The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

“Then the Jews surrounded him and said to him,
‘How long do you keep us in doubt?
If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’
Jesus answered them, ‘I told you,
and you do not believe.
The works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me.'”
John 10:24-25

The Jewish leaders were prodding him to declare that he was the son of God because they wanted to catch him in what would be “blasphemy” in their estimation, so that they would be justified in GETTING RID OF HIM.

vs 26:
“But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you.”
John 10:26

You have to stop here and wonder WHY they were NOT of his sheep. Doesn’t God want all to be saved? Yes, absolutely:

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires ALL men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:3-4

So if God desires that all be saved, then why aren’t many saved, and especially among men of position?

“And again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 19:24

Riches are not necessarily lots of money. There are other kinds of riches. The clergy of any religion are held in the highest honor among men. Their high positions and their adulation are their riches, and it is very hard for a man of high position not to be corrupted by pride, in fact, it’s nigh to impossible.

Pride is the deadliest of all sins. It was pride that cast Satan out of heaven, and it is pride that keeps men from salvation. When a man gains high position, he loves the accolades and the praise of men. He feels he has earned them. Such a man cannot be reached, he is blinded by pride which is the most blinding and damning of all sins.

Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous,
but sinners, to repentance.”
Mark 2:17

Men of position consider themselves righteous and very few would ever admit that they are not. And that’s why they are not his sheep. Sheep are docile and tender, not corrupted by pride. When the Spirit of God convicts their hearts, they acknowledge the truth of what they are.

The call of the Spirit of God is the call to repentance. Before one can repent, he has to see the truth about himself. The Holy Spirit starts here, because if the man cannot receive the truth about himself, then there’s no point in going further, as the proud only desire to “get rid of him.”

One of the world’s greatest but totally deceiving “riches” is the richness of “self esteem.” The world tells us that we are wonderful and that we are good-hearted. They tell us we “deserve” good. But who is “the god of this world?” Where does this deception come from? Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4) and Satan …is a liar. We are NOT good, we have all broken God’s commandments many times, and it is up to man to choose which voice he will receive, the voice of truth, or the voice that makes one feel good.

“The heart is DECEITFUL above all things,
and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
Jeremiah 17:9

“There is none righteous, NO, NOT ONE;”
Romans 3:10

Who wants to believe that his heart is wicked? Who wants to hear that in spite of all the good he/she does, he is NOT righteous? Jesus did not come for those who already think they’re righteous. Jesus came to bring sinners to repentance.

What IS repentance?

Repentance is the acknowledgement of the truth about oneself and turning to the Savior. Repentance is the surrendering of one’s pride to the only one who IS righteous. The Spirit of God calls each person to surrender himself and his life to the Savior.

How high is your estimation of yourself? The higher it is, the more your heart is deceived, and the more you’ll want to “get rid of him.”

But if you ARE willing to turn to him – get to a quiet place and ask the Lord to show you what you really are, and be willing to believe the truth. He will not show you the truth to hurt you, he will show you the truth from his great love for you and his desire to save you.

Pray with me:
Father, the hardest thing in life is to acknowledge the truth about ourselves. It’s excruciatingly difficult, Lord. But when your Holy Spirit is calling a person, he begins by showing the person the truth about himself, and then waits for that person to become able to surrender. Father, I recognize the calling of your Holy Spirit who has been showing me what’s in my heart. I want to be ready to accept it, but I need your help to get there because it’s very painful. Please help me. Help me acknowledge the truth. Help me to put down my pride and surrender to you. My standing in eternity depends on it. Please help me and receive me, because I need you and I’m willing to surrender if you will help me.

 

 

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