Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Heart

As some of you know, several months ago I started writing devotionals for the website Christ Core. Recently, I also started blogging for my church, Rock Harbor (Fullerton campus). The idea behind blogging for RH is to recap the sermon on Sunday, give my input and present a challenge I am going to start posting my devos/blogs on my personal blog, in hopes that it will encourage all of you! Also, please feel free to give me any feedback; I am an amateur writer, so I could always use advice! Thank you!

Here is the first blog I wrote for Rock Harbor:


Sometimes I have to remind myself that as a Christian, the relationship God desires to have with me looks very different from what the people of this world want with me. The various levels of relationships I have with people, whether those be with the barista at Starbucks (who provides me with my daily dose of Iced Green Tea), or my best friend whom I can call my sister, still don’t even compare to what Jesus wants from me. We live in a society where we are told to ‘save face’, and leave honesty for our diaries. It has almost become a rarity that people truly want to know how we are doing when they ask. But Jesus, He cares. Not only does he care, but He goes as far as to demand honesty of us. He is not about the ‘fruit’ as much as He is about our hearts. This is where our relationship with our peers differs from what our relationship with God looks like.

When Jesus talks about ‘the heart’, He always means business. In Mark 7:20-24, He is addressing the disciples and makes it very clear that every action bleeds from the heart.

“And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Now, back to that honesty thing. It’s an interesting concept – Jesus wanting us to be honest with Him. The God who is omniscient wants us to be bare-bones honest with Him. Not just with how we feel, and what we desire, but with our sin as well. It is within our honest prayers and confessions that God can begin to cleanse and strengthen us. We can be spiritually chained by the sins of our heart when we do not release them to the Lord. It is in our darkest times that Jesus is asking us to simply be honest with ourselves and more importantly, with Him.

Which brings us all to the big question, “how aware are we of our heart?”. My pastor, Steve Carter, presented us with this question on Sunday, and it’s been stirring in my brain ever since. The way in which we answer this question will give us more insight as to why we do the things we do. Just as Paul talks about in Romans 7, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
When we become in tune and honest with where our hearts are at, we will have a better understanding of our ‘fruit’.

Brothers and sisters, we have to become honest with our Creator if we want real, sustainable change in our spiritual life. God is in the business of transforming the heart, because as our hearts are purified so will our fruit be.

Let us be honest before God today in the battles we are facing, and the faults within our hearts. Be encouraged, be blessed.

Keep Fighting the Good Fight,

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