I am on a “Review Crew” for columnist, Gene Ruth Brumbach. She writes “Believer’s Arena”, a column for the Tahlequah Daily Press. Over the last year, she’s reviewed some past columns to see ministry growth, completed promises and answered prayers. This caused me to pause, revisit, and think over similar results in past Ark Newsletters.
In February 2016, the message was Do We Have a Perfect Heart toward Him? This message touched my heart!
Halfway through our Anger Management Resolution and Domestic Violence Intervention course at the Ark, local pastor James McCracken began allowing us to use his “Demons of the Deep” Bible study series. The premise is that evil comes out of the heart at times and can manifest as a root of bitterness when NOT faced AND resolved.
The first paragraph of the February ’16 newsletter cites II Chronicles 16:9 in the American Standard Bible “…He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His…” The New International Version says it: “…to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him…” The Amplified Bible goes: “…those whose hearts are blameless toward Him…” The New American Standard 1977 version says: “…those who are devoted to Him wholeheartedly…”
The point is having a whole, complete, and thus, perfect heart toward God.
If we don’t forgive others, we can’t be forgiven! Thank God for the years of having done the anger and domestic violence classes. We have seen that Garry, Kevin Grober and I can help others face fears and use their own faith to overcome anger and violence and win the victory. We must learn to “die to self” (Luke 9:23), to give up our fleshly desires and completely surrender to His will. As is written in Philippians 4:13 (NKJV), “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
At the Ark, we are teaching and training others to complete what we begin. It has become a daily focus through Jesus, and on Him. We understand it more clearly now than in past years.
A recent example: A veteran came to me and said, “Sally, thank you for a ‘hand up instead of a handout’…” My tears came as he continued to express gratitude for years of encouragement. We go step by step, following and obeying Jesus so we can ‘recognize’ (Proverbs 7, GNB) His call and obey. We must choose to hear, get up and go out with joy! We can’t quit. We are called by God to discover our true worth and purpose.
When we are tempted to judge others, we need to first look at ourselves and measure the godliness of our own behavior. Thank you, Lord, for showing us how to develop a perfect heart for You.