HOW DO YOU BEGIN TO FOLLOW JESUS?
Matthew 22:34-40English Standard Version
The Great Commandment
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
The Word of God for the Children of God. In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
“Be Still My Troubled Heart” “Be Stiller My Troubled Soul!” Is a lament I have heard quite a few people pray to themselves. They pray to God for revelation. They pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit for resolution to their troubled beings.
What about that phrase reaches your heart and soul right now? You seek release, you seek intercession, divine intervention. Scripture is replete with the promise that God answers our prayers. But have you wondered where God begins? God begins with His hands surrounding a surrendered heart. But can you genuinely say your heart is truly surrendered to Father, Son, Holy Spirit?
Ought not the first utterance of prayer which emanates from your lips:
Psalm 139:23-24 NASB
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there is any [a]hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
When your heart is searched by God, no place is left unsearched, everything about your troubled heart and even more troubled soul is laid bare before God. God starts to act – directly and decisively. Without your awareness, God makes his examination of those areas within which He knows needs to be surrendered. You have no control over what God selects. It becomes a natural feeling, a long sought feeling of revelation and release. which your feet will follow. Biblically speaking, what is the heart? It’s the control center of your personality, will, and emotions. Your heart is essentially at the core of your character, who you are.
I think it’s safe to say that the human heart is one of the most important organs God placed in the human body.
But I think it’s also safe to say that a person’s heart is also one of the most important spiritual organs God has given to us as well. But the heart that I am talking about isn’t the human organ. Rather it is the spiritual part of us where emotions and desires reside.
This spiritual heart is seen from the very beginning when the Bible tells us that we have been made in both the image and likeness of the Lord God Himself, (Genesis 1:26) And so God has a heart. But it’s not the physical organ that resides within the human body, although God created it, but He has a heart, one that can be broken over our sins, and a heart we are to follow. The Lord God is saying to all His Children, “I know the heart, I know exactly what’s in there.”
In fact, it’s this seeking after the heart of God that God commends and is Himself seeking after amongst His people. He is seeking a people whose heart is seeking after His heart. Now, in our natural condition, which is the condition known as sin, the heart of man isn’t even lined up with God’s heart. Instead it’s evil, wicked, filled with deceit and treachery. So wicked and so treacherous is the human heart that we are easily deceived by it, but not so God, He knows it well. In fact, He’s the only one who knows our heart’s true condition.
This was King David’s plea after he was exposed for his adultery with Bathsheba and his conspiracy to commit murder against Uriah the Hittite afterwards;
Psalm 51:10 NASB
10 Create [a]in me a clean heart, God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
And the reason we need to pray this is because, as the Apostle Paul tells us, it’s with our hearts that we believe unto righteousness, (Romans 10:9-13). Therefore Solomon tells us to guard our hearts.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
It is for this reason that I’ve decided to look at one of the first qualities of a Christian’s heart. In other words, what should a Christian’s heart look like. This morning in our time together I’m going to give you three aspects that I see right off the bat about what a Christian’s heart is and should be.
A Christian’s Heart is …
1. A Loving Heart
Let’s go back and look again at the condition of the human heart, and that is it is wicked and evil, filled with sin, deception, and treachery. But then we’re told that with this heart we’re to love God. Jesus said,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 NKJV)
Jesus said that this is the first and greatest commandment, Matthew 22:38.
- GOD’S DESIGN AND LOVE The Bible repeatedly communicates to us that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). He is the perfect, glorious, holy, eternal, all-powerful, all knowing, Creator of the universe. He created humanity to live in fellowship with Him. He created you! He loves you and has a plan for your life.
Begin today with that thought today. Then Let God begin His greatest works!
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Let us come to pray,
Dear Father God, I don’t give you the love you deserve. I disobey, act selfishly, and am wholeheartedly foolish. Help me to love you with everything I have. I believe in you, worship you, and love you. I want my love to be endless. I will love you with all my heart, soul, and mind. You gave everything for me, I want to return that love to you, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
Loving Father thank You for loving me when I was dead in my sins and for bringing me into Your family, simply because I trusted the Lord Jesus as Saviour – Lord I want to love you with every part of my being. May I live as You would choose and love You with all my heart and soul and strength and mind, in Jesus name I pray, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.