The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/26

Posted on | May 26, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/26

Scripture reading: Micah 6:6–8

Holey Wholly Holy

But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless,

the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. (II Chronicles 15:17)

 

King Asa loved the Lord with all his heart and during the early years of his reign his devotion to God brought blessings to the entire nation. His governance of Israel was characterized by peace, victory, reform, and renewal. Yet his actions were not perfect. He had flaws. In some areas his performance was less than it should have been. Most notably, he failed to remove the high places, those pagan shrines scattered throughout the land. We are not told the reason why, but he simply failed to do what—as king—he should have done. And yet the Scripture tells us that in spite of his shortcomings, his heart was “wholly true.” In other words, the Bible recognizes that whole-hearted devotion is not incompatible with imperfect performance.

Contrast Asa with another king who lived many years later, Amaziah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart (II Chronicles 25:2). In other words, Amaziah’s performance was impressive but his heart was only partially devoted to God.

Think about these two kings. Which king would you rather serve? Which king would God prefer? What our Father in heaven wants more than anything else is for his children to love him will all their hearts. This is the Great Commandment. This is what redemption is all about! God loves us whole-heartedly, and he expects the same from us. Our performance will always be flawed but if our love is whole- hearted, our Father will be pleased.

In The Heart of the Gospel, Dr. Robert E. Coleman loves to tell a personal story that illustrates this point so well. On a hot, humid Kentucky afternoon, he was in the backyard working in his garden. Inside the house, his four-year-old son Jim saw his daddy in the backyard and wanted to help. Realizing his daddy would be thirsty, he pulled up a chair to the kitchen sink. Climbing up, he found a dirty glass and filled it with warm water from the faucet. Running into the backyard, Jim held up the smudgy glass of warm water and with a huge smile said, “Here Daddy, I brought you something to drink.” Dr. Coleman writes: I might have thought “Couldn’t he do better than that? Why, that is not cold water; that’s not even pure water.” And I would have been right. But when I looked at his face, I had to say that was pure love. He was doing the best he knew to please his daddy.

Jim’s performance was flawed, but his heart was pure, and a true father intutively understands which is the most important. Dr. Coleman accepted the gift and drank the water.

 

Love, and do what thou wilt . . .

let the root of love be within,

of this root can nothing spring but what is good.

—Augustine

 

point to ponder What your Father in heaven wants from you today more than anything else is whole-hearted devotion. For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose hearts are fully committed to him (II Chronicles 16:9).

prayer focus The state of your performance vs. the state of your heart.

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