Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Improving Our Hearts

Acts 28:27

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

RayMcDI have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. We’ve all heard one of my favorite sayings – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. We’re told to guard our hearts in the Scriptures. Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

I have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. A church can have plenty of programs and people – but it God’s heart is not the center of the church – in the hearts of the members – it will not be healthy. Sermons on Vital Lessons of Faith and A Family Legacy were about our hearts (you can listen to these and other sermons at http://fumcl.org/sermons/.

I have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. I’ve been examining my heart of late – and asking God to search me and take away anything not pleasing to Him. Psalm 139:23 – Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. I want to be His servant and I want to keep my eyes on Him.

I have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. I found an article on the Internet from Bay Area Christian Church that lists 5 ways to tell if we have a hard heart. Here they are:

  • You don’t feel like talking to anyone. 2 Corinthians 6:11–13 – 11We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also. We need to break out of our patterns and open up to someone – to a friend – to a counselor.
  • Everyone’s advice seems bad to you. Exodus 7:22–23 – 22But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. We need to swallow our pride and hear what others say – we need to be humble. I just apologized to someone for being defensive recently when they sent me some advice. It isn’t easy but it is what our heart needs.
  • You’re unable to love anyone. Matthew 24:12 – Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Jesus tells us that we need to walk in the light rather than the darkness. We need to open up – to be vulnerable – to connect on new levels with people.
  • You can’t get happy for anyone’s success except your own. 1 Corinthians 15:9–10 – 9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. We need the attitude or mind of Christ to dwell in us. We need to ask ourselves what would Jesus do and practice walking it out.
  • You don’t feel anything about the stuff you should. Ephesians 4:17–19 – 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. We need to repent of our sins and our hard hearts. We need to overcome the evil around us with the goodness of Christ in our lives.

I have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. These are some good ideas for us to practice. Let us seek to have our hearts transformed after the likeness of Christ. As we strive to have God’s heart in us – God will bless us – individually and collectively as a local church.

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

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September 29, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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