Monday, September 11, 2006

Heart Condition

For the last few Sundays my pastor, Bishop Dale C. Bronner, has been preaching on the subject of The Year of Restoration. He says there are five areas of restoration, which he’s going to reveal to us. The first is Restoration of Borders and the second is the Restoration of the Joy of Salvation, which he taught this past Sunday.

During Sunday’s message he said inequity is a sin of the heart, and if our hearts aren’t clean then we will not hear God clearly. (This struck a cord for me so I found it particularly interesting.) God wants to speak to us, but He wants to speak to hearts that are cleansed and unless – and until – we die to self we’ll never reach that place.

Bishop Bronner based his message in Psalms 51:1-12; emphasizing verses 2, 7, 8, 10 and 12. Verse 12 says “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Our joy is based on our obedience therefore if we want our joy back we have to do what God wants us to do. Obedience, the spirit of God and His word, fellowship and being a blessing to someone else all bring joy. “The joy of the Lord is evidence of His strength,” Bishop says.

In essence, Bishop Bronner taught us that we needed to restore our joy and cleanse our hearts to restore the joy of our salvation. It is always amazing how timely his messages are and how often they’re confirmed by other sources. For instance, this writer occasionally reads Our Daily Bread, which is published by RBC Ministries, and the entry for September 10 (the same day as Bishop’s message) was titled Housekeeping of the Heart.

The writer, Joanie Yoder, shared how when she was a young homemaker she took joy in thoroughly cleaning her home. After awhile she realized her home didn’t stay clean long so she resorted to simply keeping it tidy so it appeared cleaned. She said, “… on sunny days my clean-looking house was revealed for what it was – dusty and dirty.”

That’s the same thing that happens to us… and our hearts. On the outside we have the appearance of holiness, but we are neglecting our heart holiness. Yoder’s writing was based in Matthew 23:23-31. Take note of verse 28: “You also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy.”

She ended with these three things to ponder: What is the only way to get a clean heart? (Titus 3:3-6). After we have put our faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16), how do we keep our heart clean? (I John 1:9). For me, Yoder’s Housekeeping of the Heart was a timely confirmation of, and addition to, Bishop Bronner’s message.

“The way you see everything is based on the condition of your heart.” Bishop Dale C. Bronner, pastor of Word Of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Georgia.

No comments: