Purify Your Heart

“Take a look at your heart. Everything you see in it that might sadden God, remove. God wants to come to you. Listen to Christ your Lord: “My Father and I will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). That is God’s promise. If I were to tell you I was coming to stay with you, you would clean your house.

Now it is God who wants to come into your heart. Do you not hasten to purify it? How could he dwell with avarice? …God has commanded you to clothe the naked. But avarice induces you to strip the one who is clothed…I am looking at your heart. What do you have in it? Have you filled your coffers but thrown away your conscience? …Purify your heart.”

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) in Sermons 261.4 (PL 38,1203-4) as recounted in “Passions Transfigured, Thoughts Transcended” in The Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clément, 2.4.

Prayer for the Week

Lenten-Background.002Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Show Me; Teach Me; Guide Me

4186459b3ee031e3c30dbbc4dc237649First Sunday in Lent (February 22, 2015)

O Lord, I give my life to you.
    I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
    or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
    but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

What a great prayer for the First Sunday in Lent.  Let us use this season – as we prepare for the resurrection of Jesus – to be taught the ways of Jesus.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Pam just got done reading this book.  Here is a review from The Gospel Coalition

Nabeel Qureshi. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity. Zondervan, 2014. 296 pages. $16.99.

Every conversion is a miracle. There is no such thing as a boring testimony. Each story of coming to faith in Christ is an example of God invading the soul like a bolt of lightning, granting faith and repentance to a sinner in need. Moreover, we should praise God for the “boring” conversions. No Christian mom prays over her infant, “Lord, please give him an exciting testimony.”

And yet there is a reason Nabeel Qureshi’s spiritual autobiography, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity [interview], is such compelling reading. The heart sings to see God at work among Muslims. Though many are hostile to the gospel of Jesus Christ, God is faithful to reveal himself to the nations—and this includes our Muslim friends. Nabeel was one of them, and his story is profound.

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