(Don’t) Just Follow Your Heart

(Don’t) Follow your heart
Keith
6/21/20

I’m sure everyone has heard the cliche saying, “just follow your heart and you can’t go wrong” or “just let your conscience be your guide”… I myself have been told this numerous times in my life. I may have even said this with my kids a time or two. I’m here to tell you that following your heart can sometimes get you into a lot of misery and trouble. Before you get defensive let me clarify that statement… it all depends on what is in your heart. Most people don’t understand that our hearts and minds can be manipulated and deceived. We can be duped into thinking a choice we make or something we do is for good and, sincerely believe we are helping others or doing the right things. From the very beginning (Genesis) people have been able to be deceived and, I’m sure that even Eve thought she was doing something good when she was deceived. According to scriptures it has always been an issue..2 Corinthians 11:3 says, “I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ”. Our deception has always been a concern for God Himself and not just in spiritual matters but every day living. Genesis 6:5 says, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”. Hey, i’m sure most of us don’t mean to be evil in our hearts. Man’s history proves that a lot of things which started out with good intent has, over time become corrupt and evil but, how can that be if we are filled with good intent and our heart tells us it is good? The Bible has a few things to say about the way we think with our hearts… Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Also Jeremiah 17:9-10 says “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.” so, if we can’t trust our own hearts what do we do? The simple answer, Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” I personally have heard that verse numerous times throughout my life but, I never really had that “light bulb moment” although I understood, I never really applied it to my own life. Like most people, we hear the word but don’t really apply it to our lives. I would think that’s a common problem among Christians, that we hear or read scripture and never put it into action in our own lives. So, with all of this you have just read it would seem that what we allow into our hearts and minds has an influence on us, wouldn’t you agree? So, What is our mind, our heart, our conscience being “fed” or filled with? What are you taking in visually, audibly that forms and molds our hearts, our conscience. OK, before I go on, you should understand I’m not here to condemn anything anyone does… only to get you to think differently… Here it comes, be ready!

TV, video games, music, the daily news, social media and even our friends are all things that influence us. If we fill our heads with garbage that the world is offering up then what do you expect to come out? My old school teacher used to tell us that our minds are like “little computers”, garbage in means garbage out. Not only that but, there are real people with serious agendas that are contrary to God’s word out there fighting against us Romans 16:18 says, ” For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. How can we make good decisions based on that? I like what Hebrews 4:12,13 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart…” so basically scripture is a filter in a sense. If we fill our hearts and minds with scripture then our decisions will be “filtered” through the word in our heart. This will help guide us on how to live and think and make good decisions in our day to day lives. If you haven’t already figured it out, being Christian is a constant battle. Pretty much everything on this planet is designed to make you stray from truth. Just look what is happening today across the globe.

If you know me then you have probably heard this story several times… it’s a little far off from the point but, just bear with me here I’ll try to connect it at the end… When my kids were very young we had a pool that I made. It was probably about 3 1/2 ft tall and it was filled about 3/4’s of the way up. The kids at the time, being small were up to their necks and chest in water. One of the things we always loved doing was walking in a single file line around the outer edge of the pool together. We all walked the same direction, which in turn, makes a whirlpool. We would speed up and get the water really moving. At my command I would yell “turn around” and we would all change direction. Of course, the water would knock them down and a lot of splashing and giggling would ensue. The rushing water would sweep them away carrying them around and around the pool. I would encourage them constantly to try to get up and fight against the current. I could see them really struggle to get up and walk against the current. Sometimes from exhaustion they would just drop and float along in the current round and round. Sometimes they would cling to me as I, being much bigger, easily walked in the opposite direction. Even through our play I used to tell them that this is what it would be like when they grew up. The entire world would be moving in a certain direction and, that as Christians they would find that they would often be moving in the opposite direction of everyone else. I hope that they understood that it would be difficult sometimes and at sometimes they would be swept away in the current (events). I hope they also understood that they need to get up and keep pushing back and moving in the opposite direction. I realize that this is a long way around to explain that even with good intent and driven by passion and our hearts we can be deceived and in good conscience going with the flow with everyone else. In reality we should be pushing back and going the opposite direction against the flow… our understanding of scripture and guidance of God leading the way.
Well, I hope that makes sense to you. We can’t always assume that our hearts and minds are leading us in the correct way. Only by the guidance of Gods word can we truly know what direction we should be going in our lives, our current world and, actually trust where our hearts lead us.

Remnant Report May 6, 2020

Back to the source…

I realize its been a while since there has been a posting so maybe this will be a welcome sight?

The times we’ve been having lately, regarding the corona virus and quarantining, has provided a little more time to reflect on life. For me personally, I get so wrapped up in the day to day, week to week routines that I don’t get to pick my head up and just look around and take a breath. I think God wants us to get our bearings once in a while so that we can get back on course in our lives spiritually. We all can get into a rut or routine that has us doing the same things over and over. Its those everyday routines that causes us to loose sight of the things we were taught regarding our behavior as Christians. I’m sure that no one has their head in the sand about the condition of morality in our world today… just minutes into a current news broadcast or a glance into a newspaper (if they still exist) or podcast can confirm that there is a definite downward spiral of morality and overall behavior. If you have any amount of age on you the recent changes are unbelievable. If you have any upbringing in a “Christian” or God Fearing home its blatantly obvious that the entire world has gone off the mark quite a bit. As Christians our behavior should be separate, different and non-conforming to the happenings of this world. Romans 12:2 says, NIV: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Wow, how many of us are doing that? If we are saved and have grown in knowledge of Christ we have experienced the “renewing of our minds” the things we once did or said as an unsaved individual are now scrutinized under a new outlook or set of standards. Where do these standards come from?.. The Bible, of course. We all have grown and learned by studying the bible that God has a set of standards and, I’m not speaking of the 10 commandments. We have conviction when we do questionable things that we once never thought twice about. That conviction steers us in God’s will. Unfortunately for us, that conviction can be silenced, pushed back in our minds and, ignored. You may ask yourself.. wait, when have I done that? See, you are doing it right now thinking, “who me?.. never!” We have all and consistently do compromise our faith and belief. Sometimes it is so subtle and maybe truthfully you don’t even realize it? Think about it, you are watching a new movie and there is a lot of cursing and drug use, not to mention pretty much all movies nowadays show a same sex “implied romantic relationship”. How does God feel about that? by not saying something or turning it off are we sending an incorrect message? Sure the sin debt is paid but, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NKJV): “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” which means all things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate or permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]. If we condone by our silence and participate in the behavior that we know to be incorrect what does that say about our faith and about us. Paul writing to a young Timothy gives great instruction regarding our behavior as Christians. 1 Timothy 4:12 (KJV) “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity”. Believe me, there is always someone watching and our character is always being assessed. We must know our God and what he expects of us. You say, OK, I hear you but, it is hard to be good all the time… I forget sometimes, don’t you? So we are back to where I began, I believe God wants us to get our bearings from time to time. We need to take time and reflect on our lives and where we are compared to where God wants us… evaluate our faith and behaviors and make the necessary changes. We do that by spending time with Him in scripture. Again, Paul speaking to Timothy about Christian conduct in 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. In our current world there are no examples of godly living only a declining scale of morality where anything goes. We must re-evaluate and realign ourselves up to the unchanging and perfect scriptures. It puts in to reality the words we sang of old hymns about rocks, anchors and cornerstones all of which are solid, hold fast and are unmoving. Contrary to the doctrine of today on television and talk radio God is not “doing a new thing” as it says in Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We must dive in to scripture evaluate ourselves and adjust. We must get back to the source.

Keith H.
5/6/20

Remnant Report Aug 20

Ready or not the King is coming!

Each day we get closer to the glorious return of the King of Kings! Jesus stated “not even the angels of heaven” know the date or time of Jesus’ return. The time of Jesus’ coming is not even discussed in heaven. “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” Mark 13:32  However, we are commanded to watch continually for the coming of Christ. In the context of Matthew 24:36 Jesus spoke of a series of events that will precede His return, but the precise moment of that great event has not been revealed to anyone. Only the Father knows the time and in His infinite wisdom He has chosen not to reveal it. His return will be quick Jesus said: “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left” (Matthew 24:40-41).  From this it is evident there will not be a second chance. Every opportunity to be saved is gone forever. One is taken, and the other is left behind. We take these words of Jesus to mean the believer will be taken with Christ at His return. There is great assurance for the believer, our blessed hope in the coming of Christ. “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). Those individuals who have placed their faith in Jesus the Christ will be separated by the unexpected coming of the Lord.  Clearly watching current events and studying with our Pastor during the last few weeks in his prophecy primer, it is evident that this time is quickly approaching. With this in mind there is so much more of an urgency as servants of Christ to tell others of the Good News, the Gospel. There are no excuses!

If you are just visiting and have not placed your faith in Christ do so now… How are you saved? How do you receive eternal life? The Bible is very clear John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. God has offered you the free gift of salvation or eternal life. It is a gift that was paid in full by Jesus the Christ when He died in your place on the cross. You can do nothing to merit it or earn it. To try to pay for it is an insult to the grace of God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is that simple, He’s just saying “trust me.” If you have done that tell someone, we’d love to hear about it so that we (all) can rejoice along with you!

Continue to pray for this ministry and Pastor Greg, we surely do appreciate it.