Welcome to Heartsprings, where I share what springs forth from my heart for God and His people. I pray that what you find here blesses you and draws you nearer to your Heavenly Father who loves you like no other.

In His love,
Brenda :-)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Know Christ

July 11, 2015

"The initiative of the saint is not towards self-realization, but towards knowing Jesus Christ."   "The aim of the spiritual saint is "that I may know Him". -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Our main goal as Christians is to know The Lord Jesus Christ.  How many of us have thought for years that our main objective was the "great commission":  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." -(Matthew 28:19 NASB)  But, how can you tell people about someone you don't know?  It makes perfect sense to know Him first, and know Him well.  Know Him so well in fact that we "secure the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances" [we are in] -Oswald Chambers

It sounds too simple.  How can our main objective be just to know Him?  That sounds like the lazy way.  An excuse to get out of the work.  Being a Christian is about the works, right?  It's about laboring, isn't it? "For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers." -(1 Timothy 4:10 NASB)  Yes, it is about the work and that is NOT the main objective.  Without Jesus we can do nothing.  "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5 ESV)  Without love (Jesus) the works mean nothing.  "And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." -(1 Corinthians 13:2 ESV)  If we don't take the time to know The One for whom we labor and The One that we need to tell the world about with both our words and our lives, it's all empty.  We won't really know why we're laboring and will burn out fairly quickly, and there will be nothing to tell the world.  You can't adequately share something you know nothing about.  The more you know, the more you have experienced, the better spokesperson you can be.

Foreign ambassadors are U.S. citizens who establish a concentration in the country they will be serving.  They take the time to become experts on the region's history, geography, culture, language, political structures, and its place in the global economy.  Without knowing all that they know, they could not be good ambassadors.  They are experts on both the U.S. and the foreign country they serve.  As ambassadors for Christ we need to be experts also and that takes time, discipline, and dedication.  We need to know all we can possibly know about The One we represent so that we represent Him well.  When we know Him, we know His voice.  When we know His voice, we can follow His leading to the works for which He created us.  "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." -(Ephesians 2:10 ESV)  There is a process and a plan and if we go off half-cocked, get ahead of or fall behind God by not knowing His voice and following His leading, all we do is for naught.  There is no eternal value in anything we do apart from Christ.  So take the time, believe God rather than the world that says, "If you're not busy, busy, busy you're not accomplishing anything." and accomplish something of eternal value - knowing Christ.  Amen!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


July 9, 2015

"Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?"  "If we really believed that God meant what He said - what should we be like?"
-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

I have often wondered about the lack of power in the church today and in my own life.  Why are we not able to do the things the disciples did when the Bible says we would do even greater things than what Jesus did?!  "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." (John 14:12 NASB) Compared to what I read in the New Testament, Christians today are impotent.

Is it that we are not sufficiently right with God or that we don't believe?  I think it may possibly be a combination of the two.  I think we're too much in this world; comfortable, familiar with, even reliant on our circumstances and what we can see with our own two eyes.  We are not sufficiently right with or reliant upon God.  We do things in our own strength, follow our own wisdom, and satisfy ourselves with things of this world.  Miracles make us nervous and any manifestation of the gifts of The Spirit are cause for doubt and confusion.  I think the New Testament believers would doubt our conversion.

So what to do about it?  First off, do we WANT to do anything about it?  We're so comfortable with things the way they are.  I struggle with that question myself.  I like comfort and self-reliance.  I like thinking that I'm in control and the sense of security that provides (albeit, false security).  I can't shake the feeling, however, that I could be doing greater things, and my life and the lives of those around me would be better off for it.  I'm not talking about fame, fortune, or being some kind of super-hero.  I'm talking about making an eternal difference in the lives of others.  I'm talking about fulfilling my God-given purpose and walking in all the power of the Holy Spirit that I was intended to walk in.  "Then he said to me, . . . . 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6 NASB)  I want to live by The Spirit, walk in The Spirit, worship in spirit and in truth.  Father, that is my prayer for today.  Take away the impotence and make me and my brothers and sisters-in-Christ strong in You.  Open our eyes to the ways and power of The Holy Spirit, Your Spirit, and let us not be afraid.  Give us knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and discernment.  Let us truly live according to the leading of The Holy Spirit that You have placed within each believer.  Let us exercise; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Let us use the gifts of The Spirit that You have given each one of us for the edification of the church and to Your glory.  Let us fervently love one another that we would be unified and the world would see our love.  "I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me." (John 17:23 NASB)  Raise up Your army, Lord, and strengthen them for these end times.
In the powerful name of Jesus I pray, Amen!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble." -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

The definition of "noble" is as follows:  having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.  
It seems that men (and women) of noble character have gone out of style in this country. High moral principles and ideals are seen as narrow-minded, judgmental, and bigoted.

My theory is that Americans have simply become too lazy to put forth the effort that it takes to be a person of high moral principles.  It's so much easier to be undisciplined, unstructured, and uncaring about how our actions affect other people.  Both my parents and my grandparents taught me to be polite and to treat others with respect without compromising my principles.  It was a fine line sometimes.  Agreeing to disagree is not always easy when you add human pride and ego to the mix.  I have long admired the Jews who could argue and disagree, then sit down to a meal together with no animosity.  THAT is true wisdom and maturity, in my opinion.  

The morals of this country have declined drastically in the last fifty years.  When I was growing up you never saw a dead body on the news.  T.V. couples slept in separate beds, and children who disrespected their parents were considered rebels.  Today, the media knows no boundaries.  Watching the news is like watching unscripted reality T.V..  The more dramatic the better.  T.V. couples have sex right before your very eyes and rebellious children are heroes.  There's no more mystery and nothing is sacred.  Nothing is left to our imaginations. It's all out there, bold-faced and brazen.  It takes too much effort to reign in our fleshly lusts so why do it?  "If it feels good, do it" has been taken to a whole new level.  Now it's more like, "If it feels good, do it, and make sure you share it with everyone else whether they like it or not."  It's sad.  It's rude.  It's downright disrespectful.  If I'm supposed to respect your right to "express yourself", why aren't you supposed to respect MY right to not be exposed to your "self-expression".  Sure, I could leave the room or look the other way and more likely than not come face-to-face with someone else's "self-expression".  You see, that's the problem.  

The complete lack of self-restraint is everywhere.  Everyone is coming out of all kinds of closets with complete disregard for those around them.  When I'm in the library, I do my best to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb those around me who are trying to read or work.  I taught my children to behave the same way.  Then one day a person came into the library with total disregard for the established protocol or "library etiquette" if you will.  This person decided that they wanted to jump around, sing, slide down the banister, and toss books in the air so that's exactly what they did.  A few others thought it looked like fun, so they joined in.  The librarian was shocked and asked the people to stop.  When they refused, citing personal freedom, the librarian called the police.  The police came and quietly escorted the disruptive parties out.  The rest of the library patrons and the librarian were relieved and carried on with their quiet activities undisturbed.  Yes, this was a fictional account (except for the first two lines) to illustrate a point.  Disrespecting and disregarding others only leads to more of the same and soon everyone is being hauled to jail, or there's anarchy . . . and then who knows what.  

There was once a societal etiquette that no longer seems to exist.  Those who were raised to be polite and respectful can either embrace the new "personal freedom" attitude or suffer verbal abuse and persecution for being "narrow minded" and "bigoted".  Why can't we all have the freedom to express ourselves and be who we are a little more carefully, instead of just dumping it on everyone else with total disregard?  Find a group of like-minded people and be yourself with them and a little more subtle around the general public.  We all learn, one way or another, what is socially acceptable and what is not.  Walking around the mall with purple hair is one thing, making out in the food court is another matter entirely.  

Some people are offended at the slightest thing.  I'm not talking about pleasing all the people all the time.  That is simply an impossibility.  I'm talking about crossing lines and bringing out into the open, things that should be private; family matters, romantic intimacy, deep dark secrets.  Some things should be between you and your God and maybe a counselor - no one else.  It doesn't need to be on the news, or paraded around the mall, or made into a television show.  Have some shame, people!  Have a little respect for decency and keep some things sacred.  What is so wrong with that?  It makes life on this fallen planet a little more enjoyable to just be nice and a little polite toward one another.  I'm going to start with myself and attempt to be a little more noble.  I think it will be worth the effort.