A CHANGE OF HEART
By Stacey Lunsford
Arise & Shine For Jesus World Missions Center
1. Change - to make different, to transform or to convert
2. Convert - to change
something into a different form, substance, etc., to
3. Conversion - to change;
to change one's beliefs or attitudes, to make different in
some particular way, to alter.
What type of heart do you have?
If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him.
And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a
generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God
*The Life Application Bible Summary for Psalm 78, is a lesson from history.
Asaph retells history of the Jewish nation from the time of slavery in Egypt to David's reign. It was told over and over to each generation so they would not forget God and make the same mistakes as their ancestors. In the 8th verse, the people of Israel rebelled and refused to give their hearts to God. In verses 11 and 12, they forgot about God. In verse 18 they selfishly complained. In verses 37, they made empty promises to repent and were ungrateful in verse 42. This is recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:5-12, where Paul uses this classic story to warn the early Christians.
1 Corinthians 10:5-12, (NIV)
(5)But God was not pleased with most of them. Their bodies were scattered all over the desert. (6)Now those things happened as examples for us. They are supposed to keep us from longing for evil things, as the people of Israel did. (7) So don't worship statues of gods, as some of them did. It is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to dance wildly in front of their god. (See Exodus 32:6) (8) We should not commit sexual sins, as some of them did. In one day 23,000 of them died. (9) We should not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did. They were killed by snakes. (10) Don't tell your leaders how unhappy you are with them. That's what some of the people of Israel did. And they were killed by the destroying angel.
(11) Those things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who are living at the time when God's work is being completed. (12) So be careful. When you think you are standing firm, you might fall.
*The Life Application Bible Summary for 1 Corinthians 10:11-12,
Today's pressures make it easy to ignore or forget the lessons of the past. But
Paul cautioned us to remember the lessons the Israelites learned about God so we can avoid repeating their errors. The key to remembering is to study the bible regularly so that these lessons remind us how God wants us to live. We need
not repeat their mistakes! Did Paul think the world was going to end soon? Neither Paul nor Jesus himself knew when the end of the world would come
God alone knows (Mark 13:32) We have been living in the "last days" since Christ's ascension. We are to be ready for Christ's return at any moment. Anyone close to Christ feels, with Paul the urgency of spreading the Gospel.
Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
1 John 3:18-24
(18) Dear children, don't just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love. (19) That's how we know that we hold to the truth. And that's how we put our hearts at rest, knowing that God is watching. (20) Our hearts may judge us. But God is greater than our hearts. He knows everything. (21) Dear friends, if our hearts do not judge us, we can be bold with God. (22) And he will give us anything we ask. That's because we obey his commands. We do what pleases him. (23) God has commanded us to believe in the name of this son, Jesus Christ. He has also commanded us to love one another. (24) Those who obey his commands remain joined to him. And he remains joined to them.
*The Life Application Bible Summary for 1 John 3:18-24
(18) These verses give an example of how to lay down our lives for others. Christians must show their love, and one way to do that is to provide money or material possessions to help meet others' needs. This is strikingly similar to James's teaching in (James 2:14-17).
How clearly do your actions say you really love others? Are you as generous as you should be with your money, possessions and time? (19, 20) Many are afraid they don't love others, as they should. They feel guilty because they think they are not doing enough to show proper love to Christ. Their conscience bothers them. John had these people in mind when he wrote this letter. How do we escape the gnawing accusations of our conscience? Not by ignoring them or rationalizing our behavior, but by setting our hearts to rest in God's love. If we feel guilty, we should remind ourselves that God knows our hearts as well as our actions. His voice of assurance is stronger than our conscience. If we are in Christ, He will not condemn us (Romans 8:1; Hebrews 9:14, 15). So if you are living for the Lord but feel you are not good enough, remind yourself that God is greater than your conscience." (21,22) If your conscience is genuinely clear, you can come to God without fear, confident that your requests will be heard. John reaffirms Jesus promise, "Ask, and it shall be given you" (Matt. 7:7, 21:22, John 9:31; 15:7). You will receive if you obey, because when you obey, you ask in line with God's will. Of course this does not mean you can have anything you want, like instant riches. If you are truly seeking God's will, there are some requests you will not make. (23) In the bible, a person's name stands for his character. It represents who he really is. We are to believe not only in Jesus' words, but also in his very person as the Son of God. Moreover, to believe "on the name" means to pattern your life after Christ's, to become more like him by uniting yourself with him. (24) The mutual relationship, "dwelling in him," is a vital relationship that shows itself in Christians who keep these three essential commands: (
1) believe in Christ (2) love the brothers and sisters, (3) live morally upright. The Spirit's presence is not only spiritual and mystical, but it is also practical. Our conduct verifies his presence.
2 Chronicles 6:7-14
(7) Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. (8) But the Lord said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. (10) The Lord therefore hath erformed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. (11) And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, that he made with the children of Israel. (12) And he stood before the altar of the Lord in
the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread for his hands. (13) For
Solomon had made a brazen scaffold, of five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven. (14) And said, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts.
*The Life Application Bible Summary for 2 Chronicles 6:7-14,
It is unusual for a king to kneel before someone else in front of his own people,
because kneeling meant submitting to a higher authority. Solomon demonstrated his great love and respect for God by kneeling before him. His action showed that he acknowledged God as the ultimate king and authority, and it encouraged the people to do the same.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (10) I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
*The Life Application Bible Summary for Jeremiah 17:9-10,
Our hearts have been inclined toward sin from the time we were born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose whether or not to continue in sin. Either we can yield to a specific temptation, or we can ask God to help us resist.
January 16, 2000
To: Beverly Morris, Covenant Keepers Instructor
From: Stacey Lunsford, New Member Student
Last night's class was so awesome! I thank God for the growth and formation of our class individually and collectively! During our circle time at the end of class, you said a couple of things that really hit home with me. I am at a place of total surrender to God. I recently gave Him permission to access the dark places of my heart. They are very painful but I am feeling the fear and doing it anyhow because I am in pursuit of holiness and peace in my life. At the beginning of the class you talked about those dark rooms and it's amazing how things have unfolded!
This Faith lesson is just awesome because within the lesson, I learned why I used to repeat so many mistakes over & over again. Here's an excerpt from the faith lesson:
"Many Christians today will live and die as spiritual babes. The life of faith will always seem obscure to them. Even though their spirit has been born again, eventhough they have the Holy Spirit abiding within, if the mind isn't renewed with the Word, then the mind which has been educated through the body, will side with the body and the two will gang up on your spirit to keep you a baby Christian."
You can accept Christ and love him but if your heart is not circumcised, you will not be whole. You will not be what God wants you to be. You will continue to live in sin and be a repeat offender! I knew the word but I wasn't living the word! I was practicing the formula that you gave of disobedience, which is flesh, Soul and Spirit and had I chose to remain in my rebellion and blatantly disobey God, I know for a fact that I would not be here today!
Thank God for His word in Ephesians 5:25-26, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
As Jesus is my husband, I am thankful that He gave himself for me that he might sanctify and cleanse me with the washing of water by the word. That he might present me to himself a glorious church, not having a spot, or wrinkle: but that I should be holy and without blemish!
Today, I am practicing the formula of obedience: Spirit, Soul, Flesh and this is a direct path to God's blessings. As I continue to seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of his righteousness, all of these things shall be added unto me. My desire is to decrease so that God may increase.
Being in your class has truly humbled me because in the beginning, I thought that I had it all together but I didn't. Each lesson has bought me so much closer to the Lord and has increased my faith tremendously! I apologize for asking you to place me in another class in the beginning of our classes because I was wrong. I was filled with pride and although I wasn't blatant with it, I had an arrogant spirit and I needed to be knocked down a few pegs.
The Lord placed me in the Covenant Keepers for a reason! I am a Covenant Keeper! Hallelujah! Had I moved on, I would not have learned the lessons that I have learned. Neither would I have experienced the joys of helping my brothers & sisters to grow in Christ by the intimate and sometimes painful sharing that we have all contributed to. I have learned how to submit to those in authority over me and I am thankful that when I came to you, that you received me in Christian Love!
When our classes and graduation are over, I pray that our circle will not be broken because The Covenant Keepers have established a bond of Christian Love that is a direction reflection of the time and effort that you have put into the growth of the students in your class. If you didn't love the Lord and have a genuine desire to teach and help the new members to grow, we wouldn't have the love that we have in that classroom!
I thank God for you! My prayer is that God will continue to use you for His glory! You are an awesome teacher! Thanks for everything that you have done to help me to grow into spiritual maturity. I am not the same woman that I was when I entered into your class. I thank God for using you as a vessel to help make and mold me into what He wants me to be. Because of this class, my heart and life has changed forever!
There's a picture hanging on the wall in our classroom that says:
The choice has been made!
There is no looking back!
I have stepped over the line!
I won't let up, back up, give up, or shut up!
My focus is clear, my path straight!
My God reliable!
I'm a disciple of Christ!
Beverly you truly are a breath of fresh air! God is moving by His spirit and we are all next in line for a miracle! To God be the glory!
In His Service,
Stacey Cheryl Lunsford
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS:
FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD
New International Version Bible
King James Version Bible
Courtesy of The Bible Gateway
Life Application Summary of scriptures courtesy of
Life Application Bible - King James Version
Lessons I have learned in New Member's Covenant Keeper's Class
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