by Kevin Litchfield
While reading John Ortberg’s book Eternity is Now in Session, I was struck by this quote: “If you’ve been around churches much, you know that ‘saving faith’ is a really important Bible idea. But many people in churches, whether they know it or not, define saving faith as the bare minimum I have to believe such that if I believe it, God has to let me into heaven when I die.
To have saving faith is not to believe the minimum amount so God has to let us in. To have saving faith is to believe what Jesus himself believed, to see what Jesus himself saw, so that you naturally do what Jesus himself will do.”
Ortberg writes, “Salvation isn’t about getting you to heaven; it’s about getting heaven into you. It’s not about relocation; it’s about transformation. It’s not about what God wants to do to you; it’s about what God wants to do in you. It’s about allowing Jesus’s Kingdom life to permeate our little lives one moment, one choice at a time.”
When praying for the lost; friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers you may find it helpful to use the acronym H-E-A-R-T.
H – Heart. Pray for receptive hearts. Pray God will soften their hearts. Love them. Act kindly toward them.
E– Eyes & Ears. Pray God will open their spiritual eyes & ears.
(2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Matthew13:15)
A– Attitude. Pray their attitude toward sin would change. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin. (John 1:8)
R– Release. Pray they will be released to believe. (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Note: For long-term issues it takes intense prayer and counseling. This is spiritual warfare at its highest level.
T– Transformation. Pray their lives will be transformed. Pray they commit to be a living sacrifice. It takes a deep and inward spiritual change. (Romans 12:1-2).
Pray they will understand God’s Grace & Mercy. Pray they will repent and understand the gospel. Pray God will grant them the grace of His healing and a deep and true repentance. Pray they will be transformed by the renewing of their minds.
(Message by Ron Taylor, Hickory Road Baptist Church)