my heart rejoices

Focus-the concentration of attention or energy on something. That’s a pretty cool definition of a word that is at the heart of abiding in Christ for me. Concentration is defined as gathering into one body, mass, or force. Attention is defined as the application of the mind any object of sense, representation or thought.

I realize how much my focus wanders. As I take time to abide and focus on Jesus, my concentration is often lacking. I find it trounding how scattered my focus and concentration can be. No wonder math was so hard for me. It took focus, concentration and attention. Same for chess.

But the more I think about it, there is something lacking in the definition of focus, concentration and attention. Yes it has much to do with my mind. Abiding in Christ is about focusing and concentrating and giving attention with my mind. Yes. No question. But it also is a matter of my heart. It’s about focusing and concentrating and giving Jesus the attention of my heart.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Ps. 13:5

A very intriguing verse in the Bible for me is found in Ps. 16:7, where the Psalmist is saying that he will praise the Lord and at night, his heart instructs him. The takeaway for me is that his heart leads and guides him to praise God. His heart teaches him to praise and really to abide in Christ. It really resonates with me because so often, it’s at night that I stop and look back on the day and my heart rejoices in God’s salvation and love for me.  It’s my heart that spurs me on to give praise to Him.

“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.”                                       Ps. 16:7

I am going to try to take time to focus my heart as I abide in Christ. Instead of just thinking about the things I am thankful for, I will ask myself, “How does it feel knowing that God has been so faithful?” Instead of just thinking about who God is and His great love for me, I will ask myself, “How does feel to know that the Lord God Almighty really and truly loves me?” I think that is what the Psalmist was getting at when he wrote,  “My heart rejoices in your salvation.”

As I think back on the past few day I see God’s fingerprints all over our trip to Phoenix. From a great staff who allowed me to go on this trip. From the love and care of our elders who provided much to make it possible. From making the flight to Phoenix a very pleasant one. In leading us to the perfect hotel to stay. In all the ministry opportunities He set up with divine appointments. For Chipotles. In spending fun times with Don and the Cousins family. In seeing Kirk play in person for the first time. Seeing a high school friend for the first time in 40 years and being able to spend some time with her. The weather. His peace throughout. It was a testimony of God’s faithfulness and love for us, His kids. As I think about these past few day, my heart rejoices in His salvation. My trust grows deeper in His unfailing love. As I get ready for bed, my heart instructs me and leads me to praise and abiding in His presence. I feel so blessed that Jesus my Lord would lead in such a way and all I needed to do was to abide in HIm, trusting in His unfailing love. My heart rejoices! What a nice feeling as I return home. Thanks, Jesus!

Another step…

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