For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9
What is the point of religion? Why do people commit themselves to a certain path and practice? Is it for the promise of a better life in the here and now? Or is it for eternal joy, ecstasy and happiness? I simply ask those questions to ask this: What is the purpose of following Christ?
Contrary to popular western thinking, Jesus Christ did not come to earth just so that ‘my sins would be forgiven so that I could go to heaven when I die to live in my mansion over the hilltop.’ That is definitely not the message of The Bible.
Psalm 24 asks a rhetorical question: Who may ascend into God’s presence? Only the one who has clean hands, a pure heart, and honest motives. Most of us have issues with those conditions. One condition especially gives us trouble: pure hearts.
Have you ever been told to ‘follow your heart?’. It seems like such a noble quest. To discover love and happiness we are told to do whatever our hearts desire. Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes following my heart leads to heartache!
The Bible tells us that the heart is wicked and deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). But worldly wisdom says to follow my heart and do whatever it desires. The Bible never says that. Jesus actually said that the heart is our seat of trouble, because out of our hearts the mouth speaks. Has your mouth ever gotten you into trouble? Good news, it’s not your mouth but actually your heart! Wait, that’s maybe not good news. But this is where Christianity can help us.
It’s been said that Christianity is not a doctrine of intellect or understanding. True. But what is it? Christianity is a condition of the heart. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is very much concerned about the condition of your heart because your heart is the very centre of your being. Biblically speaking, the heart is equated with the centre of your personality (mind, will and emotions). In other words, your heart is the source from which everything flows. The Psalmist tells us that a pure source (heart) is needed in order to ‘ascend’ into God’s presence. Thankfully God offers us a new one!
Christianity is a promise of a new heart and spirit (Ezek. 36:26). Jesus came to fulfill and establish this very thing for all humanity. Accepting and following Christ brings the reality of new creation and joy of being ‘born again’ (John 3:1-18, 2 Cor. 5:17). Receiving Christ’s salvation means the old heart is gone and the new one has come. It is a glorious mystery that only God fully understands. All I know is that it works and brings a divine outlook and life from within.
Jesus said that ‘blessed are the pure in heart because they will see God’ (Matthew 5:8). Christianity brings a better outlook on life that any other world religion or faith system I know because the Christian can see God in nature, people and world history while the non-Christian cannot. With eyes of faith the Christian is able to see God in a way that nobody else can. Following Christ also brings a sense of knowing that He is near and with me all the time. We just celebrated a time when Mary, like no other person in human history, was literally able to ‘see’ and know God. One day so too shall we.
The point of Christianity for me is this blessed hope: seeing God. The Bible tells us that humanity will go from not being able to see God’s face and live (Ex. 33:20), to ultimately being like Him (1 John 3:2). Now that is a glorious, mysterious journey that I am all in for! What about you?
The invitation is open and universal. Our God loves us so much that He took matters into His own Hands and fixed our heart problem. Our self-giving God gave us the ability to receive a new heart via the way of His Son. Give God a chance. Give Jesus your ‘heart’ and allow Him to be your source.
Consider praying with me: Father God in heaven I thank You for loving me. I thank You for providing me with a way to come back to you. I ask You, Jesus, to come into my heart. I believe, confess and desire for you to be my Lord and Saviour. I believe that You are God’s One and Only Son; that You came to earth, died and was raised to life again; I believe that You are coming back and I want to be in Your Kingdom when You come. I pray that you will receive me now into Your Kingdom of light. Amen.
If you prayed this for the first time, or rededicated your life to Christ, please let me know. Send me a note through my website. I’d love to hear from you. There’s a party in heaven if you did. I look forward to partying with you in eternity. Until then …