Invite or Surrender: Heart Condition

31 Dec

Well my first time reading through the entire Bible has come to completion.  I’m so excited, so thankful.

If pressed to use one word to remind myself of this journey, it’d have to be HEART.

Why? Because it reminds me of what my relationship with Jesus Christ is all about. It reminds me of what God desires from me.

The old and new testaments are so cohesive.  God’s word tells us over and over again, he desires our hearts.

In the second chapter of Malachi, the priests are disciplined for not honoring God in their hearts.  “You have not set your heart to honor me” (from verse 2).

The priests are performing duties and blessing people, but it all means nothing to God because of their heart condition. In fact, he says it’d be better if,  “You would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you” (from 1:10).

What does please God?  Faith.

Only faith counts as righteousness. It’s been true since Genesis, see Gen 15:6 where Abraham is found righteous based on his faith in God. Look at Romans Ch 4 and all of Hebrews Ch 11. Again and again, we see righteousness comes only by faith in God and specifically, faith in Jesus Christ – who is our righteousness.

So back to our priests in Malachi, they felt confident in their positions, their routines, their performances. That’s a good description of myself a few years ago, and who I have to guard against being every day.

By earnestly asking God to help me seek him and know him, I have grown. By not being satisfied in what I knew and beleived, but confessing I needed to pursue him. That’s how I am moving from devout to devoted. From obedient to honoring. From a believer to a personal follower.

I need a pure heart from God EVERY DAY. Then, I can do things to honor him out of love for him, not out of a sense of duty nor out of  seeking security that I did “the right thing.” Nope, only out of love for my Jesus, my righteousness.

James 2:22 explains that Abraham’s faith led to his actions (actions that did not make any sense in Abraham’s human way of thinking nor in his understanding of the promises God had made to him. But, Abraham’s faith was so true that his actions followed beyond his understanding.)  “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

Jesus tells us in Revelation that he will search our hearts and repay us for our deeds (see Rev 2:23b).  Yet, Jesus has given us everything that is needed – HIS BLOOD. 

In Revelation, John sees a multitude in white robes in the presence of angels and before the throne of God. John asks who they are, and an angel answers: “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Rev 7:14.

Surrender your heart to him. Don’t just invite him into your heart – surrender yours to him. Then, you are invited to life, true and eternal.

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” Rev. 22:14

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