~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year...New You...New Me! Back to the Basics; A Matter of the Heart and Blood

Let’s break it down – a little basic biology: the Cardiovascular System – the heart and blood vessels…did you know the human body has over 60,000 miles of blood vessels? This system supplies all cells with oxygen and nutrients as well as removes carbon dioxide and other waste products. More than that, get this, the heart is the driving force for the movement of this cleansing blood. It actively pumps blood out of its chambers and passively relaxes allowing the next fill up. The “fill up” is not due to the heart sucking the blood in, as one would think; rather it is because of the underlying pressure of the cardiovascular system as a whole.

In the same manner, the heart and blood are the driving force behind a spiritually fit person; a repentant heart and the blood of Jesus which cleanses us from all sin.

What struck me in that definition of the phrase physically fit was the fact that you have to have a well conditioned heart to participate in exercise…unlike what most think…you exercise to get your heart in shape; or was that just me? So…we have to begin with a clean heart? Is my heart clean? Is yours? Let’s go for a check-up…

But before we do, let’s remember John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

We realize and understand that we were all born into sin…you know it’s that Adam and Eve story we all have heard…the fall of man, the tempting of Eve by the serpent, her giving in and eating the forbidden fruit. There's been movies made about it. It’s in Genesis chapter 3. Take a minute and refresh your memory. Oh, you already believe that one? That’s a good start. But you still think you are a good person? You don’t do anything wrong? You help others do you?

When we talk about sin, what are we talking about? How about the Ten Commandments? How many of those do you know? No stealing, no lying, no other God but the One True God, no murder, no cheating on your wife or husband. That’s only half. Better check out Exodus Chapter 20 verses 1-17 for a refresher. Now, how many of those have you broken? Today? Yeah, me too. Not to worry, it’s our human nature – we were born that way.

Romans 3:23 tells us “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So now we know and we know why.

Unfortunately, there is always a price for everything up to and including; sin…and it is death. Romans 6:23(a) states “The wages of sin is death.” Physical death was a result of that original sin, but worse than that... is spiritual death which alienates us from God, for all eternity.

In the book of Revelation it mentions the Lake of Fire …Rev 20:14,15 “Then death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life he was thrown into the lake of fire.” No, this is not the Biblical version, the Christian version, or the religious version of the televison show “Fear Factor.” I am not trying to scare you into making a decision here and if you have made the decision to follow Christ, as I know most of you reading this have, then thank the Lord, right now for sparing us this fate.

The beauty is in Romans 6:23(b) “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” Salvation is free…we can’t earn it, we can’t give enough tithes or money to buy it, we can’t do enough good deeds to have it, or teach Sunday school to grab it, we can't work in the church enough to have it benevolently bestowed upon us...or be good enough…to get it! It’s a fact, we just have to accept it.

Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Thus it spares us from that second death…if only we would believe. You see when He died on the cross it was for all mankind, once and for all. His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is our only hope to have forgiveness. His blood is what saves us…not religion, not being spiritual, not church membership.

Romans 10:13 “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord, will be saved.” If you believe just a simple prayer is all you need. Need clarification? Not so sure you believe? Start talking to Him, buddy. Ask Him. He will reveal Himself to you.

Ok, so now you believe what's next? Romans 10:9,10 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead you shall be saved; for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” If you feel God is knocking at the door to your heart – and you will know it is HIM…open up- invite Him in…come on now…let the changes begin!

Jesus said in Revelation 3:20(a) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”

Just like in the cardiovascular system where the heart yields to the pressure being built up by the flow of blood , we also yield to the Holy Spirit’s pressure as He knocks at the door of our hearts.

Believe in Him, ask Him to come in to your heart by faith. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you…He will do it! Open the Bible to the Gospel of John and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again. God will help you…He loves you! Now that's a way to have a good,strong and healthy heart, if you ask me!

For some reason the song, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus is running through my mind even though The Katina’s in the background are belting out a rousing rendition of Yes, Lord.

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