Having a Heart Like God’s
Daily Bible Reading – Leviticus 13,14; Acts 17
Today’s Key Passage – Acts 17:16-23
While Paul was in Athens waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him, we read that he was, “greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols”. The word “distressed” is translated from the Greek word “paroxysm” which means a “sudden, violent emotion”. Paul was in a place filled with “religious” people, yet none of them really knew God. None of them had a personal relationship with the one true God and none of them knew anything about Jesus Christ. These people, though “religious” on the outside, were not saved. This gave Paul a “sudden, violent emotion”, likely a mixture of anger and sadness. This is relatively strong language – you will note that Paul was not just a little angry or a little sad. This scene caused his emotions to erupt inside of him. Why was it that he had such a strong reaction to these lost souls? Paul felt this way because he had a heart like God’s.
When God sees lost people, it grieves Him. When He sees people far away from him, He feels a “sudden, violent emotion”. God created man for fellowship. He loves each of us – from the “best” person on earth to the “worst” person on earth – exactly the same. He loves us with all of His heart, but since He is a perfect God and a just God, He cannot allow sinners to go unpunished. Anything less would simply not work for God. That is where Jesus comes in – He took this punishment for us so that we will not have to in the end. In this way, the followers of Jesus are seen by God as perfect and without sin, and they are reconciled with Him. For everyone who has not accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, they are not reconciled to God. They cannot be in His holy presence all alone with nothing but their sins – they are lost, and this grieves God greatly. Paul felt that same type of grief. We should all strive to feel that same type of grief. When you see someone far from God, how does it make you feel? Are you a little sad about it? Are you a little angry about it? Does your heart erupt with a “sudden, violent emotion”? As each of us grows in Christ and we continue to change, we will grow closer and closer to having a heart like God’s. We will begin to feel angry over the things that make Him angry. We will begin to feel happiness over the things that make Him happy. We will begin to feel grief over the things that grieve Him. Ask God today to give you a heart like His. Ask Him to help you feel pain for the things that bring Him pain and joy for the things that bring Him joy.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on February 10, 2014, in 05 - Acts and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Forgiveness, God, God's Character, Godly Living, Jesus, Religion, Salvation, Service, Sin. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.