October 20, 2012

“Diligence of the Heart”

- “Steady and careful application; proper attention and care. Constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken (promise or guaranteed, promise, obligate yourself) Persistent exertion of body or mind.” The degree of care required in a given situation.

Diligent doesn’t just involve something we do from time to time, but it’s something that we consistently do; something that causes us to pay careful attention to and care. If you are not careful, in keeping your heart diligent in the things of God, and before God, you create an opportunity, for the enemy to slip in and take advantage of you (Ex: David & Bathsheba). 

2 Samuel 1:19-20
19The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! 20Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

Israel fell prey easily, b/c they didn’t keep themselves diligent before God. David is speaking in anguish and despair, b/c anytime your brothers and sisters are fallen, it isn’t a time to rejoice, but to pray and cover them, not to spread it, lest the Devil and your enemies take joy in seeing you fall. All this faith and everything taken in a moment. (2 Samuel 1:27, David).
Heart - the center of total personality especially with reference to intuition, feeling, emotion; Center of emotion; represents the most vital part. (Who you are)

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Solomon -  who was the wisest man in the bible, (1 kgs. 3:3,9,12) yet could not heed his own wisdom, and wisdom from his father, not to go after other gods, and idols, is teaching us the importance of keeping a watch over your heart, and keeping it diligent before God; because it doesn’t matter how great you are, it only takes a few minutes of you taking a break-David-on the battle field for the enemy to attack you at a weak moment.

Daniel 4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
30The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
31While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. (Proper attention & care-6 things God hates)
32And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. (Ex: Marcus-Pride, Forgiveness)
33The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
34And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
-Nebuchadnezzar forgot that it was the LORD that blessed him and not himself. His heart wasn’t diligent, yet after God got him together, he realized it was the LORD.
-Many times people forget to keep their hearts right before God. People think that money, fame, relationships will bring them happiness, peace of mind, yet if your heart is not with the LORD, there will always be a void, whether you want to admit it or not. (Song-Donnie Mc. “All I Ever Wanted” people put on the make-up, the hair, the swag, the toughness, for the camera called campus life, called the business world; they put on all the masks, and make sure they look just right for the lights and make sure they are ready when the director yells action, but about after the day is over? (I didn’t realize my heart panted after you God)
1 Samuel 13:14 But now your kingdom shall not continue (your position/promotion that I gave you shall be taken away); the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own [a]heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you. (Saul) (1 Samuel 16:7-God judges the heart) (Though David messed up, yet God saw his heart, which was right before God. A Heart God wanted.

Psalm 51:10, 16-18
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

10Create in me a clean heart, (In your Spiritual Development-vacuum your heart with his word/spot remover-Shout commercial-spray you with his anointing-that will loose whatever is holding you) O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Ways to keep your heart diligent before God!
Acts 10 1There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
#1 the fear of the LORD - Cornelius feared the LORD. not a fear that, you don’t want to wake up in the morning, fearful, that God will smite you, but a fear that reverance the LORD, that respects him; yes we fall down, and God picks us back up again, yet when we do fall, it isn’t an opportunity to take joy in it, but say LORD, cleanse me, restore me, when my faith is shaky and I’m doubting you LORD, God keep me diligent.
3He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day (3pm) an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, what is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial (remembered) before God.
#2. Prayer-Is communication with God. (#3-Fasting) all of us need more prayer daily, b/c so much wickedness goes on every day. We don’t know what we have to face from day to day, so it’s important to have consistency with prayer. (Setting up time to spend with God) we schedule everything else daily, except time for God. This man, b/c he was faithful, and diligent in his prayers, had a visitation from an angel, at 3pm. God saw this man’s diligence and saw his heart; it was pure in wanting God and seeking God for answers, not just from time to time. (Ex: 1st got saved)
-In sports, in order to be the best, you have to put in work and be diligent to get results. This man was diligent and look how God blessed him.
5And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
- Look at this, because Cornelius was diligent, God was ready to answer him and to show him something, that he’s never seen, something that would change his life and the people with him, b/c his heart was right and look who he chose, Peter. (The same guy that denied Jesus 3 times, cursed and even turned away, yet even though the enemy had got the best of him at that moment, God was still faithful in what he called Peter to do; God prayed for Peter, and when he was strengthened, he went forth and preached thousands to salvation. (Acts 2)
- God has prayed for us, that’s why we have to keep ourselves diligent and our hearts right, b/c God has people assigned to us. Peter didn’t even know, he was going to be speaking to these three men; he didn’t even know until the next day, but God had already sent them.
7And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
17) Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate.”
-Peter was hungry and was getting ready to eat, yet he fell into a trance and saw these ‘four-footed beasts and all different kinds of unclean or common foods, that he and the people of God didn’t eat; yet God told him What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”
-Don’t call unclean, what I’ve now cleansed and called clean. 3 times, he saw the vision. And God was trying to get Peter out of what he was used to, b/c he was getting ready in natural, to cleanse some people that everyone else deemed unclean. When your heart is diligent, you may never know who God may cleanse, who God may use to be a blessing to you. (Ex: people you don’t even like, God can cause to bless you) (Habakkuk 1:5)
18And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
- These men were diligent before God, and God had a blessing with their name on it, and despite Peter’s own prejudices, God told him, go down there, b/c I have some people waiting on you. Don’t let your emotions of your heart get the best of you or don’t let your own understanding, keep you from blessing someone else.
- This is a spiritual thing God was doing, “Proper attention and care“ Diligent. There wasn’t time for Peter to walk in his flesh, b/c God was getting ready to show that “PRAYER STILL WORKS” (Diligent) Jeremiah 24:7And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” When people are diligent and really want to know the LORD and experience them, no longer wanting to walk in the old life, God will give them a heart.
21) Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
- God had something that he had only revealed to Peter, the Apostles and the Jews; yet God was saying that people’s hearts are hungry, for the move of God, power of God and I can let them just die. God was calling for the people of God who he chose to work this ministry, to be diligent, and not get out of place of where God put them because of feelings, emotions, how they feel or how they see things; God was saying I need you to be diligent now, b/c this isn’t about you.
34) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
 35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
 36The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
-Eventually in this chapter, Cornelius and all his house end up not only getting baptized in Jesus name, but the Holy Ghost ends up falling on everyone that “Heard” the Word and people that everyone else had counted out ended up getting saved. It even shocked Peter and the Jews. (Ex: Peter’s own attitude toward them - Acts 10 - (Crayons & Attitude)
#4 Obedience -Though Peter didn’t understand everything, he was obedient to God; this is a crucial part of keeping yourself diligent in the things of God. (Ex: prayer I wrote-2007)
-Yet this was God’s opportunity to show nothing is too hard for God, if we are diligent and keep our hearts before God.
Psalm 119:80 80Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
#5 Let your Heart (the center of total personality) be sound and established in the Word. Don’t worry about people and things, just stay obedient to God. (Proverbs 21 1The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.) As my Bishop dealt with, God can cause your boss or enemy to bless you, or even come to you and ask you to pray for them. (Wicked) (Hebrews 4:12-intents of the heart”) (Ps. 28:7-Heart-Trust God)
Psalm 139: 23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. #6-God will search you.’-Jeremiah 17:9-10- ‘Heart is desperately wicked and only God searches it and knows it.”
-When you’re diligent before God, ‘his peace will keep you, even when you don’t want to be kept. (Phil. 4:7) It passes my own understanding sometimes why, even a person like me, God would spare, even when I mess up, but b/c I have a heart that wants to be diligent and wants to do the things of God, he continues to look past my faults, and work out of me, the things not like him, so I can get to my destiny.

#7“Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

- Keep your fire burning for God; don’t let people, things, etc. kill it. Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

(Ezra prepared his heart before he went before the people of God. He sought the Word of God, to be obedient to it, to set back law and order in the Land of rebellion, wickedness and the turning away from God. (Israel) So too, we have to prepare our hearts before God in diligence, so that God may be glorified in and through us. Amen!!!!

Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Psalms 28:77 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

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