How do we guard our hearts? We should know that we can’t trust our minds to guard our hearts. Our minds spend all day listening to our hearts.
It’s not in our thoughts, but in our actions. We guard our hearts with our actions.

The Church should be a place where people don’t feel like they need to keep secrets.

There is nothing like the certainty that God is going to heal you of a very deep wound. That the issue has been decided, and now I can rest in that assurance. It’s time to sit back and watch him work, getting ready to live in the victory that I know is on its way.

No more worry. No more doubt.

What an amazing relief.

James Stewart:

“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’ The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to subserve his end, not theirs. They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet. They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne. They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in. They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy. They thought they had defeated God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down. He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

If Christ is anything less than the redeemer of the world, it will not make sense to speak of him as our own “personal lord and saviour.” He can be relevant to anybody only if he is relevant to all.

Benjamin Myers

I note a statistically significant difference in language between the way theists and atheists describe their beliefs. While theists say they “believe in God,” atheists often so cunningly say “I don’t believe in a god.”

And I think this subtle difference in language is a product of a profound difference in thinking – a signal to us that two people are not talking about the same thing.

A wretch like me.

A few months before the Hillsong album “Beautiful Exchange” was recorded, we started singing a song in church called “Believe”. I loved the song from the beginning. Originally the song had a bridge section in it, and for some reason that is beyond me, in the album version the bridge was removed.

But one night in church we were singing the song, and in the bridge we came to a line that said “Your love is stronger than my shame.” And out of nowhere, God floored me with that line. With that line he spoke to me so powerfully that I had to find a seat, sit down and weep and weep and weep.

With those words the Lord broke through to me; he broke through and arrested my attention, shaking the very depths of my being; he pierced through everything that I ever thought I was, and he showed me my true heart. And it was wretched. It was shameful. It was full of deceit, and malice, and failure, and sin.

And to my heart he said, “I love you,” and I cried, “My God… how can you love me?”

So many times before that day, I sat through alter calls where the preacher would say to the crowd, “Maybe you don’t feel like God could love a person like you after all the bad things you’ve done in your life – but trust me when I say that he loves you and wants to forgive you.” And I would never identify with those people. I thought the preacher was even making stuff up – conceiving of imaginary people with feelings that no-one ever genuinely felt. I didn’t understand why anyone would feel that way because I’d always known that God loves everybody.

But on this night I understood. Until that night I really hadn’t had a deep revelation of the pitiful condition of my heart, of just how desperately I needed mercy. I was confronted with my heart that night and I was devastated and ashamed. For the first time, I genuinely struggled to understand how a good God could love me. How could he love something that is not good?

But I knew he did. Because he told me right there and then. And I was astounded by it. And in some strange way I felt that he was holding me and covering me in that moment; he was so close. And amidst such powerful shame I had never felt more joy, because I knew that his love was stronger than all of it.