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HOW CAN CHRIST COME INTO OUR HEARTS?
ASK TWO QUESTIONS
If a Christian is one in whose heart Jesus Christ lives, then each of us must ask two questions: (1) What do we mean by heart? (2) How can Christ enter my heart?
Here are two definitions for the word heart:
- A hollow muscular organ that by rhythmic contractions and relaxations keeps the blood in circulation throughout the body;
- The center of the total personality, esp. with references to intuition, feeling or emotion.
A GOD-SHAPED VACUUM
We're talking about the second meaning. Sometimes it's called spirit. It's the part of us that can relate to God and will live forever - either united to God through Christ, or separated from God by our neglect or rejection of Christ.
Blaise Pascal is credited with calling our heart a "God-shaped vacuum." It was made by God and for God, and only God can fill it. Although we try to fill that space, it remains empty until Christ comes in. We don't need to persuade Christ to come in; He so strongly desires to fill our heart that a simple invitation will do. Jesus said,
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat (have friendship) with him. And he will eat with me.
Let's think about that ...
WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT GOD IS STANDING AT THE DOOR?
"Here I am." We may feel far from God, but He is close to us. He wants to reveal Himself to us. He takes the initiative. He is ready to meet our needs.
"I stand at the door and knock." Jesus doesn't kick doors down. Patiently, gently, He calls us. "I have loved you with an everlasting love," He says, "I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jesus is at the door. There is no latch; it must be opened from the inside. Jesus knocks and waits. We must respond.
"If anyone hears my voice…" He speaks to us by many means. People, circumstances, literature, gospel meetings, the Bible, dreams, and Holy Spirit persuasion are just a few of the methods He uses to get our attention. Perhaps you've sensed that He is speaking to you as you read these words.
"I will come in…" That's His promise to you and me and He will keep it. We open the door, He comes in. It's as simple as that.
"And eat with Him..." It's a sign of friendship when people come to our home for a meal. Jesus is our friend who shares our joys, sorrows, and needs, and never leaves us alone. He becomes actively involved in our lives and we in His.
AN OBSTACLE TO OVERCOME
But there is an obstacle to overcome.
The Bible declares that the heart of man is "deceitful and wicked." Jesus said, "From the heart of man come the evil things that defile him." That is hardly a worthy place for Jesus to live. How can we ask Jesus to come into a deceitful, defiled, rebellious heart?
Thank God, the Bible also describes what we must do to prepare our heart for His entrance ...
WE MUST REPENT OF OUR SINS
Repentance is a change of mind about the way that we live. It means turning from the selfish attitudes that have caused us to do evil things. It means recognizing that our acts and attitudes have saddened Jesus and caused His death on the cross to save us. It means ceasing to control our own life and inviting Jesus to control it. It means whenever we have a choice between right and wrong, we will do right. Whenever we have to choose between our way and God's way, we will choose God's way.
WE MUST BELIEVE THE GOSPEL
Only Jesus can forgive our sins and release us from sin's powerful grip. He does this as we place our faith in Him. Faith is knowing that we cannot atone for our own sins while trusting in the atonement that Christ has made for us. Faith is accepting, yielding, clinging, believing, depending, and trustfully giving our lives to Jesus Christ.
WE MUST RECEIVE JESUS AS SAVIOR AND LORD
"Jesus came to the world that was His own. But His own people did not accept Him. But some people did accept Him. They believed in Him. To them He gave the right to become the children of God." We receive Jesus by asking Him into our hearts and by embracing His will.
WE MUST CONFESS HIM PUBLICLY
"If you use your mouth to say, 'Jesus is Lord,' and if you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved." Tell your friends what happened to you. Show them by the example of your changed life and by the word of your witness what Christ means to you.
WILL YOU HUMBLE YOURSELF NOW?
Isn't it humbling to know that we cannot save ourselves through religion, and that the only way we can be forgiven is to trust in the sacrifice that Jesus made upon the cross, to atone for our sins? There is no other way. Humility and sorrow for our sins do not obtain our salvation, but they are the necessary attitudes to receive salvation by faith.
A PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
God, please help me. I can't make it. My religion has not saved me, only You can. I now decide to quit trusting in religion and I put my trust in You. Come into my life and forgive my sins. I cannot change myself, so please change me. I choose to stop living to please myself and start living to please You. I receive You into my heart and confess You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for dying in my place. I accept Your sacrifice for my sins and thank You from the depths of my heart for saving me from my sin, self, and the devil. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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JESUS' VIEWPOINT CAN BE OURS | EARLY ARGUMENTS AGAINST IDOLATRY PRIOR TO THE COUNCIL OF NICAEA IN A.D. 325 | RAISING A DISCIPLE | HOW CAN CHRIST COME INTO OUR HEARTS? | TRIALS AND PERSEVERANCE | ON DIVINATION | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR