“I’ve had a change of heart.” Has anyone ever said that to you? Have you ever said that to anyone? We often use that expression to indicate a change of affection. Meaning, I was feeling one thing and therefore choosing to act a certain way, but now I’m feeling differently and will act accordingly. When we come to know Jesus there should be a change of affections that takes place inside of us.
Romans 2:28-29 (NLT) For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. 29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
Firstly, I want to point out that we are not made right with God because of our heritage. I know your grandma founded the church, but you are not in a better spiritual condition because your dad was a pastor. You become a true Christian when genuine heart change takes place inside of you. We naturally place our affections in worldly things. These are not necessarily bad or sinful. It is just our nature to desire the satisfaction of the world. We seek out peace and comfort from worldly possessions, entertainment or people. As we mature in Christ there should be a change that takes place. We desire less of worldly pleasure and more of the presence of God and to see the Kingdom of Heaven advance.
This should result in a visible change in how we spend our time. Our affections always drive our actions. Equally true, our actions always reveal where our affections truly lie. I am reminded of the words of John the baptist.
Matthew 3:8 (NLT) Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
Does the way you spend your time, the choices you make, the words you speak reveal the heart change inside of you? How has being a Christian affected your life in the last year? How have you advanced the Kingdom?
These questions are challenging, but important. Too often, we let large sums of time pass by and we have sadly done very little. I do not write these words to belittle you, but to encourage you. God is not in Heaven wagging His finger at our lack of achievement. He is a loving God, patiently waiting for us to acknowledge Him and allow Him more involvement in our daily lives.
I only share these words, because I too have fallen so very short of the mark, more than I would care to admit. It is also because I know first hand the grace of our Lord and His faithfulness to forgive our shortcomings.
Romans 3:22 (NLT) We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
It is our faith that makes us right with God and because of our right standing with Him, our desires and affections begin to transition from the world to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Take some time today to sit quietly in prayer and ask the Lord to increase your affections the things of Heaven. Time spent in His presence is never wasted. In fact, the quickest way to increase affection for anything is to invest more time into it.