What is one of the best gifts you’ve ever received?
When you become a Christian you get some amazing gifts from God. Eternal life. Complete forgiveness. Unconditional love.
But maybe the best gift, and most important is the gift of a new heart. When you receive Jesus as your savior you receive a brand new heart that wants to love and obey God. Listen to how the Apostle Paul says it here in romans 6:
Romans 6:17. But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,
Obedient from the heart.
Is it hard for you to obey? Is it hard for you to listen to your mom or your dad? To your teachers or pastors? To your coaches? When you do obey them do you do it because you really want to obey them, or because you have to obey them?
The Bible says that when we trust in Jesus we are given a brand new desire to obey God. Now that doesn’t mean that you always will obey God. You will still sin. You will still disobey Jesus and the adults that he has put in charge of your life. You will still be selfish sometimes, and greedy, and lazy, and mean to your little sister.
But when you’re a Christian what you’ll notice is that when you do these bad things they never feel quite right. They feel gross inside your heart. They feel abnormal and strange. Why will doing bad things feel bad? Because when you have Jesus in your heart you love God from your heart. Deep inside you know that you are breaking God’s heart when you sin. And deep inside you want to love God and do what pleases him.
But honestly it’s really hard to live from what is deep in our hearts. It’s hard to not just do the first thing that pops into our head. Like doing something mean, or insulting someone who insults you, or saying “no” when someone asks to share what you have, or ignoring your parents when they tell you to do something.
But maybe we can stop and think before we say and do the first thing that pops into our minds. Maybe we can stop and think about how much we really love God, and love Jesus, and love others too. And maybe then we can do what is right, and do it from our heart.
Because of Jesus we have a new heart.
With Jesus we can obey from the heart.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
The Grinch’s growing heart might be one of the best example of how love can change our hearts. It’s not too unlike what happens to us when we know God loves us in Jesus.
You’ve given me a new heart. Help me to not always do the first thing that pops into my head. Help me to think about how much God loves me and then obey him from that same love.
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