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A Change of Heart

Bill Kent

Samantha told her Mama to make Karl share with her. The Mother turned around and asked, “If I do, will you share with Karl?” Samantha didn’t like that answer. She wanted to always get her way. Her mother explained to her how everybody is selfish by nature. Though we all have good points and some kind of talent, we are all sinful in our thinking and doing. None of us thinks pure thoughts and does good things all the time. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). We are like caterpillars crawling in the dirt and we need to get in the cocoon and go through a process to become a butterfly.

  Since we all do wrong sometimes, we need change. Long ago, the Pharisees tried to correct everybody by setting up rules even stricter than God’s commands. These religious leaders made a big deal about things that didn’t matter. Jesus said they missed the main message which is to love God and others. Jesus said the Pharisees were “blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:24). So Jesus spoke to them about a change of heart rather than ritual washings. “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also,” (Matthew 23:26).

  Therefore, a renewed heart is the secret to a better life. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life,” (Proverbs 4:23). So we need a whole new way of thinking and God helps us make this happen. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel 36:26). When we read the Bible or hear a Bible lesson or sermon, we have an opportunity to start thinking and living like Jesus. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Romans 10:17).

  The best example is the change in Saul’s life on the road to Damascus when he met Jesus. “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem,” (Acts 9:1-2). This same man poured out the rest of his life in sharing the Word of God with all kinds of people in many places. The former hater turned into someone who brought God’s love everywhere.