You are welcome to another segment of this teaching. Last time, I showed you how to make a resolution to depart from iniquity as one of the things to do, when you are securing a sure foundation. Today, I want to teach on: Possessing a Good Heart. God wants you to have a perfect and a good heart. He wants you to have right and good motives. He is ready to lift you and your family this New Year, but you need to maintain a perfect heart.
You need a right heart to make a right mark. The state of your heart before God and man is so vital in life. The Bible repeatedly reveals that many kings did not reign effectively because their “heart was not perfect with the Lord” (1 Kings 11:4). ‘Heart’ in this case is not talking of the biological heart but your ‘inner motives.’
You need a good heart to sustain your family. In the parable of the sower, Jesus talked about four different states of the heart of those who hear the Word of God―the wayside heart, the stony heart, the thorny heart and the good heart. Let us examine what He said about the good heart. The Word of God says: A sower went out to sow his seed: …And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit … that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and GOOD HEART, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:5, 8, 15).
The good ground that received the seed and produced the fruit is synonymous with an honest heart. The seed in the parable is “the Word of God” (Luke 8:11).
What does it take to have a good heart or good motives in life? From the passage above, there are four characteristics of a good heart.
Be honest: It is so important to be honest with God and yourself. Too many people live in self-deceit. If God’s Word has said you are wrong about something, don’t refuse to be corrected. Rather, admit it. Being truthful is so important if you want to be free from troubles. John 8:32 says the truth sets free; lies only compound issues. Always be willing to sincerely tell the truth to your spouse, children and household.
Hear God’s Word: Many don’t make it a point of duty to hear God’s Word consistently. It is only those who listen to the Word of God that have a chance to change for the better. We are told from the Word that the more we hear it, the more results we get in life (Mark 4: 24). As you keep hearing God’s Word, your faith keeps increasing (Romans 10: 17). The believer in Jesus Christ must locate a place where the full gospel is preached and attach himself there. There are many local assemblies today, where the gospel of Jesus, the incorruptible seed of God’s Word, is preached in truth and sincerity.
Keep it: It’s not enough to hear the Word because the wayside, stony and thorny hearted also hear God’s Word but don’t keep it. To ‘keep ‘ means to ‘guard,’ and “protect”. In other words don’t forget it, remember the Word always. Christians must prepare their heart to receive the Word and not play religion. Keeping the Word well leads to the next stage before the Word produces fruit.
It is only the Word that is mixed with faith in the heart that produces results. Unbelief destroys the ability of the seed of God’s Word to produce fruits. For example, if you are a husband going through marital problems with your wife, the Bible says: Husbands love your wives… (Ephesians 5:25a). Loving your wife is the antidote. However, many husbands hear this Word and then cry out, “She will never change.” That’s unbelief and God’s Word is not being mixed with faith, so it won’t work for them. How does the devil come to wayside hearers? At times, he comes through the bad company of friends, relatives, town folks, etc. A father-in-law or uncle may have the habit of making negative suggestions to one of the couple and when adhered to, it causes God’s Word to be discarded in favour of traditional techniques for running the family. God’s Word is the final solution and the only technique for lasting family success.
The devil can even steal the Word through suggestive thoughts of the heart. There are instances when after a church service, some believers return to mix with wrong company and engage in wrong discussions. Such discussions now rule out the importance of God’s Word in their lives and they begin to behave as if the Word of God was never preached to them.
For instance, many have heard God’s Word on peace – so the seed of peace has already been sown in their hearts. This peace is meant to affect every area of life – home, children, spouse, job etc. So, if peace is missing in any area of your life, it means the birds of the air have eaten up that seed of peace.
You’ve been hearing God’s Word concerning your family. Perhaps you make decisions to change or you even actually changed but find yourself going back always to your old ways. It means something is wrong somewhere, because the moment you hear God’s Word, it is sown in your heart and it is indestructible. Why is it not producing results in your family? It could be that there are “birds of the air” (Matthew 13:4) eating it up from your heart. Determine to give them no more place in your life again. The Bible says: Neither give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). The Word of God is firm concerning the subject of not giving room to the devil or his acts. We are also told to …Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
However, you need authority over the devil before you can resist him. If you are not a bonafide child of God, you have no authority to resist the devil. Once you become a child of God, the Bible says you become far above the devil, principalities, etc. (Ephesians1:20-22; 2:4-6). Satan is under your feet in rank, so you have what it takes to resist him. If you want to become a child of God say this prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today as a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. I believe You died and rose on the third day for my sins. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.”
Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you in Jesus’ Name! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org; OR 07026385437 and 08141320204.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored).