…At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Cor 5:16-17
We are made new through a spiritual birth.
Change is a growth process.
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Matt 26:41
We are in a spiritual battle.
11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12
We try to look and act right on the outside, but the problem is with the heart. (nature)
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. Rom 7:24-25
Source: Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley
The freedom to love God and love people is blocked by feelings of
- Guilt I owe you.
- Anger You owe me.
- Greed I owe me.
- Jealousy God owes me.
Each emotion has a debt to debtor dynamic that causes an imbalance in relationships.
There are only two ways to resolve this tension:
- Someone has to pay up
- Someone has to cancel the debt
It’s difficult to self diagnose the problems of the heart.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jer 17:9
We are taught to monitor our behavior.
God says our behavior comes from our heart.
Jesus said, For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Matt 15:19
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Prov 4:23
How do we heal and protect the heart? …..
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7
If we grow the love … We will change and we will change the world.