Preaching to my Own Heart – Die to Self

 “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”
(Romans 6:6-7)

The greatest story ever told is one of death and resurrection. Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life, die on the cross for His people’s sins, and be raised again on the third day. This story – this dramatic, painful, astonishing story – is the same one that your Heavenly Father is retelling in your life over and over again, every single day. He does this because there is no greater story to be written! You were joined to Christ in His death in order to be reborn into new life; you were freed to love purely, genuinely, and sacrificially for the first time. At that moment, your death and rebirth were ultimate, an awakening of your whole soul. Today, your call to die is compressed into the smaller moments, playing out in a micro-gospel as you imitate Jesus and take up His cross. Truly, the greatest joys and blessings are waiting for you on the other side of your own daily death. So when your husband asks you to help him with that task that is inconvenient or ill-timed, you die. When your baby is fussy and cranky, only soothed by her mama’s arms, and that wasn’t in “the plan” for your afternoon, you die. When a friend calls as your running out the door, in need of serious prayer and encouragement, you die. But be encouraged that on the other side of that laying down of your own pleasures, wants, and desires is the taking up of the abundant, grace-infused  life. Your God is there on that path, and He will guide, comfort, and sustain you to live the death He died for you first.

Praise Song of the Day: Jesus I My Cross Have Taken 

To learn a little bit more about the “Preaching to My Own Heart” series, check out this post.

Preaching to My Own Heart – Peace

“The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5b-7)

Do you want to be filled with peace today? Then remember that God is near. He walks before you continually; you are surrounded by His presence. Anxiousness will only invade your heart when you take your eyes off of your Heavenly Father and forget that He is intimately involved in every detail of your life. “What does an unused prayer look like? Anxiety. Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like severed power lines, destroying everything they touch. Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God’s wisdom, power, or knowledge,” (Paul Miller, A Praying Life). You cannot will yourself to have peace. Peace is the sense of calm that comes over a heart that is resting in the promises of God. He desires you to draw close to Him, to ask for what is on your heart, to cast your burdens on His infinitely broad shoulders. Remember the great things He has done for you so far. Like the old hymn says: count your blessings, name them one by one. Let each memory of the goodness of God mold your heart until all your fears are overwhelmed by the gratitude rooted in remembrance of all that He has already done. Our God is called Faithful and True. He is steadfast, deserving of all your trust and affections. Have confidence in Him. Believe Him. Your peace depends on it.

Let the mighty tide of His everlasting love
cover the rocks of my sin and care;
Then let my spirit float above those things
which had else wrecked my life.
{Valley of Vision}

Praise Song of the Day: It is Well with My Soul

To learn a little bit more about the “Preaching to My Own Heart” series, check out this post.

About: Preaching to My Own Heart

I wanted to write a short introductory post behind the “Preaching to My Own Heart” series that I will be posting to as the Lord leads. Particularly in the early months of new motherhood when I was sleep-deprived and recovering from the physical taxation that pregnancy and birth put on my body, I had a very difficult time focusing due to that blessed brain fogginess otherwise known as “Mommy-brain.” Digging into the Word was no easy task, and I often found myself neglecting my scriptural studies out of discouragement that I didn’t seem to be getting anything out of it. Looking back, I wish I had had a book of short, truth-packed devotionals that would’ve been written in a way that was conducive to helping a fuzzy-brained mom focus and meditate throughout the day. Now, it is very possible that that book is out there and that I just haven’t heard of it! But so far in my limited experience, I have noticed that short devotionals written to women are often overly centered on us as people rather than on God and His precious truth. With this in mind, God has put it on my heart to write this series.

Each entry will be focused around a specific word or  short phrase to shape that day’s meditation. Even at the height of exhaustion, I can remember one word! Then there will be a corresponding scripture and some thoughts to inform my understanding of what that word means through the lens of God’s Word. Lastly, it will end with a worship song suggestion that can be listened to throughout the day to help me continue meditating on that day’s truth. While I am doing this first and foremost for my own heart, I pray that by sharing it here in this space that it will be of encouragement to you as well. Enjoy! And may, “the Word of Christ richly dwell in you,” (Colossians 3:16).