He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
“Our values set our future.” -Brian Houston
Live from the Heart
We value the capacity to live from our hearts after the heart of God in pursuit of the good life.
When Jesus was called Good Teacher, he responded, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. When Moses longed to see the glory of God the Lord passed by in Exodus 33:19 and declared, I will make all my goodness pass before you.
What is good? Everything that comes from God is good. Every good gift comes from the Father…James 1:17. In Genesis every day of Creation was declared good! The will of God is to restore all of creation to its original goodness.
The Father’s pinnacle project is us and our hearts. He wants us to return to ruling and reigning in this life and to bring about his goodness on the globe by transforming lives, renewing the church & engaging our culture with the Gospel.
Our heart has been the scene of the epic battle of good and evil since Eden (think of your favorite movies, they are all a battle for the heart of what is good). We have been caught in the crosshairs, shot, and cruelly wounded so as to have lost heart, or live faint hearted or half hearted. To lose heart is to be buried alive. Habitual half-heartedness is the death of love. Our condition is declared as being brokenhearted…think of a ceramic tile that has been shard. -John Eldredge
Our cure is Christ’s first words in Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Haven’t you noticed with what deadly accuracy the wound, your wound was given? Those blows you’ve taken— they were not random accidents. The wound is too well aimed and far too consistent to be accidental. It was an attempt to take you out; to cripple and destroy the image of God in you. -John Eldredge
Do you know why there’s been such an assault? The enemy fears the image of God in you. If you ever really got your heart back, lived from it with courage, you would do a lot of damage…on the side of good. -John Eldredge
The subject of the heart is addressed in the Bible more than any other topic—our deepest thoughts are held in our hearts. Scripture itself claims to judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)
Satanic flesh or better known as religion is used to show you how bad you and your heart are.
• Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; Who can know it?
• Romans 3:10-12 There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who does good, no, not one.
• Yes according to the Scriptures, the heart can melt like wax, be foolish, stubborn, rebellious, wayward, vile, jealous, angry, bitter, wretched, fearful, cowardly…
But the question is; Do we have a new and better covenant with God. We had to have a new covenant because the old one didn’t work, we couldn’t obey it. The new covenant (Ezekiel 36:26) says I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. If a new and better covenant was to be made then a provision for securing obedience had to be made. The unfading glory of the new covenant provides a GUARANTEE for our faithfulness and obedience.
Jesus gives us a new heart, a heart that the Law could be written upon. I know the covenant is better not because I am perfect, but because I’m troubled when I am not. Love then is the perfect obedience of the sons and daughters because if you love you will obey. Love then is seen as having substance.
In Christ I call you to proceed by believing that your heart is good. Remember Paul in Romans 7 and the struggle that he faced? He understood and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells us, This is not me! If you think it’s you, a reflection of what’s really going on in your heart, it will immobilize you. The fact that you do not see your heart as good is only proof of how effective the assault has been.
We must fight to get our hearts back. So long as we imagine it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about—He is looking for us. – Simon Tugwell
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (that is where life starts) Proverbs 4:23
There is a secret set within each of our hearts. It often goes unnoticed, we rarely can put words to it, and yet it guides us throughout the days of our lives. This secret remains hidden for the most part in our deepest selves. It is simply the desire for life as it was meant to be.
Isn’t there a life you have been searching for all your days? You may not always be aware of your search, and times when you seem to have abandoned looking altogether. But again and again it returns to us. It is elusive, to be sure. It seems to come and go at will. Seasons may pass until it surfaces again. And though it seems to taunt us, and may at times cause us great pain, we know when it returns that it is priceless. There is nothing of greater importance than the life of our heart. -John Eldredge
The Christian life is a love affair of the heart.
• It cannot be lived primarily as a set of principles or ethics.
• It cannot be managed with steps and programs.
• It cannot be lived exclusively as a moral code leading to righteousness.
It takes courage to live from your heart. It is easier to count the hairs on your head than the movements of your heart. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said, “Through the heart’s wound, I see its secret.” How would you live differently, if you believed your heart was the treasure of the kingdom?
Think about the part you find yourself playing, the self you put on like a costume. Who cast you in this role? Most of us are living out a script that someone else has written for us. We’ve not been invited by the world around us to live from our heart, to take risks, live dangerous, be on an adventure, to be who we truly are, so we put on these false selves (pretenders and posers) hoping to offer something more acceptable to the world, something functional, something safe, predictable, calculated cautious.
In the C.S. Lewis classic, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe there is a discussion about the great Lion, Aslan.
Susan (a visitor to the new world): “Is he—quite safe?”
Mr. Beaver ( a resident of this magical kingdom): “Safe?” “Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
God invites us in his magical world, the kingdom of Christ to live from our hearts after his heart. He longs to see what he put in you come forth back from you. He loves you, likes you and wants to see what he put in you come to life (like parents with children / like seed in the ground).
I give you permission to be who he created you to be, to become your true self, to live from the heart. Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, because what the world needs is people who are fully alive.
A heart fully alive is defined by Jesus as, Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Where shall they see God? In their hearts where the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts.
In the end the least misleading icon is to be found, not in the physical world outside us, but in the human heart. – Metropolitan Kallistos
If the value of our church is “to live from the heart” then we each get to put our broken piece of tile down as a part of the mosaic. We all get to be a part of something that is greater than the sum total of all the parts. I will add my personal values, but so can you, because the value is people and the heart and gifts that the Lord has given to all of us.
Unite our hearts to fear your name. Psalm 86:11. As are hearts are united both personally and corporately then our heart’s capacities also grow and expand…You shall enlarge my heart. (Ps. 119:32)