At the core of human existence, the heart matters!
Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it you set the boundaries of life.
Today I want to look at “Heart Matters.” Heart, very often in the scriptures, refers to spirit and soul as they really are. This is why we can say, Jesus is in our heart because He is living in our spirit. The heart is really the spirit and soul of the inner man.
Our well-being and our wholeness in life has to do with what is in our heart. Other things can also get into our heart because the soul may not always line up with our spirit. In Hebrews, the Bible reveals that it is possible for people who have known Jesus to harden their heart making their heart insensitive. Do we have a sensitive heart or a hardened insensitive heart? This has to do with how we respond to God’s grace! How do we respond to Jesus?
God’s heart is full of love, grace and unmerited favor towards humanity. What is our heart’s response towards Him? The heart matters!
Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your “heart” that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved”.
There is nothing we will ever do good or evil that can change God’s heart towards us. God’s unconditional love will still abound towards us! God is Love and He decided to love us, even before we were ever born. We can’t change this reality. This truth gives us an accurate picture of who God really is, and it’s in this truth where people find the confidence to come boldly before the very throne of God.
You may be asking yourself, “Are you saying it doesn’t matter what we do?” NO, not at all! I am saying that no matter what our performance level is, God’s heart will not change towards us. It is in His unconditional love where we find His amazing grace. What changes through performance is our heart towards God. As mentioned earlier, is our heart sensitive or hardened?
1Co 15:33 Don’t be deceived, evil company corrupts good habits
Yes, we understand that Jesus was a friend of sinners and it is also true that evil company corrupts good habits. All of this has to do with the heart. What is our motivation? It’s a matter of the heart. If we are hanging out with unbelievers because we “need a little break from Jesus and believers” or because maybe “we want to live a little ungodly and it’s more comfortable to live ungodly when we are not around believers,” the motivation of the heart is not towards the Lord!
With a mindset like that, some people could really appreciate the “Jesus Was a Friend of Sinners” message because somehow that gives them a big OK on their ticket. But if this is our motivation, then the truth is we are responding in a way that is hardening the heart. God doesn’t harden His heart towards us, but we could harden our heart towards Him.
I believe that it is very important for believers to have friends who are not yet believers. A believer’s heart, softened by God’s love, will motivate them to be a witness for Jesus in that relationship.
Many people have had a negative “religious past” that has hardened a once sensitive heart. As mentioned earlier, it is possible for a person who once knew Jesus to harden their heart towards God. So it is important that we as believers who have had our hearts softened by this message of God’s unconditional love, to reach out and receive all people without condemnation. A person should be friends with many unbelievers because we carry the “gospel of grace” but we also need a proper heart motivation for what we have been privileged to carry.
Heb 3:13 Exhort each other daily while it is called Today, so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 15 … harden not your hearts as Israel did in the rebellion.
It is what we do that hardens our heart; sin will harden our heart towards God! If we never come to church, never do good things, never give in an offering, God’s love for us remains unchanged. His response to our prayers is based on what Jesus has done but our response to God is an indicator of the health and vitality of our spiritual heart.