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December 2003 Archives

December 2, 2003

Seek First To Understand

Daniel 10:12
Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words..."

What does it mean to "set your heart to understand?" The angel that appears to Daniel states that his words spoken to heaven were heard. In fact, he has appeared to Daniel in response to his prayers. There are two keys to answered prayer that Daniel has engaged.

The first is that "he set his heart to understand." There is something about prayer that is about god revealing his heart to us. My first priority then should be learning to understand the heart of God. This is a process; not a skill that is automatically adapted, but on that requires attention and discipline. In 10:1 it states that Daniel understood that message and vision that God gave him. In 9:23, Daniel is directed to "consider the matter and understand...". Even at the beginning of Daniel's story, he was found to be 10X better than King Darius' advisors when it came to "matters of wisdom and understanding." (1:20) One of Covey's Laws of Highly Successful People is to "seek first to understand, then to be understood." Never is this more true than when it comes to the practice of prayer.

Also, Daniel's humility before God allowed his words to be heard. Always calling on God's nature and not on his own "qualifications," Daniel knew how to approach the throne of God. And his approach allowed his prayers not only to be heard, but to be responded to.

Lord, help me become a man of understanding and to walk humblywith You.

December 4, 2003

You First

1 John 4:19
We love Him because He first loved us.

My friend Shawn and I were takling after church on sunday. I had used the story of Peter's post-ressurrection encounter with Jesus on the shore of Galilee in my message about guilt and grace that day. The "do you love me" encounder is recorded in John's gospel. John called himself the disciple "who He loved." He could have only felt that way because of the love and affection Jesus had expressed to him during thier time together. But I wonder what John learned about God's love while evesdropping on Peter and Jesus. Peter is completly willed with guilt from his denial of Christ. Jesus now is pressing him for the resoration and redefinition of thier relationship.

It's one thing to feel loved when all is well - no conflict, no frustrations, when everything is rosy. It's completely another thing when everything feels shaky and insecure. Having experienced Jesus dealings with him, and on the flip-side, observing the forgivness and grace Jesus gave Peter, John developped a fuller picture of the love of God. It is simply this - He loved us first. Before we could earn it, He loved us. Before we could prove ourselves worthy of His affection, Heloved us. Through my insecurities and frustrations, He continues to do what He has always done - love me.

Thanks you Lord, for the love that You offered me and that I live in without end.

About December 2003

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in December 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2003 is the previous archive.

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