Matthew understood the truth of Jesus’ challenge to the self-righteous Pharisees: “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” As a former tax collector, Matthew’s life was obsessed with the pursuit of profit. It consumed every waking moment of his life until he met Jesus.
Now his heart pursued Jesus, his teachings, his ministry, his message, and his heart, longing to become like Jesus. Gladly gave up his pursuit of profit to pursue the prophesied Messiah, Emanuel, God with us, now his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The abundance of Matthew’s heart was transformed by God’s love, mercy, and grace. What had he seen, heard, and experienced firsthand that challenged his heart to change? Now through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mathew’s life embodied God’s promise to Ezekiel, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”. Ezekiel 36:25-27, (NIV).
God’s promise still holds today. He gives us a new heart and a new spirit, removing our hearts of stone and giving us a heart of flesh, created in the image of God to live, learn, and love like Him. A restored heart and spirit empowered with His unimaginable, indescribable, and transformational presence.
A heart that now is:
Hopeful Heart: a heart whose strength relies upon our faith and trust in our Father. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord” Jeremiah 17:7
Hungry Heart: a heart that daily listens and learns through the wisdom of God’s Word
Humble Heart: a heart that knows that “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8
Helpful Heart: a heart that knows that our gifts and talents are God-given, enabling us to provide for our family and give to furthering His ministry to the uttermost parts of the earth. As good stewards of what God has given, I encourage you to consider tithing your talents.
Hilarious Heart: a child-like heart that is approachable and loves to laugh, learn, and love. This is why Jesus commanded his disciples, “suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Matt. 19:14
Healing Heart: a heart that “strives for full restoration, encouraging one another, being of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you”. 2 Corinthians 13:11
Heroic Heart: a fearless heart; “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Isaiah 41:10
Holy Heart: a heart of a chosen son, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV). No longer an orphan, outcast or broken, transformed into a blessed man.
His Heart: a heart that relies upon and rests in our Father’s love, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)
Our words and actions reflect the abundance of our hearts. What overflows from the abundance of your heart? What would your family and friends say? Does your life reflect the new heart and new spirit God has given you? “It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season.” Matthew 12:34-37 (Message)
If the abundance of your heart isn’t what it needs to be, God’s promise still stands and is freely available today: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”. Ezekiel 36:25-27, (NIV).
A healthy man or woman’s heart is consistently and constantly transformed by God’s mercy, grace, and love. As a result, the abundance of our hearts lives, and love will never be the same.
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