June 23, 2017

A Heart Prepared for God - Part 2

Christians should not be afraid to tell others about Jesus.  But sometimes, there are people who seem to just go through the motions with regard to Christianity.  Being a Christian appeals to a person, but that's all they are doing and it becomes a superficial experience for them.

This is the second type of heart that is prepared for God when it comes to evangelism and it's the Shallow Heart.

 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.  Luke 8:13

Look at what the Shallow Heart is like.  They hear the Gospel.  They receive it with joy, but they have not taken seriously the commitment to grow.  They have a temporary emotion of joy, but when they experience trials in their lives, they give up and blame God for their troubles, when that is not what is happening.

The trials are not new at all, whatsoever.  It’s the reality that there has been no care to grow as a Christian.  

When small group bible studies were once a joy for having the opportunity to grow in their relationship with Jesus and to grow in the knowledge of the Word, after a while it has become unimportant to them.  Why?  Because they don’t understand that the devil is coming against them to disrupt their lives.

The Shallow Heart can also be described as one who is Half-hearted too.  No real, full comment to the Lord or His church.  They don’t attend a small group bible study, they come in late to the service, or leave early at the end of the service.  Attending a prayer meeting is as desirable as getting a root canal done.  

The Shallow Heart shows evidence of just being here and nothing more and when the trials of life come, when the rains fall, and the floods come, when the wind blows and beats them down, when life hits them hard, they fall away because there was nothing rooting them in the ground to withstand the storms of life.  (Matthew 7:24-27)

But, we can and should see that when those trials of life do come, so that the shallow heart does not fall away, but grows fuller in Christ and withstands the trials, we should consider it to be a joyful time that your faith is being tested and tested so that you would persevere in faith, trusting in Christ to provide, protect and preserve your life, no matter what happens.

Trials have a purpose from God, but someone who has a shallow heart will not recognize the trial as a means of building their faith (James 1:2-4), but rather blaming God for their troubles that have separated them from friends and even family.

Each one of us must take a look at ourselves and ask, “Is my heart shallow concerning the things of God that I am avoiding, instead of seeing as God’s gift to help me grow?”  “Am I just going through the motions as a Christian, in my life, in my witness, in my commitment to the church?”

This passage speaks about those who hear the Gospel and their response to it, but it also addresses our heart too, as Christians because it is possible to develop a shallow heart when a person feels bitter towards someone in the church.

People can show an appearance of being a Christian, but when trials come, the test will show whether or not your heart, soul, mind and your strength will turn to God, or you will run away from Him and I can assure you that the direction you must turn is toward God.  There is no better shelter than God.  There is no stronger anchor for the soul than Jesus.  There is no better counselor than the Holy Spirit, where the Triune God wants us to grow in Christ and is willing to make that happen, but it requires a life to be surrendered to Him, fully, not half-heartedly.

The person who once had a fire for the Lord, maybe even a genuine passion for Him, they need to return to that fire and passion and make a serious commitment to serving the Lord with their lives.

On the other hand, Christians also need to realize that sometimes people may appear to come to faith in Christ, but once the difficulties take place in their lives and they feel that God is not with them, or helping them, they've forgotten that those instances are intended to help them grow in their faith, not weaken them.

In a few days, I'll post about the next type of heart that is prepared for God when it comes to evangelizing the lost and it's one that everyone may be familiar with too.

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