Heart Issue

Posted: April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Let’s be real about this.  Your problem with being consistent, willingness to give toward the cause of Christ, ability to spare time to serve, and willingness to go make disciples is not because it is dangerous. It’s a heart issue!  Your tithing to your local church, giving to global evangelism, supporting the gospel with everything you have…. will not happen until you clear something up in your heart.  Not going, not being willing to reach out to homeless, not trying to have the ability to understand the ins/outs of people overcoming addiction, not taking refuge in Jesus in a dark area, and not becoming a full time missionary to another country are not because it doesn’t fit your life.  This is a heart problem!  Your mind tells you if you go to Mexico then you will be kidnapped, held for money, and then decapitated by a drug cartel.  Your mind and  logic tell you there isn’t enough money in the bank to give to the church, a missionary, or global evangelism.  You don’t understand other languages and the likelihood of going to another country would be profitable seems small to you.  You don’t give of your time because the rest of your week you work.  You deserve time off after working, a vacation this summer, a 401k, and retirement on a beach, or mountain somewhere.  This is a heart problem!

Why is it a lifestyle for you?  This is the question of the hour!  In Acts 2 we see the Holy Spirit come upon those in the upper room.  Peter preaches a message which is bold and strong.  Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”   Peter’s answer is in verse 38 ““Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

I find this amazing.  The people were CUT TO THE HEART.  This was not just a thought process.  This was not just an emotional response to a message.  This was Titus 3 at work!  We can see the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  He saved them, not because of works done by them in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  whom He poured out on them richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that being justified by His grace they might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When this being CUT TO THE HEART happened all the people were changed.  They were changed so much that the very next part of Acts shows reflection of change.  Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Being CUT TO THE HEART led to repentance which in turn led to being DEVOTED to the apostle’s teaching.  This reminds me of Ephesians 2 where the people of Ephesus are told they WERE dead in trespasses and sin BUT God being rich in mercy made them alive.  Our memory verse from when we were a kid (if we grew up in the south, in a church) was Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

I think this picture is clearly painted.  Should you need to see more then Acts 4 talks about Peter and John healing a lame man.   Peter and John are brought before the council (the same Jewish council which would have put Jesus to death.) They are let go and go back to the people of the church and pray.  Acts 4:23-31 tells about them praying for boldness to preach the message through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Acts 4:32-37 says once again that the gospel was changing lives, hearts, and the way people served.  All the sudden the thing of heightened priority was supporting the mission.  All of a sudden people who understood the gospel are changed forever to serve.  People are giving back, sharing with one another, and living life together.  Nothing can cut to the heart of someone to produce something, of that nature, but the truth of the gospel.

Let’s be real about this.  Your problem with being consistent, willingness to give toward the cause of Christ, ability to spare time to serve, and willingness to go make disciples is not because it is dangerous. It’s a heart issue!  Your tithing to your local church, giving to global evangelism, supporting the gospel with everything you have…. will not happen until you clear something up in your heart.  Not going, not being willing to reach out to homeless, not trying to have the ability to understand the ins/outs of people overcoming addiction, not taking refuge in Jesus in a dark area, and not becoming a full time missionary to another country are not because it doesn’t fit your life.  This is a heart problem!  Your mind tells you if you go to Mexico then you will be kidnapped, held for money, and then decapitated by a drug cartel.  Your mind and  logic tell you there isn’t enough money in the bank to give to the church, a missionary, or global evangelism.  You don’t understand other languages and the likelihood of going to another country would be profitable seems small to you.  You don’t give of your time because the rest of your week you work.  You deserve time off after working, a vacation this summer, a 401k, and retirement on a beach, or mountain somewhere.  This is a heart problem!

These heart problems can be taken care of by repenting of your sin and following after Jesus!  There is nothing else which will give you true community!  There is nothing else which gives you a reason to live your life in fullness!  There is nothing else which will cause you to quit thinking about your life in selfishness!  Nothing besides repenting and believing will cause a change from the sin nature of wanting “The American Dream!”  Without repenting and a “CUT TO THE HEART,” then you will continue seeing the job you have, the money you make, and time you have outside of work as yours!  Without being CUT TO THE HEART you will continue letting fear, hesitancy, and ignorance rule your life!  Missions may not be safe…. but since when is it safer than the wrath of God?  It seems that there is only one thing which will CUT YOU TO THE HEART.  JESUS.  When will you follow him?  When will you quit believing the lies of the bible belt?  Just repeating a magical prayer, crying alot, and knowing who Jesus is doesn’t make you a follower of the Most High God.  It’s time to confess your sin to God in true remorse because you have wronged Him.  It is time to realize that true faith won’t be alone.  Once a person submits to the King above all Kings then worship begins.  The repentance and faith to a Holy God leads to worshipping the Lord.  The worship of the Lord leads to community to those who are truly following after the Lord.  You are able to share life, food, prayer, hardships, joys, and the Lord’s goodness together.  When people realize their Mighty King Jesus is on His throne ruling then they bow down and will continue to learn how to bow down. Let’s have koinonia together.  Trust the Lord and share life. Run the race! Your life is not your own…it is bought at a price! Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand!!!!!!

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