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Even if, when you get done reading this and your heart condemns you still, praise Jesus, your heart doesn't get the final say.

We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; (1 John 3:19 - 21)

Though it's true that if our heart doesn't condemn us we can have confidence before the throne of God, but if our heart does condemn us it doesn't effect the faithfulness of Christ towards us. That is what is meant by God being greater than our hearts. If our heart does condemn us it can surely hinder and even halt our Christian walk. It doesn't change the fact we're saved, but it may make you doubt that you are, and with some convince them they are not.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38,39)

Read this again, "nor any other created thing". This includes you, and God means it!

In order for our heart to condemn us it has to be making a judgment call. The measurement used to judge varies from person to person, but the process is the same. The person measures where they think they should be, then measures where they think they're at. They then sees their shortcomings according to these self predetermined markers and feels guilty. These type of people are often prone to legalism. They are measuring their merits and determining their worth accordingly. If these same type of people meet or exceed their predetermined markers they are often haughty and think they are the only ones measuring up. Both groups usually struggle with pride and self-reliance.

We often set our own predetermined marker of where we should be at in our walk with God, but the fact is Christ has already set it for us when he said:

"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:48)

Can I ask, what is your first reaction when you read the above verse? Mine was discouragement and exhaustion. I had to bump up my marker from stop cussing and lusting and start reading my bible more to well, perfection. I was overwhelmed.

You know, I often think Christ gives us these demands for a couple reasons. One to show us what God's holiness demands on us. I believe this requirement to be perfect is very real and God will in no way compromise it, nor should He. The second thing we should see is that we can in no way obtain it, nobody can, at least not by any self method. Let me give you another example, the rich young ruler.

A ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'" And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." When Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. (Luke 18:18-23)

How many times have you read this confused as to Jesus's response. Maybe even feeling that it was contradicting the rest of the theme of the bible where Jesus testifies only through Him can one reap eternal life.

Notice in this story the person that comes to Jesus is rich. He is well to do, and he is a ruler. He probably is a very respected person in his community. In fact when Jesus shared the commandments with him, look how quickly he replied "All these things I have kept from my youth." (Sounds like he was measuring himself as well). But now look! Jesus gives him a more correct measurement of himself, "One thing you still lack" he said to him. And I love the next part, you see, Jesus knowing the hearts of men knew what was in this man's heart and the next task He gives him is one the ruler in his own heart wasn't ready nor willing to do. "Sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor...and come follow Me."

I believe this rich young ruler had an honest desire to enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he was ready to earn his own way there. Jesus gave him a command that the rich young ruler wasn't strong enough in the flesh to carry out. Notice now his demeanor changes, "But when he had heard these things, he became very sad". This man had both riches and power, but now, possibly for the first time in his life he needed help. When the ruler parted from Jesus here in the story I wonder if he tried anyways. Donating money to the Leper research center, or stopping by the Pool of Siloam to buy some paraplegics new pillow top pallets. All the while knowing in the back of his mind he wasn't measuring up to what was required of him, his heart condemning him, and possibly, hopefully, for the first time feeling a need for a savior.

I've heard it said that the law is a guide of what were suppose to be doing. I disagree. In fact after following that assumption and using the law as my measurement, and constantly falling short, I am disgusted by the idea of the law being a guide. This method of thinking promotes the flesh to take action. I think Jackie Hudson in her book Doubt: a Road to Growth described the law best when she said that the law is like a thermometer. It points out something's wrong, that your sick, but it in no ways offers healing or a solution. The law simply points out your need for a savior, it is a tutor to point you to Jesus Christ.

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. (Gal. 3:24)


If this resonated with you, here are some articles I think you'll find encouraging:

God Isn't Looking to Disqualify You Based on a Technicality

You Can Teach the Brain but You Train the Heart

Stop Looking Inwardly to Determine if You're Saved

Don't Equate Your Success in the Flesh to Your Success in the Spirit





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Have some feedback, insight, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc? Maybe you just want to share what God is doing in your life (I love praise reports), or maybe you can relate to some of the things here and need an ear. I'd love to hear from you!