Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Is it Time for a Reboot?

If you are familiar with computer programming you are probably familiar with Java coding or at least have some idea that is has something to do with computers.  You may not know that it is one of the most popular programming languages and it boasts the ability to run on any platform as long as it supports Java. However, programs written for the Java platform must be interpreted into machine instructions making the program run as intended by the program developer.



The reason why I bring this up is to describe to you another analogy to how the term “Java” plays into the purpose of the title of this Blog – Heart Java. The word “Java” has a double meaning. If you read the post I wrote titled, Java for the Heart, you would see that I used the term analogous to coffee, or another word to describe a stimulus. The word Java is also a term to describe a particular computer programming language. Think about this…. Could the Word of God work both ways as well?

The developers creating programs that run using Java code have to be precisely written so that it can be effectively run and interpreted by a computer application. The problem developers run into is “Is the code written so that the program will run as the developer intended by the computer application”?

Consider your “spiritual” heart as the computer application interpreting the code and your actions as the actual program function. God created our spiritual hearts to function as He intended.  Are we exposing our hearts to the right code? We receive codes from many different avenues every day and our actions directly reflect those codes. What TV shows do you watch? What music do you listen to? Are you exposing yourself to appropriate reading material or do you spend a lot of time on social media?

Think about this…. Do your actions reflect the correct code your heart was designed to interpret?

The Word of God was intended to be our heart’s precisely written programming code. How we interpret that code is reflected in our actions. Do we model the programming code God intended for us to upload? Are we downloading the right things with our actions?

In the last blog post, Making Room for Jesus, I talked about how sometimes we allow unforgiveness to crowd out our ability to allow Jesus to take complete residence. Do you need to reboot and wipe out some of the faulty programming language that God didn’t intend for your heart to interpret?

Reading and studying the Bible is the only way to get your heart back running as the developer created it and reflect the actions that show the world the glory of God and the light of Jesus Christ. I challenge you to begin downloading the right codes and reflect Jesus in all you do.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Amanda

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Making Room for Jesus

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37) I want that with ALL that is in me. God made us to love Him and worship Him. We are to take up our cross daily and give ourselves up for Him. But, you know.... God loves us immeasurably more! We are His creation! My heart aches to know Jesus and have encounters with Him daily. However, it took some time to realize I wasn't able to give my whole heart because there wasn't enough room. Something was blocking Jesus from being able to take complete residence.



Several years ago, I began to feel like I was missing something. Something deep inside that I couldn't figure out. I was trying to get closer to God but I  couldn't shake the feeling like there was something in the way. I had some baggage and it was keeping my heart closed off from knowing all of God's love for me. There had been experiences in my past that had been haunting me for many, many years. I lived with decades of guilt, shame, unforgiveness, fear, and regret that cost me a lot of heartache. I allowed these "Enemies of the Heart" to affect my attitude, family, husband, and my kids and they were ultimately hindering my relationship with Christ. I was carrying A LOT of baggage.

Over time (and wrestling with God) the Holy Spirit shook me to the core and made me realize I had to release some things to God. I had to let it go, and let him have it.....all of it; my hurts, my unforgiveness ,my own sin, my shame, guilt, and regret. I had to release some experiences I had as a child and forgive the person for committing their sins against me. I had to own up to some of my own sins as well and reconcile those sins not only to God but to the person I hurt from that sin. (This was my biggest struggle.)

I don't know if you are experiencing some of the same heart problems I did, but I want you to know (and Jesus wants you to know) if you confess your sins, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness, your sins are wiped clean! They do not exist in God's eyes any more. YOU are a child of God! Romans 8:15 states that "The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship/daughtership. And by Him we cry out "Abba", Father.

You are adopted as sons and daughters which makes you heirs of the kingdom. He loves you that much! What I struggled with the most in giving my whole heart to Jesus and making room for Him is understanding that unforgiveness (of others and of myself) CANNOT keep residence in the heart and also allow Jesus to fully come in; there isn't enough room. If you struggle with forgiving yourself, God may call you to reconcile the sins of your past. And I can tell you, from experience, it may be the hardest thing you ever have to do. Reconciling a sin that you committed against someone is incredibly hard, especially when you know there could be consequences. But in the end, it will be the best thing for you to do and God will ultimately receive all the glory. It is amazing the complete release that comes with obedience in this area.

If you want Jesus to fill you to the measure with all the love He has for you, you have to remember that Jesus can't take full residence in your heart until you make room for Him. Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas in your heart that need to be cleansed and release that to God. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Reconcile your sins and take Jesus in with your whole heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.

Amanda


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Java for the Heart

I don't know if any of the you have the same problem I have, but I have an incredibly hard time waking up in the morning. It's like... I can't function, open my eyes, or even walk a straight line until I have some COFFEE!

My dear sweet husband loves me so much that he is willing to bring me coffee in bed. He gently tells me it is time to wake up, then places my hot cup of coffee (with the appropriate amount of Stevia and creamer) on the night stand. He does this for me, one because he has a servants heart, but also because it's biblical. BIBLICAL you say? YES! It is in the New Testament... Hebrews. At least that's what I tell him. No, he doesn't really believe it; but it sounds good!

Waking up in the morning is tough for me because I need a stimulus. My preference is coffee.

If you have read some of by blog posts from the past, you may have noticed I haven't written anything in quite some time. In fact it has been a few years. You could say that I have been asleep at the typewriter. I just stopped writing.

Looking back, I stopped writing because I didn't think I was reaching anyone. I was looking for human approval. My motivation for writing was coming more from the number of people reading my blog posts than from the one stimulating my heart to write.

Over time I started getting discouraged because I wasn't sure I was reaching anyone. But, looking back I also noticed that when I was studying the Word of God regularly and writing about what God revealed to me, it really helped me understand and reflect more deeply on what He was laying on my heart. God was breathing more life into my character, spirit, and life when I studied regularly and blogged about it.

Last week, I believe God laid it on my heart to start blogging again. Not because I want or need the approval of people, but because I think God wants me to reflect more deeply on what He reveals to me. I think He is stimulating my heart for writing again. Who knows... maybe this is the beginning of something He wants to use to reach others and bring Him the Glory he deserves. But whether or not others read, approve, comment, or follow the blog doesn't need to be my motivation. The Holy Spirit is my stimulus... my Heart JAVA.

So my renamed blog, Heart Java, is intended to awaken and stimulate my heart to open up and reflect more deeply on the Spirit breathed Word of God. I do invite you to follow my weekly blog especially if it serves as a stimulus for you as well. If you do find that one of my blog posts touches your heart, Praise God! Every week, I will pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal a devotion or deeper understanding of His Word so that I can ultimately grow in a more intimate relationship with Jesus... my redeeming Savior.

Amanda