Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Power before Men Resides in the Heart

Photo by John
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:12
We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.

Insights: Yesterday we learned our ability to persuade men begins with an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus.  Today, we learn our power to live a transformed life resides in our heart.  In other words, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.  Jesus rose from the dead and conquered sin and death.  He then ascending into heaven and God promised to send His Holy Spirit to dwell inside the hearts of anyone who would call on the name of Jesus to be saved.  Upon our reception of Jesus, our lives are changed because of His residing presence in our hearts.  The problem, however, comes to light in today’s verse.  For far too many church attenders in the United States, we desire moral rectitude more than spiritual transformation.  Look at the verse with me for a moment.  It reads, “. . . so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance. . . .”  In our western church culture we desire for people act rightly even if it means they go to hell.  We want them to have behavioral and ethical changes, but honestly do not really care about heart change.  This truth gets played out Sunday after Sunday with the conversations congregants have with each other as well as with the pastoral staff.  We are far to easily angered about issues of irrelevance than we are about the eternal condition of a soul.  Before our even worship service a congregant came to me and told me about listening to Steve Brown with Key Life Ministries.  Steve Brown said Jesus tells us to catch them and then He will clean them.  Brown was using a fishing metaphor.  Unfortunately, for us, we want them to get cleaned up first then we will catch them and take them to Jesus.  Beloved the reason is because we are more concerned about appearances than we are genuine heart change.  Real power comes from heart transformation, not behavioral modification.  Let us trust Jesus to do what only He can do to make us powerful and eternally changed.
 1. Do you focus more on behavioral modification or authentic spiritual life change?
 2. Are you experiencing the transforming power of transformation because of the Lord’s work within your heart?

Prayer: Father, transform me to live in the power of Your grace and presence.  I need You to move in my life to such an extent that it is obvious I am Yours and You are mine.  Amen.

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