Friday, August 20, 2010

Heart to Heart...

Psalm 8:4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

I, like David, tend to ask myself this a lot. I always like to wonder what is it about us that makes Him love us so much. If I'm not careful, I'll soon fall into a deep time of thought where I lose it all together, and rather than use the questions to fuel the passion, I can use the question to fuel a sense of despair almost. It is true though, when reading the sermon on the mount and listening to Jesus lay down His law, you come to the conclusion that there is no way you will ever be able to be that type of man. Depressing for some, a lot of us tend to fall into this sense of legalism as a result of it. We push ourselves so hard to earn this title of christian that we soon earn the title of pharisee instead.

Other times we read the law and we laugh. We say to ourselves, "No one in their right mind will ever be able to do this, not to mention it sucks all the fun out of living." Does it? I don't think so. In both cases, both people have missed the point. The combination of the two is where you begin to understand the true meaning of the law, and what Christ meant when He says He came to "fulfill the law."

Person one, forgets that when Christ fulfilled the law, He did it because we will never be able to, and we have to accept it. He is the only way to the Father. Nothing we can do will ever change that. We cannot earn it. God cannot look upon sin (Hab 1:13) which is to say He totally abhors and as result judges it. Our only hope is found in His Son Christ, our High Priest (Heb 4:14-15).

Person two forgets the freedom found in the law. The freedom in knowing we are no longer subject to the slavery of sin. Death has lost its sting as Paul put it. Sin lost its power. Jesus bridged the gap between us and the father. Their is a certain freedom in restrictions. Consider the doctor, you go in one day and are told you have to diet or you'll die. This requires restrictions in your life, however, these restrictions are for your benefit and if kept, lead to a life FREE of the worry of death by preventable causes. In the same fashion, Jesus removes from us the slavery of sin and gives us FREEDOM in knowing we can have a relationship with our Lord.

In the end, it all comes down one thing. Your heart. Your heart is by far the most important thing to God, because He wants it, but He wants you to choose to give it up. As you start going through the sermon on the mount, you come to realize you really aren't as good as you make yourself out to be. To lust is to commit adultery, to hate is to murder. While many of us have never murdered (I hope none!) we all at some point or another have hated. Jesus here reminds us of two things:

1. Sin begins in the heart

Of course we know that sin begins in the heart, however, sin, if left unchecked according to James can bring forth death (1:13-16). I can begin to hate my brother, and over time if I don't bring that hate before the throne, it could turn into something more. What started as hate, in a year could become complete disdain. What is disdain in a year could be a plot to kill. Extreme, maybe, but murder doesn't always start as murder, often times it starts with something like hate.

As Christians, we must always keep our hearts in check. After all, it is the heart that God looks at (1 Sam 16:7). God cares more about the heart of the worker than He does the work. Sure He will use the work to glorify Himself, however, He wants a pure heart, a devoted heart, a broken heart.

2. A sin is a sin is a sin is a sin

In today's world we tend to live by degrees. Lying isn't as bad as cheating, though one is a form of the other, and back talk is nowhere near as bad as murder. Or is it? According to James 2:11, you break one area of the law, you break the law. Scary when you think about it, there really is no hope for us outside of Christ. Our hearts are bent for sin unless we allow Christ to govern the throne room of our heart.

In God's eyes, there is no little sin or big sin, sure there are a slew of verses that list "A,B,C and D, will not inherit the kingdom of God" however, if you notice, those lists are loaded with nouns, not verbs. It is a heart thing. You and I will sin, no doubt, but what do we do after we sin. Do we continue or become contrite? There is the difference. Again, God is concerned with the heart.

In these past few months, I have continued asking God, "Lord, what is it about Chris Sierra that you are mindful of him. What is it You like so much! Why are you even paying attention to me, have you seen my past." He'll respond "Yes, but now I see my Son, because You have seen Him." God is so good to us. We often times forget it.

These next few blogs, I have something heavy on me that I want to share with you guys. It is something that years ago I knew I had an issue with and now as the days go by, God is just continuing to show me what an awesome work He has done. It all floats around one verse, and that's Ezekiel 36:26.

What is man, that You are mindful of Him Lord? He loves us, why? Because we are us. As C.S. Lewis put it, "Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves."

The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart
From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks
That which God will never deny

Just a few fun topics....oh! and not to worry, I am still going to be putting up stuff on Apologetics and I'll have my moments of randomness.....all by His Spirit, whatever He wants, I'll give. A friend of mine had an awesome blog that reminded me how it important it is to have a balance between the heart of the battlefield and the battlefield of the heart, if that makes any sense. Logic and reason are beautiful no doubt, but "I’ve seen way more people fall apart because of disappointment because of a girl than by the hand a clever Buddhist with a knack for arguing." (Chris Rodriguez, Intrepid Undertaking )

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