw thinking I can rid my flowers of their pesky invaders forever. But alas, the weeds eventually creep back into my garden.
 
I have learned a few good gardening tactics to protect my garden from its enemy, the weed. I pull them soon after they sprout before they have a chance to develop a stubborn root system. Maintaining a good supply of mulch deprives the weeds of any nourishment.
 
Weeds in my garden remind me of pride in my heart. I sincerely want to keep a pure heart before God. God hates pride and I believe pride is at the foundation of every sin. After all, it is what caused the fall of our enemy, the devil. (Isaiah 14) He is the seed of pride and it is still his most effective weapon in keeping us from a close relationship with God.
 
God loves a humble and contrite heart. One that is not self-seeking but God-seeking.

Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God".

The Bible tells us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

As we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God He purifies our heart and removes the spiritual weed of pride and self.
 
Techniques used in my garden for identifying and pulling weeds early are best used in my heart as well. Pride unchecked and unidentified grows long and deep roots into my heart choking the very life out of pure thoughts and pure motives.
 
I have learned to take time regularly to come before Him honestly asking Him to help me identify weeds of pride. He is faithful to shine His light of Truth on the ugly sprout. It has taken years of laying my heart bare before Him to recognize pride disguised as a pure motive. In asking forgiveness, He helps me to get rid of it before it has a chance to develop a stubborn root system. It is much less painful to humble myself before God than to have Him humble me.  
 
Spending time daily reading and meditating on His Word and spending time in prayer resembles the rich layer of mulch in my garden. It keeps His living water from evaporating and helps to deprive the seeds of pride from germinating and invading my heart.
 
I realize that my heart will never be forever weed-free on this earth, but I will be determined to spend time with the Master Gardener everyday. Even though it is not my favorite task, I will be diligent to work with Him to pull sprouts of pride early. After all, I want to delight Him with an abundance of beautiful flowers filled with the fragrance of Christ.
 

My prayer for today:
 
Lord, I ask that You shine Your light of Truth on the pride in my heart. I ask forgiveness for I know You hate pride. Help me develop a discipline of spending time with You daily to be in Your Word and in prayer that I may grow closer to You. I thank You that You are the Master Gardener of my heart. Amen
 

Application Steps:
 
Set aside some time today to sit quietly before Him and ask Him to examine your heart for sprouts of pride. Honestly recognize them one by one and ask forgiveness.
 
Review your daily schedule. How can you adjust your schedule to spend regular time with Him?
 

Reflection points:
 
What thoughts, words or actions reflect a spirit of pride in your life?
 
Do you focus on the failures and faults of others or do you have a keen sense of your own spiritual needs?
 
Do you desire to be a success or are you faithful to make others a success?
 
Is there a conflict in your life that needs to be resolved? Are you willing to take the initiative to be reconciled?
 
Do you constantly compare yourself with others or do you compare yourself to the holiness of God?
 

Power verses:
 
Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. Psalm 36:11 (NKJV)
 
All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)
 
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV)
 
When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 (NKJV)
 
I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. Hosea 14:4 (NIV)
 

Additional resources:
 
Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/makeover.html
 
Unleashing the Power of God in My Life by Mary Southerland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/powerset.html
 
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/radical.html
 

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