Tuesday, December 3, 2019

At the Heart of the Matter


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.

Advent it upon us!  Can you believe it?  Where has this year gone?

And with Advent comes the beginning of the New Year in the life of the church, the days we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Lord as a tiny, helpless baby into a world that would be reluctant to receive Him, anxious to destroy Him, and determined to prevent others from believing in His saving grace.

The odds that plagued Jesus in His lifetime are sorrowfully mirrored in ours.  Marginalized are those who believe in Him.  We who cling steadfastly to His everlasting promises to be with us always are increasingly mocked and reviled.

The more things change, the more they remain the same . . .

There are so many, too many, folks out there who boldly declare no Savior need apply.  The assert that they have everything under control; at the helm, they are the "large and in charge."  Never once does the thought, or need, of eternal salvation cross their minds.  After all, they are the Elite, the Chosen, and the backwater, hayseed, uneducated, unwashed masses, who cling to God and His Word, matter not.

No one is permitted to tell them differently.  If you do?  You are silenced, shut down, or relegated to the significance of a gnat.

Makes me wonder:  What has become of freedom in this country?  Our Constitution and its protections?  The Declaration of Independence that clearly states we are given life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because God, our Father and Creator, deems it so?

I believe from the bottom of my heart that what our beleaguered nation needs, perhaps more than any time in our history, is prayer.  Lots and lots and lots of prayer!  And what better time than the season of Advent, as we await Jesus' coming into the world, to pray for those so antagonistic toward Him, that they would have a change of heart.

A heart of stone turned into a fleshly, feeling one, open freely to God's love and grace.

So, I'm going to spend every day of Advent in extra prayer for all the souls, lost and fearful, who need the Lord in their lives more than they know.  And maybe, just maybe, if we all join together in prayer, they will have a stony heart turned into a fleshly one, and finally know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what Christmas is all about.

Amen!

34 comments:

  1. I join you in prayers for all those who have wandered away from the flock and are lost sheep. I pray they return to the fold.

    But ... let us consider what God is doing right now. Is He hiding behind the sofa crying, "woe woe ... it's all gone wrong"?

    God is still and will always be in control. He knows that the world is in really bad state right now. He allows it to happen. Perhaps to encourage people like you and me to pray all the more.

    God bless.

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    1. To make us pray all the more . . . Absolutely, Victor! God is in control, and He will bring all to rights in His own time. But He wants us to be His hands and feet in this world, and that is what we must all do.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Praying with you for our nation, our leaders, our world, and our own personal families and churches. God IS in control, even when we can't imagine how! Praise God He know exactly what He is doing and how He will bring glory to Himself through every aspect of our lives. I love Advent. It helps us to focus on the whole beginning of what and how and why we believe.

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    1. I love Advent, too, Pamela, and for that very reason. It is a season to refocus and reflect upon the greatest gift ever given to this world: Jesus! So glad you will be praying with me during this time. May we continue those prayers for others long after Advent has come and gone.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Preach on, Sister! Yes and yes--praying with you!
    Blessings!

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    1. Thanks, Lulu, and I'm so glad to have you on board with the prayers!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Amen, Martha! Our country needs prayer like never before. Love how powerfully you said this, "...we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Lord as a tiny, helpless baby into a world that would be reluctant to receive Him, anxious to destroy Him, and determined to prevent others from believing in His saving grace." And those odds are mirrored in our lives and this day and time. I'm joining you in prayer!

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    1. I'm so glad you will be joining me in prayer, Karen! Yes, our country is in dire need of redemption, hearts of stones turned to flesh. The odds look like they're stacked against us, but with God, all things are possible.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I believe is the power of prayer and will join you, Martha Jane. We also need to carry the prayers into the new year. Thank you for this!

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    1. Thanks for joining me, Terri! Yes, prayer is powerful, indeed, and we do need to carry them into the new year. That's for sure!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I've always loved that verse in Ezekiel. May God continue to give us new hearts. And yes, to pray! Thanks for that reminder, Martha. May we always remember to turn things over to God, and then live out his ways of love to those around us.

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    1. I've always loved that verse, too, Lisa. We do need to turn things over to God in prayer always, and live our lives the way Jesus commanded.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Spending extra time in prayer Martha is much more laudable than my effort of blogging every day about Christmas. But even then, I can join you.

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    1. And I'm so glad you will be joining in, Bill - the more, the merrier, as they say! Don't discount your daily Christmas posts, though. I get lots of inspiration from those.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Yes! May all our hearts be open wide to God's love and grace! Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Hearts opened wide and ready to pray - yes, Trudy!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. I, too, am honored to join you in prayer. Those who seek to destroy our Country may slander His name with loud, angry voices … but it's more important than ever to turn a deaf ear.

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    1. How the heathen rage . . . Yes, Myra, we should turn a deaf ear to the anger, and pray loudly for peace.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I agree Martha that we do need prayer so badly. Seems like some need to hit rock bottom before they realize they have to call out to God. God does have a way of humbling us so we realize we can’t make it without Him. I am so glad that I have come to realize this or my heart too could have been hard and apathetic.

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    1. I truly hear you, Valerie. I often wonder in what mess I'd be if God hadn't reached down and claimed me for His own. Praying that others would turn their hearts to Him.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. You truly nailed it, Martha. And sadly, things are even worse in Canada. :-(

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    1. Thank you, Frank, but I'm so sorry to hear that the situation in Canada is even worse than here in the States. I'll say extra prayers for my Canadian brothers and sisters.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Prayer -- such a powerful practice. Last week, I got a "message" to "speak the blessing." This week, I've been hearing "pray the blessing." So I will join you in a renewed focus on the practice of prayer.

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    1. Oh, wow, Galen, hearing about your experience here gave me goosebumps! Yes, prayer is hands down the most powerful action we can take, because God is always listening to our heartfelt petitions. Glad to know you're joining in!
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Count me as one of the hayseeds! What a perfect verse to start the advent season with. Thank you, Martha!

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    1. Yep, and I'm a redneck! We make a great team, Laurie. :) I know I can count on your prayers, my friend.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. How right you are, Martha! We who cling to our Bibles, guns, and religion just happen to be the ones who are interceding and pleading with God for mercy, and that is more than likely why mercy is being extended to not only us, but to the very ones who persecute us and find us so "deplorable." I agree with you wholeheartedly. Never before has our nation needed prayer as much as it does now. I truly believe that. It is a burden that lays heavy upon my heart, too. I join you in prayer, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl, for joining this prayer vigil! As Christians, we are under attack each and every day. Our defense is to put on the full armor of God, and to pray continually for those who are lost and floundering in the worldly realm. Let's keep those prayers keep on coming!
      Love and blessings!

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  15. Beautiful message, Martha. I'm joining with you in prayer for this nation and the lost who need the grace and love of our Savior Jesus Christ.

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    1. Amen, Beckie! Thanks for joining in with your prayers, dear friend.
      Love and blessings!

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  16. I couldn't agree more. And that is my prayer often and throughout the year. Of which, yes, I agree, how did it get behind us so fast?

    Blessings to you and yours this Blessed season, sister.

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    1. It is truly startling how time flies, Floyd, I agree. So glad you are partnering in prayer!
      Love and blessings!

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  17. Amen! And not in this season alone do we need to continue to pray, but in all season! Praying for our families and our neighbors as ourselves!

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    1. Definitely, Ed - praying in all times and in all seasons!
      Love and blessings!

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