Heart to Heart . . .

One of the ways that manipulators like to prey on Christians is to get them to not trust what they hear from the Holy Spirit because we can be deceived. So without the special giftings of certain people, one can not properly move forward with God. They love to quote the verse:

  • Jeremiah 17:9 ESV – 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

But there is no reason to fear, because Christ is the fulfillment of a promise to give us a new heart and spirit:

  • Ezekiel 36:26 ESV – 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
  • Ezekiel 11:19 ESV – 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

When certain Jews of the day were trying to bring disrepute upon Jesus and his followers as truly knowing the Father, Jesus says:

  • John 10:22-30 ESV – 22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

We do not have to doubt our relationship with the Father because:

  • 1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV – 9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.
  • Revelation 2:23 ESV – 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

The unspoken theology is that because we have some inner thought that runs contrary to God, it therefore disqualifies us from being led by God.  This is so untrue, when God accepted us he already knows about our past sin, our present sin, and our future sin.  And he accepts us none the less.  And like Paul, we are reminded not to use God’s grace as an excuse to sin:

  • Romans 6:1-2 ESV – 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

There is a lot of talk today about being intimate with God.  But we fail to realize that God is already intimate with us. He already knows what’s in our hearts.  That is why he emphasizes obedience over intimacy in scripture.

  • Deuteronomy 11:13 ESV – 13 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
  • John 13:34-35 ESV – 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  • 1 John 5:2 ESV – 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.

If you have any doubt that you are being deceived about your love for God, just ask if your actions are leading you to have a greater love for fellow believers. A new heart is what allows us to love one another.  By loving one another not only will we know we love God, but it will be obvious to others. And we know that God can help us in our unbelief when we are struggling with our faith:

  • Mark 9:24-25 NIV – 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

Some like to say doing signs and wonders is proof of being in love with God.  But signs and wonders are not merit badges. It is true they point to God, but loving one another is the proof you have the love of God.  Signs and Wonders people always seem to skip over the following:

  • John 2:23-25 ESV – 23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

Signs are intended to point to Jesus but are not an indicator of being accepted by Jesus. Only loving one another can confirm that.

So as always, love much my friends . . .

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