The greatest privilege we can ever have is to know God, to be in His presence, and to feel His love. However, the pressures of living in our culture can cause us to lose sight of this. As we prepare for a new year, now is a wonderful opportunity to examine our lives.
We need to turn our hearts toward the Lord so they become tender and melt within us. Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and reveal any hard places within it. Has somebody wounded you? Are you carrying an offense? These cause hardness of heart, which leads to breaking fellowship with God Almighty. Come to Him to receive forgiveness, cleansing and healing. As we hunger and thirst for His righteousness , His desires become our desires.
Let hope, joy, peace and righteousness be in our hearts
David says in Psalm 27:4, One thing I have desired of the Lord, that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
As Christians, we can do this every moment of every day of the year. We want to be filled with the Holy Spirit so we dwell in His presence, where His face is shining upon us. And we never have to leave that temple, for it is within us. His throne is in our hearts.
In the Jewish temple, a multitude of sacrifices had to be made and blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat to cover people’s sins. Jesus has done all of that for us. So what sacrifices does God want from us today? He is looking for the fruit of our lips.
We do this in praise and worship, yet we should realize that everything we say is important. With our tongues we have the power to curse or bless, to give death or life. Jesus speaks very specifically about what defiles people: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man” (Matthew 15:18). It is what we express.
So we must ask ourselves, do we express hope, joy, righteousness, and peace? Or anxiety, worry and complaining? These things come from our hearts. If our hearts are right before the Lord, the wrong things won’t come out. As David prayed in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight.”
As we hear His voice and obey His calling, we will be salt and light to this generation. So let’s enter the new year by humbling ourselves, seeking forgiveness, and getting right with God as we start anew. Ad we have His promise in Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. God bless you!
Scripture is quoted from the NKJV. This teaching was given during a CBN staff chapel meeting.