We are heading into a New Year and many will be making resolutions but instead of making resolutions the coming New Year would be a good time for us to take a good look at ourselves and examine the state of our heart and where we stand with God.
How often do we think about the state of our heart or if our heart is pure and clean before God. Jesus said in the beatitudes in Matthew 5 verse 8 says “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” First of all, I want us to consider what the heart is. What exactly is this heart to which Jesus refers? We know the heart pumps blood through our bodies, yet there must be something more Jesus is referring to?
Our heart is often thought of as the center of our emotions and thoughts. We often say “I love you with all my heart.” Or we say “Let us get to the heart of the matter.” In other words we are getting to the very center of the depth of our being. Again Jesus said if our heart is not pure we will not see God.
So how do we know if our heart is pure and clean?
We must example ourselves, taking a good look at what we think about and talk about; at the things we look at or let our mind dwell upon. The things that are most often on our minds are what our heart is set on. Are those things the things of God or the world?
There are so many things in this world that can tempt us and draw out minds and hearts away from God: TV shows, commercials, movies, games, Facebook, our phones, Utube, the people we pass on the street that are not dressed properly, the list goes on and on. All of these things will eventually draw our hearts away from God. If we are not very careful we then begin to think on then look at and do these things not acceptable to God.
Sin is all around us to the point we can become immune it’s effect on us. We begin to indulge in those sins and our heart becomes unclean before God. We no longer see the wrong we are doing and our hearts can become hardened. Matthew 15:8-19 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
We may try to hide our sins but the Lord knows our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him not even out thoughts.
Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
I Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
The Lord was talking about David here in this scripture. We know David from a young boy had faith in God and often accomplished much through is faith and willingness to serve God. Yet David allowed his heart to be turned from God and be tempted to do things that displeased God.
David Prayed in Psalms 139: 23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Even David, a man God said was a man after his own heart (Acts13:22), had to examine himself and pray for God to forgive him.
Acts 13:22-23 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
If David had not been willing to examine himself and recognize that he was sinning against God then God would never have used David again and Jesus would have never been born from his blood line.
Yet David humbled himself, sought God and prayed to God in Psalms 51 for God to create in him a clean heart. Psalms 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
The condition of our heart matters. So how do we keep ourselves clean, and if we know we are sinning what do we do to make things right with God?
We examine ourselves as it says in I Corinthians 11:27-32
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
We need to daily take a look at our heart and lives to make sure we are living a life that is pleasing to God.
We then confess our sins before God and ask Him to forgive us. I John 1:6-9
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
We repent and turn from those sins Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
We can’t hide our sins from God and denying them to ourselves and others with not save us from our sins.
Seek God! Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.