A Heart Like Jesus (I do not have)

Is it ok to admit I don’t have a heart like Jesus?

 

As I type this, I’m drinking from a coffee mug that was given to me. On it, is the phrase, Serving with a heart like Jesus. I love this mug! And I love the thought of having a heart like Jesus.

But I don’t.

Have one.

My heart is unreliable, wishy-washy, and sometimes selfish. In fact, the Bible is most accurate when it says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV)

Isn’t that sobering to read?

But here’s the beauty…

Even knowing that our hearts were full of iniquity, Jesus still chose to give His life for us.

 

For while we were still sinners, Christ died. (Romans 5:8)

 

Friends, that is one of my favorite sentences in the Bible! And just before that, in Romans 5:6, it says that “while we were without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.”

Oh, girls of little strength, if you’re like me at all, constantly battling the condition of your heart, be encouraged! We don’t have to struggle any longer. Jesus has invited us to rest in the gentleness of His heart.

 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ~Matthew 11:28-29

 

girl resting in meadow

 

It really comes down to full dependence on Him, doesn’t it? So, even though I really don’t have a heart like Jesus, I’m a girl after God’s own heart. For He lives in me, and that means His heart lives in mine.

 

Jesus has invited us to rest in the gentleness of His heart. #weary #heart Click To Tweet

 

Let’s make this verse our prayer this week…

 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. ~Psalm 51:10-11

 

 

Why is it so hard to fix our minds on Him?

 

If anyone reading this has mastered Philippians 4:8, would you please share your insights with the rest of us?

These days, the mind is so…full!

Sometimes, I feel like my head will surely explode with all the thoughts swirling around in it. Especially with constant media exposure, it can be extremely difficult to calm anxious thoughts. In fact, that was one of the reasons I gave up Facebook recently. I found that scrolling through the feed several times a day was not only distracting, it was unsettling.

When the Bible says to think about whatever is lovely, pure, noble, true, just, and of good report, it is giving us God’s formula for a sound mind. And when we are given a formula, we know that the right answer is just a few steps away.

My ninth grader spends an hour every day working on Algebraic equations. As his homeschool mom, that means I have to know a certain amount of Math to help him. But I hate math!!! I barely scraped by in High School, dreading every minute of Algebra 1 and 2.

Fortunately, our Algebra curriculum has an online teacher who explains every problem in detail and shows my son how to work it out on a whiteboard. He gives Levi the exact formulas to figure out the correct answers.

So it is with our minds.

God’s formula is “right on.”

 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Phil 4:8

 

*As a bonus, here is a printable list of lovely things I created just for you!

 

girl holding flowers

 

 

Is there a difference between soul and spirit?

 

I’ve been pondering this for quite some time but haven’t ever really looked into it. Here are a few Bible verses that mention “soul.”

 

Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. ~Jeremiah 6:16

 

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?~Matthew 16:26

 

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. ~Psalm 42:11

And here are a few verses that mention “spirit.”

 

Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. ~Ecclesiastes 12:6&7

 

And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” ~Acts 7:59

 

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” ~1 Corinthians 2:9-12

 

It seems that the soul is the inner part of our being; the part that feels emotions and the pull of this world. Our souls can long for the things of the world, can be disturbed within us, and can only find true rest in God.

Our spirit, on the other hand, is eternal. It will one day return to the Creator. And when we receive the Holy Spirit, we are given the things of God instead of the “spirit” of the world.

 

The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. ~Proverbs 20:27

 

lamp and girl

 

This goes hand-in-hand with the condition of our hearts. As the Lord searches the deep parts of us, our spirit is like a lamp that lights up the hidden corners of our being. And the best part is, once our hearts are exposed, His Spirit reveals beautiful truths, that we might know the amazing things God has prepared for us.

I also found this article that explains the difference between soul and spirit.

 

 

How do you keep up your strength?

 

I keep hearing from moms of school-age kids, talking about the physical toll it takes when school starts again.

Early mornings, clean uniforms, forgotten backpacks and extracurricular activities make for some very long and taxing days. Even as a homeschool mom, I’m stretched physically and mentally. The sheer responsibility of making sure my son meets all of the state requirements, learns character and virtue, and has enough extra curricular activity, is sometimes overwhelming!

Strength and stamina quickly diminish when we are running hard from morning to night.

 

 

Then, there are health issues that hold some of us back, or even knock us flat. My husband and I talk frequently about the aches and pains that come with getting older. If it’s not his knee, it’s my back. And if it’s not my back, it’s his foot. It seems inevitable that age brings a decline in strength, no matter what we do.

However, I really liked this article on weight lifting after 50.

What are some things you do to keep up your physical stamina? I know some of you are very health conscious and actively pursuing natural ways to be as strong as you can be. So feel free to share your top tips with the rest of us!

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. ~Psalm 28:7

Ultimately, our strength comes from God. We just need to ask! Cause if you’re anything like me, you try to do it all on your own and eventually run out of steam. But sisters, we can trust Him to be our strength, our shield, and our help. Let’s rejoice in that, as we move forward. (gimpy knees and all)

Today, we’ve talked about having a heart like Jesus, and not beating ourselves up when we don’t. We’ve been given the formula for a sound mind and are ready to focus on lovely things. We’ve briefly discussed the difference between soul and spirit. And we’ve been reminded that God is our ultimate source of strength for our busy lives. My prayer is that something precious from God’s Word leaped out today and gave you just the answer you were looking for. If so, share in the comments! I always love hearing about how God is working in the trenches of life.

Always an email away,

Jennifer

6 Responses

  1. Renae
    | Reply

    The title of your blog intrigued me – so I opened it.
    You speak words of truth and wisdom and comfort.
    Not only did you lift my spirits – you enriched my heart to deal with the stress
    of being a pastor – you see, even pastors need words of encouragement!
    May God richly bless you as you speak to those in need.

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      Renae, thank you so much for your kind words. And God bless you as you move forward in His work. Anytime I can offer you a dose of encouragement, I will!

      Sincerely,
      Jennifer

  2. Sandy Kressner
    | Reply

    Thank you reminding me that even though i struggle with this “even though I really don’t have a heart like Jesus, I’m a girl after God’s own heart. For He lives in me, and that means His heart lives in mine.”

    Thank you

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      You are welcome, Sandy!

  3. dawna hetzler
    | Reply

    Thanks for reminding me that my strength comes from God.

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      You are welcome, lovely lady!

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