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9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (9) Fruit of Gentleness
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쏝ut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 ...

The Inner Heart

Manmin News   No. 82
September 17, 2006

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

From the Bible we find that God, after searching and examining people's inner heart, has called upon various people as kings, prophets, or apostles. Even today, when we love God with an unchanging inner heart accompanied by deeds and truthfulness, He is sure to bless and help us accomplish a holy image of Our Lord.
What, then, is "the inner heart" and with what kind of inner heart is Our God pleased?

1.An inner heart is a solidification of the heart.

In the past, when sugar was expensive, people used saccharin, which was cheaper but also sweeter than sugar, to make their food taste sweeter. The sugar content of saccharin is 300 times that of sugar, and even if saccharin is made watery 10,000 fold, it remains solidified with the same degree of sweetness.
Now, if the "water" in which saccharin has dissolved is likened to a person's "heart," the saccharin can be likened to his "inner heart." In other words, "the inner heart" can be described as the "solidification of the heart," the foundation of strength that controls the heart.
While a person's "inner heart" can be inherited from his parents, there will be differences among people depending on how much each person accepted certain attributes and engraved them in his heart during his lifetime. An individual's parents may have been good but if the child was born and raised in negative surroundings, his heart may well become evil.
God tells us in the second half of 1 Samuel 16:7, "God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." The reason God places much emphasis on a person's heart is because the inner heart directs the course of the person's mind and nature.
For instance, when forced to choose between this world and God, those who love God with all their heart will choose God without any reservation or feeling troubled. Between people who have a perfect inner heart and people who do not, there is a marked difference in their loving God, obeying His Word, and devoting themselves to God's kingdom.
Let's consider another example. Even when faced with a possibility of great personal or financial loss, a person with a sincere inner heart cannot tell a lie. When placed in such dire situations as the need of a great sum of money or the like, a person who does not usually tell lies but whose inner heart has not been transformed into truth will tell a lie even if his conscience is cut to pieces.
Patterns of behavior will be different depending on how good and straight is the person's inner heart. Now, are any of you asking yourself, 'Am I a hopeless case as I was not born with a good inner heart?' Remember that by God's power, a person's inner heart can be easily transformed (Matthew 19:26).
When we strive to throw out from our heart anything and everything that violate the truth and engrave in our heart only the attributes of the truth, our effort will start to build up, become solidified, and form a perfect inner heart formed by the truth. For patterns of behavior derived from an inner heart are true and faithful, it does not change in any kind of situation, and for this reason God desires to see each of His children accomplish a perfect inner heart and behave in a manner that stems from such a perfect inner heart.

2.Living by God's Will from the Inner Heart

a.You must rejoice with all your heart.

The greatest joy for all of God's children comes from the fact that by receiving forgiveness on account of Jesus Christ, they have avoided the punishment of death, become children of God, and received eternal life. This is more touching and profound than a last-minute, dramatic pardon of an inmate awaiting his execution, or a child reuniting with his long-lost parents.
This is because, once we are born again by the water and the Holy Spirit, the almighty God becomes our Father and we receive the forgiveness of all of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, an individual who always harbors in his heart the joy of salvation will never lose that joy no matter what kind of trials he may face in this life.
Besides the joy of salvation, we can feel bliss when we have our prayers answered and experience heavenly and spiritual gifts. When we engrave in our heart that joy we feel and experience as God's children, that joy will gradually become solidified in our "inner heart."
How, then, can we engrave that joy in our heart and solidify it in our inner heart? We can do this by reminding ourselves, "When I ask Him, God gives the best things and always places me on the best path," each time we feel the joy of salvation and having our prayers answered. An individual whose heart has become solidified with this reminder is able to rejoice in any circumstances.
Even when you feel that God's answer to your prayer may be slow in coming, you will be able to naturally rejoice as you believe, "Father will give me the best thing at the best time." For this "joy" in your inner heart will overflow in your life, you will be able to rejoice at all times.

b.You must give thanks with all your heart.

An individual living with an earnest hope for heaven can rejoice even in times of trial and difficulty of this world because he will have set his eyes not on what is visible to his naked eyes but to heaven.
We find in Hebrews 6:19, "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil." Ships that have dropped their anchors will not be swept away by the waves. By the same token, those who have dropped their anchors of their souls surely and steadfastly in heaven may meet waves of trial while living on the earth, but they will eventually arrive at the place where they have dropped their anchors.
Furthermore, the first half of Philippians 3:20 tells us that "our citizenship is in heaven," while Romans 8:18 tells us, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." For heaven is visibly assured for an individual who gives thanks with all his heart in an earnest hope and desire for heaven, he can give thanks in everything.
Keep in mind that an individual who gives thanks to God with all his heart can be grateful not just because he receives God's blessings or answers to his prayers but he can do so in everything. The fact alone that there is a Father in whom he can trust in this turbulent and unpredictable world and who loves and comforts him can be a source of gratitude for him.
Furthermore, God is deeply touched when He hears confessions of gratitude from an individual who gives thanks with all his heart for the Father's grace and love. When that person fasts in an earnest desire to be transformed in thanksgiving, the Father will allow his heart to be transformed, and when he gives offerings in such thanksgiving, God's blessings will come all the more quickly.

c.You must pray with all your heart.

Prayer is a channel through which God's children speak to their Father. It may seem physically that God is in a very distant place from where we pray but it is not in spiritual terms.
2 Chronicles 7:15 reads, "Now My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place," while Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst." When we pray, God fixes His eyes on us and pays closest attention to us.
How, then, can we pray with all our heart? We can do this when we believe from the heart that God is indeed fixing His eyes on us and paying closest attention while we pray to Him. We would first pray in gratitude from the heart for God's grace. Second, instead of asking for the things we need, we will place the Father's kingdom first and pray accordingly. Lastly, as we are led by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to fathom the depths of the Father's heart and pray in accordance.
When you pray with all your heart, your prayer will be delivered directly to God who is love itself and who does not hesitate to give His children only the best of things. If you earnestly ask God for anything in prayer with all your heart, you will certainly receive His answers.
Therefore, your prayer must always be truthful and reflect your inner heart. You must also please the Father's heart with your prayer that proclaims, "Everything is possible by the power of God." If you pray in the most magnificently good and touching way on top of that, the Father will be so proud of you and make sure to answer and bless you at the earliest.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I hope you have learned through this message to love God and hope for heaven with all your heart even in doing the smallest of tasks. By devoting your passion not towards the things of this world that will eventually fade away but to eternal and truly valuable things above, may each of you receive all the blessings God has prepared for you and give glory to Him without reservation, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ I bless!




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