And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. ~2 Samuel 15:6
Have you ever been a victim of a theft? If you have, you know that it is a terrible feeling to have been victimized. Monetary fraud through elaborately devised scams and schemes steal hundreds of millions of dollars per year from innocent victims. Fraud units are established on local, state, and federal levels through district attorney, attorney general, and securities exchanges to deal with the massive swindling that occurs daily. Our devotion this morning deals with a theft on an emotional level. Our passage this morning says, “Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” Our devotion centers on guarding our hearts from our devotion being stolen from us.
There is the center of our affection.
We should determine early in our Christian life that the center of our affection is always the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to the Pearl of Great Price that we are willing to pay an exorbitant amount of money for. He is the love of our life. He is the inspiration of our soul. He is the motive for our service. Jesus is to be the lover of our soul. The hymn writer wrote “My Jesus, I love Thee; I know Thou art mine. For Thee all the follies of sin I resign; My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou; If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus tis now.” Our priority is making sure Jesus is at the center of our decisions. Our priority is making sure Jesus knows that we love Him with all our heart, our soul, our mind, and our entire being. Did you tell Jesus you love Him this morning?
There is the stealing of our affection.
Our affection is always subject to attack. Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. He intercepted their questions. He positioned himself to be the one people approached instead of King David. The love of money will steal your hearts affection from the Lord. The lack of restraint in the area of covetousness will steal your heart from God. The lack of prioritization will result in your affection being stolen. We are told to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Our song should daily be, "Nothing between my soul and the Savior." We must realize that the world desires to steal our hearts from the Lord. The friendship with this world places us at enmity with God. Those who make an alliance with this world are bluntly called adulterers and adulteresses! There is always an Absalom waiting at the gate to steal your affection. Who do you counsel with? Who are your companions? Who do you spend your time with? How much and in what ways are you serving the Lord?
There is the safeguarding of our affection.
We must establish the appropriate fences, gates, and walls around our heart to prevent our affection from being stolen. First, make sure you tell the Lord your problems first and not other people. Make sure you get your counsel from trusted, reliable spiritual authorities like your pastor. Second, be in the habit of always giving to the Lord. If you are not tithing, this is a good starting point. Your giving is a reflection of your affection. Third, purpose to give the Lord the best hours of your day for Bible study and prayer. Fourth, be a vibrant witness of the gospel. Go soulwinning, and tell people about the gospel. Fifth, be in church at all the services, and be an amen-er!
Just as everyone is a potential victim of financial theft, every Christian is a potential victim of having their heart affection stolen from the King of kings and Lord of lords. Stay in love with Jesus!
Have a love-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Mark 15-16