“…and a change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:47 (CEB)
Verse 47 where Jesus tells us we must have a “change of heart and life” comes right before he ascends into heaven. According to the gospel of Luke, this was one of Jesus’ last words on this earth. As he was going away, this is what he wanted his disciples, and us too, to remember.
I think that shows how important this idea is, that we must all have a change of heart in order to be followers of Jesus.
As I thought about this question, the “so what” questions about a sermon, I began getting excited about this message. I think the reason this message is important, especially important for those who are already Christians is because it might means God isn’t through with us yet. Perhaps the “changing of our hearts” isn’t done and God is going to do more in our lives and more in our hearts so that we can be more like him, more full of his grace and mercy and more changed every day.
I hope that as you explore what a change of heart means to you and for you this week, you find that God isn’t done with you yet. For some, this may sound scary, for others it may be exciting.
Know that as Jesus proclaims we must have a changed heart, he is at the same time assuring us that we are not alone. As Jesus ascended to heaven in our passage for today, he promised us the Holy Spirit, part of the blessed trinity that is available to us, that makes God and Jesus available to us to support us as we change or as we are changed by God.
To me, a change of heart is something that takes a whole lifetime. We are constantly being called to become more like God. That is exciting and wonderful news to me, that God isn’t done with us, that God wants to give us more of God’s self. That God wants us to have more grace, mercy and love in our lives so that we can know God more and share God more with others.
I hope that as you go throughout your week, you will consider where and how God wants to change your heart, change your life. I bet it will be small changes, but any change that comes from God has the power to turn your world upside down and draw you closer to him.
What a wonderful and scary and exhilarating and terrifying idea that is, that we are still being called to a “change of heart.”