Matters of the heart, part 2

Jesus Christ

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

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.

So, when the rich young ruler turned away in disappointment, Jesus responded the way he did because the young ruler did not meet the faith requirement; “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). As the scripture declares, however, one believes with his heart (Mark 11:23, Rom. 10:10, Acts 8:37). It is for this reason the Bible says to “above all else, guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23); the heart determines if we are living up to God’s standard—in faith, hope and love. Love is the greatest of these three qualities (1 Corinthians 13:13) and love of God is the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:37). First John 4:18 states, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” The believer, then, has an obligation to put their utmost faith in God, and to hope in him in times of discouragement (Isaiah 40:30-31). Besides, it is not the Lord’s desire to punish us but to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11).

Once we truly realize that on the other end of our rope of faith is God Almighty, perfect love can perform its work and cast out our fears. God loves us, so much so that he “gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV). This same God is the one who assures us that he will never leave us, nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). In order for us to reciprocate this love (on our best day we will never be able to love God the way he loves us), we have to trust him, as 1 Corinthians 13:7 notes that love “always trusts.”

For the rich young ruler, trusting God was an issue. Some of you may think that you cannot reach a level of faith and submission that is pleasing to God, but the devil is a liar!!! Through prayer, fasting and reading the Word of God (when fasting, do all three collectively) you can put to death doubt and weaken the flesh into submission to God’s will. The first step, though, is faith in Jesus Christ. After accepting him as personal Lord and Savior and agreeing to an eternal fellowship, God will literally take you by the hand (Isaiah 41:13) and strengthen you (Phil. 4:13) to be who he has called you to be.

After Jesus says in Matthew 19:24 that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, the disciples asked, “who then can be saved?” Jesus simply responds, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Just believe God.


~ by christianballenger on April 28, 2011.

One Response to “Matters of the heart, part 2”

  1. YES! This is awesome!

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