Shepherd’s Heart – Saturday, August 4, 2018
From the Shepherd’s Heart
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalms 19:14
Usually, discussions about the Lord’s approval revolve around our actions. Most rules people cite refer to what we can “do,” and what we can’t “do.” For example, we think it doesn’t matter how much we hate someone if we don’t harm them. Jesus broadened the standard when He said to hate someone is as bad as to kill someone. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
The Psalmist wrote, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Within this phrase is the awareness that God sees within the person as well as outward actions. Notice the impact of this simple admonition.
Realize that our desire to be acceptable by the Lord is the motive for the rest of the admonition. “Acceptable” is a priestly term that indicates a sacrifice is suitable to be given unto the Lord. If the sacrifice is acceptable, the worshipper is acceptable. If the sacrifice is unacceptable, the worshipper is unacceptable. Both the worshipper and what he offers to the Lord must be right with God. Both thoughts and actions must be suitable for God to see us acceptable before Him.
Secondly, notice that acceptance is in the eye of the Lord, not the worshipper. Therefore, it is important to yield to God’s standards of acceptability. His word of “good” or “bad” is final in that decision.
Thirdly, know that God knows our heart and the heart must be on godly thoughts and values if we are to be pleasing to God. It is when we are consistent with His Word that we are pleasing to Him. Therefore, we should weigh every thought against the guidance we find in scripture. Scripture should guide our thoughts and control our actions.
Fourth, realize that what we say is a product of who we are on the inside. Clean lives produce clean conversations. Corrupt lives produce unholy conversations. Regardless of situations, the Lord expects His people to reflect His character, not that of the world.
Finally, we come with the sacrifice of our hearts and lives to the Lord because of what He means to us. The psalmist calls the Lord, “my Rock and my Redeemer.” As Redeemer He has paid the price to set us free from the dirt of the world. As our Rock He is the safe place to stand in the midst of the storm.
Every breath should be expressed as an act of worship to a Lord who has made life worth living. When lived with constant celebration of His grace, we will find He is pleased.
Source: Dr. John A. Temple (2018)
Reprinted with permission.
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