Open Hearts; April 3, 2018

Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

What a blessed verse, filled with implications for every believer! As Paul noted, it takes God’s help for us to really grasp what He has said to us through the Bible, as well as what He is saying to us now. (1 Corinthians 2:14) However, the good news is that He provides that help to those who seek it. The problem comes in our failing to seek it. The devil does all he can to blind us to God’s truth. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 3:14-15) That’s because he knows that when we receive and accept that truth, we are set free from his traps. (John 8:32) The question becomes, do we want to be set free? I have dealt with someone who actively chose not to be set free from demonic oppression because she had been convinced the demons gave her advantage and excuse to live as she wanted. Her end was pathetic indeed. We may not be in such an extreme situation, but we are all faced with the choice: do we want to follow God and know more of Him? If the answer is yes, then He will supply the insight and strength, and even faith, that are necessary.

I have become totally convinced of the reality of human free will and the absolute importance of choosing Christ. He is Lord, whether we choose to acknowledge Him as that or not, but it is only by our choice that we receive the benefits of His salvation. I’ve learned the hard way that knowledge of Him isn’t the same thing as knowing and following Him. I knew Him in childlike simplicity as a young child, and my baptism at age seven was certainly valid, but my choices after that tended to self-gratification and intellectual pride, and I essentially forgot Him. In His amazing grace He brought me to repentance, but by that point I was already married and a father. Now, as I read the Bible each morning I ask Him to open the Word to me and open my heart to the Word, so that it won’t be just information but will be the light and life that I need. He is amazingly faithful to answer that prayer! Through the Internet I am able to share the insights He gives me, but if I fail to apply those insights myself, I don’t receive the blessing. There are many things about time and eternity that I can’t understand while I am in the flow of time, but if I will choose to turn to Him, God will open my heart to receive all that I need to understand, and I am to submit all the rest to Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You take me through in time to prepare me for eternity. Thank You that my biopsy went smoothly yesterday. I trust You with the results. Thank You for all the many things that are going on: the ones that delight me, the ones that distress me, and the ones in between. Help me submit and release each one to You, allowing You to open my heart to become and do what You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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