FEB 23: FOLLOW ME PART 2: To Follow Jesus Requires A Changed Heart!
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you? What if, for one day and one night, Jesus lives your life…With His Heart? What would you be like?
And You? How Would You Feel? Would You still Do What You Had Planned to Do for the Next 24 Hours?
Consider this for a moment. Adjust the lens of your imagination until you have a clear picture of Jesus leading your life, then snap the shutter and frame the image. If You were Honest with Yourself…What You See is what God Wants. He wants you to “Think and Act like Christ Jesus”
Phil 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
God’s plan for you is nothing short of a…New Heart. “You were taught to be made new in your hearts, to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God – made to be truly good and holy”.
- Ephesians 4:23-24 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
- God wants You to be just Like Jesus. He wants You to Have a Heart like His.
God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.
- If you think His love for you would be stronger if your faith were, You Are Wrong.
- If you think His love would be deeper if your thoughts were deeper, Wrong Again.
- Don’t Confuse God’s Love with the Love of People.
The love of people often increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. Not so with God’s love. He loves you right where you are. God’s Love Never Ceases…Never. Though we spurn Him. Ignore Him. Reject Him. Despise Him. Disobey Him. He Will Not Change.
- Your evil cannot diminish His love…Your goodness cannot increase it.
- Your faith does not earn it any more than Your Foolish Choices jeopardize it.
- God Doesn’t Love You Less if You Fail…Or Love You More if You Succeed.
- God Loves You UN-CONDITIONALLY! When You Sin…Make Wrong Choices…He Doesn’t Hold it Over You…Rather He Lovingly Picks You Up…Cleans You Up and Offers You to be Just like Jesus.
Satan Wants YOU to Believe You Can’t Change…That to Become Like Jesus is Hopeless…NOT TRUE!
Jesus Can and Desires to Change Your Heart…Consider What that Means To and For Us…
The heart of Jesus was Pure. The Savior was scorned by His own creation but willing to forgive them before they even requested His mercy.
- Peter, described Him as a “lamb unblemished and spotless” (1 Peter 1:19). John concluded, “And in Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
Jesus had a Peaceful Heart. The disciples fretted over feeding the thousands. Not Jesus. He Thanked God for the Problem…The disciples shouted for fear in the storm, but not Jesus. He slept through it.
- When Peter denied Him, did Jesus lose His temper? When the soldiers spit in His face…He was at peace. He forgave them. He refused to be guided by vengeance.
His heart was Purposeful. Most lives aim at nothing in particular and achieve it. Jesus aimed at one goal – to save humanity from its sin. He could summarize His life with one sentence: “The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Jesus was so focused on His task that he knew when to say, “My time has not yet come” (John 2:4) and when to say, “It is finished” (John 19:30). But he was not so focused on his goal that he was unpleasant…
…Quite the contrary. Children couldn’t resist Jesus. He could find beauty in lilies, joy in worship, and possibilities in problems. He would spend days with multitudes of sick people and still feel sorry for them.
His Heart was Spiritual. His thoughts reflected His intimate relationship with the Father. “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me,” he stated (John 14:11). His first sermon begins with the words, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me” (Luke 4:18)He was “led by the Spirit” (Matthew 4:1) and “full of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1). He returned from the desert “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).
- His habit to go to worship (Luke 4:16). It was His practice to memorize scripture (Luke 4:4).
- Luke 5:16 says Jesus “often slipped away to be alone so He could pray”.
- His times of prayer guided Him. He once returned from prayer and announced it was time to move to another city (Mark 1:38). A time of prayer resulted in the selection of the disciples (Luke 6:12-13).
- Jesus was led by an unseen hand: “The Son does whatever the Father does” (John 5:19).
- In the same chapter He stated, “I can do nothing alone. I judge only the way I am told” (John 5:30).
The Heart of Humanity. Our hearts seem so far from His. He is pure; we are greedy. He is peaceful; we are hassled. He is purposeful; we are distracted. He is pleasant; we are cranky. He is spiritual; we are earthbound. The distance between our hearts and His seems so immense.
How could we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus? Ready for a Surprise? You Already Do. You Already Have the Heart of Christ. If you are in Christ…You already have the heart of Christ.
One of the supreme yet unrealized promises of God is simply this: if you have given your life to Jesus, Jesus has given Himself to you. He has made your heart His home. It would be hard to say it more succinctly than Paul did: “Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
- He has moved in and unpacked His bags and is ready to change you “into his likeness from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- Paul explained it with these words: “Strange as it seems, we Christians actually do have within us a portion of the very thoughts and mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Big Question: If We have the Mind of Jesus…Why do We still Think so Much like Me?
Answer: Our Souls Are Saved but Our Hearts Remain Unchanged. Trusting Christ for Salvation but Resisting Transformation. We occasionally Move into the Light…But All too Often, We Settle for Shadows.
What would happen if we Chose Daily to live in the light? What changes would occur if we set about the task of dwelling in the radiance of Christ?
No Doubt About It…God Has Ambitious Plans For YOU. The One who saved your soul longs to remake your heart. His Plan for You is Nothing Short of a Total Transformation!
- Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son.
- Col 3:10 “and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
POINT: CHRIST, I INVITE YOU TO TRANSFORM ME TO BE MORE LIKE YOU!
God is willing to Change You into the Likeness of the Savior…Will You Accept His offer?