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Truth and our heart
- Jacob Ninan
Is the truth we believe in open to change depending on which group of people we are among? Of course, we don't flaunt our beliefs indiscriminately in every place; we don't throw our pearls before the swine who might trample them under their feet (Mt.7:6); we don't stumble people of growing faith by speaking things that are beyond their present faith (Ro.14:13). But would we be willing to bend our 'faith' to avoid having to contradict those we want to please or those we don't want to offend?
The answer to this question will reveal if the truth that we believe in is just in our head as a notion or it has gripped our heart. If it is just in our head and it doesn't move us in our heart it will be just like one of the many opinions or information we have about many things in the world. It doesn't really shape our life. C. T. Studd the English cricketer who sold off his wealth to become a missionary for Jesus said, "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." Here was a man who was passionate about what he believed.
There are many who will say the same words but who will hardly make any sacrificial move in their life for Jesus. What makes the difference between a 'live' and 'dead' faith (Jas.2:18-20) is a genuine relationship with God that has come about because of a personal encounter with Jesus. Those who have accepted their 'faith' in Jesus just because they were born in a 'Christian' family or who merely opted for a 'conversion' of religion don't have any passion for Christ.
Those who have a passion for Christ are willing to make sacrifices (even of their life) because what they believe is sustained by their real relationship with Christ. It is not just about how much money they are willing to give for the work of the Lord. Many give out of their surplus without any sacrifice. It can be seen in the focus of our life in giving time and effort in serving God. It is seen in how we deny ourselves in order to do the will of God (Lk.9:23-25). What we are willing to sacrifice in secret is a good indicator of our love for God. We can know in our own heart where we really stand.
There is much too much wrong emphasis from preachers these days about giving. The sometimes open and many times subtle message that comes forth with the preaching is that giving is the way to get things from God. How much of such giving--even sacrificial giving--is misplaced because the motive is entirely selfish. Do we imagine that God doesn't see through this ruse?
God is looking for the pure in heart--whose aim in life is to glorify God and to accomplish His will (Mt.6:9,10)--who then will be able see God better (Mt.5:8), and who will have increasing fellowship with Him (Jn.14:23). Such people will have more answers to their prayer because their innermost prayer is that God may be glorified through them (v.13). Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement and live that kind of a life.