15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. — 1 Peter 3:15, 16 NIV
In the Old and New Testament, the word “heart” refers not to the physical organ, but to the center of all of our life processes. The “heart” is the seat of our minds, emotions, and wills. Therefore, it refers to our thought patterns, our attitudes and our desires. Our thoughts become actions which become habits which become our lifestyle. The things and/or people that we spend the most time thinking about, in reality, are the things that control our lives. This is characterized by the following verse:
45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. — Luke 6:45 NIV
Revere can be defined as “honor, look up to, or put on a pedestal”. A throne is a pedestal and our “hearts” are the center of our lives. So, if we revere God, we honor Him by putting Him on the throne of our hearts and make Him the center of our lives. Our decisions and thus, our lifestyles, will be examples of the Person we love and admire the most. We will want others to follow our Leader. In light of all this, we need to spend the majority of our time thinking about our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. If we do this, we will “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” We need to do this with love, gentleness and respect. Just as our checkbooks show the patterns of our physical lifestyles, so our conversations show the patterns of our thought life and our spiritual lives. It is a law unto itself:
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. — Romans 8:5 NIV
So, let us, along with the Psalmist, ask God to create a clean heart in each of us. We need clean hearts if we are going to fulfill the sole purpose for which we were created and that is to glorify God.
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. — 1 Cor. 10:31 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. — 1 John 2:15 NLT
God is not in competition with anyone or anything in the world. He will not accept the position of the leader in the race, The only position He will accept is being the only One in the race. He is not in some game to be the first on our list, He wants to be the only One on our list. He wants us to love Him so much that there is nothing or no one that we would not give up for Him. After all, that is exactly what He did for us. He gave up His glory and His position in heaven and finally, His very life. Why should He accept anything less in return? The world and satan tempts us with things that please the lusts of the flesh, they tempt us with our desires for beautiful possessions that please the eyes and they tempt us with power and positions that cause pride in our lives. We cannot love both, either we love Jesus or we love mammon. The time for the return of the true Christ is closer now than ever. We see and will continue to see wickedness in the world and more wickedness in high, spiritual places. We see people that we have respected in positions of leadership who have failed and we must arrive at the same conclusion that John did. If they had truly been one of us, they would have remained with us, but their going showed they did not belong with us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
6 As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live in him. 7 Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always be thankful. 8 Be sure that no one leads you away with false and empty teaching that is only human, which comes from the ruling spirits of this world, and not from Christ. 9 All of God lives fully in Christ (even when Christ was on earth), 10 and you have a full and true life in Christ, who is ruler over all rulers and powers.– Col. 2:5-10 NCV
The words that Paul wrote to encourage the Church at Colossae are just as true today as then. Receiving Christ as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next steps are allowing Him to be Lord of our lives as well. When we were saved, we received the Holy Spirit as an earnest of the fulfillment of the promises God has made to His children. He lives in us, therefore we live in Him. We need to become rooted in His word so that our lifestyles will reflect His examples and give Him glory. We need to study His word and meditate on it daily. We need to spending time talking WITH Him, not just to Him. After we have thanked Him, given Him praise and laid our petitions before Him, we need to sit quietly in His presence and see what He has to say to us. There is always a word from the Lord, if we listen for it. We need this time in His presence early in the day to prepare ourselves for the spiritual battlefield. Jesus gave up His place in glory and lived as all man to set the example for us. He set the example of spending time alone with the Father so that He would be strengthened for the battle. He lived a perfect life and has been restored to all His glory and made ruler over all things. We can’t be perfect but we can have a full and true life if we follow His example on a daily basis.
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. — Luke 22:41-43 NIV