14. Accepting a New Heart

 

Please remember to pray before reading!

Yesterday we learned that just as the invisible wind blows, so the Holy Spirit works powerfully in our lives, to change us for the better. As we allow God to do His cleansing work in us, we become new creatures in Christ. God gives us new motives and new interests. There is an obvious difference. The entire focus of our lives changes. We are born again.

2 Corinthians 5:17 — In Christ, we become totally new; old things pass away.

John 3:8 — The Spirit working in our lives is invisible, but the results are obvious.

Galatians 5:22, 23 — The fruits of the Spirit will appear in the life of those who are born again.

1 Peter 3:4 — God wants us to focus on the inward adorning, not on externals.

1 John 4:8,10 — True love comes from God, as He is the source.

Hebrews 10:16 — God wants to write His law on our hearts.

1 John 5:3 — We reveal our love to God by our willing obedience to His commandments.

Ephesians 2:8 — We are saved by grace through faith.

James 2:17 — Our genuine works in response to love reveal that we do indeed have true faith.

1 John 2:3-6 — We can tell if our conversion is genuine if it leads us to obey God’s commandments.

1 Peter 2:21 — Jesus is our example in all things, even in being willing to suffer for His sake.

Galatians 2:20 — Self must die, so that it no longer controls us. Christ is to live in us, and direct our lives.

James 2:19 — Mere belief is not enough; it must be a deeper faith that operates by love.

Psalm 119:97 — When we are born again, we have a new love for God's law; it becomes our daily meditation.

Romans 8:1 — Being in Christ means that the Holy Spirit in control of our lives.

1 John 2:1 — If we sin, we have an advocate in Jesus. He intercedes for us.

People can try to impress others with their good behavior even without an inward change. It may look good, but if the motives have not been changed, it’s based on selfishness. How can we tell if we are genuinely born again? Let’s ask ourselves these heart-searching questions.

  1. Who holds the highest place in my affections? What are my interests in life? What is my favorite topic of conversation? What do I like to think about when I'm all alone?
  2. Is Christ the center of my attention, are His promises precious to me, is my greatest delight to please Him, is He my closest friend?
  3. Does my life reveal the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control?
  4. Have I surrendered my will to Him, allowing Him to be in control of all my decisions?
  5. Have my interests changed from selfish pursuits to a deep desire to serve others and build up God’s kingdom?
  6. Have I been convicted of sin, and made things right with others?
  7. Do I find joy in loving and serving God, and pleasing Him?
  8. Do I give all the glory and praise to God for any good thing I do, and not take credit to myself?
  9. Have I traded my old life for Jesus’ life, accepting His death in place of mine, and receiving His life in exchange for mine?
  10. Do I recognize my constant need for Jesus, both for pardon for my past sins and power to overcome sin in my life?