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Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Believer's Repentant Heart

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2,NIV).

As a believer I don't have a choice to ignore what the Holy Spirit wishes to mold in my life. I do not have the option to refuse His power that can transform my heart attitude. My life should be an act of spiritual worship to the Savior who became a living sacrifice for me. Spirit and truth are inseparable. If I worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24), I offer a yielded heart and mind to His transforming power. Spiritual change which yearns to live a holy life that honors God–which yearns to spiritually believe God's promise of unending possibilities–which yields my life to His will and purpose –is discovered in the spiritual renewing of my mind.

You were taught,” Paul also wrote,” with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-23, NIV). I am created to be holy as God is holy (I Peter 1:15), but I cannot be like Him until my attitudes and desires are what He wishes. In repentance I turn from that which has sinfully controlled my life, and in sanctification I yield to the ongoing process of renewal that the Holy Spirit imparts. When my heart and mind are constantly renewed, I live with a believer's repentant heart–one that is easily molded and shaped. This kind of heart attitude creates the ability to put off the old self and put on the new one. As I grow in faith I realize that with daily surrender to His will I am brought closer to my ultimate goal. In heaven when I stand in the presence of God, holiness shall be a goal completely realized. No longer will I see Him through a glass darkly, but then I shall see Him face to face (I Corinthians 13:12).

God seeks the whole earth for those whose hearts totally belong to Him (I Chronicles 16: 9). To such a person God gives His strength which empowers personal change. Believers, who constantly experience the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, humbly seek God’s power to transform their lives and respect His authority with absolute surrender. When David’s sin with Bathsheba was brought to his attention by Nathan, David hit the ground in repentance. There was no hesitation in his humble heart. If his heart had been calloused, He would never have experienced God's conviction. David's example teaches that even those with a heart that love the Lord, need to be spiritually open to the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit. David experienced God’s immediate forgiveness because of his repentant heart.

I will give you a clean heart and put a new spirit in you, “God promises. “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36: 26, NIV). Where once my heart was as hard and unyielding as stone now He promises it shall beat with the pulsating blood of His living sacrifice. Where once personal calloused inner pain kept God’s power to change my life from reaching me, I now shall be energized by His living presence. A new heart and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit fills me with the desire to keep His laws and commandments–not because they are rules to be followed, but because I love Him above all else. His law shall be my delight, and in every way He shall be my God and I shall belong only to Him (Ezekiel 26: 27-28).

Holiness is the result of a “Holy Spirit” transformed heart, and is not the result of any legalistic-type rule. It is the outward expression of inward renewal and heart change. Because the sacrifice of Christ's blood has made me clean, holiness requires absolute surrender to the will of God. Christ’s blood flows easily and fully into a repentant heart. Repentance is a life-altering. It means that I have been halted in my tracks, and made a complete turn around. True repentance comes from knowing the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that changes my heart attitude. It is not measured in personal outward change as the Pharisees instructed. It is measured in the change of my heart. It calls for a transformation that inspires vulnerability to a Holy God and the transforming power of His Spirit. Lord, help me, always to have a believer's repentant heart.

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