For with the heart man believes

Romans 10:10 “for with the heart man believes … unto righteousness”

The question is, what do we believe in our hearts?  What did Jesus teach, and was it simple to understand?

Jesus said that the things we need to believe in our hearts are simple enough for a child to believe them, but difficult for an adult to understand.  The difference between an adult and a child is experience, and we learn by relating what is being presented to us with our experience.  The more experience we have, it is the more difficulty we will have in absorbing information that does not conform with our experience.  What Jesus did instead, was to tell stories that painted scenarios that would have been within the experience of the hearers, to describe various ASPECTS of the kingdom of heaven.  Often he would utilize more than one scenario so that we would understand the point, and not make extraneous conclusions by applying either scenario in too much detail.

The difficulty with the matters of the kingdom stems from the juxtaposition of ideas which, in our experience are hard to reconcile.  Justice and Mercy. Truth and Love, and the ones I want to focus on today, Righteousness and Rest.

Jesus does not lower the bar of righteousness in order to make it easier for us to step over.  Instead he raises it – Read Matthew 5, 6 and 7.  What he does instead, is to provide HIS Life and nature, so that it becomes EASY to be righteous, even to the elevated standard that Jesus sets.  So the paradox is that real righteousness is so hard, that it is only possible by REST – that is, the rest of faith and dependence on the powerful influences of the Holy Spirit to which we simply yield.  What a life, what an empowerment for righteous living, an internal passion for righteousness that results in supernatural levels of righteousness (in other words, a supernatural ability to love even when we are being offended, discriminated against or injured).

Prayer:  Lord, show me how to receive this powerful life that produces righteousness within my heart

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