At the age of 40, Pistol Pete, a young, on-fire Christian, died suddenly during a pick-up basketball game with Dr. James Dobson and some other guys. The cause of death was a rare heart defect. Although he was seemingly in great shape, his heart was not. Pete died because his physical heart had a serious problem.
SPIRITUAL HEART PROBLEMS
When it comes to heart trouble, pastors see more of it than the most sought-after cardiologist. So many Christians are walking around with serious heart issues - "The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart."
God does not see as man sees, "for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7). What does He see when He looks at yours? Does He see a heart that is truly on-fire for and in love with Jesus. or one that is a little cool and lacks passion?
DEVELOPING A HEART FOR GOD
1. Focus on the Cross. "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Keep your mind fixed on the sacrifice Jesus paid for you when He died on the cross. Read in the Gospels everyday. It is in the Gospels where you learn to fall in love with Jesus and develop a passion for Him. If you forget the price for your redemption, your heart will begin to cool (2 Pet. 1:9).
2. Be Honest with God. Honesty and openness with God brings intimacy with God. The more you and I pour our hearts out to Him, the more we draw near to Him and begin to truly see Him as "a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Prov. 18:24).
3. Invest in God's Kingdom. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:21). Your heart will follow your treasure. If you want your heart on fire for the things of God, start investing by faith in the things of God. If you began to get serious about bringing "the whole tithe into the storehouse" and honoring God from your wealth, you would see God do amazing things in your life as a result of your obedience. He promises to open the windows of heaven when you and I crown Him King of our finances.
Note also regarding giving: it reveals your heart and is a tell-tale sign of whether or not you are a true believer. Scottish Pastor of yesteryear, Robert Murray M'Cheyne, made this profound statement, "To give largely and liberally, not grudgingly at all requires a new heart; an old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money. Oh my friends! Enjoy your money; make the most of it; give none away; enjoy it quickly for I can tell you, you will be beggars for all eternity." WOW! Have you ever thought about it that way?
Let me encourage you in your walk with the Lord to focus on your heart. Seek Jesus with all your heart. Death often comes suddenly, like it did for Pistol Pete. God tells us to be ready. The best way to be ready to meet the Lord is to make sure your heart is right and wholly devoted to Him. Is that true of your heart?
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.