This morning we kicked off a brand new teaching series (see the trailer here) called Kudzu. Over the next 6 weeks at 3Circle Church, Pastor Chris Bell will look at what Jesus said we need to guard the most…our heart. The premiss for this series is the thought: what takes root in our heart, can take over. Living in the south, Kudzu is the best picture of how this can happen just about everywhere you look.
Today, Pastor Chris looked at the heart. I’ll post the podcast and teaching notes later this week, but for now I wanted to blog about one point that really stuck out to me. I resonated with it because it really was my salvation story…and actually my life story. Pastor Chris’ point was this, we will never really change if all we’re doing is trying to change behavior. He went on to teach it’s the heart that Jesus wants to change…for if He gets our heart then our behavior will follow. That is exactly why the enemy tries to throw everything he can to at our hearts, so it can take root like kudzu and choke the life out of us.
For just about half of my life, I tried to manage my behavior. I tried to clean it up from the outside. I tried many things, over many years, and failed many times. It wasn’t until I was 24 years old that I discovered the real Jesus who wanted my heart. He didn’t come with all the legalistic rules I thought you had to keep if you followed Him. No, Jesus didn’t come with condemnation and a behavior management program. I found a savior who wanted to open His arms, pick me up, and just love on me the way I was. He saw my heart pointed towards Him, and that was when the healing began for my broken heart.
I’m thankful for the new heart I have because of Jesus. I can honestly say I would not be alive today without it. I would not wake up to a beautiful bride who has stuck by my side for almost 18 years (15 married and 2 1/2 dating for those checking my math . I would not have two amazing kids who have shown me a level of love I’ve never known. I wouldn’t have any of the thousands of blessings I can’t even begin to capture here.
I know how important it is to guard this new heart. As the proverb writer captured in 4:23, it is where life flows….and as Pastor Chris pointed out, it’s what the enemy is coming after to seek and destroy. I can rest in the fact that I have a savior who restored my heart and won the battle against the enemy already for me. All I need to do is keep my heart pointed to Him…and guard it along the way.
Breathe In & Smile Out,