How to change your heart

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. As you know, we just completed a series defining our vision as a church, which is that people matter, truth matters, and the gospel is our only hope in everything that we do. We really want to display all three of those. And we talked about Jonah, and then we talked about James, and then we talked about Jesus. And there’s remarkable commonality between the three of there’s remarkable commonality throughout the whole Bible that how we treat people matters, how we show love to them, how we serve them, what we believe matters, and holding on to the gospel as our only hope.

So we had some questions come in at various points during this series asking, what if I don’t really feel like serving others? Or this last week with Jesus, what if I don’t feel like being someone else’s slave, as Jesus says that we need to be? Or looking back to Jonah, really relating with Jonah here’s all my enemies, and God is saying, shouldn’t I care about this city that has all these people in it? And Jonah doesn’t answer, but it feels it seems like he’s struggling with, I don’t really want you to care about my enemies. I don’t care about my enemies.

And so what if we don’t care about our enemies? What if we don’t want to serve people who are in need? What if we don’t want to be people’s slaves and serve them with our whole lives, pouring our lives out for others? Should we just do it anyway, even though we don’t feel like it? Does that mean that our faith is dead if we don’t feel like it, like James says?

Or can I just not do it? Would Jesus still have me? The final answer, which we’ll get to in a minute, is really that we need to believe the gospel more. That’s always the answer. It needs to hit our hearts in a deeper way, and we need to keep striving after the gospel so that it transforms us into someone else that does have these desires.

That’ll be the final answer. But the immediate answer is, just like with every other command in the Bible, even if we don’t feel like doing it, we need to do it. I don’t feel like reading my Bible. Well, you need to. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word from God, right?

We need that daily, feeding us into our lives, whether we feel like it or not. Husbands, if you don’t feel like loving your wife like Christ loves the church, you still need to do that. And some days you’ll feel like it, and some days you won’t. But it’s just this is what God has said. This is what I need to do.

Faith is not just like a feeling, a desire, a motivation. That’s part of what faith is. But faith is much broader than that. Paul says in Galatians Five Six, like faith working itself out through love. And so even when we don’t feel like it, taking a step in that direction is part of what faith is.

A lot of times I use the analogy of maybe when you were young and you were sick and you didn’t feel like eating, but your mom or some guardian was like, you need to eat this soup. I don’t care if you feel like it, care if you feel like eating or not. You still need to eat it. And by eating it, then you kind of start to feel better, right? And so part of faith is, even though I don’t feel like this, I’m going to take steps in this direction because God says I need to.

I trust God that he says I need to. Just like I trust mom when she says, you need to eat this soup, like, okay, Mom, I don’t think that I should, but you tell me I should, so I will. It’s trusting God is like, that is God. You say I need to do these things. Part of my faith is I’m just trusting you that I need to do these things, and I’m going to go ahead and do them even though I don’t feel like it.

So that is part of what faith is. Faith isn’t just a desire or motivation, but to get the desire or motivation, I do believe the final answer is we need to believe the gospel more. And that is a lifelong pursuit. The first time that we initially believed, it’s very important that’s when we transferred from Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Son of His Son, that he loves Colossians One. But it’s ongoing.

That what Jesus did for us. That the King of the whole universe gave up everything to serve us who had rebelled against Him. The more that that becomes real to us, the more that that is up and running in our hearts, the more that, one, we will be drawn to Him, but two, that we’ll be conformed to Him, that we’ll be more and more and more like Him, and it will become our hearts to pour out ourselves for others. And then the more that we will do that, the more that we will feel like doing that, even if there are enemies or even if we haven’t desired to do that in the past. So it takes a daily focus on really Jesus and what he did for us, which is why we need to be reading our Bible every day, which introduces us to our next series of Jesus in every genre.

Not only do we need to be reading our Bible every day, but we need to be reading it in a way that’s telling us the same story over and over and over and over and over again. Jesus for us, the High King, giving his life to save those who have rebelled against Him, it’s the best story that’s ever been written, and it’s what will change us to be more like him. Well, thanks for sending in the question. Thanks for following along with our series Defining Our Vision as a Church. And we look forward to our upcoming series, Jesus in every genre.