And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
There are four important areas of the Disciple’s life that need to be ministered to in order to fully live a life after Christ. This four areas are vital to the walk of the disciple, they are at the center of every success or failure in their life. Jesus specifically spoke about this four areas and in scripture we find passages where Jesus mentioned these four areas in the context of priority (as being number one commandment) and relationship (God and others).
These four areas are:
- The Heart
- The Soul
- The Mind
- The Body (Strength)
This month we will focus on the the mind and heart.
Our objective for this months discipleship is to:
Lead you to a personal reviving encounter with God.
Allow you to open not only your mind but your heart to God for transformation.
Minister to your heart and mind, that you may renew your mind to be like the mind of Christ and your heart to be transform to be a Heart after God.
As we embark in this journey, be encouraged that in this place, His presence and power is ready to transform your life. You will not be the same, you will take on your identity in Christ and revive your heart, renew your mind to fulfill your destiny.
Our Born Again experience did not just save our soul from hell by providing freedom from our life of sin and demonic oppressions, it also provided a new mind for each one of us. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says “...But we have the mind of Christ.” This mind is filled with peace and joy, it leads into life and destiny. It’s ways, thoughts, and intentions are aligned with Heaven.
The Apostle Paul made a clear distinction between two different minds, one being the spiritual mind and the second a fleshly mind. In Romans 8:5-7 he says “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
It’s impossible to say we have a spiritual mind and continue to live after the fleshly mind. It’s clear that there needs to be a distinctive difference, we can call this “a before and an after” when we experienced God’s saving power in our life. Therefore, the questions that we have before us now are:
- Why do I still live or think as I used to before I was born again?
- Why do I struggle with the same issues as I used to?
- Why do I still sin?
- Why can’t I overcome and succeed in life?
In Christianity today, we have taken many through a process of renewing their minds but not transforming their hearts. The Church has labored over the years to bring sound teaching that can empower Christians to experience freedom from the works of the fleshly mind. Yet, we as the Church, especially in the western world have failed to bring Christians to an experiential encounter that transforms the heart so the mind can be set in the spirit.
Many Christians are not suffering from matters of the mind, but heart problems. The Heart and Mind are very close to each other in its interactions. Jeremiah said “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Here we can see that it is both the mind and heart that need redemption and transformation. God has not only made a promise for our Minds to be Renewed but also for our Heart to be Transformed. (Hebrews 8:10). We must appropriate ourselves of this by first allowing His presence to transform our heart that our minds can be set in life and peace. In this class you will be empowered to truly see a renewing of your mind as you allow God to transform your heart.
How important is our heart? Could the condition of our heart determine the condition of our life?
Matthew 15:18-19 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Our heart is more important and vital than we give it credit. Physically it pumps life into every organ and tissue in our body. Spiritually it does the same to every area of our life. The most vital and central part to the success of every person is found in the heart. Jesus stated that the fruit of life comes from your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 says it this way in the Complete Jewish Bible “Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences.” The areas you have seen death and destruction in your life might not be the results of just your mindsets, but your heart. The areas where you have seen success, healing, restoration, peace and life are a result of a healthy heart and mind.
Luke 6:45 says “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Jesus here exposes two different conditions of the heart. One heart has “good treasure” while the other heart has “evil treasure”. The heart with good treasure is a heart that has been transformed, redeemed, turned from stone to flesh. But the heart that has evil treasure is a heart that has become hard, filled with things of the world and sin. If Jesus were to evaluate your heart today, what condition would he find it in?
Peace, Life, Kindness, Self-Control, Love for Him and others, Obedience, righteousness, this heart has the desire and ability to surrender and submit to God-His Will and Purpose!
Unbelief, easily wounded, becomes offended, unable to forgive, selfish, pride, ambition, competition, unable to surrender and submit to God-His Will and Purpose.
EXAMINING OUR HEART
Our heart reveals our true condition. We really live, reflect and manifest the true condition of our heart above anything else. So often we may live building walls of preservation around us towards others, only revealing that our heart is wounded and hurt. When we lash out in anger, it shows we have deep hurts that need healing. When we refuse to follow directions or instructions from leaders and ministers it reveals that we have a heart that is rebellious and maybe even rejected causing us to protect ourselves from further rejection.
If we are proud and arrogant, our heart has been filled with pride and arrogance. Our heart reveals and reflects our true identity, do we have Christ's identity, which is humble, kind, compassionate, hating evil and the works of the enemy. A heart that is easily hurt, wounded and offended is a heart that has not experienced the transforming power of Christ.
David cried out to God “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12
As we examine our heart we must realize that in His presence we can truly experience freedom from the matters of the heart we have carried for many years. You can experience the transforming Power of God in a supernatural way in your heart tonight, but you must first identify your condition, realizing you need a heart transformation.
There is nothing wrong with memorizing scriptures, making faith statements, professing our faith and proclaiming our Victory, but what if the key is in your heart? If you have not obtained your breakthrough or you have had cycles of defeat, it’s time to take a look at the root issue of why you can’t.
God is not looking at our appearance, he looks at our heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 declares “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Remember our heart is the center of all our actions and true motives. True Godliness and heart transformation is obtained by the supernatural grace of God, causing a to be transformed more into His heart, which has no selfishness, pride, disobedience, love for money, ungratefulness, dishonor, etc...
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
THE ROOT OF OUR HEART PROBLEMS
God never intended for us to live in defeat and sin. Jeremiah says the heart is “deceitful and sick” We could say that we are all dealing with “heart disease” that originated at the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Scripture says in Genesis 6:5-6 that “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”
God’s heart is grieved when every intention of the thoughts of our heart is evil. In other words, our heart is not reflecting His heart. He saw that man had disconnected from His heart and in their own efforts tried to fix what only He can change and transform. There is no human power that can change it. Only through a supernatural encounter with Jesus the Christ can we fully experience a heart transformation.
No amount of self-will, effort, or work can transform a heart, it can try to control it, but never change it’s nature.
Hebrews 10:11 says “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.”
John 1:29 declares “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
The word Takes Away is the Greek “airo” which means to destroy, to remove, to kill.
Jesus does not just remove your sins, he will destroy and kill the very nature of sin in your heart. This is why, God promised the following:
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:10-12 ESV)
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV)
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. (NLT)
THE RESTORATION OF OUR HEART
Ask yourself this questions: How much of my heart does God require for Him to be the only Lord of my Life? The answer is “Your Whole Heart!”
What condition is your heart in tonight? Is it shattered, offended, hurt, unable to trust and receive?
Does your heart have pride, thinking that’s not for me? Sometimes we can dismiss the conviction of the Holy Spirit because it makes us uncomfortable when we are faced by the true reality of the condition of our heart, easily causing us to deceive ourselves and say “It does not bear witness with me!”
Do you have difficulty loving and receiving love?
Do you have a hard time trusting and believing others?
Will you allow Him to heal your heart tonight?
Romans 6:23 says “The wages of sin is death…”
Do you have a dead heart, a stony heart? If we read the rest of Romans 6:23 it says “...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
REPENTANCE FROM HARDNESS OF HEART
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
Repentance gives us the ability to receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, that we can encounter God’s presence and be transformed by a heart transformation.
Romans 8:26-27 says that through the Holy Spirit our heart is examined and intercession takes place to help us in this transformation.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (EPHESIANS 2:4-7)
We cannot rely on our own strength for this transformation, we can only rely on Him and by His grace receive in His presence His great love.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 PETER 1:3)
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead has made provision for our heart transformation. As you go into prayer and worship, ask for His great mercy and be born again in your heart, ask Him for a heart transformation that can only come through Him and by Him!