Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
By: Pastor Jeremy Heikkinen
“Practice what you Preach!”
I have heard these words said and have even said them myself. So, here it goes.
At different parts of the sermons I preach, I endeavour to make time to take what we have just heard and start to apply those truths to our lives in real time. One of the most obvious ways is the “Discussion Starter” questions at the end of the sermon.
These were the three from this last week:
- Which “statement of the heart” is evident in my life more often?
- Do I agree with the pattern of pride: rehearsal of the mind, desire of the heart, and action of the body? Why or why not?
- Which part of the pattern do I find the most difficult: thinking, desiring, or behaving?
Which one catches your attention the most? How would you answer it?
As I look at them, the first one catches my attention, “Which ‘statement of the heart’ is
evident in my life more often?”
The statements I am referring to are, “There is no God, God has forgotten, and God will not call to account.”
These statements are taken from Psalm 10. Even though I am a “Pastor,” I struggle, doubt, sin, forget, and have moments where my heart tells me “There is no God.”
Now, this probably doesn’t look like you think it does. It looks like starting something
without prayer. It sounds like asking the advice of others before I seek God’s wisdom. It
encourages me to think that in my own strength, giftedness, experience, and fully-caffeinated state, that I can handle whatever comes my way. “I don’t need God for that…” as if I am capable of doing most of life without God and only need Him for the really difficult things.
“Wow, and you call yourself a Pastor?” I know, eh! Shocking!
Can you hear the rehearsal of pride in there? Now, by God’s grace, this is not every moment of my day but it can head that way really quickly. So what do I need to do when the rehearsal of my mind goes in this direction or I am convicted by the Holy Spirit that I have been living as if I am God?
- I need to repent! I confess it to the Lord and ask Him to help me live differently.
- I need the rehearsal of God’s Word to wash over my mind and heart.
- I need to be in conversation with others about the rehearsals of my mind and the desires of my heart.
Here is the scariest part of all of this. You may not be able to tell these things from the
actions you see. It only comes out as we engage one another in conversation that the words of Jesus ring true, “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Who will you talk through the “statements of your heart” with this week?