The Heart of the Matter


Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and recieve from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him. And His commandment is this: we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as He commanded us. Those who keep His commandments remains in Him, and He in them, and the way that we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit that He gave us.        I John 3:21-24

Why would our own hearts condem us? They wouldn’t….if our motives were pure.

As John begins this last section of chapter 3, he is reminding us of the motivation of our hearts, or our consciences. He has repeatedly reminded us of the importance of love; for God and for our brothers. In last weeks study, he stated, that if we loved in only “word or tongue”, with no action to back it up, the love of God didn’t remain in us. Now comes another test; what’s the motivation for me to act with love towards my brother? Is it for me to be seen and noticed by others, so that they may exclaim how righteous I am? Or is it purely and truely from the love of God that dwells within me?

 Only we, within ourselves, can answer these questions. We can fool other people, for they can not judge our hearts. Only we can…well us and God. So to stand before God in confidence is to stand before Him with a pure heart. Remember the beatitude,”Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” But the benefit of a pure heart doesn’t end there. It also moves us from “seeing God” to “participating with God”, in His life, love and kingdom. As the Lord’s prayer teaches,” Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

With this purity of heart, of seeing and participating with God, we can also have confidence that we can recieve what we ask for in prayer. Why? John says, because we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him. As we act in this way, with pure motives and a pure conscience, we are assured that we remain in Him and He in us, and the way we know this is from the Spirit He gave us. His Spirit, leads us in all truth. He guides and forms our consciences and He is the ever-present reminder, to live our lives in a holy way. Pleasing to the Father as Christ Himself lived.

So this week, let us purify our hearts, examine our consciences and submit to the Holy Spirit’s call on our lives as His children. So that we may live a life worthy of Christ.

Amen.

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3 Responses

  1. Well said and a wonderful reminder. Sometimes, it is difficult for me to keep my motives in check. It’s easy to get caught doing it for the wrong reasons and not so easy to always do them for the right ones.

  2. Thanks Amber. Yes, it seems easy to do the right thing the wrong way, and it’s hard to post a reflection like this without feeling somewhat like a hypocrite. Thank God for His grace and mercy, that I find forgiveness when I fail, and the strenghth to try again.

  3. You’ve been tagged!

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