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Today’s Truth

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

Friend to Friend

It had been a very long day. My husband and I were both tired and looking forward to a good night’s sleep – but we needed to talk. We didn’t have any major concerns or problems to discuss; we just wanted to catch up on life and unwind a little bit.

Dan was telling me about his day when he suddenly stopped, looked around and asked, “What was that beeping sound?” I hadn’t heard anything but suggested that the smoke detector battery probably needed replacing.

“It was a different kind of beeping,” Dan insisted. We listened – nothing. We turned out the lights and went to sleep, and I forgot all about the elusive beeping.

When Dan came home from work the next day, he grinned and said, “I figured out what that beeping sound was.” Since he had been at the church office all day, I was a little more than curious as to how he had managed to solve the mystery. “My defibrillator is beeping, which means that the battery is running out and needs to be replaced.” Why the man was grinning was beyond me, but it probably had something to do with the fact that he had solved the puzzle rather than dealing with another heart issue. We eat those for breakfast!

Dan has battled heart rhythm problems for years. In 2006, he went into cardiac arrest and became the proud owner of a defibrillator/pacemaker that keeps his heart in rhythm. The cardiologist told us that the battery would eventually have to be replaced, but we hadn’t given it much thought – until the unit started beeping.

Dan called his cardiologist who immediately set up an appointment to replace the battery. Dan had an unusually hectic schedule and was hoping to buy a little time before having the outpatient procedure done.

“What happens if I wait a few weeks to have the battery replaced?” Dan asked. The doctor laughed and said, “It will drive you crazy. Right now, the defibrillator only beeps once a day as a warning, but if we don’t take care of this now, it will start beeping every hour and then beep continually until the old battery is replaced. And if the battery is not replaced, the defibrillator will just stop working, and your heart will not be protected.” Needless to say, Dan quickly scheduled the procedure.

As I waited for Dan to come out of surgery, I prayed.

I asked God to give the doctors and nurses wisdom.

I asked Him to guard my husband’s heart.

It was then that the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “And what about your heart, Mary?” Physically, my heart was healthy and strong. The spiritual health of my heart was an entirely different matter.

The hospital waiting room became a holy place, a place where God and I conducted eternal business. I brutally examined my heart and confessed the sins I had desperately tried to hide in the dark corners where fear and doubt reside. God’s forgiveness and love rolled away the burden of those cherished sins and ushered peace into my soul. Tears rolled down my face like a refreshing rain of restoration.

I had let my guard down. I had dismissed the sentry of God’s truth and tried to live life in my own strength and worthiness, resting in past victories. It did not take long for the well to run dry. The wasteland of wrong priorities and vain spiritual activity spread before me and broke my heart.

My thirst for Him to do a new thing in my life grew as I prayed, “Lord, bring back the new again. I want to see You again.”

He heard my cry, and He made a way. He made a way in the wilderness of my life as streams of mercy flooded my soul.

No matter where you are today, no matter what you have done or failed to do, God longs to heal, restore, refresh and renew. How’s your heart?

Let’s Pray

Lord, today I come to You with a new commitment in my heart – to pray continually and to read and study the Bible. Strengthen me through Your truth and empower me to stand against temptation and sin. Make me more aware of Your presence and power, Lord. I want to be a godly woman, a woman of discipline, and a woman whose life honors you and draws other to You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.” Can you identify the attacks of the Devil in your life?

Take the following steps of faith:

  • I recognize the power of prayer and the Word of God to change and transform me.
  • I admit that I have let my guard down and allowed the enemy to sneak into my life.
  • I will identify the areas in my life that are out of control and surrender them to God.
  • I will make prayer and Bible study a priority in my walk with God.

More from the Girlfriends

If you need help learning how to trust God, get Mary’s new book,

10-Day Trust Adventure, now available in hard copy.

Perfect for personal or small group study, this book addresses every decision you make – and teaches you how to make those decisions as you step out in faith and trust God.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook

10 Responses to “How’s Your Heart? Part 1”

  1. Linda Ross says:

    My battle exactly! Thanks for touching me.

  2. Sally says:

    I wasn’t raised in a church household, I’m a 55 year old woman with lots of questions. I bought a bible and it tells me how to read the bible but to me they are words that I’m not understanding. Like a story with no beginning or end. I tried going to church a few years ago but listening to a sermon was like trying to read the bible like it tells me to! Can you help me with this?

    • Felecia says:

      Hi, Sally. First, let me just say that the fact that you are curious and seeking answers is great! I can certainly identify with your struggle because I remember years ago going through the same thing – reading the Bible but not really understanding it. I have since learned that the Bible promises that if we pray to God for understanding, He will open our eyes through the Holy Spirit. And I can certainly testify to how God has been faithful to this promise in my life! I know that the understanding came for me through the power of the Holy Spirit after I gave my life to Jesus and He opened my eyes to help me actually understand what I was reading in the Word.

      I don’t know how much you know about the Bible already or what your personal relationship is with Jesus, but there is a reason people call the Gospel the Good News. If you look in the book of Romans, you will see that scripture says every single person on this earth is a sinner. Romans 3:23 tells us that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Because of that sin, we are deserving of condemnation. God is Holy, and although He wants us to live with Him forever in heaven and He wants to have a relationship with us even now, our sin is a barrier between us, separating us from Him. So how can we, as sinful creatures, be reconciled to Holy God? This is where the good news starts! God loves us so much, and He so wanted a relationship with us eternally that HE provided the solution to our sinfulness. He sent His only Son Jesus to die on a cross as the sacrifice and payment for our sins (John 3:16; Romans 8:8-9). And the Bible says that if you will confess to Him that you are a sinner, that you know that you are worthy of condemnation because of that sin, and if you believe that Jesus came to die for YOUR sins, taking your punishment upon Himself to set you free, and you repent (turn away from; change) of your sins, you will be saved! (Romans 10:9-10). If you believe in Jesus and His saving grace and commit yourself unto Him, the Bible promises that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)! Once we are saved, He sends the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts to enlighten us, guide us, and empower us. So He commands that if we lack understanding, we have only to ask for Him to open our eyes to see the Truth of His Word.

      I pray that this was helpful and that God will bless you!

  3. Penny Lester says:

    Great devotion for me. I have begun to rely too much on myself and my own accomplishments instead of leaning on God. He gives us all! We are nothing without him! Thank you!

  4. Martha says:

    Learning the way. This is exactly what I needed. Thank you for passing the message.

  5. Seda Vash says:

    Wow, what a devotion, Mary! One that touches my heart and asks me, “How is my heart today?” Often times, we find ourselves busy–day in and day out, taking care of others’ needs and not our own first. We need to focus on our relationship with Christ and the communion we so desperately need to have with Him everyday. First thing in the morning, is to wake up and thank God for the blessings and for a Grand New Day ahead. I need to remind myself to check in with me and Him, our glorious Father in Heaven.

    Thanks for a beautiful devotion, Mary!

    Blessings,

    Seda

  6. Paula Tessier-Horn says:

    Thanks Mary, I needed this. I had stopped read God’s word and praying till a client of mine that I was a caregiver for got me back on the right path. And I have seen a lot of changes it has done for me. Thank you again.

  7. Sara says:

    This was so well written. And so thought provoking. I feel I need to be convicted of sin before I can confess it and bring it to God to deal with….I wonder why is that and how I can change this?

    • Felecia says:

      Hello. You are right that we must be convicted of our sins before we can confess them. If you know that you have unconfessed sin in your life but you can’t pinpoint exactly what, go to God in prayer and confess that you know you have been living in sin. Ask Him to reveal the sins so that you may confess them to Jesus so that you can be forgiven. And repent – turn from the sin.

      Hope this helps! God bless you!

  8. Louise Aurelien says:

    Mary,
    Thank you for a great devotional!! I am holding on to this great promise from our Father. He is in the business of redemption and “creation”!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8