April 30th 

Breaking Heart Hardness

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April 30th 

Breaking Heart Hardness

7So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice,  8do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,  9where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.  10That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.'11So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' "12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first” Hebrews 3:7-14 NIV 

We hear from many people who are at the point of giving up all hope of breaking free from their addictions. This passage captures what sin can do to us if we allow it to get rooted in our lives.  Sin hardens our hearts, leads us to doubt God, and turn away from him.   This can happen to anyone, even people who have seen God’s miraculous hand moving in their lives in the past.    

This passage gives us pointers on how to prevent our hearts from becoming hardened through sin:

1.      Hear God’s voice today, while you still have time to change

2.      Don’t follow other people’s bad examples – follow God and learn his ways

3.      Stay plugged in with other Christians (by attending a good church, for example) and encourage them in their relationship with God

4.      Cling to the hope that if you are faithful to God, you will share in the eternal glory with Jesus Christ 

Have you allowed sex addiction or some other sin habit to capture your heart?   Have you felt the cords of insatiable lust squeezing the life out of you?  Have you grown numb to the destruction your habits are causing your family and yourself?   If so, God longs to give you hope, deliverance and rest from your struggles.   Make changes now while you still have time and while you’re aware of the path to freedom.   You can start by going before God in prayer, asking for forgiveness, healing and strength to start on the path to freedom.  If you do so, God will begin to move in your life and reverse the damage you’ve done.  He will heal you and teach you how to keep your healing.  He will give you new life! 

Questions for further thought:

  • In addition to always going astray, the Israelites were also ignorant of what? (verse 10)
  • How can we get familiar with God’s ways?
  • What would it mean for you to enter God’s rest? (Matthew 11:28-29)
  • How does being plugged in to a good church help you stay on course with God? (1 Corinthians 12:12-30)

Prayer:

“Lord God, I praise you for your wonderful love and mercy.  Thank you for making the way for me to have peace with you through the blood of Jesus.  I confess that I have allowed sin to encrust my heart.  I recognize the areas of sin that I have tolerated and confess them now to you:___________(list).  Please forgive me for these sins and re-sensitize my conscience to them.  Please strengthen my conviction to no longer walk in such ways.  Lord, I desire to live for you. Please show me the way to freedom.  Thank you, Lord! In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”