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.

The Essence of the Gospel and Love

At first, the title of today’s study might seem a bit disjointed, the essence of the Gospel and love. You might wonder if it wouldn’t be better to split these into two separate studies. Well, I thought about it, but the more that I explored each, I came to realize that the two cannot truly be separated; they are integral to one another. Without Love, there is no Gospel, and without the Gospel there is no Love. A surprising number of people today do not understand the basic foundation, the basic central core and essence of the Gospel message… all they really know, is that this guy Jesus, at some place and some time, died by crucifixion, and that for some reason He did it for them. (They may also include that He died for their sins).

What I have found is that for most people, these have become empty statements, lacking substance, lacking the essence of God’s Love and their personal identity in Christ. It’s one thing to say with your mouth that Jesus died for your sins – but it’s quite another to apply that reality to your life and to live from that place every single day. To take the fact that Christ has made you a completely new creation, and to apply it personally, and to make that identity completely yours, is the true essence of the Gospel. A fact that has been largely watered-down and even lost in many Christian circles today.

Understanding Your Relationship

I used to think that being a believer meant regular church attendance, remembering and reciting Bible verses, and obedience to the Law. I tried my best to do all of those things, and indeed I felt “religious”, I felt like I was part of “the club”, but inside I was still just as empty, just as hurting and just as dead as I was before… only now there was a layer of religiosity covering the vacuum on the inside of me like a bandage.

Since then, there has been a Christian slogan going around that has become rather popular: Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. You may have heard that slogan before – it is catchy, and it is absolutely true; no question about it. But do we really understand it? I know that I didn’t when I first heard it. Sure, I acknowledged that Christianity was a relationship; it was a clever thing to say, but deep down nothing really changed – I was still completely dominated by traditions, still bound by rules and religion and letting those be a poor substitute for a genuine relationship with God… and I was still just as empty, just as hurt and just as dead as before.

Look to Jesus and Receive Strength

God is generous. He goes above and beyond even our wildest expectations when given the opportunity. We often have trouble believing this about God though. A typical thought that I hear people say is that ‘if God is so generous, why doesn’t He give me more?’, however this question exposes a failure to see the true character and nature of God. We have been indoctrinated with an idea that God is sitting up in Heaven demanding to be served and that He must be properly pleased or entreated before He doles out rewards, and even then you had better not expect much!

However this is a totally inaccurate idea and view of God. God is not up in Heaven demanding to be served; He is instead closer than you even realize, and instead of demanding to be served, He is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to serve you! Can you believe that? The God of the universe, has actually willingly taken the position of service, for your benefit – and He actually becomes a gainer of glory by serving you! This is what we will be taking a look at today. How God serves, how you can receive it, and what the truth about God’s generosity really is.

The Greater Glory in the Ministry of the Spirit

One day someone asked me straight out “what is the ministry of the spirit?” – now this man was a believer, and as embarrassing as it may seem, I hadn’t actually considered that there were believers today which did not know what the Bible says about the ministry of the spirit, or even that there has been a change in ministry. So his question caught me a little bit off-guard. Since that time, I’ve come to realize that the majority of believers also have the same question, unaware that there has been a change in ministry due to Jesus Christ.

This is what we are going to be studying today, seeing the change that has occurred in our ministry. It’s important to see this truth for two reasons: first because as ambassadors for Christ, we should know what the message from our King is! And second, this will also help us to distinguish between truth and falsehood in ministry.

The Heart of Jesus in His Resurrection (part 2)

Last week in part one of this study, we saw how the heart of God is not for religion or even dutiful service, but for genuine intimate relationship. We also saw how this relationship with God is integral and necessary for good service, since without the foundation of receiving love from God, every work is a dead work.

Today as we continue with part two of our study, we are going to see the contrast between the behaviors of different people as they encounter the truth of God. How the truth of Jesus can and should affect us, and we will see what the heart of Jesus for everyone is, even if they do not realize it.

The Heart of Jesus in His Resurrection (part 1)

When people say “Jesus is Risen.” they are making a statement. They are proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are testifying to His completed work for their atonement and justification which His resurrection brings. We often proclaim that He is risen with joy as we sing about the truth of this fact. However sometimes, this statement can become so cliché that the details of the events of His resurrection become lost.

That’s why in this study today, we are going to examine the events of His resurrection, and in doing so, we will see a wonderful picture of His heart for us. Even His raising from the dead was done for us, and His love for us never fails.

The Peace of Christ Brings Divine Healing

It’s been known as a greeting and a goodbye… “Peace” The Hebrew language even uses the word shalom, which literally translates to “peace” for the same purpose as a greeting and farewell. However the Bible has a much more grand view of peace, specifically the divine peace of Jesus.

Today I want to share with you this peace of God, what it is, how we receive it and how it benefits us. These things are spelled-out in the scriptures purposefully because God wants us to know them and have them. Jesus paid for us to have His peace because He loves us and wants us to receive freely from Him.

Gods’ Room

Where does God live? When asked this question, many believers will say “in Heaven”, while many children fresh out of Sunday School will answer “in my heart”. While this may be a very pleasant thing to think, the scriptures have something different to say regarding this question, and the answer lends itself to explain why many are not experiencing the richly fulfilling relationship with Christ that they so desperately need.