Greetings CrossTrain family! How great it has been to be with our church families in these last few weeks in particular. It’s been such an encouragement to hear of how God is working amongst us and building our families. The time we spend together as God’s redeemed people is terribly needed in uncertain and volatile times as we are in. It’s a sobering reminder as we speak to each other of real life struggles that the curse of sin is still present in this world, even as we are saved and are being saved. Rest assured church, Jesus is reigning as we speak and will continue to do so until all his enemies are placed under his feet; until his rule reaches as far as the curse is found!! So often as christians, because we are brought to spiritual life but still in this body of flesh, our own hearts can make it difficult for us to believe the truths of God and cause us to not trust him, but to trust in other things. This, folks, is idolatry. We are breaking the very first commandment God gave us to have no other gods before him. But again, through the prophet Jeremiah, God tells us clearly why this is.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Because we are sons and daughters of Adam, our federal head, from birth our hearts are deceitful, lying, sick, and wicked. As we discussed last week, ALL people, every single one, are born sinful and we are naturally enemies of God. For this reason we sin. We are not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners. Sin is the reason we have pain, death, and evil in this world. We will discuss more in the coming weeks the ramifications of this. But for now we hope we can begin a discussion about how we can find our hope.
God has made it clear from the beginning that, because of his very nature and who he is, we are to trust in him alone and trust his word. God tells us that he is faithful, full of mercy and lovingkindness, kind, and just. He tells to “be strong and courageous, do not be afraid” and he tells us that he is with us. He tells us that all who call on the Lord Jesus will be saved. He tells us that we are precious and honored in his sight, and that he loves us (Isaiah 43). His promises are powerful and vast! And God cannot lie! So why do we worry so much and have angst and strife? Why do we fear? Why do we doubt and seek after idols that have no way of saving us or offer true security? Why do we even doubt that God chooses to save sinners like me? It’s because our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Our hearts are sinful and cannot be trusted. Because of our sin nature, our hearts cannot be trusted to tell us the truth but will often trick us or make us think it’s ok to give into our sinful desires. It’s just like in the garden when the serpent asked Adam and Eve, “did God really say?”. The serpent knew what the source of all truth was and tricked our parents Adam and Eve into doubting their God. We know the rest of the story.
What can we learn from this? First of all, our hearts cannot be trusted; they are tainted with sin just like the rest of us. WE CANNOT LISTEN TO OUR FEELINGS, OUR HEARTS ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED! The truth is found in the Word of God and we are to CLING TO IT. We look at what is happening in our world and in our homes and in our flesh and so we revert to fear and worry; we turn to anger and anxiety. This is our deceitful heart causing us to doubt our ever-faithful God. Daily we must be renewing our minds with the word of God and resting on his promises. Though our heart is deceitful and wicked, his word is faithful, holy and true. Our souls DESPERATELY need to feed on his word every day so we can be reminded of the truth of the hope that we have if we are in Jesus Christ.
Questions Jeremiah 17:9 can answer:
Why should we not trust our feelings (what our heart is telling us)?
If we can’t trust our heart, what can we trust?
So church, take time to be in the word together every day whether it be reading the daily readings, discussing and memorizing these scriptures, or just starting to read through the Gospel according to Mathew as a family to hear the beautiful stories of Jesus! Jesus is our daily bread that sustains us. As we hide his word in our hearts and minds, it will be God himself who speaks to us through his word rather than our hearts. In doing so we are given the everlasting hope, joy, and peace that can come through Christ alone while the doubt, worry, angst, and anger are drowned out and we become a city on a hill shining the light of Christ into a dark world who desperately needs him.
We love you, church. We will continue to begin this discussion of sin for a bit longer but we hope that we never fail to point to the eternal hope that we have because of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us. God’s word is living and active and continues to speak, but we must be reading the scripture daily. It is the only place to hear words of hope directly from our Heavenly Father. The spirit will continue to do His work and will guide us into all truth and he will bless us more and more with his fruit in our lives. We pray that “you may be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Until next time, may God richly bless you by the grace and mercy won by Jesus Christ!
Adam and Audra Griffin