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God is the One Who Changes Hearts

heartofstonetoflesh

I have had a couple of situations recently where people have told me that the scriptures have been changed and corrupted, so therefore they shouldn’t be read or discussed.  In both cases, I simply told them that it seems as if they are the ones making the decision about what is true about God and what is not.  In one of the cases so far, the other person came back to me to apologize and say that he did not want to be the one to make that statement.  In the other case, we have yet to see.

Honestly, there is a part of me that reacts emotionally about these discussions.  Essentially, they are saying that I am choosing to believe something that is corrupt and wrong, and they say these things without evidence or, in my opinion, much intellectual thought.  But of course, I have to remember that it is God who changes hearts, not me.  I actually have little to do with what another person believes.  If we read a scripture, other people can decide to believe what they are reading or not.  And I think an indicator of whether they believe it or not is whether they are willing to discuss it, not argue or debate about it.

I think that there is something that Jesus said that is very applicable in this case.  He said:

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

John 6:44
Read the whole passage for context

That is a lesson that I think that I need to continue to learn.  I think that Christians often assume that people are automatically going to be drawn to Jesus, but I’m not sure that is true based on what Jesus is saying here.  In fact, he seems to be saying the opposite, that they will only come to him, Jesus, if the Father is drawing them.

Of course, how do we know if the Father is drawing them to Jesus?  We don’t!  We only know that we are to be obedient to God and the teachings of Jesus, and if we have done those things, then we have done our job.  The rest of the job is up to God.

So I’ve been thinking for the last few days about how to respond to this situation where people are saying that the scriptures are corrupted.  I’ve thought about doing an in-depth discussion and writing a lot about it here in public, looking at where these people are wrong, but I think I’ve settled on a much simpler answer.  I can’t change people’s hearts and minds.  My arguments will never be good enough to convince other people, especially online.  Only God can change someone’s heart and open them to the truth, and he is only doing that if he is in the process of drawing them to Jesus.

So, I think I need to simply look for those that God is drawing to Jesus and stay focused on those people.  I can’t change others and try to get them to do anything.  It truly requires that God changes their hearts so that they will be drawn to Jesus.  I have to pray and ask God to change their minds, and more importantly, their hearts.

This is something I saw happen recently.  At one point, the person that I was talking with truly had a hard heart and wanted nothing to do with Jesus or any scripture or teaching about him.  But this person also knew that they were not acting in the way that they should to actually be considered righteous before God.  And it was in this person that we amazingly saw the scripture in Ezekiel played out in real life:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26

I pray that God will do this with each of us every day.  God, will you remove those areas in my heart that are made of stone and replace it with flesh, a place that is soft and pliable and open to your teaching.  God, help each of us to be ready to hear your word and draw us toward Jesus!

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