Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Do You Have an Attitude?
Psalms 139:1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 5. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
7. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
God knows us totally and completely, nothing is hidden from Him. God looks at our heart and sees things that no one else sees. He knows what you are thinking and what motivates you, and these things do matter to Him.
There is a powerful section of Scripture in the book of Malachi that talks about this very thing. Malachi is often quoted when talking about tithing, but our motives are just as important as our actions. The Lord looks at our motives in everything we do. This explains so much the purpose of our motives that we should look at what is being said here and take it to heart. Lets look.
Malachi 3:13 "Your words have been harsh against Me,'' says the Lord, "Yet you say, `What have we spoken against You?' 14. You have said, `It is vain to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts? 15. So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; yes, those who tempt God go free. 16. Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. 17. They shall be Mine,'' says the Lord of hosts, On the day that I make them My jewels. and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18. Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
Here the Lord is speaking through Malachi. The preceding verses of Scripture Mal. 3:8-12. are talking about tithing, and people robbing God by not tithing. Then it goes on to talk about the attitude behind our actions. No matter what we do, if we do it for wrong motives, we are going to rob ourselves of the very blessing God is trying to get to us. We have to do things His way if we are going to receive His promises. It is so important to understand that His way is the only way if we are going to receive His blessings by faith.
This group of people were complaining about serving God. They were actually saying what’s in it for me? We serve God but look at us, were no better off than anyone else. As a matter of fact the wicked are better off than we are, they are living large while we are barely getting by down here on barely get along street. As you read on you can see that this really displeased the Lord. There was another group of people who feared the Lord, and they spoke to one another. The Lord listened to them and heard them, and a book of remembrances were written before Him. He goes on to say in vs.17 and 18 "They shall be Mine,'' says the Lord of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.'' Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
This first group of people were not blessed because of their attitude. They had a rotten attitude. They were serving God outwardly but they were mumbling and grumbling and accusing God of not caring. God does care, He loves us with an everlasting love. To say such a things is a false accusation. People who do this can not walk in the blessings of God because they have alienated themselves from God by their attitude and their words. They curse their means of receiving blessing and prevent it from coming to pass. That’s serious stuff to think about. God doesn’t look kindly on this kind of attitude. He wants us blessed and it has to grieve Him when we will not cooperate with Him in receiving the blessing that He wants His children to have. We have to honor Him by our obedience and our attitude towards Him. He talks about this in the first chapter of Malachi.
Malachi 1:6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, `In what way have we despised Your name?' 7. "You offer defiled food on My altar. But you say, `In what way have we defiled You?' By saying, `The table of the Lord is contemptible.' 8. And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?'' says the Lord of hosts. 9. "But now entreat God's favor, that He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, will He accept you favorably?'' says the Lord of hosts. 10. "Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,'' Says the Lord of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands. 11. For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,'' says the Lord of hosts. 12. "But you profane it, in that you say, `The table of the Lord is defiled; and its fruit, its food, is contemptible.' 13. You also say, `Oh, what a weariness!' and you sneer at it,'' says the Lord of hosts. "And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?'' says the Lord. 14. "But cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male, and makes a vow, but sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished for I am a great King,'' says the Lord of hosts, "And My name is to be feared among the nations.
These people were going through the motions of religion, without any real regard or respect to God the Father. He even asked this question, If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? He asked them, would you offer this kind of an offering to your Governor. Of course they wouldn’t.
They clearly had no respect or there wouldn’t have been this kind of harsh rebuke would there? I am a strong believer in tithing and the purpose of this is not to argue tithing but to show how strongly Our Heavenly Father looks at motives of the heart. Recently I had to adjust my motives in this very area and repent before the Lord. These things can creep in little by little if we let them untill you can have a completely different attitude from the one you originally started out with.
He said, I have no pleasure in you. Wow that is not something I want to have said to me.
Let’s examine the motives of our heart and know that God looks at them, both good and evil. He even admonishes us to do this very things in vs. 9. But now entreat God's favor, that He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, will He accept you favorably?'' says the Lord of hosts.
He always gives us a way out when we have messed up. Glory to His name.
I would like to look at someone who showed an upright heart before the Lord and sought after the things of God and not just the things of the World. God rewards this kind of attitude. This is an attitude and state of being.
1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon said: "You have shown great mercy to your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
1 Kings 9:4 "Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, 5. "then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, `You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.' 6. "But if you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7. "then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
Is integrity important to God? You better believe it is.
God richly blessed Solomon because he did seek after The things of God without regard to the things of this world, and of this God gave Him both Great wisdom and rich’s. There is a pay day for those who keep their motives right and understand God gives wealth to establish his kingdom.
I’d like to leave with some Scriptures to contemplate.
Job 33:3 My words come from my upright heart; my lips utter pure knowledge.
Psalms 24:4-5 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like something that I want. But what do I have to do to walk in these blessings.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
How does life spring from your heart? Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A pure heart and words are often associated together. What is in our heart will eventually come out of our mouth. What comes out of our mouth will dictate the issues of life. It must be pretty important to keep our hearts. That’s where the life is.
Psalms 7:8 The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me.
Psalms 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.
Psalms 26:1 Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip.
Psalms 41:12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And set me before Your face forever.
Psalms 119:7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6. from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.