Friday, April 15, 2011

A Biblical Faith: “The Heart of Jesus”

Pastor John R. Wiuff
Hebrews 10:18-25

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!

Seventy five percent of chocolate purchases are made by women all year long, BUT the week before Valentine’s Day, that statistic is reversed with 75% of chocolate purchases made by men. Over $1 billion Dollars worth of chocolate will be purchased for Valentine’s Day this year alone.

If the chocolates don’t work then maybe you should try flowers, my favorite way of saying ‘I love you.’ By tomorrow about $1.5 billion Dollars were spent saying ‘I love you.’

But it you really want to express your love to your valentine, nothing says it like jewelry at a tune of $1.4 billion dollars in 2011.

Wow, can you feel the love? Here are some suggestions on how to say “I love you” so that your love for one another goes on forever.

• Make sure you say "I Love You" at least once each day to your spouse.
• Write unexpected love notes.
• Give your mate an unexpected hug.
• Be spontaneous and surprising.
• Share memories and talk about memories you share together.
• Schedule a day to just rest together.
• Listen.
• Share why you love your spouse.
• Give the gift of your time.
• Smile.
• Say I love you in a different language.

Tomorrow is the day that people will want to express to another what is in their heart with hopes that there love will be returned. In many cases this will be an effort to preserve and cultivate the love they already share.

Despite all the advice and efforts we make it really does seem like the words “I Love You” is a desperate offer in a bargain for mutual benefits. How do you say “I love you…” without sounding desperate? There is a love that says, “I love what you can do for me.” There is a love that says, “I love qualities about you that I think are important.”

So, in the end, when we reveal what is in our hearts for another…it comes down to “I love you because I think you are worthy.”

What is in the heart of Jesus? If He were to tell us what is in His heart how would He express His love for us? Would he love us for how we make Him feel, or endearing qualities we display, or for what we can do for Him? Is His love a desperate bargain of mutual benefit?

We know what is in the heart of Jesus and like most things He ever did or said, His expression of love to us is unlike any human love. His love is greater and more amazing than all the valentines rolled together.

You see what is in the heart of Jesus is a desire to cure what is in your heart. He doesn’t want to give you a paper, chocolate, or gold heart this valentine. He wants to change the heart you have. He wants to transform your in most being with His very blood.

A Biblical faith is based on the belief that Jesus’ shed blood is the only remission for sins.

18. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
19. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20. by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21. and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
Hebrews 10:18-25

Remission is a word that theologians used all the time but most of us know the term not in relationship to Valentines Day but in connection to the terrible plaque of our day: Cancer. If you have ever walked with a person through the terrible threat of cancer you know that the word you want to hear from a doctor more than any other is: Remission.

When a doctor tells you that your cancer is in remission that does not mean that a cancer is cured. Complete remission refers to the situation where the disease disappears completely with the treatment. Partial remission refers to the situation where the disease shrinks but does not disappear completely with the treatment.

So when the doctor tells us that our cancer is in remission that means we are getting better and winning the battle with hopes of beating the disease. When the cancer is in complete remission we have won by beating the cancer back to the point we can’t detect it any more.

The reason the doctor uses the word “remission” is because they know that cancer is never really gone. Doctors now believe we all carry cancer in our bodies but healthy people don’t experience any outbreaks while those who get sick are taken over by the disease. In other words, cancer is in remission in us this morning if we are healthy and no signs of cancer can be found by the doctor.

I can’t think of a better illustration of how Christ says He loves us. He came to tell us that with treatment of His blood our cancerous sin can also be in remission. We have been doing so many things as humans to fight the terrible affects of sin in our lives. We have tried following rules, diets, and self discipline only to find sin flaring up like a tumor or lesion on our vital organs. We have under gone deadly attempts to kill sin and cut it out of our lives and even making tremendous sacrifices to find freedom from sin. Yet for most of us who can never seem to beat it back, denial and acceptance seem to be the only way we have learned to live with the spreading cancerous sin in our lives.

With Christ’s blood, no more treatments or sacrifice are necessary. All we need is an injection of His blood into our veins. It will change our heart and our minds. It will send cancerous sin into remission.

Cure from cancer means complete freedom from the cancer. To render someone cured of cancer, one has to wait and see if the cancer will ever come back. So, time is the crucial factor. If a patient remains in remission for a few years, the cancer might be cured. Certain cancers can reoccur after many years of remission.

The same is true for sin in our lives. The cure of sin, even though it may be dormant in our lives is to be free from sin. With a regular treatment of the blood of Christ we watch to seen if it will come back. Time and treatments are the crucial factors. If we sin continues to be in remission for a few years, the sin may be cured although it can reoccur. That is why we never stop in the treatment because sin lingers waiting to find a moment of weakness to make its come back.

The status of remission is determined by a series of tests and examinations to determine whether a cancer has responded to treatment or not. When we go through hard times and temptations these are tests to see if the cancer of sin is really in full remission.

The Bible tells us that when we begin treatment with the blood of Christ, we too can be confident to come to Christ on a regular basis, to have a change of heart, a new life and a new body. We present ourselves to Him for examination on a regular basis.

Did you know that the priest at the temple was responsible for controlling communicable diseases in the time of Christ? When Jesus cured the ten lepers of their disease he sent them to a priest to be inspected. He knew that they would not be accepted back into the community until the priest declared them cured, that their disease was in full remission. Can you imagine what it is like to be tested and waiting for the verdict before you find out if your disease is in remission, or complete remission?

The word of God says you can come with complete confidence to Jesus Christ knowing that His blood treatment in your veins can put sin in full remission in your life, but only as we continue to have His blood flowing through our veins, pumped by a changed heart.

So how do you begin the treatment and keep it going in your life so you can know not just a partial remission of sin, but the full remission?

22. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:18-25

There are many ways that the Bible tells us what is in the Heart of Jesus and how it flows to us with healing power. Blood flows through our hearts and the Bible tells us about the blood of Christ and its power. This same healing power that causes sin to go into partial and full remission is also described as water in this passage and in other places as wind.

From Genesis to Revelation these symbols of blood, water, and wind tell us the same truth about what is in the heart of Christ. Love for Father God and the Love of Father God lives in the heart of Christ and it is this Love that makes the one. Yet that Love is not like any human love. It is not a feeling or a romantic interest.

The Bible tells us very clearly that God is Spirit and that God is Love. We are also told that Holy Spirit is the very Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit of God feels, desires, and acts on our behalf. It flows like wind, water, and blood through Father God, Jesus Christ and to any who will open their heart to Jesus Christ through the repentance of sin.

(John 4:24-“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 1 John 4:16-“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. John 3:8-“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”)

20. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21. that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23. I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
John 17:20-23

Angels marvel this can happen.

10. Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11. trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
1 Peter 1:10-12

And they rejoice when the Holy Spirit enters a new believer at salvation. (Luke 15-“10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” )

If this is amazing and marvelous for angels to understand we as limited human being can’t understand this with our minds or emotions. Although we can’t understand it, we can experience this amazing event in our own lives. We can have flow into our hearts what is in the Heart of Christ. We can receive the very Love of God, His Holy Presence, through the Holy Spirit into our hearts this very day.

This gift of the Holy Spirit symbolized by blood, water and wind…can change our hearts for the remission of sin. The bent and temptation to sin will always be in us while we are on this earth but regular dozes of the Holy Spirit will force that sin nature into remission. Often it happens partially and when enough exposure to the Holy Spirit we can experience a complete remission of sin.

24. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25. not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:18-25

The secret to the remission of sin, partial or complete is to have the Holy Spirit pumping through your heart on a regular basis. When the Holy Spirit flows through us it changes our hearts and that flow is dependant on our hearts beating for Christ.

What gets your heart racing? Winning a big game or jumping out of an airplane? Does the love of a person you thought you could never have send your heart bounding to the point of making you dizzy? Some of us are just dizzy because are hearts have grown weak from lack of use.

You can have the best blood in the world but if your heart is not beating, it isn’t going to do you any good. You can have a deep love for a girl or guy but if you can’t get their heart to beat for you then your love will not be realized. We need a changed heart, and a beating heart to experience God’s love, but we also need keep each other passionate for the Love of God so it does not grow cold in our hearts.

The key is to keep the Holy Spirit pumping and flowing through you. What is in the Heart of Jesus flows to you as soon as you believe and receive salvation through repentance? When that happens the flow is great because we were empty, but soon we are filled and take the fullness of God for granted. If we remain full and stagnate that Spirit can not transform us, or cause sin to go into remission. The Spirit of God, The Love of God is to great for you to contain the fullness. For us to know more of God’s love we must let it flow into us and out again to others. The love of God is meant to be moving and flowing through our lives into the lives of other people. This flow through our beating hearts is the secret behind the complete remission of sin.

How does the heart of the believer pump the Holy Spirit through their lives? We follow the advice in this passage.
-spur one another on toward love and good deeds
-not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
-encouraging one another
-remember the Day of Christ’s return is approaching.

The cancer of sin comes from self preoccupation. It is a deadly disease that infected a third of the angels of heaven and all of humanity. It lingers in our very nature but it can be placed into a partial and then a full remission when we get our hearts pumping for God and His Love for other people. Sin is defeated every time and this is how Christ being Human kept himself from sin. His heart beat only for the Love of God.

Take the words advice and discover by experience what beats in the Heart of Christ. Repent and be saved. Let it beat in your heart as well. If you have a clog in your veins, repent of that sin and get the Holy Spirit flowing again. Let the Spirit flowing through your lives beat sin into remission. Give your changed heart to God.

Valentine is tomorrow and some hearts will beat fast when one young person purposes marriage to another. Tomorrow could be the day we stand before God. Will we know Him now in our hearts and enter before His presence with full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”? Now is the time to have your heart changed with a fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit. Christ promised it to you and it is yours to have if you will come and repent of your sins. Don’t let anything get in your way.

Category 2011 (millions) 2010 (millions) YoY % Chg
Dining Out $ 8,831.20 $ 8,508.30 3.8%
Candy $ 2,593.20 $ 2,466.80 5.1%
Romantic Getaway $ 2,164.30 $ 2,047.00 5.7%
Flowers $ 1,582.50 $ 1,355.20 16.8%
Jewelry $ 1,456.30 $ 1,308.70 11.3%
Clothing & Lingerie $ 1,165.30 $ 1,126.30 3.4%
Greeting Cards $ 822.80 $ 784.30 4.9%
Total $ 18,615.60 $ 17,597.10 5.8%
source: IBISWorld 2011 Valentine’s Day spending forecast

26. For this is my blood of the new covenant that is being poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 26:28

77. and to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
Luke 1:77

5. Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ. He freely chose to do this 6. so that the kindness he had given us in his dear Son would be praised and given glory. 7. Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness.
Ephesians 1:5-7

22. In fact, under the law almost everything is cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of the blood there is no forgiveness.
Hebrews 9:22

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