God ponders the heart of every person
Published 8:13 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: There’s a prominent Christian man in my community and he does a lot of humanitarian work and gives a lot of money to various causes. He said that he hoped he was doing enough to get into Heaven when he dies. This is heartbreaking because he cannot get to Heaven that way. If I were to send him an email, what could I say that might help him understand that he must receive Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior? – S.W.
Dear S.W.: The Bible tells the story of a young man known as the rich young ruler. He wanted to have assurance that he would go to Heaven someday and have eternal life, so he worked very hard to meet spiritual criteria as he believed it. Many people today work hard to satisfy this self-inflicted expectation while forgetting the reason behind “doing good.”
There are many people who spend their lives doing good deeds, believing that they are serving God, but they actually have little time for Him. They spend far more time watching television than reading the Bible. They spend far more time on social media than seeking wisdom from the Lord through prayer. There is no time for God and their hearts are a long way from Him.
The Bible says that the great God of Heaven searches our hearts. “I, the Lord, search the heart” (Jeremiah 17:10, NKJV). He’s in there probing. God ponders the heart of every person. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord [ponders] the hearts (Proverbs 21:2, KJV).
People rationalize that the way they’re living is all right. Doing good doesn’t buy our way into Heaven. God doesn’t accept our evaluation of our lives. He weighs our spiritual lives. He also does a wonderful thing; He promises to give us a new heart if we will submit to Him and receive His salvation.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)