Monday, January 07, 2008

A Glimpse of a Set Heart

Psalm 34:1-8 (NET)

I will praise the Lord at all times;
my mouth will continually praise him.

I will boast in the Lord;
let the oppressed hear and rejoice!

Magnify the Lord with me!
Let’s praise his name together!

I sought the Lord’s help and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him for help are happy;
their faces are not ashamed.

This oppressed man cried out and the Lord heard;
he saved him from all his troubles.

The Lord’s angel camps around
the Lord’s loyal followers and delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good!
How blessed is the one who takes shelter in him!

What effect on our lives would this type of mindset have? If we constantly praised God ... if our heart was passionate to worship Him with others ... if we could "taste and see" that He is good - and lived like it - what would we do differently? How would my life look different tomorrow if this was the starting point of my day?

George Mueller was one of many Christians through the centuries that sought to live this way. In Desiring God, John Piper recounts extensively Mueller's example to show that focusing upon Scripture and prayer is central to having a "set heart", a heart that desires God. He quotes Mueller:
I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state and how my inner man might be nourished....the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man. (Desiring God, 133-134)

What was the fruit of Mueller's efforts? Without making any appeal for money, he built 5 orphanages - God always provided money at the right moment. He cared for over 10,000 orphans in his life. He helped the poor so much that he was accused of lifting them beyond their "station" in life. He was a traveling evangelist for 17 years and preached in 3 languages. He founded a Scriptural Knowledge Institute and homes for family care where needy families could remain togeher. Obviously, he was not of such a heavenly mind that he was of no earthly good!

Loving God passionately leads to loving others practically. How wise our Lord was in giving two great commandments - Love God, love others. The two are inseparable.

Set your heart on Him today, and see what happens in your ministry to others!

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