God is continually looking for people “whose heart is loyal to Him.”
Is God looking for you? I believe He is.
2 Chronicles 16:9 says:
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.. . .”
God is not sitting back in heaven. . .watching the Dallas Cowboys play football. . .He’s continually looking for someone. . .searching the whole world over.
Why is He looking for the right people?
Does He have a job for them? Not necessarily.
Does He want them to work in foreign missions or pioneer a new church? No, not necessarily.
Why is God. . .looking for you.
He wants to show Himself strong in your behalf?
What’s the only criteria. . .your “. . .heart must be perfect toward Him.”
What does it take to have a heart perfect toward God? It’s not what you think.
According to Strong’s Concordance the Hebrew word for perfect is (sha lame) shalem (H8003) which means:
“complete, peaceful, perfect, whole at peace.”
Shamlemcomes from a root word (sha lamb) shalam (H7999) which means:
“to be in a covenant of peace, be at peace”
So literally, God is looking for you so He can show Himself strong on your behalf because your heart is peaceful toward Him.
So you can imagine I was ready to shout when I read The Living Bible translation of 2 Chronicles 16:9 which says:
“For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them.”
As we approach the Christmas season. . .I’m reminded of one of my mother’s favorite scriptures which is Luke 1:45 where it says:
“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Why was there going to be a performance in Mary’s life. . .because she had a heart that was peaceful toward God in the midst of what some would call. . .deeply troubling and dangerous news.
God knew Mary’s heart and that’s why we read in Luke 1:30 where the angel says:
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.”
Mary found favor because her heart was peaceful toward God. She rejoiced in news that would have had others terrified of the scorn, scandal and possible consequences of what they would be facing. . .but not Mary.
Luke 1:47 says:
“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
As we read the story of Mary’s encounter with the angel in Luke 1. . .we discover seven heart qualities which gave her favor with God.
First, Mary had a pure heart.
Luke 1:27 says:
“To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.”
Several facts are obvious. . .Mary was a virgin who loved her fiancé Joseph. . .but she loved God more.
HavIng a pure heart doesn’t mean you’re perfect. . .but it does mean that you are obedient.
King David was guilty of pride, arrogance, adultery and murder. . .yet the scripture calls him a man after God’s own heart.
The beautiful thing about salvation is that God not only forgives our sins. . .He forgets them as His blood turns our darkest sins white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18 in The Living Bible says:
“Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!”
Let’s take a small side trip so I can read Isaiah 1:19 in The Living Bible to you.
“If you will only let me help you, if you will only obey, then I will make rich!”
Can somebody shout “Hallelujah!!”
There are seven things you need to do if you want to be rich and they’re detailed in Isaiah 1:16-17 in The Living Bible which I will let you read and study on your own. By the way, my fine wife, Bev, and I did a teaching on this entitled “7 Things To Do If You Want To Be Rich.” The DVD is available in our store at www.haroldherring.com
Back to the teaching.
Second, Mary had a heart of humility.
Luke 1:28-29 says:
“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.”
Okay, you’re walking along the road minding your own business. . .when an angel appears before you and says:
“. . .Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. . .”
The usual response would be to look around and see who the angel is talking to. In today’s vernacular. . .she would have probably said: “Say what?”
Mary was wondering why the angel would be saying this to her. She saw herself as just an ordinary young woman who was engaged to be married.
I suspect Mary couldn’t understand why the angel would be saying these things to her. . .when there were other girls around who came from better families or who probably made better grades.
Humility is a key to success in life.
Proverbs 22:4 in my spirit.
“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” Proverbs 22:4
This is one of those. . . “if you do this” . . . “ then you will get that” verses in the Bible.
I like this kind of verse because it takes all the guessing and wondering out of it. This verse is so very clear….yet I have literally read it hundreds of times without the result that I experienced as I was writing this teaching.
The Amplified Bible translation of this verse says:
“The reward of humility and the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”
It’s clear there is a reward when we adhere to, obey and enact the things God tells us to do.
The good news . . . the very good news . . . is that God gives rewards for obedience.
God places a high value on humility.
Mary’s humility guaranteed her a significant place in history. . .as the mother of Jesus.
Third, Mary had an obedient heart.
Luke 1:38 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her.”
Make no mistake. . .Mary knew the possible consequences of what was about to happen. You can be assured she knew of some young women in Nazareth who became pregnant and were stoned to death for violating the law.
However, she didn’t flinch. . .or doubt. . .she simply “. . .let it be done to me according to what you have said.”
Mary took the angel at His Word. . .she didn’t hesitate. . .she was obedient to her divine instructions.
God wants our obedience to His divine instructions more than anything else.
1 Samuel 15:22 in the New Living Translation says:
“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
As we travel this journey called life. . .do we hesitate, question or worse. . .doubt the promises of God.
We must remember that God is not a man that He should lie.
Numbers 23:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised]. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?”
Our obedience to His instructions is proven when move forward without fear or doubt.
Fourth, Mary had a heart filled with faith and not fear.
Luke 1:45 says:
“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Mary not only believed but she was willing to put her faith to a life or death test.
God is looking for people who will faithfully fulfill His divine instructions.
The Living Bible translation of Luke 1:45 says:
“You believed that God would do what he said; that is why he has given you this wonderful blessing.”
Psalm 34:9 says:
"For there is NO WANT to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Hebrew word for want in Psalm 34:9 means "need, poverty, thing needed."
NO need. . .NO poverty. . .no thing needed.
When I read the next verse. . .Psalm 34:10 in the Amplified Bible. . .I started shouting again. The verse says:
“. . .but they who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His Word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing.”
You have the confidence, the knowledge and the scriptural assurance that “. . . the scripture is clear on how not to lack any beneficial thing.”
Child of God, your Heavenly Father wants you to have no need. . .no poverty. . .nothing needed and not lacking any beneficial thing.
Next, I read Psalm 34:6-10 in the New Living Translation which says:
“In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. . .and those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.”
When our hearts are filled with faith instead of fear. . .we will lack for nothing.
Fifth, Mary had a heart filled with praise for the Lord.
Luke 1:46 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And Mary said, My soul magnifies and extols the Lord.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for magnifies is megalynō (G3170) and it means:
“great, magnify, to esteem highly, to extol, laud, celebrate, to get glory and praise.”
Luke 1:46 in The Living Bible says:
“Mary responded, “Oh, how I praise the Lord.”
When doing something you’ve never done. . .moving into uncharted waters. . .tackling adversity. . .start praising the Lord.
Psalm 22:3 says:
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
Praise Him for Who He Is. . .what He’s done for you. . .what He’s doing now and what He’s going to do for you and those you love.
Not convinced that God is ready to sit down with you? Then let’s look at the Hebrew meanings of three key words in the passage.
First, the word inhabitest is the Hebrew word yashab(H3427) and according to Strong’s Concordance it means: “to dwell, remain, sit, abide.”
Second, the word praises is the Hebrew word tĕhillah (H8416) and according to Strong’s concordance it means:
“praise, song or hymn of praise; adoration, thanksgiving (paid to God); act of general or public praise.”
Finally, the word Israel is the Hebrew word Yisra'el (H3478) and in Strong’s Concordance it means: “God prevails” or “the name of the descendants and the nation of the descendants of Jacob.”
To remove all doubt. . .focus on Acts 3:25 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“You are the descendants (sons) of the prophets and the heirs of the covenant which God made and gave to your forefathers, saying to Abraham, And in your Seed (Heir) shall all the families of the earth be blessed and benefited.”
You can know with absolute scriptural documentation that God is always in your presence when you’re lifting up His name in praise and thanksgiving. He clearly inhabits the praises of His people and that includes your praise.
Mary was praising God. . .regardless of her circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
Sixth, in Mary’s heart she understood who she was.
Luke 1:48 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For He has looked upon the low station and humiliation of His handmaiden. For behold, from now on all generations [of all ages] will call me blessed and declare me happy and ] to be envied!”
There was a time when having a child out of wedlock created embarrassment for the moment. . .a pervasive sense of guilt.
In Mary’s heart. . .she grasped who she was and what she was being asked to do.
Can you imagine the ridicule she faced. . .how she was probably ostracized even by those who should have been understanding.
Have you ever been in a situation. . .where the people you thought were closest to you seemed to be A-W-O-L (absent without leave)?
I think it’s significant that the scriptures don’t address the embarrassing situations and encounters Mary must have faced.
It’s my opinion and it’s just that. . .that the focus was on Mary’s mission and not the mess created by getting there.
If you face adversity. . .where you could be concerned about what other people think. . .don’t.
Put your confidence. . .trust. . .heart. . .in who you are in Him.
Colossians 3:10 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.”
We should never confuse who we are with what we can do. . .what we’ve done and what God wants us to do.
Seventh, Mary had a heart that understood destiny
When Jesus arrived at the Wedding Feast at Cana. . .His mother approached him with the news that the host was out of wine.
I love Jesus’ response.
John 2:4 says:
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.”
Can you imagine any Jewish man responding to His mother by saying “Woman.”
Mary didn’t respond to Jesus. . .she just walked over to the servants in John 2:5:
“His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."
Mary clearly understood who her son was. . .and what He could do.
The question today is. . .do we understand who we are. . .and what we can do through His direction and with His power.
I’d like to encourage you to get a head start on your goals for 2014.
Perhaps your number one goal should be. . .to see yourself the way God sees you and recognize that He’s looking for you.
God has no eyes but ours to see opportunities for change, growth and success.
God has no hands but ours to reach out to others less fortunate than we are.
God has no feet but ours to win the lost, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and disciple the found while they’re still around.
God has no mind but ours to experience and act on the thoughts, feelings and purposes of the mind of Christ. . .which we have.
When we understand our mission. . .when our hearts possess the qualities of Mary’s heart. . .then we will know that we’re the one He’s looking for.
2 Peter 1:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great
promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay
(rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust
and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.”
God is looking for you. . .because you possess His divine nature. . .which means we have His ability to remove all limitations that would keep us from experiencing the good life He designed and desires for us.
Psalm 111:10 in the Message Bible says:
“He's so personal and holy, worthy of our respect. The good life begins in the fear of God—Do that and you'll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever!”
Now that’s something to shout about.
God is not only looking for you. . .He wants you to experience the good life and His richest blessings.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS