I have chosen to seek Him…
"With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!" - Psalms 119:10 NKJV
Have you ever considered what it means to seek God with your whole heart? ‘Whole’ means everything. Not some; not half; not even 99% - it means everything with nothing left over; it means full pursuit; it means your complete desire is for that which you are pursuing, or in this case, Who you are pursuing.
It’s not uncommon to hear people say how busy they are, and because of that, it’s easy to let some things slide when it comes to our walk with God. We may not pray every day because we are tired. We may not read our Bible every day because something came up and we didn’t get to finish it. We might say, “I can’t go to church because I’ve been invited to spend time with a friend whom I don’t get to see very often. God seems to get our leftovers sometimes rather than our best. Some may say, “I live under grace, not law” or “God sees my heart…”
Luke 6:44 tells us that a tree is known by its fruit, however the word known literally means ‘found out’. God does see our heart because our lives give evidence of that.
Let me challenge you from today to begin asking this question: “How important is this to God”. Seeking Him with your whole heart is a lifelong pursuit, but know this, God is pursuing you with His whole heart also, so you can’t lose.
“I declare that I am committed to a wholehearted pursuit of God. I will live to please Him in all I do. He has pursued me with his whole heart, so I will honour Him with no less…”
"Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” - Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT
I love how much this verse highlights that you and I matter to God. We aren’t just a number; we aren’t random, and we definitely aren’t here by chance. God planned your life because He loves you. Repeat this: “I bring my Father great delight.” Read that verse again. “Even before He made the world, God loved us.” (God loved you long before you were born!) It also says, He “chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.”
Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (NKJV). Before He even created the world, God loved you; He knew about sin; He planned to pay the price Himself so that you could not just be in right standing with Him, but adopted into His family; and He planned for you to be holy and without fault in His eyes.
Wow! That’s a lot of planning, for a lot of people, by a God with a lot of love. Read the last part of that verse because it's a key point. “This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” You matter to God. He thinks the world of you.
“I declare that I am valuable to God. He chose me. Before the foundations of the world ever existed, I was on His mind. Because of Jesus Christ, I matter, I am valuable and I am loved…”
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" - 1 John 1:9 NKJV
God doesn’t hold grudges. No matter who we are, not matter what we have done, when we confess our sins before Him, He is quick to forgive. Often when we forgive someone, we can still hold onto the memory of what they have previously done, and even though we may not mention it again, the memory still has the potential to affect our ongoing trust of that person. This is not the case with God, and there are two things I want to briefly look at regarding how He forgives us.
Firstly, He no longer accredits those sins to us. Psalms 103:12 says that He separates us from our sins. That means they aren’t just out of reach, but totally gone. In fact, He says they are removed as far as the East is from the West. That’s a long way — a never ending line. East never meets West.
Next, Hebrews 8:12 tells us that He doesn’t even remember our sins. It’s not that He has a bad memory, it’s that He chooses to never remember them again.
Think about how much love that demonstrates. Every time we confess our sins before Him, He removes them from us and chooses to never remember them again. God’s grace is amazing.
“I declare that I am forgiven and cleansed. Every time I confess my sins my Father forgives me. I accept His forgiveness and I walk in the joy of the knowledge that I am His, and that I am in right standing with Him…”
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." - Psalms 107:1 NKJV
Each time someone does something nice for you, or gives you a gift, or allows you to go first, or helps you, then you know that the polite thing to do is to say, “Thank you”.
The same should happen in our relationship with God. Giving thanks should be part of our everyday life when it comes to being a Christian because God has done so much for us. In this verse, the writer is directing us to say “Thank You” to the Lord. He isn’t just suggesting we do it to be nice, he is saying we should do it because our Father is good and because His mercy towards us is never ending. For all He has done He deserves to hear our thanks.
Philippians 4:6 is another verse that commands us to give thanks. It says, “In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Not only has God has done so much for us, He has also promised so much for us. Among other things, He is our Father, He is our Protector, He is our Healer, He is our Provider, He is our Redemption, He is everything we need and more and He wants us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)
Know that you are always welcome to come before God in prayer, but remember, saying thank you doesn’t cost you anything. Giving thanks is a valuable part of our worship because He is a God who is worthy of all the honour and praise we can give Him.
“I declare Lord God that You are good. I give You thanks for all You have done. Your faithful love endures forever…”
"He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!" - Psalms 111:9 NLT
There is a line from the play, Romeo and Juliet where Juliet says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Consider that for a moment. The name of someone you know, or maybe know of, stirs something in you because of the character of the person behind that name. There is meaning because of who they are, not just because of their name.
Well, Philippians 2:9 tells us that Jesus was given the name that is above every other name. Before He even came to earth, He was given a name that demons trembled at. But as we read through the New Testament, we clearly see that Jesus has well and truely proven He is worthy to hold the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:10-11 also says that there is not one single knee that doesn’t need to bow to Him. Jesus left heaven to live on earth and die in our place to make a way for us come back into right standing with Him. He didn’t have to, He chose to. He paid the ransom for us and in doing so guaranteed His covenant with us for eternity. It’s clear that God loves you and I, but the extent of that love we will never know till we stand before him in eternity.
When I think about everything Jesus has done for me, I can’t help but be in awe of Him. He is worthy of our praise, admiration, applause, worship, love and even more. He holds the name that is above every name, and every time I hear His name I continue to be in awe of everything He has done for me.
“I declare that God has a holy, awe-inspiring name…”
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord God. ‘I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.’” - Revelation 1:8 NLT
As human beings, we are limited by time and space. We think in terms of what we can see, comprehend and measure. Just trying to comprehend God never being created is a stretch for our minds because of our limits to time and space.
Well, understanding our ability to work with time and space, let’s look at something regarding God that we will understand. God is the ‘Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end’. As He is the beginning, He is also the first. The enemy is not. He always comes to try and bring division. He will tell you that he is too powerful, that you don’t matter that much, or God can’t respond, or whatever lie he can come up with to make you think God is either not going to, or is not able to do anything on your behalf. But lock into the truth that the enemy has no power, God is your first. You are in covenant relationship with Him; you were made in His image; and you have His authority. You are part of Father’s immediate family and you matter a great deal to Him.
Now, say this out loud, “My Father is my beginning and my end.” Everything starts and ends with Him. He is your boundary line. Nothing exists outside of Him because everything is in Him. Today, no matter what you face, know that you will do it with God because He is your boundary, He is your beginning and end.
“I declare that that God is the beginning and the end of everything. He created all things and He is more powerful than anything we will ever face. My trust is in Him...”
"Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord!" - Psalms 111:3-4 NLT
The place I grew up in was known for the large trees that grew in and around the rainforest which was only a short drive away from our home. I remember one day being on the bus on my way to school, and we passed one particularly tall tree and the trunk was absolutely massive. As I stared at that spectacular piece of Father’s creation, I remember thinking, “God, you're awesome!” What I wasn’t expecting was what came next. I clearly heard Him say, “I don’t care about the trees as much as I care about you.” I was amazed to think how much more valuable I was to God than a massive tree that had obviously existed for many, many years.
I am still regularly amazed at God’s incredible creation. Every time I look up and see the stars in the Milky Way, I can’t help but think about how amazing, how creative, and how incredible our Father is. The same happens when I look at the detail in a blade of grass. No matter how large or small the creation, God made it all.
As you go through today, be challenged to look at the detail in different parts of God’s creation. Think about what God created, and how much joy He took creating everything. Then, considering how much detail He put into everything, remember this one thing — He doesn’t care about any of that as much as I cares about you.
“I declare that God’s glory and majesty is revealed in everything He does. His righteousness never fails. He shows us to his wonderful works daily. How gracious and merciful is our Lord…”
"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." - Hebrews 4:12 NLT
Think about some times people may have said something to you that hurt so much it cut you deeply. The wound wasn’t a physical cut, it was something much more painful — emotional. Emotional wounds are worse because not only do they hurt us so deeply, people don’t see the wounds unless we talk about them.
Well, consider the Word of God. Not only is it powerful enough to cut deep into our soul to bring healing, it can cut deeper still and get right down into our Spirit to bring healing where it is needed.
The Bible is God’s Word. It is God speaking to you. it isn’t just a book filled with words. It is conversation after conversation between Father and you. It is Him speaking to you Words of healing and wholeness, Words that soothe, Words that bring direction, Words that give advice and so much more.
Never underestimate the Word of God. It is alive, it is current, it is relevant and the more you read it, the more it will settle inside you and change your life. God’s Word is Alive and Powerful and it is for you today. Make it a part of your everyday life.
“I declare that Your Word is sharp enough to cut through any situation I face. It is alive! It is powerful! It can be trusted! It is never failing! Thank you for the strength of Your Word…”
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” - Revelation 12:11a NIV
The book of Revelation refers to Satan as the ‘Accuser’ which is a legal term meaning the one who brings a charge. Day and night he looks for opportunities to accuse us as well as to tear us down. Every time we fall short, he is quick to point the finger and remind us of our failings, but every time he comes to tear us down, the Bible gives us a strategy to deal with him — we overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.
The blood of Jesus, shed on the cross of calvary, was enough to pay for our sins and open the door for us to come back into relationship with our Father. He doesn’t need to do anything else. When we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, we come out from under the covering and authority of Satan and come back into right relationship with our Father.
The word ‘Testimony’ is also a legal term meaning the evidence that comes out of our mouth. So let me ask you this, “What are you speaking?” We can’t say one thing and live another. We have so much available through Jesus, but we have to live that out daily, so as the enemy comes and point the finger, the blood of the Lamb and the Word of your testimony are enough to set the record straight.
“I declare that I am in covenant with Jesus Christ. My focus is on Him, I will trust Him, and I will lean on Him. I am His child and He is my Father. My identity is in Jesus for He is my testimony…”