How Jesus Changes Your Heart

As believers, we hear a lot about God in our heart; and I often speak a lot about God changing us from the inside, but it occurs to me that we haven’t studied how that actually happens, (at least we haven’t for a while); and this is another aspect of our identity that is vital to our proper understanding and of who God is, and living through the relationship with Him.

So since this question comes up quite often, today I’m going to share with you, how exactly God changes a person from the inside; how exactly a right relationship with Him, actually effects your heart, in the best possible way. And by seeing this truth, you will understand how “religion” has greatly sold your personal relationship with God very short… and how Jesus has done a much greater work than what you can possibly imagine, and He loves you more than you have ever thought possible.

What Message Are You Listening To?

I’m going to describe a scenario for you… this is a scenario that is played out literally millions of times every week. A person goes to a church building, faithfully, each week; sometimes even twice or three times per week, and dutifully listens to a message, from someone whom they have venerated, and allowed to speak into their mind… someone whom they have allowed to shape the most important part of themselves; the most important part of their lives, because it will affect their eternal destiny.

And since this is so important, you would think that precisely what message is being taught, would be of utmost importance… but for many people; the message is secondary, or even tertiary to other aspects of the “church” (and yes I’m using air-quotes here).

The people I have talked to, have told me that many enjoy going to a church building, for the social aspect of it; they get to see their friends, and participate in activities, and have food… the message isn’t even foremost on their minds – to them, it’s just another part of the social club experience – and my friend, that is dangerous.

It is dangerous because these precious people, are allowing their very beliefs to be shaped by a message each week, that they aren’t even examining against scripture… they let it slide, just because they like the people, they like the atmosphere, they enjoy the social club, and they feel like they “belong” and so they don’t give much thought to what they are actually feeding their soul – or just let it slide because to them, it just isn’t important enough.

So today, what I want to share with you, is what the scriptures say about the true Gospel message, and to show you the genuine article, so that you can know without any doubt, what the true message is.

Who’s Your Daddy?

There are literally millions of people who claim to believe in God, and Jesus Christ. Millions of people claim to be part of a vast spiritual family, and claim to be brothers in Christ. The question that I want to pose to you today in this study, is the one in the title… Who’s Your Daddy? Do you know who your daddy is? Do you know His character? Do you know His love? Are you simply existing in a spiritual family that you don’t really know… and if so, what can you do about it?

I had a conversation recently with a person who claimed that they didn’t really know what the will of God was… they didn’t really know what He would do (this happened to be in regards to healing, but the same could be applied to anything really) – this seemed strange to me, because if you have a close, personal, intimate relationship with someone, you get to know them, and you get to know their character and how they respond to things. If you see a couple that has been married for a long time, you find that they know one-another so well that they finish each-others sentences!

So what I want to share with you today, are some things about the character of God, the way in which He has revealed Himself, and how you can get to know Him in a more personal way.

You Can Be Certain That God Loves You

It’s amazing how many people I have spoken with over the years who have said something to me along the lines of “I wish I knew that God loved me”, “I really wish He would just tell me!”. I know that feeling well, myself. I used to say the exact same things… I just wanted some assurance, I wanted some sign, to prove to myself that not only was God out there, but on a more personal level, that He actually cared for me, and that He actually loved me. So I absolutely understand and appreciate what people mean when they say this to me.

God understands it too, and there is nothing wrong with wanting such a sign, or a proof of God’s love! In-fact He has given us exactly what we have asked for… a sign of His love for us.

What I want to share with you today, is precisely how and why you can be completely certain of God’s love for you, personally. And by seeing this, you will be able to have a more relaxed, and open and free relationship with God, built solid on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Speak Victory, Not Defeat

Many people have heard the famous quote from Proverbs 18:21, that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”, and countless sermons have been preached over the years about the power of positive confession – even the secular world understands that speaking (and thinking) positively can have a benefit.

The scriptures however take it deeper than what most people realize. Positive thinking and positive confession without a foundation on the truth of Jesus Christ, is empty. It is just words without substance, it is clouds without rain if we don’t understand exactly why we can speak and think positively – and have it be more than simply nice words or pleasant thoughts.

Many people, including believers that I have talked to, are trying to get the benefits of positive thinking and positive confession, without the foundation… putting the cart before the horse; and without the basis of Jesus Christ, it all falls flat.

So what I want to share with you today, are some examples of how this was used by the people in scripture, about the very specific positive confessions that they spoke, and how they actually obtained results… and by seeing this, you will be able to speak and think positively, with confidence and substance, because you will know why it is true for you.

Psalm 51, Jesus, and Your Relationship

If you’ve read any of our previous studies, you know that I talk a lot about your identity in Christ, your foundation in Him, your Relationship with God. I talk about those things so often because without these things, you really have nothing but dead religion. Without these things: without your identity, without your relationship, without your foundation on Jesus Christ, it’s all just empty ritual, empty tradition, and ultimately an empty existence.

I had one person ask me once: Why don’t you teach something more relevant? And I had to respond and say that there is nothing more relevant than the finished work of Jesus Christ, and who you are in Him. I have discussions with people all of the time, who claim to be Christian’s, who say that they are believers, but they have no real relationship with God; they have no foundation, or realization of their identity… and these same people are living defeated lives… they are down all of the time, and they spend more time talking about how the enemy is beating them down rather than the victory that Jesus has won.

And please understand, I am not pointing fingers at those people, I’m not judging or ridiculing them at all – that’s not what Jesus called me to do… my purpose in mentioning their situation, is to highlight an issue that needs to be addressed… the lack of this foundation, identity and relationship in and through Jesus, is hurting people and destroying lives.

So what I want to share with you today, is more on this foundation. So that you will be able to live in the confidence, joy and peace of Jesus Christ every single day.

Let Jesus Restore You

I’ve encountered a lot of resistance to the Gospel message over the years. I used to resist it myself before Jesus was really introduced to me. And in mostly every instance, it boils down to one single thing… the unwillingness of the person to let Jesus restore them. And I’m choosing my words very carefully here. You see, there usually is no argument that a restoration needs to happen… most people accept that, but where they have difficulty (and where I also had difficulty myself) was in recognizing who the active agent of that restoration actually is. Again, most people are not willing to simply let Jesus restore them, they usually want to be restored by some other means or method – usually themselves.

This is nothing new however, it has been going on since the beginning in the Garden of Eden; and a lot of people are stuck in the spiritual mud with this mentality that they must achieve restoration some other way before presenting themselves to God. The reasons for this are sometimes fear, and sometimes pride.

The prideful ones want to try and impress God: They want to have a Tada! Moment where they can say to God something along the lines of “Here I am, all nice and clean for you! Aren’t you proud of what I did?”

And the fearful ones are too afraid to approach God at all because they know that they are dirty and are afraid of His reaction.

Both of these are mentioned in scripture, and I have personally lived on both sides of the aisle myself as well. What I want to share with you today is how to truly handle both of these situations, and find real peace with God, not through your own efforts, but by letting Jesus truly restore you.

Enjoying the Relationship With God

When you hear the phrase “relationship with God”, what comes to your mind? Modern Christianity has latched onto this phrase as the cool thing to say, the trending topic if you will… but what does it mean exactly? How does a person go about having a relationship with God? What does that look like and how does that work?
I have encountered people who use that term “relationship with God”, and I have asked them, “so tell me about that relationship…” and they typically adopt a blank expression on their faces, like a deer in headlights, because they had honestly never thought about what it means themselves. Others have reverted to the typical “well, I read my Bible every day and attend church regularly.”

It’s not surprising really, because Christianity today has largely replaced a genuine relationship with God, for little more than typically Christian duties. Going to church, regular Bible reading, giving some percentage of income. And as long we check-off those boxes every week, we feel as though we have done something worthwhile… we are a “good Christian”. And let me tell you, I am not pointing any fingers here, because I was the exact same way, with the very same mentality. Until one day, when I realized that even though I was checking every single one of those boxes, I was still dead inside – there was no relationship with God at all. I had substituted a real relationship with a real and personal God, for a pseudo relationship fabricated by works and services. I didn’t know any better because no-one ever told me any different. But inside, God was calling…

What I want to share with you today, is how to have and enjoy a real and genuine relationship with a real and personal God. It is possible to have, and it’s what He actually wants. It’s what Jesus actually came to restore, but most people have been shoehorned onto the treadmill of mere Christian religion instead of true relationship… and they feel the same emptiness that I did, but because of fear, and peer-pressure from those around them, and the burden of all the things that we feel we must do each week, all these things combine to make it very difficult to pull out of the trap of “religious life” and the autopilot of the day, and take a step back to honestly ask the question: do I even really know who God is? Have we even spoken recently? I had to ask myself those questions… and I had to honestly answer “no” to both of them before I woke up and decided that what I was doing wasn’t worth my time anymore. I wanted a genuine relationship with God, and all of the other religious stuff, was just getting in the way. So today, if what I am describing sounds familiar to you, this study will set you free from that today.

The Last Adam and Who You Really Are

People often ask me why I talk so much about our identity in Christ. I have been asked on more than one occasion, why I don’t talk about something “more relevant”… and each time I respond the exact same way: I say, Sir / Ma’am, there is nothing more relevant than the Gospel of Jesus Christ; there is nothing more relevant than the truth of what He has done and of who we are in Him. That is the very truth that makes us free.

Now there have been some I have said that to, that had their eyes opened, and suddenly realized what I was saying – and there have been others I have said that to, that have snickered and became offended and went off in search of whatever trending topic was going on for that week, but the truth remains, that a vast majority of Christians in the world today are still living weak and powerless lives, with more defeats than victories, and it’s all because of a simple lack of understanding regarding the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s all due to ignorance of what Jesus has really done, and who we are in Him; and so that is what I want to share with you today.

Giving Thanks to God

Have you ever given or received a Thank You note, or a card? It’s a simple way to express your gratitude and appreciation for something, or just someone being there for you. Maybe you just simply told someone face-to-face “Hey, thanks for being my friend.” or “Thanks for helping out.” A simple thank you can go a long way and mean a lot to someone. It can create a sense of closeness and strengthen the bonds of friendship, and simply let the person know that you value them.

There are many believers who want to thank God, genuinely, but they don’t know how to… or worse they have been taught the wrong ideas on how to thank Him (typically through legalism or a works-mindset), which leads the person into a deep pit of bondage, all stemming from a simple desire to express thankfulness. So the desire can be quite innocent, but can lead to great destruction.