Sadly, throughout the history of Christianity there are those that truly believe and those that merely go through the motions of the church. Most all that say the prayer to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior start off with a zeal to serve in any aspect of God’s will, but all too often this zeal is quickly diminished through their own expectations. Far too many lacked (and / or lack) the knowledge to support their zeal to do something radical and incredible “God’s way”. As God tells us in the writings of Romans 10:2-3 (NLT), 2 I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. 3 For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.
Operating in our own mode of service, always leads us to extreme frustration, disappointment and discouragement because we’re not serving God, we’re secretly serving the laziness within ourselves while using the name of God to hide it. Sorely we are immediately compelled through the misgivings of others to publicly proclaim our salvation in Jesus. Unfortunately, our zeal may be based on a head knowledge from a feeling we received from the accolades of others once we said that special prayer and yet we haven’t totally made the conversion in surrendering our heart over to Jesus. There are many causes for a harden heart, but this is possibly the most common start which all too often continues to develop over long stretches of time. Hence as we go through periods of personal misfortunes that come with life the heart grows even harder. Truth is, most people caught in this vicious cycle, blame God for every tribulation, which only adds to their growing resentment toward God.
This could be why God gave The Apostle Paul Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT), 6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. We have to learn to use what God has given us at our second birth. It is imperative that new believes fall in love with, as well as learn how to love Jesus. It pays to always keep in mind that God is only interested in “what is inside one’s heart!” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT), But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God and Jesus encourage us throughout the scriptures to be mindful of the heart. Using the King James for the purpose of statistics, the word heart appears 725 times in the old and 105 in the new testaments. Ergo the heart has a great value to God whom through Jesus has made a way to rescue and preserve it for an eternity with Him.
Looking into God’s inspired word from 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT), Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. I have listed a short synopsis on the character of a hardened heart; is always wanting, never satisfied, seldom happy, empty of joy, doubt filled prayers, finds no hope, has no faith, no relationship with Jesus, life of pretending. A lifestyle of chaos consumed with blaming others, rejecting proper correction and neglecting everyone who can and will help. Standing alone in the valley, always waiting and expecting that next shoe to drop. Most have a head knowledge of Jesus and even know a lot of the bible but there is no heart intimacy with Jesus. Please know, there are a ton of other signs to look for (if you’ll just look). Sadly, there are a tremendous number of hardened hearted Christians in the world today and a good number of them are sitting inside our churches. What say we start to pray for God to use us in this matter and help them find the truth!
One the greatest creations of God in overcoming a hard heart, is appreciation “good old positive thankfulness for what God has done”. I can’t look back at where I was without bursting with thanksgiving to God, that I’m not there anymore. I have value like no one else! Oh sure, anyone can do what I do “but” they can never be me and that’s priceless! No one has anyone else’s attributes, mannerisms or heart. Though we may come close at times, we are each a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. Thank you, God, for Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT), 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Another verse that might touch the heart is from 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NLT), 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
I’ll close with this prayer from The Apostle Paul, Ephesians 3:14-21 (NLT), 14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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