5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GOD’S HEART TOWARDS YOU

https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/02/22/5-things-to-know-about-gods-heart-towards-you/

 

Here’s a question: do you ever wonder how God feels about you? Do you think He’s mad or sad or disappointed? If so, you’re not alone. Many people feel this way—even Christians.

I want to tell you something. GOD LOVES YOU and all people (John 3:16, 1 John 2:2; 4:8,16 Romans 3:23).

No matter what you have done

           God loves you

                     Before you were born

                            God loves you

                                     Right this very moment

                                                 God loves you

5 Things To Know About God’s Heart Towards You

1. YOU ARE WANTED

God didn’t need to create people. He wanted to. “The God who made the world and everything in it … is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything” (Acts 17:24-25).

God wanted you.

We read in Genesis 1:27 that God created men and women in his own image. You are special because nothing else in all His creation is made in His image.

2. YOU ARE LOVED

God created you out of His great love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Yes, God loved us before he even created us.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

3. GOD WANTS TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20

In this verse, Jesus is giving us an idea of the kind of close relationship that He desires to share with all people. He wants us to recognize his voice, open the door and invite him in. Once inside, He will sit down, enjoy a meal, and fellowship with us ONE TO ONE. How fantastic!

4. GOD OFFERS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS TO YOU

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Ephesians 2:4-5

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. Some of those mistakes can leave us feeling unlovable and possibly unforgivable. This is just not the case with God. He offers us forgiveness and mercy. The only thing He asks is that we admit our mistakes (sin) to Him and ask for healing to move forward from those mistakes. Of course, this doesn’t give us a license to continue knowingly in sin.

5. YOU ARE PART OF GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN

The Bible tells that even before God created Adam and Eve, He knew that they and everyone after them would sin. Amazingly, He had already formulated a plan to redeem fallen humanity through Jesus.

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:9

The fall of Adam didn’t catch God by surprise. Neither did your fall or my fall. God knew we would sin, and He also knew who would repent and believe in the Lord Jesus.

Perhaps the most important part we play in God’s eternal plan is to point people to eternal life with God—through his Son Jesus Christ. The Bible calls this our “ministry of reconciliation.”

“And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

What an amazing opportunity! God makes us part of the family business—that is, if we choose to be. God leaves the choice up to us.

The invitation to enter into a relationship with God through Jesus is for everyone because God’s heart towards people is LOVE.

Let me sum this up for you.

YOU ARE WANTED BY GOD

YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD

GOD WANTS TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU

GOD OFFERS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS TO YOU

YOU ARE PART OF GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN

Now here’s the kicker: Do you believe this? I mean really, really believe it. Do you live like you are beloved by God? Or do you struggle with thoughts like, “Can he really love a train wreck like me?”

Please hear me out. No matter what’s going on in your life, or in your thoughts, this fact remains the same:

GOD LOVES YOU RIGHT NOW, RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, NO MATTER WHAT.

Please don’t waste another minute thinking otherwise.


YOUR TURN: Do you believe what you’ve read today? Did you need to be reminded? Let me know in the comments below.

This post is part of FriendshipFriday Create with Joyhttp://www.create-with-joy.com/2016/05/friendship-friday-blog-party-social-media-boost-225.html

SIX WARNING SIGNS OF A HARD HEART

https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/02/16/six-warning-signs-of-a-hard-heart/

Christians are supposed to be big hearted, kind and loving—right?

I’ve been a Christian for many years and the truth is, the longer I serve in ministry, the more I realize I need to guard my heart from becoming hard.

Like a police officer who sees crime and tragedy on a regular basis, he develops a way of dealing with the pain. This is a healthy and natural by-product of the job. Hey, it might even by a by-product of life. But if we don’t monitor things carefully, our hearts can become hard.

Hardness of heart isn’t an attractive attribute. In the Bible, we read that Pharaoh had it and the Pharisees specialized in it. And we’re all familiar with the Grinch, who’s known for having a heart two sizes too small. Not exactly the greatest company!

SIX SIGNS OF A HARD HEART

  1. You no longer believe the best in people. Even when you first meet someone, you’re thinking what could go wrong rather than being open to learning about the person.
  2. You find it difficult to celebrate and you don’t really cry.
  3. Much of what’s supposed to be meaningful feels mechanical. This means work, personal relationships of family and friends.
  4. Passion is rare. For anything.
  5. You stop genuinely caring.
  6. Time in prayer is numb or nonexistent.

HOW A HARD HEART DEVELOPS

Your focus is on performance and patterns rather than people. People have certain predictable ways. Cynicism can develop when you only see symptoms and patterns rather than the people beneath them.

You stop looking for what’s good in people and situations. Life is full of trials and disappointments; and people are, well, people. It’s easy to slip into the trap of looking at the shortcomings and problems.

You over-protect a broken heart. People mess up. Trust is broken. Hopes are dashed. This is life. These things happen to us all. It’s easy to stop trusting and believing by building barriers that hurt cannot penetrate. The trouble is, not much else will penetrate either.

You accept a hardness of heart. Let’s face it, sometimes when we’re angry and/or hurt, we want to be that way. We don’t want to get over it.

THE ANTIDOTE

It’s very simple, really. But what’s simple isn’t always easy. Give your hard heart to God.

I spend time in prayer, Bible reading and worship daily. You’d think this would prevent me from developing a hard heart. Well, that just isn’t the case. It wasn’t the case for Jonah, king David, or for many others, we read about in the Bible.

We’re human and we must guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23.)

I remember realizing there was a disconnect in my prayer life. God brought to my attention an area of hardness towards someone I love. Let me stop here and say this: God is a good god, and only brings things like this to our attention to help, not condemn. Even still, I didn’t like it!

The hardness was causing separation between myself and God and was bleeding out into many areas of my life. It always does. So, after wrestling with God a lot on this issue, I finally cried out for His help.

The conversation between the Lord and me went like this:

Me: God forgive me. I know this isn’t working. I need a new heart like in Ezekiel 36:26, a clean heart like David (Psalm 51:10).

God: What would a new heart look like?

Me: Since it’s new, it wouldn’t have grudges and things that make it hard.

God: You cannot have a new heart and hold onto old grudges and attitudes. The truth is, you want it both ways. A new heart and old ways. I cannot do that for you. I make beautiful things that play together like harmonious music. What you’re asking for is discordant.

Me: Lord, what then? What can I do?

God: Oh child, give me those things. The grudges, the hurts, the anger.

Me: But God, if I give them to You, it’s like they never happened. It’s like saying it’s okay that I was hurt. It let’s those who hurt me off the hook. Also, I don’t want to get stepped on again!

God: What good are those things really doing you?

Me: (long pause) Those things are making me sick, bitter and keeping me from moving closer to You, God.

God:  “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”(Ezekiel 36:26) Daughter, you must be willing to give me your old heart. It’s an exchange. Give me the old heart with its grudges, stains, and attitudes. Then I’ll give you a new, clean heart. You’ll never find a better bargain.

When you recall the old ways, (and you will) I want you to visualize whatever it is, but behind it, I want you to see with the cross. It will be an exchange: your old way of handling the situation with mine. My way is the cross.

It will take conscious effort, but every time you do this, your heart will grow deeper roots in Me.

So, how’s your heart? Is this something you struggle with too? 

 

DO YOU NEED A NEW HEART?

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There’s probably nothing worse than the feeling of your heart shattering into a million pieces like tiny shards of glass. Anyone who’s lived long enough, has had the unfortunate experience of a broken heart.

The fact is, our hearts were never whole to begin with, and any human attempt at restoring it is feeble. Why?

Our hearts were broken and sinful at birth.

“For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,  and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9

Despite the fact that the human heart was designed to mirror God’s own heart (Genesis 1:27), which is perfect (Psalm 18:30); it was also created with free will. The gift of free will carries with it the opportunity to abuse it, as did Adam and Eve in the garden.

God desires that we use our free will to choose to love and serve Him. When we stubbornly refuse to follow God, our hearts, which were designed to commune with God, are hardened like stone (Zechariah 7:12). With a heart of stone, it’s impossible to repent, to love God, or to please Him (Romans 8:8). In fact, the hearts of sinful humanity are so hardened that we cannot even seek God on our own (Romans 3:11). That’s why Jesus said no one can come to Him unless the Father first draws him (John 6:44).

Because our hearts were designed to contain God, if He’s not filling that space, something else is! And that something is and always will be, substandard.

Do you need a new heart?

The truth is, every human being desperately needs a new heart, for we are unable on our own to soften our hard hearts. A change of heart toward God requires a supernatural transformation. Jesus called it being “born again” (John 3:3).

When we’re born again, God does something miraculous—a heart transplant!

This is what that looks like:

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

How To Get A New Heart

ADMIT, BELIEVE, CHOOSE

Admit you’re a sinner in need of a new heart

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. Acts 16:31

Choose to follow Christ and put your faith in Him alone.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13

YOUR TURN: PRAY to God:

  • Tell Him that you admit that you are a sinner, and that you’re sorry for breaking His Law.
  • Tell Him that you believe that Jesus Christ died to pay the price for your sin.
  • Tell Him that you commit to stop living your life for yourself, and to start living it for Him.

DOES A CHRISTIAN NEED A NEW HEART?

The Bible tells us that if you have been born again, then Jesus has given you a new heart and His Spirit now resides there. This means our hearts are now good! But maybe you’re not feeling that your heart is good. Perhaps you feel your heart has become hardened.

Join me next Monday for:

The Warning Signs of a Hard Heart


I want to heart from you! Do you have a prayer request? Let me know in the comments below or email to: beckielindsey16@yahoo.com .

If you prayed to follow Christ and receive a new heart, tell us about it in the comments below or email me.