"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature... May we be convinced that Jesus is the Christ, choose to follow Him, be changed for Him, captained by Him, consumed in Him, and born again."
I really like that quote by Ezra T. Benson. My personal experience is that no matter where I have lived geographically, where I stand can be "the slums" or it can be a holy place. But the physical location of that does not matter. It is where my heart is that matters. I could be in the House of the Lord, and if my heart is not right, I stand in "the slums". I could be in a potentially damaging location (physically or spiritually) and still be standing in a holy place when my heart is turned to God.
There have been times (and still are) where I really want to hold on to a negative emotion or character weakness. Where I think "I have gotten myself into this situation or this weakness, now I have to get myself out of it." In many cases, I have proven to myself, repeatedly, that the methods I used to develop that same character weakness are not sufficient to overcome that weakness. I may profess that I want to change this, or stop doing that, but down deep, I am pleading "God, please take this from me.... So I don't have to give it up." I have learned that God will force nothing on me... He won't take something from me without my willingness to give it up. But, He will change my heart, if I allow Him, and then, I will be willing to surrender that weakness, and He will make it strong unto me.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Today’s invitation is to look back at a time when I absolutely Knew something in my heart that did or could have changed my life for the better (Know), then, to ask myself the question, “Can I still feel and know that truth in my life?” (Do) If I can’t or don’t know that truth anymore, the further invitation is to find out why I know longer feel the same way, to find out what has changed. Has the truth changed? Or have I changed? If it is me that has changed, what do I need to do in order to get back to the truth?
* The premise of Know AND Do is to share my personal experiences of faith and hope, and tie those to either a verse of scripture from one of many sources that people all over the world consider as inspired and holy, or a quote from Godly and inspired men and women from throughout history. From these experiences and sources, I will then issue an invitation to myself, and in turn the audience, to Do what is now Known.
I do not pretend to be an expert on doctrine or on any of the subject matters that will be shared. I only claim to be one of God’s children, walking through life, following Jesus Christ, striving to do God’s will for me, and sharing what I experience.
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The key to knowing and doing, as with everything REALLY important, is Jesus Christ.