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Friday: Further Thought ~ Turn Their Hearts — 5 Comments

  1. Like many Christians, we would like to be able to prove to the world that God exists. We would like to have that convincing argument where people would exclaim, "Hey, you are right! There is a God!" Or, we would like to be able to walk into a sick-room and perform a verifiable miracle in the name of Jesus, in front of a bunch of sceptics, proving that there is a supernatural God who cares for us.

    The reality is that for the most part, that simply does not happen, God has given us two principles to live by. Love him and love one another. These two principles are closely related. We demonstrate that we love God best by loving one another. If we are honest with ourselves, to really act on those principles is a miracle in itself. Our natural inclination is to put ourselves first and let God and others take the pickings of what is left over.

    The real observable miracle is for Christians to reveal God in the way we live and interact with others. It is all about where our hearts are.

    "By this shall all men know..."

  2. This week's lesson has focussed on the essential need for our hearts - the (symbolic) source of our deepest desires and therefore drives that underpin all our attitudes, thoughts and behaviours - to be (re-)turned from self-seeking to other-focussed, other-benefiting love. Why is this (re-)turning so essential?

    Adam and Eve were created with hearts that were 100% committed to this other-focussed, other-benefiting love - and this was "very good". But unfortunately they were "deceived" (Genesis 3:13) into letting go of this heart to instead embrace self-seeking (Genesis 3:6) and in so doing, developed a terminal heart condition*.

    Jesus, reflecting His heart of pure other-focussed, other-benefiting love, didn't hesitate to step down and take upon Himself the responsibility and task of becoming a human who would hold onto a heart of other-focussed, other-benefiting love no matter what temptation to do otherwise was presented to Him by the deceiver (John 15:13; Romans 5:19; Philippians 2:5-8).

    Having done this successfully as the 2nd Adam, Jesus then set about to offer His inheritance - the right to eternal life - to all who are fully and genuinely willing to have their hearts fully and genuinely restored (Ezekiel 36:26).

    This is God's mi-yitten desire - that we will allow Him to fully renew our hearts: from self-seeking back to 100% other-focussed, other-benefiting. From terminal back to living abundantly (Deuteronomy 5:29; Matthew 13:15). But the choice is ours to make and to follow through with... each and every day...

    What 'heart-choice' have you made for today: self-seeking or other-focussed, other-benefiting?

    * In scripture, a terminal heart is symbolically represented as a "heart of stone" (Ezekiel 36:26) in that is is (a) insensitive to the needs of others because it is instead hardened/set in self-focus, and therefore (b) incapable of doing what a heart needs to do - sustain life. David came to re-realise this - unfortunately after a lot of wreckage (Psalm 51:10).

  3. Love covers all. Forgiveness is the act of repentance and turning away from the road called sin. The nature of sin can be spiritual, physical, and mental. Sinful thoughts are just as bad as those spoken or acted out. To act out a sin, one has to think it first. Sin actually starts in the brain. But we have a choice to repent and ask Jehovah God for forgiveness even when we don’t act out our sinful thoughts. God’s forgiveness through the love He has for us is like an eraser He uses to blot out our sins. So, we should listen when He sends us messages to our brain to remind us of sins we have forgotten about so we can repent and ask for forgiveness for those past sins also.

  4. This week's lessons have shown me how utterly lost we are without the Love of God intervening on our behalf. Every word of God reveals that without Him we cannot do anything which could free us from this quagmire, the old life He rescued us from. Every wiggle, twist and turn devised by our own imaginations entwines us more and more with this world.
    There really is no other way but God's Way to lead man out of this quagmire; we need to surrender our life to Him, crying out for His strong Arm to rescue us from sinking deeper into the pit and set our feet on solid ground.

    Walking on His Path of Life by faith, every step we take will increase our love for Him. Walking on His Path leads us away from the pits of the world's quicksand; their glamour and sparkle do not attract us any longer.
    God has put a new heart into us which finds its pleasure in His righteousness, mercy, and grace; an experience which we happily share with our fellow man. It is the same love, mercy and grace He extended to us when He heard our cry to free us from this world's snare, and we happily let Him pass it on through us.

    The new life reflects the understanding of the spiritual darkness and dangers associated with this world. With a grateful and compassionate heart we walk God's Path laid out before us. It is illuminated by His Light of Life, and in this Light is no darkness.
    We humbly, gladly accepted our heavenly Father's offer to exchange the old, stony heart with a new heart, a heart desiring to live His Way of Life and causing us to experience 'life/being/existence' more deeply, more peaceably than ever before! Thank you dear Father for your gift of Life!

  5. “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’ Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:3-5). No doubt Judas was sorry for what he did to Jesus (after all, he killed himself). Why, though, are his actions not deemed as true repentance?
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works lest any man should boast. KRJV - Ephesians 2:8,9
    Hanging himself is evidence of works by Judas and anger and therefore not seeking forgiveness from God the father.
    What? know ye not that your body is the temple (2 Corinthians 6:16) of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? . KJRV — 1Corinthians 6:19


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