A Heart Transformed, by Wendy Knutson, CPA

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Have you ever wondered, which comes first, obedience or love? Do we give out of obedience or are we generous out of love? As a Christian I want to be obedient but obedience out of obligation is not God’s desire.

Did you know God LONGS to reveal himself to us? He is waiting for us to connect with Him. He wants us to know how much He loves us:

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18 NIV

I desire a transformed heart. A heart sold out to the King of Kings. God is a heart surgeon and His Word holds the key:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

But I’m busy; I don’t have time to study the Bible. And when I DO, I find it confusing, hard to understand. What if I misinterpret? What if I get it wrong? The answer is in the Word. Ask God. He promises to guide us:

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

He wants to be close to us. But how can we hear God amongst all the noise in our lives? We call on Him, open our hearts and listen, REALLY listen:

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalms 145:18

I love the way Chip Ingram writes in The Genius of Generosity,

“It’s one thing to believe everything we have and everything we are belongs to God. It’s another for that truth to sink down into our hearts where we feel it and grasp it. And when it really sinks down, all the way into our gut where it shapes everything we think and feel and do, our lives are transformed.”

When God transforms our hearts, we become joyfully obedient! Our knowledge of God’s love, deep in our gut, gives us a how-can-we-not heart. A generous heart.

Do you also crave a transformed heart? If you’re not ready to dive into more scripture, pray over the verses we’ve explored today. Ask God to reveal Himself in everyday events. Be ready, watch and listen. God always keeps His promises, and I can’t wait to hear what He does in your heart!

How Much Is Enough? by Wendy Knutson, CPA

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I’m very black and white. I like clear direction: this is right, that is wrong; go this way, not that way; this is good, that is bad. When I seek God’s will, I look for black and white. But is it there? God gives us 10 commandments; or The Top 10, as I like to call them. But do the Top 10 answer the question, “How much is enough?”

The world tells us how much is enough, “you deserve this, you need that; if one is good, 10 is better”. But the world is not our authority. We are children of the Most High, the King of the Universe. Our heavenly Father, through his divine Word, gives us direction; even in the little things:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Matthew 10:29 NIV

Jesus assures us that God knows what we need. Our job is to ask for His help, listen to what He tells us and obey His Word:

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:32-33

Peter assures us of God’s divine provision for everything we need:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 (emphasis mine)

Paul said essentially the same, in Philippians 4:19:

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

What IS black and white to me is that God knows what we need. He will provide. We can trust him to show us how much is enough.

Are you ready? Ask God to show you how much is enough. Then listen. Create some margin in your schedule to really listen to what God is telling you.

When He provides the answer, His definition of your own personal enough, be faithful and obey. Ask Him to quiet the world’s voices and definitions and give you strength to obey His will for your life.
If you’re not ready to ask, turn to His Word. See what God says about who He is. A good place to start is Matthew 6:28-34.

When we live in God’s obedience, we find a “peace, which surpasses all understanding”, a joy in obedience to God. How can we not embrace the peace that comes from a relationship with Him, even in the little things?