It's been way too long since I have felt the Holy Spirit stirring in my heart over something my pastor has said. With Christ in my heart, I should feel alive but many times I feel dead. But as Tim Stafford says, "Jesus died for your sin not your feelings."
You know God was at church on Sunday when His Holy Spirit that talks to your pastor's spirit has also talked to your spirit through the message. Been mulling over what Pastor Mike Shay talked about Sunday-matters of the heart. I was reading in Is. 30:20-22 and the dots finally connected! The King James Version is pretty blunt when it says, "And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence."
If I am using good works to be right with God, I am still working to be accepted by God. A child of God would not need to do this. If I am using my good works to get to know God I am already a child in a loving relationship with my Heavenly Father.
God is not impressed with my tithe, church attendance, standards, and mission work. He is impressed with my repentant, humble, and worshipful heart. He is impressed with the passion behind my service, not my service.
Am I a Cain or an Abel? Did I give the first fruits of my garden of my own labors? Or did I give the best I had of my flock in the pasture of God's grace out of love for Him?
Am I a Martha or a Mary? Did I work for the Lord's approval? Or did I grow in faith for the love of Jesus?