Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~What is Your Heart Full Of?~ February 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:47 am
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Have you ever wondered why it is so easy to talk about anything and everything except the Gospel?

I seriously loooove to talk. When I was a kid, that was the number one complaint my teachers had from Kindergarten all the way through high school. What can I say, I was blessed with the gift of gab! As an adult, I sometimes catch myself dominating conversations. I blame my lack of intelligent discussions through the day when talks consist of what Peppa will do next or fighting over why naps are a vital part of a toddlers day. But even so, talk I must. If I don’t have an audience, I talk to myself. I realize that makes me sound slap nuts and I’m cool with that.

So how is it feasible that someone who is never at a loss for words struggles to talk about God?

I can literally talk all day about parenting, health & fitness, music, books…you name it. Then someone asks me about my Jesus and even if only for a moment, I freeze! I’ve given it some thought & believe I’ve pinpointed a couple of reasons why this is the case.

1. Knowledge/Life Experience. I like to think that I am fairly knowledgeable on certain topics. I have 5 kids which equates lots of hands on parenting experience. I’ve been a runner for some time now and I coach so again, pretty confident in this area. I’ve dealt with a whole mess of heartache in my 33 years and I’ve made it through to the other side which helps me talk others through similar situations.

2. Time Invested. I didn’t become the mom, wife, coach, friend that I am today overnight. There have been many sleepless nights finding out what works to soothe a teething infant. Countless articles have been read and methods tested to find the best way to avoid shin splints and how to surge up a hill when your competitors are losing steam. We’ve had our share of counseling in our years of parenting & marriage that has given us the tools not only to strengthen our family, but help others strengthen theirs as well.

These things together give me confidence to talk openly to anyone at any time. Perhaps if we wish to talk with ease and boldness when it comes the Lord, we should apply this same formula.

“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45 NIV)

Get into His Word. Get to know who God is and what He has to say about all of life’s idiosyncrasies. Look back on your life at the times He has moved on your behalf and use that to show others if He did it then, He can do it now.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:19-20 NLT)prov 4

In order to fulfill the Great Commission, we need to be so familiar with the Word of God that telling others about it is a natural as breathing. We do that by sharing often. The more time you spend talking to God and about Him, the easier it will become. It won’t feel like you are “preaching” at people when you talk about Him as the loving father He is as opposed to an ethereal being no one can relate to.

 

~God Knows My Heart~ May 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:56 am
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repentIt’s a statement I’m sure most of you have heard and quite possibly something you yourself have said.  While it is true, some have begun to misuse the meaning.  Yes, the Lord does know your heart, your thoughts, your desires, your dislikes…the list could go on and on.  However, the fact that He knows your heart doesn’t excuse you from certain obligations as a Christian.  I’ll give you some scenarios.

You inadvertently insult a friend when they come to you for advice.  You know you shouldn’t have said what you did, or at least not the way you said it.  But you don’t apologize to your friend.  You don’t ask for their forgiveness much less God’s, because “It’s ok, God knows my heart.”

Your day is jam-packed with important activities.  You know, like answering emails, doctors appointments, grocery shopping, not to mention work!  You just don’t have time to read your usual morning devotion.  Evening comes and all is quiet, you could spend some time in the Word.  But you’re exhausted, it was a busy day and you just want to relax and catch up on your shows.  No big deal.  There is always tomorrow.  Besides, “God knows my heart.”

An old friend calls you up and invites you to that place you know you shouldn’t go.  But you’re a changed person now.  You love the Lord.  You can visit one of your old haunts and exercise self-control.  One thing leads to another and you slip-up.  It’s not like it was a big sin, just a little mistake that you never intended to make.  It certainly doesn’t warrant a confession or repentance before the Lord.  No one else even knows what you did so why should you publicly admit fault to your peers or to God?  “Repentance is just a formality when God knows my heart.”

When you look at it from these perspectives you can see why it is dangerous to hide behind what has become nothing more than a cliché; something that believers convince themselves is sufficient when they don’t want to address an uncomfortable issue.  Instead of using God’s omniscience as your scapegoat, take a look at what the Scriptures say.

James 5:16 tells us to “confess our sins to one another” not ignore them and hope the other person forgets that you wronged them.

Matthew 6:33 says we should “seek first the kingdom of God.”  He isn’t satisfied with our leftovers.  Use Jesus’ life as your example, he rose before the sun to make time with God.  Time spent in the Word should be a priority, not a fleeting thought.

And when you sin, no matter how insignificant the sin may seem, a sin is a sin is a sin, period.  Repentance is necessary to receive forgiveness from God.  There are countless Scriptures to back this Biblical principle up.  Perhaps the one that sums it up the best, “unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3b)