Tag Archives: a changed heart

November 14; To Change or Not To Change, That Is The Question

Acts 7:54-9:31

Simon believed he was someone great. He wasn’t the only one. It sounds like he had quite a following. His sorcery must have been amazing, because people even thought he was divine.

That is, until they heard Philip preach the “good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus.” Many believed in Jesus, and were baptized – including Simon. Simon ended up following Philip around after that. Being a sorcerer, he was amazed at the miracles he saw Philip do.

Then when Simon witnessed Peter and John placing their hands on believers who then received the Holy Spirit, he wanted in on the action. He was willing to buy that ability. Peter recognized Simon for who he really was, and addressed Simon’s sin in no uncertain terms. “You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right with God.”

Simon had believed in Jesus. But Simon was still the same old Simon. His heart had not changed.

Saul, on the other hand, was not only NOT a believer, he had dedicated his life to destroying the church by getting rid of anyone who did believe in Jesus. But his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus changed him.

Completely.

Saul became Paul who then dedicated his life to sharing Jesus with everyone, in hopes that everyone would believe. Paul’s belief in Jesus didn’t stop with the knowledge that Jesus is the Savior. Paul’s belief in Jesus changed his heart.

Do you believe? Scripture tells us even the demons believe, and shudder. (James 2:19). Belief is the first step, but it isn’t the only step.

If accepting Jesus as your Savior hasn’t changed you, let me suggest you check your heart. Is your belief head-knowledge, or a heart-changing, person-transforming, sin-defeating relationship with God Himself?

Change, or no change? That’s the question. And the answer is the difference between being a child of God, and being someone who has no part in His ministry, His kingdom.

Let your belief in Jesus change you.

October 4 – Fruit In Keeping With Repentance

Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3

When John was preparing the people for Jesus’ ministry, he told them to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” If you say you’ve repented of sin, your life should demonstrate a noticeable difference.

Be warned. Saying the words, “forgive me” are meaningless without a heart’s change. And when a heart is truly changed, what we say and do and feel change as well. It has to.

Paul, in Galatians, gives us a practical list of what fruit keeping with repentance looks like. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. And self-control. If all of those aren’t evident in your life, I suggest you check the level of your repentance. Paul doesn’t say the Spirit gives 7 of 9 to a repentant heart. Notice the word, “and” in there. It doesn’t say “or.”

John told the tax collectors to quit charging more than the required tax. He told the soldiers to stop taking money from people by force. A repentant heart changes how we treat each other.

Bearting fruit in keeping with repentance starts with a change of heart, then it pours out in how we live our lives. Do your friends and family notice a change in you since you’ve asked Jesus to forgive you?

They should.

Changed?

The New King James version of the Bible says that after he had talked to Samuel, Saul left there another man. God gave him a changed heart. (I Samuel 10)

That’s as it should be. Reading God’s Word should change us, too. Hearing God’s Word proclaimed from a pulpit should change us. Did you leave church yesterday a different person? Did I?

It’s Monday morning. Can you even remember what the pastor spoke about yesterday morning? If not, why not? Was it because our hearts weren’t prepared to hear from God? Were we too busy to pray before we walked through those doors? Was it because our minds were on other things? Did our thoughts wander? Did we allow our children to distract us? Are we harboring sin?

Sometimes I read the Bible and write in my journal, then half way through the day can’t remember what I thought I’d learned. What a waste of God’s resources. Here I have God’s Word in my hands. I’m free to worship him and hear teaching from his Word every Sunday. I have this treasure at my fingertips, but too often squander it away.

Father, forgive me. I want to allow you to change me every time I read or hear your Word. I don’t want to miss anything that would encourage me, strengthen me, convict me, change me into a woman who radiates You. Help me to change into a person more like you every time I open your Word or have the privilege of hearing a sermon from your Word. I don’t want to miss any opportunity to draw closer to you.