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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Open My Heart, Lord

In the Bible, there are many descriptions given of the heart.  In Exodus, Pharaoh's heart was hardened towards the Israelites. Sometimes it says that the Lord hardened his heart and other times it says that he, himself hardened his heart. (Exodus chapters 8-14) Later on even the Israelites, themselves, hardened their hearts towards God, as did King Nebuchadnezzar, King Belshazzar, and others throughout the Bible.

But in other places, the Bible speaks of hearts being opened - or being pricked or cut (in comparison to circumcision under the Old Law).  The first place the open or pricked heart is mentioned is in Acts 2, during Peter's first sermon on the day of Pentecost.  Peter addressed the large crowd telling them all about Jesus.  He told them about Jesus' whole life and then named them as the accusers and the ones who eventually  killed him.  The crowd believed Peter's message.  They were pricked/cut to the heart.

"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
 Acts 2:37 


You can look up Peter's answer and the crowd's response in Acts 2:38-41, but for right now, let's focus on the heart of the people that heard Peter's message.  They were cut to the heart.  Their hearts were opened to the message they heard and they responded.

Belief in Jesus comes from hearing the good news and believing it.  Jesus said, "I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:24.  

We must believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the He is the Son of God, that He was born of a virgin, and that He is the Savior and the only way to God.  That belief is essential for all of Christianity.  Without belief in Jesus, we would have no hope of eternal life.  He is the way - THE ONLY WAY!

Many people may believe in God and believe in Jesus, but that belief goes no farther than that.  They may hear with their ears about God and about Jesus, but their heart is still hardened or not pricked or cut in any way.

True belief in God and Jesus changes our heart.  The heart responds to the gospel message, just like the crowd we read about above. True belief will not keep quiet, but want to share that message with others, so that they can know the truth, as well.

When we believe in God and believe in Jesus, our hearts are opened to His Word.  Our hearts are pricked or cut.  We want to serve God. We want to trust His promises and obey His commandments.  We want to be more and more like Jesus. We want to be live in Heaven forever in eternity.  It's our hearts' response to our belief in Him.

Prayer for today:
Open my heart, Lord.  Help me to believe in You and to believe in Your Son, Jesus.  Help me truly believe that He was sent to this world to be the Savior of all.  Open my heart to the gospel message, but also help me to respond to that message.  If I believe it, I must share that message with others - by telling them and by showing them your love.  Help me more like Jesus every day.

In His name,
Amen

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I think even as baptized believers sometimes our hearts are not open. It's a daily choice to follow him! Great post!

 
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