Concealed in the Heart

Journal Entry // January 2, 2022

if I have concealed my transgressions as others do by hiding my iniquity in my heart, (ESV)

Job 31:33

What do we do with our sins and transgressions against God’s holiness when we try to conceal them? Are we ever really truly able to conceal them? Job states that people try to conceal their sins by hiding them in their hearts. I don’t think I have ever truly thought about what happens when I am hiding, concealing, and covering up my sins. I haven’t put a lot of thought into the possibility that in an effort to hide my sins (both from God and from others), I am storing them in my heart. Where else would I be hiding them though? By storing all my “hidden” sins in my heart I have created a breeding ground for future sin and transgression. The Bible’s solution to this propensity is confession. Confession of my sin to both God and others. Confession of the hold that sin has on my heart and mind is the pathway back to freedom in Christ. The promise of Christ is to cleanse my heart of this “hidden” filthiness and restore the fellowship of the Spirit within me.

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Fury of God’s Wrath

Journal Entry // December 29, 2022

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. (ESV)

Revelation 19:15

Whenever I take a moment to stop and contemplate all that is happening in the world, it can become an overwhelming exercise. As I sojourn through this life, I am assaulted with the anger and hatred of the world arrayed in unity against my Holy God. I can readily see all the many different forces of this world lining up to put an end to the kingdom of God. This assault I see every day is disheartening. It breaks my heart to see the lies and deception of this world making progress in the hearts and minds of seemingly all people around the world. It pains me to see the rebellious hearts of those who would cast down Christ and remove him completely from their life. I hurt for the lost. I am moved in my innermost being to see the glory of Christ revealed to everyone. I yearn for the return of Christ.

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Refusing to Repent

Journal Entry // December 26, 2022

They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. (ESV)

Revelation 16:9

In my reading through Revelation, I have now reached a point where the bowls of God’s wrath are being poured out in judgment upon the earth. It is a frightful and terrible thing to read through these seven bowls of wrath and consider the full weight of God’s holy and righteous judgment upon this world. The different sections of this destruction are increasing in the amount of destruction they bring. First, there were the seals, then there were the trumpets, and now there are the bowls. Whereas the seals and the trumpets were limited in the scope of how they inflicted the people, a quarter and a third respectively, these bowls will reveal the wrath of God being poured out upon all things. And the people who are being afflicted with these bowls of God’s wrath are responding in their full depraved nature. When the full wrath of God is revealed upon the earth, there is an expectation and a hope that the hearts and minds of the people bearing witness through the infliction of these plagues will turn from their evil ways. There is an expectation that God’s righteous wrath will cause the people to repent and bring glory to God alone. What we see instead is that the people double down on their hatred of God and they curse his name.

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Weigh Your Heart

Journal Entry// May 26, 2021

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.

Proverbs 21:2 ESV

How do we discern the rightness of our ways? It is true that in every decision there is a level of acknowledgement that what I am doing seems right. That I typically choose my every step based on the rightness of it in my understanding. There are going to be times where I choose something I know isn’t right, but even then I provide a sense of rightness to the decision even if I have to lie to myself.

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Subtle Drift

Journal Entry // October 30, 2022

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (ESV)

Hebrews 2:1

Of all the warnings in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, drifting away from Christ is the one that most worries me. It worries me in the sense that I can more readily see the drifting of my heart away from Christ at various times and seasons. This continuous slow movement from being a faithful follower of Christ to a place of complacency and apathy is what my sinful thoughts keep pushing me towards. The drift is dangerous because it is oftentimes so gradual that I don’t even realize I am or have drifted until I pay attention. This is the point of the passage. I must pay attention, close attention, to the spiritual state of my heart, mind, and soul. There is no autopilot in the Christian life. There is only careful intentional attention to the details of salvation and grace in my life through Jesus alone.

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Humble Repentance

Journal Entry // October 8, 2022

And David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” (ESV)

1 Chronicles 21:8

What is it that reveals the humble heart of David that was set upon seeking the Lord our God? It seems like we are always trying to provide an answer to this question by looking at the wrong things. The books and articles I read, the sermons I listen to, and the teachings that all purport to provide solutions to this question all tend to look for the answer in the visible outward expressions that are revealed in our actions. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to work on our outward actions as they are true indicators of our inward heart and character. How I am behaving reveals the true inward state of my heart and mind. The problem with this solution is that we end up focusing on our outward appearance and neglect the source of our sin, which lies squarely in our hearts. It is the pride of our hearts and mind that sets the agenda. It is only with humility that we can begin to emulate this same heart for God that David demonstrates throughout the Bible.

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Exposing Darkness

Journal Entry // August 31, 2022

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (ESV)

Ephesians 5:11

What is the essential factor in our everyday battle against sin and darkness? The key element of our walk with Christ is to expose the unfruitful works of darkness. We are to bring into the light those thoughts, words, actions, habits, mindsets, desires, and pleasures that are kept hidden away in the secret dark crevices of our hearts. We are not to be complicit or engage with these unfruitful works but to expose them. We are to expose them to ourselves, to a trusted friend, to church leadership, and to Christ. We should first start with ourselves and with Christ, then bring in others as we find ourselves in need of accountability and correction. The key action here is to expose the darkness in our hearts so that it no longer remains hidden or obscured. We need to expose these dark unfruitful works that are secret and private and bring them into the light of Christ. Exposing them to the gospel and letting Christ bring transformational forgiveness through our repentance.

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Unveiled Repentance

Journal Entry // August 7, 2022

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. (ESV)

2 Samuel 12:13

True humble repentance is what I am reading in this passage of Nathan confronting David about his sin. David listens to Nathan as he tells the story of the rich man taking the lamb of the poor person without any regard or compassion for what that lamb meant to the man and his family. David is rightfully upset with the man and vows to bring justice upon this man for what he has done. Nathan then speaks the message of the Lord to David and shows him that he is this man who has sinned. David listens to all the Lord says to him through the prophet and uttered this simple response, “I have sinned against the Lord.” David offered no excuses, no deflection, no rationalizing, and no defense. There was none to give. David’s eyes had been open to the depth of his sin. The veil of deception that he had placed over his heart had been lifted and David could clearly see the ugliness of the sin presented before him. In humility, David understood his failure. Not just his failure to protect and honor Uriah and Bathsheba, but his failure to honor Christ. David knew his only response was to acknowledge that his sin was against the Lord.

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Mask of Fidelity

Journal Entry // July 19, 2022

Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the LORD your God.” (ESV)

1 Samuel 15:30

If I ever need a picture of what it looks like to put on the mask of fidelity to hide the ugliness of willful sin, this is the picture that should be fresh in my mind. The story of Saul in 1 Samuel 15 is almost a sympathetic one as I read through its pages. I marvel at how easily Saul is misled or misunderstands the command of God to devote the Amalekites to complete destruction. I shake my head at how Saul could ever think that he’s completely destroying when he freely admits that he spared the best and the king as well. I want to read in disbelief that a man called by God and confirmed to be king through all these amazing moments, could so easily neglect a command of God and believe that he was actually being faithful. Then I remember… I do this each and every day.

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Feet Washing

Journal Entry // April 27, 2022

Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

John 13:8 ESV

Peter in the Gospels is so often a mirror that reflects the inner thoughts and determination of my heart. He is generally the one that is not afraid to put into words the thoughts that are bouncing around in his head. This passage is no different. Jesus is demonstrating humility and the necessity of servant leadership. None of us are above the necessary role of serving others in our leading capacity, but this washing of the feet was a picture of our necessity to have a heart of repentance. Our bodies are clean if we are in Christ and have been cleansed of our sin through the washing of his blood in our life, but our feet get dirty as we continually walk in this world. We need a daily washing of our feet. We need a daily, humble repentance that keeps bringing us back to the grace and mercy of Jesus.

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