Since the heart is perverse and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), can it be changed?
Can our deceitful heart be transformed into a truthful heart?
Can our our hypocritical heart be converted into a holy heart?
Can our idolatrous heart be changed into a worshipping heart for God?
Yes! The heart of change is having the heart of Christ.
The heart in scripture represents all that we are. As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man (Proverbs 27:19). It’s our inner person (Proverbs 4:23; Ephesians 3:16-17). The functions of the biblical heart involve your will, emotions, spirit or soul and mind.
To have the heart of Christ is to first of all be born again (Read John 3:1-18; Regeneration).
Second, to have the heart of Christ is learn of His heart as you study His earthly life from (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the Christ-life (Romans 6-8; Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians) as the Holy Spirit reveals Him to you (John 16:12-15).
While sitting on my back porch meeting with the Lord as I read His Word, the Holy Spirit revealed Christ’s heart to me again. As I began to read Luke 15, a passage of three parables about lost things Jesus used to answer the accusations of the Pharisees, a statement from the Pharisees about Christ spoke to my heart. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives/welcomes sinners and eats with them” (15:2).
Why does Jesus welcome sinners; those who are lost? Luke 19:10 says, For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
At that moment the thought came to me, “The heart of Christ is to receive, to welcome sinners who are broken in their sin, hell-bound and without hope.”
Then I was reminded of Bill Pickel, a man who lived out the heart of Christ, and it could have been said of him, “He received sinners and ate with them.”
During my junior and senior years of college, I served as youth and music leader at a church in upstate South Carolina. Every weekend I would stay at the Pickel’s home. Often he was not home, sometimes arriving back home around 2-3:00 in the morning.
Why? He was out spending time at some local beer joint . . . loving, listening, caring, and sharing with sinners the Good News of Jesus Christ. Sometimes he brought these broken men into his home for a meal or a bed. Many of them he saw humble themselves before the Lord, repent of their sins, and receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
Yes, Bill was criticized by the “religious Pharisees” because he had the audacity to found in a beer joint. Nevertheless, Bill chose to live out the Christ-life and “eat with sinners.”
What have you learned about the heart of Christ today as you gazed into His Word? But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you today of Christ? How has the Holy Spirit worked in your heart to bear the fruit of Christ through your life (Galatians 5:22-23)? He can do the same in your life as He did in Bill Pickel’s life.
The lyrics of a favorite song in our home when our girls were young said, “Change my heart, O God. Make it ever new. Change my heart, O God, make it more like you.”