Posts Tagged With: Follow Jesus

The New Heart God Promised

 

Praise God for His holy word, the bible. Thank God for His Holy Spirit who lives inside us. And as previously stated, I thank God for the multitude of wonderfully adept bible expositors and preachers that God has provided us. We’re left with no excuses to offer: “Lord, I didn’t understand.” Or, “How was I supposed to know what You wanted me to do?” Even on earth they say ignorance is no excuse. God has made these things clear to us and revealed Himself through His Son and the bible. So let’s continue studying God’s word while listening to those biblically sound teachers and preachers.

 

God revealed to me how there are three things that must take place before anyone is even capable of becoming a faithful, fruitful, and productive follower of Jesus. And to live for the Kingdom of God.

  1. We must know and understand God’s; will, plan, purposes and promises.
  2. We must love God, His will, plan, purposes and promises.
  3. And finally, we must actively engage God’s will, plan, purposes and promises.  

 

There is, however, a huge problem that effectively precludes all people from being able to do these three all important things. In our unsaved state—the condition into which people are born, we are sinful at the core, having our very nature corrupted. Mankind cannot understand things in the spiritual realm, and God is Spirit. The will of mankind has been rendered rotten by the affects of sin and the curse. In our natural inward persons, we’re not capable of doing these three things. I can unequivocally and didactically state such. That’s why we must first be born again, born of the Spirit, and given a new heart—the bible very clearly teaches this.

 

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

Here’s the same verse in the NIV, which might be a little easier to understand.

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV

 

We need God’s Holy Spirit, AKA Spirit of Christ living inside us before we can do those 3 things. And we cannot have the Spirit, unless we have placed our faith and trust in Christ Jesus and been saved. We also confess Him before others and are baptised, demonstrating our faith in and obedience to Him.

 

In the bible, the heart refers to human will—man’s desires.

Humankind’s will is faulty. We need a new will, a new heart. This is what God has promised to do for us! if we will simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 (See also John 3:3, 2 Cor. 3:3)

 

Only then, are we finally capable of learning, embracing and doing the will of our Creator and God, who loves us beyond comprehension.

 

We must be radically changed in our nature. We are freed from slavery to sin by denying our old sinful nature, which is self-centered, and, by receiving the power of God’s Spirit inside.

Our God has placed moral obligations upon us, and we’ll never be able to keep those obligations until we are converted. We become a new creature, and God, through regeneration places a new nature in us, and gives us;

  1. A new motivation
  2. A new desire
  3. A new understanding
  4. And a new power! He dwells in us.
  5. And a New Life in Christ!

 

We did not have to work for our salvation, nor for our new heart. It was impossible for us to earn or merit God’s amazing grace. But from here on out, there’s lots of work for us to do, the first of which is to learn how to think with our new heart. Our old way of thinking must be placed upon the altar and sacrificed to Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us, now, He shares Himself (His character and power) with us. We give ourselves to Him—deny self, take up our crosses and follow as He leads. This is absolutely essential to living the good, productive Christian life Jesus wants to help us gain. God wants us to be fruitful.

 

Jude 1:24 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” 

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Categories: Christian Doctrine, Christian Living, Faith, God's Kingdom, God's Will, new nature, Salvation, sin nature, Uncategorized, Wisdom & Discernment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Year Enlightenment

What was your New Year’s resolution 25 years ago?

Do you ever go back in time, in your thoughts, and listen to the words of your much younger self? It can be very enlightening. Sometimes I have to chuckle at the younger version of me. I recall billing myself as a “survivor” at twenty-five years old, before I’d experienced the depths of danger my future years would entail. Even though my statements back then may have presaged the fact that I would indeed live through several life threatening and harrowing ordeals, I had no way of knowing that at the time.

Now 57, I understand how blessed I am to have the Lord looking out for me. Maybe if I live to be a hundred and ten I could then rightfully say I’m a survivor. Yet, now, I know and acknowledge the fact that still being alive has more to do with God’s will, than it does my own capabilities.

Oh the inexperience, pride and naiveté of youth! But increasing in wisdom as time lapses should not cease simply because we’re older now. Looking back at my past, I can certainly see how I’ve matured and learned a lot since then. But what about the future me? Will I look back at this very moment and chuckle at the present me? How much wiser will you and I be in another quarter century than we are right now? It’s a humbling thought.

Imagine how much wisdom a man or woman would have been able to amass previous to the world-wide flood, before God cut down mankind’s lifespan. Some people lived for over 900 years! Back then, I imagine a person under a hundred years old would be considered immature. Of course, the passing of time does not automatically ensure an increase in knowledge, though, perhaps it should.

I like the old adage that says, “If you want to make God laugh just tell Him your plans.” The Lord must have winked at our childish ways many times before He allowed us the small taste of wisdom we enjoy today.  The wisest and oldest among us are but children in our thinking compared to God.

In light of these things, I find it comforting that the Lord leads and guides those who submit to Him. In His omniscience He always knows the right course of action we should take. He knows all and sees all. That, and God’s love for us are good reasons to do things the Lord’s way.

I’d be apprehensive to hear what kind of label God might put on me, the way I had labelled myself a survivor. However, the best way we can ensure a good review from our Heavenly Father is to trust Him at all times, and in every circumstance. Which translates to: follow Jesus closely and seek His counsel in all things. That’s the wisest thing we can do.

My New Year resolution this time around is simply to trust God more, to realize my own ineptitude without Him, and to submit to Christ in every circumstance life throws at me.

So far, I’ve survived all the times I spoke and acted out of ignorance. Yet, looking back there is evidence that I’ve increased in wisdom, because I never would have made that statement when I was twenty-five. Praise God for watching over and protecting you and I from our own lack of understanding.

I hope you’ll carefully consider God’s wisdom, and His love for you. I also pray that this New Year you will resolve to study the bible more than ever, and continue to grow and learn from His wisdom. Have a Very Happy New Year!

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