“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 King James Version
Have you ever noticed that many times we pray for God to change other people’s hearts rather than asking Him to change our own hearts? One of my pastors used to say in his sermons “If you will concentrate on keeping your own heart right with God, you won’t have time to criticize and judge someone else.” My pastor was so right. It is a full time job making sure that my own heart is pleasing to God.
Instead of praying for God to change people’s hearts, let’s ask Him to change our own hearts. We should ask God to let the people we are praying for feel the unconditional love, mercy, grace and compassion He has for them. Until people feel in their hearts that they are loved, they will never change. They can know that they are loved with their intellect but it is only when they feel it in their hearts that they will believe it. We can’t change people. Only Jesus can change a person’s heart and life.
We need to live our lives in such a way that others will see the difference that Jesus can make in a heart and life. We must love our families and friends to Jesus not only by our words, but especially by our actions. We can tell them that we love them but it is only as we prove it to them by our actions that they will believe us. Are you loving others to Jesus by your words and by your actions? Are you asking Jesus to change your heart by making it tender, forgiving and understanding?
January 10, 2009
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.