Wednesday, March 20, 2019

It's What We Do: Follow Our Heart

The problem with the Disney adage, "Follow your heart," is that we already do. Jesus said it this way, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). We only need look at our words and actions to see our heart. Do you love entertainment and pleasure? There is your heart. Do you love escape, comfort or lack of conflict? That is where your heart is. Do you love food and self-indulgence? Your treasure reflects what you truly love. Are your decisions driven by what other people might think? Behold your god.

It's a painful truth. We go, do, speak, and decide based on what we want most... Truth be told, it happens to each of us, time after time, day after day. Grocery shopping ("I'll just pick up..."; "Ooh, there's Tom. I hope he doesn't see me..."), working ("If I ______, then I can get ____"; "I'll just take care of this so Bob will _______..."); going to church, ("Kids, once that car door opens..."; "Oh, hi, Gladys! It's SO good to see you!").  As my husband says, "Want to know how I know?" Because I've been there. It's where I live. That's my address.

As I spend time with good people, church people, family people, single people, I am convinced that we all struggle to understand Jesus. He is not an add-on. He is not a life-insurance policy or immunization against hell. Jesus is a way of life. He is life. Receiving Christ is more than assent. It is surrender--giving up my plans, my desires, my way, my heart--to His, recognizing that my way is tainted, insufficient, and cursed.

In our clouded, temporary, sinful way of seeing things, we have an understated apprehension of our sin, Jesus Christ's perfection, payment, and work. There is too little Christ; too much us. He is. He is everything good. He is all things. He holds all things together. He is the express image of the invisible God. He became sin for us. He conquered all that lies between us and our Creator. He is the way. He has made a way.

The choice is one of staying or going. Being or not being. The loving is in the doing.

Doing is not being. But being is doing. I can pretend, I can look, sound and act like a Christian, but that does not mean I am. However, when I have been bought by the blood of Christ, I look, sound, and act like one because I am. I'm His. In the end, what does that mean? Only God knows those who belong to Him. But we can know as we examine our hearts--the knowing is in the being.

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23, NASB)

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.’" (Matthew 22:37)

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