New Hearts

Matthew 15:18   (KJV)   18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

Matters of the heart matters more than the physical. They affect us in more significant and more crucial ways.

The words we honestly speak spring from deep within us. Depending on the condition of our hearts, the kinds of words coming out reflect them. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Matthew 15.18 - New HeartsThat’s why although we hear it often, it’s not always wise to say “Just listen to your heart,” or “Just follow your heart.” Unregenerate hearts from unsaved world often come up with very wrong advice.

We praise God for changing our hearts. Instead of hearts of stone—hard hearts unwilling to listen to God’s Word and God’s Spirit, He gave us hearts of flesh—soft hearts—longingly, lovingly hungering, expectant of, and pursuing Him, His Kingdom, His Word, and His will. We’re more concerned about these hearts of ours and the issues flowing from them compared to the physical stuff we stuff our physical bodies with.

Don’t get me wrong; we don’t deny the importance of our physical bodies and the honor our Lord Jesus has bestowed on them. We are the temples of the precious Holy Spirit. We recognize and realize the importance of good diet and exercise. Over-eating is still something to avoid, although I admit, I need more discipline in that. Gluttony may be a more convicting term than over-eating.

We can desecrate this temple. But what defiles this temple are not the kinds of food we eat but the kinds of words coming out of our lips; the kinds of thoughts we think with our brains, and the kinds of actions we engage in with our bodies. Immorality—these kinds of acts of our bodies defile us. But all these ultimately spring from deep within us. We take care of  our hearts; everything else flows from there. Our hearts belong to Him; that’s the big difference.

When God Finally Comes

Ezekiel 37:28   (KJV)   28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

A day is coming when God’s sanctuary—His temple—will be among us; God Himself will be living here on earth—in Jerusalem. On that day, His people will really be His people, Ezekiel 37.28 - When God Finally Comesand God will really be our God.

We won’t ever lose our free will. But God will have a way of making Israel and all His people holy. He has a way of changing our hearts from that of hard, stony, and stubborn hearts to that of tender, sensitive, and submissive hearts. He has a way of giving us a new spirit through the presence of His Holy Spirit so that we will be obedient and faithful. We will be holy, not just positionally, but practically.

Oh what a day that will be—when God Himself is our ultimate King and Shepherd, and God’s people are really walking in holiness and righteousness; when God’s enemies are humbled, defeated, and silenced; when peace, love, and righteousness rule in the earth. This is not just a dream; it will have its fulfillment. Maranatha—come, oh Lord; the Lord is coming!!!

God’s Thrones

Psalm 11:4   (KJV)   4 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

The LORD’s present in our lives. He is here, but He is also the Sovereign ruler of all.  He’s enthroned in our hearts, and in the heavens.  He knows all things, even the innermost secrets of our hearts. No one is beyond His knowledge and His reach.  He is still very much involved in our affairs. He never leaves Psalm 11.4 - God's Thronesor forsakes us. In fact, His hands of invitation are continually extended to us—beckoning, welcoming.  We are His temple—His home.  He’s closer to us than He can ever be and we can ever know.

He knows our prayers and cries—even those as soft as a whisper. He is that intimate with us.  He literally knows more about us than we know ourselves.  Why not?  He loves us tremendously and He is an all-knowing God.  He is also infinitely powerful.  Although He’s very intimate with us, He is not limited to our small realm of existence.  He rules; He reigns, and He will do so forever—glorified, lifted high.

We need Him close; not everyone sticks around.  Others easily ditch us at the first sign of discomfort.  It’s good to know that Someone sticks around even when the whole world turns against us.  Some people aren’t settled with just leaving; they don’t get satisfied until we’re down, hurt, or destroyed.  They accumulate weapons and ammunition to attack us when we’re most vulnerable.  We’re not troubled.  The LORD is our more than efficient Protector.  He is our impenetrable shield.  No weapon formed against us will ever get through Him and to us—to those who are His—to those who are upright.  In the presence of our enemies, we still enjoy very restful nights and very joyful days.

Temples of the Holy Spirit

1-corinthians-6-19-temples-of-the-holy-spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19   (KJV)   19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

The more we realize that God cares about us as a whole, the better we appreciate and treat ourselves. It’s true: God cares for the spiritual part of our being more than our bodies, but He does care for our bodies. Many people are not aware of how God has brought a very high honor and value to our bodies. He has, He has made us His possessions; He made our bodies His dwelling place—the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Everything we have is a generous gift from God. We don’t own our bodies; He does. We never owned it to start with; I don’t remember paying heaven a single penny to purchase them. Praise God for His super-gracious gift; we can never afford them in the first place. God’s been very good to us. In the middle of a culture that looks at anything material as evil, He elevated our bodies to that of the holy. We’re fully and gratefully aware of that—humbled because of God’s great love and kindness.

Now, we offer our bodies to Him as living sacrifices—holy and acceptable to Him. We keep away from sacrilegious thoughts, desires, words, and actions. He is holy; His temple is holy. We honor Him with it. There are things necessary for its survival although they may be temporal. We eat, and even that is God-honoring, although food perishes. But we employ great care and wisdom in our choices. Immoral, wrong, ungodly, and evil choices are absolute taboos. There are many other things we engage in, but we utilize our bodies in accordance with the honor God has given them. We engage in what are beneficial, constructive, inspiring, loving, and God-glorifying.