Monday, June 24th, 2013
Heart Conditions (Part 2)
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5 (NKJV)
With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Psalm 119:10 (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-7 (NKJV)
A divided heart divides a man. 'And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand' (Mark 3:25). God calls a divided man 'A double-minded man, unstable in all his ways' (James 1:8).
Consider Jesus' love letter to The Lukewarm Church:
'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My Mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me' ' (Revelation 3:14-20).
Does this wealthy church sound like the American Church? The Christian leaders of the free world? To most, we look good, happy, rich, insightful and well-dressed. But how do we look to God? Could it be 'Wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked'?
'For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart' (1 Samuel 16:7).
Has our heart become proud--like that of the emperor in the story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes'?* Instead of dressed for success, are we bare and coverless? In a frightening irony, do our vaunted cathedrals expose us--rather than shield us?
Does our self-professed nobility oppose God's Self-expressed humility? Jesus was not a show-off.
'But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ' (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Could we be the lukewarm church mentioned in Revelation?** Yes, if our heart is divided between the world's pace and God's grace. Because 'No one can serve two masters... You cannot serve both God and money' (Matthew 6:24). It's a matter of the heart.
To Be Continued...
* The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen: http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html
** The lukewarm church is the last church mentioned in Jesus' seven love letters. Some Bible scholars believe these seven letters describe (in sequence) the development of the Christian church. If so, we are in end times and these are our chief problems: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+3%3A14-22&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Heart Conditions series.