Matters of the heart, part 1

Is this your honest confession?

When speaking to the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-26), Jesus tells him that if he wants to be perfect he must sell all of his possessions and follow Jesus. The ruler, because of his great wealth, walks away from Jesus disheartened. Jesus’ response is that it is difficult for one of great wealth to enter into the kingdom of Heaven—and this is why.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” To enter into the kingdom, you must give the Lord your heart. Romans 10:10 states, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” The psalmist put it this way in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” God very much desires the heart of his children, and this notion is highlighted when he says of David, “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and anointed him to be leader of his people” (1 Samuel 13:14).

To be considered a genuine believer, one must truly put God first—“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Keep in mind that there is only one God (Ephesians 4:5-6, 1 Timothy 2:5) and when the Lord gave this command he was referring to images, or tangible things if you will—“You shall not make yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Ex. 20:4). Therefore, if you are unwilling to forsake the things of the world for God’s sake then your faith truly needs to be under examination.

Which brings us back to the rich young ruler. Above all else, his issue is that he trusted in his wealth as opposed to the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible lets us know, however, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:11). The believer’s relationship with God is a faith relationship. Christians have to trust and believe God for all things, from the most mundane to our very hopes and dreams. Most importantly, the believer has to be willing to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5, KJV) to be obedient to the will of God; after all, though we may have a route already planned for our lives, it is not our will but His that must be done. Philippians 2:8 tells us that Jesus “became obedient to death—even to death on a cross.”

Obedience to God cannot be achieved without love of God (John 14:23-24). This love maintains our desire to please God through obedience to his commands. It also incites us to “worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matt. 4:10). To this effect, Jesus says that you cannot serve two masters, and that you will love one and hate the other; “You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matt. 6:24). Fortunately, provision is not an issue for the believer. God clearly says to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33). Furthermore, “God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

To be continued…..

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~ by christianballenger on April 26, 2011.

4 Responses to “Matters of the heart, part 1”

  1. A great post. I really enjoyed reading this. God bless you and I look forward to reading more.

  2. Really like this ! I’ll be back to visit soon!

  3. Love the use of Scripture. One thought- A man can seemingly be obedient to God, yet his heart can be far from Him. We cannot assume that because a person looks to be obedient, that his heart is fully committed. You are correct, though. True obedience can only come from a love for God. Keep sharing the Word!

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