Your heart is the most important part of you. It's not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it's talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There's the person we show to everybody around us and the part of us that only God can see, the part He really cares about.
The Bible tells us to have a perfect heart. Matthew 5:48 (NIV) says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." If you're a perfectionist, this is a scary verse, because it's a struggle to always try to be perfect. But this is not what it means to be perfect, according to Scripture.
The Amplified Bible translation of Matthew 5:48b says, "Be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect." A person with a perfect heart is someone who loves God and always wants to grow.
What God Is Really Looking For
2 Chronicles 16:9a NIV) says, "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." This verse doesn't say that God can just work through those who are perfect but through those who are "fully committed to him."
Just as we don't have to make ourselves perfect before we come to Christ (which we couldn't do anyway), we don't need to behave perfectly in every area of our life before God will work in us and through us. When I first started teaching a home Bible study years ago, I wore short shorts and smoked while I taught the Word, sitting on my living room floor.
I had a lot of growing to do, but I really loved God and wanted to please Him. He met me right where I was and worked with me to get me where I needed to be. There's always room to grow in my walk with Christ, and I'm so thankful that God keeps working in me and through me on every level of my journey, every day of my life.
How Committed Are You?
A person with a perfect heart is someone who loves God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and who is fully committed to Him. The question is: What areas of your life have you been holding back from God? Have you been giving Him your time, praying and studying the Word? Do you give of yourself to others, helping to meet their needs as you're able? Are you managing your finances the way God wants you to, living within your means, saving, spending and giving as He puts it on your heart to do so?
It's important to remember that whatever God asks us to do, it's always for our good. Initially, it may feel sacrificial, giving up things we like or want. But as we obey God, we find later on that there was so much more we didn't even know about, and what God wanted was much better for us in the long run.
More than anything else, the Bible says God wants us to love Him (Luke 10:27), and love sacrifices and obeys. The more we love Jesus, the easier it is to obey and trust Him. Because when you really love someone, you want to please them and make them happy. What makes God happy is helping you do anything that will give you a better life.
Have a Meeting With Yourself
In Mark 7:15, Jesus says, "Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them." This verse makes it clear that it's what comes out of a person's heart that really matters.
We all need to have a meeting with ourselves once in a while to examine what's really in our hearts. It's easy to smile and act like we're good on the outside, while on the inside, it's a different story. I remember times when I was in church, singing "I Surrender All" with my hands in the air, and thinking, "If Dave thinks I'm cooking something for him today, he's got another thing coming." It's possible to appear to be doing one thing while your heart is somewhere else.
My goal with this message is to help you make a committed decision to love God with all of your heart, and to fall in love with Him more and more every day. As you do, you'll discover how it's the key to having a heart that's more like His ... a perfect heart.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times' bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Your Battles Belong to the Lord (FaithWords). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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