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Tuesday, 02/21/2023 3:46:16 AM

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 3:46:16 AM

Post# of 30518
Living Honestly

~ Let’s open up our hearts in real, intentional ways today, as we experience the power and love of our heavenly Father.

There is no substitute for the peace and joy of living honestly. When you find courage from the unconditional love of your heavenly Father to truly be yourself, you alleviate yourself of the pressure and stress of keeping up appearances. And when you’re free from keeping up appearances you have time and energy to devote to that which is real — that which is eternal.

James 1:26 says, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” Did you know you were capable of deceiving your own heart? James makes an incredibly strong statement here. How could my religion be worthless if I simply tell a small lie here or there? How could a little deception in my heart make my religion null and void?

This verse illustrates just how important our hearts are to God. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Your religion is only as valuable as it is true. The parts of you that are outward, e.g., your words, actions, and appearance, are only as valuable as they are a true reflection of your heart.

James is speaking here to those who think that what they say and do defines them. He’s speaking to those who believe their value and identity are wrapped up in their good works. But God flips our worldly paradigm on its head. He values actions done from the heart. He values appearances that are a reflection of the beauty in our hearts. He values words that come from a place of deep honesty and vulnerability. He values religion that is the fruit of His Spirit loving, leading, and filling our spirits.

As we close out this week on honesty, take time to truly assess whether you’re deceiving your own heart:

Are you looking to that which is outward to define you?
Do you see yourself related to what you do, or are your actions the result of who you are in Christ?

May your time be filled with the loving-kindness of your heavenly Father and clear revelation from the Holy Spirit.

~ published by: First 15

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