As I was reading Jeremiah, a verse caught my attention. In the context, Jeremiah is complaining to the Lord about the wicked who always seems to prosper. These whom the Lord allows to flourish, even have a show of religiosity.
You are always on their lips, but far from their hearts. Jeremiah 12:2 NIV
I am reminded of the old saying, “Everyone talking about heaven, isn’t going there.” We also hear the adage about, “Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.”
Isaiah the prophet, utters similar words that Jesus quotes in the gospels about the religious leaders:
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Isaiah 29:13 NIV
It is good to hear people today whether politicians, celebrities, or people we run into every day quote the Bible and make references to God and His ways. But on a personal level, giving a verbal ascent does not reveal true faith.
Today, we are made aware of a growing number who identify their religious views as “none.” Perhaps that is better than years past when someone would say, “Of course I am a Christian, I was born in the USA.”
True faith is reflected in the fruit of our lives. Jesus makes it clear that a profession of faith must be followed by action and a true commitment to Him and His ways.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21 NIV
These sobering words remind us that true faith requires a heart transplant. The Lord spoke through Ezekiel about Israel, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
The good news of the gospel is new life. New desires. New attitudes. A new life where “the old is passing away and all things are becoming new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The prayer reflected in the old hymn is, “Search me O God and know my heart today…” This reminds me of Psalms 19:14 (NIV) May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
That is what we should all desire. That our words aligns with our heart forming the basis of our actions reflect the work of Christ in our lives through the Holy Spirit.