When we first come to Christ, our lives are like an out of tune guitar. Our hearts are kind of ugly, and we definitely don’t have everything figured out. Lots of people, especially people who have followed Christ for a long time, can hear how terribly out of tune we are. We don’t talk right, we don’t have the right theology, maybe we don’t really even have a full grasp on what Christ did for us. But we have started the journey. And we spend our lives trying to get our heart in tune with the heart of the Father.
The great news is, when God looks at us, He sees the heart of Jesus, perfectly in tune. That’s what’s so amazing about the grace of God! Whether you’ve been a follower of Jesus for minutes or decades, if you are in Christ, you are a new creation (1 Corinthians 5:17). That truly is amazing.
Whether you’ve been a follower of Jesus for minutes or decades, if you are in Christ, you are a new creation.
But we aren’t perfect. Sometimes we mess up. We overreact to something at work, snap at our spouse, or stretch the truth a little.
So we pray. We worship. We ask for forgiveness. And our hearts get a little bit more in tune with His. But why does God work in us? Is it so we can be good people? Is it so we can be blessed, or have a happy life, or see our kids grow up to be good people too? I mean, if we’re already a new creation, why does He, who began a good work in us, carry it onto completion? (Philippians 1:6)
God works in us—so He can work through us. It’s all about output. Because it’s out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks…the body does…the fingers tweet… Our heart is just the beginning. It’s the engine that powers everything else that we do as a follower of Christ. If we took this out of tune guitar and started playing on a street corner, no one would listen to our song! God continues to work in us so that what we do can more accurately reflect Him.
Don’t get me wrong, we can’t earn God’s grace. It’s not what we do that matters here. But as our hearts become more in tune with the heart of God, we’ll find ourselves doing what He had in mind for us all along.
I have to be honest. A couple of years ago, I did an assessment of my life and realized that the only non-Christian friend that I had was the guy who works the self checkout at the grocery store down the street. Almost everyone else in my life was a Christian, from college, from work, and from church. I think that kind of thing is sort of inevitable after awhile, if we aren’t careful. It’s not that we don’t want to share our song with other people. It’s just easier to hang out with people who think like us, or talk like us, or already go to our small group. So we keep tuning our hearts, in the comfort of our own homes.
I have always been a fan of magic shows, and one of my all-time favorites is Penn Jillette from Penn and Teller. Penn is outspoken in a lot of ways, including as an athiest. But even though he’s an athiest, Penn has zero respect for Christians who don’t share their faith. He said it incredibly poignantly this way: “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell them that?”
See, God works in us not so that we can sit and learn and grow and hear the Gospel yet another time…while there are millions of people who have never heard it once. Instead, God calls us to be His ambassadors—to be a part of the most incredible movement on the face of the planet. It’s His Great Commission! “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
It’s the Great Commission! It’s why we are Christians! But it’s also the Great Co-Mission. It’s us and Jesus working together to accomplish His mission on this Earth. The church is God’s plan to reach people!
So as we bring our hearts in tune with the heart of God, we discover that His heart is for people. Therefore, our hearts must be for people. Our coworkers, our family, our neighbors, Syrian refugees, widows, orphans, business people…We have the authority and the mandate to share what Jesus has done in our lives with others, so they can become a new creation as well, and begin their own journey of tuning their hearts to the heart of God.