This is the month for hearts. Walk in any store and the first thing you see is hearts. Everywhere, there are hearts. Hearts of different sizes, different colors. Children at school making hearts, passing out hearts. What an exciting time of the year.
As a child, I would try my best to draw a heart. I just never could make it look perfect. I would see others make theirs. They would look so nice. I worked so hard at making mine be as nice as others. But try as I may, one side would always be lopsided from the other, or the middle would be too close together, or not close enough.
I would get a piece of paper, fold it in half and cut around it, still it would not come out a perfect heart. I finally quit trying to do it on my own. The only way I would ever make a perfect heart was to take a pattern of a perfect heart and trace it.
Just the same way, we try so hard to make our heart perfect before the Lord. We determine to do the right things. Live a life that would be pleasing to him. Make all sorts of promises to God and ourselves.
We struggle, we get angry with ourselves. We go back to the beginning and start all over, determined that this time we won't make any mistakes. Won't mess up.
It seems so easy for others. "Why is it so difficult for me?" we ask ourselves.
Finally we give up. We take the pattern Jesus left of himself for us to follow. We take his perfect heart and begin to copy our life after him.
In 1 Kings 15:14, we read about Asa. Though he didn't remove all the high places, his heart was perfect before the Lord.
We may come short of being perfect and always doing the right thing but, like Asa, we can have a perfect heart before God. We see David as having a perfect heart.
1 Kings 11:4 talks about David having a perfect heart before God. We see David as an imperfect man. He made lots of horrible mistakes committed gross sins, yet, again, in Acts 13:22, we are reminded he was a man after God's own heart.
We need to get acquainted with Jesus. Know his ways.
When my children were growing up, they would be around their friends and soon I would notice them acting like them. Sometimes it was not very acceptable behavior. When we pattern ourselves after Jesus, we can be confident of doing what is right because he truly is our perfect example to follow.
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to "be followers of God as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour."
Pat Knowles attends the Birchridge Community Church. Cameron Dockery is the pastor. The church meets in the Soldotna Senior Citizens Center at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays. There are various Bible studies in homes throughout the week.
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