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by May 16, 2015Devotional0 comments

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

      I want. I need. I will. I must. I can’t. I won’t be much help to anyone if all I can think of is me, myself, and I. I am my favorite subject. Tell me more about myself. Why am I always worried about me? Why am I always in the way? In the early 1980’s I read a book by Earl Jabay called Kingdom Of Self. One of the interesting factoids he brought out in his book is from the moment we are born we start crying and want to satisfy ourselves and ourselves only. 
      It takes training and resolution of the heart to learn how to share and be willing to give of ourselves from our own personal kingdoms. From Paul Tripp’s book War of Words he writes, “If I sat with you and I listened to a recording of the last month of your words, whose kingdom, what kingdom, would I conclude those words are spoken to serve? Would it be the kingdom of self with its self-focused demandingness, expectancy, and entitlement?” 

      Being honest with myself I would have to say that the kingdom of me, myself, and I would have been mentioned often over the last month. It is most likely that some of our daily rhetoric on building a personal kingdom would sound similar to Satan’s pathetic speech. Isa. 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 
      Oh, maybe our fists were not pointed at heaven and our vocabulary was not as repugnant as Lucifer’s, but if we are honest with our hearts there are some similar declarations of personal entitled demands. Our tones and vocabulary would have been disguised with religiosity and politeness and our words may have sounded like this: “I was such a blessing to so and so. I went out of my way for that brother in the Lord and I was not thanked whatsoever. I have been serving in this church for years and never have I been recognized, for all the stuff I do, After all, I did bring toothpicks for everyone else at the church picnic. Don’t you know Lord that I am he who worships thee?” 
      Prov. 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? No one can say, “Under my terms, I have made myself right and acceptable to God.” It is all God and it is all His grace that gives us life in Him and it is Christ’s blood only that makes us righteous in the eyes of God. God’s terms are clear and generous toward us all. His terms and love are grace. Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
      The kingdom of self will be at odds with God’s Kingdom. It is the Kingdom of God at work within our lives building the Lord’s kingdom and not our own. The kingdom of God has room for every living person on earth. We just have to get that idea into our hearts and remove ourselves from persistently trying to be the front runner of all humanity. 
      I think that can happen by asking God where we fit in His kingdom to bring about the blessing God has planned for our lives. I sometimes find myself striving for acceptance from God, yet He has accepted me in Christ. I think the striving will stop when we realize that our stories have been written by God and that the end is truly happy, blessed, joyful, and fulfilled forever and ever. Psalm 139:16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 
      We just have to rest in the fact that we, who have accepted God’s eternal gift are the apple of His eye. We also have to believe the story that God is writing about us and believe that the story is the best story that could ever happen because God is the author and finisher of our faith. Heb. 12:2a Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross. 
      I and all my idiosyncrasies will be gone from this earth one day. What will be left behind? Only the richness of life that was invested in other people’s lives will still be active in this earth and still giving God material to write my eternal story with. Yes, I can sometimes think I am very important and that I matter to me. However, I can only become fulfilled when I am securely in Him who first loved me. Father God, in Jesus name, I need and want more of you so that I can be who I truly am in you. Amen!
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