Check Your Heart

So often we see people who have been raised in homes where the parents were faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Born again believers. Their steadfast love of God pours out to everyone they come in contact with especially their family members. This is great, but all too often the children grow up thinking that because their parents are Christians and they have been raised in a Christian home that they are Christians. Like somehow it rubbed off on them and nothing else is required. These people go about life with a false sense of being okay with God. Often times their lives certainly do not bear witness to a new man. They live just like the world going an doing all the things the unsaved do, or maybe they appear to be doing all things right. Here is the problem, God looks on our hearts. He knows, even when no one else does, he sees.

I understand how there are times when we ourselves do not have a solid faith of our own in Jesus Christ so we ride on the coattails so to speak of those in our lives who do. I myself did that as a child. I was living in a situation of abuse and I was confused and hurt most of the time. Although my parents went to church, ours was not a Godly home full of love, it was more a place to survive. However, my grandparents were Godly folks. Their walk and their talk matched up. I was particularly close to my grandmother. Her Christlike love for everyone she came in contact with poured into me. Although she was unaware of the abuse, she sensed that I needed extra love on a regular basis and gave it out freely.

When I was troubled I would go to her, ask her questions without really revealing my need to know why and she would always answer from God’s word. She would encourage me to talk to Jesus about anything and everything that worried me, so I did. It was when I talked to him that my riding on her coattails showed up. I would say things like, “God, my Mamaw says that you can do anything, my Mamaw says, that I need to forgive and love.” I did not know how to pray and ask, so I just told God what she had said and I believed she was right. But that did not save me. I needed my own relationship with Jesus. I could say all the right things, but I did not know Jesus for myself. I just had a head knowledge going on.

I can tell you that when I felt God tugging at my heartstrings one Sunday when I was about nine years old, I thought my heart would burst it was pounding so hard. I had been riveted by the message that day, staring at the Pastor even leaning in to hear good. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God was asking me to step out in faith and trust him with my life. Sweaty palms, fast heartbeat, knees knocking as soon as the invitation was given I went up. My pastor met me and leaned low and he said to me, “I knew this was your day, I could see it in your face.” He did not discourage my young heart, but confirmed what I already knew, Jesus, had called my name!

Has my walk and talk always been perfect, no it has not, but when it has been outside of what God says is good and right he has reigned me in, sometimes gently and at other times more severly, Always teaching and showing me the error of my ways and the sin that needs to be cleaned out. See, being born again is a supernatural work of the Lord, and when it happens you know it, your spirit bears witness to that change and believe me there is one. As we walk this earth our lives should mirror the life of Jesus as much as it can. We should bear fruit, spiritual fruit that is exhibited in our daily lives, no words needed.

Look at these verses and see if there is an Amen in your mouth to them. Ask God to shine a light deep into your heart and soul and reveal whether or not you truly know him as Lord or if you are riding on the coattail of someone in your life. Believing you are saved yet never accepting Jesus for yourself. Someone else’s faith will only get you so far in life, and will not get you anywhere in death! It does not matter how good you have been, how many committees you have sat on, how much money you have made, who you know, what you do, eat, read etc. It only matters that you have been born-again and know that Jesus Christ is your only hope. Do not risk it, if you cannot say with full assurance that Jesus is your Savior, then you need to repent and be saved. Ask him to save you and he will! Your mother’s faith or the faith of anyone else will not rub off on you and get you to heaven. You need your own personal relationship with the Lord.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentlenesses, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”

Romans 10:9-10 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus, is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Romans 10:13 “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 6:37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

I would encourage you, parents that you always teach your children that they themselves need to know Jesus, they need to hear the word, they need to know they are sinners, they need a relationship yours will not take them to heaven! My grandmother always said that I needed to know Jesus, she could help me, but He alone could save me. She shared her beliefs, shared scripture, told me all about her relationship and pointed the way. My heart was ready, He called, I answered.