Don’t Cherish the Sin!

April 25, 2020 (Post #37)

(From Journal #3:  November 1, 2005)

This morning as I read the Word, Psalm 66:16-20 spoke so powerfully to me:

“Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!”

The phrase “cherished sin” really jumped out at me.  What does it mean to cherish sin?  One definition describes cherish as to harbor, entertain, possess, hold on to, cling to, keep in one’s mind, foster, or nurture.  Wow, Lord!  This hit me between the eyes.

So often we pray about people and situations, but we “cherish” sin while we’re praying. We pray to You but we’re not really willing to lay down some things.  If we’re honest, we’re holding on to unforgiveness, anger, resentment, bad habits, addictions, unhealthy relationships, lack of self-discipline, greed, reckless spending and bad stewardship, and even downright laziness.

Lord, help me to be honest with myself about any sin I may be cherishing in my heart when I come to You in prayer, that my prayers are not hindered!

Psalm 26:2:   Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Psalm 32:5:   I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalm 139:23-24:   Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

2 Corinthians 13:5:  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? 

The Gift that Hurts

April 5, 2020  (Post #34)

(From Journal #3:  September 19, 2005)

I recently bought a very pretty necklace with matching earrings.  While they were costume jewelry, they were very nice and expensive and I couldn’t wait to wear them. So, I wore them to church and had several compliments.  But when a wonderful woman named Kay complimented the jewelry, I heard in my spirit, “Give them to her.”  My immediate reaction was, “Excuse me?  I just bought them!  Surely, I misunderstood You?”  

All week, that thought of “Give them to her” kept popping into my head, so I knew it was the Holy Spirit convicting me.  So, yesterday I wrapped them up and took them to church and gave them to her.  I confess my selfishness that I really liked them and wanted to keep them.  But I am so glad I obeyed You.  Because at the moment I did give them to her, I felt my heart change.  I was glad and really wanted her to have them.  I pray they bless her and bring her joy.

Thank You for blessing me by showing me how to give something I really wanted to keep.  I’m good at giving things I no longer need or want – but giving something new that I wanted to keep stretched me.  You’ve shown me that “painless” giving from abundance, or giving something not really valuable to me is different from sacrificial giving. Both can be a blessing to the receiver.  But if we learn to truly give from the heart, especially when it hurts, we’ll be blessed and never have a “heart” problem giving from abundance.  It may have been a test, Lord?  I think I passed!?!  

The full moon has been incredible the past two nights; Your light shines always.  Thank You so much for shining on me and working on my selfish heart.

Luke 21:1-4:  As Jesus looked up, He saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

1 Chronicles 21:24:  Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”

Genesis 4:2-5:  …Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor…

What’s in a Name?

October 10, 2019  (Post #13)

(Journal #1:  February 5, 2005)

Last night I woke at 4:00 a.m. and God gave me a revelation about myself, but it applies to all.  The Holy Spirit asked me what my name meant and I said pearl.

Then He asked, “How are pearls made?”  As I thought about how the ugly oyster shell gets a piece of sand inside, I thought about how God is inside us through the Holy Spirit.  The sand is constantly irritating the oyster – sin is always irritating and causing us grief.  But just as the oyster “quarantines” the invader and begins to cover it with layer after layer of nacre, the Holy Spirit quarantines our old self and begins layering us with Himself.  Over time, the nacre produces a beautiful luminous, iridescent pearl.  Long known as the “Queen of Gems” a natural pearl necklace has been considered a treasure beyond compare.

I felt like God was telling me that all the trials of the past and walking through this health situation are just grains of sand from the enemy to irritate me and even kill me – to make me fall away.  But Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, keeps putting more and more layers of Himself over it all and making a pearl out of me.  And I’m valuable and precious to Him, an original, a one-of-a-kind.  Each of us is a pearl to God!  

Jesus, thank You so much for your precious gift to me in revealing this.  Everything I’ve gone through with You by my side is making me stronger and hopefully Your light will radiate through me as a witness to Your grace, mercy and love.  The outer shell of the oyster is not pretty. But the inside over time becomes lined with mother-of-pearl and is beautiful.  That’s what Jesus does to our hearts.

Ezekiel 36:26:  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Psalm 51:10:  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Matthew 5:8:  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Matthew 6:21:  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”