TO BEGIN  WITH:  WHERE  IS YOUR HEART ?

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Brethren,  Do You Believe As The Scripture Say:

" And if the RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY be SAVED, Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? "1st Peter 4:18

Is your heart beating to possess the earth or Heaven?

                                                                  

Let’s pray for the LORD to open our eyes to see where our heart is!

 The Bible says:

-“To God’s people who LIVE AS REFUGEES scattered throughout…” 1st Peter 1:2.

-“I appeal you, my friends as STRANGERS AND REFUGEES IN THIS WORLD. Do not give in to the bodily passions, which are always at war against the SOUL” 1st Peter 2:11.

Is food and cloth sufficient to you, or you want  this and that?

Do you have a refuge spirit brethren ?

Are you living here as someone  who is just passing, or you want to make this world your comfortable home?


To this the scriptures:

Since Christ suffered physically, YOU TOO MUST STRENGTHEN  YOURSELVES WITH THE SAME WAY OF THINKING THAT HE HAD; BECAUSE WHO EVER SUFFERS PHYSICALLY IS NO LONGER INVOLVE IN SIN. FROM NOW ON THEN, YOU MUST LIVE THE REST OF YOUR EARTHLY LIFE CONTROL BY GOD’S WILL, AND NOT  BY HUMAN DESIRES” 1st Peter 4:1-2.

Brethren , take a picture you snapped some years ago, go to the mirror and look at yourself comparing the two images: Certainly you will notice that you are aging to the grave!

To this the LORD says plainly:

“ Well, religion does make a person very rich, if he is satisfied with what he has. WHAT  DID WE BRING INTO THE WORLD? NOTHING! WHAT CAN WE TAKE OUT OF THE WORLD? NOTHING! So then…” 1st Timothy 6:6-10.

These are many people in the Christian life for their own purpose, whereas the Christian life is a call to accomplish God’s purpose.


BRETHREN, WHERE IS YOUR HEART ?


Is your heart HEAVENLY  or EARTHLY  orientated?

A heavenly orientated heart,  hunger and thirst  for the LORD and the things of the LORD like a dry desert land will thirst  for  water! It is that heart that has radically been passed through  the circumcision  works of the Holy Spirit from the  LOVE OF THE  WORLD AND THE THINGS OF THE WORLD.

The bible says:

Unfaithful people! Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy? WHOEVER wants to be the world’s friends makes HIMSELF GOD’S  ENEMYJames 4:4.


BUT  HOW DO I  KNOW WHERE MY HEART IS?

 

It is very easy to know where your heart is ! To this the bible  says:

“ It is your FACE  that you see reflected in WATER, and   your OWN SELF you see in your  HEART” Proverb 27:19.

Therefore, to know   your heart, just  simply  look  at your   “OWN SELF”  reflected in your:

    -     Your desires

    -     Your thoughts

    -     Your Words

    -     Your actions

    -    Your taste

    -    What you put or wear own  etc.

When you look at yourself, do you see the :

-  love of money

-  love of cloths

-  love of cars

-  love  for  Erotic attire

-  Love  of sex

-  Love of titles

- Love of anger, bitterness, greed , lying, falsehood , pride ETC

-  Love of  wife, husband, parents, children,  job etc more than God so that you compromise godly standards.

- Love of  marriage more than God so that you are prepared to compromise godly standards and get married even to an unbeliever .


The  list is very long!  These things are indicative of where your heart is, and will greatly affect your race to FINISHING STRONG.

Don’t  just say : “we are saved by grace in the Lord”,  but rather  look at your HEART  by seeing  your  “OWN SELF "  then you know where you belong to. The bible says:  Only the pure at heart, will see God” Matthew 5:8.

A pure heart is that which is in heaven, and since heaven is pure, he or she is pure. His heart is  heavenly bound, and so  too, he or she   is. Only these, can finish strong.

If your heart is earthly orientated, then you are earthly bound and so will be swallowed  by it.  They are just natural spiritual laws in play, that known should think he or she can escape. They just operate naturally.

The bible says: “ Human desires are like the   WORLD of the DEAD  there is always ROOM for…” Proverb 27:20.

What are your desires?

Are they  heavenly  or earthly orientated?

Where they are orientated, is where you will go after death. If  it is on earth, your soul  will go down to  the world of the death! And if it is in heaven, it will go up to heaven.

So let’s not deceive  ourselves  with some out of place quotation  of being saved by grace in Jesus. If your desires are earthly bound, then you are bound  to the earth and so belong to it.  Heaven cannot take what belongs to the earth; same as earth cannot take what belongs to heaven.


Man can choose to do what  he wants but  natural divine laws of God after death as to where his soul will be going, is bound by this law. It is just like a magnet that will pull him without his opinion.


Look at  what you put on:  Does it reflect the taste of heaven, or the taste of the world? There is a heavenly attire, and a worldly attire. The word of God is very clear on this.

Dear brethren, the word of God is a mirror! So if we go inside and choose what pleases us, and those that attempt  to temper with our “ SELF” we throw to the pigs on the grounds of being saved by grace in Jesus, then we will  be shocked on that day of judgement. SIN is disobeying the word of God, after we have consciously known the truth! This  is just what Adam and eve did!

Yes, we must harden the “SELF” like apostle Paul with blows, if we want to finish strong, for the victory crown which is eternal  life.

Is your heart contempt at any moment with what  you have, or it is  always busy  hunted by endless desires ?

You want  this and  that only  in a  desperate need to satisfy your quest for a very comfortable life in a rotten world on the eve of destruction.


WHERE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR JOY AND HAPPINESS?


Dear Brethren, if you think that  your lack of joy and happiness is because you don’t have:

-          Money

-          Husband

-          Wife

-          House

-          A car(s)

-          Cloths

-          Father or Mother

-          A child(ren)

-          A boy or girl child

-          A job,

-          Sex,

-          Wine

-          Personal flying jets   etc..

You are just been self seduced by the devil! If you think that there  are these things  that can bring you JOY  and HAPPINESS, then you will never  have  JOY, because the heart of the FALLEN MAN, can never be satisfied by things.

The joy and happiness that worldly things bring, is very short lived  and so, is fake. It never last long, but only open doors for more endless desires. It comes in a second, and in the next, it is gone!  

When you desire one thing hoping  that your joy will be fulfilled and finally have it, in the next second you realized it has jumped and starts desiring another thing ! This goes on and on.   Oh!!!  Terribly sick, is the heart of the fallen  man !!!!!!!

Do you know why? Is because GOD MADE MAN IN HIS  IMAGE AND LIKENESS and not in the IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF THINGS, and therefore things can not satisfy the heart of man!

Only the image and likeness of God reformed anew in man through the authentic born again process with the Holy  Spirit  coming in, to repossess  the empty  heart  He left  vacant on departure after sin,  can bring him joy and happiness.

This  in reality, is  the meaning of the word, “born again” (That is, regaining back  God’s image and likeness that was lost , in favor of that of the devil(sinful) ).  The bible says plainly:

When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became a father of  a son in HIS  LIKENESS, after HIS OWN IMAGE, and named him Seth” Genesis 5:3-4. Therefore, no longer in God’s image, but that of the  fallen man.

The Holy Spirit comes into us and carries out a deep heart  circumcision which is a very painful surgical operation of the fallen heart  with its endless desires, and give us a new holy heart in God’s Holy image; and thus totally fulfilled  as God himself is fulfilled without things.

Are we then to collaborate with the holy Spirit’s   working in us by fleeing from sins, so that  God ‘s holiness  be wholly formed in us  for us to  be fulfilled for eternal enjoyment and happiness?

 But unfortunately, we do everything possible to escape  the surgical work of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, and so remain unfulfilled in the Lord.

The devil  is succeeding to replace this with some alternative funny gospel of entertainment, social gospel, miracles and wonders, gospel of  counterfeit prosperity etc! And it is that which we run after, yet never find eternal joy and happiness.  

Yes we have to collaborate with the Holy Spirit’s surgical work,  for the following to be realized in us and so guarantee  eternal joy and happiness :

-“ Blessed are the PURE IN HEART, for they shall SEE God” Matthew 5:8.

-“ And may your SPIRIT and SOUL, and BODY be kept HOLY and BLAMELESS on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1st Thessalonians 5:23.

-“..As you wait for the day of the Lord, do your best to be PURE and FAULTLESS in God’s sight(2nd Peter 3:14).

-"And everyone who thus HOPES in him PURIFIES himself as He is PURE"John 3:3.

-‘Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS, without which no MAN shall see the LORD’ Hebrew 12:14.


       God doesn’t need things to be fulfilled! He is fulfilled in himself, and every  thing  is his. Therefore, whether with  things or not, he remains fulfilled. Therefore, a man fulfilled  with the Lord, with things or without them,  remains fulfilled.  So the bible says:

“So do not start  WORRYING……instead  Seek thee the kingdom of God first, and all these other things will be yours  as well …” Matthew 6:28-34.

Therefore, if we have the Lord and only the Lord alone as our source of joy and happiness, only then can our joy and happiness be fulfilled. Else, all will be endless  struggles and restlessness. The scripture says: rejoice in the Lord!

PRAYERS:

- Lets pray that the lord will open our minds to understand that, the Lord alone is the only source of our joy and happiness; and that any other thing will fail us  woefully.

-  Confess that  we can never find joy in things and none of them  will ever bring us joy and happiness, but rather  endless struggles and restlessness.

- Pray that the lord will forgive us  for seeking joy and happiness in things, rather than in him and only him alone.

- That  we will,  WILL  to collaborate with the Holy Spirit in the painful surgical circumcision of our heart, for our repossession of  the lost  image and likeness of God, so that we be fulfilled in God  without things as God himself is self fulfilled without things.


WHERE OUR HEART IS, WILL VERY MUCH DETERMINE OUR RUNNING THE RACE TO FINISH STRONG

Dear brethren, let’s pray that the Lord will open our minds to understand the truth that, it is good to begin with Christ, but it is the End that is very fundamental: “FINISHING STRONG”.

To this the bible says:

-          “ Be faithful to me , even if it means DEATH, and I will give you LIFE as your PRIZE of victory. ….If you have ears, then listen to what the spirit says to the CHURCHES! “ Those  who WIN the VICTORY will not be HURT BY THE SECOND DEATH(Hell) Rev. 2:10-11.

-          “If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the CHURCHES! “ To those who win the VICTORY I will give the RIGHT TO EAT THE FRUIT OF THE TREE OF LIFE that grows in the garden of God” Rev. 2:7.

Our LORD  Jesus Christ is talking here to  YOU and ME who say , we have been born again in Him. CHURCHES,  means all born again children of God, all over the world. It doesn’t mean a religious system, or denominations. These have no place in the eyes of God.

A Church is the temple of God where he dwells through the holy Spirit. So, God lives in the temple that he has built which is MAN, and not in cement , or wood houses built by men. To this,  the bible says: “ But the Most High God does not live in houses built by men..” Act 7:48. Also read 1st Peter 2:4-6.

So, are you sure that God is living but  in you through the Holy Spirit, and not in your religious system? If yes, then this message of the LORD is for you.

Therefore  dear brethren, it is very important to begin with Christ, but it is the End that matters: “FINISHING STRONG”.

This therefore implies that, the Christian CALL is a call to run a RACE and CROSS the wining  LINE for the PRIZE. And this is what Apostle Paul, clearly  illustrates when he says:

“ I do not claim that I have already SUCCEEDED or have already become PERFECT. I keep striving  to WIN the PRIZE for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. Of course my brethren, I really do not think that I have ALREADY WON IT; the one thing I do however, is to forget what is behind  me and DO MY BEST TO REACH what is ahead. So I run STRAIGHT towards the goal in order to WIN the PRIZE, which is God’s CALL  through Christ Jesus to  LIFE ABOVE” Philippians 3:12-14.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will  impart upon our hearts, a divine light from above, so that we may receive and understand this as a divine truth coming from above to awake us from slumber. This, so that we are conscious of the race, and  as the bible says:

“ Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your SALVATION.” Philippians 2:12.

May you cease your selves from any laziness on the deceits from the devil that you are saved by grace, and so can do whatever thing you like, and will still have ETERNAL LIFE WITH GOD. The bible says:

     “RUN YOUR  BEST IN THE RACE OF FAITH AND WIN ETERNAL LIFE” 1st Timothy 6:12.

So, apostle Paul after running this race said :

“ As for me the hour has come for me to be sacrificed, the time is here for me to  leave this life. I have done my best in the RACE, I have run the FULL distance and I have KEPT the faith. And now there is a PRIZE of VICTORY  awarded for a RIGHTEOUS LIFE, the PRIZE which the Lord…..., will give me on that DAY, and not only to me, but to ALL those who wait with love for him to APPEAR 2nd Timothy 4:6-8.

WHAT WAS PAUL’S SECRET TO HAVE RUN THE RACE, AND FINISHED STRONG?

He says:

“ …..I  HARDEN MY BODY WITH BLOWS and BRING it under CONTROL, to keep myself from being DISQUALIFIED after having called others to the CONTEST” 1st Corinthians 9:27.

So, every true born again child of GOD has his number one enemy which is the  FLESH,  that  will stand against his way of running the race right to the finishing point to WIN the price of ETERNAL LIFE, as we have just been reading.

Brethren, how are you treating your FLESH? Are you HARDENING it with BLOWS as apostle did? Or you are busy entertaining it’s lustful desires?:

-         Love of Money

-         Love of the world and the things of the world.

-         Love of  pleasure and comfort

-         Love of cars, cloths etc

-         Love of food

-         Love sex

-         Love of titles

-         Love of husband, wife, children, job, parents etc, more than God so that you compromise holy standards to please them

-          Pride, bitterness, anger, greed, un-forgiveness, hatred, discrimination, etc, etc

The heart of the fallen man is a desert with endless desires.

Are you a true born again child of God willing to harden your body(flesh) with blows like apostle Paul as to finish strong and win the gift of ETERNAL LIFE as the Lord has said?

If  yes, then after our exhortations   on where our heart is , and we are  SINCERE before him, then let’s cry before him to show us the real NATURE of our  HEART as illustrated in the PARABLE  of the SOWER and the SEED in Matth.13:1-43:

"And he told them many things in parables, saying:" A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell ALONG THE PATH,and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on the ROCKY GROUND, where they had not much soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon THORNS grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on GOOD soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who have ears, let him hear" Matthew 13:3-9


WHAT IS THE NATURE OF YOUR HEART ON WHICH THE SEED  FELL?

The LORD gave this parable not just to entertain us with, but out of his love so that we can identify where we fall  and cry for him to do something about it, so that we don’t perish.

Yes, because it is this NATURE of our heart that receives the seed of life,  which determines  where our heart is. We may then in collaboration with Him, pray for  Him to  put things RIGHT FROM OUR HEARTS which is the fundamental, and all will be well with us.

The parable of the SEEDS and the SOWER  in Matthew 13:1-43,  on the nature of the heart  where  the seed fell , is  therefore  very important.  

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF YOUR HEART ON WHICH THE SEED  FELL? (Be honest  to  carefully check):

1)   The  NATURE  OF HEART ALONG the  PATH?( some seeds fell along the way ,and  the evil one came and  snatched what was sown away, and we remain empty loud  noise  making vessel. Vs 4).

 Such a heart  is earthly  oriented and bound to the earth. This falls in the  lots going through the large  easy way to hell, where  many of the religious ones are found (Matth. 7:13). 

Are you that one who has clearly heard the gospel  of salvation through Christ, and known the fundamental biblical steps  to obey on the born again way to eternity( Repentance from sins,  water baptism-immersion  for forgiveness of sins, and receive gift of Holy Spirit-Act 2:38), but  turning  round and round?  

 

My be you contempt yourself in your sterile or death religious system that  up holds the disobedience to the word of God! Or your customary traditional system ; and you  say, “ we  are all serving the same God”.

 If yes, then this is the nature of your heart  on which the seed of life fell. Are you to  turn now to the Lord  with SINCERITY and cry for him to do something about it?

2) THE  NATURE OF HEART  ON THE ROCKY GROUND?( some seeds fell on the rocky ground but did not  sink deep into them, and so such  don’t last long. We remain a loud empty noise making vessel- Vs 5). Such a  heart  is  earthly orientated which falls in the lots going through the large easy way to hell(Matth 7:13).

Are you that one who has  heard the  gospel of salvation and gone  through the right way-Act 2:38,  but because of some life difficulties or persecutions from: wife, husband,  parents, children, employer etc , and you  withdraw or get cold in your engagements to follow the Lord?  

You have  gone  back to compromise and be living your sinful life as before, while pretending to talk about believing in Jesus ?

If yes, then this is the nature of your heart  on which the seed of life fell. Are you to  turn now to the Lord  with SINCERITY and cry for him to do something about it?

3)      THE  NATURE  OF HEART  ON THE  THORN BUSHES ?(some seeds fell in thorn bushes, and the thorn bushes which may represent the  love of the world and things of the world,   grow up and choked the plants-vs7). 

Such a heart  is equally  earthly  orientated. Thorns are earthly desires and worries about life , and  as such  places you on the large easy way  of  the many heading to hell(Matth, 7:13). Majority of believers  are here.  

They want to gain heaven and the world at the same time. They don’t want to miss the two, but unfortunately it can’t work because the world-thorn bushes always succeed in choking the word of life that  leads  to heaven.

Are you that one who has  heard the  gospel of salvation and gone  through the right way-Act 2:38, but because of  thorns you are blocked  from  collaborating with the holy Spirit for circumcision of  your  heart,  to  enable your  spiritual growth as to bear multiple fruits qualifying you  for eternity?

 If yes, then this is the nature of your heart  on which the seed of life fell. Are you to  turn now to the Lord  with SINCERITY and cry for him to do something about it?

 

4)      THE  NATURE  OF  HEART  ON THE  GOOD SOIL?( some seeds fell on good soil and the plants produce corn; some produced a hundred grains, others  sixty, and others thirty” vs 8.

Such a heart is heavenly orientated , and prepare to sacrifice the love of the world and the things of the world, as to gain heaven.

They know that they can’t gain heaven and the world at the same time, and so chose to sacrifice the world to gain heaven.

They are the very few believers on the hard narrow difficult path leading to heaven(Matth. 7:14). So, concludes the saying: “ Many are called but few are chosen). The bible says:

“ In your struggle against SIN you have not yet RESISTED to the point of SHEDDING YOUR BLOOD” Hebrew 12:4. It is such a heart that can resist SINS to point of shading  blood, as to gain heaven.

Are you that one who has  heard the  gospel of salvation and gone  through the right way-Act 2:38, and :

-Decided to denounce the love of the world and the things of the world.

-Collaborate with the Holy Spirit for the circumcision of your  heart  to bear multiple fruits  qualifying  you for eternity?

If yes, then  the  nature of your heart  is the good soil on which the seed of life fell.


From the above 4 cases outlined by the LORD, you can be able to honestly  identify the nature of your HEART(That is,   which of the 4 reflects the NATURE of  your HEART

Don’t allow the devil to  deceive you by precipitating  you into saying “ we are save by grace in Jesus”.

It is that same Jesus that we claim to be save in him by grace,  who has outline these nature of our  hearts.

PRAYERS:

- Heavenly father, you rightly say “ The human heart is the most DECEITFUL of all things and DESPERATELY  WICKED: Who can know it?  I the Lord search the heart , I try the REINS  Jeremiah 17:9-10."  Yes, my  heart is deceitful  and desperately wicked!

- Examine me, O God and know my mind; test me and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way(Psalms 139:24).

- Teach me how short my life is in this terrestrial tent so that I may become wise and  hurry to put things right with you before it becomes too  late to do anything about it, LORD!!

- I humble before you LORD, to  beg that  you show and convict me  as to what the nature of my heart on which  the seed of life fell is, with regards the 4 types of hearts you have outlined.  (ie if  honestly you don’t know  which among the 4 reflects the nature of your heart on which the seed fell).

IF  WE HONESTLY IDENTIFY THE NATURE OF  OUR HEART TO BE :

ALONG THE PATH, ON ROCKY SOIL  AND IN THORN BUSHES ,   then  WE PRAY SAYING:

-  Lord, the nature of my heart is that one ALONG the PATH on which the seed of life fell, and the demons of my customs and traditions , my religious system, snatched it away.

-  Heavenly father, you can change hearts, because you are sovereign ! I beg you to change the nature of my heart from that ALONG the way, to that of good soil on which your word the seed of life can take root, so that I may bear fruits worthy of eternity.

- Lord, the nature  of my heart on which the seed of life fell, is that of ROCKY SOIL, Or   THORN BUSHES, I pray that you change it into that of good soil so that I may bear fruits worthy of eternity.

IF WE ARE HONEST THAT THE NATURE OF OUR HEART IS THAT OF GOOD  SOIL ON WHICH THE SEED  OF LIFE  FELL, THEN WE PRAY SAYING:

- Lord thank you for  the nature of my heart being that of good soil.

- I  pray  that you fortify me more and more in  my WILL to hate the world and the things of the world,  and  stir  up my continuous collaboration with the Holy Spirit’s sword of circumcision,   so that I keep on bearing more and more fruits worthy of eternity.  

- Teach me more on how to harden my body( SELF) with blows like apostle Paul, as to run the race straight to finish STRONG, crossing the finishing line, for the crown of life(Rev. 2:7).

- Keep on Lord, crushing my own will, thoughts, desires and emotions; and impose yours so that I may run the race and finish strong. Have the free liberty to do with me as it so pleases you at all cost, minimizing whatever cries this flesh  may  manifest. Do it Lord, for it is for my own good.

- Always expose every wicked plans or traps of the devil along my way, so that in collaboration with you, they are crushed.

You can then continue to pray as the Holy Spirit  may inspire you.

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