THE HEART – The Issue of LIFE –

THE HEART
THE ISSUE OF LIFE

“My son, forget not my law;
but let thine heart keep my commandments
PROVERBS 3:1

In the life of the authentic believer every action and word spoken is a direct revelation of the heart. While there are many Christian adherents to a teaching, a code of ethics, a dress code or outward compliance to a perceived religious concept, we read here that God is only interested in an obedience that is heart felt. It is the internal motivation that determines whether or not a thing has merit before Him. True life consists in knowing His Word and following it with our heart. Many good religious works may be done with the desire to be seen of others, to ease our conscience, or to reap some other benefit. Obedience from the heart is true worship. God sees more than just our actions; he sees the motives and intentions of our heart.

“For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed”
1 SAMUEL 2:3

We measure deeds by our own criteria but God sees and values things from His own perspective and heart.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury,
and beheld HOW the people cast money into the treasury:
and many that were rich cast in much.
And there came a certain poor widow,
and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
That this poor widow hath cast more in,
than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance;
but she of her want did cast in all that she had,
even all her living”
MARK 12:41-44

Jesus drew the attention of his disciples to this incident so they would “see” the unfolding of everyday occurrences from His perspective. We live in a day of great religious works, buildings and programs but unless we can see things from His heart we will miss Him in the true opportunities that are presented to us in our daily lives. It is a process in our own heart that frees us from outward and seemingly good works into a walk of faith that is authentic and springs from a deep love of our Saviour.

“Now it came to pass, as they went,
that he entered into a certain village:
and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary,
which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving,
and came to him, and said, Lord,
dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?
bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her”
LUKE 10:38-42

Many are absorbed in the doing of numerous RELIGIOUS things FOR God while His real purpose is for us to be doing HIS WILL IN God.

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
the Son can do nothing of his own accord,
but only what he sees the Father doing.
For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise”
JOHN 5:19

The heart is the centre from which the core issues of our life are determined. What a man loves, what he treasures, and where his allegiance lies are kept in the secret places of the heart. How necessary it is that we invite Him to purify our hearts in order that we may obey His commandments uprightly and be freed from the outward works of religion.

“This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
MATTHEW 15:8-9

May our love for Him be the motivation from which we keep his commandments and honor His Name. This is true worship.

 

Brian Troxel

BUILDING UP YOURSELVES…

BUILDING UP YOURSELVES…

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God…”

Jude 1:21

The Book of Jude is a book that is concerned with contending and standing firm in the Faith. It is a book of warning and instruction. It is a book for these days.

Here we are exhorted to be building up ourselves on our most holy faith, praying IN the Holy Ghost. In so doing we are able to KEEP ourselves in the love of God. This is not the Love for God, but the Love of God. Men can have a love for God without realizing that it is a much higher calling to hold the Love OF God in our hearts. If we have the Love of God burning in our hearts then we are able to love the things HE loves with a love that is sacrificial and costly. To have the Love of God in our hearts is to know John 3:16 in a truth and a power that alters the way we live. It is to LOVE His people with a love that is not in word, but a love that is in truth and deed. If it does not produce an extending of our lives unto others it is not a living truth within our lives. Men may say right things, listen to sermons and read books but if HIS love is not producing genuine expressions in terms of obedience, works and deeds it is simply religion; a love that is in word but not in deed nor in power.

“For God so loved the world that He GAVE…”
John 3:16

Love is costly to those who are held in its power. Love produces extravagant expressions because that is the nature and beauty of Love. Consider the men of David how they revealed their love and desire towards David by risking their lives to bring water from the well of Bethlehem. We reveal by what we do what beats within our hearts. To know this power, to be held in its sway, requires a life of prayer. Not just any prayer but a life of prayer that is founded and sustained IN the Holy Spirit. Jude here is exhorting us to keep (guard) ourselves by keeping the Love OF God alive and burning in our hearts.

One of the characteristics that we are warned of in the scriptures concerning this day is that the love of many shall grow cold. The drifting away of a heart is a deceptive thing; it can be gradual in its decline and unnoticeable in its influence. It is why we are warned to provoke one another unto Love and Good Works; where the good works are the product of the Love of God burning in our hearts. If there are no works, there is no love. It is time to guard our hearts from deception. How we need to be objective in our assessment of our lives. Paul exhorts us to…

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN the faith;
prove your own selves…”

II Corinthians 13:5

“What does love look like? It has hands to help others.
It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to
hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like.”

SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354–430)

Brian Troxel