by Abraham Cremeens
Jesus tells us that how we act is really an expression of what is going on inside of us. He said,
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
This means that if you struggle with explosive anger in the home, then it is because you have a heart that directs it that way. If you struggle with impure thoughts or viewing impure images, then it is because you have a heart that directs you that way. Thankfully, it also goes in the opposite direction. If you find yourself patient with your children during some chaotic tantrum (theirs, not yours of course) or refusal to eat those vegetables, then it is because you have a heart that directs you that way at that moment.
Our hearts really do have a lot of power over us. The heart, in fact, serves as the hard drive or engine of how we live. The good news is that this means we don’t need more will power to be patient, loving, or kind but rather the ongoing journey of heart transformation that God shepherds us in each and every day.
What God does
Heart transformation takes place in the Christian primarily because of what God works in us and through us. He made a promise long before Christ came, and he keeps that promise. He said,
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
Here we see that God, in Christ, gives his people a new heart that can obey. Even better, he also gives us his Spirit to work through that new heart and empower us to obey. Christians can have pure hearts that direct the godly actions of their lives because God gladly and generously gives it to them. We should thank God for that.
What we do
Based on God’s gift to us, we can also participate in the shaping of our new heart as we depend on that same Spirit within us. As it says in Proverbs,
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
This is the good news of life change. Our struggles are never permanent. We can grow as we depend on God’s work even while we do our heart work. This means that if you feel stuck in your fight with sin and spiritual growth, there is always hope.
This is the very subject we would like to unpack at our “Soul Care” Men’s Summit on September 20-21. Men, we desire to encourage you with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what God has done for you in giving you a new heart and his indwelling Spirit. We also desire to resource you with some tools to continue to keep, guard, and shape your heart as well.
You can register at ksbc.net/events for the low cost of $20. You won’t want to miss it. This is not to mention the savoring start to our weekend with South Street Smokehouse. Please join us and grow with us as we aim to keep our hearts with all vigilance together.