What’s In Your Heart?


Each one of us has something in our lives that we struggle with. We don’t always do the things we’re supposed to do. There are attitudes and behaviors that we know we need to give up. The reason for saying this isn’t to make anyone feel bad about themselves, because God doesn’t want that. He wouldn’t want us wallowing in self-condemnation. Romans 8:1 declares, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Condemnation is the practice of thinking less of ourselves than we ought to. This can lead to other downward attitudes and behaviors that cause us to spiral out of control. We’re not perfect, but because of Christ we are being perfected every day. Our shortcomings and weaknesses are a reality, but the awesome thing about walking in Christ is that each day presents us with choices and opportunities to be better.

God is the Creator of everything. Someone might ask, “If God doesn’t want us to feel bad about our sins, why did He create sinful actions?” 1John 4:8 (NLT) gives us a great place to start when answering this question. It says, “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” You and I don’t get to define what love is and how it behaves. God defines it. The entire bible is a book of His love. It contains the greatest love story in all of eternity. It tells us of what God sacrificed and risked in order to have us as His family. He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a human sacrifice to make this happen. So Heavenly Father set the standard for love—what it looks like—what it does. Through His example and Word, we know that love does not limit; it increases. It doesn’t withhold choices, but allows them.

God has given us the choice to choose His way, which is love’s way, or to choose the way of sin and fear. He will not force us to choose one over the other. With every act of our wills, we are affirming who we choose to be. Romans 6:16 (NLT) tells us, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” Heavenly Father has made a way through Jesus Christ for us to be the best, so quite naturally He is rooting for us to make the absolute best choices and decisions. When we don’t, mistakes and missteps happen, but it isn’t a time to play the blame game, not on ourselves or others. It’s a time to examine our own hearts, so that we do not continue to obey sin, but cultivate a heart that wants to please God.

When we experience pain or abnormalities with our physical heart organ, what do we do? We make a call to the doctor’s office, and probably do it immediately. The heart is a significant organ, and we know complications with it can impede the overall quality of our existences; so it’s nothing to play around with. God expects us to be equally concerned with the heart of our souls. It is not a physical organ that can be touched with physical hands, but the heart of our souls is more important. The contents of our heart and soul determines whether we’ll spend an eternity with Jesus or in hell with the devil.

We must always be greatly concerned about the condition of the heart of our souls. When we notice a problem, we need to take it to Doctor Jesus. We live from the inside out, not the other way around. So, whatever is going on in our hearts will determine the quality of life we have. This is why God warns us in Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” When we see complications in our outward life, that means that we should look at what is going on internally, because often that is the root of where our troubles begin.

God said in Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT), “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Think about the evil things that humans sometimes do. We can stand in front of someone and tell a bold-face lie right in their faces. We break our commitments in a blink of an eye, and these are a small fraction of the sinful things that so-called good people do. Imagine the scope of what those who have no concept of goodness will do. So, we’ve got some issues, and God knows how wicked the human heart can be, but still He gave His Son to die for us. That’s love beyond anything imaginable. He wants to help us understand this kind of love, and He also wants us to grow as we practice and give it out to others. A willing heart in us is what He’s looking for.

2Chronicles 16:9 (NLT) says, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” The earth is continually before the eyes of our Heavenly Father. He is searching for individuals that have a certain type of heart. God is looking for a heart that seeks to please Him. He’s looking for those that are willing to hold themselves up to a mirror and come clean about the reality that they need His help to become the men and women He wants us to be. A person that pleases Him is someone that will keep it real about what they are struggling with. The will come to Him with an expectation to receive. God tell us in Hebrews 11:6 (NLT), “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

What’s in your heart? Do you have a heart of humility? This is what God is looking for. 1Peter 5:6(NLT) tells us, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” A humble heart signifies that you are committed to God, and that you trust in Him to promote you in His perfect timing. Again, we are not perfect, and Heavenly Father knows that there are areas in our lives that need some work, but we can’t do it alone. We need His help. He asks that we present a heart that trusts Him completely through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a heart that recognizes His power to transform us through His overwhelming love. ■
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“What’s In Your Heart?” written by JMack. 4theChristianMan.Com© 2017. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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