Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Sincere Heart

Hebrews 10:22

…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

112015 Ray McDonaldA lot of what God has been showing me during our prayer/fast has been about the heart. There has been nothing new from God – simply a reaffirming word that our hearts need to be pure and set on Jesus. All too often – I feel – we speak one thing with our words and walk something different with our hearts and actions – even in the church. We do not always represent Jesus well – now do we?

There are hurting people in this world folks. A woman came to the office Wednesday afternoon. She had a sad story and I sat and listened. She had previously been removed from the women’s shelter for her behavior. Even when trying to help – there are limits to what we – the untrained – can do. She is definitely a hurting person and I tried to sympathize with her plight and condition. It wasn’t easy for me – a pastor – with what I knew about her – to completely be in the moment!

I found myself battling my heart during the conversation. I knew of the previous removal from the shelter and I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and listen intently. Her story made little sense to me – yet I tried to stay in the moment and listen. It wasn’t easy.

Even though I think she was trying to pull to wool over my eyes – I think I should have had a more compassionate heart. God jumped on me in conviction and I listened even more intently to her story. The ending didn’t change – I couldn’t help her – but I did try to encourage her and helped her to think of possible solutions.

God wants us to have sincere hearts. God doesn’t want us going through the motions. God wants us fully invested in the life He has given us. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Hebrews 10:19–25 – 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Dear readers – do not go through the motions. Do not follow ritual for ritual sake. I pray we do not fool ourselves into thinking we are followers of Christ when we are only marginally invested in Him. Draw near to God with a sincere heart and fully invest in the life before us. Let us engage the world around us for Jesus. Let us share our faith and our hope with others! Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing. Let us connect with the next generation and share with them the true hope of life – Jesus Christ.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 11, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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