God Has Your Heart

The Heart of Man on iTunes

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

Jesus told us, “Do not judge.” No one is different than anyone else. And we can’t change. But we can be changed. And when the Spirit of God flows through us, judgment is replaced by encouragement, and understanding, and love.

“Do not judge.” That concept is so much easier for me to grasp when judgment is replaced by loving my neighbor. If you try to just “not judge,” you’re going to have a really difficult time. “Not judging” is so hard! It’s so much easier when you do something in its place, like listen and help.

I wish I could look in the mirror and say, “I don’t ever judge people.” But I can’t. I judge people. I don’t like this about myself, but I still do it.

I think sometimes we do it because we’re cowards, at least in certain areas. We don’t want to go to somebody and talk to them about why we don’t like them, or what we think they’re doing wrong, or how they frustrate us. We just want to be able to feel that way without having to do anything about it. We just want to look at somebody and say, “This guy is driving me nuts. He’s doing all these things wrong and he’s an idiot.” You know? We’re happy enough to just think these things and walk away.

The problem is, you’ve just judged that guy seven or eight times, and yet you still want to think you’re a good person.

Well, the reality is, I’m not a good person. I strive to be a good person, but I’m not one unless Jesus is in me telling me, “This is how you can become a good person.”

We all have demons hidden inside our closet. We’re never going to get rid of them. If you try to live without Jesus, those demons are going to frustrate you. If you continue to live just for yourself, you’re going to fail yourself every day.

Life in Christ is a good way of life! Jesus is where we find joy! When I think about Jesus, I think, “This is where heaven is.”

Jesus is where you are going to find peace. Your struggles in life are not necessarily going to go away. But you’re going to find more peace in those struggles. When you have Jesus, you have something inside of you that’s different.

The happiness is the struggle. That’s why Paul said, “Hey man, I take joy in my trials and tribulations. You know, I lean on God during these times and this is where I find the ultimate peace. I find Him. In Christ, I can have all things. When I have the Spirit of God living in me, I have all things.”

I know that even though I’m going to mess up, and I’m going to have issues, and I’m going to struggle with my own problems, I have someone to turn to.

More on that next time. See you Monday.

New Life

Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Galatians 3:2-4

Tuesday, I wrote about the self-righteousness of the Sadducees. The Sadducees believed that it was their own actions that made them holy and righteous. But they were wrong. No one can save themselves.

We are holy and righteous children of God, yes! But we get no credit for it. We can’t make ourselves holy and righteous. It’s impossible! We live in flesh! We’re imperfect. We make mistakes. We’re human. So it’s only through the blood of Jesus that we are adopted into God’s family and God’s kingdom.

The Bible says you must make a confession with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). Good people aren’t saved in the absence of this confession. They may do good things, but the key to salvation is the acknowledgment and confession of who Jesus is.

I know this can make people uncomfortable. Am I saying that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior, and you’re done? Just say the prayer, and go on with your life?

Are we dangerously leading false converts with this message?

I do believe a confession needs to be made. I truly believe that Jesus died for you. You must confess that Jesus is Lord in order to be saved. There has to be an admission there, and it has to be real. But it needs to be a heart commitment, not just a verbal acknowledgement.

That has to happen, but like the Bible says, when we respond to God’s message, a new life begins. In the wake of salvation, you’ll see a lifestyle change. Saved by the Spirit, you will live by the Spirit. (Romans 8:13)

Imagine a guy who goes to a big conference, and while he is there, someone hits on something in a message that really touches him. It hits him hard. Maybe he’s been having a difficult time, or maybe the conference is allowing him to experience an emotional high. And then someone says, “Do you want to believe in Jesus? Do you want to be saved? Then come forward!” He goes forward. He says the prayers. And he is saved!

Imagine someone who goes through a really emotional time in her life. She meets a Christian who says something that touches her. She makes the confession. Jesus is Lord! She is saved!

What happens then? What if they go home, and nothing changes? What if their struggles continue? They’ve come from a time of high emotion, and they’ve said the words, but now, disappointment sets in.

Why? Because they need to do things differently. They need to live out their newly-found salvation.

A new life must begin.

If you really want to understand Jesus in your life, live in the mentality of discipleship. You won’t understand it if you don’t live it. You won’t understand it if you just say some words. Words don’t substitute for infinite passion. They can’t substitute for a relationship with your Creator and Savior. It has to be a relationship, and it has to be heartfelt.

Salvation is not just words. If you’ve been saved but you feel unfulfilled, try a little discipleship mentality.

And I’ll tell you about that next week!

An Infinite Passion for Jesus

You must confess that Jesus is Lord in order to be saved. I truly believe He died for you. There has to be an admission there, and it has to be real.

Think of the man who lives a good life, a decent life, and does the things that Jesus told His disciples to do, but this man doesn’t acknowledge Jesus as Savior. Would God look at him on the Day of Resurrection and say, “He loved me, he believed in me”? I don’t think so.

The Bible says you must make a confession with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). Good people are not saved in the absence of this confession. They may do good things, but the key to salvation is the acknowledgement and confession of who Jesus is.

But I also believe a lot of people say “Jesus is Lord” and they don’t mean it. Continue reading

Tough Love

When you talk about love, a lot of people will say you’re soft. But love is what saves people. Loving them. If you ask me, that’s pretty strong stuff.

Think of a person who has a mental illness. Probably the best healing resource is just to love on them. They still need other sources of help, but just to love on that person instead of shunning him is going to help him. Maybe more than anything else.

What’s the response to a person that doesn’t have water? Love on them! Get them water. Everybody should have clean water. When you do that, you show them that you love them. The best way to show your love is to help provide this life-giving resource.

There are a lot of things that God shows me, things that are not good. Continue reading

Tough Love

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Love has become “feminized.” When you talk about love, a lot of people will say you’re soft. But love is what saves people. Loving them. If you ask me, that’s pretty strong stuff.

Think of a person who has a mental illness. Probably the best healing resource is just to love on them. They still need other sources of help, but just to love on that person instead of shunning him is going to help him. Maybe more than anything else.

What’s the response to a person that doesn’t have water? Love on them! Get them water. Everybody should have clean water. When you do that, you show them that you love them. The best way to show your love is to help provide this life-giving resource.

There are a lot of things that God shows me, things that are not good. Continue reading