It has been an uncharacteristically hot summer so far here in the Northwest. Temperatures are soaring in June and early July with what we we normally see in August. There are two ways I can approach it – I can work to keep a positive attitude or I can complain.
I have been reading about the kings of Israel and you see a mixture of behaviors and actions. Some followed God and did was right. Others did not. You see drama, murder, captivity and war. You see kings that started out by following God and then turn away from Him, and you see the consequences that came. In 2 Chronicles 25 we read about King Amaziah, one verse in particular jumped out at me today and its found in verse two. It reads like this “And He did was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.” (NKJV)
Did you catch that, “he did what was right but his heart was not loyal” (paraphrase 2 Chronicles 25:2). As I read it and thought about it, I was reminded of the verses that I had heard in church yesterday; two specifically found in Colossians 3. Both talk about things in our lives that we should put to death and put away from us as we follow Jesus. (Colossians 3:5 and 3:8) Having a heart attitude of complaining is something that God has been working on me for a long time.
I am challenged to pause and really take a hard look at myself. King Amaziah was what I would call religious, but his heart was not in the right place. It was all about the check boxes. The rules. The to do’s and NOT about the relationship. What do I need to put away, not allow to have a place in my life. What is hindering a fuller relationship with Jesus?
As a human being I know I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I struggle. I have faults. But because of the grace Jesus has shown me in saving me, I have a relationship with him. Its about my heart. If I am not diligent to nurture the relationship and my heart, my actions and my words can come from a place of doing the right thing, more from a religion stand point and not from the heart standpoint of the relationship. The problem with that is seen over the long run. The kings of the Old Testament show us how we often will stray and make poor choices, listen to the wrong advice when our heart is not where it should be. And then reap the consequences of not keeping our hearts right in following God.
I began today talking about the heat and the choice I have to make about my attitude. The key to my attitude is my heart. It is simple but yet profound. Choosing to thank Jesus for the heat and its benefits helps me not complain. It truly is a matter of my heart. I find the more I let Jesus change my heart even something as simple as the really hot weather can reveal how He has changed me and what I need to continue to bring to Him for His redemptive power.
Today I am thankful for the hot weather, the sunshine that comes with it, the way it helps the gardens grow, and how it helps me to appreciate and to be thankful for the rainy days of winter.
~ thoughts from my morning devotion