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Is it Time for a Heart Checkup?

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Have you had a heart exam lately? No, I’m not writing about a cardiologist’s diagnosis. I am writing about Jesus’ diagnosis of our hearts. You see, Jesus Christ is most interested in your heart and not merely your heads or your hands. How is your heart? Is it on fire for Jesus? Is it bursting with gratefulness for what He’s done for you? Is it beating so fast for Jesus that you can’t wait to share your faith? Or, is it just a slowing burning ember?

Is your heart right?

This is an important question because we can easily think our heart is OK when it’s really not. We can plow through our lives thinking we’re doing it all rightly for Jesus, when we’re really just going through some motions that don’t really matter to Him and the advancement of His Kingdom.

Let me give you an example of this from the early church at Ephesus. About 40 years into their ministry they receive a letter from the apostle John. The letter is something he received from Jesus—The Revelation of Jesus Christ. We can read about the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:1–7.

When we read this we can’t help but notice the great things Jesus says about Ephesus—they work; they labor; they persevere; they don’t put up with evil; they test false apostles; they are patient; they labored in the name of Christ; they didn’t become weary; and, they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans[1]. They were quite a church! They were:

  • Sound in doctrine
  • Active in service
  • Moral in conduct

Then, Jesus drops the hammer. He says, “Hey, you all have lost your first love.” They left Christ out of Christianity. They were doing all of the right stuff, but they were doing it all with the wrong heart—they were doing it without Jesus.

The church at Ephesus had satisfied themselves in sound orthodoxy.  In their minds sound doctrine, Christian service and moral conduct were somehow enough.  Their hearts were in the wrong place and they totally forgot that Jesus was most interested in their hearts and not what they thought, what they did, and how well they lived up to some kind of moral code.

They had forgotten that above everything was the necessity for them to be in His presence—sitting at His feet, adoring Him, communing with Him, receiving Him and then giving out to others in that spiritual overflow of His presence.

Sadly, they had become very similar to the Pharisees who were doctrinally right and tight, but they totally missed Jesus. They missed His presence.

Friends, true life and revival come out of Jesus! We can live such “right” lives, but miss the whole point. The Ephesians did it and so can we if we are not careful.

So, I ask again, where is your heart? Is it in doctrine or Jesus? Is in checking off a to-do list of religious tasks, or is it with Jesus?

Are you in passionate love for Jesus?

 

Please make a point to join us October 5, 2014 for the Sacred Assembly. It’s a time of prayer and worship for our nation and the world.

 


[1] A group of people who, like the Gnostics and other false teachers, abused the doctrine of grace and tried to introduce licentiousness in its place (2 Peter 2:15, 19; Jude 1:4)

2 responses to “Is it Time for a Heart Checkup?”

  1. […] my last post I wrote about the church at Ephesus and what Jesus had to say to them in the book of Revelation. He […]

  2. I feel like I have been exposed a lot lately to the sad fact that we limit the scope of our relationship with a “higher power” by basing it on man (and/or woman). I heard a sermon not too long ago about the story of the golden calf. For those who haven’t heard of it, it can be found in Exodus 32. As a synopsis, the story tells of Moses ascending a mountain to receive the infamous Ten Commandments from God and in the meantime, the Israelites lost hope and therefore forced the next in command to construct an idol or another god for them to worship. The lesson taught in the sermon was about how we set ourselves up for failure because we base our faith on another man and when that man leaves, fails, or otherwise disappoints us, our hope and faith follows suit.