Biblegateway Verse of the Day

A Matter of Heart

By Benjamin H. Liles

          In recent days protests not only have mounted across these American States but worldwide as well. Overall, many people are saying that those in the minority ought to and need to have equal rights as everyone else. To this I add a caveat as well. What about the Native American, the Chinese-American, Filipino-American, among the few who are also marginalized? Some of these folks have fought and died for the freedoms we so richly have and hold dear in the States.

          It wasn't too very long ago that it was pointed out to me when I said that all lives matter, that it was pointed back at me that "You, sir, are part of the problem." I won't defend my position, but I will put this in place, and I have to agree with a founding father on this issue: "All men are created equal" (quote from Thomas Jefferson). I would also add this much to it as well: it's very much a sin issue, one in which Jesus Himself said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause...danger of...judgment...[is] in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:21-22, New King James, all abbreviated). 

          When I say it is a sin issue, it's also a matter of the heart. Why do I say that? God tells us in His word, to Jeremiah, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart; I examine the mind to reward a man according to his way, by what his deeds (practice, works) deserve" (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Furthermore, if we go even further back in the scriptures we read, "And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine" (Leviticus 20:26). 

          When I or anyone claims we belong to Jesus Christ, it should follow from us, from the way we talk to others, to how we live our lives of faith (meaning our salvation, the justification we received) is in order to sacrificing ourselves for others so that God receives the glory. The Messiah did this by giving His life for the sheep (John 10:11) at the cross on Calvary. With that much being said, God said this, "For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their [wages], and I will make an everlasting [agreement] with them" (Isaiah 61:8).

          Paul echoes these thoughts on the issue, on the whole when he wrote, "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:8, New King James). And that is the hallmark, the benchmark, if you will of those who truly follow Jesus the Messiah. They live their lives wholly and fully to the cause of loving others as He has loved us first. And that's the big part about the Word of Faith movement, they don't wish to tell the truth, or to let people see the truth for themselves. They'd rather make you "feel good." Jesus, in actuality, calls us to make a complete change about being mired in sin.

          We're told that after John the Baptist was imprisoned, Jesus came to Galilee, "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel'" (Mark 1:14b-15, New King James). We are to have such a radical change of heart, mind, and soul on our personal sins, seeing them as utterly evil, and desiring to "fully change" so that He dwells within us. I love how Paul says it, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Galatians 5:14). 

          Love, is then this in action, dying to self, picking up our cross daily, living a life of service and sacrifice for the betterment of others, not for ourselves. It is so that Jesus is seen within us, for the glory of God's perfection is seen in the Messiah, who has given us His Holy Spirit. It is so we truly live transformed lives, as Micah put it: "to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). It is in our humility, not our pride, that the Lord Jesus is seen in and through us. 

          I am working on redoing this site. At some point here in the near future, my name is coming off it and will be known as Calvary's Cross for the simple reason that we come to it in repentance, believing Jesus is God's Son sent to redeem us from sin and wickedness to a relationship with Him. It is through this we have life eternal. The focus has never been on me but on the work and person of Jesus the Messiah. So, to all, blessings and honor in the Messiah Jesus to you and all.

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