Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 12:1 through Jeremiah 15:21
“Get it on the outside!” That’s what I say to my husband when I see him staring off in space, with a look of deep thought.
Why do I do that?
I’m nosy—I want to know the heart stuff; the best stuff—not just the surface stuff; what’s really going on, who he really is. Some of our best times are early mornings on the porch, sipping coffee, and getting the concerns of our heart “on the outside.”
Jeremiah had some concerns about the hearts of “wicked and evil people,” those folks whose lips and hearts don’t speak the same language:
Lord, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you.
So let me bring you this complaint:
Why are the wicked so prosperous?
Why are evil people so happy?
You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered.
Your name is on their lips, but you are far from their hearts. –Jeremiah 12:1-2
It’s very tempting
to get on board with Jeremiah and talk about “those” people–
the ones who are wicked and evil
- a great job
- a great house
- a great bank account
- great health
- a great family
“These people” say all the right things; they talk about God, maybe even attend church but when we see glimpses of their heart through their actions, they are just following their own desires and worshipping the images of the gods of the day. (Jeremiah 9:13)
Actually, I would rather talk about “those” people,
But I can’t.
I’m too busy thinking about myself.
I’m too busy thinking about the inside; the part of me that’s probably worse than “those” people.
It is so easy; actually it’s very comforting to point my finger at what others do and don’t do, but we all have a heart problem. That’s why we needed a Savior; that’s why Jesus came. It’s all about the heart!
- For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. –Matthew 12:34
- Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. –Proverbs 4:23
This is my prayer on those days when my heart is determining the wrong words and has me on the wrong course in life:
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 16:1 through Jeremiah 18:23; Jeremiah 35:1-19