Tis the Season Week 1: Heart Attitudes

Thanks for joining us for ‘Tis the Season as we seek to prepare our hearts and homes for a Christ-centered Christmas. Our guiding verses for this study are Psalm 86:11-13:

Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Today we will examine the heart attitude of one who seeks to know God’s ways and walk in His truth.

If you have not already done so, please download the free e-book study guide that accompanies each week’s lesson. Now, let’s get into the Word!

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WHAT characterizes one who walks in truth? Let’s reflect back on what we learned from those in the first Christmas Story. God did not choose the wise or wealthy, or those of great social standing.  He chose those who were humble and obedient to His Word even in the face of bizarre circumstances. He chose those who were still enough to hear and listen to His instructions. He chose those who were willing to trust His heart in spite of their circumstances.

Too often we get so busy with our drive-thru, instant gratification lifestyles that we miss the life God has for us. There were those who missed the grand and glorious fulfillment of His promises from years before.  Those who missed hearing his voice after 400 years of silence.

The people God chose to be part of the story of Jesus’ birth had some qualities of heart in common. We can learn from them. If we want to be women who walk in God’s ways and learn His truths we need to be women with:

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 HUMBLE hearts 

humble tapeinophrosyne (G5012) – humiliation of mind; having a humble opinion of one’s self; For the sinner it involves the confession of his sin and a deep realization of his unworthiness to receive God’s marvelous grace. 

  • Ephesians 4:1-2 – walk manner worthy of calling with humility and gentleness…
  • Philippians 2:3 – in humility consider others more significant than yourself, look to other’s interest, have the attitude of Jesus.
  • Colossians 3:12 – clothe yourself (put on) compassion, kindness, humility, meekness…
  • 1 Peter 5:5-6 – humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand. He exalts humble and lowers the proud.

meek – prautes (G4240) – meekness, the attitude that we accept God’s dealings with us as good and do not dispute or resist.

Knowledge is knowing WHAT to say, wisdom knowing WHEN to say it and meekness knowing HOW to say it.

  • James 1:21, 3:13 – let your conduct show your meekness of wisdom.
  • Ephesians 4:1-2 – walk manner worthy of your calling in Christ with humility and gentleness…
  • 1 Peter 3:4, 3:15 – let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart; honor Christ as Lord and be prepared to make a defense for the hope within you with gentleness and respect.

Are you living with the daily realization that you need God’s grace and mercy?  Are your interactions and encounters with others (even those difficult people in your life) characterized by a humble and meek heart that seeks meet the needs of others and willing to extend grace? Is there something in your life that you are struggling to see as good?  Ask the Lord how you might glorify Him in that situation and reflect Jesus.

Heart_Solid_Blog HEARING hearts

hear – akouo (G191) – to attend to; to give the audience of; consider what has been said; to hear with attention, listen, obey.

  • Luke 2:18, 20 – The shepherds returned from being in Jesus’ presence, praising and glorifying God for all they had heard and seen.
  • Matthew 11:15 – Jesus encourages us with these words: anyone who has ears should listen.

Are you coming before the Lord each day with a hearing heart?  Are you taking time to be still, to listen and consider what He has to say to you through His Word and in prayer? Is there something God is calling you to hear and obey? Trust Him!

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 HEEDING hearts 

see (heed) – blepo (G991) – to turn the eyes to anything: to look at; to heed; to have (the power of) understanding to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – what is seen is temporary and fleeting but the unseen is eternal, so fix your eyes on the unseen —on the character and nature of God.
  • Colossians 2:8 – see to it that you are not taken captive by deceptive philosophies of the world.
  • Hebrews 2:9 – we don’t see everything in submission to Him yet…but we see Jesus!

What is the object of your focus? Is there a circumstance in your life where you are struggling to trust God?  Are you weighed down by the cares of the world?  Are you seeking to find fulfillment in the things of this world instead of letting Jesus be your all? Are you making time and taking time to consider and contemplate the goodness of God —who He is and what He has done? Look to Jesus! He will meet you, encourage and comfort your where you are!

1 John 5:1-5  sums up a humble, hearing and heeding heart:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

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1.  Your Christmas List – Make a list of your normal Christmas/Holiday schedule of activities.  Pray over this list and examine your heart.  What can you do to make your Christmas more intentionally focused on Christ?

2. Prophecy Jar/Chain – read one Scripture from Old Testament and one from New Testament each night and discuss. Download 44 Prophecies on the Birth of Christ.

3.  Nativity – if you have children at home, consider setting up the Nativity over a period of weeks leading up to Christmas and place characters in setting as it happens. This is a great way to teach our children the story of Christmas.  It’s a wonderful activity to go alongside the Prophecy Jar/Chain activity.

Lord, teach us who You are and Your ways, that we may be women who walk in truth and reflect Christ to those around us.

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This post was originally published on Get Real on October 31, 2014.

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