Scriptural Gem for September 2014

In Jeremiah 17:10 we read: 'I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.'

The verse above is taken from the NASB but the KJV also translates the original Greek correctly as: 'I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.' It is interesting to note that the word translated 'mind' (NASB) or 'reigns' (KJV) is actually the Hebrew word for 'kidneys'. So, God searches the heart and the kidneys - in other words He conducts a very thorough search of the inner man...

Most Christians hold fast to the idea that God will judge them by their actions and therefore all their actions should be correct, should be according to Scripture, should be 'Christian', for that would constitute obedience. As long as you are displaying correct 'Scriptural' behaviour you will be accepted because that is what God looks at... However, the verse above turns this idea upside down. Let's see what God is actually interested in according to Jeremiah 17:10. First of all He thoroughly examines the inner person (heart and kidneys) and secondly He examines the results of our actions. He scrutinizes both the origin and fruit of our actions.

Do you see that this leaves no room for religion, no room for rote ritual - no room for actions that are just an outward 'Christian' pretense. Actions that are man-made, however 'Scriptural' and 'noble' they may appear, are in no way pleasing to Him, for they proceed from man. But those 'actions' which proceed from His Life in us will bear much fruit and in that way clearly display their origin - His Spirit living in our hearts. This links up with so many other verses - John 15:5: '...If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.' or Zechariah 4:6: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord'

Dear friends, I implore you, do not think for a moment that you can 'be' a Christian by doing 'Christian' things. It is impossible. (Except if you think that you can fool the Living God). The Spirit of Christ living in you is the only thing that can actually make you and your actions Christian at all. Father, please fill us with your Life. Without it we are hollow. Amen.