Wednesday, July 3, 2019 -
When one becomes a true Christian, their heart changes. One can know the truth in their minds, but it is a heart that changes and makes us new creatures. Our hearts are inherently evil, God Himself claims in Genesis 8:21. I Samuel 16:7 says, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” God also said in Ezekiel 19:31, after telling Israel to “repent and turn away” from all their transgressions, to “make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!” In the first few verses of Proverbs 3, He tells us His commandments are to be written and kept in our hearts, and we are to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts.
But only Christ’s shed blood for your sin and mine has the power to cleanse our hearts (Acts 15:9), if we truly “repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:20). In other words, Christ comes into our life, our behavior is radically transformed.
I met someone like that out on the yard tonight, who could speak of nothing but the greatness and goodness of God. His name was “Blue”, and the joy of the Lord was evident in every word that spewed from his mouth. His life has been truly transformed by the blood of Christ.
If your heart has not been changed in any way, perhaps you should consider whether your repentance and acceptance of Christ was truly a decision to come into your heart to change it through the power of the Holy Spirit. A heart that’s been truly changed by the blood of Christ is particularly evident here in prison. There are many claiming to be a Christian because they went forward in church years ago, or were raised in a Christian family, but it is evident their heart has never been changed. There are the ones who tell me they are Christians, yet refuse to pray with me or study the Word together.
Yet when Christ truly comes into our lives, we put “aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves…” (James 1:21-22).
One very clear indicator of a changed heart is his tongue, for “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless (James 1:26)!